The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory will offer a series of public lectures on the history of critical theory. These lectures, each of which will be followed by open discussion, will take place on Tuesdays from 5:15-6:45pm in 1092 Lincoln Hall. The lectures are coordinated with graduate seminars on critical theory in a number of departments, but are also open to other faculty or graduate students who may wish to attend.
Students may wish to purchase the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition (2010).
NOTE: Participants who are not registered for one of the affiliated courses and who would like to read the supporting readings should email Roman Friedman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Week 1 (8/29): No Public Lecture
Week 2 (9/5): German Idealism
Lecture: Helga Varden, Philosophy, UIUC
1. Kant, Immanuel. "An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?" WE 8: 33-42. (In Practical Philosophy, transl./ed. Mary Gregor, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996: pp. 17-22.)
"I. Concerning the Original Predisposition to Good in Human Nature,"
"II. Concerning the Propensity to Evil in Human Nature," and
"III. The Human Being is by Nature Evil Vitiis Nemo Sine Nascitur, Horace"
Rel. 6: 26-39. (In Religion and Rational Theology, transl./ed. by Allen W. Wood and George di Giovanni, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 50-61.
4. Selection from Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View: "B. The Character of the Sexes," A 7: 303-311. (In Anthropology, History, and Education, ed. Louden et al./transl. Gregor et al., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007: pp. 399-407
Week 3 (9/12): Structuralism
Lecture: Robert Parker, English, UIUC
1. de Saussure, Ferdinand. "Course in General Linguistics" (1916). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 37-48.
2. Parker, Robert Dale. "Ch.3: Structuralism." How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies, Third Edition (2014/2015). 43-84.
1. Barthes, Roland. "The Death of the Author" (1968). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 83-87.
2. Jakobson, Roman. "The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles" (1956). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 62-68.
3. Propp, Vladimir. "The Morphology of the Folktale" (1928). Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Oxford, 2012. 58-62.
Week 4 (9/19): Marx & Marxism
Lecture: Emmanuel Rota, History/French & Italian, UIUC
Week 5 (9/26): Psychoanalysis
Lecture: Lilya Kaganovksy, Comparative and World Literature, UIUC
2. Freud, Sigmund. "Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes." The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Hogarth, 1953. 248-258.
Week 6 (10/3): Deconstruction
Lecture: Geoffrey Bennington, French & Italian, Emory
3. ---. “The Exorbitant. Question of Method.” From Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri C. Spivak. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1976.
Week 7 (10/10): Biopolitics
Lecture: Richard C. Keller, Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Week 8 (10/17): Postcolonial Theory
Lecture: Gaurav Desai, English, University of Michigan
Week 9 (10/24): Indigenous Studies
Lecture: Jenny L. Davis, Anthropology, UIUC
Week 10 (10/31): Critical Race Theory - "The Open Secret of Racial Capitalist Violence"
Lecture: Jodi Melamed, English and Africana Studies, Marquette University
1. Byrd, Jodi, Alyosha Goldstein, Jodi Melamed, and Chandan Reddy. "On Economies of Dispossession." Economies of Dispossession: Indigeneity, Race, Capitalism, a special issue of Social Text. Forthcoming. Approx. 20 pages.
Week 11 (11/7): Ecocriticism
Lecture: Jamie Jones, English, UIUC
1. Heise, Ursula. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ecocriticism,” PMLA 121:2 (March 2006), 503-516.
Week 12 (11/14): Visual Studies
Lecture: Lisa Rosenthal, Art History, UIUC
2. Zorach, Rebecca. “ 'Without Fear of Boarder Guards’. The Renaissance of Visual Culture,” in Barbara Baert, Ann-Sohie Lehmann, Jenke van den Akkerveken (eds.) New Perspectives in Iconology (Brussels: ASP Publishers, 2011) pp.. 23-41.
Week 13 (11/28): Queer Theory
Lecture: Andrew Leong, English, Northwestern University
2. Muñoz, José Esteban. "Introduction" and "The Future is in the Present: Sexual Avant-Gardes and the Performance of Utopia." Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: NYU Press, 2009. 1-18; 49-64. (link)