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Core Course Overview

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Core Course Lectures

Core Course Lectures 2023/24

The course lecture classes offer an overview of central concepts of modern literary/cultural theory. The overview is provided in the form of a series of eight classes running throughout the first term which aims to introduce major conceptual issues and theoretical problems and show how they can be applied to the reading of literary texts, film and broader intellectual and cultural-historical contexts.  Classes will be held weekly and the information is as follows:


  • History and Context (Dr Martin Ruehl)

  • Realism (Dr Pierpaolo Antonello)

  • The Spatial Turn (Dr Liesbeth Francois)

  • Sound Studies (Professor Nick Hammond)

  • Affect (Professor Heather Webb)

  • Memory (Professor Charles Forsdick)

  • Queer Performance (Dr Isaias Fanlo)

  • Cognitive Approaches (Dr Tim Chesters)


Week 1: History and Context (Dr Martin Ruehl)

In literary criticism, “history” is often considered the opposite of “theory”. Many scholars in the field take Derrida’s “il n’y a pas d’hors-texte” (“there is no outside-text”) as an injunction to ignore the historical reality in which a work of literature or philosophy was produced and received. History and context, for them, are part of the “transcendental signified” supposedly debunked by (poststructuralist) theory. Even the less theoretically minded frequently treat history as little more than “background” and draw on it selectively, when it suits their interpretive purpose.  
My aim in this lecture is to break down the dichotomies – textual foreground/historical 
background, close reading/contextual analysis, etc. – that define so much literary and cultural analysis and to make a case for the inevitable, inextricable historicity of literature. I will do so by examining the work of several theorists who have elevated context to “co-text” and highlighted the extent to which the written word is historically situated, mediated, constituted. These theorists have emphasized both the “pastness” and the otherness of seemingly timeless, canonical, universally relevant works. Drawing on Marx as well as Nietzsche, they have explored the ways in which specific material conditions, power relations, and intellectual debates shape the meaning of a text.  
My lecture will address the following questions: What does it mean to read a text historically or “in context”? What particular methods does such a reading require? What conceptions of textuality and historicality inform it? What are the heuristic gains of such an apporach? What are its potential pitfalls, e.g., does it run the risk of reducing complex works of literature or philosophy to the material conditions in which their authors were working, to mere ideological statements, or tokens of the zeitgeist? Does historicization render a text less relevant to the present? 
Compulsory reading 

Lionel Gossman, “History and the Study of Literature”, Profession 94 (1994), pp. 26-33. 
Rita Felski, “Context Stinks!”, New Literary History 42, 4 (Autumn 2011), pp. 573-591
Further reading 

Dominick LaCapra, “Rethinking Intellectual History and Reading Texts”, History & Theory 19, 3 (1980), pp. 245-276. 
John Toews, “Intellectual History after the linguistic turn: the autonomy of meaning and the irreducibility of experience”, American Historical Review 92 (1987), pp. 879-907. 
Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (1977), Introduction & Section I (“Basic Concepts”), pp. 
Quentin Skinner, “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas”, in Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics, vol. I: Regarding Method (2002), ch. 4, pp. 57-90. 
David Harlan, “Intellectual History and the Return of Literature”, The American Historical Review 94, 3 (June 1989), pp. 581-609.

Week 2:  Realism (Professor Pierpaolo Antonello) 

In this lecture I will provide a historical overview of the concept of mimesis, or imitation, as one of the most crucial notions for the understanding of the function of artistic representation in Western culture, particularly in relation to what we broadly define as ‘realism’ or the ‘realistic mode’. A whole range of issues and questions will be discussed and explored in a historical perspective: from the early, and differently polarized, philosophical theorizations by Plato and Aristotle, to the dialectics between the imitation of the classics in the Medieval/Renaissance period and the emergence of the concept of originality in modernity; from the emancipatory value intrinsic to realistic representations in the modern European novel, to the critique of the mimetic paradigm in postmodern theorization. Further considerations will be given to the contemporary return of an interest in mimesis and imitation due to the discovery of the ‘mirror neurons’ and the emergence of the so-called ‘neuroaesthetics’. 
Primary texts: 
Plato, Republic, x, 598a-601e  
Aristotle’s Poetics, iv-iv 
G. Genette, ‘Mimesis et diegesis’ in ‘Frontiers du recit’, Figure II (Paris: Seuil, 1969), 52-56. 
E. Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 3-49. 
G. Lukács, ‘Narrate or Describe?’, in Writer and Critic and Other Essays (London: Merlin Press, 1970), 110-48. 
R. Barthes, “The Reality Effect”, The Rustle of Language (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), 141-148. 
P. De Man, The Resistance to Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), 7-11. 
R. Girard, ‘Mimesis and Violence’; and ‘Triangular Desire’, in The Girard Reader (New York: Crossroad, 1996), 9-19; 33-44.  
H. Wojciehowski and V. Gallese, ‘How Stories Make Us Feel: Toward an Embodied Narratology’, California Italian Studies, 2(1): 
Further reading:  
C. Prendergast, The Order of Mimesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) 
A. Melberg, Theories of Mimesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) 
G. Gebauer and C. Wulf, Mimesis: Culture, Art, Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995) 
M. Potolski, Mimesis (London: Routledge, 2006) 
T. Greene, The Light in Troy: Imitation and Discovery in Renaissance Poetry (New Haven-London: 
Yale UP, 1982) 
P. Morris, Realism (London: Routledge, 2003). 
Peter Brooks, Realist Vision (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005) 
B. Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991) 

Week 3.  The Spatial Turn (Dr Liesbeth François)

This session explores the main tenets and implications of the spatial turn in the humanities, as well as the way in which they have shaped the subdiscipline of geocriticism in literary studies. The ‘spatial turn’ refers to a paradigm shift in social and cultural theory throughout the second half of the twentieth century, which was prepared by philosophers such as Henri Lefebvre and Michel Foucault, and consolidated through the work of several thinkers within the domain of human geography (Edward Soja, David Harvey, Doreen Massey, Derek Gregory). It implied a recalibration that problematised the intellectual predominance of time and historicity as the explaining factors of social and cultural processes and advocated, instead, a heightened attention towards their spatial dimensions. However, this change in perspective also hinges on a thorough redefinition of the concept of space itself: rather than a blank canvas or a neutral container, it is conceptualised as a complex and dynamic medium through which power relations fundamentally shape social life – in line with the Marxist inspiration of many of these approaches, space holds a little-acknowledged but crucial strategic importance for the expansion of capital and becomes, in this sense, one of the most important battlegrounds for social change. Although this paradigm shift concerns space in its most general and transhistorical sense, contemporary processes such as accelerated globalisation and time-space compression played a key role in the emergence of this renewed scrutiny. The aforementioned insights are central to a set of theoretical and critical practices that have been brought together, mainly through the work of Bertrand Westphal and Robert T. Tally, under the common denominator of ‘geocriticism’. Geocriticism focuses on how spatiality shapes literary practices, and centrally relies on these critical approaches to examine the social relations that resonate in and emerge through the interface between text and world. In the session, we will address the ideas and debates that have arisen from these evolutions, as well as some of their ramifications, particularly those highlighting the mobile, urban, volumetric and geological aspects of space
Pre-Seminar Reading:
Lefebvre, Henri, ‘Plan of the Present Work’, The Production of Space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991 [1974]), pp. 1-67.
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari, ‘1440: The Smooth and the Striated’, A Thousand Plateaux (University of Minnesota Press, 1987 [1980]), pp. 474-501
Tally, Robert, ‘Introducing Geocriticism’ and ‘Geocritical Situations’, Topophrenia: Place, Narrative, and the Spatial Imagination (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana UP, 2019), pp. 36-71
Further reading
Augé, Marc, Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity (London: Verso, 2008 [1992])
Certeau, Michel de, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984 [1980])
García Canclini, Néstor, Imagined Globalization (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2014 [1999])
Gregory, Derek, Geographical Imaginations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994)
Foucault, Michel, ‘Of Other Spaces* (1967)’, in Heterotopia and the City. Public Space in a Postcivil Society, ed. by Michiel Dehaene and Lieven De Cauter (Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 13–3
---------------, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1991
Harvey, David, The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990)
Jameson, Fredric, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke UP, 1991
Lefebvre, Henri, The Production of Space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991 [1974])
----------------, ‘Right to the City’, in Writings on Cities, ed. by Eleonore Kofman and Elizabeth Lebas (Oxford; Malden: Blackwell, 1996), pp. 63–18
Massey, Doreen, For Space (London: Sage, 2005)
Miller, Joseph Hillis, Topographies (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995
Soja, Edward W., Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory  (London: Verso, 1989)
-------------------, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Ángeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996)
Tally Jr., Robert, ed., Geocritical Explorations: Space, Place, and Mapping in Literary and Cultural Studies (New York: Palgrave, 2011
-----------------, Spatiality (Abingdon; New York: Routledge, 2013
-----------------, Topophrenia: Place, Narrative, and the Spatial Imagination (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana UP, 2019
Thrift, Nigel, Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect (Abingdon; New York: Routledge, 2008
West-Pavlov, Russell, Space in Theory: Kristeva, Foucault, Deleuze (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009
Westphal, Bertrand, Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces (New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2014
----------------, The Plausible World: A Geocritical Approach to Space, Place, and Maps (New York: Palgrave, 2013)

Week 4:  Sound Studies (Professor Nick Hammond)

Sound studies is an interdisciplinary approach combining methods and problematics from music, anthropology, and technology, employing ideas such as the 'soundscape', and studies of aurality and the voice, among others. Common themes explored include the relation or tension between 'natural' sound and industry, the problem of noise, and the impact of technology on sound production and consumption. In this session, the relationship between sight and sound will first be explored as well as certain theories of sound, before we look at the role of Sound Studies within our discipline.
Pre-seminar reading:
Labelle, Brandon, Acoustic Territories: sound culture and everyday life (London: Bloomsbury, 2010), introduction
Leighton, Angela, Hearing Things: the work of sound in literature (New Haven: Harvard UP, 2018), chapter 1
Nancy, Jean-Luc, À l’écoute (Paris: Galilée, 2002); Listening, translated by Charlotte Mandel (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007)
Schafer, Murray, The Soundscape: our sonic environment and the tuning of the world (Rochester: Destiny Books, 1994, first published 1977), introduction

Further reading:

Connor, Steven, Beyond Words: sobs, hums, stutters and other vocalizations (London: Reaktion Books, 2014), chapter 1
Hammond, Nicholas, The Powers of Sound and Song in Early Modern Paris (Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 2019)
Hamilton, Tom, and Hammond, Nicholas, eds, Soundscapes, Early Modern French Studies vol. 41 no. 1 (June 2019)
Kay, Sarah, and Noudelmann, François, eds, Soundings and Soundscapes, Paragraph vol. 41 no, 1 (March 2018)

Week 5:  Affect (Professor Heather Webb)

As the Twitter account ‘Shit Academics Say’ put it in 2015, ‘I don’t always get emotional. But when I do, I call it affect’. The avalanche of recognition at this accusation of academic preciousness and potential imprecision showed that the comment hit a nerve. And yet the immense quantity of work coming forth to the present day in the field of Affect Theory and Affect Studies suggests that there is something distinctive in the term, something meaningful in setting out affect as apart from emotion. The last two years have seen the publication of work on affect as a conceptual category, interrogating the ‘affective turn’ itself, work on cultural histories of affect, race and political affect, and literary affect. 
Focusing on transhistorical literary affect, but with consistent reference to the broader categories cited above, this session surveys the uses and possibilities of affect in a variety of historical periods and national literatures. The bulk of work on affect is in modern literary studies; what happens when we extend these concepts into the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period? As cultural-historical frames change, how do conceptions of body, feeling, sensation, emotion, cognition, and affect inflect one another?
The session will be divided between lecture and discussion. After conceptual framing in lecture, we will together attempt to launch into case studies that are relevant to the group. 
Students should choose readings from the list below that seem most relevant to their interests and bring a short primary text of interest to discuss in light of the conceptual fields explored. 

Suggested readings: 

Ahern, Stephen, 16. Affect Theory, The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, Volume 29, Issue 1, 2021, pp. 273–286,

Brennan, Teresa, The Transmission of Affect (London: Cornell University Press, 2004).

Burger, G., & Crocker, H. (Eds.). (2019). Medieval Affect, Feeling, and Emotion (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108672474

Burgwinkle, Bill, ‘Medieval Somatics’, in D. Hillman & U. Maude (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Body in Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 10-23.

Caccioppo, John T., Hatfield, Elaine, Rapson, Richard L., Emotional Contagion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Corrigan, Lisa M. Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties (University Press of Mississippi, 2020)

Gregg, Melissa & Seigworth, Gregory J., (eds.), The Affect Theory Reader (London: Duke University Press, 2010).

Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich, trans. by Erik Butler, Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung: On a Hidden Potential of Literature (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).

Houen, A. (Ed.). (2020). Affect and Literature (Cambridge Critical Concepts). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Hutchison, Emma, Affective Communities in World Politics: Collective Emotions After Trauma (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Ibbett, K. ‘When I do, I call it affect’, Paragraph, Volume 40 Issue 2, Page 244-253, ISSN 0264-8334, May 2017 (

Massumi, Brian, ‘The Autonomy of Affect’, Cultural Critique, 31 (1995), 83-109

Milner, Stephen J., ‘Bene Commune e Benessere: The Affective Economy of Communal Life’, in Fabrizio Ricciardelli, Andrea Zorzi (eds.), Emotions, Passions and Power in Renaissance Italy (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015), pp. 237-51.

Rosenwein, Barbara H., Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (London: Cornell University Press, 2006).

Trigg, Stephanie, ‘Introduction: Emotional Histories – Beyond the Personalization of the Past and the Abstraction of Affect Theory’, Exemplaria, 26 (2014). 

Wehrs, Donald R., ‘Introduction: Affect and Texts: Contemporary Inquiry in Historical Context’, in Donald R. Wehrs & Thomas Blake (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Affect Studies and Textual Criticism (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 1-93.


Week 6: Memory (Professor Charles Forsdick)

Memory study has emerged over the past three decades as a cross-disciplinary area that draws on a range of fields including history, anthropology, philosophy and psychology. Rooted in contemporary political concerns (and notably the tendency of state-endorsed memory to project exclusive narratives of the past), the area also plays an increasingly important role in literary and cultural analysis as creative artefacts are themselves acknowledged as reflections of the ways in which societies represent and process the past. Central to the field of memory studies is the work of French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs, whose analyses of collective memory suggested that narratives of the past are not individual phenomena but should be understood instead as socially constructed and transmitted from generation to generation. Halbwachs’s approach came under increased pressure in the later twentieth century when French historian Pierre Nora – through the concept of the ‘lieu de mémoire’ or ‘realm of memory’ – identified a fragmentation of traditional practices of commemoration and suggested the need to identify objects, sites or phenomena around which memory nevertheless continued to crystalize. The session takes Nora’s intervention as a starting point and invites a reflection on the ways in which a theory developed in the specific national niche of the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989 has achieved a broader applicability and translatability. It offers an opportunity to critique Nora’s perpetuation of a national memory that deliberately ignores the afterlives of both slavery and colonialism and posits in its place the need to identify modes of remembering that are actively transnational, diasporic or ‘travelling’, in that way reflecting traces of multiple histories and foregrounding their cross-cultural entanglements. The lecture outlines also a series of alternative models of memory – palimpsestic, multidirectional, agonistic… – that provide ways of understanding the contemporary crisis in coming to terms with the past, and also offer tools for studying the dynamics of memory in a range of cultural artefacts. Exploring concepts such as the ‘memory-trace’ (proposed by Martinican writer Patrick Chamoiseau), it suggests means of recovering different narratives of the past that defy official prescription and permit alterative voices to emerge. The session concludes with a focus on debates regarding the decolonization of memory practices, suggesting that alternative paradigms of remembering are emerging across scholarship and creative practices from the Global South. There will be an opportunity to reflect on the implications of the material studied for literary and cultural analysis, e.g., through consideration of selected passages from W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (London: New Directions Books, 1998).

       Preliminary reading

Erll, Astrid, ‘Travelling memory.’ Parallax, vol. 17, no. 4, 2011, pp. 4–18. 

Nora, Pierre, “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire.” Representations, no. 26, 1989, pp. 7–24.

van Der Rede, Lauren, and Aidan Erasmus, ‘Eddies and Entanglements: Africa and the Global Mnemoscape’, in J.-H. Lim and E. Rosenhaft (eds.), Mnemonic Solidarity, Entangled Memories in the Global South (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), pp.105-29.

       Further reading
Achille, Etienne, Charles Forsdick, and Lydie Moudileno, eds. Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020)
Bull, Anna Cento, and Hans Lauge Hansen. ‘On agonistic memory.’ Memory Studies, vol. 9, no. 4, 2016, pp. 390–404.

Chamoiseau, Patrick, French Guiana: Memory-Traces of the Penal Colony, trans. Matt Reeck (Middletown, CONN: Wesleyan University Press, 2020)

Forsdick, Charles, James Mark, and Eva Spišiaková. ‘Introduction. From Populism to Decolonisation: How We Remember in the Twenty-First Century.’ Modern Languages Open, 2020. DOI:

Levy, Daniel, and Natan Sznaider. ‘Memory Unbound: The Holocaust and the Formation of Cosmopolitan Memory.’ European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 5, no. 1, 2002, pp. 87–106

Lim, J.-H. and Eve Rosenhaft (eds.), Mnemonic Solidarity, Entangled Memories in the Global South (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

Rothberg, Michael, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009)

Rothberg, Michael, Debarati Sanyal, and Max Silverman (eds), ‘Nœuds de mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in Postwar French and Francophone Culture.’ Special issue, Yale French Studies, no. 118–119, 2010

Silverman, Max, Palimpsestic Memory: The Holocaust and Colonialism in French and Francophone Fiction (New York: Berghahn, 2015)

Stoler, Ann Laura, Duress: Imperial Durabilities in our Times (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016)

Wüstenberg, Jenny. ‘Locating Transnational Memory.’ International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, vol. 32, 2019, pp. 371–82

Week 7:  Queer Performance (Dr Isaias Fanlo)

This class will address the multiple and enriching dialogue between Queer Theory and Theatre and Performance. As Jill Dolan states, “theatre and sexuality have always been productive spheres of overlapping influence”. Departing from several case studies coming from Spanish theatre and performances, we will tackle an array of critical debates currently taking place in the discipline of Queer Theory. Among others: what are the ethical implications of performing queer stories onstage? How does queer performance address and complement archival voids? To which extenet scenic arts, through an ephemeral display of bodies, gestures and kinaesthetic, embrace intersectional approaches on queerness, race, ethnicity, age, and class? How can we read the imbrications between embodiment and the performance of sex and sexuality onstage? 

“There is a certain lure to the spectacle of one queer standing onstage alone”, José Esteban Muñoz writes. Queer performance inevitably arises questions regarding spectatorship, embodiment, community, camp, and catharsis. These will be explored in this session, through the alternance of lecture and discussion. Thus, as well as the primary readings, students will be encouraged to explore several secondary references to engage with the materials and the debates that we will cover during our session.

Primary readings

Dolan, Jill. “Performance, Utopia, and the ‘Utopian Performative.’” Theatre Journal 53 (2001). 455-79.

Fanlo, Isaias, “Queer Dignity: Intersections of Testimonial Queerness in Theatre, Performance, and the Visual Arts.” Sara Jones and Roger Woods, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Testimony and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, 2023. 117-34.

Muñoz, José Esteban, “Introduction: Performing Disidentifications.” Disidentifications. Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. U of Minnesota P, 1999. 1-34.

Román, David. “Introduction.” Acts of Intervention. Performance, Gay Culture, and AIDS. Indiana UP, 1998. xiii-xxxiii.

Further readings

Berlant, Lauren. Cruel Optimism. Duke UP, 2011.
---., and Elizabeth Freeman. “Queer Nationality.” Michael Warner, ed. Fear of a Queer Planet. Queer Politics and Social Theory. The U of Minnesota P, 1993. 193-229.
Bollen, Jonathan. “Queer Kinesthesia: Performativity on the Dance Floor.” Jane C. Desmond, ed. Dancing Desires: Choreographing Sexualities On and Off the Stage. U of Wisconsin P, 2001. 285-314.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, 1990.
---. Bodies that Matter. On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. Routledge, 1993.
Davis, Oliver, and Tim Dean. Hatred of Sex. U of Nebraska Press, 2022.
Dolan, Jill. Utopia in Performance. Finding Hope at the Theater. U of Michigan P, 2005.
---. Theatre & Sexuality. Red Globe Press, 2010.
Edelman, Lee. “The Plague of Discourse: Politics, Literary Theory, and AIDS.” Ron Butters et al., eds. Displacing Homophobia. UP, 1989. 289-305.
---. No future. Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Duke UP, 2004.
Eng, David, et al. “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?”. Social Text. Volume 23 (N. 3-4 84-85, Fall-Winter 2005). 1-15.
Epps, Brad. “Ética de la promiscuidad. Reflexiones en torno a Néstor Perlhonger.” Iberoamericana, 5(16), 2005. 145-62.
Fanlo, Isaias. “Ética de lo obsceno: la gentrificación del sida en las artes escénicas.” Rafael M. Mérida Jiménez, ed. De vidas y virus. VIH/sida en las culturas hispánicas. Icaria, 2019. 209-26.
---. “Supervivència i utopia en el teatre queer i trans.” Marc Rosich, Teatre trans (i altres textos no normatius). Barcelona: Comanegra, 2020. 9-30.
---. “Cuartos oscuros, barras de bar, pistas de baile y otras utopías queer en el teatro español contemporáneo.” Paola Bellomi; Claudio Castro Filho, eds. Entre el cuarto oscuro y la utopía queer: sexualidades no normativas en el teatro español contemporáneo. Peter Lang, 2023.
Halberstam, Jack. In a Queer Time and Place. Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York UP, 2005.
---. The Queer Art of Failure. Duke UP, 2011.
Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia. The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York UP, 2009.
Ridout, Nicolas. Theatre and Ethics. Springer, 2009.
Rodríguez, Juana María. Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces. New York UP, 2003.
Sandoval, Alberto. “Staging AIDS: What’s Latinos Got to Do with It?”. Diana Taylor, ed. Negotiating Performance. Gender, Sexuality, and Theatricality in Latin/o America. Duke UP, 1994. 49-66. 
---. José, Can You See? Latinos On and Off Broadway. U of Wisconsin P, 1999.
Solomon, Alisa. The Queerest Art. Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater. NYUP, 2002.
Taylor, Diana. “Opening Remarks.” Diana Taylor and Juan Villegas, editors. Negotiating Performance. Gender, Sexuality, & Theatricality in Latin/o America. Duke UP, 1994. 1-16.
Warner, Michael. The Trouble With Normal. Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life. Harvard UP, 1999.
Watney, Simon. Policing Desire: Pornography, AIDS, and the Media. U of Minnesota P, 1987.
---. “The Spectacle of AIDS”. AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism, Douglas Crimp, editor. The MIT Press, 1989. 71-86.

Week 8: Cognitive Approaches (Dr Timothy Chesters)

The term ‘cognitive approaches’ refers to a relatively new area of literary critical enquiry, which draws inspiration from the cognitive and affective sciences. The lecture class will provide an overview of this rapidly-emerging field, and will consider both the opportunities and the challenges presented by interdisciplinary work. First, we shall examine the formative influences, from the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, to the work of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in cognitive linguistics. We will also seek to differentiate between the various approaches to cognition which co-exist, at times uneasily, in the broader scientific field. In a second step, we will think together about how insights from linguistics, psychology and neuroscience can and have stimulated outstanding literary analysis. 
Pre-seminar reading
Cave, Terence: Thinking with Literature: Towards a Cognitive Criticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 1-31.
Lakoff, George and Johnson, Mark: Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), pp. 3-22.
Menary, Richard: ‘Introduction to the special issue on 4E cognition’, in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (2010), 459-63.
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice: Phenomenology of Perception (1945), Part Two, ‘The World as Perceived’, chapter 1: ‘Sense Experience’ (any edition).
Zunshine, Lisa: ‘Introduction to Cognitive Literary Studies’, in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 1-10.

Further reading
Bolens, Guillemette: The Style of Gestures: Embodiment and Cognition in Literary Narrative (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012).
Chesters, Timothy: ‘Social Cognition: A Literary Perspective’, in Paragraph 37.1 (2014), special number: ‘Reading Literature Cognitively’, ed. by Terence Cave, 62-78.
Clark, Andy: Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).
Damasio, Antonio: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain (London: Vintage, 2006).
Lakoff, George and Johnson, Mark: Philosophy in the Flesh: the Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought (New York: Basic Books, 1999).
Lyne, Raphael: Shakespeare, Rhetoric, and Cognition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Malabou, Catherine: Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction, translated with an introduction by Carolyn Shread (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010).
Shopin, Pavlo: ‘Metaphorical Conceptualization of Injurious and Injured Language in Herta Müller’, in Modern Language Review 111.4 (2016), 1068-84.




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