English 161

Upper Division Coursework: Introduction to Literary Theory

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2005 Nealon, Christopher
Nealon, Christopher
TTh 3:30-5 141 Giannini

Other Readings and Media

Leitch, Vincent B., ed.: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism; and a course reader.


"Origins of Literary Theory. Before there was ""literary theory,"" there was ""aesthetics""; and before that, there was ""rhetoric."" This course is designed to serve as a kind of prequel to the story of modern literary theory: during the first two thirds of the course, we will read from classical, medieval, renaissance, and enlightenment aesthetic and rhetorical theory, with an eye to how their arguments point forward into modern dilemmas. In the last third of the class, we will read a few key texts in modern literary theory, and consider some of the ways contemporary theory re-works older questions about aesthetic experience, the nature of language, and the relationship between literature and social existence. "

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