- Course Number: ENGL 197
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- Advisory Enrollment Information:
This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
- Quarter: Fall 2021
The course will explore the literary imagination of “scents” and “sense,” homonyms that belie a close connection between judgment and the navigation of a world of odors. Taking one of the side effects of covid-19 (loss of smell, or anosmia) as a reason for turning to literary depictions of smell, this course will survey a variety of fiction and media that engage both human and nonhuman modes of perception. Olfaction is one of the undervalued senses (next to sight and hearing) that provides a direct and immediate connection to memory, belonging, kinship, sense of desire or disgust, hunger, and truth. Often dramatized in detective fiction, the nose is often portrayed as that which is beyond deception, where “the nose knows.” We will explore a variety of literary and theoretical writings from Octavia Butler, Patrick Suskind, Marcel Proust, Michel Serres, Hsuan Hsu, Italo Calvino, and others. This course can be taken for credit in the L&E or LCI specializations.