Literary Theory and Literary Criticism


Prof. Aysha Iqbal

IIT Madras

*Additional GST and optional Exam fee are applicable.

SKU: IIT Madras Category:


The course presents an overview of major trends in literary criticism and literary theory. It traces the key topics in these domains beginning from the classical times of Aristotle, Plato and Longinus till more recent theoretical trends, such as film studies, gender studies and Eco criticism.


Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan is professor of film studies, drama and popular culture in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. Among her several books are Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Bollywood Directors(ed.) Sage: New Delhi, 2017, Post-liberalization Indian Novels in English: Global Reception & Politics of Award London: ANTHEM, 2013.  Her books on communication include English for Technical Communication, and English for Nurses and English for the Hotel Industry

Additional information


IIT Madras

Total hours


Certification Process

1. Join the course
Learners may pay the applicable fees and enrol to a course on offer in the portal and get access to all of its contents including assignments. Validity of enrolment, which includes access to the videos and other learning material and attempting the assignments, will be mentioned on the course. Learner has to complete the assignments and get the minimum required marks to be eligible for the certification exam within this period.

COURSE ENROLMENT FEE: The Fee for Enrolment is Rs. 2000 + GST

2. Watch Videos+Submit Assignments
After enrolling, learners can watch lectures and learn and follow it up with attempting/answering the assignments given.

3. Get qualified to register for exams
A learner can earn a certificate in the self paced course only by appearing for the online remote proctored exam and to register for this, the learner should get minimum required marks in the assignments as given below:

Assignment score = Score more than 50% in at least 6/8 assignments.
Exam score = 50% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.”

4. Register for exams
The certification exam is conducted online with remote proctoring. Once a learner has become eligible to register for the certification exam, they can choose a slot convenient to them from what is available and pay the exam fee. Schedule of available slot dates/timings for these remote-proctored online examinations will be published and made available to the learners.

EXAM FEE: The remote proctoring exam is optional for a fee of Rs.1500 + GST. An additional fee of Rs.1500 will apply for a non-standard time slot.

5. Results and Certification
After the exam, based on the certification criteria of the course, results will be declared and learners will be notified of the same. A link to download the e-certificate will be shared with learners who pass the certification exam.


Course Details

Lecture 1
Classical/ Neo Classical Theory I
Greek and Roman models with an emphasis on classical  qualities
Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus
Theories of Drama, Poetry and Style
Lecture 2
Classical/ Neo Classical Theory II
Early Modern-Enlightenment (Philip Sidney, Dryden, Pope, Samuel Johnson, Locke, Addison, Hume)
Ars Poetica, Sublimity and the Satire
Lecture 3
Romanticism I
Early Nineteenth Century Romanticism
French and German Romanticism
Schiller, Stael
Kant and Hegel
Kant  Critique of Judgement
Lecture 4
Romanticism II
English and American Romanticism
Wordsworth, Coleridge, Emerson, Poe
Poetic Diction, Fancy and Imagination
Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800) Biographia Literaria (1817)
William Hazlitt “On Poetry in General”
Harold Bloom, ed., Romanticism and Consciousness (1970)
Lecture 5
Late Nineteenth Century
Realism and Naturalism
Eliot, Zola, Henry James
Symbolism and Aestheticism
Baudelaire, Walter Pater, Wilde
Art for Art’s Sake
Arnold and the Touchstone Method
Objective Correlative, Dissociation  of Sensibility, Impersonality of Art
Lecture 6
Marx, Engels
Dialectical Materialism, Economic Determinism
Manifesto, Das Kapital
Lukacs, The novel and socialist realism,
Althusser/Gramsci- Power/Control; Rule/HegemonyEagleton
Frankfurt School; Adorno, W. Benjamin
Lecture 7
Twentieth Century Criticism
Formalism and New Criticism
Brooks, Well Wrought Urn, Irony as a Principle of  Structure
Paul de Man, Eliot, A Tate
J C Ransom, The New Criticism
Will Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity
The Chicago School, R S Crane
Shklovsky, Eichenbaum, Bakhtin, Jacobson
Defamiliarization, foregrounding, syuzhet/fabula
Prague Linguistic Circle
Lecture 8
Jean Piaget on “ Structure”
Saussure, Barthes
Lang/Par, synchro/diachronic analysis, syntagmatic/paradigm
Strauss – Mythologies
Jonathan Culler, Structuralist Poetics
Prague linguistic circle
Jakobson, Trubetskoy, Rene Wellek
Lecture 9
Archetypal Criticism
Bodkin, Archetypal Patterns in Poetry
Frazer, The Golden Bough
Frye, Anatomy of Criticism
C G Jung, Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Characters, Narratives, Symbols
Lecture 10
Freud, Jung, Lacan
The Interpretation of Dreams, complexes, defences, psychosexual stages and levels
Hamlet Psychoanalysed
Lacan, Jung and deviance from Freud
Metaphor, Metonymy
Lecture 11
Gender and Queer Theory
Woolf A Room of One’s Own, Gilbert and Gubar, Beauvoir, Showalter, Kristeva, Cixous, Mulvey
Ecriture Feminine, Gynocriticism, Literary Paternity
Radical, Liberal and Rational Feminism
Performativity, Butler Gender Trouble, Sedgwick
Queer Theory and LGBT criticism
Lecture 12
Post Structuralism
Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Baudrillard, Kristeva, Barthes
Eco, The Open Work
Derrida, Of Grammatology
Yale School
de Man, Hillis Miller
Semiology and the Rhetoric
Lecture 13
Reader Response and Reception
Husserl, Heidder, Jauss, Iser, Fish
1976 “Interpreting the Variorum”, Interpretive Communities
Is There A Text in This Class
R Ingarden, The Intentional Object and the layers of strata
Lecture 14
Post Colonialism
Fanon, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Achebe
Hybridity, Liminality, Subaltern
The Wretched of the Earth, Orientalism, Black Skin White Masks
The Empire Writes Back
Barry on PoCo
Colonial Mimicry
Lecture 15
New Historicism
The New Historicism (1989)
Greenblatt, Cultural Poetics, Towards a Poetics of Culture (1987)
Foucault, Derrida and other influences
L Montrose on N.H
Renaissance Self -Fashinoning: From More to Shakespeare
British Cultural Materialism
Lecture 16
Charles Sanders Pierce
Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
Eco, A Theory of Semiotics
Jameson, The Prison House of Language
Barthes S/Z
Lecure 17
Film Studies
Major Film Movements
Cinema and Modernism
Ideology, Character, Plot, Semiotics and Genres
Classic and New Hollywood
Key Concepts in Film Studies
Lecture 18
Ecocriticism and Green Studies
British Romanticism and American Transcendentalism
Nature Vs. Culture debates
Energy, Entropy, Symbiosis
Anthropocentrism and Patetic Fallacy
Ecocritical Readings and Linguistic Determinism


  • Armbruster, Karla, and Kathleen R. Wallace. Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. University of Virginia Press, 2001.
  • Ashcroft, Bill, et al. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2006.
  • Attridge, Derek. Reading and Responsibility. Amsterdam University Press, 2011.
  • Barry, Peter. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory: Fourth Edition (Beginnings). 4th ed., Manchester University Press, 2017.
  • Bennet, Andrew, and Nicholas Royle. An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. Routledge, 2016.
  • Brannigan, John. New Historicism and Cultural Materialism. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.
  • Butler, Christopher. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Chandler, Daniel. Semiotics: The Basics: The Basics. 4th ed., Routledge, 2022.
  • Glotfelty, Cheryll, and Harold Fromm, editors. The Ecocriticism Reader. University of Georgia Press, 1996.
  • Gutting, Gary, editor. The Cambridge Companion to Foucault. 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Jonathan, Culler. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Kusch, Celena. Literary Analysis: The Basics. Routledge, 2016.
  • Ogden, Benjamin H. Beyond Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism: Between Literature and Mind. 1st ed., Routledge, 2018.
  • Parvini, Neema. Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory: New Historicism and Cultural Materialism. 0 ed., Bloomsbury Academic, 2012.
  • Terry, Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction. University of Minnesota Press, 1996.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Literary Theory and Literary Criticism”