Introduces important aspects of both classical and modern literary theory as an aid to reading and understanding literary texts. Covers theoretical works by figures ranging from Plato and Aristotle to modern French critics such as Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida in conjunction with selected literary works. Offers students more sophisticated means of understanding issues like gender, ethnicity, the roles of both author and reader in constructing meaning, the nature and functions of signs, and the relationship between literature and the larger society. Conducted in English, though French majors are required to read the texts in the original language. Required for students taking honors in French or Italian.