Theory of Discourse: Linguistic and Literary Applications is a compulsory subject of the Master in English Literary and Cultural Studies, whose main objective is for the students to obtain the knowledge and competencies necessary to carry out a linguistic analysis of English literary discourse at an advanced level, so as to have access to its profound meaning and structure.
The analysis of literary texts is made from different approaches and perspectives, some of which have had great repercussion not only in the area of Linguistics and Literature but also in fields such as Philosophy, Sociology or Anthropology. This is proof of the fact that the study of discourse is essentially interdisciplinary: in the same way there is a connection between language, mind, psyche and society, there is a link between linguistic/literary discourse analysis, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics (among other disciplines). This interdisciplinary view is deemed necessary in order to approach the analysis with an open mind and thus make it become an enriching intellectual experience for the student.
Another of the features of literary texts (as well as of texts in general) which this subject looks into is their intertextuality, i.e. the relationship that all texts have with some prior or simultaneous discourse, or with other genres or textual types. This is why it is important for the students to bear in mind that literary texts constitute a type of discourse (which in turn contains several sub-genres or subtypes), and that, therefore, they are susceptible to be analyzed as such. This type of analysis may bring about interesting revelations regarding, for instance, dialectal, historical, or cultural aspects that constitute an essential part of the literary work, without which its comprehension would be very poor or incomplete. It is practically impossible to find any textual type that could be labelled as “pure”, and literary discourse is no exception to this. Thus, within a literary work we may detect other discourse types such as media/journalistic discourse or political discourse and, vice versa, within these or other genres it is not uncommon to identify the influence of literary works.
The subject is composed of two main parts: 1) A theoretical part, through which the students will familiarize themselves with the key concepts and methods of some analytical approaches, and 2) an empirical part, through which the student will be prepared to analyze literary texts from a linguistic point of view, taking the theoretical knowledge as their point of departure.
Even though the Master's Program has a clear orientation towards research, the instruction given will provide the students with the necessary tools for the development of professional profiles related to this kind of research, such as the teaching of English Literature, literary translation, linguistic assessment, editorial management, etc.
Since the main aim of the subject is to train the students on the comprehension and analysis of literary and cultural texts, it can be said that this subject is related with all the other subjects of the Máster en Estudios Literarios y Culturales Ingleses. Among these, the most closely related subjects to Theory of Discourse are the following: Metodología de la Investigación Literaria y Cultural, El Texto Literario: Métodos de Análisis y su Praxis, Edición Crítica de Textos Literarios, Escritura Académica: Estructura y Técnicas de Composición Ensayística, Literatura e Historia, Literatura y Violencia de Género, Narrativa Breve Norteamericana del siglo XIX, Poesía y Género, Sociedad y Cultura del mundo Anglófono en sus textos, and Traducción Literaria.