ENCR861-1 (Schedule # 305VP)
University of Virginia
Fall 2008
MW 3:30-4:45pm :: Bryan 332
Mr. David Golumbia
Office: 449 New Cabell Hall
Fall 2008 Office Hours: M 12:30p-3:30p

Literary and Critical Theory

This course provides an introductory survey of issues and topics in contemporary literary and critical theory, with particular attention paid to topics that are of current interest to literary scholars. Topics to be covered include structuralism, poststructuralism, feminism, gender studies, queer theory, critical race theory, postcolonialism, cultural studies, and historicism, among others. We will read texts by writers including some or all of Derrida, Spivak, Butler, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Spillers, Althusser, Hall, Bhabha, and Sedgwick, among others. Students will be expected to prepare class exercises and response papers addressing the theoretical readings, and to write a final paper that deploys theoretical material in the service of interpreting literary and/or cultural texts of the student's choice. No prior background in literary or critical theory is assumed, although at least some familiarity with one or more of the perspectives covered will certainly prove helpful.

Texts in Collab

Assignments and Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on written exercises and course participation as follows:


Week-by-Week Syllabus

Week 0. Introduction

Week 1. Authorship

Week 2. Gender and Sexuality

Week 3. Ideology

Week 4. Poststructuralism I

Week 5.Psychoanalysis

Week 6. Postcolonialism I

Week 7. Reading Period

Week 8. Race

Week 9. Poststructuralism II

Week 10. Postcolonialism II

Week 11. Postmodernity

Week 12. Historicism

Week 13. Thanksgiving Break

Week 14. Final Presentations

Final paper due by the end of exam period, Tues Dec 16. There is no final exam for the course.

Last updated August 27, 2008.