Contemporary Literary Theory

Course Description

A survey of important contemporary literary theories and their application to literary analysis and criticism.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain important theories and the arguments supporting them.
  • Apply different theories to the interpretation or analysis of works of literature.
  • Differentiate between the assumptions and methods of different theoretical approaches.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical arguments.


Minimum requirements

  • Readings of representative selections from important contemporary literary theorists
  • Discussions of theoretical arguments, including their strengths, weaknesses, and applicability to specific works of literature
  • At least two essay-based exams
  • At least 8-10 pages of formal writing focused on analyzing theoretical arguments and/or applying those arguments to specific works of literature

Essay exams and formal writing should comprise at least 50% of the course grade.


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