GER 520 / COM 518 / HUM 520

Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory: Literature and Rhetoric

Frauke I. Berndt

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This seminar explores the literary text as not just a text, but an aesthetic medium. Critical readings and practical analyses aim to develop a theoretical foundation for an “art of the text.” Each text begins at its own beginning, on paper or on a desktop, and ends with the images, emotions, and voices it evokes, as a literary text. This journey leads to the stylistic topoi or “common places” that, since antiquity, have been used to map the domains of literary texts and to trace their ways of worldmaking. This seminar provides an overview of classical rhetoric, literary aesthetics, and modern and postmodern literary theory.

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