Literary Theory and Criticism

Course Information
TitleΛογοτεχνική Θεωρία και Κριτική / Literary Theory and Criticism
CodeΛογ 590
SchoolEnglish Language and Literature
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
Course ID600004003


Registered students: 0
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
Anglikés kai Amerikanikés SpoudésCompulsory CourseWinter/Spring-10

Class Information
Academic Year2016 – 2017
Class PeriodSpring
Class ID
Type of the Course
  • Background
  • Scientific Area
Course Category
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
General Prerequisites
Fluency in English at all levels, oral and written.
Learning Outcomes
Expected Learning Outcomes: Upon a successful completion of the course, students are expected: (1) to have a substantial understanding of key theories of literature; (2) to have developed the ability to read and discuss theoretical issues critically; (3) to be able to apply the literary or critical theories in their own analyses of literature and culture.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Design and manage projects
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
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.
Literature, theory
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Interactive excersises
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment782.8
Written assigments1585.7
Student Assessment
Students are evaluated on the basis of their in-class oral presentations, their weekly written reports, and a final research paper in a relevant area of their choice. In this final paper they are expected to demonstrate their ability to understand, evaluate and apply key concepts that have been discussed during the semester. The criteria applied by the instructor in evaluating the students' oral and written work include: (a) the correct and fluent use of English on an academic level, (b) the degree of originality of his/her ideas in relation to the bibliography cited, (c) the ability of the student to address a specific audience (d) the ability of the student to distinguish between related ideas and disagreements among scholars, and (e) to take a position with the necessary documentation. The student's final grade is calculated on the basis of the following percentages: 1. In-class oral presentations and weekly written reports: 40% 2. Final research paper: 60%
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
  • Report (Formative, Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Primary Sources 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. London: Routledge. Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1983. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley et al. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 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. London: Routledge. 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: Methuen. Hutcheon, Linda. 1988. A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. London: Routledge. Lacan, Jacques. 1977. Écrits: A Selection, trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock. Moi, Toril. 1985. Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory. London: Routledge. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 1985. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press.
Additional bibliography for study
Further Reading 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: Macmillan. 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: Longman. 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.
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