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READINGS IN CRITICAL THEORY


LITR. 442
SPRING 2016
Georgia Axiotou
Office: SOS Z 17A
Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 16:00- 17:00 (preferably, by appointment)
E-mail: gaxiotou@ku.edu.tr
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COURSE DESCRIPTION
In the Readings in Critical Theory course, our task will be to explore,
access and interrogate a corpus of theoretical positions and discourses
that are still prominent in contemporary theory and literary criticism.
Opposing the tendency to anthologise theory and critical trends, we will
rather focus on a sample of representative voices from six theoretical
movements:
Marxism,
Historicism,
Postmodernism,
Feminism,
Postcolonialism and Post Humanism. As well as delving into the specific
claims and questions raised by each text and movement, our aim will be to
follow the fruitful dialogue staged among the proponents of each School,
as it pertains to the respective ways through which they approach, read,
theorise key concepts such as subjectivity, history, representation
and power.
LEARNING OUTCOMES
Students who have successfully completed this course should be able to
discuss the theoretical premises of various methodologies and critical
discourses; evaluate the premises and concepts of various critical
methodologies; discuss the complex ways in which various discourses
relate to cultural, social, historical and political issues, and, ideally, ratify
or refute by sound critical argument critical views other than her or his
own
REQUIRED TEXT

The Course Reader will be available from Copyland in the Student Centre.
All extra material will be uploaded on Blackboard.
CONTACT POLICY

If you have questions, ideas, problems, or anything you want to discuss, Id


be delighted to see you. Drop by SOS Z 17A during my office hours (or, if
you have a conflict, we may be able to arrange an alternative appointment)
or e-mail me.
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METHOD OF EVALUATION

10% ATTENDANCE
Attending class is an important part of your learning experience. You
are expected to come to class on time and prepared, and to keep up
to date on your reading assignments. Beginning in the second week
(after add/drop ends), attendance will be taken in every class. If you
are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what we covered that
day.
10%

ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

I believe in an interactive classroom and I trust that the themes we


will explore will motivate even the most silent of you to speak up. I
value participation highly and I intend to reward those of you who
will share their insights in class and engage critically and analytically
with the material.
15%

GROUP REPORTS

You will be divided into sub-groups and every 2/3 weeks you will be
given questions on the texts we will be studying to provide short
group reports. These reports should not exceed in length 500
words and their purpose is to get you into thinking/debating some of
the ideas/texts we will be discussing in class. Each time you will be
responsible to forward/circulate your reports to the rest of the class
before our session via the class e-mail, and make it available to your
fellow students to study before class. The format of your responses
could either be in the form of small paragraphs or bullet points.
30% MID-TERM EXAM
You will write 1 essay in this course (2000 words each). Your essays
should be informed by at least 2 secondary sources and should be
submitted both in hard copy and to turnitin.com
35% TAKE-HOME ESSAY
Your final essay for this class will be 2500 words. This essay should
have a comparative frame and should be enriched by at least 4
secondary sources. Your final essay should be submitted to me by the
first week of the examination period (date to be announced) via email and you should also submit it to Turnitin.com.
MARKING SKALE
A

A-

B+

4.00

3.70

3.30

100 -93.0 %

B-

93.0 -89.0

89.0 -87.0

2.70

2.30

83.0 -79.0%

79.0 -77.0

1.3

69.0- 66.0

1.0

66.0 -60.0

0.0

Below 60 %

%
2.00

77.0 -73.0

%
B

3.00

87.0 -83.0

C-

1.70

73.0- 69.0%

0
I

N/A

Incomplet
e

COMPLETION AND SUBMISSION OF ASSIGNMENTS

You are responsible for the timely completion and submission of your
assignments. All turnitin.com assignments are due by 23:59 on the due
date. Late assignments will be penalized -5 points per day (to a maximum
of 7 days and -35 points). Late work will be given a mark but risks
receiving minimal or no written commentary/feedback. Please note that
under no circumstances will it be possible to complete additional
assignments for extra credit in this course.
ACADEMIC INTERGRITY

Ko University is committed to a culture of integrity within and beyond the


classroom. This culture values honesty and reliability. Together, we have a
shared responsibility to uphold this culture in our academic behaviour.
Along with collusion and other forms of cheating, plagiarism (which is the
unacknowledged use of another persons words or ideas) is one of the most
serious academic offences, as it involves fraud and misrepresentation. If
you have any questions about plagiarism or doubts about the
documentation in your assignments, you should consult with your
instructor before the assignment is due. Ignorance of what constitutes
plagiarism is not a defense, and all cases of suspected academic
misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action.

READINGS IN CRITICAL THEORY


WEEKLY SCHEDULE
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INTRODUCTION
THE RISE OF THEORY
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WEEK 1
Intro: Literary Criticism in the Present & The Rise of Theory
Text
Terry Eagleton, The Rise of English in Literary Theory [15-46]
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MARXISM
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WEEKS 2-3
Texts
Georg Lukacs, The Ideology of Modernism in Realism in Our Time:
Literature & The Class Struggle [17-47]
Louis Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses in Essays in
Ideology [1-60]

Fredric Jameson, On Interpretation: Literature as a Socially Symbolic


Act in The Political Unconscious; Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act [188]
Supplementary Material
Herman Melvilles Bartleby, the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street
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POSTMODERNISM
& DECONSTRUCTION
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WEEKS 4 -5-6
Texts
Francois, Lyotard, A Postmodern Fable & Answering the Question: What
is Postmodernism in Postmodern Debates [12-22] & [53-62]
Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism and Consumer Society in Postmodern
Debates [22-36]
Jacques Derrida. 1. A selection of excerpts from Diffrance & Structure,
Sign and Play
(e-document) 2. Deconstruction and Actuality in Postmodern Debates
[75-78]
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HISTORICISM
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WEEKS 7-8
Texts
Michel Foucault, Nietzsche, Genealogy, History in The Foucault Reader
[76-100]
Catherine Gallagher, Marxism and the New Historicism n The New
Historicism [37-48]
Supplementary Material
Anna Davin, Imperialism and Motherhood

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FEMINISMS
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WEEKS 9 - 10
Texts
Simone de Beauvoir, Introduction in The Second Sex [23-39]
Helene Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa in Signs [875-893]
Judith Butler, Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions in Gender
Trouble [163-180]
Supplementary Material

Andriene Rich, Diving into the Wreck


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WEEK 11
&& SPRING BREAK / NO CLASSES &&
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POSTCOLONIALISM
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WEEKS 12- 13
Texts
Edward Said, Introduction & Connecting Empire to Secular
Interpretation from Culture and Imperialism [xi-xxviii] & [43-61]
Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic as Counterculture of Modernity in The
Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness [1-40]

Gayatri Spivak, 1. Can the Subaltern Speak, in Marxism and the


Interpretation of Culture [271-316]; 2. Subaltern Talk: Interview with the
Editors
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POSTHUMANISM
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WEEKS 14- 15
Texts
Michel Foucault, 1. Right of Death and Power over Life in The Foucault
Reader ; 2. 17th March 1976 in Society Must be Defended [239-264]
Rosi Braidotti, Introduction & The inhuman: Life Beyond Death from
Posthumanism [ 1-12] & [105-142]