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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EN 215"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theories "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Alessandra Grego
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30-12:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Designed as an introduction to the theoretical approaches to literature, the course will stimulate students to think and write critically through the study of the principal topics of literary theory. The course will adopt both a historical approach, covering each theory in the chronological order of its appearance on the scene, and a critical approach - putting the theories to the test by applying them to a literary text. The course will also help students to move on to an advanced study of literature by introducing them to the research methods and tools for the identification, retrieval, and documentation of secondary sources.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
Students will learn to identify and employ the principal theories of literature and develop their own critical skills, thinking and writing about literature and culture in an informed way,  using research methods and writing academic standard papers. Students will also learn to take into due consideration the interactions between literature, history, politics, cultures and theory.
Using a selection of fairy-tales narrated by various authors, we will be testing how each theoretical approach produces startlingly different interpretations of the same text.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

This class will help students to understand that multiple points of view about one text are the norm and develop critical skills and effectively communicate critical opinions in writing.
On completing this course students will be able
 - to approach a text from a theoretic point of view
 - to focus on form rather than content
 - to research effectively and write critically

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural StudiesRobert Dale ParkerOxford UP 2014978-0199331161  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
3 responses short papers in which you demonstrate your ability to use a theoretical approach to analyse a text. 45%
Final exam 20
Class contributionComing to class having read and considered the assignment, prepared to generate and contribute to class discussion. Note that silent attendance does not qualify as class participaion. 10%
Study questionsShort quizzes to test your understanding of the various theoretical approaches25%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required fo
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Attendance is mandatory.  If you miss more than 4 classes it will impact your grade (1/4 of a grade per absence, e.g. from A to A-)  and if you miss 7 or more you will fail the class. Students are required to come to class on time and to stay in the classroom for the whole period.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

 

Session Session Focus Reading Assignment Other Assignment Meeting Place/Exam Dates
Week 1
 
Introduction to the course. Preliminary questions: New Criticism: reading, critical reading, theory.
 Parker, Chap. 2
   
Week 2
Structuralism; Saussure and Semiotics 
Parker, Chap. 3, pp.44-65
   
Week 3

Narratology Parker, Chap. 3, pp.65-83

 
Week 4

 Structuralist reading of Little Red Riding Hood
 
Week 5

Psychoanalysis, Freud
Parker, Chap 5, pp.112-129

 
Week 6

Psychoanalysis, Lacan
Parker, Chap. 5, pp.130-146  Bruno Bettleheim, "The Uses of Enchantment"
 
Week 7

Psychoanalytical reading of Little Red Riding Hood  
   
Week 8
Marxism Parker, Chap. 8, pp.221-240  
 
Week 9
Variations in Marxist Criticism Parker, Chap 8, pp. 241-284    
Week 10

Marxist reading of Little Red Riding Hood
 
 
Week 11

Feminism
 Parker, Chap. 6, pp. 148-165
   
Week 12

Feminism
Parker, Chap. 6, pp.165-183
 Simone de Beauvoir, Second Sex, "Introduction."
 
Week 13

Queer Studies
Parker, Chap. 7, pp.185-217

 
Week 14

Feminist - Gender Studies reading of Little Red Riding Hood