|Instructor Info:||Scott Branson|
You know those theorists whose names you hear dropped in every lit class you take? It's finally time to read some of them. In this course, we will gain a familiarity with some of the key contributors to literary theory in conjunction with a selection of literary texts. Maurice Blanchot writes, "literature begins the moment when literature becomes a question." From the structuralist focus on language beginning with Saussure and the Russian formalists at the start of the century to the politicization of literary studies after 1968 with third-wave feminism, post-colonialism, and Marxism, the role of literature in contemporary society has been questioned and altered. We will ask how literary theory opens the possibilities of what literature can do in the world as well as how it limits its chances. This course will give you a working knowledge of the various specialized discourses associated with different methodologies of 20th- and 21st-century literary theory. No background in literary theory is necessary. Theorists may include Saussure,, Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, Barthes, Blanchot, Althusser, Lacan, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Irigiray, Cixous, Spivak, Gates.
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