Doing Theory in Style|
Fall 2010 not offered
COL 350, ENGL 350|
This course seeks to provide students with an introduction to major 20th century theories of language, rhetoric, subjectivity, and identity by focusing on writing as both an object of theory and a site of theoretical praxis. Beginning with Roland Barthes' essays on the semiotics of style, we will read a series of texts clustered around the "Linguistic Turn" in theory that treat language (discourse, rhetoric, writing, style) as an unstable and sociopolitcally contested foundation of thought and identity. In works that explore language's relationship to philosophy, psychology, literature, gender, and sexuality, we will pay particular attention to the rhetorical and stylistic strategies that individual theorists use to construct their arguments. Our guiding question will be: how does each author's style participate in (reflect/produce) their theoretical project, and to what extent might these projects add up to a stylistics of thought or of the self? We will conclude by looking at certain later works of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler that open out theories of language onto questions of ethics and violence.
Regular writing assignments with emphasis on style.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Readings will likely include texts by JL Austen, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Helene Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Paul de Man, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edward Said, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Gertrude Stein, and Oscar Wilde.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
There will be brief weekly writing assignments, three short papers, and a short final paper (roughly 10 pages) that will incorporate stylistic experimentation (pastiche, collage, etc.) into critical and theoretical arguments.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the English major Theory requirement and contributes to the Theory and Literary Forms concentration.
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