Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE ENG5077

 
TITLE Literary Criticism and Theory: An Advanced Introduction

 
LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 10

 
DEPARTMENT English

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit offers an advanced introduction to:

- Conceptualisations of literature and the literary;
- The nature of literary aesthetics;
- The history of literary criticism;
- Literary theory and some of its leading schools of thought;
- Methodologies and protocols of critical analysis;
- Past and present constructions of literariness.

The study-unit guides students through some of the earliest reflections on poetry and the literary, and allows ample scope for close discussion of some of the major theoretical statements of our time. Seminar discussion may take in topics ranging from the value of literary appreciation to constructions of the post-literary. Some of the theoretical approaches surveyed may include liberal humanism, formalism, feminism and gender studies, structuralism and poststructuralism, postmodernism, ecocriticism, post-Marxism, postcolonialism, posthumanism, etc.

Study-unit Aims:

- To introduce postgraduates to the reach and range of critical reflection upon the nature of the literary;
- To accustom postgraduates to intensive seminar discussion of major and landmark texts in literary scholarship;
- To equip postgraduates with a range of critical tools and methodologies in critical analysis and textual interpretation;
- To allow postgraduates a glimpse onto the extent and diversity of the critical tradition in literary studies;
- To provide students with a multifaceted view of literature and literariness.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Appreciate the nuances, complexities, traditions and conflicting perspectives on all of the following:
   • Conceptualisations of literature and the literary;
   • The nature of literary aesthetics;
   • The history of literary criticism;
   • Literary theory and some of its leading schools of thought;
   • Methodologies and protocols of critical analysis;
   • Past and present constructions of literariness.
- Acquire a better and more closely informed idea of the reach and range of different schools of literary criticism and theory;
- Be strongly familiar with at least three of the major approaches within literary criticism and theory.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Discern and value the enduring relevance and deep resonance of established positions on the literary and on literariness;
- Finely judge the appropriateness of any specific school or methodology of textual interpretation in any given critical exercise;
- Compare and contrast the respective strengths and vulnerabilities of different approaches to critical interpretation;
- Think and write perceptively on the nature and value of the literary;
- Apply, cogently and to good effect, specified critical approaches to any given literary text.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Comprehensive reading lists will be circulated at the start of the study-unit, but the following texts are likely to prove particularly useful:

- Chris Baldick, Criticism and Literary Theory: 1890 to the Present (London: Longman, 1996).
- Vincent B. Leitch et al, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd edn (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010).

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Ivan Callus

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit