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C LIT 400 A: Introduction To Theory And Criticism

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Location: 
MLR 316
SLN: 
11953
Instructor:
Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

Syllabus Description:

C LIT 400 A:  INTRODUCTION TO THEORY AND CRITICISM

 

M-W: 3:30 – 5:20, SMI 115

Instructor: Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

Padelford B-524

Office hours:  Th 2:00 – 3:20 pm

Email: mbj@uw.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), meander through French 17thcentury critics, 18thcentury theories of genius, taste and the sublime, Romantic irony, and tackle the great modern philosophers:  Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche. 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:

M  Jan 7:      General introduction -- Enthusiasm:  Plato, Ion

W  Jan 9:      Mimesis:  Plato, Republic

M  Jan 14:    Mimesisand Catharsis:  Aristotle

W  Jan 16:    Rules: Aristotle, Classicism

M  Jan 21:    Martin Luther King Day – No class

W  Jan 23:    The Sublime:  Longinus

M  Jan 28:    Genius: Young

W  Jan 30:    Genius: Diderot

M  Feb 4:     Aesthetics:  Burke

W  Feb 6:     Aesthetics:  Kant

M  Feb 11:    Mid-term exam

W  Feb 13:   Irony: Schlegel

M  Feb 18:   Presidents’ Day – No class

W  Feb 20:   Dialectic: Hegel

M  Feb 25:   Apollonian/Dionysiac:  Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

W  Feb 27:   The Unconscious:  Freud, Jung

M  Mar 4:    Aletheia:  Heidegger

W  Mar 6:    Structure, Sign, Text:  Saussure, Jakobson

M  Mar 11:  Structure, Sign, Text:  Barthes, Derrida.

W Mar 13:   Final exam

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)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:03pm
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