Literary Theory

The fields of aesthetics and literary theory have long concerned themselves with the question of how artworks move us and with the subject of literary or artistic experience most broadly. This subject will examine how aesthetic critics (from ancient Greeks to nineteenth-century Europeans) and literary theorists of the 20th and 21st centuries theorize the body and feeling in relation to texts and practices of reading. Along the way we will read some major exponents of reader-response theory; post-structuralism; historicism; psychoanalysis; cultural criticism; and media theory. This subject aims to acquaint you with some major modes of evaluation and interpretation by literary critics of the past and present.