This course in contemporary literary theory introduces some the principal methods of current criticism, ranging from deconstruction to psychoanalysis, from performance theory to gender and cultural studies. Critical works will be placed in the context of postmodern culture, and hypertext theory, and cyberspace. Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner and Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl, a hypertext reworking of the Frankenstein story, will serve as reference points for the exploration of theoretical issues.

Readings will include representative works by Louis Althusser, Lauren Berlant, Roland Barthes, Judith Butler, Helene Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Paul Gilroy, Donna Haraway, Fredric Jameson, Jacques Lacan, Ferdinand de Saussure, Patricia Williams, Slavoj Zizek, and others.


Week 1 (August 31) - Background: From Structuralism to Poststructuralism


Week 2 (Sept. 7) - The Poststructuralist Controversy


Week 3 (Sept. 14) - Autobiography, Voice, Politics


Week 4 (Sept. 21) - Postmodern Theory (Beta Version)


Week 5 (Sept. 28) - Poststructuralism and Hypertext


Week 6 (Oct. 5) - Hypertext Critical Fictions


Week 7 (Oct. 12) - Bodies


Week 8 (Oct. 19) - The Other Psychoanalysis


Week 9 (Oct. 26) - Queer Performativity


Week 10 (Nov. 2) - Psychoanalysis and Marxism


Week 11 (Nov. 9) - Race and Nationality


Week 12 (Nov. 16) - Gender and Nationality


(Thanksgiving Break - November 21-29)


Week 13 (Nov. 30) - Theory on the Web


Week 14 (Dec. 7) - Web Theory