Course: Introduction to Theory of Literature with Paul H. Fry Dnatube

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Lec 1 - Introduction - Introduction to T ...

"Lec 1 - Introduction" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this first lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the course's title in three parts. The relationship between theory and philosophy, the question of what literature is and does, and what constitutes an introduction are interrogated. The professor then situates the emergence of literary theory in the history of modern...
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Lec 2 - Introduction (cont.)

"Lec 2 - Introduction (cont.)" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this second introductory lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the interrelation of skepticism and determinism. The nature of discourse and the related issue of discursivity is read through two modern works, Anton Chekov's Cherry Orchard and Henry James' The Ambassadors. Exemplary critical focus on literary...
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Lec 3 - Ways In and Out of the Hermeneut ...

"Lec 3 - Ways In and Out of the Hermeneutic Circle" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines acts of reading and interpretation by way of the theory of hermeneutics. The origins of hermeneutic thought are traced through Western literature. The mechanics of hermeneutics, including the idea of a hermeneutic circle, are explored in detail with...
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Lec 4 - Configurative Reading

"Lec 4 - Configurative Reading" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) The discussion of Gadamer and Hirsch continues in this lecture, which further examines the relationship between reading and interpretation. Through a comparative analysis of these theorists, Professor Paul Fry explores the difference between meaning and significance, the relationship between understanding and...
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Lec 5 - The Idea of the Autonomous Artwork

"Lec 5 - The Idea of the Autonomous Artwork" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the origins of formalist literary criticism. Considerable attention is paid to the rise and subsequent popularity of the New Critics and their preferred site of literary exploration, the "poem." The idea of autonomous art is explored in the writings of,...
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Lec 6 - The New Criticism and Other West ...

"Lec 6 - The New Criticism and Other Western Formalisms" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this second lecture on formalism, Professor Paul Fry begins by exploring the implications of Wimsatt and Beardsley's theory of literary interpretation by applying them to Yeats's "Lapis Lazuli." He then maps the development of Anglo-American formalism from Modernist literature to the...
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Lec 7 - Russian Formalism

"Lec 7 - Russian Formalism" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the works of major Russian formalists reviewed in an essay by Boris Eikhenbaum. He begins by distinguishing Russian formalism from hermeneutics. Eikhenbaum's dependency on core ideas of Marxist and Darwinian philosophies of struggle and evolution is explained. Formalism's...
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Lec 8 - Semiotics and Structuralism

"Lec 8 - Semiotics and Structuralism" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores the semiotics movement through the work of its founding theorist, Ferdinand de Saussure. The relationship of semiotics to hermeneutics, New Criticism, and Russian formalism is considered. Key semiotic binaries--such as langue and parole, signifier and signified,...
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Lec 9 - Linguistics and Literature

"Lec 9 - Linguistics and Literature" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on the work of Roman Jakobson, Professor Paul Fry continues his discussion of synchrony and diachrony. The relationships among formalism, semiotics, and linguistics are explored. Claude Levi-Strauss's structural interpretation of the Oedipus myth is discussed in some detail. In order to...
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Lec 10 - Deconstruction I

"Lec 10 - Deconstruction I" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on Derrida and the origins of deconstruction, Professor Paul Fry explores two central Derridian works: "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences" and "Différance." Derrida's critique of structuralism and semiotics, particularly the work of Levi-Strauss and Saussure, is...
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Lec 11 - Deconstruction II

"Lec 11 - Deconstruction II" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this second lecture on deconstruction, Professor Paul Fry concludes his consideration of Derrida and begins to explore the work of Paul de Man. Derrida's affinity for and departure from Levi-Strauss's distinction between nature and culture are outlined. De Man's relationship with Derrida, their similarities and...
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Lec 12 - Freud and Fiction

"Lec 12 - Freud and Fiction" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry turns his attention to the relationship between authorship and the psyche. Freud's meditations on the fundamental drives governing human behavior are read through the lens of literary critic Peter Brooks. The origins of Freud's work on the "pleasure principle" and his subsequent...
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Lec 13 - Jacques Lacan in Theory

"Lec 13 - Jacques Lacan in Theory" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on psychoanalytic criticism, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of Jacques Lacan. Lacan's interest in Freud and distaste for post-Freudian "ego psychologists" are briefly mentioned, and his clinical work on "the mirror stage" is discussed in depth. The relationship in Lacanian thought,...
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Lec 14 - Influence

"Lec 14 - Influence" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on the psyche in literary theory, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of T. S. Eliot and Harold Bloom, specifically their studies of tradition and individualism. Related and divergent perspectives on tradition, innovation, conservatism, and self-effacement are traced throughout Eliot's "Tradition and the...
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Lec 15 - The Postmodern Psyche

"Lec 15 - The Postmodern Psyche" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on the postmodern psyche, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari. and Slavoj Žižek. The notion of the "postmodern" is defined through the use of examples in the visual arts and architecture. Deleuze and Guattari's theory of "rhizomatic" thinking and their...
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Lec 16 - The Social Permeability of Read ...

"Lec 16 - The Social Permeability of Reader and Text" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this first lecture on the theory of literature in social contexts, Professor Paul Fry examines the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Hans Robert Jauss. The relation of their writing to formalist theory and the work of Barthes and Foucault is articulated. The dimensions of Bakhtin's...
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Lec 17 - The Frankfurt School of Critica ...

"Lec 17 - The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) This first lecture on social theories of art and artistic production examines the Frankfurt School. The theoretical writings of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin are explored in historical and political contexts, including Marxism, socialist realism, and late capitalism. The concept of...
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Lec 18 - The Political Unconscious

"Lec 18 - The Political Unconscious" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores Fredric Jameson's seminal work, The Political Unconscious, as an outcropping of Marxist literary criticism and structural theory. Texts such as Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and Shakespeare's seventy-third sonnet are examined in the context of Jameson's three...
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Lec 19 - The New Historicism

"Lec 19 - The New Historicism" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines the work of two seminal New Historicists, Stephen Greenblatt and Jerome McGann. The origins of New Historicism in Early Modern literary studies are explored, and New Historicism's common strategies, preferred evidence, and literary sites are explored. Greenblatt's...
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Lec 20 - The Classical Feminist Tradition

"Lec 20 - The Classical Feminist Tradition" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on feminist criticism, Professor Paul Fry uses Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own as a lens to and commentary on the flourishing of feminist criticism in the twentieth century. The structure and rhetoric of A Room of One's Own is extensively analyzed, as are its core considerations...
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Lec 21 - African-American Criticism

"Lec 21 - African-American Criticism" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry examines trends in African-American criticism through the lens of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Toni Morrison. A brief history of African-American literature and criticism is undertaken, and the relationship of both to feminist theory is explicated. The problems in cultural...
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Lec 22 - Post-Colonial Criticism

"Lec 22 - Post-Colonial Criticism" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on post-colonial theory, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of Edward Said and Homi K. Bhabha. The complicated origins, definitions, and limitations of the term "post-colonial" are outlined. Elaine Showalter's theory of the phasic development of female literary identity is applied to the...
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Lec 23 - Queer Theory and Gender Perform ...

"Lec 23 - Queer Theory and Gender Performativity" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on queer theory, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of Judith Butler in relation to Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality. Differences in terminology and methods are discussed, including Butler's emphasis on performance and Foucault's reliance on formulations such as...
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Lec 24 - The Institutional Construction ...

"Lec 24 - The Institutional Construction of Literary Study" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture on critical identities, Professor Fry examines the work of Stanley Fish and John Guillory. The lecture begins by examining Tony the Tow Truck as a site for the emergence of literary identities, then brings the course's use of the children's story under scrutiny through...
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Lec 25 - The End of Theory?; Neo-Pragmatism

"Lec 25 - The End of Theory?; Neo-Pragmatism" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry takes on Knapp and Michaels's influential article, "Against Theory." The historical context of the piece is given and key aspects of the theorists' critical orientations, specifically their neo-pragmatism, are defined. A lengthy discussion of the relationships...
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Lec Last - Reflections; Who Doesn't Hate ...

"Lec Last - Reflections; Who Doesn't Hate Theory Now?" Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this final lecture on literary theory, Professor Paul Fry revisits the relationship between language and speech, language and intention, and language and communication. Over the course of this discussion, he retrospectively defines theory as a means of establishing the extent to which...

Introduction to Theory of Literature with Paul H. Fry


Source of these courses is Yale 
This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?
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COURSE NAME: Introduction to Theory of Literature with Paul H. Fry

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