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Contemporary Debates in Literary Theory (EN2324)

Summer Reading List 2016-17

Course Tutor: Dr James Smith

You only need to buy two books for this course: Frames of War by Judith Butler, (Verso) and The Odd One In: On Comedy by Alenka Zupančič (MIT Press). Others will be provided via copies on Moodle.

The syllabus has changed substantially this year: it might be good preparation to look up each of the thinkers named on the provisional new syllabus below, and to get a bit of a sense of what they are known for.

I will be drawing a good deal on Francis Mulhern’s Culture/Metaculture and Stefan Collini’s Absent Minds in Block 1; and on Razmig Keucheyan’s The Left Hemisphere throughout. Mulhern and Keucheyan are well worth buying.

Other useful introductory reading on ‘literary theory’ might include any of the many guides to the subject by – to take some well-known examples – Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory, After Theory), Catherine Besley (Critical Practice), Bennett and Royle (An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, This Thing Called Literature), and Robert Eaglestone (Doing English). All are in the library.

Block 1: Interrogations

Week 1: Fresher’s/Arrival week: No teaching

Week 2: Intellectuals and ‘English Literature’: F.R. Leavis

Week 3: Feminism in Bloomsbury: Virginia Woolf

Week 4: Psychoanalysis and ‘Civilization’: Sigmund Freud

Week 5: The New Left: Richard Hoggart and Perry Anderson

Week 6: The ‘New’ New Left: Nancy Fraser and Snicek & Williams, Inventing the Future

Week 7: Reading Week: 2 November 2016

Block 2: Meanings

Week 8: Structuralism: Ferdinand de Saussure/ Roland Barthes

Week 9: Psychoanalysis and ‘the Signifier’: Jacques Lacan

Week 10: Feminism in Paris: Luce Irigaray

Week 11: Discourse and Power: Michel Foucault

Week 12: Postmodernism: Frederic Jameson and Rem Koolhaas

Block 3: World

Week 17: Cosmopolitanism and ‘World Literature’: Julia Kristeva

Week 18: Postcolonial Studies: Homi Bhabha

Week 19: Subaltern Studies: Gayatri Spivak

Week 20: Deconstruction 1: Jacques Derrida’s Rogues

Week 21: Deconstruction 2: Jacques Derrida’s Animals

Week 22: Reading week

Block 4: Two Case Studies

Week 23: Frames of War, Judith Butler, (Verso)

Week 24: Frames of War, Judith Butler, (Verso)

Week 25: The Odd One In: On Comedy, Alenka Zupančič (MIT Press, 2008)

Week 26: The Odd One In: On Comedy, Alenka Zupančič (MIT Press, 2008)

Week 27: Revision/review



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