Approaches to Literature

Exploring critical reflection through other disciplinary areas. 

This course focuses on practices or methods of studying Literature in the present, while providing a brief overview of major critical thinkers who not only shaped the ways in which literary texts are studied but contested the boundaries of the discipline in the 20th and 21st centuries. As a course that introduces the practices of literary study, the aim here is to build specific capabilities in a student of Literature – namely, the identification of recent debates in critical thought within the discipline, the ability to apply theoretical insights in the reading of both simple and complex texts and to understand and evaluate the role of literature in our present context. The course will aim to map the transition, within the discipline, from a classical” style of literary criticism to one that integrates insights from a range of other disciplines. For instance, students will be taught to write reviews and long form essays on newer forms of textual production (digital comics and memes, online reading and writing communities for instance) from previously neglected/​marginal communities (texts from erstwhile colonies and historically subjugated peoples) which can often pose a challenge when studied through more conventional” modes of literary study.