Critical Theory 2013

Semester Gasal Tahun Akademik 2014/2015
Critical Theory
Phone: 022-779-0212 (Office), +6281910526156 (RCLRLS)


I. Course Description
This course is intended to introduce students to (1) the idea of critical, literary, and cultural theories; (2) the discourse surrounding them about their necessity, relevance, significance, and/or redundancy; and (3) the various critical theories and practices in circulation in our contemporary academic discourse as well as the problems and problematics attached to them. Rather than departing from the different theories separately, we will look into particular critical issues and terms and see how various texts define and respond to them.
II. Required Texts
Required texts are explicitly stated below under VI. Course Schedule. These materials are available either at,, or the Resource Centre for Linguistic Research and Literary Studies (aka English Library).
III. Activities
In this course students are required to

  1. Attend class meetings on time. Students will be allowed two (2) unexcused absences out of the sixteen (16) class meetings. Unexcused absences include those instances when students are hindered from coming to class due to alarm-clock malfunction, prolonged breakfasts, traffic problems, incidental mild health issues, and unexpected minor domestic emergencies. Note, however, though there is no penalty for such failure to attend class, an absent student will not receive points for participation or activities conducted in class that day. Tardiness of more than fifteen (15) minutes into class time will count as an unexcused absence. Only absences due to authorized and approved University/Faculty/Department-sponsored events, severe health problems, and serious domestic situations will be considered as excused absences. For excused absences, a student must provide a written justification from a relevant authority. A student must confer with the instructor to determine whether a medical condition is mild or severe, or whether a domestic emergency is minor or serious. Excused absences cannot be an excuse for failure to submit assignments on time.
  2. Read all of the required texts, and contribute the result of their readings in class as well as online. The quality of such contributions, whether they take the form of questions or comments, will be assessed as the “Participation” grade item.
  3. Bring all available required texts and all available handouts to class.
  4. Secure regular access to the internet, and become a member of
  5. Write at least three (3) responses to particular critical issues (preferably pertaining to the planned skripsi topic). Each response must refer to at least one material from two different weekly discussions plus at least one additional material not included in the syllabus. These short-essay responses must be posted at and the student’s personal web page as page or blog post (uploaded document at and other similar sites).  Personal Responses unpublished in the student’s personal web page or blog will be considered non-existent.
  6. Take one (1) Oral Final Examination  as the Mid-Term Examinantion (Ujian Akhir Semester/UAS) although it will be held at the end of thesemester. Should a student find herself in a situation in which they may miss a class meeting where a quiz or an examination is scheduled, she should notify the instructor before class starts either via e-mail or by phone for the instructor to consider whether he will give the student a make-up quiz, test, or examination.
  7. Contribute to class discussions on a textual problem apparent in a text to be discussed in the student’s future skripsi. Participation in such discussions may also be apparent in the form of comments and critical questions at and/or other students electronically published Responses and Papers.
  8. Write a research paper as the Final Examination. This paper must be submitted in installments. This paper shall be directed towards the study to be conducted in the forthcoming Skripsi. This paper must be submitted in printed and digital forms to all assigned instructors in person or via email as well as published electronically on the student’s personal web page. Success in having the paper published on other academic publication media is preferable. Unpublished papers will be considered non-existent.

IV. Grading

A student’s final grade will be determined based on the following criteria:



Response 1


Response 2


Response 3


Oral Examination


Final Research Paper


The Final Research Paper will be reported as “UAS,” the Oral Examination as “UTS,” Participation as “PRESENSI,”, and the Responses combined as “QUIZ.”


B. The total of all grade items will be converted to letter grades according to the PAP criteria set by the University:



80-100 = A
68-79 = B
55-67 = C
45-54 = D
00-44 = E

V. Academic Dishonesty

A. If the instructors believe that a student has plagiarized in an assignment,the instructor will submit a recommendation to the University to have the student suspended or expelled in accordance to University policy as posted on

B. If a student is unsure about what type of writing practice may be considered as plagiarism, she or he must ask the instructors.

VI. Course Schedule

The course will follow the following tentative schedule. When references to required texts are mentioned, students are to have read the materials before they come to class. Activities may be added or omitted during the course of the semester, depending on what the class seems to need collectively. Students are encouraged to suggest particular readings.


August    28        Introduction: Syllabus, Theory, Methodology, Method, Approach, Perspective, and other vague concepts; Theory about Literature, Theory about Literary Theory, Theory in Literary Studies

September   4      LITERATURE and THEORY Classical Ideas about Literature, excerpts of Plato’s “Ion” and “Republic; Horace’s “The Art of Poetry;” Paul de Man’s “Resistance to Theory;” and Northrop Frye’s ““The Function of Criticism in Our Present Time;” Scholes, “The English Apparatus”

September    11      REPRESENTATION Plato’s “Ion,” Mitchell’s “Representation,” excerpts from Marx’s “Eighteenth Brumaire,” Gilbert and Gubar’s “The Madwoman in the Attic,” Edward Said, “Jane Austen and the Empire,” Spivak’s “Feminism and Critical Theory,” Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams”

September    18      STRUCTURE Rowe’s “Structure,” Shklovsky’s “Art as Technique,” Saussure’s selections from Course in General Linguistics, Derrida’s “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” Belsey’s “Constructing the Subject: Deconstructing the Text,” Miller’s “Deconstruction and Heart of Darkness,” Deleuze and Guattari’s “1874: Three Novellas, or ‘What Happened?”

September        25        DESIRE and SELF Lacan’s “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” and “The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious, or Reason Since Freud,” Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” excerpt from Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Bhabha’s “On Mimicry and Men.”

October        2      TEXT and TEXTUAL TECHNOLOGY Barthes’ “From Work to Text” and “The Death of the Author,” Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” Hayles’s “Print Is Flat, Code Is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis.”

October        9      GENDER and SEXUALITY Cixous’s “Castration or Decapitation?” Kristeva’s “Foreign Body,” Mohanty’s “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses,” Warner’s “Homo-Narcissism; or, Heterosexuality,”

October        16      CLASS and ECONOMY Raymond Williams’s “Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory” and “The Country and the City;”  Marx’s “Alienated Labor,”  “Money as the Symbol of Alienation in the Capitalist Economy, “ and “Wage, Labor and Capital;” Audre Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redifining Difference;” Luce Irigiray, “Women on the Market.”

October     23        NATION and EMPIRE excerpt’s from Said’s Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism, Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Parry’s “Reading Signs of the Empire in Metropolitan Fiction.”

October     30        WRITING and ORALITY Ong’s “Some Psychodynamics of Orality,”

November     6      RACE

November     13      CULTURE and IDEOLOGY Arnold’s “Culture and Anarchy,”

November     20      Paper consultations and unresolved issues

November     27      Paper consultations and unresolved issues

December     2      Paper consultations and unresolved issues

December     9      Paper consultations and unresolved issues

December     16      No Class                                                                                                   Paper Due

December     23 to January 3 UAS





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