Course Instructor Days Times Room


This course will investigate the principles and practices of contemporary literary criticism. We will focus our attention on several major approaches within modern and contemporary literary criticism and the theories that sustain them. Our examination of these various approaches will focus not only on understanding the methodologies of each—and the potential application of each, but also on identifying what is at stake in any given reading. That is, by inquiring into a text's meaning, we will interrogate the ways and means whereby the act of literary criticism reproduces and institutionalizes as well as challenges and transforms cultural values.


Attendance:  I expect you to be present, prepared, and engaged.  Three absences are allowed (I make no distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences); after that, it will be impossible for you to receive a final grade better than a “D.”

Late Work:  All work is due the day specified by the syllabus; late work will receive half credit. Absences do not excuse late work.

No Electronic Devices:  aka no electronic distractions.  I expect you to be present, prepared, and engaged.  

Academic Honesty:  All academic work must meet the standards contained in UGA’s “A Culture of Honesty.”  Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before performing any academic work.


Lois Tyson, Critical Theory Today (3rd edition)

Julian Wolfreys, Introducing Criticism in the 21st Century (2nd edition)

Julian Wolfreys, Critical Keywords in Literary and Cultural Theory 

Astra Taylor, Examined Life