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Curriculum Action Notice


Academic Affairs Committee


March 21, 2001

This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curriculum actions. Within the next 10 days, please forward any comments or concerns to the AAC Chair, Lynn Pifer. Belknap Hall 05, x4384,

The following New Course and Program Change Proposals have been submitted by the Department of Languages and Literature:




ENG 381 History of Literary Theory and Criticism


Course Description:

Survey of Western literary theory and criticism form Plato, Aristotle, and Horace to the New Critics. Offered Fall of old years. Prerequisite: ENG 115 Introduction to Literature


Purpose and Nature of Course:

Currently, we do not have a regularly offered course that surveys the history of Western literary theory and criticism from its beginnings in Plato and Aristotle to the advent of what is now referred to as "theory." Such a regular course offering would be useful as an elective course for BA & BSE English majors interested in pursuing the teaching of literature as a career, since the course focuses on the way various writers, thinkers and critics have defined the social function, the aesthetic qualities, and the taxonomic categories of literature since the 4th century BCE. It will also be of use as an elective course for those students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in English. Though primarily aimed at BA & BSE English majors, the course will be open to any interested student who has satisfied the prerequisite (ENG 115: Intro to Literature). The course is also intended to be offered as a complement to ENG 382: Contemporary Literary & Cultural Theory (see Course Change Form); students may choose to take the two courses as a sequence, though they would not be required to do so.





ENG 382 Theory of Literature


ENG 382 Contemporary Literary Theory and Criticism


Old Course Description:

A survey of the major critical approaches to literature. Offered spring of odd years.


New Course Description:

Survey of recent approaches to literature, including formalist, structuralist, post-structuralist, reader-response, psychoanalytic, feminist, marxist, new historical, and/or post-colonial literary criticism. Offered spring of even years.

Prerequisite: ENG 115 Introduction to Literature


Purpose and nature of change:

Both the title and the catalog description for ENG 382: Theory of Literature are vague and outdated. Both title and description need to be updated to reflect current trends in literary theory and criticism, and to describe more accurately the content of the course.






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