Literary Interpretation II: Theory and Criticism (Literature)

Niveau: BA2

EC: 5

Docent(en): Cathelein Aaftink (Universiteit Utrecht)

november – december 2022
april – juni 2023

This module continues the work begun in “Literary Interpretation I: Close Reading and Analysis” pertaining to the art and practice of interpreting literary texts written in English. The current course introduces the theoretical side of studying English literature. Whereas in the first course, we practiced with close reading and the analysis of literature, “Literary Interpretation II: Theory and Criticism” teaches students how to further develop their literary interpretations by means of theory. Students are introduced to an array of theoretical traditions and they submit weekly assignments in which they formulate and answer research questions involving the application of theoretical notions to their interpretative efforts. They learn how to engage with and build on interpretive proposals described in peer reviewed secondary articles. They are instructed on how to compose a research proposal that outlines a project geared towards generating an in-depth analysis and interpretation of a literary short story framed by theoretical notions and literary criticism. They conclude the course by writing an academic paper that offers an original interpretation informed by theory and secondary sources. Throughout the course, the instructor offers formative feedback to individual assignments. Students review each other’s research proposals and help one another to formulate proper research questions on an online discussion platform (peer to peer moderation).