English 250

Research Seminar: Studies in the Lyric�Genre and Theory

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2006 François, Anne-Lise
Francois, Anne-Lise
W 3-6 108 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Derek Attridge and Thomas Carper: Meter and Meaning: Introduction to Rhythm in Poetry; Mary Kinzie: A Poet�s Guide to Poetry


"This course offers an introduction to the genre and theory of lyric poetry, as well as indirectly to the theory of genre itself. While weekly readings will be organized by topics rather than historically determined, we will address the following broad historical questions: In what ways is the �lyricization� of poetry�the reduction of poetry to �lyric��a part of the modern institutionalization of print literature as an academic discipline? What special relation does the �lyric� have to modernity as such? Tracing the development and recurrence of oxymoronic figures such as �unheard melodies,� abstract images, and speech-acts of non-address, we will look at the ways in which the lyric has historically been defined in terms of figures of voice, personhood, immediacy, interiority, compression and condensation, recursive temporalities, and withdrawal from social contexts and history. We will try not to separate our discussion of poetry�s so-called formal elements�time, meter and rhythm, rhyme, refrain, the line, line breaks, enjambment, and shape�from our probing of the figurative and theoretical work performed by terms such as musicality, beats and feet, turns and ends, disjunction, and �form� itself.

Primary readings will be drawn from poetry in English from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, and, occasionally, from the Greek, Latin, French, and German traditions. Room will also be given to students� interest in non-Western lyric traditions, such as haiku or Sufi love poetry, and students so inclined will have the opportunity to develop projects centering on these traditions within the framework of the class. Theoretical readings will include works by Adorno, Benjamin, Cameron, Culler, Hamburger, Hegel, Jackson , Johnson, Lacoue-Labarthe, Longenbach, Mill, Prins, Stewart, and others. Most readings will be available in a course reader. "

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List