Theory Courses

Literary Theory and Criticism (ENGL 451)

  • discuss the historical development of the intellectual realm of theory,  including identifying major theorists, their works, and their main contributions to the development of theoretical discourses;
  • identify and discuss key topics of literary and philosophical debate, including issues of language, literature, subjectivity/identity, aesthetics, authorship, meaning, reading, gender & sexuality,  ideology & hegemony,  and representation;
  • articulate the main concepts and theoretical "moves" of schools of/approaches to/movements in modern theoretical thought, including New Criticism; Russian Formalism; Structuralism and Semiotics; Reader Response; Psychoanalysis; Marxism; Post-Structuralism and Deconstruction; Feminisms and Queer Theory; and Cultural Studies;
  • use accurate critical vocabulary to describe theoretical issues and to engage in debates;
  • generate critical observations and insights about a variety of literary and theory texts as well as about the cultures around you;
  • evaluate the relative merits of various approaches in addressing issues under debate and in interpreting texts;
  • apply these theoretical insights and perspectives to texts to author thought-provoking analyses of literature, film, or culture;
  • synthesize material into well organized summaries and thoughtful written responses or response papers;
  • work professionally in a team environment to produce engaging writing, professional media presentations, and creative learning experiences.