TR 11:00 AM-12:20 PM
This survey of contemporary critical theory is an introduction to major schools of thought that have shaped the study of literature and other cultural texts in the U.S. from the postwar period to the present. Above all, this course asks you to use theory to analyze, discuss, and write about literary and graphic texts. While survey courses on critical theory typically require students to read a lot dense, canonical scholarship written by theorists, our focus will be on gaining a broad historical and conceptual understanding of major theories in order to apply them to a variety of texts. These texts will range from short stories and personal essays to poetry and music, from short films to animations and comics. Thus, while we will read some primary texts by theorists, we will primarily concern ourselves with attaining a basic understanding of various theories by using them to broaden how we read, view, and interpret texts. Together we will put theory into practice, most often by applying them to texts we will analyze as a class, in class, together.