English 202

History of Literary Criticism

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Kahn, Victoria
W 2-5 4125A Dwinelle

Book List

Aristotle: Poetics; Augustine: On Christian Doctrine; Kant, Immanuel: Critique of Judgment; Longinus: On Sublimity; Plato: Republic; Sidney, Philip: Apology for Poetry


An introduction to Western literary theory from antiquity to the present, focusing on the historical shift from the disciplines of poetics and rhetoric to that of aesthetics, with special attention to the concept of aesthetics and the discourse of the sublime. Readings in Plato, Aristotle, Euripides, Longinus, Augustine, Sidney, Erasmus, Kant, Lyotard, Benjamin, and Adorno. The syllabus is designed to be particularly helpful to students in English, but students from other departments are welcome and may write their final paper on a primary text or texts in other languages.

Required Texts: Plato, Republic (any edition with marginal references, e.g. 327a, but the preferred edition is Cambridge UP; ISBN 978-0521484435); Aristotle, Poetics (Norton; ISBN 978-0393952162); Longinus, On Sublimity, trans. D. A. Russell (on B-courses); Saint Augustine, On Christian Doctrine (on B-courses); Philip Sidney, Apology for Poetry (the van Dorsten edition is available on B-courses); Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment (Cambridge; ISBN 978-0521348928). Other readings will be available on B-courses.

This course satisfies the Group 6 (Non-historical) requirement.

This class is cross-listed with Comparative Literature 250.

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