As the title suggests, this course will provide an introduction to the discipline, practice, and methods of literary study. Such a course can never be truly comprehensive, particularly on the quarter system, but you will come away with more than a basic understanding of literary analysis as a professional and research-based activity. What this means in part is that we will consider what it means to “read well” or to “read like a professor.” More specifically, we will study issues of authorship and textuality; different reading practices (symptomatic, surface, deep, distracted, machine-assisted); and some qualities or aspects of the literary (e.g. empathy, allegory, character, tone, genre, interiority, the speculative imagination). As befits our historical moment, we will also spend some time with the inevitable questions: Why? What is the place of literature in our contemporary media and informatic environments? What is the value of a humanities education? Shouldn’t everyone simply do vocational training or major in business or STEM fields? We will conclude the term with an overview of the ways in which computational tools and techniques have transformed both creative production and textual analysis, from Cave writing to the iPad.
Note: even if this course did not fulfill the university writing requirement (A), we would necessarily be discussing rhetoric and argumentation. You can then expect the course to focus on reading and writing.
Course website: <http://introliterarystudy.wordpress.com>
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place
Herman Melville, Bartleby, a Scrivener
Tom McCarthy, Remainder
Charles Dickens, Hard Times
The registrar has temporarily closed the course so freshmen and transfer students can enroll throughout the summer. It will be re-opened to 200 after the last orientation session and continuing students can enroll during Pass 3 in September. Please continue to check Gold for current availability.
Once this course is full/closed, you can sign up to the wait list at <http://waitlist.UCSB.edu>.
Students on the wait list must still attend the first day of lecture and section to enroll in the course.