Fall 2020 Undergraduate English Courses

359:210 Introduction to Literary Theory

01  TTH4  CAC  05717  DIENST  HH-B4

This course will approach the field of theory through the practices of reading and writing. That means that we will have to start from scratch, by asking what “theory” is, what “practices” are, and how “reading” and “writing” are supposed to work. In an undertaking like this, nothing can be taken for granted. What difference does it make to our lives that so much of it passes by way of texts? And because texts are irreducible to “communication” or “information,” we will need to ask how writing and reading can do something more than exchange messages or give orders. In other words, we will ask how reading, writing, or thinking can ever be “creative.” From week to week, we will pose theoretical questions in a practical way, experimenting with different modes of writing in order to reflect on our own practices and ways of thinking.

This course fulfills the Theory requirement for the English major; it also satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement [AHo].