TR 12:30 PM-01:50 PM
This course will introduce you to some major theories and methodologies that have shaped the study of literary and cultural texts in the United States from the 1940s to the present. It aims to make complex theories and methodologies—such as New Criticism, psychoanalytic theory, narrative theory, deconstruction, queer theory, critical race theory, and cognitive literary studies—accessible, in large part by applying them to a variety of engaging texts. This course is not about reading the greatest hits of critical theory, though we will do some of that. Our focus instead will be on “doing theory.” To that end we put theory into practice by analyzing short stories, poems, comics, and other texts through a variety of critical lenses. This collaborative undertaking is designed to provide you with an array of tools for thinking about literature and culture in more ways nuanced and varied ways, and to familiarize you with theories that have come to shape how we talk about such things as race, gender, and class in American culture.