Open Yale Courses: Theories of Literature

A selection of free online podcasts

Mike Johnduff at Working Notes has drawn attention to a series of free lectures offered at the Open Yale Courses website. The lectures, presented by Professor Paul H. Fry, comprise an Introduction to Theory of Literature, and include class sessions on some of the key concerns of contemporary critical theory. For instance, among the titles available for download are: Freud and Fiction, Jacques Lacan in Theory, The Postmodern Psyche and Derridean Deconstruction I and II.

The series promises a solid foundation to some of the central concepts in literary theory, from structuralism, historicism, formalism and psychoanalysis to recent theoretical developments in feminism, Queer theory, postcolonialism and postmodernity:
This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?

All audio downloads are free, and vary in length from forty to fifty minutes.