Literary Studies

CRN 26188 / We 6:00PM - 8:50PM / 2321 Cathedral of Learning
This course offers an introduction to some important directions in contemporary literary studies, especially the forms of literary studies tuned to critical theory and cultural studies. We will focus on the two-way traffic between several of Shakespeare’s most influential plays and various forms of literary and cultural theory: What different agendas has “Shakespeare” served in different times and places? How has the legacy of Shakespeare shaped definitions of “literature,” and how have those definitions been challenged over the years? We will examine the varied critical and creative history of plays such as Hamlet, The Tempest, and Othello, in dialogue with problems in queer theory, media theory, digital humanism, ecocriticism, and critical race theory, among others. In each case, we will look not only at critical readings of the plays but also at
creative productions that offer their own implicit or explicit interpretations, from Aimé Césaire’s postcolonial rewriting of The Tempest to Paula Vogel’s woman-centered revision of Othello in Desdemona: A Play About A Handkerchief. Students from all departments are welcome. For the term paper, students will have broad latitude to address topics in their own fields of expertise and interest

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Jennifer Waldron

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Course Category

Category A: Text and Theory

Course Year