English 203

Graduate Readings: Poetics and Theories of Poetry


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2009 Falci, Eric
Falci, Eric
Tues. 3:30-6:30 224 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

All readings will be contained in a course reader or available electronically, and probably will include writings by Aristotle, Horace, Dante, Sidney, Puttenham, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Mill, Keats, Arnold, Mallarmé, Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Stein, Stevens, Moore, Olson, Mandelstam, Empson, Wimsatt and Beardsley, Brooks, Valéry, Benjamin, Adorno, de Man, Culler, Riffaterre, Lacoue-Labarthe, Celan, Derrida, Freud, Jakobson, Glissant, Susan Stewart, Virginia Jackson, Yopie Prins, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Altieri, Marjorie Perloff, Robert Kaufman, Giorgio Agamben, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Jerome McGann, and N. Katherine Hayles, among others.

Description

This course will attempt to provide a general introduction to poetics, to sketch a more detailed history of the ways in which poetry has been theorized since the nineteenth century, and to think through some of the more recent trends in scholarship on poetry and lyric theory. We will review some of the formative statements on poetry in the western canon, proceed quickly into the poetics of the romantics, and then move into the twentieth century. We will reconsider the projects of the New Critics alongside of other types of formalist scholarship, the place of poetry within structuralism and deconstruction, and the importance of lyric poetry in several varieties of Marxist aesthetics and psychoanalytic theories. As we come to more recent writings, we’ll investigate poetry’s investments in matters of perception, subjectivity, cognition, technology, ecology, and history, and test out analogues with other media. We will pay close attention to the shapes (formal, spatial, metrical, acoustic, generic) and textures (sonic, graphic, etymological, figural, rhythmic) of specific poems, some of which will be dictated by the theoretical readings, but many of which we will determine as a group at the start of the semester. My hope is that the class will be useful to people who “don’t do poetry” but who want to have a grounding in its terms and tenets as they prepare for orals and teaching, as well as for people who “do poetry” in one way or another and want to get a capacious map of a broad field as they prepare for more specialized research. There will be two conference-length papers (8-10 pages) and one oral presentation in the form of a review/critique of a recent book on poetry and/or poetics.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2022

203/1

Graduate Readings: Marx and Marxism Today: Re-Reading the Grundrisse

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Graduate Readings: The Sixties

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Graduate Readings: Novel Theory, Narrative Theory, and the Sociology of the Novel

fall, 2021

203/1

Graduate Readings: Shakespeare and the Law of Genre

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Graduate Readings: The Politics and Aesthetics of Latinx Literature

spring, 2021

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Graduate Readings: Realism

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Graduate Readings: "A dream of passion": Affects in the Renaissance Theater

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Graduate Readings: Radical Enlightenment

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Graduate Readings: Philosophical Contexts for Modernist Poetry

fall, 2020

203/1

Graduate Readings: Literature and Analytic Philosophy

203/2

Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

203/3

Graduate Readings: Harlem Renaissance

spring, 2020

203/1

Graduate Readings: Contemporary Fiction

203/2

Graduate Readings: Modernist Fiction and Affect

203/3

Graduate Readings: Comedy and Violence

203/4

Graduate Readings: The Lyric Eye: A Material History of Poetic Form

fall, 2019

203/1

Graduate Readings: On Interpretation

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Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

203/3

Graduate Readings: Aesthetics and Politics: Kant and Beyond

spring, 2019

203/1

Graduate Readings: William Faulkner and the Historical Novel

203/3

Graduate Readings: The Queer and the Oriental

203/4

Graduate Readings: Renaissance Drama

203/5

Graduate Readings: Nineteenth-Century U. S. Historical Poetics


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