Course title:



Tutor: Assoc. Prof. Yana Rowland, PhD

Mode of delivery:


Course place and status within the program


Designed for English-Philology Students

Competence expectations

  • High competence in general and specialized (academic, literary) language

  • specialized grounding in literary criticism (terminology, critical schools, general periodization)

  • specific knowledge of the history of English literature (all periods)

  • professional humanitarian orientation

Aims and objectives of the course

  • Promotion of a student's awareness of this definite field of literary studies

  • Broader grounding in some aspects of 20th-century European ontophilosophy

  • Application of select works onto concrete empirics, chiefly related to the development of English literature

  • Coaching a student's general analytic skill in this area of interdisciplinary research with regard to prospects of further, more focused thematic studies

Weekly organization of topics & reading assignments


Scope of research:

  • Literary anthropology as a field of research and as a modern science (emergence, development and key representatives) oriented towards the study of the human being and human life in/outside of the literary work

  • Literary anthropology and hermeneutics

  • Literary anthropology and existential ethics

  • Literary anthropology and history, culture and the fine arts

  • Literary anthropology and the English literary tradition

Programme of Studies


(Meeting The Human in Literature – Based on English Literature in the Period 1750 – 1920)

  1. What is literary anthropology? Terminological specifications and relevant contributors to this field of interdisciplinary research.

  2. Paradigmatic approaches

  1. Referential experience and mimeticity (Heidegger – Gadamer – Ricoeur; "being-in-the world" as the ultimate literary referent; the world of the text)

  2. The oppositional/dialogic activity of the literary work (Gadamer – being and changing one's life; Bakhtin – the hero as the value core of the literary work and a medium of aesthetic communication)

  3. Self-Comprehension within the experience of the Other (Gadamer – aesthetic knowledge as a mode of self-comprehension; Jauss – the aesthetic experience as self-comprehension within the Other's experience through which we gain experience about the sense of the life, being and the world in general; Iser – the possibility of being Other as being (as) if; literary anthropology = literature as knowledge about man – summary)

  4. The Gift of Death in literature – philosophical anthropology on the human (conceptualizations), the consciousness of the end (Heidegger, Levinas, Freud, Bakhtin (the death of the hero, the Other's death, Derrida's Donner la Mort – identifying the human; Ricoeur – the human through conscience and memory)

  1. Contextualization: application of the above onto material extracted from English literature of the period 1750–1920. The contents of this part of the course may vary (each academic year and according to the needs of a precise range of audiences as well as the course convener's personal research interests).

Key authors: Th. Gray, W. Blake, W. Wordsworth, J. Keats, S. T. Coleridge, Ch. Dickens, Ch. Brontë, E. Brontë, G. Eliot, A. Tennyson, E. B. Browning, M. Arnold, T. Hardy, W. Owen, T. S. Eliot.


Key terms: (literary) anthropology, ethics, ontology, hermeneutics, history, selfhood, alterity, answerability, guilt, pardon, aporia, threshold, memory, being-unto-death, mortality, Dasein etc, time, space, finality, mortality, memory, cognition, sense etc.

Key theory found in the work of scholars such as: Wolfgang Iser, Martin Heidegger, Clifford Geertz, Nigel Rapport, Marilyn Strathern, Eric Gans, Fernando Poyatos, Mihail Bakhtin, Hans Robert Jauss, Hans Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Reinhart Koselleck;


The contextual analysis relies on perusal of certain works of the English literary tradition, including authors such as: John Donne, Thomas Gray, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Alfred Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen etc.

NB! The Course contents may change, in accordance with each year's specific foci, the lecturer's personal interests as well as the particular needs of a concrete audience. For an update please contact Assoc. Prof, Yana Rowland (PhD) on:

Course requirements

  • Regular attendance and active participation in discussions during the lectures and seminars;

Mode of assessment



1/ a written mid-term essay on a theoretical subject, identical for the whole group of students, and requiring a synopsis of critical material selected by the lecturer – 40 %.

2/ a final-exam essay, requiring direct analysis of a relevant excerpt from a literary work and demonstration of a good theoretical awareness of the contents of this course – 40 %

3/ participation in discussions (inc. delivery of individual assignments) – 20 %

Select Theoretical Bibliography

Ariès, Philippe, L'Homme Devant La Mort, (translation in Bulgarian) Човекът пред Смъртта. 2 тома. София. ЛИК, 2004.

Bakhtin, Mikhail:

a/ Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity; b/ Toward A Philosophy of the Act. Both in: (in Russian) Бахтин, M., Собрание сочинений. Том 1: Философская эстетика 1920х годов. Москва: "Русские словари". РАН, 2003.

Benjamin, Walter. Der Erzähler, originally publ. in German in 1936 in the Orient and Occident Journal, trans. into Bulgarian by Antoaneta Koleva as: Бенямин, Валтер. Разказвачът. Сп. "Страница", 2: 1999.

Byron, Glennis, Dramatic Monologue. Routledge, 2003.

Clark, Katherine, and Holquist, Michael, eds. Bakhtin: Pro Et Contra. An Anthology, volume II. In Russian. Холквист, Майкл, и Кларк, Катерина. Pro Еt Contra. Творчество и наследие М. М. Бахтина в контексте мировой культуры. Антология. Том 2. Санкт-Петербург: Издательство Русского Християнского Гуманитарного Института, Санкт-Петербург. 2002.

Colville, Derek, Victorian Poetry and the Romantic Religion. Albany: State University of New York Press. 1970.

Derrida, Jacques: Дерида, Жак. Апории. София: ИК "Критика и хуманизъм", 1998.

Derrida, Jacques: Дерида, Жак. Вяра и Знание. София: ЛИК, 2001.

Derrida, Jacques, Aporias: Dying--awaiting (one Another At) the "limits of Truth" (mourir--s'attendre Aux "limites de la Vérité"). Stanford University Press, 1993.

Derrida, Jacques, The Gift of Death, The University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Derrida, Jacques (1997) Politics of Friendship, trans. Georg Collins, London: Verso.

Eagleton, Terry, Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic. Blackwell Publishing, 2003.

Eagleton, Terry, After Theory. Penguin Books, 2004.

Eco, Umberto, Interpretation and Super-Interpretation. In Bulgarian: Еко, Умберто, Интерпретация и свръхинтерпретация. София: Наука и изкуство, 1997.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Wahrheit Und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutic, trans. into Russian as: Гадамер, Х.-Г. Истина и Метод. Основы философской герменевтики, ред. Б. Н. Бессонов. Москва: Прогресс, 1988.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg, Truth and Method, trans. Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. New York: Comntinuum, 1994.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg (1994a) ‘Truth in the Human Sciences', trans. Bruce Wachterhauser, in Wachterhauser, Bruce R. (ed.) Hermeneutics and Truth, Evanston Illinois: Northwestern University Press, pp. 25–32.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg (1994b) ‘What Is Truth?' trans. Bruce Wachterhauser, in Wachterhauser, Bruce R. (ed.) Hermeneutics and Truth, Evanston Illinois: Northwestern University Press, pp. 33–46.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg (2002) ‘Teoriya na istoriyata i ezik. Otgovor na Hans-Georg Gadamer', in Todorov, Hristo (ed. and trans.) Plastovete na vremeto. Izsledvaniya po teoria na istoriyata, Sofia: Dom na naukite za choveka i obshtestvoto, pp. 151–61. [in Bulgarian].

Geertz, Clifford. Works and lives: The anthropologist as author. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 1988.

Heidegger, Martin, Being and Time, trans. Joan Stambaugh, State University of New York Press, 1996

Heidegger, Martin. Sein und Zeit, trans. into Russian: Хайдегер, Мартин. Бытие и Время. Москва: Ad Marginem, 1997.

Holquist, Michael. Dialogism. Bakhtin and His World. London & New York: Routledge, 1991.

Iser, Wolfgang, The Fictive and the Imaginary: Charting Literary Anthropology. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993

Iser, Wolfgang, Prospecting: From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press, 1989.

Iser, Wolfgang. The Implied Reader. Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.

Iser, Wolfgang: Изер, Волфганг. Обхватът на интерпретацията. Издател: ИК "41Т/С Гр ", 2004

Jauss, Hans Robert: Яус, Ханс Роберт. Исторически опит и литературна херменевтика. УИ „Св. Климент Охридски", 1998.

Кьосев, Александър, Караниците около четенето, София: Сиела, 2013.

Koselleck, Reinhart: Тодоров, Христо, /ред./ Около Райнхарт Козелек. Историческо време и темпоралност. София: Дом на науките за човека и обществото, 2003.

Koselleck, Reinhart: Козелек, Райнхарт. Пластовете на времето. Изследвания по теория на историята. София: Дом на науките за човека и обществото, 2002.

Koselleck, Reinhart: Козелек, Райнхарт. Студии по история на понятията. София: Дом на науките за човека и обществото, 2007.

Kristeva, Julia. Black Sun. Depression and Melancholy. Originally translated from French into Bulgarian as: Юлия Кръстева. Черно слънце. Депресия и меланхолия. Издателство "Гал-Ико", 1999.

Kierkegaard, Søren. Fear and Trembling. The Book on Adler, trans. into English by Walter Lowrie, ed. by George Steiner. London: Everyman's Library, 1994.

Levinas, Emmanuel (1989) ‘Time and the Other', trans. Richard A. Cohen, in Hand, Seán (ed.) The Levinas Reader, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 37–58.

Levinas, Emmanuel (1999a) Alterity and Transcendence, trans. Michael B. Smith, London: The Athlone Press.

Levinas, Emmanuel, Altérité et Transcendance. Editions Fata Morgana. 1995. Trans. into Bulgarian as: Левинас, Еманюел. Другост и Трансцендентност. София: СОНМ, 1999.

Totalité Et Infini. trans. into Russian as: Левинас, Еманюэль. Тотальность и бесконечное. Москва, Санкт-Петербург: Университетская книга, 2000.

Marcel, Gabriel, Being and Having: An Existentialist Diary, trans. Katharine Farrer, Gloucester Massachusetts: Peter Smith, 1976.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith, London and New York: Routledge, 2005.

Moran, Dermot and Timothy Mooney (eds.) The Phenomenology Reader. London: New York: Routledge, 2002.

Панов, Александър, Литературният образ отвъд пространството на книгата. София: ИК „Диоген"-ИК „Александър Панов", 2013.

Poyatos, Fernando (ed.), Literary Anthropology. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1988


Ricoeur, Paul:

La Memoire, L'Histoire, L'Oubli, trans. into Russian as: Рикер, Поль. Память, История, Забвение. Москва: Издательство гуманитарной литературы, 2004.

Soi-Même Comme Un Autre, trans. into Bulgarian as : Рикьор Пол. Себе си като някой Друг. Плевен: "ЕА" АД. 2004.

Ricoeur, Paul (1965) History and Truth, trans. Charles E. Kelbley, Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Ricoeur, Paul (1966) Freedom and Nature: The Voluntary and the Involuntary, trans. and intr. Erazim V. Kohak, Evanston Illinois: Northwestern University Press.

Ricoeur, Paul, Memory, History, Forgetting, trans. Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer. The University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Ricoeur, Paul (1994) Oneself as Another, trans. Kathleen Blamey, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Ricoeur, Paul: (ред.) Райнова, Иванка, Пол Рикьор. От текста към действието. Херменевтични опити, Том 2, София: Наука и изкуство, 2000.

Raynova, Ivanka. Райнова, Иванка. От Хусерл до Рикьор, София: УИ "Св. Климент Охридски", 1993.

Rowland, Yana, Movable Thresholds: On Victorian Poetry and Beyond in Nineteen Glimpses. Plovdiv: Plovdiv University Press, 2014.

Rowland, Yana, The Treatment of the Themes of Mortality in the Poetry of the Brontë Sisters, Plovdiv: Plovdiv University Press, 2006.

Schad, John, Victorians in Theory. From Derrida to Browning, Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press, 1999.

Slinn, E. Warwick, Victorian Poetry as Cultural Critique. The Politics of Performative Language. Charlottesville & London: University of Virginia Press, 2003.

Spargo, Robert Clifton, Toward an Ethics of Mourning. Grief and Responsibility in Elegiac Literature, Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

Tucker, Herbert, (ed.) A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture. Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Vernant, Jean-Pierre. In Bulgarian: Жан-Пиер Вернан. Индивидът, Смъртта, Любовта: Аз и Другият в Древна Гърция. София. НБУ, 2004

Victorian Poetry, Stratford-upon-Avon Series, Studies 15. Edward Arnold Publishers, 1972.

Wagner, Roy. 1975. The Invention of Culture. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Wheeler, Michael, Heaven, Hell and the Victorians, Cambridge: CUP, 1994.

Znepolski, Boyan. Знеполски, Боян. Херменевтични парадигми. Дилтай, Гадамер, Хабермас, Рикьор. София: Агата-А, 2004