This course is designed to introduce students to some important theories and practices of literary and cultural criticism. My goals for the course are 1) for students to become more self-aware about our understanding and interpretations of literature and culture, and 2) for students to develop skills for writing about a wide range of cultural forms. We will read some of the most influential critical and theoretical texts of this century as well as the last in order to understand how a particular theoretical approach can transform our understanding and judgment of cultural texts. And we will learn, discuss, and deploy some important critical terms which can help sharpen our insights into cultural forms and their social consequences and personal effects. I will offer a brief “playlist” of sorts: poems, stories, films, TV shows, videos, advertisements. This playlist will be our “primary” material, the texts we’ll examine from diverse critical and theoretical approaches.
Assignments will be comprised of short close reading assignments, a mid-term and final exam.
All critical and primary texts will made available on Canvas.
Theory/Rhetoric courses teach media theory, the major modes and schools of criticism and theory, and theories and techniques of reasoning, rational discourse, and argumentation.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
Literary Theory/Criticism courses teach academic and rigorous media comprehension, the major modes and schools of criticism and theory, and theories and techniques of reasoning, rational discourse, and argumentation.