Approaches to Criticism (EAS1032)
|Staff||Professor Philip Schwyzer - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
This module aims to introduce students to the problems of reading texts ('texts', defined in its broadest terms) and to the ways these problems are reflected in key moments of theoretical debate. It covers a broad range of critical and theoretical approaches to analysing texts, including work on ideology and power, semiotics, gender, sexuality, race, and postcolonialism. The module encourages students to recognise dialogue and dissent within the field, and introduces the essentials for critical and theoretical scholarship in the discipline of English Studies and beyond. It also encourages students to reflect on their own critical responsibilities and role as 'students', and bring in relevant examples from their everyday lives and experiences.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. demonstrate an appreciation of a range of important problems in textual interpretation
- 2. demonstrate an understanding of the broader context for and history of English Studies
- 3. demonstrate a capacity to apply a variety of methodologies and theoretical approaches to literary and film texts
- 4. demonstrate a basic appreciation of the concepts of 'authorship', 'textuality', 'ideology', 'discourse', 'subjectivity', 'performativity' and 'space and place' and of their role in our study of texts
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 5. demonstrate a basic ability to understand and analyse theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts
- 6. demonstrate a basic ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history
- 7. demonstrate a basic ability to analyse contemporary debates in light of the history of the discipline
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. Through seminar work, demonstrate basic communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups
- 9. Through writing assessments, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a basic capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
- 10. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate basic proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
- 11. Through sitting their final examination, demonstrate basic proficiency in the use of memory and in the development, organization, and expression of ideas under pressure of time
Week 1 – Theory: Why it matters; what it's for; and what's required of you.
Week 2&3&4 - Marxism, Ideology, Power & Discourse
Week 5 - Structuralism*
Week 7 – Poststructuralism
Week 8 - Authorship
Week 9&10&11 - Feminism/Feminism II/Gender
Week 12 - Film Screening
*No teaching in Week 6
Week 1 - Psychoanalysis
Week 2 - Queer
Week 3 - Bodies
Week 4 - Race
Week 5 - Postcolonialism
Week 6 - Transnational/Transcultural
Week 7 - Historicism/New Historicism
Week 8 - Cultural Studies
Week 9 - Modernism/Post-Modernism
Week 10 – The Digital Human
Week 11 – Commons Discussion: The Student
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||Lectures|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||44||2-hour seminars|
|Guided independent study||2||Film screening and Q&A session (2 hours). Attendance compulsory and assessed (Term 1)|
|Guided independent study||130.5||reading, research and essay preparation|
|Guided independent study||80||Seminar preparation (individual)|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||1.5||Film screening and Q&A session (2 hours). Attendance compulsory and assessed (Term 1)|
|Guided independent study||22||Student-led study group activities 2-hour|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Glossary Entry||1000 words||1, 4-7, 9-10||Feedback sheet with opportunity for office hours follow-up|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay||45||1500 words||1-7, 9-10||Feedback sheet with opportunity for office hours follow-up.|
|Exam||45||1.5 hours||1-7, 10-11||Feedback sheet with opportunity for office hours follow-up.|
|Seminar participation||10||Continuous||8,10||Oral feedback from tutor with opportunity for office hours follow-up.|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Seminar participation||Repeat study or mitigation||8,10||Referral/deferral period|
|Exam||Exam 1.5 hours||1-7, 9-11||Referral/deferral period|
|Essay||Essay 1500 words||1-7, 9-11||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Module Pack available to students at the beginning of term (from Print Services).
Peter Barry, Beginning Theory, 3rd edn. Manchester, 2000.
Catherine Belsey. Critical Practice. Routledge, 1980.
Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle. Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. 3rd edn. Pearson, 2000.
Eagleton, Terry. The Function of Criticism. London; New York: Verso, 2005.
—Literary Theory: An Introduction. Anniversary edn. Blackwell, 2008.
Vincent B. Leitch, William E. Cain, Laurie Finke, and Barbara Johnson, eds. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. W.W.Norton, 2010
Philip Rice and Patricia Waugh, eds, Modern Literary Theory: A Reader. 4 th edn. Arnold, 2001.
Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, eds. Literary Theory: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
Peter Widdowson. Literature. Routledge, 1999
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Critical Theory, Theory, Criticism, Marxism, Ideology, Hegemony, Poststructuralism, Discourse, Postmodernism, New Historicism, Cultural Studies, Authorship, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Gender, Queer Theory, Body Studies, Disability Studies, Race, Masculinity, Transnationalism, Postcolonialism, The Student