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ENG 319: Literary Theory

Course Description

This course surveys the major literary theories of the 20th and 21st centuries as it applies to both literature and culture. Theories include Deconstruction, Queer theory, Feminist theory, postcolonialism, Critical Race Theory, Postmodernism, and the ideas of Michel Foucault. The course is organized by theoretical concepts and how they are applied to literature and culture. Readings are by theorists, scholars and practitioners in the field of literary and critical theory. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Analyze the complex definition of literature.
  2. Define literary theory.
  3. Explain theory's role in the study and analysis of literature.
  4. Define Modernism/Postmodernism and its impact on art, literature and architecture.
  5. Identify traits of Modernist or Postmodernist literature.
  6. Identify Modernist/Postmodernist authors and literary works.
  7. Analyze a text as either Modernist or Postmodernist and identify key characteristics.
  8. Define the concepts of power and the subject in the theory of Michel Foucault.
  9. Apply Foucault's concepts and ideas to a variety of texts.
  10. Define Deconstruction.
  11. Illustrate how Deconstruction questions the notion of universal truth.
  12. Explain the significance of Derrida's critique of Western thought and the Enlightenment.
  13. Analyze the effect of "the culture industry."
  14. Define key critical terms related to Culture studies.
  15. Analyze the ideas of leading theorists of cultural studies.
  16. Identify and define the three waves of feminism.
  17. Explain the difference between constructivism and essentialism.
  18. Analyze the concerns of third wave feminism and how it addresses the needs of 21st century women.
  19. Analyze the major concerns and issues addressed by second wave feminism.
  20. Analyze the connections/disconnections between feminism, postmodernism and queer theory.
  21. Apply the concepts of Queer Theory to textual analysis.
  22. Analyze the theories of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault.
  23. Describe the political and theoretical origins of Queer Theory.
  24. Define postcolonial theory.
  25. Define critical race theory.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8)

40%

Essay 1 (Week 1)

15%

Essay 2 (Week 4)

20%

Essay 3 (Week 7)

25%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

  • There are no required textbooks to purchase. The course will utilize electronic readings that will be provided in the course.

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,2,3

Topics: Literature and Theory

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

2

4-7

Topics: Modernism and Postmodernism

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Essay 1

3

8,9

Topic: Michel Foucault

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

4

10,11,12

Topic: Deconstruction

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Essay 2

5

13,14,15

Topics: Cultural Studies

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

6

16-20

Topic: Feminist Theory

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions

7

21,22,23

Topics: Queer Theory

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Essay 3

8

24,25,26

Topic: 21st Century Theories

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.