Analysis of Literary Texts
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Ilukirjandusliku teksti analüüs
Course title in English
Analysis of Literary Texts
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
õppejõud on määramata
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
To learn the basics of literary analysis and to master the metalanguage of
literary criticism.
Brief description of the course
Students will be introduced to a selection of literary theoretical tools for
the analysis of literary texts. Practice in applying analytical tools to
selected literary texts (prose, drama, poetry). Students will critically
analyse two short stories (“The Sisters” by James Joyce; “A Stone
Woman” by A.S. Byatt), one contemporary novel (The Secret Scripture
by Sebastian Barry), and extracts from other texts. Analysis addresses
historical and socio-cultural background; the individual work and the
literary tradition; broad categories of genres, forms, and literary
techniques. Weekly assignments comprise close reading to provide textual
evidence in support of interpretation. Class discussion reflects on
analytical findings and the scope of different approaches in relation to
given texts. Guidelines are given on how to structure a critical analysis:
setting a question, selecting evidence, formulating a thesis, developing an
argument, and supporting findings.
Independent work
Reading selected articles / chapters of literary theory and criticism;
critical analysis of the literary texts (written and for oral presentation)
Learning outcomes in the course
Students are
• aware of the basics of literary analysis and its metalanguage;
• able to approach prose and poetry texts from different perspectives.
Assessment methods
Seminar participation (80%); written critical analyses; one oral
Lektor Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov
Study literature
Barry, Sebastian. The Secret Scripture. (London: Faber & Faber 2008).
Byatt, A.S. “A Stone Woman” or “Raw Material” – short stories from
Little Black Book of Stories. (London: Vintage 2004).
Joyce, James. “The Sisters” – short story from Dubliners. [1914] (OUP
Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal. (1729)

One other text (novel, play, short story, poem sequence) to be chosen in
consultation with the lecturer.
A selection of extracts and poems for weekly in-class analysis and

A compendium of articles and chapters on literary theory and criticism,
primarily – narratology; postcolonialism; feminist criticism;
psychoanalytic criticism. Extracts from the work and conceptualisations
of Mieke Bal; Helene Cixous; Jacques Lacan; Terry Eagleton; Homi
Bhabha; Gayatri Spivak, et al.
Replacement literature
This is a seminar. No replacement literature.