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Department of English and Media Studies

Christ University, Bangalore
IV Semester PSEng, JPEng, FEP (June-Sept 2010)
EST 431 Literary Theory
Course Plan

Total No of Hours (approx) : 60
Teachers: Padmakumar (PK), Renu Abraham (RA), Anil Pinto

Introduction: The paper initiates the students to unlearn some of their conventional
nations about what is literature; introduces them to a varied schools of literary criticism
and theory; and welcomes them to frame their own sense of 'literature' and 'theory'.

• To introduce the students to concepts, concerns, critical debates in theorising
literary texts
• To expose students to the applicability of the theoretical frameworks
• To enable students to critically perceive and engage with productions of
meanings, significations and negotiations

Level of Knowledge: Working knowledge of English and literature

Expected Learning Outcome: An awareness of the constructed-ness of the literary
material, and a refined sense of theory

SL Topics Dates Remarks
1 Unit I June
“What is Literature?” Terry Eagleton Week II, III
2 What is Literary Theory? Week IV
Jonathan Culler: ‘Literary Theory in the Undergraduate
3 Humanist Literary Theory: Week II
Plato From Republic “Book II”; Aristotle;
4 Horace, Sir Philip Sidney; Sir Francis Bacon; Joseph Week III
Addison; Edmond Burke; Samuel Johnson; Sir Joshua
Reynolds; William Wordsworth; Samuel Taylor Coleridge;
John Keats; Edgar Allan Poe; Matthew Arnold
5 Unit II June
Structuralism: Ferdinand de Saussure “Nature of Linguistic Week V,
Sign”; Claude Levi-Strauss and ‘The Structural Study of July Week I,
Myth’; II
6 Humanism, Structuralism, Poststructuralism July Week
7 Deconstruction: Binary Opposition; The Role of the Week IV, V
Centre; Bricolage
8 Unit III June Week
Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud ‘Creative Writers and Day IV, V
9 Jacques Lacan; ‘Self’ to ‘Subject’ July Week I,
10 Feminism: ‘Pre-poststructuralist’ Feminist Literary Week III,
Theory; Poststructuralist Feminist Literary Theory; IV, V
Hélène Cixous and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’; Luce
Irigaray and ‘This Sex Which Is Not One’
11 Queer Theory: Flexible Sexuality?; Gay/Lesbian Studies; August
History to Historicism; Humanist History; New Week I
12 Unit IV August
Ideology and Discourse: Week III,
Marxist Theory: A Few Basics; Loius Althusser and IV, V
Ideology; Mikhail Bakhtin and ‘Discourse in the Novel’;
Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge, and the Author
13 Race and Postcolonialism: August
Colonialism and English; Henry Louis Gates Jr and ‘The Week III,
Signifying Monkey’; Postcolonialism and Orientalism; IV, V
Homi Bhaba and ‘The Location of Culture’; Gloria
Anzaldúa and ‘Boderlands/La Frontera’
14 Postmodernism: September
Modernity; Jean Baudrillard; Jean-François Lyotard; Giles Week I , II
Deleuze and Felix Guattari Week III, IV
15 Unit V September
Indian Classical Literary Theories: Week I , II
Rasa, Alamkara; Riti; Dhvani; Vakrokti; Guna/Dosa; Week III, IV
Aucitya; Mahavakya; Discourse Analysis; Rajasekhara’s
Composite Model; Interpretation
16 Revision, Feedback Week V

Teaching Methods
The classes will have lectures and student presentations. The lectures may draw upon
visual material namely painting, films, advertisements, print media and literary works.
Lectures will explore the theme of the course at the intersection of various disciplines.
Supplementary reading will be announced from time to time.

Portion for the Mid-semester exam: Unit I, II, III
Question paper pattern: 5x10 marks=50 marks (About 300 words each)
Will be announced by the last week of June. It will have to be submitted by 15 July.

Will be announced by the third week of August. It will have to be submitted by 5

End- semester
Portion for the exam: Unit I, II, III and IV
Question paper pattern: Section A: 5x20 marks=100 marks (About 500words)

Guidelines for Submission in case of written assignments:
• The written assignment should be based on your individual research where
applicable. The typed assignment should adhere to the following specifications: A4
size paper, 12 font size, 11/2 line space, font: Times New Roman, Book Antiqua, or
Garamond, printed on both the sides of the paper.
• Assignment details - your name, reg. no, class, semester, assignment code, name
of the College, name of the teacher in-charge and date of submission- should be
mentioned on the top right-hand side of the first page. Do not use a cover page.
• You are free to take the assignment beyond the expected criteria. Such efforts will
be appreciated
• No late submission is entertained
• Plagiarism will not be tolerated and may result in rejection of the assignment
• Remember to give reference at the end of your assignment of the books, articles,
websites, and films that you have referred to. The following pattern may be followed:
Author’s name with the last name first, a period, name of the book italicised, a period,
Place of Publication, colon, name of publication, year of publication, page no, Print/
o E.g.: Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand, My Experiments with Truth, New
Delhi: Penguin, 1998. Print.
o In case of a website give the complete URL of the site referred to, date of
access, along with the above details
o If you are directly lifting some lines quote them. If you are using some
idea write it in your words but acknowledge it
For further information on bibliography writing please refer to MLA Handbook –
Seventh Edition.

 Attendance is compulsory for all the sessions.
 Please be punctual. If you are late, you will not be allowed to attend the class.
However, should there be any serious issue, do discuss with me or bring it to
notice through the counsellors.
 You are expected to come to class having read the required texts. Failing to which
you may not be allowed to attend the classes.
 Please feel free to clarify your doubts.
 If you are absent for any of the classes please get the help of your classmates to
get updated, before you approach me for help.
 If you wish to make classroom presentation on any topic or idea within the
framework of the syllabus, you will be given encouragement and guidance.

Section allotment:
Renu Abraham: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 16
Anil Pinto: 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16

Anil Pinto: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 16
Padmakumar: 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16

Padmakumar: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 16
Renu: 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16