- Understand the term popular, literary and high literatures. Trace the history of these terms.
- Study critical theories about popular literature and place them alongside with larger understandings of literature studies
- Understand Genre theory as a distinct way to study Popular Literature and identify various genres of Popular Literature
- Interpret and appreciate various genres such as Fantasy, Science Fiction, Crime Fiction, and Romantic Fiction.
- Understand both the role of Popular Literature as reflection and sometimes, intervention into contemporary reality.
- Critically read and analyze specific texts to understand the issues at hand.
- Discuss the subversive trends in popular literature alongside with understandings its dependence on dominant cultures
- Both lecture based and interactive class discussions on every concept.
- Readings are a must-both theoretical and fiction based
- Use of articles, news clippings, videos, etc to further explain concepts i.e. a practical understanding regarding the concept.
- Students are made to identify the various forms of writing and analyze the writings in class.
- Evaluations are conducted throughout the semester to ensure that the students’ outcomes are appraised.
Introduction to the concept, its genealogy and history
o What is popular literature?
o The debate between popular and high cultures
o Some key early theories on the distinction
o Cultural studies and the recovery of ‘popular”
o What is genre theory?
o Genre fiction vs Literary fiction
o Meaning of term and history
o Types: Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror etc
o Fantasy: meaning, history, types, debates, texts (Lewis Caroll, JRR Tolkien, L Frank Baum, Ursula Le Guin)
o Science Fiction: technology and science in literature, origins, texts (Robert Heinlien, Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick)
o Horror: growth of horror from gothic to contemporary (Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stroker, MR James, Stephen King)
o Writers like Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter etc as subverting trends
o Origins and types-detective, spy, legal etc
o Socio political
o British Crime Fiction Arthur Conan Doyle– The Hound of the Baskervilles, Agatha Christie etc
o American Crime Raymond Chandler – The Long Goodbye, Ian Fleming, James M Cain, Sarah Peretsky
o Contemporary Crime: Swedish writers
o Noir Fictions
o Gothic and Romantic Fiction
o Sub Genres- including chick lit, historical romance, erotic romance, contemporary etc
o Books (and excerpts)- Mills and Boons series, Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts, Barbara Cartland, Helen Fielding, Stephanie Meyer etc
o Feminist Re-Readings of the Romantic Genre
Fan Fiction as Literature
o Blogging as Fan Fiction