Providing a common,
content-based structuring framework for the analysis of literature which
is congruent with the program's goals, faculty choose from a number
of given guiding themes and approaches the particular emphasis and methodology
of the instruction in their sections of the courses. Ideally, a course
explores several themes, acknowledges various approaches. and attempts
to explore their relationships. The themes may be used in the discussion
of the texts as well as in the preparation of topics for assignments
and examinations. Though the following constitute currently used and
accepted guiding themes and methodologies, they should not be interpreted
as the only ways of analyzing the literature. In accordance with the
principles of academic freedom, individual instructors are encouraged
to pursue the lines of thought and interpretation which they find most
useful and congruent with their training and intellectual disposition.
LITERATURE. The nature and purposes of art as aesthetic object;
definitions of beauty; concepts of the beautiful and the ugly, the sublime
and the grotesque; relation between art, ideal beauty, and reality;
utilitarian art and art for art's sake; the role of the writer as creator
ART AND LITERATURE.
Comparative analysis of literature and the other arts. Definitions of
art and literature. The representation of art (painting, sculpture,
music, other literary works, etc.) within literary works; specific comparisons/contrasts
between literary and other art works; self-referentiality in art and
literature; the use of the visual and other arts in the illustration,
teaching, analysis, and interpretation of literature.
AND LITERATURE. A consideration of the contributions to the understanding
of literature of various critical, intellectual, and intepretive movements
within Modernism and Postmodernism (e.g. Formalism, New Criticism, Structuralism,
Poststructuralism, Deconstruction, etc.).
AND LITERATURE. A consideration and assessment of the cultural significance
of literary works; character and purpose of literature as cultural artifact;
contributions to the study of literature of the Cultural Studies movement
(New Historicism, Cultural Materialism, Postcolonialism, etc.)
LITERATURE. The representation of economic phenomena ane economic
systems in literary works; exploitation and poverty, economic classes,
class struggle, distribution of wealth; scarcity, and productivity,
incentives; Marxist and capitalist economic theory and literary interpretation;
greed, materialism, and acquisitiveness; money, banking, and financial
markets; the exploitation of natural resources, the environment, and
ETHICS AND LITERATURE.
The characterization and portrayal of moral values and ethical systems
in literary works; definitions of good and evil; the representation
of the "good life"; human nature/character and ideal conduct;
the moral/morality of stories and narratives; moral didacticism in literary
FATE AND FREE
WILL IN LITERATURE. The representation of the links between human
character/nature, human choices, and consequences; human control of
or dependence on destiny; role of higher powers (God, Fate, Divine Providence)
in the determination of human destiny; links between character, narrative,
plot, and fate; prophecy and revelation and literary texts.
LITERATURE. The representation of women in literary works; issues
of exploitation and violence against women; the textual constitution
of the female subject; gender as biology and gender as cultural construct;
literature by women; female characters portrayed by male authors; struggles
and conflict between men and women; textual/sexual politics; homosexuality
and heterosexuality; traditional roles, stereotypes, and ideals of femininity.
FORM AND MEANING
IN LITERARY WORKS. The relations between literary forms, styles,
genres and the messages/nature of literary works; the need/justification/purpose
of form in the literary art; utilitarian art and art for art's sake;
referentiality, self-referentiality, transcendence; figurality, rhetoric,
structure and their role and significance in literature.
AND LITERATURE. The history, techniques, and intellectual backgrounds
of textual interpretation; ancient and modern hermeneutics; Biblical
exegesis and literary interpretation; patristic exegesis: the four-fold
method and transcendental meaning; philology and literature; phenomenology
and interpretation; philosophy of history, historicism, and horizons
of understanding; writers and readers, past and present, dialogue and
dialectical change; Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Jauss and their contributions
to modern hermeneutics; existentialism.
IN LITERATURE. The representation and portrayal of human nature
in literary works; definitions of what is essentially human; human nature
across time, space, and cultures; characterizations of human nature
and its connections to the human condition; possibilities of change/evolution/transformation.
LAW AND LITERATURE.
The representation of the law, legal systems, and the legal profession
in literary works; just and unjust laws; the individual and the law;
human law and divine law, legal hierarchies, conflicts of laws; common
law and codified law; change and evolution in the law; power structures
and legal systems; private property and the law; law and order; legal
argumentation, rhetoric; legal and literary language.
LOVE AND DESIRE
IN LITERATURE. The representation of the forces of desire and the
problem of love in literary works; desire as root of all evil or as
transformational force/redeeming impulse; love as giving and love as
taking; caritas/agape vs. cupiditas/eros; romantic versus classical/rationalistic
conceptions of love; marriage vs. romantic adventure.
LITERATURE. The representation of masculinity in literary works;
ideals of masculinity, virility, male virtue, and heroism; male chastity
and paternity; male priesthood, saints, monks, and religious ideals;
patriarchy and male-dominated societies; hunting, war, violence, territoriality,
domination, and aggression; heterosexuality and homosexuality; men in
interaction with women and with other men; male bonding and fraternity;
maleness as biological gender and as culturally-determined category;
LITERATURE. The representation of the medical arts and sciences
and the medical profession in literary works; healers and quacks; physical
and spiritual healing; medicine and healing as metaphors; the writer
as healer, the text as medicine (catharsis, pharmakon).
MEN AND WOMEN
IN LITERATURE. The representation in literary works of the relations
between men and women; differences/similarities in male and female nature
and character; possibilites of conflict of interests between men and
women; equality, subordination, oppression, manipulation, conflict,
harmony, happiness, power struggles, submission, and rebellion in the
relations between the sexes; love, marriage, family, traditional roles,
maternity and paternity; economic aspects of gender interactions; ideals
of the relationship between men and women; ideals of masculinity and
NATURE IN LITERATURE.
The representation of nature in literary works; relations between human
beings and the natural world; obligations of human beings toward nature;
conflicts between ecological and human interests; proper and improper
uses of nature; meaning and role of natural forces/phenomena in literature;
objects of nature as symbols.
LITERATURE. The representation of philosophical ideas and concepts
in literary works; the nature of the universe and of being; the place
and purpose of human beings in the cosmos; the concepts of good and
evil; god as a philosophical concept; body and soul; fate and free will;
mind and matter; being and non-being; order and chaos; evolution/change
and permanence/stasis; subjectivity and objectivity; patterns of history;
idealism, realism, materialism, empiricism, existentialism, nihilism,
etc. and their representation in literary works.
AND LITERATURE. The use of concepts, terminology, and intellectual
background of psychoanalysis in the study of literary works; the application
of psychoanalytic theory in the analysis of the author's psyche, the
creative process, the text, literary characters, and readers; psychopathology,
repression, displacement, condensation and literary representation;
ego, id and superego, conscious and unconscious; self and society; desire,
social limits and taboos.
AND LITERATURE. The representation of racial conflict and exploitation
in literary works; slavery, oppression, violence; language and race;
racial supremacy and racial equality; racial self and racial other;
dependence, co-dependence, and power relations; miscegenation and racial
LITERATURE. The role of the reader in the reception and interpretation
of literary works; influence of audiences in the activity of authors;
implied and actual readers; reception and reader-response theories.
RELIGION AND LITERATURE. The representation of God/gods in literary
works; characterization of the nature of the divine; literary interpretation
of religious concepts/imagery; relations between gods and human beings;
God and the human soul; faith and salvation; religious origins of literature;
common concerns in religion and literature.
LITERATURE. Consideration of literature as rhetorical practice;
rhetorical analysis of literary works; effects and implications of literature
as rhetorical endeavor.
SCIENCE AND LITERATURE. The representation of science and scientific
thought and endeavors in literary texts; scientists as literary characters;
science, fantasy, and science fiction; rhetorical analysis of science
as a literary phenomenon; scientific analysis and discovery in literature;
the writer as scientist, the scientist as writer.
LITERATURE. The use of sexual imagery and situations in literary
works; literal and symbolic significance of various sexual practices;
sexual morality; sexual perversions and sexual normalcy; erotic love,
incest, homosexuality, chastity, abstinence, marriage, procreation,
etc and their roles and implications in literary narratives.
LITERATURE. The representation of the relations between the individual
and society; systems of rights and obligations; balancing of individual
and societal needs; possibilities of conflict between the individual
and the collectivity; justified and unjustified violations of the social
contract; human happiness and fulfillment in the context of social constraints
and obligations; the state/government and the citizen/individual; oppression,
repression, revolution, and rebellion; social evolution and change;
the artist as social critic and/or defender of the social order. The
literary work as expression of criticism/evaluation of social arrangements
and practices: socioeconomic and sociopolitical systems, arrangements,
and practices; power structures, social organization, social classes.