Course Content (Syllabus)
Τhis course introduces students to theories of literature that inform the MA in English and American Studies. Addressing primarily the question of what constitutes literary theory, this course examines its politics, its conditions of possibility, its effects, its forms and radical potential as well as problematic articulations. While thinking through how literary theory relates to ideas of transgression, conflict, revolution, agonism or change, this course examines and highlights the non-uniform character of literary theory and hence spends time exploring what places different modalities of theory on the side of emancipation or fundamentalism. Moreover, the course brings to the students’ attention literary, philosophical, social and cultural theories and encourages them to discuss the role that well-known theoretical concepts (such as power, hybridity, mimicry, interpellation, différance, performativity or cosmopolitanism, among others) have played in giving voice to the complex ways in which the normative and the dominant have become identified and rigorously contested in a variety of fields (representation, sexuality and gender, psychoanalysis, race relations and postcoloniality, capitalism and social structures, globalization, neo-imperialism, postmodernism and new technologies). Literary, artistic and cultural texts are used to illustrate and complicate the theoretical positions presented.
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Althusser, Louis. 1969. ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’ and ‘A Letter
on Art’, in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. Ben Brewster, London: New Left Books, 1977.
Baudrillard, Jean. 1988. ‘Simulacra and Simulations’, in Selected Writings, ed. Mark
Poster. Cambridge: Polity.
Bhabha, Homi, ed. 1990. Nation and Narration. London: Routledge.
Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1983. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and
Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley et al. Minneapolis: University of
Derrida, Jacques. 1992. Acts of Literature, ed. Derek Attridge. London: Routledge.
Dollimore, Jonathan and Alan Sinfield, eds. 1994. Political Shakespeare: New Essays
in Cultural Materialism, 2nd edn. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Eagleton, Terry. 1976. Marxism and Literary Criticism.
Foucault, Michel. 1970. The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences.
New York: Random House.
Gallagher, Catherine and Stephen Greenblatt. 2000. Practising New Historicism.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr, ed. 1984. Black Literature and Literary Theory. London:
Hutcheon, Linda. 1988. A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction.
Lacan, Jacques. 1977. Écrits: A Selection, trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock.
Moi, Toril. 1985. Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory. London:
Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 1985. Between Men: English Literature and Male
Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press.
Additional bibliography for study
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, eds. 1995. The Post-Colonial
Studies Reader. London: Routledge.
Brannigan, John. 1998. New Historicism and Cultural Materialism. London:
Bristow, Joseph, ed. 1992b. Sexual Sameness: Textual Differences in Lesbian and Gay Writing. London: Routledge.
Curti, Lidia. 1998. Female Stories, Female Bodies: Narrative, Identity and
Representation. London: Macmillan.
Ellmann, Maud, ed. 1994. Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism. London: Longman.
Hall, Donald E. 2003. Queer Theories. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mulhern, Francis, ed. 1992. Contemporary Marxist Literary Criticism. London:
Taylor, Charles. 1989. Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Walder, Dennis. 1998. Post-Colonial Literatures in English: History, Language,
Theory. Oxford: Blackwell.
Williams, Linda Ruth. 1995. Critical Desire: Psychoanalysis and the Literary
Subject. London: Edward Arnold.