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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nicla Riverso Levander
C LIT 210
Seattle Campus

Literature and Science

Introduces the rich and complex relationship between science and literature from the seventeenth century to the present day. Students examine selected literary, scientific, and philosophical texts, considering ways in which literature and science can be viewed as forms of imaginative activity.

Class description

Science is an interpretation of perceived facts that consists in blending them into larger constructs in which mathematical regularity dominates. Such constructs are produced by imagination and controlled by experiments. Imagination is educated and stimulated by literature and philosophy. Consequently each scientific revolution needs an effort of imagination that should break the customary one and build up a new system of images, in which perceived facts should be located. Which role does imagination play in scientific works? What is the connection between literature and science? Do literature and science work in similar ways? What kind of knowledge do they produce? How do literary works shape the practice of science? What is the impact of science as a cultural reading? This course attempts to answer these questions by considering the developments in scientific studies in conjunction with literary theory and the works of contemporary fiction.

Selections drawn from Darwin, Vico, Mendel, Watson, Descartes, Newton, Verne, Shelley, Calvino.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Yuko Mera
Date: 11/16/2012