Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Brewer, Kenneth
Discipline and Number
LIT 3300 Section 001
MW Time 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Western Literary Tradition

Description of Course:

This course focuses on the concept of "narrative complexity" in the Western literary tradition. We will discuss texts that fit several criteria for complexity: difficult to like protagonists (*Medea*; *The Odyssey*; *Mansfield Park*); interpretive ambiguity that seems impossible to resolve ("Eve of St. Agnes"); complicated plots (*Bleak House*); complex narrative technique (*To the Lighthouse*), and "mind-twists" (*Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde*), among others. While one of the themes of the course is the long genealogy of complex narrative in the Western literary tradition, we will also examine recent research from the neurosciences on the physiology of reading complex texts in an attempt to determine if complex storytelling persists because it is more pleasurable for readers.

Required Texts:

To be determined. Please check Coursebook for posting of syllabus.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Final exam, one major paper, short writings and quizzes.

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