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ENGL 301 P - Intro to Critical Theory

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


Introduction to the critical frameworks and methods that have had the greatest impact on the field of literary studies. Students will read, discuss, and write about numerous theoretical approaches, including (but not limited to) critical race studies, ecocriticism, feminism, Marxism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, and structuralism. No previous background with theory is required. Course Information: Prerequisite: Completion of the Composition I requirement; one year of college literature or consent of instructor. For majors only.

Special Instructions:

Introduction to Critical Theory - This course will offer students an intellectual survey of modern critical theory. It will introduce students to the movements and debates that have shaped literary studies and offer students a toolkit through which to interpret literary and cultural texts. The theories we will explore include: new criticism, structuralism, poststructuralism and deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, postcolonial theory, new historicism and cultural studies, critical race theory, and ecocriticism. While we will have a small shared archive of short texts like Kate Chopin-s -Desiree-s Baby,- Alice Munro-s -Boys and Girls,- and Elizabeth Bishop-s -One Art,- students will mainly be responsible for reading and discussing the primary theory. Together we will consider the intellectual trends that have shaped our understandings of language, representation, the human mind, gender and sexuality, capitalism, race, the environment, and power.

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Undergraduate

Credit: 3

Term(s): Fall


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