• Familiarization with different theories and definitions of the subject
• Identification of the determinants of identity and their role in the formation of the subject
• The place of literary texts within the wider historical and socio-political context of their production and reception
• Critical reading and analytical skills
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course focuses on they ways in which literary representations of the human subject reflect diachronically altering ideas regarding concepts such as the individual, identity, and subjectivity. We take into consideration the socio-historical context within which a literary work emerges and is subsequently received and consumed, and examine parameters such as gender, social class, and space, as well as the role of history, narration and art in the constitution, formation, and representation of the subject. Students become familiarized with the critical reading of literary works and their characters, tracing the mechanisms behind the construction of the self and the Other. They also learn to identify the ways in which literature subverts the stereotypical assumptions of any given society and the factors that impede the personal growth and self-determination of the individual. Textual analysis focuses on nineteenth-century texts as well as on works of neo-Victorian and contemporary literature.
Additional bibliography for study
• Atkins, Kim. Self and Subjectivity. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
• Baumeister, Roy F. “How the Self Became a Problem: A Psychological Review of Historical Research.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52.1 (1987): 163-176.
• Childs, Peter. Contemporary Novelists: British Fiction since 1970. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
• Foucault, Michel. “The Subject and Power.” Critical Inquiry 8.4 (1982): 777-795.
• Freud, Sigmund. “The Ego and the Id.” 1923. TACD Journal 17.1 (1989): 5-22.
• Heilmann, Ann, and Mark Llewellyn. Neo-Victorianism: The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1999-2009. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.