English 202

History of Literary Criticism: Critical Realism

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2008 Lye, Colleen
Lye, Colleen
W 3:30-6:30 305 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Adorno, T. and M. Horkheimer: The Dialectic of Enlightenment; Auerbach, E.: Mimesis; Buzard, J.: The Autoethnographic Work of Nineteenth-Century British Novels; Clark, T.J.: The Painting of Modern Life; Jameson, F.: The Political Unconscious,Marxism and Form; Krishnan, S.: Reading the Global; Lukacs, G.: History and Class Consciousness, The Historical Novel; Mufti, A.: Enlightenment in the Colony; Schwarz, R.: A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism; Williams, R.: The Country and the City; there will be also be a course packet containing selections from Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Louis Althusser, John Frow, Paul Ricoeur, Jason Read, Edward Said, Margaret Cohen, Sharon Marcus, Marjorie Levinson, Rob Kaufman, and others.


This course in the �History of Literary Criticism� will be an intensively focused and partial survey of the dialectic of formalism and historicism in the history of literary (and aesthetic) criticism. A core focus of the course will be the theoretical resources afforded by critical realism, understood in an expansive sense as an aesthetic mode of cognition or form of epistemology�generated in particular by situations of crisis, transition, and unevenness. To this extent, we will also be interested in the legacies of critical realism for postcolonial literary criticism�attempts to grasp the marvelous or misplaced realities of the periphery, attempts to draw a transnational cognitive map of metropolitan subjectivity. We will begin by taking stock of our contemporary critical context by examining characterizations of our �new formalist� turn in literary studies and critiques of ideological reading, before returning to a longer view of historicist and formalist impulses within the discipline. This course should be useful to students seeking an acquaintance with Marxist literary criticism in general and/or those interested in developing interdisciplinary or worldly dissertation projects.

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