Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG280H1S L0101

ENG280H1S     L0101     T1-3, R1
Critical Approaches to Literature
Instructor: Prof. P. Downes

Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 731
Email: paul.downes@utoronto.ca


Brief Course Description: Why do we so often approach literature with trepidation? What critical tools can help us to enjoy literature or to bring it into relation with other aspects of our individual and social lives? Are we even sure that we know where the literary begins and ends? This course will seek to answer these and other questions by reading a variety of different critical approaches to the study and appreciation of literature. The course will explore, historicist, formalist, political, psychoanalytic and linguistic contributions to literary study and will try to put these critical and philosophical discourses into dialogue with selected works of fiction and poetry.

Required Reading: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2nd Edition)
Course Reader

First Three Authors/Texts: Poe, “The Raven”; Poe, “The Philosophy of Criticism”; Emerson, “The Poet”.


Method of Evaluation: Two short writing assignments; participation; in class test.

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