30.386 History of Literary Criticism

A survey of Western literary theory especially thought about aesthetics and signification, from the 6th century B.C. to the beginning of the 20th century. The course will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of selected theories that informed the writing and reading of literature during various literary periods. Emphasis will fall on the historical context for each theorist, but we will also de-contextualize, finding where seemingly superseded theories still address contemporary concerns.

Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in first-year English literature (ENGL) or permission of Instructor.