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Practical Criticism
WRCT 262
Fall 2024
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 267, ENGL 297

In the early twentieth century, I.A. Richards, an instructor in English Literature at Cambridge, ran an experimental class he called "practical criticism." Each week, he distributed a single poem to his students without revealing the poem's title, author, and date of publication. He asked students to take the poem home, read it as many times as they felt necessary, and write a brief essay that simultaneously judged and interpreted the poem. This course revives Richards's experiment for the twenty-first century. We will follow Richards's protocols for a different set of twelve poems, which students must read, judge, and interpret. (Students must vow not to use Google to identify the authors.) The first half of seminar will be spent discussing the poems and the students' judgments of them; the second half will be spent reflecting on the discussions in the first half, with the help of theoretical writings by Immanual Kant, Jeremy Bentham, Theodor Adorno, Frank Sibley, John Guillory, and Sianne Ngai.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA COL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-20-2024
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