Theory and Text
Course Unit Director: Dr Daniela Caselli, Room W105, email@example.com
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE UNIT
This course wants to introduce first year students to literary and critical theory. This will be done by looking at key issues to do with interpretation, textuality and authority rather than by tracing a history of schools of thought. The course will be divided into three sections (Author, Text, Reader); each section will have two primary texts (both literary and non literary); each lecture will use one influential theoretical intervention to focus the debate of the issues under consideration; each section will have to (mainly literary but not exclusively so) texts to help students make connections between theory and texts. At the end of each section there will be one dedicated hour for debate among colleagues around the issues discussed in that section.
Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, (London: Longman, 2009, fourth edition).
William Wordsworth, ‘Lines Written a few Miles Above Tintern Abbey’, William Wordsworth: The Poems, vol. 1, ed. by JohnO’Hayden (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1977), pp. 357-362.
Jorge Louis Borges, ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’, in Labyrinths, eds Donald A. Yates and James E. Irby, Preface by André Maurois (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1962), pp. 62-71.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (Harmondsworth: Penguin Popular Classics, 1994 )
Aristotle’s Poetics (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1996).
Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry (or The Defense of Poesy), revised edition, by R. W. Maslen and Geoffrey Shepherd (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002).
Pretty Woman. Directed by Gerry Marshall, with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts (1990)
Roland Barthes, ‘The Death of the Author’, in Image, Music, Text, ed. Stephen Heath (London: Fontana, 1977), pp. 142–149.
Michel Foucault, ‘What Is An Author?’(1969), The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984), pp. 101-120.
W.K. Wimsatt, Jr., and Monroe C. Beardsley, ‘The Intentional Fallacy’, Sewanee Review, 54:3 (1946), 468–488.
Eric Auerbach, chapter 1, ‘Odysseus’ Scar’ in Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard R. Trask (Princeton: Princeton UP, 50th anniversary edition, 2003)
Peter Brooks, ‘Reading for the Plot’ in Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 3-36.
Wolfgang Iser, The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978 , pp. 3–19
JH Miller, ‘The Ethics of Reading’, Theory Now and Then (Hemel Hampstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf: 1991), p. 329-340.