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Regular version of the site

Critical Theory

2019/2020
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
4
ECTS credits
Delivered at:
Department of Philology
Course type:
Elective course
When:
3 year, 1, 2 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Topics we will explore include: the mechanisms of ideology, the history of knowledge, the instability of signifying systems, conceptions of the social imaginary, the interrelationship between culture and imperialism, psychoanalysis and the subject under “late capitalism,” as well as theories of the “post-human.” We will examine theorists such as Slavoj Žižek, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Benedict Anderson, Georges Bataille, Edward Said, Jean Baudrillard, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Deleuze and Guatarri, Gayatri Spivak, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and others. Readings and discussion in English. In the first module the focus will be on ideological constructs, the social imaginary, and culture. In the second module the focus will be on subjectivities, the psyche, and the self.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • This course serves as an introduction to the ideas of some of the most important thinkers in the broad and dynamic field of modern “critical theory.”
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Provide experience reading complicated theoretical work written in English (or English translation)
  • Hone students’ skills in discussion and critical thinking
  • Prepare the students who may be interested in graduate-level work in Anglophone countries for engaging in theoretically informed academic discourse
  • Сonvey the multiplicity of perspectives available for advanced work in the humanities
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Ideological Constructs, the Social Imaginary, Culture
    Critique of Post-Ideology. Historical Ruptures in the Structure of Knowledge. The Irreducibility of Metaphor. The Psycho-Ideological Experience of Community. Cultural Imperialism. Consumer Society and the Culture Industry.
  • Subjectivities, the Psyche, and the Self
    Psychoanalysis and Its Critique. History of Sexuality. Gender and Identity. The Post-Colonial Subject. Post-Humanism.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Written in-class test
    Short essay (500 – 1000 words) questions on key topics (the student can choose one of the proposed topics) from the lectures
  • non-blocking Presentations
    The presentation topic can be selected by the student from the list of suggested topics. The message duration is 7-10 minutes. Sources are selected by the student independently within the framework of the chosen topic, for its disclosure in the presentation.
  • non-blocking Class participation and attendance
  • non-blocking Final Examination Paper
    (about 2000 words): You are free to choose your own topic. The one requirement is that your analysis should draw on the work of at least two theorists that we have covered (or the equivalent). You may want to apply theoretical perspectives to analyzing a literary text. Or you may write on a purely theoretical topic—how different theorists approach some common problem.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.1 * Class participation and attendance + 0.35 * Final Examination Paper + 0.3 * Presentations + 0.25 * Written in-class test
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • LaCapra, D. (2013). History, Literature, Critical Theory. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=671499
  • Osborne, T. (2008). The Structure of Modern Cultural Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=515106

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Pateman, T. (2016). Key Concepts : A Guide to Aesthetics, Criticism and the Arts in Education. Abingdon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1233810
  • Paul R. Katz, & Stefania Travagnin. (2019). Key Concepts in Practice. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2157266
  • Tally, R. T. (2014). Fredric Jameson : The Project of Dialectical Criticism. London, [England]: Pluto Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=798182
  • Wortham, S. (2010). The Derrida Dictionary. London: Continuum. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=341723