SPAN6300 Literary Criticism and Research Methods

Course Description

Dialogue about research in literature implies recognizing that there is a literary science. However, the treaties about epistemology or methodology of scientific research, in general, do not take this into account. For this reason, it is necessary to begin by specifying what is science, and what are the distinctive characteristics and particularities required by the distinctiveness of the object of study. Under this argument, we can ask some basic questions: What is good literature? What is literature good for? How are we to interpret literature? What is the relationship between author, text, reader, and world? This course will interact with and mutually enhance the criticism, literature, and theory: three directions of literary studies.

With the understanding that literary criticism, literary theory, and research is a process in which the student has to manipulate and implement tools and concepts, the student must concentrate on the practice of reading and intellectual adventure of critical reflection. If the process is done with seriousness, this will result in the acquisition of habits of reading and critical interpretation of texts.

This course is organized through the dynamics of theory and practice. After the reflection of each literary theory (example: from Russian Formalism to the Culture Studies, through Feminism), the student will have to apply these theoretical tools in literary texts.

Course Credits: 3

Student Learning Outcomes

The student will:

  • Explore and reflect on theoretical notions of literary discourse, according to prospects of theory and literary criticism.
  • On the basis of a methodological order, build hypothesis of lectures on the production processes of sense.
  • Not lose sight that literary criticism is the experience of the reader.
  • Reflect and then write formal and informal reactions about literary and critical theory that demonstrate engagement, critical thinking, and effective research.
  • Recognize the fundamental categories of theories, the mutation of interest (objects, paradigms) axes, and some current problems of critical debate. 
  • Apply theoretical and critical tools in literary texts.