ENG 4150-001  Literary Criticism

Mon, Wed: 3:30-4:50 PM.

LANG 318

Office Hours: M, W 1:00-3:00 and by appointment

Office 104A, MARQ

Download Syllabus in PDF


Introduction:
This course aims to introduce you to the major critical approaches available for analysis and appreciation of literary works. The terms theory and literature themselves are not free of controversy and have been defined in numerous, often conflicting, ways. This course will apprise you of the major debates in the field of literary theory and their impact on the critical reading of literature in particular and the real-life culture in general.

We will also discuss the politics and poetics that constitute what we perceive as literary and the role of the academy and popular culture in defining and refuting any hard boundaries. In today’s world, literary theory is increasingly in constant embrace with the culture, and this course will take into account the overlaps and the disjunctures between the critical and the cultural theory.

Discussed also will be the role of literature in defining or articulating the world around us, and, in certain cases, the role of literature in normalizing the hegemonic drive of the powerful. Such an approach to literary theory will make us question our own privileged place in the university setting and in  the world and help us articulate personal goals of becoming politically aware and culturally diverse world citizens. Throughout this course, we will attempt to relate our in-class activities to the world of the lived experience beyond the university campus.

This is a demanding and writing-intensive course, so please come prepared for a challenging and mentally stimulating experience.

Required Texts:
The Norton Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism

Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction, 2nd Edition.

Handouts:

Videos:

Course Policies and Requirements:

You are expected to come prepared for class: This involves reading the assigned texts, listening carefully to your peers, and contributing your views in a collegiate and stimulating way. Attendance is mandatory.

Distribution of Points:

 

Presentation          200 Points

Weekly Quiz            100 Points

Class Participation   100 Points

Mid Term exam       300 Points

Term Paper             300 Points

Total 1000 Points

YOU MUST FINISH ALL MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS TO PASS THE COURSE

 
Presentations: (200 Points)
Each one of you will be asked to present on assigned readings at least once during the semester. Your role as a presenter will involve the following:
  • An oral presentation covering the assigned text in detail. (50 Points).
  • A written response (minimum two double-spaced pages) submitted on the same day. (50 Points).
Weekly Quiz: (100 Points)

Over the semester I will administer 10 reading quizzes. The quizzes will be meant to check if you have been reading the assigned texts. Quizzes will be administered on each Monday during the first ten minutes of class. THERE WILL BE NO EXTRA TIME ALLOWED, which means if you are late to class and the quiz has already been administered, you will MISS the quiz. No make up quizzes!

Mid-Term Exam:
The Mid-term will be an in-class essay exam administered in the 8th week.
Class Participation:
As this is a course based on a discussion format, your thoughtful participation is essential to the success of the class. I encourage collegiate, open, and thought-provoking class discussions. Remember, we are all here to learn, so let us share our ideas and knowledge to make this class into a dynamic learning experience.

Term Paper:  (Guide)
The final term paper will be due on the last day of class. The paper should be 12-15 pages, with a clearly defined thesis and a coherent argument using one or two of the theoretical approaches discussed in class. I would encourage you to choose your topic early and do extensive research. I will be available to assist during all stages of your research and composition process.     

Attendance:
You are expected to attend the class regularly. You will be in the danger of failing the course if you miss more than FOUR class sessions.

 
Cheating and Plagiarism:
Check the policy HERE.
 
ADA
Please contact me and bring me the necessary documentation if you would like me to make extra arrangements of for any disabilities.

Grading Scale:
A 920-1000

B 830-919
C 739-829
D 600-738
F Less than 600 Points
Weekly Schedule:
 
(Note: This is a tentative schedule and the istructor retains the right to change it as and when necessary. This document will be continously augmented by in-class announcements or through emails and you are required to be aware of all such announcements)
Week 1
Introduction to the course
Eagleton: Intro and Chapter 1
 
Reading:
Eagleton: Chapter 2
Brooks (1213), Wimsatt (1217), Ransom (961), Frye (1301); Arnold “Functions of ” (695)
 

Presentations

 
Week 2
Discussion:
Eagleton: Chapter 2
Brooks (1213), Wismatt (1217), Ransom (961), Frye (1301); Arnold
 
Reading:
Eagleton Chapter 3
Saussure (Whole selection 845); Jakobsonb (Whole Selection 1141)
 
Presentations
  • Nathaniel (Sassure)
 
Week 3
Discussion:
Eagleton Chapter 3
Saussure (Whole selection 845); Jakobsonb (Whole Selection 1141)
 
Reading:
Eagleton, Chapter 4
Althusser (1332); Barthes (1316);Foucault (1469)  Derrida (1680)
 
Presentations
 
Week 4
Discussion:
Eagleton, Chapter 4
Althusser (1332); Barthes (1316);Foucault (1469)  Derrida (1680)
 
Reading:
Eagleton, Chapter 5
Freud (807); Lacan (1156); Butler (2536); Kristeva (2067); Cixous (1938); Zizek (2402)
 
Presentations
  • Joshua H, Kelsi (Foucault)
Week 5
Discussion:
Eagleton, Chapter 5
Freud (807); Lacan (1156); Butler (2536); Kristeva (2067); Cixous (1938); Zizek (2402)
 
Reading:
Eagleton, Conclusion and Afterword
Marx (647); Derrida “Specters of Marx (1734); Horkheimer and Adorno (1107)
 
Presentations
  • Chloe (Freud)
  • Erin H (Lacan)
  • Rebecca (Zizek)
 
Week 6
Discussion:
Eagleton, Conclusion and Afterword
Marx (647); Derrida “Specters of Marx (1734); Horkheimer and Adorno (1107)
 
Reading:
Said (1861); Spivak (2110); Bhabha (2351); Gates Jr (2427); Hooks (2507)
 
Presentations
  • Johanathan S (Derrida)
  • Miranda (Adorno and Horkheimer)
  • David (Gates)
 
Week 7
Revision of all redings covered so far
Discussion:
Said (1861); Spivak (2110); Bhabha (2351); Gates Jr (2427); Hooks (2507)
Presentations
  • Emily (Saeed)
  • Nicole: (Cixous)
  • Jacquaila: (Hooks)
  • Tyler (Bhabha)
 
Week 8
 
Mid Term
 
Reading:
Achebe (1610); Anderson (1913); Fanon (1437); Hardt and Negri (2615)
 
Presentations
  • Nicole L (Fanon)
 
Week 9
Discussion:
Achebe (1610); Anderson (1913); Fanon (1437); Hardt and Negri (2615)
 
Reading:
Robin Goodman
Habermas (entire selection)
 
Presentations
  • Sara B (Achebe)
  • Nizami (Anderson)
  • Rafael (Fanon)
 
Week 10
Discussion
Habermas and Goodman
 
Reading:
Robin Goodman
Habermas (entire selection)
 

Presentations

 
Week 11
Discussion:
Robin Goodman
Habermas (entire selection)
 
Reading:
Anzaldua (2096);  Rich (1588); Rubin (2373); Sedgwick (2464)
 
Presentations
  • Cindy and Capri  (Rich)
 
Week 12
Discussion:
Anzaldua (2096);  Rich (1588); Rubin (2373); Sedgwick (2464)
 
Reading:
Smith (2221);  Zimmerman (2328); Halberstam (2635); Huffer (Handout)
 
Presentations
Week 13
Discussion:
Smith (2221);  Zimmerman (2328); Halberstam (2635); Huffer (Handout)
 
Assignment:
Final Paper Workshops
 
Week 14 & 15
 

Revision and Paper workshops.

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