This syllabus is subject to change. The latest version on this website is the binding syllabus.

Office: Bartlett 259
Office Hours: Wed and by appointment.
545-6598 | sharris@english.umass.edu

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W 1:00pm - 3:30pm

WEEK 5: Marxism
1 October


In this class, we will open discussion of the political conditions which gave rise to socialist theory. To that end, consider Wilson's description of various utopic visions and the mutations they undergo as various groups and nations attempt to implement them. What relation did literature have to this political program? Why was it seen as important? What were the various positions on the political role of art?


With respect to this last question, read all of Eagleton. What does it mean "to explain the literary work more fully" (3)? How do ideas of "natural" and "normal" relate to ideology? What is ideology? What is "discourse"? What reservations do Marxists critics have about stylistics? Why?



1) To the Finland Station , Edmund Wilson (NYRB, 2003).

2) Marxism and Literary Criticism, Terry Eagleton (Univ. California, 1976).

Available from the DEFA film archives in Herter Hall, 5th floor.