DURATION: 3 HRS
This module focuses on the evolution of Literary Theory as a collection of ideas and methods used for the interpretation of literature in conjunction with philosophical trends of postmodernism. Its emphasis is on highlighting how literary theories developed as a ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’ and a mode of critical resistance against Enlightenment rationality and liberal humanist ideals of essential and universal truths and the sovereign subject. It focuses on how this anti-essentialist attack on foundational truths and autonomous human consciousness inspires theory to offer critiques of Manichean power structures and to recover the voices of those who are marginalized within dominant ideologies.
At the end of this module, the students will be able to
- Develop a critique of the complicity of humanist ideals of rationality, universality and autonomy with ideological power structures
- Comprehend the limitations of the apolitical and ahistorical methods of literary interpretation shaped by liberal humanism
- Formulate an anti-essentialist mode of interpretation that seeks to give a voice to perspectives that are marginalized within dominant discourses
The topics to be covered in this module include
- Critique of essentialism underpinning liberal humanism and Enlightenment rationality
- Determining the limitations of traditional methods of apolitical and ahistorical literary criticism
- Learning how to read the text from an anti-essentialist perspective
- Pre-recorded lectures
- Videos and other audio/visual media
ONLINE VIDEO LINKS
- Handouts prepared by the instructor
The students will analyse the assigned text to uncover its underlying ideological politics.