English 100

The Seminar on Criticism: Literary Criticism in Theory and in Practice

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2021 Snyder, Katherine
MWF 12-1 180 Social Sciences

Book List

Hayot, Eric: The Elements of Academic Style; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw; Larsen, Nella: Passing

Other Readings and Media






This seminar will introduce students to the theory and practice of literary criticism. We will learn about the origins of English literature as an academic discipline; the rise of the New Criticism; the poststructuralist turn; the burgeoning of ideology-focused and identity-based critique; recent turns to affect, aesthetics, and ethics; and the even more recent rise of "reparative reading" and "distant reading." By considering a number of literary texts—including Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw” and Nella Larsen’s Passing—in context of the significant critical conversations they have spurred, we will explore what literary criticism is and what it can do.

Assignments for the course will include frequent bCourses discussion posts, in-class presentations, and several short essays.

The reading list for the course has not been finalized, so do not purchase books until the first day of class. 


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