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Course Information. English 491, Course Code 13102. Thurs. 7:00-9:45 p.m., Humanities 226. Office hrs: Thurs. 6:00-6:50 in University Hall 329. E491@ajdrake.com. From the Catalog: "(covers) the major English critics, from the Renaissance to the beginning of the 20th century, in relationship to the classical theories of criticism. Units (3)." Prereq: ENGL 300 or equivalent. For graduates in English, E491 is part of the Core Courses section, classified under "Analysis of Discourse" along with E492 and 579T. Reminder: graduates may not take more than six units at the 400 level. I will use +/- grading. Students who need special accommodations should contact the Disabled Student Services Office in UH 101 or call (714) 278-3117.
Required Texts at Titan Bookstore
Leitch, Vincent B., ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 1st. ed. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN 0-393-97429-4.
OPTIONAL RESOURCES TO HELP YOU DO WELL
COURSE RATIONALE AND PLAN
Course Policies. Please review early in the semester.
Course Objectives. While the ultimate goal of studying the history of criticism and theory is to return to literature with fresh insights, E491 as I have structured it is not a course in practical, applied criticism. It is a course consisting of lecture, presentations, and discussion that aims to ground students in the history of literary criticism and theory, from Plato's ancient critique of literary "imitation" to Ferdinand de Saussure's early 20th-century structural linguistics. I have chosen our syllabus in part with the aim of helping you prepare for the study of literary theory from the mid-20th Century onwards. Some of our material is relatively straightforward, but some of it is rather difficult; don't be discouraged in the least if you don't feel that you have 100% comprehension: understanding the philosophical and aesthetic texts that have informed contemporary thought about literature comes with time and re-reading; it doesn't happen "all at once." The more you return to this material over time, the more valuable it will become in your engagement with primary works of literature.
Major Study Units. The course will follow a roughly chronological order and will cover Classical criticism, medieval sign theory, Renaissance and Neoclassical criticism, German Idealist philosophy relevant to aesthetics and literary study, British and American Romanticism, British Victorian criticism, and modern philosophy, psychoanalysis, and linguistics up to around the beginning of the 20th Century. I have not confined our selections to English critics; literary criticism and theory, in my view, is best studied in an internationalist context. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and others are excellent in their own right, but they are best understood in the broad context of European literature and literary theory.
Classroom Activities. Lecture, student presentations, and discussion when students pose questions or offer comments to me or to the entire class. I encourage such questions and comments -- thoughtful student participation improves any course, broadening its scope and introducing a variety of opinion that wouldn't be available otherwise. A key point: my lectures improve significantly when students take an active part in the class: I remember to mention things I might have forgotten to say, and sometimes make connections I hadn't thought of. My tasks are to lecture concisely, to listen well, to ask good questions, and to help you find out more about the texts we study. Your tasks are to listen, respond, and develop your own ideas, your own "voice," as a reader of literary works. In humanities study, insightful interpretation and an ability to make interesting connections between one author or concept and another are central goals.
HOW YOUR PERFORMANCE WILL BE EVALUATED
Presentations Requirement. Students will sign up for two* 5-minute in-class presentations on assigned authors of their choosing (if possible). I will provide presenters with specific questions from the online journal questions and will post a schedule on the Presentations page. Each session will feature one or more presentations. Required: At least one week before you present, contact me to discuss your ideas. After you have given your in-class presentation, email me a version of your comments and I'll post it as a new entry to the appropriate collective students' blog. Other students may, if they wish, access the entries as they're added by visiting the appropriately named link on the Course Blogs Index Page. Your emailed version should resemble your class comments, but need not be identical. (Please don't use "fancy" formatting -- avoid indentation and bulleted lists.) 20% of course grade. *Three if small class size warrants.
Journals Requirement. Responses to a choice of questions on each author. Due by email anytime on class day Week 5, Week 11, and Final Exam Day. Electronic format required. (30%)
Term Paper Requirement. By November 15th (Week 13), a one-paragraph description addressing the topic and argument of the projected paper will be due by email. (Full rough drafts are also encouraged.) Not providing this description on time may affect the final draft grade. Please read the term paper instructions carefully since they contain the prompt, some possible topics, and advance draft comments. I reserve the right to require proof of the final paper's authenticity, such as notes or an early draft. Final draft (5-7 pages; graduates 10-15 pages) due by exam day or as specified towards the bottom of the syllabus page. Follow MLA guidelines. CSUF academic integrity policies apply (see UPS 300.021). For undergraduates, research is optional; graduate papers should respond to primary texts and secondary criticism; see CSUF Library. See Resources/Guides/Writing Guides: MLA, Grammar, Deductive, Citing, Analyzing, and Editing. (30%)
Final Exam Requirement. The exam will consist of substantive id passages, mix-and-match questions (match phrase or concept x to author/text y), and short questions requiring a few paragraphs in response. There will be more choices than required responses. Books and notes allowed for all sections. No laptops during the exam. Exam date: see below. (20%)
Emailing Journals/Paper/Presentations to e491 at ajdrake.com. Email journals, presentations, and term paper as attachments. Don't send more than one document in the same email. Label subject lines appropriately: "E491 Journal 1, Jane Smith" etc. You can paste journal sets into a regular email or send them as an attachment. (Journal "sets" include responses to questions about several authors; do not send entries on each author in a given set separately. Responses on the relevant authors should be combined into one document.) Contact me if you don't receive an email confirmation within approximately three days.
STUDY QUESTIONS FOR JOURNALS AND PRESENTATIONS
Gorgias | Plato | Aristotle | Horace | Augustine | Aquinas | Dante | De Pizan | Du Bellay | Mazzoni | Pope | Johnson | Kant | Von Schiller | Hegel | Wordsworth | Coleridge | Keats | Marx/Engels | Emerson | Poe | Baudelaire | Mallarme | Arnold | Pater | Wilde | Nietzsche | Freud | De Saussure.
SESSION SCHEDULE: THE FOLLOWING WORKS WILL BE DISCUSSED ON THE DATES INDICATED
08/23. Introduction to Course and to Wiki Features.
08/30. Gorgias of Leontini, Plato. Gorgias of Leontini, Plato. Gorgias' "Encomium of Helen" (29-33). From Plato's Republic Books II, III, VII, X (49-81), Phaedrus (81-86).
09/06. Aristotle and Horace. Aristotle's Poetics (86-117). Horace's Ars Poetica (121-35).
09/13. Augustine, Aquinas, Dante, Christine de Pizan. From Augustine's On Christian Doctrine (185-92) and The Trinity (192-96). From Aquinas' Summa Theologica (240-46). From Dante's Il Convivio (246-50) and "The Letter to Can Grande" (251-52). From De Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies (263-70).
09/20. Joachim du Bellay, Giacopo Mazzoni. Du Bellay's Defence and Illustration of the French Language (279-90). From Mazzoni's On the Defense of the Comedy of Dante (299-323). Journal Set 1 Due by Email.
09/27. Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson. Pope's "An Essay on Criticism" (438-58). Johnson's The Rambler, No. 4 "On Fiction" (458-66); from Rasselas (466-68); "Preface to Shakespeare" (468-80).
10/04. Immanuel Kant. From Critique of Judgment Book I: "Analytic of the Beautiful" (499-518); from Book II: "Analytic of the Sublime" (519-36).
10/11. Friedrich von Schiller, Georg Hegel. From von Schiller's On the Aesthetic Education of Man, Letters 2, 6, 9 (571-82). Hegel's "Master-Slave Dialectic" from The Phenomenology of Mind (626-36); "Introduction" from Lectures on Fine Art (636-45).
10/18. William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats. Wordsworth's "Preface to Lyrical Ballads, 1802" (645-68). From Coleridge's The Statesman's Manual (668-74); from Biographia Literaria (674-82). Keats' Selected Letters Online Text.
10/25. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. From Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (759-67); from The German Ideology (767-69); from The Communist Manifesto (769-73); from Grundrisse (773-74); from "Preface" to A Contribution... (774-76); from Capital, Vol. 1, Ch. 1 "Commodities" (776-83).
11/01. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe. From Emerson's The American Scholar (717-21); "The Poet" (724-39). Poe's "The Philosophy of Composition" (739-50). Journal Set 2 Due by Email.
11/08. Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarme. From Baudelaire's The Painter of Modern Life (789-802). Mallarme's "Crisis in Poetry" (841-51).
11/15. Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde. Arnold's "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time" (802-25). From Pater's Studies in the History of the Renaissance (833-41). Wilde's "The Critic as Artist" (895-912). Paragraph describing Term Paper topic and argument due by email.
11/22. Thanksgiving Holiday -- no classes all week.
11/29. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud. Nietzsche's "On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense" (870-884). Freud's "The Uncanny" (929-52).
12/06. Ferdinand de Saussure. From Course in General Linguistics, "Introduction" and Part One, Chapter I (956-77).
Final Exam Date: Thursday, December 13th 7:30-9:20 p.m. in class. Journal Set 3 and the Term Paper will be due by email attachment on or before Friday, December 21st. (I must turn in grades by Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008.) For your other courses, check CSUF's Final Exam Schedule.