EN 6992 6.0: Studies in Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory
Instructor: Marie-Christine Leps
Office: 215B Stong College
Office phone: 416-736-2100, ext. 66397
This seminar is designed to introduce students to a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches to textual analysis. We will study theories in their cultural, social, and political conditions of emergence, and situate contemporary debates in a historical perspective. We will therefore read across the disciplines (linguistics and literature, philosophy and history, structuralism and semiotics, performance and cultural studies), with the help of several faculty members who will present their areas of expertise and then direct seminar discussion on assigned readings.
Some of the methods, models, and movements we will study include: Marxism, Freudianism, Saussurian linguistics, formalism, structuralism, the Bakhtin circle, gender studies, French feminism, gay, lesbian and queer studies, African American and postcolonial studies, Derrida and deconstruction, Foucault and discursive critique, Deleuze and Guattari, Bruno Latour, and performance studies.
Seminar participants will give one twenty-minute presentation per term, and hand in a written version (with appropriate references) of this work; each presentation will be worth 10%, and each written version will be worth 15% of the grade, for a total of 50% of the grade. Students will also write one research paper (18 to 22 pages), worth 40% of the grade. There will be a 10% participation grade, involving some short 5-minute class presentations.
Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.
A course kit of articles will be assembled in consultation with guest speakers and students. Some of the authors we will read include: K. Marx, W. Benjamin, L.Althusser, F. Jameson, S. Freud, F. de Saussure, V. Shklovsky, B. Tomashevsky, V. Propp, R. Jakobson, J. Tynjanov, V.N. Volosinov, M.M. Bakhtin, C. Lévi-Strauss, A.J. Greimas, R. Barthes, M. Angenot, T. Todorov, W. Godzich, J.L. Austin, P. Phelan, J. Roach, S. Hall, R. Williams, J. Derrida, P. de Man, T. de Lauretis, H. Cixous, J. Kristeva, F. Nietzsche, M. Foucault, Z.N. Hurston, H.L. Gates, E. Sedgwick, J. Butler, G. Spivak, H.K. Bhabha, E. Said, G. Deleuze, F. Guattari.