Course title: Introduction to English literature (ac. year 2014/15 and before)
Instructors: Polić, Cvek, Klepač, Domines Veliki, Tutek, Polak
ECTS credits: 6
Duration: 1 semester
Course type: 1 hour of lecture and 2 hours of seminar
Course requirements: continuous assessment. One additional exam date shall be organized for students who have fulfilled all elements of continuous assessment apart from passing midterm or endterm exam.
Course description: The course covers the historical development of literary theories with special emphasis on the 20th and 21st century (Russian Formalism, structuralism, New Criticism, poststructuralism, psychoanalytic criticism, postcolonial theory etc.). The course also offers a survey of the development of British and American literature.
Objective: The course is an introduction into various methodologies and theories in literary studies. The students are expected to develop close reading and analytical skills, as well as the basic principles of academic writing.
Student obligations: The final grade is based on continuous assessment which includes regular attendance (max. absences allowed: 4), preparation for and participation in class, timely submission of the final paper and obligatory sitting for midterm and endterm exams. The paper is worth 40%, midterm and endterm exams are worth 40% and other elements of continuous assessment are worth 20% of the final grade. Students must fulfill all elements of continuous assessment to pass the course.
Overview of English/American literature
Re-presentation vs. presentation; mimesis vs. diegesis; showing vs. telling
Plato: The Republic (excerpt) / “Ion”
Aristotle: Poetics (excerpt)
Horace: The Art of Poetry (excerpt)
Text: Beowulf (excerpts) / an old English elegy / G. Chaucer: Canterbury Tales (a selection of tales) / Alexander Pope: “An Essay on Criticism” (excerpt)*
Figurative language (tropes and other figures): metaphor, metonymy, allegory, synecdoche, irony, personification, hyperbole, conceit, symbol etc.
Text: Renaissance sonnets / ‘metaphysical’ poets – selected poems / John Milton (excerpts) / The Pilgrim’s Progress / The Fairy Queen (excerpts) / Biblical parabola*
Versification: meter, foot, principal kinds of verse, rhyme
Text: see the previous week*
Structuralist narratology; story vs. discourse; types of narrator, reliability, omniscience, focalization, diegetic levels
Text: H. James, The Turn of the Screw/ E A Poe, The Oval Portrait / N. Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown*
Story/discourse/narration; order, frequency, duration; binary oppositions
Text: see the previous week*
Language sign; langue/parole; signifier/signified; difference
Text: J. Joyce: Dubliners (a selection of short stories) / J. Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (excerpts) / Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy (excerpts)*
Midterm exam; academic writing skills (preparation for research paper)
Author, authorship, discursive subject, intertextuality, ‘death of the author’Essay writing skills
Class, ideology, the subject of ideology, subversion/sputavanje, dialogism
Text: R H Davis: Life in the Iron Mills / Herman Melville: Bartleby, the Scrivener, The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids / Walt Whitman: The Leaves of Grass (a selection of poems) / Henry James: Daisy Miller / Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest*
Identities: sex/gender; the Other; re-writing the canon; ‘the uncanny’; the unconscious; dream work; the Oedipus complex
Text: Ch. Perkins Gilman: The Yellow Wall-Paper/ Emily Dickinson: a selection of poems/ Nella Larsen: Quicksand / Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber (a selection of stories)*
Body, performance, desire, essentialism/constructedness
Text: Judith Wright: “Naked Girl and Mirror” / Nella Larsen: Quicksand / Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest / Alfred Douglas: “Two Loves” / W. Shakespeare: Sonnet 144*
Race/ethnicity, double oppression, colonized identity, mimicry, orientalism, hibridity
Text: Doris Lessing: This Was the Old Chief’s Country (excerpts) / Nella Larsen: Quicksand / Chinua Achebe: The Sacrifical Egg / Olaudah Equiano: Narrative / Frederick Douglass: The Narrative of FD, Written by Himself / J. Conrad: Heart of Darkness / Oodgeroo Noonuccal: We Are Going / Sherman Alexie: Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (excerpts)*
Note: * Or other texts selected by instructor
1) A number of English/American literary works according to the instructor’s choice.
2) Abrams, M.H.. A Glossary of Literary Terms, 7th ed., New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999 (1957).
3) Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, Manchester/New York: Manchester University Press, 2002 (1995).
4) Peck, John and Martin Coyle. A Brief History of English Literature. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002.
1) Abrams, M. H. et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2000.
2) Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP, 1997.
3) Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
4) Lauter Paul gen. ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vols. 1 & 2. 3rd ed. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
5) Leitch, Vincent B. gen. ed. The Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory. New York, London: W.W. Norton, 2001.
6) Lentricchia, Frank and Thomas McLaughlin, eds. Critical Terms for Literary Study. 2nd ed. Chicago, London: Chicago UP, 1995.
7) Lodge, David ed. Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. 1988. London, New York: Longman, 1991.
8) Selden, Raman, Peter Widdowson and Peter Brooker. A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory. 5th ed. London: Longman, 2005.
9) Wellek, René and Austin Warren. Theory of Literature, London/New York/Victoria/Ontario/Auckland: Penguin Books, 1993 (1946).