Criticism and Marxism|
Spring 2021 not offered
|Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate|
This course introduces students to the Marxist (or historical-materialist) tradition, with accent on its centrality to interpretative methods in literary studies and related fields in the human sciences. We will study foundations, beginning with Marx and Engels, and our reading will carry us through the range of Marxisms that inform contemporary critical practice. We will focus on historical materialism as a style of dialectical thought, uniquely equipped to grasp both our immediate objects of study (literary texts and other cultural productions) and the social forces through which those objects are determined. In the same dialectical mode, we will reflect often on the relation between our work in the classroom and our contemporary social and historical situation. Students with an interest in literary and social theory will benefit from the course, as will students who know a little bit about Marxism but want to understand the logic of this crucial body of thought.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)(ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)
Robert Tucker, ed. THE MARX-ENGELS READER, second edition (W.W. Norton)
A course reader including additional works by Marx and Engels, a selection of short literary texts, and pointed selections from the work of some of the following: T.W. Adorno, Louis Althusser, Perry Anderson, M.M. Bakhtin/V.N. Volosinov, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, T.J. Clark, G.A. Cohen, Andrew Cole, Maurice Dobb, Terry Eagleton, Silvia Federici, Antonio Gramsci, Fredric Jameson, Gyorgy Lukacs, Rosa Luxemburg, Herbert Marcuse, Franco Moretti, Sianne Ngai, Kent Puckett, Cedric Robinson, Roberto Schwarz, Michael Taussig, Leon Trotsky, Kathi Weeks, Raymond Williams, and Slavoj Zizek.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly (2-3pp.) memos; four short (2-4pp.) reading exercises; one medium-length essay (5-7pp.); and one longer essay (12-15pp.). Writing assignments will deal variously with the theoretical texts and the application of historical-materialist methods of reading and critique. Students wishing to fulfill the research-paper requirement for writing an Honors Thesis will complete memos and reading exercises, but will write a 20-25pp. research essay instead of the two essays.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the Theory requirement for the English major and contributes to the Theory and Literary Forms concentration.
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