English 290. Approaches to Literature and Culture
This course introduces current debates in the field of English studies. It tackles a variety of ways of approaching literary and cultural texts, including film, from the Freudian to the feminist to the postcolonialist. What difference does knowledge about the historical period or cultural context in which a text was written make to the way we read it? Does knowing the author of a text change our reading of it? Is film authorship different from literary authorship? Does our own class, race or gender affect our reading? We will read theory about language and representation, race in literature and the economics of literary and cultural production, and we will test these ideas on literature and other kinds of texts such as advertisements, film and other visual media.