programme

Introduction to Literary Theory

Home/ Introduction to Literary Theory
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSUS1EN2564

Semester and Year Offered: Semester VI, Winter Semester

Course Coordinator: Dr. Amit Singh

Email of course coordinator: amit@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: None

Course Objectives/Description:

This course will introduce students to different trends in literary theory with a special focus on reading, understanding, and exploring the works of select theorists. It will acquaint students to some of the most influential thoughts and ideologies of the contemporary world and enable them to analyse, critique and situate literature within a larger context. The course will study the importance of literary theory and move on to its thematic study through modules designed around Marxism, gender, self/ other, linguistics, culture studies, etc. This course will supplement and complement other courses on theory being offered to the students.

This course will focus on some of the key literary theories in order to help them engage more critically with literary texts. The course is designed to facilitate a conceptual understanding of fundamental literary concepts which students can apply in their analysis of literature. Through this course they will also be exposed to the disciplines of gender, sociology, psychoanalyses and linguistics, which will help them understand the linkages that exist between literature and these disciplines. Shift(s) from the most representative texts to the more contemporary ones would also be discussed. The course is designed around the following modules which undertake a thematic study of theory through some representative writings.

Course Outcomes:On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate thorough understanding and knowledge literary theory through readings and class discussions.
  2. Show critical, reflective and analytical thinking through an examination of the verity and validity of various ways of interpretation and analyses.
  3. Reflect research related skills through familiarizing with the language of theory that depends on other disciplines like philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc..
  4. Illustrate commitments to lifelong learning by furthering the acquired knowledge of theoretical principles and ideas and apply them to the study of literature in a more informed, objective, and universal manner.

 

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Introduction Literary Theory: Origin, Evolution, and Development of Literary Theory: Similarities and Differences between Literary Theory and Literary Criticism :A Short Introduction to Indian Literary Theory : Establishing Links between Literary Theory and Other Discourses
  2. Marxism
  3. Gender Question
  4. Colonialism and Post-Colonialism
  5. Psychoanalysis
  6. Structuralism, Poststructuralism, and Deconstruction
  7. Postmodernism and Cultural Studies

 

Assessment Details with weights:

S. No.

Assessment

Weightage

1

Class Test

10%

2

Mid-semester Exam (involves open book exam)

25%

3

End-Semester Exam

25%

4

Class Presentation

25%

5

Question Bank

15%

Class assignments and presentations will be spread across the course.

Reading List:

Module I: Introduction

  • Leitch, Vincent B. ‘Introduction’ in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2001. Print.
  • Kapoor, Kapil and Ranga Kapoor. ‘Introduction’ in Texts in Literary Criticism.
  • Devy, G. N. ‘Introduction’ in Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. New Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 2010. Print.
  • Bharatmuni. ‘On Natya an Rasa: Aesthetics of Dramatic Experience’ in Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. Ed. G. N. Devy. New Delhi: Orient Private Limited, 2010. Print.
  • Tholkappiyar. ‘On Diction and Syntax’ in Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. Ed. G. N. Devy. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, Print.
  • Khusrau, Amir. ‘Multilingual Literary Culture’ in Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. Ed. G. N. Devy. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, Print. Ramanujan. A. K. ‘On Ancient Tamil Poetics’ in Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. Ed. G. N. Devy. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private 2010. Print.

 

Module II: Marxism

  • Gramsci, Antonio. ‘The Formation of the Intellectuals’ and ‘Hegemony and Separation of Powers’ in The Modern Prince and Other Writings. Ed. and Trans. Louis Marks. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1957. Print.
  • Althusser, Louis. ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’ in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Trans. Ben Brewster. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971. Print.

Module III: Gender Question

  • Showalter, Elaine. ‘The Female Tradition’, Introduction in A Literature of Their Own:
  • British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing. New Jersey: Princeton University Press,
  • 1977. Print.
  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky, ‘Introduction: Axiomatic’, Epistemology of the Closet, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990, Print Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, ‘Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’, boundary 2, Vol. 12, No. 3, On Humanism and the University I: The Discourse of Humanism. (Spring - Autumn, 1984), pp. 333-358.

Module IV: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism

  • Said, Edward. ‘Orientalism’ in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffins. New York: Routledge, 1995. Print.
  • Viswanathan, Gauri. ‘The Beginnings of English Literary Study in British India’ in Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader. Ed. SaugataBhaduri and Simi Malhiotra. New Delhi: Anthem Press India, 2010. Print.
  • Aijaz Ahmad, ‘“Indian Literature”: Notes towards the Definition of a Category’ in Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader. Ed. SaugataBhaduri and Simi Malhiotra. New Delhi: Anthem Press India, 2010. Print.
  • GayatriChakravortySpivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffins. New York:Routledge, 1995. Print.

 

Module V: Psychoanalysis

  • Sigmund. ‘Conscious and What is Unconscious’, ‘The Ego and the Id’, and ‘The Ego and the Super-Ego’ in The Ego and the Id. Ed. James Strachey. Trans. Joan Riviere. London: The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho- analysis, 1962. Print.
  • The Method of Dream Interpretation’ and ‘The Dream as Wish-Fulfilment’ in The
  • Interpretation of Dreams. Trans. A. A. Brill. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Publications, 1997, Print

 

Module VI: Structuralism, Poststructuralism, and Deconstruction

  • Saussure, Fedinand de. Excerpts from Course in General Linguistics in Postmodernism: Critical Concepts Volume I. Eds. Victor E. Taylor and Charles E. Trans. Baskin. Winquist. London: Routledge, 1998. Print.
  • Barthes, Roland. ‘Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives’ in Image Music Text. Trans. and Ed. Stephen Heath. London: Fontana, 1977. Print. Foucault, Michel. ‘Truth and Power’ in Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972- . Ed. Cohn Gordon. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. Print.
  • Derrida, Jacques. ‘Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences’ in Writing and Difference. Trans. A. Bass. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1978. Print.
  • Bhartrihari. ‘On Syntax and Meaning’ in Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and . Ed. G. N. Devy. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 2010. Print.
  • Anandvardhana. Dhvani: Structure of Poetic Meaning in in Indian Literary Criticism: and Interpretation. Ed. G. N. Devy. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 2010. Print.

 

Module VII: Postmodernism and Cultural Studies

  • Jean-Francois Lyotard, ‘Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism? in Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader. Ed. SaugataBhaduri and Simi Malhiotra. New  Delhi: Anthem Press India, 2010. Print.
  • Williams, Raymond. ‘Forms’ in Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader. Ed. Saugata Bhaduri and Simi Malhiotra. New Delhi: Anthem Press India, 2010. Print.
  • Greenblat, Stephen. ‘Renaissance Self-Fashioninf: Introduction’ in Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader. Ed. SaugataBhaduri and Simi Malhiotra. New Delhi: Anthem Press India, 2010. Print.

Secondary Reading List:

  • Eagleton, Terry, Literary Theory: An Introduction, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,
  • 1983.
  • Barry, Peter, Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999
  • Lukacs, George. “Critical Realism and Socialist Realism” in Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader. Ed. Saugata Bhaduri and Simi Malhotra. New Delhi: Anthem Press India, 2010. Print.
  • Cixous, Helene. ‘The Laugh of Medusa’ in New French Feminisms: An Anthology. Eds. Elaine Marks and Isabelle Courtivron. Trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen. Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1981. Print.
  • Irigaray, Luce. ‘This Sex Which is Not One’ and ‘When the Goods Get Together’ in New French Feminisms: An Anthology. Eds. Elaine Marks and Isabelle Courtivron. Trans. Keith Cohen and
  • Paula Cohen. Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1981. Print.
  • Saussure, Ferdinand de. Excerpts from Course in General Linguistics in Postmodernism: Critical Concepts Volume I. Eds. Victor E. Taylor and Charles E. Trans. Wade Baskin. Winquist. London: Routledge, 1998. Print.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen. ‘Renaissance Self-Fashioning: Introduction’ in Literary Theory: An
  • Introductory Reader. Ed. Saugata Bhaduri and Simi Malhotra. New Delhi: Anthem Press India,
  • 2010. Print.