History of Ideas / History of Literary Forms
I. History of Ideas: an international scholarly movement of the Twentieth Century that sought to provide coherent accounts of cultural change and norms over time by tracing specific foundational ideas as they emerge and are changed over time (major figures: Arthur O. Lovejoy, Isaiah Berlin, Rene Wellek, E.H. Gombrich, Paul O. Kristeller, Meyer Shapiro, etc.). To use this approach in literary analysis, you need one of two logical constructs to be working in your argument.
How many of these "later/earlier" pairs can you connect?
II. History of Literary Forms
Pick a genre we have studied and look at early and later authors' use of the form. How has the form's content and form been altered by the passage of time? What historical and aesthetic explanations can you find for the changes?