1. AIM OF THE COURSE

  • To familiarize the student with the critical tools used in the reading of literature

 

  • To instill a broader and holistic sensibility in the student with the aim of eventually equipping him to approach, analyze and assess literary discourses through a host of complementary as well as conflictingly different theoretical frameworks.

 

  • To form an idea of the complex nature of literary studies and how they are entangled with other aspects of the social body.
  • To unveil the constitutive elements and cultural specificity of literature along with the intricate process of cannon formation.

 

  • To help the student gain perceptive insights into the socio-political dynamics, the structuring points of view, the dominant ideology, hegemony, the prevailing common sense and communal underpinnings that mediate the writing, production, reception and survival of a work.
  • To familiarize the student with other media, popular literature and emerging trends

 

2. OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE

 

  • To introduce and discuss the evolution of literature

 

  • To sensitize the student to his own readings, to develop a critical sensibility, to inculcate a love of literature, and to instill a serious approach to literature.

 

  • To enable the student to read literature using critical and theoretical

 

schools viz. textual approaches - New Critical, psychoanalytic, gender based, ethnic , subaltern , post-colonial, cultural, archetypal, postmodern, ecological perspectives.

 

 

3. COURSE OUTLINE

 

MODULE I

 

Traits of Literature: What forms literature? How is literature different from other discourses? - Canon Formation: Who determines taste? How are certain works and authors marginalized? – English literatures: British, American, African, Indian, Canadian, Australian etc.

 

MODULE II

 

Textual approaches: New Criticism, Formalism, Close Reading, Deconstruction, Reader response – *Psychoanalytic: Freud and Lacan (not the heavy jargon but reading possibilities) – Archetypal:Unconscious and universal patterns of repetition

 

MODULE III

 

Gender: Marginalized genders – Ethnic: Marginalization of aboriginals, how their culture is demolished and specimens? – Subaltern: A unique Indian phenomenon, Dalit literature, marginalization

 

MODULE IV

 

Post colonial: How texts are reread? Quest for expression, assertion of nationalism with special reference to India and Africa – Cultural studies: Cultural Materialism, New Historicism, Marxism, Postmodernism – Eco-critical: Awareness of nature and environment, eco-feminism

 

Approach

 

The approach has to be open and flexible in sensibility, avoiding judicious judgments. Instead of offering rigid definitions and descriptions, the teacher is to stimulate thinking process and help students form positions through familiar examples. A few poems (or stories) are to be selected and read from different theoretical frames so that the student can grasp how one contrasts with the other.

 

Classes may be devoted to simple explication of the methodologies followed by practical illustrations of the application of the methodologies on short works and finally, student assignments on these lines.

 

4. READING LIST

 

A) CORE TEXT

 

(A text containing the above lessons will be made available)

 

B) FURTHER READING

 

Sl

Title

 

 

Author

Publisher/Year

No

 

 

 

 

 

1

Principles

of

Literary

S. Ravindranathan

Chennai,  Emerald,

 

Criticism

 

 

 

1993

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

A   Handbook

of

Critical

Wilfred L. Guerin, Earle

Delhi, OUP, 2006

 

Approaches to Literature

Labor, et al

 

3

Contemporary

Criticism: An

V.S. Sethuraman (ed)

Chennai, Macmillan,

 

Anthology

 

 

 

1989