Aim and Scope of the Course
This is an interdisciplinary course on the human mind. The main aim is to encourage an understanding of the range and richness of the ways in which the human mind has been conceptualised across the boundaries of literature, cognitive neuroscience and literary theory/philosophy.
It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to
1) learn some of the more significant developments that have emerged from cognitive neuroscience on cognition, emotion, memory, the unconscious, mindreading, visual perception, violence, addiction and sex/gender
2) relate the scientific findings to larger propositions about the nature and value of human experience found in literary classics
3) develop skills of ‘practical criticism’.
The range of reading for the course is very wide. Students will expected to demonstrate detailed knowledge of a number of theoretical, scientific and philosophical texts as well as respond to the set literary works with historically, scientifically and aesthetically-informed relevance.
The core texts in Fall 2019 are: Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, George Orwell’s 1984, Samuel Beckett’s Not I, and Iris Murdoch's Under the Net . Students should read the texts closely before the class in which they are discussed.
Evaluation and Examination
Class Participation: 10%
Mid-term Literature Review: 35%
Final paper: 50%