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THEORY OF LITERATURE

Major combinations:
NQF Level: 5: THL1501, THL1502
NQF Level: 6: THL2601, THL2602, THL2603
NQF Level: 7: THL3701, THL3702, THL3703, THL3704, THL3705

Theory of Narratology and Poetry - THL4802
Honours NQF level: 8 Credits: 24
Module presented in English Module presented online
Purpose: (1) Narratology: In this option various narratological theories and models will be studied critically and comparatively. Theories will be tested with reference to narrative texts and students will also have to consider interpretation strategies and evaluation criteria in the analysis of narrative texts. Aspects such as time, space, characterization, focalization and narration will be analysed in detail with reference to formalist, structuralist, semiotic and post-structuralist perspectives. Special attention will be given to recent contributions to structuralist narratology, such as the formalization of Propp's model or the use of Genette's systematic description of narrative structure in South African literatures and literatures from other parts of the world. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the applicability of specific approaches with reference to literary texts of their own choice, selected from any language. In this regard, students will have the opportunity to analyse aspects of postmodernist narrative texts with reference to current theoretical models. (2) Theory of Poetry: This option is constructed around the strategy of foregrounding in poetic texts. It explores the operation of foregrounding as a linguistic device and/or as a psychological effect. This involves the study of sophisticated theories of poetic language as well as of reader responses. In the study of the stylistics and/or the psychology of foregrounding, aspects such as metaphor, syntax, typography, sound, rhythm and metre will be studied in detail, with regard to the occurrence, operation and potential function of these aspects in poetic language and/or their actual function or effect on the reader. The study of poetic texts selected from South African literatures and literatures from other parts of the world ranges in scope from one poem, one volume of a poet, the oeuvre of a poet, a poetic school or style including written and oral poetry, as well as comparison between poems and other non-literary texts.
Theory of Drama - THL4803
Honours NQF level: 8 Credits: 24
Module presented in English Module presented online
Purpose: This paper entails an in-depth study of various aspects of modern theory of drama. This is studied in relation to drama texts from South African literatures and literatures from other parts of the world. The following aspects are covered: the relation between the dramatic text and the performance; dramatic dialogue, dramatic space; text and performance; the role of the spectator in the theatrical communication process; the social dimension of theatre.
Introduction to Theory of Literature - THL1501
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 5 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans
Purpose: To introduce students to the theoretical approach and to show how it differs from other approaches in literature; to familiarise students with definitions of literature and other aesthetic objects; to acquire the ability to understand or interpret literature, and to appreciate or evaluate literature and other cultural and aesthetic objects.
Introduction to Literary Genres - THL1502
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 5 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans
Purpose: To provide an introduction to literary genres; to introduce students to the main types and characteristic features of oral and written literature, and to familiarise students with the analysis and interpretation of poetic, narrative and dramatic texts.
Introduction to Creative Writing: a Practical Course - KSK1601
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 6 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans,Northern sotho,Other languages,Zulu,Xhosa
Pre-requisite: THL1501 & THL1502 or THL801U & THL802V
Purpose: To introduce students to the aesthetics and practice of creative writing in the various literary genres
Advanced Creative Writing: a Practical Course (Theory of Literature 204) - KSK2601
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 6 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans,Northern sotho,Other languages,Zulu,Xhosa
Pre-requisite: KSK1601 or THL1016
Purpose: To further develop and advance the knowledge and practical skills required for creative writing in various genres.
Theory of the Sign in Literature and Culture - THL2601
Under Graduate Degree,Diploma Semester module NQF level: 6 Credits: 12
Module presented in English
Pre-requisite: THL1501 or THL801U
Purpose: To introduce students to the theories on structuralism and semiotics, those beyond semiotics and those on reading and interpretation.
Structuralist and Semiotic Theories of Genre - THL2602
Diploma,Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 6 Credits: 12
Module presented in English
Pre-requisite: THL1502 or THL802V
Purpose: To take the genre studies at introductory level to an intermediary level. Structuralist and semiotic theories are applied to the reading, analysis, interpretation and appraisal of poetry, narrative and drama with reference to selected texts from South African and world literatures.
Theories in Context: Ideology and Discourse - THL2603
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 6 Credits: 12
Module presented in English Module presented online
Purpose: The purpose of the module is to ensure that qualifying graduates understand Marxist and discourse theories and can apply them in the context of literary and cultural studies.
Creative Writing Workshop and Portfolio - KSK3701
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 7 Credits: 12
Module presented in Other languages,Zulu,Xhosa,English,Afrikaans,Northern sotho
Pre-requisite: KSK2601 or THL204D
Purpose: To provide practical assistance for students to enable them to produce a portfolio of creative writing in the language of their major.
Advanced Narrative Theory (Theory of Literature 821) - THL3701
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 7 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans
Pre-requisite: THL2602
Purpose: This module will be useful to students who want to develop a solid knowledge base and advanced competencies in the study and practical application of narrative theory.
Advanced Theory of Drama (Theory of Literature) - THL3702
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 7 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans
Pre-requisite: THL2602
Purpose: This module will be useful to students who want to develop their theoretical knowledge of a range of modern drama and theatre theory (poststructuralism, postcolonilism and gender studies).
Advanced Theory of Poetry (Theory of Literature) - THL3703
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 7 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans
Pre-requisite: THL2602
Purpose: This module will be useful to students who want to develop their theoretical knowledge of a range of poetic theories (poststructuralism, postcolonialism and gender studies).
Theory and Practice of South African Literary Studies - THL3704
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 7 Credits: 12
Module presented in English,Afrikaans
Pre-requisite: THL2602
Purpose: To introduce students to the theories, methods and practical skills for comparative and interdisciplinary learning in South African Literary Studies.
Literary Theory in Context - THL3705
Under Graduate Degree Semester module NQF level: 7 Credits: 12
Module presented in English Module presented online
Pre-requisite: THL2601
Purpose: To introduce students to literary and cultural theories from contexts beyond literature such as ideology and materialism, Bakhtin and dialogism, psychoanalysis speech act theory and the discourse theory of M. Foucault.
Critical Theory - THL4801
Honours NQF level: 8 Credits: 24
Module presented in English Module presented online
Purpose: Those theories which are widely used in literary and cultural studies are either introduced or further explored (having been introduced in undergraduate modules in Theory of Literature and elsewhere). We opted for a number of selected literary and cultural theories and do not try to cover each and all of them, although you will be guided towards the bigger picture. Selected theories range from psychoanalysis and deconstruction to Foucault, post-colonialist and gender theory, and debates and new theories of the last decade or so such as the work of Judith Butler, Deleuze (the rhizome, Anti-Oedipus, etc.), and others. Students themselves select, from the options offered, the theories/theorists they wish to work on.