2017-2018 Catalog

CSLC 232 Bakhtin: The Prosaic Imagination

This course focuses on Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of language and the novel. Bakhtin's writings are a synthesis of diverse theoretical approaches, including Neo­Kantian philosophy, structuralist linguistics, the theory of novelistic discourse as a polyphonic medium, and the notion of carnival as a subversive cultural force. Furthermore, Bakhtin's approach to the text reveals prose fiction, and, to some degree, non­fiction, as a unique medium through which language explores human consciousness in both time and space. In this course, Bakhtin's theories are studied in order to understand more deeply the significance of the novel, and novels are studied in order to better understand Bakhtin's theories. Works as diverse as Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Venedikt Yerofeev's Moscow to the End of the Line, Umberto Eco's Foucault’s Pendulum, and Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman, are examined through the Bakhtinian lens in order to broaden the students' understanding of the text as a polyphonic phenomenon. Taught in English; no Russian required.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus