The approaches we take will be: Marxism, structuralism/semiotics,
poststructuralism/postmodernism, and, depending on your interest, cultural
or postcolonialism. Like Literary Criticism (I), we will learn
One major difference from Literary Criticism (I) is that
analyze literary work as well as other cultural products
from different critical perspectives.
we will focus more on placing the text in its (broader) context.
To put it simply,
for Marxism, it is society as a class structure;
for structuralism/semiotics, the context is linguistic (narrative or semiotic)
for poststructuralism, it is society as a textual field;
for postmodernism, it is contemporary high-tech society and all kinds of
for postcolonialism, it is the histories of colonialism and anti-colonialism,
for cultural studies, "culture" as a whole way of life which includes both
high art and popular culture, top-down control and bottom-up resistance.
Wow, so much and so -- abstract. To make the theories more
concrete and closer to us, we will read literary texts, as well as other
cultural products as examples. To have a sense of focus, we will
have as our central themes Capitalism and Society and examine literary
texts about them. Examining the
texts from different perspectives, we will ask:
-- How do the texts present different cultures and societies?
How do different
More and more interesting questions will be asked as we start our discussion
cultures and societies influence the production of a certain text?
Can literary work transcend its time and society?
-- How do the texts as cultural products embody different ideas
or use different
-- How do we read cities, their signs and their spatial arrangements?
Textbook: Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice
+ handouts (for instance, excerpts from Roland Barthes'
and Fredric Jameson's Postmodernism and Cultural Theories [Chinese
* Beginning Theory: An Introduction
to Literary and Cultural Theory. Peter Barry. NY: Manchester
* Critical Theory & Practice: A Coursebook (Keith Green &
Jill Lebihan. Routledge, 96)
* Reader's Guide to Contemporary Theory (Raman Seldon. Harvester,
Practicing Theory and Reading Literature (Raman Seldon. Kentucky,
A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature (W. Guerin, et
al. 3rd ed. Oxford, 92)
Literary Theory : A Practical Introduction. Michael Ryan.
MA: Blackwell, 1999.
Theory into Practice: A Reader in Modern Literary Criticism.
K. M. Newton. London: Macmillan P, 1992.
Literary Theories in Praxis. Ed. Staton, Shirley.
Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P,1987.
Frank, et al eds. ¡D±i¨Ê´Dµ¥Ä¶¡D
& Grading Policy -- tentative: to be modified according to your
Attendance and Participation -- essentail.
absences means failing the course.
online responses to the others' journals
2 journals 20 %
1 group report 20%
1 mid-term paper (should be a revision of
your journals) 30%
a final exam (format to be decided)