LTTH 115 - INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THEORY
Approaches to Meaning-Making
Instructor: Stephanie Jed
This class provides an introduction to major critical theories of the 20th and 21st centuries, including deconstruction and psychoanalytic, postcolonial and posthumanisist theories. How is meaning made? How do we know what we know, and how does some other knowledge come along and destabilize that which we took for granted? Critical theories can be understand as ways of interpreting and making sense of the world, whether in regard to written and visual texts, or the "narratives" that unfold in our personal lives and in the social, cultural and political arenas around us. We will be particularly interested in approaches that seek to uncover the exclusionary premises of "othering" on the basis of racial, cultural, gender and species difference. As students develop familiarity with methods of interpretation, they will be encouraged to identify their own theoretical interests. Among questions we will ask: How does theorizing take different forms in different cultural contexts? What is the connection between theorizing, political interpretation and ethical engagement?
► LTTH 115 is a LTEN equivalent course
LTWL 114 - CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
This course follows the development of children’s literature from its origins in French and German fairy tales to the end of the so-called Golden Age around World War I. Representative readings will include the original versions of "Cinderella," "Snow White," and "The Little Mermaid" and classic novels such as Alice in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan. As well as analyzing these works for their literary and cultural value, we will investigate the evolution of the concept of childhood from the Enlightenment to the early twentieth century. Follow the White Rabbit: you’ll be surprised what you discover.
► LTWL 114 is a LTEN equivalent course
LTWL 124 - SCIENCE FICTION
Last year this course focused on the origins of science fiction, the genre’s post-World War II Golden Age, and the New Wave that transformed it in the 1960s and 70s. This quarter we investigate the generation of science fiction that followed in the 80s, 90s, and early 21st century. Emphasis will be on the range of themes and techniques in the genre, from the hard science of Gregory Benford’s Timescape (set largely at UCSD) and the groundbreaking cyberpunk of William Gibson to the literary treatment of enduring social questions in Octavia Butler. We will discuss science fiction in other formats as well, including the graphic novel Watchmen. Seek out new worlds and new civilizations, and explore their relevance to our own.
LTWL 165 - LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This course should appeal to anyone interested in the literary history of environmental writing and issues, in other words, to students of environmental studies and social sciences in addition to literature majors. We will explore the vital relationship between literature and environmental values, and attempt to explain how literary interpretations of the land have influenced attitudes toward nonhuman nature. Writers have been consistently concerned with, and inspired by, the idea of wilderness as our culture moved from notions of a hostile wilderness, to the Transcendentalist vision of divine nature, to contemporary nature-writers' concern with imperiled ecosystems. Course will include readings of work by Joanna Macy, Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez and Aldo Leopold.