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Core Course Overview

Core Course in Critical Theory: Overview

The course offers an overview of central concepts of modern literary/cultural theory together with the chance to study in depth the work of two theoretical contexts. The overview is provided in the form of a series of eight lecture classes running throughout the first term which aims to introduce the major conceptual issues and theoretical problems and show how they can be applied to the reading of literature, whilst the in-depth view takes the form of eight mini seminar courses, from which students choose two.

The overview course will cover theoretical issues or problems such as: 'Questions of Interpretation', 'History and Context', 'Cognitive Approaches to Literature' and more.

The in-depth seminar courses cover diverse areas and reflect the specific research interests of those convening the seminars. 

Students may also opt to take a Medieval and Early Modern Pathway through the Core Course. The pathway is aimed at students registered in the MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures who wish to specialize in subjects linked to Medieval and/or Early Modern studies. The course offers tailored training to students working in this field, providing theoretical and practical tools to read, understand and work on pre-modern sources. The pathway is a flexible structure that can be adjusted to particular needs and interests offering a wide range of approaches to a variety of texts and historical contexts. This course is particularly suited to students wishing to pursue their graduate studies further and work on a PhD in Medieval and/or Early Modern studies. Students interested will have to register to the pathway before the beginning of the academic year.

During the first term of study (Michaelmas term), students attend weekly lecture classes and mini-seminars designed to give them a broad insight into European literature and culture. At the end of this term, they submit one 4,500-word essay. The essay focuses on a specific theoretical framework or critical approach. One hour of individual supervision, which may be divided into two 30 minute sessions, is provided.

Core Course Lectures 2020-21

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(Lectures for 2021-22 will be updated in due course) 

Core Course Seminars 2020-21

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(Seminars for 2021-22 will be updated in due course)