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12 - Literary Theory

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    As you prepare for this exam, please review the material of the courses you took, including the reading lists assigned and critical works suggested for the courses, handouts distributed in class, course material posted on the SEAS website, as well as your own notes from lectures and seminars.

    For each topic, please provide an overview of the theoretical school or trend specified, and discuss a significant representative. Please also be prepared to demonstrate how you would apply the approach of the specific school or trend to one or two literary works.

    Please bring along for the exam a list of the authors and works you chose as examples for the topics below and make sure that there are at least 12 different works you are prepared to discuss, one each for the twelve topics. As a literary work may be analysed from several critical points of view, and a critical approach may be applied fruitfully to several works, any additional work you might want to introduce from various critical approaches (under several different topics) may overlap with either the primary examples or other additional works chosen for other topics.

    Be aware that it is your responsibility to present the content of your choice within the framework provided by the questions; it is strongly advisable to prepare for the questions well in advance.


    1.    Practical Criticism and New Criticism
    2.    Theories of Archetype and Myth
    3.    Russian Formalism, Structuralism and Semiotics
    4.    Hermeneutics  
    5.    Reception Theory and Reader-Response criticism
    6.    Deconstruction
    7.    Psychoanalysis
    8.    Feminisms, gender studies, queer theories
    9.    Marxist Theories and the Frankfurt School
    10.    New Historicism and Cultural Materialism
    11.    “Nation” and Postcolonialism
    12.    Ethical Criticism

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