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    Vassar College
  Feb 18, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ENGL 317 - Studies in Literary Theory

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)

Advanced study of problems and schools of literary criticism and theory, principally in the twentieth century. May include discussion of new criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, reader-response theory, new historicism, and Marxist, psychoanalytic, phenomenological, and feminist analysis.

This course is designed as preparation for the senior thesis, as preparation for graduate level work (in an Anti- or Post-Theory environment), and as a capstone to the English major, answering the puzzling question of why certain critical perspectives are favored or ignored by professional readers of poetry, prose, epic, specific periods of literature, or literary schools.  Although Derrida is dead and pundits and journalists seem all too ready to bury his legacy, we are not entitled to dismiss him without a reading.  In addition, we address questions pertaining to the relation of literature to history and to social life (Gadamer, Lukacs, Benjamin, Adorno, Said, Hayden White), literary language to ‘objective’ language (Saussure, Benveniste, Austin, Bakhtin), and metaphor to metonymy (Jakobson, J. Hillis Miller, De Man, Derrida, Lacan, Ricoeur) as well as Reader Response criticism (Iser, Fish) and theories of Discourse/Textuality (Foucault, Barthes). Wendy Graham.

One 2-hour period.

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