ENG 426: Contemporary Practices in Literary Criticism


Dr. Castellano 3 credits

          This demanding course is for students who are willing to read technically difficult, personally challenging, and ultimately rewarding theoretical texts that examine the ethical and philosophical issues surrounding aesthetics, literary production, and the act of reading. According to Terry Eagleton, “Literature, in the meaning of the word we have inherited, is an ideology. It has the most intimate relations to questions of social power.” Following Eagleton’s lead, our class will interrogate the political and ideological structures that lead to the formation of English literature as a discipline, and in the process we will become acquainted with the various theoretical methodologies that English scholars use, including formalism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, queer studies, and postcolonial/race theory. In addition, we will read contemporary theorists, including Foucault, Baudrillard, and Žižek, who integrate different aspects of various theories in order to create unique theoretical positions and readings of texts. 

          Assignments will include a reading journal, application exercises, two exams, a presentation, and a final seminar paper.   

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