ENG 206 (Theory & Criticism)

Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: This course introduces students to the discipline of literary studies by exploring in depth how it has been formed through literary theory and criticism. Two central questions—what is literature? and how do people critique it?—frame this course, guiding our study of some basic theories of the relationships peculiar to a literary work, its author, its audience members, and the worlds in which these entities meet. Because the course is both a required course for English majors as well as an Explorations Core elective for non-majors, reading and writing assignments are designed to meet two interrelated goals: to explore literary ways of knowing by practicing different methods of literary analysis (including romanticism, formalism, structuralism, and post-structuralism), and to situate these theoretical developments amid major social developments of the past two centuries (including marxist, feminist, anti-racist, and postcolonial struggles). By the end of the semester, students should be able to explain how and why no reading or writing can ever be free of theory.

Students are encouraged to add their own description of their learning from the course to the official course description above. As a student adds artifacts to this page, it is important to provide a brief description of the artifacts, perhaps using a list structure produced below

  • Paper One – In this paper, I took up the question of…
  • Paper Two – In this paper, I took up the question of…
  • Web Journal/Blog- I used a web-based journal for my informal writing and homework in the course. (Link Here.)

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