RICHARD L. W. CLARKE


 

 

 

LITS6001 MODERN CRITICAL THEORY
(FORMERLY E60A)
 

COURSE ARCHIVE

2010-2011

2009-2010

2008-2009

2007-2008

2006-2007

2005-2006

2004-2005

2003-2004

2002-2003

2001-2002

2000-2001

1999-2000

Annual Class Photos:

   LITS3303
   LITS2307

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This course shares a website with its undergraduate equivalent
LITS3303 Modern Critical Theory.

THUMBNAIL DESCRIPTION

This course introduces students to several schools of Continental philosophy and critical theory (chosen from Psychoanalysis, Marxism and Phenomenology) as well as Feminist, Post-colonial and African American thinkers who have engaged with these schools.

DETAILLED DESCRIPTION

This semester, we will focus on three overlapping Continental schools of thought known as Phenomenology, Existentialism and Hermeneutics as well as several Feminist, Post-colonial and African American theorists who have engaged with these schools.

We will begin by exploring general philosophical issues concerning the nature of reality, identity, knowledge and language advanced by the school in question.  We will then investigate its main critical tenets and interpretative strategies.  We will explore in particular what, if anything, its major theorists have to say about the following issues:

Representation: the nature of the relationship between the (literary) work and the world;

Audience: the nature of the relationship between the audience and the (literary) work;

(Literary) Form: the nature of the formal structure and genre of (literary) works;

Authorship: the nature of the relationship between the author and his / her (literary) work; and

(Literary) History, Intertextuality, Canonicity: the nature of the relationship that links (literary) works to each other and the wider soci-historical context.

To these ends, we will also compare the views of key Continental thinkers with seminal Feminist, Post-colonial and African American interventions on the same topics.  For example, we may compare Sartreís Existentialism and Humanism with appropriate excerpts from De Beauvoirís The Other Sex and Fanonís The Wretched of the Earth

Through close examination of practical illustrations of these theories (especially with reference to Post-colonial literatures), students will also be encouraged to apply the paradigms discussed in their own critical writings.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of the semester, students should have:

  • become acquainted with the views of key thinkers in the Continental tradition (e.g. Hegel, Heidegger) as well as those of Feminist, Post-colonial and African American theorists who have engaged with these schools;
  • acquired a more nuanced and complex view of key concepts, debates and issues in the field, including:
  • Topics in Literary Theory:

  • Representation,
  • the Audience,
  • Literary Form (structure, genre, etc.),
  • Authorship,
  • Literary History, Intertextuality, Canonicity,
  • Literature,
  • Wider Philosophical Topics:
  • the nature of reality,
  • the nature of human identity,
  • the nature of knowledge,
  • the nature of language,
  • the nature of human society and polity;
  • acquired the ability to apply the insights of literary theory to the study of works.

PREREQUISITES

None, though a knowledge of the fundamentals of philosophy and critical theory from the undergraduate level is assumed.

ASSESSMENT

Seminar participation and / or presentation(s) and / or response(s): 40%

Research Paper (15-20 double-spaced pages; topic to be approved by course director): 60%
 

This site was last updated: February 03, 2011

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Philosophy's Other: Theory on the Web

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