From UBC Wiki
Seminar for English Honours - Introduction to Critical Theory and Practice
ENGL 211
Section: 001
Instructor: Professor Alexander Dick
Office: BUTO 615
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10 am - 12 pm
Class Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30 - 2 pm
Classroom: West Mall Swing Space 307
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

This is the WIKI page for English 211, the Seminar for English Honours Students. The course is subtitled "Introduction to Critical Theory and Practice" because that is what the course is - an introduction to the theory and practice of criticism in the 20th and 21st centuries. The course provides an introduction to the major currents of literary theory commonly used in English studies today. We will review the movements in theory that have had the strongest influence on literary criticism in the twentieth century (and beyond): new criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, gender studies, Marxism, new historicism, and postcolonialism. We will consider how these theories and methods are used in literary and cultural analysis by applying them to literary texts. We will also raise broader questions about how different theoretical approaches have been combined in critical practice, about how they have affected the way we teach literature, and about the various ways “theory” has changed (or not) the discipline of English and how it continues to do so today. Writing assignments, presentations, and online collaborations invite students to summarize and apply the theories and methods that they have learned, to think through the ways different theoretical approaches intersect, and to reflect on the significance and relevance of ‘theory’ to literary interpretation and critical practice.

One of the centrepieces of this course will be student-authored and reviewed wiki pages on each of the theoretical methods that we will be examining through the term. These pages are:

New Criticism





Queer Theory


New Historicism


Race Theory