Theory Quiz

Study Guide

On Wednesday, March 2, we will put a more official capstone on our TheoryCamp experience by taking a cumulative quiz. This relatively low-stakes quiz (it is worth 5% of your final grade) will allow you demonstrate your knowledge of concepts and approaches driving the interpretation of literary and other cultural texts.

The quiz will have two parts. Part 1 will deal with concepts mostly drawn from The Theory Toolbox. As a way to prepare, we will do a small-group activity in class on the previous Monday in which you receive a concept from TT, define it in your own words, and then offer an example of how this concept would play out in a concrete, real-world context. Relevant concepts to prepare for include “ideology,” “history,” “canonicity,” “postmodernism,” “history,” “biopower,” “self/subject,” “subject position,” and, yes “theory” itself.

Part 2 will relate mostly to the methodological approaches from Bedford. You will be asked to choose five approaches to literary and cultural texts out of a list of around 10 (because we are joining another section of 299 taught by a different instructor, one or two of these approaches might be unfamiliar to you). For each choice, you will be asked to offer an overview of the approach noting the specific aspects of the text and/or the contexts that it might attend to (2-3 sentence). Also, you will be asked to identify and define one key concept that informs your chosen approach (another 1-2 sentences).

Possible approaches include:

    • Formalism / New Criticism
    • Feminism / Gender Criticism
    • Psychological Criticism
    • New Historicism
    • Deconstruction / Poststructuralism
    • Cultural Studies
    • Postcolonialism
    • Reader Response
    • Ecocriticism

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