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C LIT 400 A: Introduction To Theory And Criticism

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Location: 
THO 325
SLN: 
11812
Instructor:
Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

Syllabus Description:

 

C LIT 400: INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND CRITICISM

 

T-Th: 3:30 – 5:20, MGH 271

Instructor: Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

Padelford B-524

Office hours: Th 2:00 – 3:20 pm

Email: mbj@u.washington.edu

 

Description: This course offers a survey of some of the major texts in the history of critical theory in the West. No prior knowledge of theory is required, but be prepared to read challenging texts at a fast pace. Each session focuses on one important author or theme relevant to the study of literature and the arts. We will start with the Ancients (Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Plotinus), meander through French 17th century critics, 18th century theories of genius, taste and the sublime, Romantic irony, and tackle the great modern philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger. Emphasis will be placed toward the end on 20th century structuralism and post-structuralism: Saussure, Jakobson, Barthes, Derrida.

 

Readings: Excerpts from Hazard Adams, ed., Critical Theory Since Plato (in course pack available at UW Book Store)

 

Assignments: One in-class midterm exam and one in-class final.

 

Schedule of meetings and readings:

 

T   Jan 5:     General introduction

Th Jan 7:    Enthusiasm: Plato, Ion

T   Jan 12:   Mimesis: Plato, Republic

Th Jan 14:   Mimesis and Catharsis: Aristotle

T   Jan 19:   Rules: Aristotle, Classicism

Th Jan 21:   Beauty: Plotinus

T   Jan 26:   The Sublime: Longinus

Th Jan 28:   Genius: Young

T   Feb 2:     Genius: Diderot

Th Feb 4:     Aesthetics: Burke

T   Feb 9:    Aesthetics: Kant

Th Feb 11:   Mid-term exam

T   Feb 16:   Irony: Schlegel

Th Feb 18:   Dialectic: Hegel

T   Feb 23:   Apollonian/Dionysiac: Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

Th Feb 25:   The Unconscious: Freud, Jung

T   Mar 1:   Aletheia: Heidegger

Th Mar 3:   Structure, Sign, Text: Saussure, Jakobson

T   Mar 8:  Structure, Sign, Text: Barthes, Derrida.

Th Mar 10: Final exam

 

Additional Details:

This course offers a survey of some of the major texts in the history of criticism and theory (philosophy) in the West.  No prior knowledge of theory is required, but be prepared to read challenging texts at a fast pace. Each session focuses on one important author or theme relevant to the study of literature and the arts.  We will start with the Ancients (Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Longinus), meander through French 17th century critics, 18th century theories of genius, taste and the sublime, Romantic irony, and tackle the great modern philosophers:  Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, as well as psychologists such as Freud and Jung.  Special emphasis will be placed toward the end on 20th century French theorists: Saussure, Barthes, Derrida.

Readings will be selected from Hazard Adams's Critical Theory Since Plato.

There will be a mid-term and a final.

Catalog Description: 
A selection of major theoretical statements in the history of literary theory and criticism, with texts drawn from such fields as literary studies, aesthetic theory, film studies, philosophy, and cultural studies.
Department Requirements Met: 
Capstone for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:20am
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