Methods of Literary Analysis

This course is part of the programme
Master's Degree Programme Humanities Studies

Objectives and competences

Students are presented with a chronological overview of the various methods of literary analysis. They get to know the founders and main representatives of the different methodologies and they acquire the appropriate literary-analysis vocabulary and use these in their own research.
This directs them to different possibilities in critical reading and literary interpretation, and gives them the possibility of using these methodological schemes in their own reading and interpretation. In doing so, the students learn to use the relevant domestic and foreign literature on theory and to apply it to specific literary texts in writing and discussions of literature.


No prerequisites. The course is related to Contemporary Literary Theory.
Requirements for the exam: presence and active participation in lectures and the completion of a seminar paper with a presentation.


Definition, development and systematization of the methodology of literary study.
- Linguistic foundations of formalism and structuralism (Ferdinand de Saussure).
- Russian formalism, structuralism and poststructuralism (founders, main representatives, mutual influences).
- Bakhtin's theory of dialogism and intertextuality.
- Phenomenology and Literary Studies (Husserl, Ingarden, Heidegger, immanent interpretation).
- Discourse analysis (Barthes, Foucault).
- Marxist theory (Lukacs, Althusser, Macherey, Eagelton).
- Psychoanalysis and literary theory (Freud, Lacan).
- Deconstruction (Derrida, Paul de Man).
- New Criticism (T. S. Eliot, I. A. Richards, New Criticism).
- Reception aesthetics (Gadamer, Jauß, Iser).
- Newer methods of literary study (theories of gender, new historicism, empirical literary theory and systems theory (Luhmann, Schmidt, Barsch, Rusch), postcolonial theories, ecocriticism, digital literary studies, cognitive literary study).

The course provides an overview of the methodology of literary studies and an in-depth study of selected concepts and theories from the 19th century to current methods, which are presented in paradigmatic examples. In addition to lectures, the course also consists of independent reading of literary, cultural and philosophical texts, which are part of exercises and joint discussions aimed at in-depth contextualization, evaluation and the application of methods to selected texts. The seminar builds on independent work and a critical approach to theoretical models.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
(Students ...)
- acquire the basic methods of literary study in chronological order – from the initial to the most contemporary literary approach;
- acquire a thorough overview of the main authors, schools and theoretical works of literary analysis and interpretation;
- understand the importance of different linguistic, cultural, philosophical and social science approaches to complex literature analysis.

(Students ...)
- develop skills of literary analysis and interpretation using different methodological approaches;
- develop a critical assessment of domestic and international theory;
- develop the ability to apply chosen methods to new material;
- develop their own position on literary analysis within various methodologies, which they will substantiate by applying it to selected literary texts.


Chapters of the discussed literary methods from one of the reviews:

  • A. Burzyńska, M. P. Markowski: Teorie literatury XX wieku, Antologia, Krakov: Znak, 2006.
  • M. Juvan: Literarna veda v rekonstrukciji: Uvod v sodobni študij literature. Ljubljana: Literatura, 2006. Catalogue
  • T. Virk: Moderne metode literarne vede in njihove filozofsko teoretske osnove. Ljubljana: ZIFF, 2003. Catalogue
  • P. Waugh: Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. E-version

Fundamental texts of the authors from the following selections:

  • R. Barthes: Šelestenje jezika. Ljubljana: Krtina, 2021. Catalogue
  • R. Barthes: Mitologije. Ljubljana: Krtina, 2015.
  • R. Barthes: Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana, 1977. E-version
  • M. Bahtin, 1982: Teorija romana. Ljubljana: CZ Catalogue
  • J. Derrida: Izbrani spisi. Ljubljana: ŠOU, 1994.
  • J. Derrida, D. Attridge: Acts of Literature. NY, London: Routledge, 1992. E-version
  • T. Eagleton, Marksizem in literarna kritika, Ljubljana: Sophia, 2010. Catalogue
  • S. Freud: Spisi o umetnosti. Ljubljana: Založba/cf, 2000. Catalogue
  • M. Heidegger: Izbrane razprave. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1967.
  • Ideologija in estetski učinek, Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1980. Catalogue
  • R. Ingarden: Literarna umetnina. Ljubljana: ŠKUC; FF, 1990. Catalogue
  • R. Jakobson: Lingvistični in drugi spisi. Ljubljana: ŠKUC; FF, 1989. E-version
  • H. R. Jauß: Estetsko izkustvo in literarna hermenevtika. Ljubljana: LUD Literatura, 1988. Catalogue
  • J. Lacan: Écrits. NY, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007.
  • J. Lacan: Štirje temeljni koncepti psihoanalize. Ljubljana: Društvo za teoretsko psihoanalizo, 1996.
  • J. Lotman: Struktura umetniškega teksta. LUD Literatura, 2011. Catalogue
  • G. Lukács, Teorija romana, Ljubljana: Literarno-umetniško društvo Literatura, 2000.
  • P. de Man: Slepota in uvid. Ljubljana: LUD Literatura, 1997.
  • T. Moi: Politika spola/teksta. Ljubljana: LUD Literatura, 1999. Catalogue
  • V. Propp: Morfologija pravljice. Ljubljana: SH, 2005.
  • A. Skaza (ur.): Ruski formalisti. Ljubljana: MK, 1984.


Seminar paper 30 %
Seminar presentation 20 %
Oral exam 50 %

Lecturer's references

Assoc. Prof. Kristina Pranjić, PhD graduated in comparative literature, and Russian language and literature at the University of Ljubljana. She defended her doctoral thesis entitled Non-objective Sound and Image: Bely, Kruchenykh, Malevich at the same institution in 2018. She led the research project Yugoslav Avantgardes and Metropolitan Dada (1916–1927): A Multidirectional and Transnational Genealogy, financed by the Slovenian Research Agency (2019–2021). Currently she is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities and the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, where she leads the modules Theory and History of Art and Media, and Discourses in Practice. At the Faculty of Media in Ljubljana she lectures on Media Art and Graphic Design, and the semiotics of media and communications. In her theoretical and research work, she focuses mainly on the historical avant-garde of the 20th century and the re-actualization of the avant-garde today. She has conducted research in the field of art and literature of historical avant-garde and new media art and aesthetics at the University of Konstanz, the University of Belgrade and the University of Paris 8.

Selection of articles:
1. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Ljubomir Micić in Branko Ve Poljanski v reviji Maska : (1920/21). Borec : revija za zgodovino, literaturo in antropologijo. 2021, letn. 73, št. 793/795, str. 61-70.
2. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. The emergence and establishment of Yugoslav dada : from Prague to Zagreb : (1920-1922). Svět literatury. 2021, vol. 31, no. 64, str. 89-103.
3. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Značaj ljubljanskog časopisa Maska (1920/21) u kontekstu jugoslovenskih avangardi. Zbornik radova Akademije umetnosti. 2021, br. 9, str. 111-121, ilustr.
4. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Prispevek umetnosti in nedvojnosti k znanstvenemu raziskovanju prvoosebnega izkustva. Anthropos : časopis za psihologijo in filozofijo ter za sodelovanje humanističnih ved. 2020, letn. 52, št. 3/4, str. 131-143.
5. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Zenitistični koncept barbarogenija kot kritika zahodnoevropske kulture. Primerjalna književnost. 2020, letn. 43, št. 3, str. 139-157.
6. GERMEK, Magdalena, PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Constructing new signifiers with aesthetic intervention : using coal in design. Zonemoda journal. 2020, vol. 10, iss. 1s, str. 121-132, ilustr.
7. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Premagati silo gravitacije na presečišču umetnosti in tehnologije : primer ruskega konstruktivizma. Časopis za kritiko znanosti. 2019, letn. 47, št. 277, str. 102-116, ilustr.
8. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Brezpredmetnost in ekonomičnost v poeziji = Objectlessness and economy in poetry. Slavica Tergestina. 2019, 22, str. 50-68, ilustr.
9. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Formalne mistične prakse ruskega futurizma. Slavistična revija : časopis za jezikoslovje in literarne vede. 2019, letn. 67, št. 3, str. 479-486.
10. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Vek perehoda ot videnija k probelu. Kommentarii. 2018, no. 32, str. 147-153.
11. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Misliti v simbolih, ustvarjati avantgardno. Slavistična revija : časopis za jezikoslovje in literarne vede. 2018, letn. 66, št. 3, str. 299-314.
12. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Zvočna destabilizacija jezika : zaum in glosolalija. Zbornik Matice srpske za slavistiku. 2018, 93, str. 231-247.