Literary Criticism (From Plato to Leavis)

By Prof. Merin Simi Raj   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 1231
The course is designed as an advanced level course in Literary Criticism focusing on the texts that laid the foundations of Western literary critical thought. The course intends to situate the relevance of the texts historically, within the literary traditions in which it was originally written and thereby contextually examine its relevance and significance in shaping contemporary literary criticism. Throughout the course, the learners will be encouraged to closely read the texts prescribed and understand specific concepts, frameworks and literary traditions. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Students of English Literature
SUPPORT INDUSTRY : Only academics
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • English Studies
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 24 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Classical Criticism,Aristotle’s Poetics
Week 2 : Longinus’ On the Sublime,Criticism in the Middle Ages
Week 3 : Sir Philip Sidney’s Apology for Poetry
Week 4 : John Dryden’s Preface to The Fables Samuel Johnson’s Preface to Shakespeare
Week 5 : William Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads,Samuel Taylor Coleridge Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria 
   (Chapter 13-14),Keats’ Letters,Shelley’s Defence of Poetry
Week 6 : Matthew Arnold’s Preface to the Poems,Henry James’ Art of Fiction,Edgar Allan Poe’s The Poetic Principle
Week 7 : Eliot’s Tradition and Individual Talent,Eliot’s Metaphysical Poets
Week 8 : Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own,Practical Criticism and IA Richards
Week 9 : Leavis’ The Great Tradition,Wellek’s The New Criticism: Pro and Contra
Week 10 : Shklovsky’s Art as Technique,Walter Benjamin’s Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Week 11 : Barthes’s Death of the Author,Foucault’s What is an Author
Week 12 : Showalter’s Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness,Kolodny’s Dancing through the Minefield

Books and references


Instructor bio

Prof. Merin Simi Raj

IIT Madras
Dr.Merin Simi Raj is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras. She specializes in Postcolonial Writing, Modernity Studies and Historiography Studies. Her teaches History of English Language and Literature, Indian fiction in English, Literary Criticism, World Literature and Feminist Writings.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 24 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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