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Undergraduate and Graduate Programs 2020-2021

ELIT 416 Critical Concepts and Critical Instruments

The perspective adopted in this course is that literary studies is an academic discipline constrained by a disciplinary matrix that sets standards for good and bad argument, a matrix that is dependent on a set of clear and well defined concepts. It will be argued that many of the concepts used in literary studies today are used as critical primitives. i.e. concepts that are used in the formulation of theories and criticism but that are not themselves the focus of discussion. Such concepts include ‘meaning’, ‘understanding’ ‘interpretation’, ‘appreciation’, ‘criticism’, ‘spontaneity’, ‘convention’, ‘genre’, ‘realism’, ‘canon’, ‘intention’, as well as the concept of ‘literature’ itself. In the course we shall also analyse a number of critical instruments and critical methods with detailed exemplification to explore the usefulness/fruitfulness of such methods in literary studies. Credit units: 3 ECTS Credit units: 5.

Spring Semester (Stein Haugom Olsen)

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