So would you recommend just reading straight through the Norton Anthology instead of picking a few authors to focus on? Although I've taken survey philosophy classes that have basically covered Plato to Foucault, my approach to teaching myself theory outside of class has just been to pick authors that interest me and then read representative books. The field just seems overwhelming sometime, every professor seems to have their pet theorists they bring up all the time. Is it expected to have a very broad knowledge of 20th C. criticism and a solid background on pre-20th C. stuff, or is it expected to have a few authors you know really well in the 20th C. and a shallow knowledge of pre 20th C.?
Would you recommend doing independent study junior year or just taking seminar classes, and then doing an independent study senior year? I've read the Eagleton book, it's really good. I just feel like the expectation is to have an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary criticism--to be able to regurgitate Butler versus Austin, etc.--is this a complete misperception?