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Theory of Literature

CWL 501

Major issues of literary theory, critical approaches, and comparative research.

This course will offer you an introduction to the major ideas, problems, and critical trends that have shaped the study of literature and culture over the past several decades. By the end of the semester, you will be familiar with the evolution of and interrelations between a number of theoretical fields, including structuralism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, postcolonial theory, indigenous studies, critical race theory, digital humanities, visual studies, and feminist and queer theory. Some of the texts on the syllabus might already be familiar, but many certainly will not. In any case, the goal of the course will be to have you see familiar problems in a new light and to develop new skills to think about the relationship between literature, culture, politics, and scholarship. This course is conceived for graduate students in comparative literature, but it is appropriate for anyone engaged in literary or cultural studies in any geographic context.