Fall 2023 Undergraduate English Courses

359:326 Literature and Psychology

01  TF2   CAC    08217  GLISERMAN   MU-115

Literature and Psychology explores the emotional relationships between text and reader, and within the text. One central thematic focus of the course, in addition to emotions, will be trauma–an experience of maximal emotions and disruption.

Whether we read to escape, to discover, or even to fulfill requirements, we have a purpose, a motive, and more than likely some expectations. Moreover, we have a number of years of existence during which time we have adopted a large variety of rules, most unconsciously, and we are likely to apply those rules to any new system we encounter. What happens, then, when we enter a fictional world that questions or disturbs our suppositions and beliefs, our rule structures? Within the texts we will ask similar questions of the characters. How is emotion expressed? How is it structured? What happens when disruptions occur?

We will be reading a variety of psychoanalytic and psychological texts to open up areas of discussion-–the unconscious, affect, relationships, the body, dreams, and trauma, etc. And, we will be reading novels and short stories-modern and contemporary--that will put the reader into different emotional spheres.

There will be informal weekly writings, two formal papers, and a final examination. Students may have two cuts. Grade will be based on the quality of the writing as well as on participation, and attendance. This course counts for the theory requirement in the English Department.