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Programme: BA

Course: Introduction to Literary Theory


Semester: IV
Code: OEN401

Objectives
• To introduce the students to concepts, concerns, critical debates in theorising
literary texts
• To expose students to the applicability of the theoretical frameworks
• To enable students to critically perceive and engage with productions of
meanings, significations and negotiations

Level of Knowledge: Working knowledge of English and literature

Module I 10 Hrs
What is Literature?

What is Literary Theory?

Humanist Literary Theory:


Plato; Aristotle; Horace, Sir Philip Sidney; Sir Francis Bacon; Joseph
Addison; Edmond Burke; Samuel Johnson; Sir Joshua Reynolds; William
Wordsworth; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; John Keats; Edgar Allan Poe;
Matthew Arnold

Module II 10 Hrs
Structuralism:
Ferdinand de Saussure; Claude Levi-Strauss and ‘The Structural Study of
Myth’; Humanism, Structuralism, Poststructuralism

Deconstruction: Binary Opposition; The Role of the Centre; Bricolage

Module III 15 Hrs


Psychoanalysis:
Sigmund Freud ‘Creative Writers and Day Dreaming’; Jacques Lacan; ‘Self’
to ‘Subject’

Feminism:
‘Pre-poststructuralist’ Feminist Literary Theory; Poststructuralist Feminist
Literary Theory; Hélène Cixous and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’; Luce
Irigaray and ‘This Sex Which Is Not One’

Queer Theory:
Flexible Sexuality?; Gay/Lesbian Studies; History to Historicism; Humanist
History; New Historicism

Module IV 15 Hrs
Ideology and Discourse:
Marxist Theory: A Few Basics; Loius Althusser and Ideology; Mikhail
Bakhtin and ‘Discourse in the Novel’; Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge,
and the Author Function
Race and Postcolonialism:
Colonialism and English; Henry Louis Gates Jr and ‘The Signifying Monkey’;
Postcolonialism and Orientalism; Homi Bhaba and ‘The Location of Culture’;
Gloria Anzaldúa and ‘Boderlands/La Frontera’

Postmodernism:
Modernity; Jean Baudrillard; Jean-François Lyotard; Giles Deleuze and Felix
Guattari

Module V 10 Hrs
Indian Classical Literary Theories:
Rasa, Alamkara; Riti; Dhvani; Vakrokti; Guna/Dosa; Aucitya; Mahavakya;
Discourse Analysis; Rajasekhara’s Composite Model; Interpretation

Jonathan Culler ‘Literary Theory in the Undergraduate Programme’

Total No of Hrs: 60

Bibliography
Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 8th ed. New York: Wardworth, 2005.
Ahmand, Aijaz. In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures. Rpt. New Delhi: OUP,
2006.
Culler, Jonathan. The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, literature, deconstruction.
London/New York: Routledge, 2001.
Devy, G.N., ed. Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. Rpt.
Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2007.
Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008
---. The Function of Criticism. London: Verso, 2005.
Gurrin, Wilfred L, et al. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. 5th ed.
New York: OUP, 2005.
Habib, M.A.R., ed. A History of Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to the
Present. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
John, Eileen, and Dominic McIver Lopes, eds. Philosophy of Literature:
Contemporary and Classic Readings. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
John, Eileen, and Dominic McIver Lopes. Philosophy of Literature: Contemporary
and Classic Readings. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
Kapoor, Kapil. Literary Theory: Indian Conceptual Framework. New Delhi:
Affiliated East-West Press, 1998.
Klages, Mary. Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Continuum, 2006
Leitch, Vincent B., ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York:
Norton, 2001.
Rice, Philip, and Patricia Waugh. Modern Literary Theory. 4th ed. London: Hodder
Arnold, 2001.
Rivkin, Julie, Michael Ryan, eds. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Rev ed. Oxford:
Blackwell, 2003.
Rooney, Ellen ed. Feminist Literary Theory. Cambridge: CUP, 2006.
Waugh, Patricia. Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford: OUP,
2006.

Testing Pattern:
Mid Semester
5x10=50

End Semester and end semester pattern


5x20=100

The question can be specific to topics or comparative.