Course title: Introduction to English literature 2
Course coordinators: Dr. Vanja Polić and Dr. Sven Cvek
Instructors: Cvek, Polić, Domines Veliki, Klepač, Tutek
ECTS credits: 2
Duration: 1 (summer) semester
Enrolment requirements: regular attendance and active participation or a pass mark in Introduction to English literature 1 is a minimal prerequisite for the enrolment in Introduction to English literature 2.
Course type: 1 hour of seminar weekly, the classes will be conducted as 2 hours of seminar every two weeks
Course requirements: The students have to fulfil the requirements of continuous assessment and get a passing grade in their research papers.
Course description: The course offers an overview of the main ideas and debates in modern literary theory and serves as a starting point for acquiring the skills needed to critically analyse and engage with a text. Every other week, discussion will focus on a given theoretical approach to show how it illuminates literary and other texts in particular ways. Students will be expected to read a selected shorter work of fiction for in-class discussion and analysis. Students will also be expected to write regular short assignments, as well as a final paper.
Objective: The course’s goal is to enable students to conduct independent research and acquire the basic principles of academic writing.
Student obligations: The final grade is based on continuous assessment which includes regular attendance (max. absences allowed: 2), preparation for and participation in class, and timely submission of the final paper. The paper is worth 60%, and other elements of continuous assessment are worth 40% of the final grade. Students must fulfil all elements of continuous assessment to pass the course.
*Students will receive guidelines from the instructor to prepare texts for the next session.
Course overview + student obligations
Academic writing skills
*Student assignment for week 2
– Claude Lévi-Strauss (bricolage, mytheme, binary oppositions)
– Vladimir Propp (the narrative language of a folktale)
– A.J. Greimas (universal grammar of narrative)
* Student assignment for week 3
– Roland Barthes “The Death of the Author”, S/Z
– logocentrism/phonocentrism vs. différance (Jacques Derrida);
– misreading, the anxiety of influence/belatedness (Harold Bloom)
– metahistory (Hayden White)
* Student assignment for week 4
– Freud: das Unheimliche/the uncanny; dreamwork (displacement & condensation); repression & sublimation; ego-superego-id; Oedipus complex
– Lacan: displacement/condensation & metonymy/metaphor; the real, imaginary, symbolic; mirror stage; other/Other
* Student assignment for week 5
– feminism/femaleness/femininity (Toril Moi)
– écriture féminine (Hélène Cixous)
– symbolic and semiotic aspect of language (Julia Kristeva)
* Student assignment for week 6
– capital; ideology; class; hegemony; structure of feeling; form as “abstract of social relations”; literature and the world-system; totality; cognitive mapping
– Leon Trotsky “Literature and Revolution”; Raymond Williams “Marxism and Literature”; Fredric Jameson “The Political Unconscious”; Franco Moretti “Distant Reading” (selection)
* Student assignment for week 7
Postcolonial theory of culture
– colonial/colonialist literature; colonial tropes; Orientalism (Said); hybridity (Bhabha); cultural diversity vs. cultural difference (Bhabha); mimicry (Lacan/Fanon/Bhabha), subaltern (Spivak); synergy (Young); transculturation, multiculturalism, dislocation; abrogation and appropriation (Ashcroft et al), metonymic gap
Literary texts as selected by individual instructor (provided in class)
Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, Manchester/New York: Manchester University Press, 2002 (1995). (selection)
David Lodge, ed. Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. London/New York: Longman, 1991 (1988). (selection)
Vincent B. Leitch, gen. ed. The Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory. New York/London: W.W. Norton, 2001. (selection)
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Edition. New York: The Modern Language Association of America. 2009.