English 110A - Winter, 2018

Introduction to Literary Theory

Class Information

Instructor: Stratton, Matthew
Time: TR 9:00-10:20
Location: 118 Olson


This course will consider the work of writers ranging from Plato to Friedrich Nietzsche as we engage in what one literary theorist has called "a controlled reflection on the formation of method." More than an introduction to the philosophy of literature before roughly 1900 CE, we will carefully and rigorously consider normative distinctions between literary and non-literary language, key formulations about the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, competing definitions of "the beautiful" and "the sublime," and the contentious roles that different modes of representation and interpretation should or should not play in a given society.


Pop Quizzes and In-Class Writing: 25%
Two Short Essays: 50%
Final Exam: 25%


Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd ed., Vincent Leitch, et al.