This core course for the “Master’s Program in Literature” at Stockholm University introduces the long tradition of textual interpretation and interpretive theories within literary studies, examining the shifting ideas and theories of interpretation and the literary. The course explores key thinkers and tendencies, starting with Plato and proceeds chronologically to the turn of the twentieth century and up to the present day. While the course focuses on the relationship between literature and theory, its major focus is on theoretical questions about interpretation in their own right, which involves both historicizing ideas and considering the theoretical implications of the thinkers’ styles of argumentation.

Some of the issues addressed in the course are: the relation of literary interpretation to other forms of interpretation, the differing approaches to aesthetic judgment, taste, textuality, and authorial intentionality as well as the historicity of interpretation and interpretive validity. The course is designed to increase the students’ knowledge in these areas as well as raise awareness of the ongoing and persistent debates about the practices and limits of interpretation.

Course plan

Given in period 1.

Responsible teacher: Irina Rasmussen

Information autumn term 2020

  • You have to register on time to confirm and keep your place. Online registration for admitted students will be open between 10 - 21 August. Follow the instructions to register.
  • Schedule. Note that the schedule is subject to change in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Course description and literature: see attachment.
  • After registration you will get access to the Athena site for the course where teachers will make relevant material available at the start of the course.
  • Read the information about teaching at the department in the autumn term.