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Literary Theory I

Vorlesung, Sommersemester 2015

Course Outline

This course offers a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings of literary texts. Recurrent questions of these lectures are: what is literature, how is it produced, what is its function and what is its purpose?

 

Objectives

In this class we will examine the ways in which we read. Lectures will introduce some of the different strategies of reading, comprehending and engaging with literary texts developed in the twentieth century. We will pay special attention to structuralist and post-structuralist theories, such as Lacan’s structuralist psychoanalysis, Barthes‘ semiological theory of the text, Foucault’s discourse analysis, and Derrida’s deconstruction.

 

Course Schedule

1: Introduction: What is literature?
2: New Criticism
3: Russian Formalism
4: German Hermeneutics
5: Reader-oriented theories
6: Marxist theories
7: Structuralist theories (I): Saussure and Jakobson
8: Structuralist theories (II): Barthes, Genette
9: Post-structuralist Theories
10: Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalysis (The purloined letter)
11: Roland Barthes: The pleasure of the text
12: Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction (I)
13: Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction (II)
14: Michel Foucault: Discourse analysis (I)
15: Michel Foucault: Discourse analysis (II)

 

 


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