Spring 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Theories and Methods

359:352 Literary and Scientific Writings

01  TTH5   CAC   18419  DIENST  SC-221

The days when literature and science seemed to be separate ways of thinking are long gone, even if the organization of the education system often promotes the split. In this course, we’re going to look at some key moments when literary and scientific concerns were closely entangled, which seems inevitable whenever someone wants to propose a radically new way of seeing the world. We’ll read Lucretius, the ancient poet who tried to describe “the way things are” in a poem; and Galileo, who rewrote the shape of the sky. We will spend some time reading astonishing thinkers who are not always included in the pantheon of great scientists: Nikola Tesla, Jakob von Uexküll, and Wilhelm Reich. Finally, we will devote some time to current theorists of science (such as Donna Haraway and Bruno Latour) who are responding the urgent scientific and cultural challenges of our day.

The requirements include regular reading assignments, weekly blog posts, and two longer pieces of writing.

This course fulfills the Theory requirement for the English major.