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Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Introduction to Literary Theory

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and NPTEL via Swayam


This course traces the development of the major theoretical frameworks, from classical Greek theories of mimesis to the present day concerns of ecocriticism and postcolonialism, which are used to analyse texts within the discipline of English literary studies. Apart from giving a comprehensive overview of the salient features that inform each school of literary theory, the course also connects these theoretical frameworks to the social, political, and cultural contexts that underline them. It is hoped that this course will enable the students to have a firm understanding of the various eclectic concepts that inform the field of literary theory and also to engage with literature more critically.INTENDED AUDIENCE : Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of English literature INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Institutions offering courses on English studies


Week 1: Introduction, Mimesis.
Week 2: Classical & Neo-Classical Literary Theories, Romanticism.Week 3: Formalism, Dialogism, Reader Response theory.Week 4: Reader Response Theory, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism.Week 5: Marxism, Psychoanalytic Theory.Week 6: Psychoanalytic Theory, Gender.Week 7: Modernism, Post-Modernism, Postcolonialism.Week 8: Eco-Criticism, Indian Literary Theory

Taught by

Prof. Sayan Chattopadhyay

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5.0 rating, based on 2 reviews

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  • Seth Samuel is taking this course right now, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This subject examines the ways in which we read. It introduces some important strategies for engaging with literary texts developed in the twentieth century, paying special attention to poststructuralist theories and their legacy. The course is organized...
  • Anonymous
    I started this course wanting an overview of Literary Theory. I did not know what it was, even, though I have been writing for some time and thus thinking about the processes involved in both reading and writing.

    I came away each week feeling I knew a bit more about it, about the history of how literature has developed and insights into the reasons why. It was a fantastic course and I'm very glad I did it.

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