Apr 01, 2023  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 390-01 - Literary Theory

4 credits (Fall)
Identity/Politics/Poetics: The Culture Wars and the Ends of Theory, 1966-1996. In this course, we will trace out the connections and disjunctions between a lecture delivered at Johns Hopkins in 1966, Native Americans’ attempts to regain tribal status in the 1970s and 80s, a Nazi-tinged scandal in 1988, the obscenity trial of 2 Live Crew in 1990, and a hoax perpetrated by a scientist in 1996.  Each implicates in significant ways aspects of literary or cultural  theory in the hotly contested contact zone of politics, identity, and poetics that came to be  known as “the culture wars.”  We will take a historicist approach to exploring the impact of post-structural theories on American culture and the academy in the 1980s and 90s.  By way of discussing the particulars of these and other cases, and in order to better tease out the cultural issues that animate them, we will explore essays or excerpts by various critics and  theorists including Houston Baker, Allan Bloom,  Judith Butler, James Clifford, Kimberle Crenshaw, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Stanley Fish, Henry Louis Gates Jr., David Hirsch, Steven Knapp and Walter Michaels, Catharine MacKinnon, and Alan Sokol.  Grades will be based on class discussion, two collaborative presentations, a critical reading journal, and a short paper (6 pages) at mid-semester and a final research paper of approximately 15 pages.

Prerequisite: Any 200-level English course.
Instructor: Andrews