• ENGL 415-01 Literary Theory & Criticism
  • Spring 2020

Course Information

Time: MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Location: Student Center – S211
Duration: 19 Jan. 2020 – 12 May 2020

Instructor: Dr. Hanan Muzaffar
Office: Student Center, 3rd Floor
Phone: 99893734
Email: hmuzaffar@auk.edu.kw
Office Hours: MW 2-3:30, and by appointment

Course Description

An introduction to central issues in Literary Criticism; the concept of literature, the relationship of literature to criticism, and the establishment of literary canons; key schools of criticism, including formalism, structuralism, post, post- structuralism, deconstruction and reception theory, and post-colonialism and their respective historical contexts; required of Literature Majors. Junior standing or permission of instructor required for enrollment. Prerequisite: ENGL 102.

Textbooks

Required Textbooks:
The Republic, Book X. Plato. (click to access)
The Literary Theory Toolkit: A Compendium of Concepts and Methods. Herman Rapaport. Blackwell, 2011. (click to access selections)
Literary Theory: An Anthology. Eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Blackwell, 2004. (click to access selections)
Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Peter Barry. Manchester UP, 2017. (available at AUK bookstore by week 2) (click to download Intro & Ch1)

Other Resources:
Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to postcolonialism. Pelagia Goulimari. Routledge, 2015. (click to access selections)
• Other books of theory as selected by student

Grading System

• 10% Attendance & Participation: Your contribution to the class discussion is vital. You will not be judged for your informed opinion but will be expected to come to class prepared with your reactions, question, and comments on the assigned reading. Read each assigned text, take notes, and join class discussion. You earn half the credit by attending regularly. (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)
• 5% In-Class Writing: This can range from reflections on texts read, or ideas about class dynamic. These are not quizzes. (LO 1, 2, 3)
• 10% Literary Analysis: 10 Feb: During Week 4, we will be discussing 3 shorts works of literature (in Barry). Prepare a 3-5 page analyzing the work before we discuss in class. You are free to choose the method of analysis as long as you present a solid discussion. No secondary sources required. (LO 4, 5, 6)
• 20% Reflection & Response (4 submissions): Submit a 2-3 page essay reflecting on and responding to assigned critic (LO 2, 3)
• 5% Research Paper Proposal: 6 May: Submit a 1 page proposal that includes your thesis statement, how you will argue for it using at least 3 supporting ideas, and the list of secondary sources you will be using. This can either be in essay form or as an outline. You may be asked to present your topic in around 5 minutes. (LO 4, 5, 6)
• 10% Final Research Paper: 13 May: In 8 pages (2400-3200 words), apply a school or schools of theory on a work of literature of your choice. At least 5 secondary sources are required to support your argument. Proposal or outline requires approval by instructor at least one week before submission due date. You may be asked to present your topic in around 5 minutes. (LO 4, 5, 6)
• 20% Midterm Exam: 18 March: An essay exam to assess your ability to navigate the course material and argue around it. (LO 1, 3)
• 20% Final Exam: 16 May: An essay exam to assess your ability to navigate the course material and argue around it. (LO 2, 3)

*All assignments are due before class as per date specified

Weekly Syllabus

Week 1 (20/1-22/1)
M: Introductions & course information
Read Barry: Introduction (reading techniques & approaching theory)

W: History of Literary Studies
Read Barry: Ch 1 (history of English Studies)

Week 2 (27/1-29/1)
M: Plato
Read Republic, Book X

W: Before the Schools of Theory
Read Barry: Ch 1 (literary theorizing Aristotle to Leavis)

Week 3 (3/2-5/2)
M: Schools of Theory: Structuralism, Poststructuralism, Psychoanalytic
Read Rapaport

W: Schools of Theory: Marxism, Feminism, Postcolonialism
Read Rapaport

Week 4 (10/2-12/2)
M: Literature
Literary Analysis Due
Read Oval Portrait (in Barry)

W: Literature
Read Thomas & Coszper (in Barry)

Week 5 (17/2-19/2)
M: Structuralism
Read in Barry

W: Structuralism
Read Saussure (in Rivkin)

Week 6 (24/2)
M: Structuralism
Discussion
Optional Reading: in Goulimari

W: HOLIDAY

Week 7 (2/3-4/3)
M: Poststructuralism
Read in Barry

W: Poststructuralism
Read Deleuze & Guattari (in Rivkin)

Week 8 (9/3-11/3)
M: Poststructuralism
Discussion
Optional Reading: in Goulimari

W: Paper Topics
Discussion

Week 9 (16/3-18/3)
M: Revision

W: MIDTERM EXAM

Week 10 (23/3-25/3)
M: Discussion of Midterm Exams

W: Psychoanalytic
Read in Barry

Week 11 (30/3-1/4)
M: Psychoanalytic
Read Chodorow (in Rivkin)
R&R Due

W: Psychoanalytic
Discussion
Optional Reading: in Goulimari

Week 12 (6/4-8/4)
M: Marxism
Read in Barry

W: Marxism
Read Zizek (in Rivkin)
R&R Due

Week 13 (13/4-15/4)
M: Marxism
Discussion
Optional Reading: in Goulimari

W: Feminism
Read in Barry

Week 14 (20/4-22/4)
M: Feminism
Read Butler (in Rivkin)
R&R Due

W: Feminism
Discussion
Optional Reading: in Goulimari

Week 15 (27/4-29/4)
M: Postcolonialism
Read in Barry

W: Postcolonialism
Read Bhabha (in Rivkin)
R&R Due

Week 16 (4/5-6/5)
M: Postcolonialism
Discussion
Optional Reading: in Goulimari

W: Paper topic presentations
Research Paper Proposal Due

Week 17 (11/5)
M: Revision
W: No class
Research Paper Due

Week 18
FINAL EXAM Saturday 16 May 1:00-3:00 pm