ENGL 508 A: History Of Literary Criticism And Theory II

Early Modern Subjects

Meeting Time: 
W 2:30pm - 5:20pm
PAR 212
Donald Gilbert-Santamaria
w/SPAN 577 & C LIT 508

Additional Details:

The early modern period has been traditionally viewed as marking a radical re-orientation in how human beings think about their place in the world. Starting with Burckhardt’s highly influential study of the Renaissance in the mid-nineteenth century, the problem of subjectivity has become one of the signature concepts through which the literary manifestations of this historical development have been understood. This course will undertake a distinctly historicist approach to this topic. After a brief look at some important classical and medieval texts, we will proceed to examine a series of early modern writings from a variety of genres in order to gain a fuller appreciation for this key concept of subjectivity. Extracts from more contemporary literary criticism will round out our reading list, allowing us to consider some of the more recent paradigms for interpreting this material.

Readings for the class will include the following:

Plato, Ion; Republic (selections)

Aristotle, Poetics

Horace, Ars poetica

Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy

Augustine, The Confessions

Petrarch, “Ascent of Mont Ventoux”

Dante, Inferno

Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy (selections)

Montaigne, Essays (selections)

Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Cervantes, Exemplary Novels

Góngora, The Solitudes

Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (selections)

Greenblatt, Shakespearean Negotiations (selections)

Foucault, The Order of Things (selections)

Maravall, Culture of the Baroque (selections)

Catalog Description: 
Literary criticism and theory from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance through the eighteenth century to, but not including, Kant. Offered: jointly with C LIT 508.
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:31pm