2019 - 2020

  Literary Theory From Antiquity to Modernity  
Jonathan StavskyWebb - School of Languages105 Mon1600-1800 Sem  1
Webb - School of Languages105 Mon1600-1800 Sem  2
University credit hours:  4.0

Course description

Literary Theory from Antiquity to Modernity

Core BA Course (2019–2020) / Dr. Jonathan Stavsky

For over two millennia, authors, teachers, scholars, philosophers, and even theologians have been debating what literature is, how it functions, and whether its effects are beneficial or harmful. The present course follows the development of this conversation from ancient Greece and Rome through medieval and Renaissance Europe and England to the cusp of modernism. It will train you in analyzing earlier theoretical texts, placing them in their intellectual context, and using them in order to enrich your understanding of literature from various periods. Writings by Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus, Augustine, Dante, Boccaccio, Sidney, Pope, Arnold, Wilde, and others will be made available on the course website.


  • Introduction to British Culture I;
  • Introduction to British Culture II;
  • Poetry Analysis;
  • Introduction to Theory;
  • Writing Tutorial.


  • Regular attendance during the entire course, including make-up classes (10%);
  • A take-home exam at the end of the first semester (30%);
  • A final paper at the end of the second semester (60%).

To pass this course, you must attend the required number of classes, submit the exam and the final paper on time via the course Moodle, and receive a passing grade for each.

NOTE: You cannot get partial credit for this year-long course or split it between two years.

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