Criticism and Theory

This course is introductory, and aims to provide, or reinforce, a grounding in the methodology of the subject. The work done in lectures and seminars, while complementary, is less closely linked than in the other courses. The first term lectures aim to introduce and exemplify some of the indispensable elements of a critical vocabulary, while the second term lectures offer a brief historical survey of different ideas of literary criticism from the Renaissance to the present day. In both terms there are commentary and analysis seminars, involving the detailed discussion of unseen passages of literature in various genres and from various periods. These seminars aim to stimulate attentive and accurate close reading. The work done in this course feeds into tutorials and into discussion of passages from the Narrative Texts in both seminars and essays. 

Criticism and Theory key texts for 2015-16 can be found in the First Year Reading List.