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ENGL 301 Q - Intro to Critical Theory

Campus: Urbana-Champaign

Description:

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:

This course will introduce students to the various issues and debates central to contemporary literary studies. If you have ever wondered why people interpret certain texts, and even certain events and actions, as they do, then this is the course for you. The class will begin by exploring the ways in which three profoundly different thinkers, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, introduced a peculiarly suspicious form of reading, a way of interrogating texts and the world that looks beneath the surface and doubts that what you see is what you get. We will go on to explore how literary critics in the 20th century worked to map this modern -hermeneutic of suspicion- onto political, psychological, and philosophical issues that still have an effect on us today. Finally, the course will engage with literature-s relationship to questions of sexual and racial difference, of power, and of technology. For the most part, this course charts a history of ideas, and although we will occasionally read

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Undergraduate

Credit: 3

Term(s): Fall


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