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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

The course "Critical Theory" embraces a broad variety of subjects in contemporary humanities and cultural studies. It encourages the students to reflect critically on the interrelationship between culture and imperialism, introduces them to psychoanalysis under late capitalism, and explores the theories of the post-human. 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

  • Students read, understand, analyze, and discuss complicated theoretical work written in English (or English translation)
  • Students develop sustainable skills in critical thinking through addressing the wide range of issues of both abstract and urgently concrete issues of contemporary life and culture
  • Students who may or may not be interested in graduate-level work in Anglophone countries are sufficiently equipped for engaging in theoretically informed academic discourse
  • Students convey the multiplicity of perspectives available for advanced work in and beyond 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
    At each seminar, students are given a question for discussion. After the teacher’s introductory remarks, they have 10 minutes to think of their answers. They take it in turns to voice their comments on the topic. Each answer may serve as a starting point for an in-depth follow-up discussion, coordinated by the course instructor, who notes down the active students and assesses their participation in due course.
  • non-blocking Final Examination Paper
    The examination paper is a home-written argumentative essay focusing on one or several issues covered in the course. Students are asked to write the essay during the final week of the course and submit it no later than the deadline, which is scheduled for one of the early days of the examination period.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.1 * Class participation + 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

  • 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
  • Wolfreys, J., Womack, K., & Robbins, R. (2014). Key Concepts in Literary Theory: Vol. Third edition. Edinburgh University Press.
  • 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