Introduction to
Graduate Literary Study

English 503, Spring 2000

Jack Lynch

Course Description

Go directly to:

January -- February -- March -- April

Office: (973) 353-5279x516; 516 Hill Hall.

Hours: Monday and Thursday, 2:30-3:30, and by appointment (appointments are always good).

Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 11 p.m.!).

E-mail: (the best way to reach me).


Course Requirements

English 503 involves the following responsibilities on your part:


Two books -- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (ed. Marilyn Butler) and Literary Theory: An Anthology (ed. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan; abbreviated LT) -- are available at the Rutgers University Bookstore in Bradley Hall. Other readings will be available in a photocopy packet, on-line, or on reserve in Dana Library.


In addition to several in-class reports on research exercises, each student will be responsible for beginning discussion of one day's materials. That will typically take the form of a brief (five-minute-ish) informal discussion of the theoretical readings for the day and their use in interpreting literature. The day's reporter will also be responsible for steering discussion throughout the class meeting.


This class has a mailing list called; all students are required to have an E-mail account by the send of the second week of classes and to participate in the discussions on the list. Although I have the greatest sympathy for those suffering from technological nightmares, don't expect to use computer problems as an excuse for not doing the reading or writing. If you have a computer problem, contact me as soon as possible.

Schedule of Class Meetings

Monday, 24 Jan.

Monday, 31 Jan.
Textual Criticism and Bibliography. Readings: W. W. Greg, "The Rationale of Copy-Text" (on-line); Fredson Bowers, "Current Theories of Copy-Text, with an Example from Dryden" (photocopy); Jerome McGann, "What Is Critical Editing?" (photocopy)); textual variants to Frankenstein (Appendix B in Butler's edition); Anne K. Mellor, "Revising Frankenstein." Reports: Textual variants.

Monday, 7 Feb.
Historical and Biographical Criticism. Readings: Anne K. Mellor, "My Hideous Progeny"; John Clubbe, "The Tempest-toss'd Summer of 1816: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"; Laura E. Crouch, "Davy's A Discourse, Introductory to a Course of Lectures on Chemistry: A Possible Scientific Source of Frankenstein"; Jane Blumberg, "Frankenstein and the 'Good Cause.'" Reports: Research exercises in the library.

Monday, 14 Feb.
Formalism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Formalisms" (LT, pp. 3-7); Boris Eichenbaum, "Introduction to the Formal Method" (LT, pp. 8-16); Cleanth Brooks, "The Formalist Critics" (LT, pp. 52-57) and "The Language of Paradox" (LT, pp. 58-68); Peter Brooks, "'Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts': Language, Nature, and Monstrosity."

Monday, 21 Feb.
Structuralism. Readings: Jonathan Culler, "The Linguistic Foundation" (LT, pp. 73-75); Ferdinand de Saussure, selection from Course in General Linguistics (LT, pp. 76-90); Roman Jakobson, "Two Aspects of Language" (LT, pp. 91-95); J. L. Austin, selection from How to Do Things with Words (LT, pp. 96-100); Claude Lévi-Strauss, "The Structural Study of Myth" (LT, pp. 101-15); Andrew Griffin, "Fire and Ice in Frankenstein."

Monday, 28 Feb.
Poststructuralism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "The Class of 1968" (LT, pp. 333-57); Jacques Derrida, "Différance" (LT, pp. 385-407); Michel Foucault, selections from The Order of Things (LT, pp. 377-84) and The Archeology of Knowledge (LT, pp. 421-28); Christian Bok, "The Monstrosity of Representation: Frankenstein and Rousseau."

Monday, 6 March
Marxism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Starting with Zero: Basic Marxism" (LT, pp. 231-42); G. W. F. Hegel, "Dialectics" (LT, pp. 243-46); Karl Marx, selections from Grundrisse (LT, pp. 247-50), The German Ideology (LT, pp. 250-56), "Wage Labor and Capital" (LT, pp. 262-67), and Capital (LT, pp. 268-76); Georg Lukács, selection from The Historical Novel (LT, pp. 290-93); Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" (LT, pp. 294-304); Slavoj Zizek, selection from The Sublime Object of Ideology (LT, pp. 312-25); Elsie B. Michie, "Frankenstein and Marx's Theories of Alienated Labor."

Monday, 13 March
No class: Spring break.

Monday, 20 March
Feminism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Feminist Paradigms" (LT, pp. 527-32); Luce Irigaray, "The Power of Discourse and the Subordination of the Feminine" (LT, pp. 570-73) and "Commodities amongst Themselves" (LT, pp. 574-77); Hélène Cixous, "Sorties" (LT, pp. 578-84); Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, selection from The Madwoman in the Attic (LT, pp. 596-611) and "Horror's Twin: Mary Shelley's Monstrous Eve"; Ellen Moers, "Female Gothic"; Barbara Johnson, "My Monster/My Self."

Monday, 27 March
Gender Studies and Queer Theory. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Contingencies of Gender" (LT, pp. 675-78); selection from Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality (LT, pp. 683-91); Teresa de Lauretis, "The Technology of Gender" (LT, pp. 713-21); Eve K. Sedgwick, selection from Between Men (LT, pp. 696-712) and "Toward the Gothic: Terrorism and Homosexual Panic."

Monday, 3 April
Psychoanalytic Criticism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "Strangers to Ourselves: Psychoanalysis" (LT, pp. 119-27); selections from Freud (LT, pp. 128-77); selections from Lacan (LT, pp. 178-205); Paul Sherwin, "Frankenstein: Creation as Catastrophe"; Peter Brooks, "What is a Monster? (According to Frankenstein)."

Monday, 10 April
Ethnic Studies and Postcolonialism. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "English without Shadows, Literature on a World Scale" (LT, pp. 851-55); Edward Said, selection from Orientalism (LT, pp. 873-86); Henry Louis Gates, "The Blackness of Blackness: A Critique on the Sign and the Signifying Monkey" (LT, pp. 903-22); Homi Bhabha, selection from The Location of Culture (LT, pp. 945-57); Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, "Three Women's Texts and a Critique of Imperialism"; Zohreh T. Sullivan, "Race, Gender, and Imperial Ideology in the Nineteenth Century."

Monday, 17 April
Cultural Studies. Readings: Rivkin and Ryan, "The Politics of Culture" (LT, pp. 1025-27); Pierre Bourdieu, selection from Distinction (LT, pp. 1028-36); Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, "The Culture Industry as Mass Deception" (LT, pp. 1037-41); Stuart Ewen, selection from All-Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture (LT, pp. 1082-86); John Fiske, selection from Television Culture (LT, pp. 1087-98); James Whale, Frankenstein (1931 movie starring Boris Karloff); Harriet E. Margolis, "Lost Baggage: or, The Hollywood Sidetrack"; David Leon Higdon, "Frankenstein as Founding Myth in Gary Larson's The Far Side."

Monday, 24 April
Conference Papers.

Monday, 1 May
Conference Papers.