Ph.D. Reading List for Literary Theory and Criticism

Reading Lists

A reading list for all parts enumerated below will be compiled by the student with the help of the examination committee. The definitive version of the reading list, with a cover page bearing signatures of the committee members and indicating who will direct the examination and chair the dissertation, must be submitted to the graduate studies committee no later than one month prior to the scheduled date of examination. The list must be approved by the faculty members of the graduate studies committee. Please note: Students should also submit a description of the special area, related to the dissertation, along with the reading list.

All lists must include at least twenty of the works below. The GSC will consider alternative texts from the same historical periods. In addition, the list must contain approximately twenty works from the twentieth century, chosen so as to include a reasonable distribution of texts that address at least three important areas of recent criticism.

Plato, Symposium, "Phaedrus,""Ion," Republic (Bks. 2,3,10)
Horace,"The Art of Poetry"
Longinus, "On the Sublime"
Boethius, "The Consolation of Philosophy"
St. Augustine, "De Ordine," "De Musica"
Dante Alighieri, "Letter to Can Grande della Scala"
Leonardo da Vinci, "Notebooks" (selections)
Marsilio Ficino Commentary on Plato's Symposium
Sir Philip Sidney, "An Apologie for Poetrie"
Nicholas Boileau, "The Art of Poetry"
Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism"
Samuel Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare, "Rasselas" (Bk. 10)
Giambattista Vico, "The New Science" (Bks. 1-3)
Gotthold Lessing, Laocoön (Chs.2,3,16)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau,"Essay on the Origin of Language"
Immanuel Kant,Critique of Judgement (Bks. 2,3)
G.W.F. Hegel, Introduction to The Philosophy of Fine Art
William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads
Samuel T. Coleridge, "Biographia Literaria" (Chs. 7,14,15,17,18)
Percy B. Shelley, "Defense of Poetry"
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, "On Truth and Lies in Their Non-Moral Sense"
David Hume, "Of the Standard of Taste"
Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry...
Matthew Arnold, Science and Poetry, Culture and Anarchy, "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time"
Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"
Stéphane Mallarmé,"Crise de vers"
Marcel Proust, "Contre Sainte-Beuve"

Please note:

All titles and spelling must be correct. The GSC will not consider any list with more than 5 errors.



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CAT Colloquium Series

Graduate Student Colloquium

 26 March 2014 

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Brooke Belisle, a 2013 New Faculty Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies will join the department next year. "Click here for more information"

New MA/PhD in Women's and Gender Studies

The Department is pleased to announce that the new MA/PhD program in Women's and Gender Studies has received official certification.  "Click here for more information"


Raiford Guins new book "Game After" will be published in February 2014 with MIT Press.

Victoria Hesford's new book "Feeling Women's Liberation" was published with Duke University Press in June.


Kudos Newsletter 

February 2014

The Humanities Institute

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