Concentration: Theoretical Constructs

Reading and writing in the discipline of English now demand a measure of reflexive awareness of the conditions that make the interpretation of texts possible, as reflected in various perspectives that include poesis, semiosis, ideology, mimesis, and performativity.

Courses in this concentration inquire into the history and dynamics of the aesthetic categories that shape interpretation, consider the relation of experience (literary, aesthetic, social, pedagogical, or other) to conceptual explanation, and examine the relation of such concepts to history. They invite students to consider the differences and interfaces among interpretive frameworks and strategies, to inquire about the tensions and dislocations in texts, or to probe the social relations that inform reading, writing, and teaching. Some courses focus broadly and comparatively; others address particular problems, traditions, and theories, or investigate emerging approaches.

Faculty researching and teaching in this concentration:

Branka Arsic
Richard Barney
Thomas Cohen
Teresa Ebert

Helen Elam
Jennifer Greiman
Glyne Griffith
Eric Keenaghan
Kir Kuiken

James Lilley
Marjorie Pryse
Charles Shepherdson
Paul Stasi
David Wills


Examples of courses taught in this concentration: