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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 490
Course Title: Literary and Critical Theory
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Introduction to methods and applications of literary and critical theories. Prerequisites: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Textbooks should include an anthology related to the historical development of literary and critical theories and a collection devoted to the variety of recent and current critical approaches; might also include an anthology of literary texts or similar selection of readings. Those below are possible choices.

The Critical Tradition
By Richter, David H., ed (Bedford)
Falling into Theory
By Richter, David H., ed (Bedford)
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism
By Leitch, Vincent B., et al., eds (W.W. Norton)
Course Objectives
  • To introduce and provide practice in a variety of literary and critical theories.
  • To offer a sense of the histories of literary and critical theories.
    Measurable Learning
  • Identify major literary and critical theorists, movements, and schools.
  • Apply methodologies of major literary and critical theories to representative texts.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the terms of literary and critical theories.
    Topical Outline:
  • The history of literary and critical theory
  • Major figures, movements and schools
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Danny Campbell Date: November 8, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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