AJL20001 Literary and Cultural Theory I

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught online.
prof. Mgr. Milada Franková, CSc., M.A. (lecturer)
Stephen Paul Hardy, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, B.A. (lecturer)
doc. Michael Matthew Kaylor, PhD. (lecturer)
Mgr. Jan Čapek (assistant)
Guaranteed by
doc. Michael Matthew Kaylor, PhD.
Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Tomáš Hanzálek
Supplier department: Department of English and American Studies - Faculty of Arts
Fri 11:00–12:40 K21
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 19 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This is a two-semester course designed to give students a grounding in the theoretical bases underlying the study of literature and culture. This course provides a comprehensive overview of a number of theories and theorists who have influenced, in a striking way, various schools of thought. The first semester takes a diachronic approach, looking at the main critical schools and texts in the history of literary criticism and focusing on developments in literary theory in the twentieth century. The second semester employs a synchronic technique to examine the range of current theoretical approaches to the study of culture. In both semesters the stress is on the application of theory, with students being required to examine particular texts (of all kinds, including visual and film texts) in the light of the theoretical approaches under consideration.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to discuss those literary and critical theories with greater sensitivity and appreciation, and will have an understanding of the contexts from which those theories arose as well as situations in which they can be aptly applied.
  • Topics covered in this semester are the following:
  • Oral and Written Literature; Oral and Technological Cultures
  • 18th and 19th century British literary criticism
  • Concepts of Art, Literature and the Idea of Authorship; The Shifting Author
  • Rationalist and Cartesian Philosophy, Text, and Ideology
  • German Aesthetic Philosophy: from Kant to Nietzsche
  • Critical theory, the Frankfurt School, British and French cultural studies
  • Cultural evolution, anthropological notions of culture
  • The beginnings of structuralism: Linguistics, sociology, anthropology
  • Psychoanalytic Theory I: Sigmund Freud
  • Psychoanalytic Theory II: Jacques Lacan and Carl Jung
  • Russian Formalism and Early Structuralism: Shklovsky, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Prague School, structuralism, theatre semiotics
  • Semiotics: Peirce, de Saussure
    required literature
  • ERLICH, Victor. Russian formalism : history, doctrine. Hague: Mouton, 1969. info
    recommended literature
  • MERLEAU-PONTY, Maurice, Claude LÉVI-STRAUSS and Roland BARTHES. Chvála moudrosti. Translated by Oldřich Kuba. Bratislava: Archa, 1994. 99 s. ISBN 80-7115-077-0. info
  • ONG, Walter J. Orality and literacy : the technologizing of the word. London: Routledge, 1991. x, 201. ISBN 041671370X. info
  • BARTHES, Roland. A Barthes reader. Edited by Susan Sontag. New York: Hill and Wang, 1982. xxxviii, 4. ISBN 0-8090-2815-8. info
  • HAWKES, Terence. Structuralism & semiotics. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1977. 192 s. ISBN 0520034228. info
  • FOKKEMA, D. W. and Elrud IBSCH. Theories of literature in the twentieth century : structuralism, Marxism, aesthetics of reception, semiotics. London: C. Hurst & Company, 1977. xii, 219. ISBN 0905838092. info
  • HOLENSTEIN, Elmar. Roman Jakobson's approach to language : phenomenological structuralism. Translated by Catherine Schelbert - Tarcisius Schelbert. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976. viii, 215. ISBN 0253350182. info
  • BARTHES, Roland. S/Z :[an essay]. Translated by Richard Miller. 1st American ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 1974. xi, 271 s. ISBN 0-374-52167-0. info
    not specified
  • STRIEDTER, Jurij. Literary structure, evolution, and value :russian formalism and czech structuralism reconsidered. Translated by Matthew Gurewitsch. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989. 317 s. ISBN 0-674-53653-3. info
  • SUS, Oleg. From the pre-history of Czech structuralism : F.X. Šalda, T.G. Masaryk, and the genesis of symbolist aesthetics and poetics in Bohemia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1982. S. [547],. info
  • Structuralism : an introduction. Edited by David Robey. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973. 153 p. ISBN 0198740174. info
Teaching methods
Weekly lecture series (1 1/2 hours), with individual lectures given by different speakers.
Assessment methods
Assessment is based on an oral exam where is student is examined by two randomly-selected lecturers.
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Teacher's information
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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