The goal of this course is straightforward. We will sample here – following a rudimentary chronology – some of the movements in thought that have shaped the study of literary and other cultural works. These movements have all been involved to a lesser or greater degree with some basic questions: What is a literary or cultural work? How does the specific medium in which it appears and the form that it takes become worthy of study? How is it to be studied? What is its relation to the world? What are its effects? How does it affect us? Of what use is theory and its study?