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BBL 3103: LITERARY THEORY FROM PLATO TO T.S. ELIOT. Assoc. Professor Noritah Omar Dept. of English/School of Graduate Studies Email: nomar@upm.edu.my (best corresponding mode ), noritahhjomar@gmail.com +603 8946 4205/4206 +6012 335 9806 (Urgent SMS only, calls will not be answered).

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BBL 3103: LITERARY THEORY FROM PLATO TO T.S. ELIOT


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    1. BBL 3103: LITERARY THEORY FROM PLATO TO T.S. ELIOT • Assoc. Professor Noritah Omar • Dept. of English/School of Graduate Studies • Email: nomar@upm.edu.my (best corresponding mode), noritahhjomar@gmail.com • +603 8946 4205/4206 • +6012 335 9806 (Urgent SMS only, calls will not be answered)

    2. About the Course • The modular course encompasses two face-face-two face meetings with the lecturer within the semester. To fulfill the theoretical part of this course, students will have to complete one individual assignment. This assignment will be a self-learning exercise, given that distance learning will not allow for frequent meetings between the student and the instructor.

    3. Course Objectives • To enable students to trace the development of literary criticism and aesthetic practices in the Western tradition from the beginning to the 19th century; • To evaluate the representative texts from various literary and cultural traditions; • To discuss the connection between the development of literary theory in relation to society; and • To develop ethical behaviour and a sense of communal responsibility.

    4. Course Content • Course content will be divided by unit and subtopic. Roughly, each unit corresponds to a particular time period (e.g.: Classical Antiquity), and each topic to a particular critic from that time period. Each unit represents 3 lecture hours (1 week’s study). The 14 units therefore represent the 14 weeks of the semester.

    5. What is covered for mid-semester evaluation? • Units 1-7. • Unit 1: Overview of the Trends and Traditions in Literary Criticism • Unit 2: History of Literary Criticism • Unit 3: Classical Criticism I: Plato and Aristotle • Unit 4: Classical Criticism II: Horace and Longinus • Unit 5: Criticism of the English Renaissance: The Middle Ages, Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson • Unit 6: Criticism of the Neoclassical Period: John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison and Samuel Johnson • Unit 7: Criticism of the Romantic Period: Alexander Pope is usually remembered

    6. Assignment (30%) • Please refer to the module (p. iv) for details of the assignment and Appendix A(pp. 169-175) for the assignment guide.

    7. Course Evaluation • This course evaluation is divided into: • Overall coursework 60% - Assignment(individual) 30% - Test 30% • Final Examination 40% Total 100%

    8. Test • The test questions will be based on this module. The questions in this test will be in objective format (multiple choice). For this semester, the units that will be covered are units 1-7.

    9. Sample test questions Whowas Longinus? -- The author of On the Sublime -- The first critic to classify tragedy as a genre -- The author of The Republic -- The first critic to establish that decorum is a necessary condition of staging a play

    10. Sample test questions • What is the defining feature of comparative criticism? A text set against a particular historical backdrop • A text set against other works of a similar nature • A text set against the author’s personal history • A text set against knowledge of human psychology • Horace reformulated many of Aristotle’s theories in his ArsPoetica. • True • False

    11. Sample test questions • With regard to Athenian youth, why did Plato believe poetry was harmful? • The young would be more suited reading less complex stories • The young are impressionable, and poets are a bad influence • The young are not impressionable, and would not be educated by poetry • The young should engage in more masculine activities rather than watch plays

    12. Unit 1: Overview of the Trends and Traditions in Literary Criticism • Unit objectives: - To provide a general overview of the history of literary criticism - To provide a workable definition of literary critical activity, as well as a detailing of its common functions - To examine the various types of literary criticism that have been used throughout history

    13. Unit 2: The History of Literary Criticism • Unit objectives • To provide a general overview of the history of literary criticism • To examine the various types of literary criticism that have been used throughout history • To provide a historical context to correspond to each of these types of criticism

    14. Unit 3: Classical Criticism I: Plato and Aristotle • Unit objectives - To establish a definite starting point of literary theory (as we know it) • To introduce the theories of the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, and their theories on art and poiesis • To provide students with an understanding of the theories that continue to shape and influence literary theory in the present day

    15. Unit 4: Classical Criticism II: Horace and Longinus • Unit Objectives • To establish the continuity and linkage between the culture of ancient Greece and ancient Rome • To introduce the ideas of the ancient Roman theorists, Horace and Longinus; as well as to show how literary theory vacillates between Apollonian and Dionysian extremes, by noting Longinus’ diversion from the tradition propagated by Horace • To provide students with an understanding of the theories that continue to shape and influence literary theory in the present day

    16. Unit 5: Criticism of the English Renaissance • Unit Objectives • To further evidence the idea of continuity (chronological and thematic) in literary theory, as an ongoing activity that is based on preceding thought • To introduce literary critical activity taking place during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; in this case, with special attention paid to Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson • To provide students with an understanding of the theories that continue to shape and influence literary theory in the present day

    17. Unit 6: Criticism of the Neo-Classical Period • Unit Objectives • To further evidence the idea of continuity (chronological and thematic) in literary theory, as an ongoing activity that is based on preceding thought • To introduce literary critical activity taking place during 17th and 18th century Europe; with special attention paid to the John Dryden and Samuel Johnson • To provide students with an understanding of the theories that continue to shape and influence literary theory in the present day

    18. Unit 7: Criticism of the Romantic Period • Unit Objectives • To further evidence the idea of continuity (chronological and thematic) in literary theory, as an ongoing activity that is based on preceding thought • To introduce literary critical activity taking place during 18th and 19th century Europe; with special attention paid to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley • To provide students with an understanding of the theories that continue to shape and influence literary theory in the present day

    19. BL3103 Mid-Semester Exam (PPL Programme)Topics • Format of mid-semester examination: multiple choice (30 questions) Overview of literary criticism • Types of literary criticism • Rise of the Roman empire (Roman culture as derivative) Plato • Poiesis as mimesis; mimesis as copy of external reality • Poetry and emotional restraint • Social impact of poetry • Poetic creation (divine inspiration)

    20. BL3103 Mid-Semester Exam (PPL Programme)Topics Horace • Decorum • Verisimilitude • Reformulation of Aristotle’s tenets Longinus • Characteristics of the sublime • The false sublime The Middle Ages and Renaissance • Characteristics • Concerns of the Age • Literary figures: Sir Philip Sidney, and Ben Jonson Major works? What others say about their works?

    21. BL3103 Mid-Semester Exam (PPL Programme)Topics Neo-Classical Period: John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison &Samuel Johnson • Who wrote and what is Preface to Fables? • What was the contribution of Alexander Pope? • What was Joseph Addison style of literary criticism? • Who was Samuel Johnson?

    22. BL3103 Mid-Semester Exam (PPL Programme)Topics The Romantic Period: • Who was the most prominent poet of the period? • What is Romantic Sensibility? • What was the argument made by Wordsworth about poetic diction?

    23. BL3103 Mid-Semester Exam (PPL Programme)Topics IMPORTANT NOTE: • Please refer to the module when preparing for the all aspects of the course assessment (assignment, mid-semester examination, and Final examination) • The Module’s publication year: 2011 (do not use any previous modules, but the 2011 one)