Emily M. James
Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.
In Sickness and In Health
In this course, we'll examine a range of literary narratives about health, illness, the body, and scientific/medical interventions. Throughout the quarter, we will consider what Susan Sontag terms the "punitive and sentimental fantasies concocted" about illness, both in historical and contemporary contexts. We'll first examine selected critical accounts of illness, including "On Being Ill" by Virginia Woolf and Sontag's "Illness as Metaphor." Then, we'll turn to fictional accounts of health and illness, including works by George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Mann, Woolf, Michael Cunningham, and Ian McEwan.
In addition to a heavy reading load, this course requires regular class participation, writing in and out of class, and reading quizzes. English 242 satisfies the University's "W" requirement, which means that you'll write and revise 10-15 pages over the course of the quarter.
Finally, remember that 8:30am is not for everyone. Please consider the early hour and the participation requirements before enrolling.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading