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Bourdieu 1930-2002-2022: Habitus, Literary Field, Reflexivity, Critical Theory

Class at Faculty of Arts |

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Syllabus

I. Introduction

II. Bourdieu’s theory of the social world (an overview)

III. Theory of practice, habitus, field, capital, and reflexivity (core aspects of Bourdieu’s approach)

IV. The theory of literary field (analysis and assessment)

V. Symposium

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Annotation

The coming year 2022 is an opportunity to commemorate Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002), one of the key intellectual figures of the post-war era. His work is not a „monument“ but a vast living corpus of influential texts and concepts, still inspiring the social sciences and humanities.

In literary criticism, his theory of the literary field has become a pivotal approach for those who study relations of literary texts to the social world. The contributions of Bourdieu’s many followers, in the Francophone as well as other contexts, in the last thirty years range from using his concepts for other texts and periods to their modifications (world republic of letters, author’s posture…) to the critique of his overall theoretical framework (literary game…).

The objective of this course is to thoroughly discuss the theory of the literary field as a special case of Bourdieu’s theory of the human practice and the social world. After an introductory overview we will focus on the core concepts and aspects of his approach – habitus, field, capital, power and domination, reflexivity – already with an eye on his critical approach to cultural production and consumption.

This will allow us to more deeply understand the aims and scope of his theory of the literary field which will be the object of our interest in the second half of the course. The course will also include reading of literary texts through the lens of Bourdieu’s approach to social world in general and literary field in particular.

The final „symposium“ will allow us to assess what the theory of literary field has brought to literary criticism and what it has left aside, even obscured. During the course, we will thus pass from the inner perspective of the theory, allowing us to understand its core components, to a more distanced and critical view.