Seminar study of special topics in language and literary study. Limited to seniors majoring in English.
Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Joy and Other Emotions I Have Known While Reading and Living. This course focuses on readings about emotions and will move in two related directions: (1) we'll explore emotional responses to verbal and visual texts, and (2) we'll read contemporary fiction and non-fictional/theoretical texts about emotions themselves. We'll take up some provocative questions: What does it mean to "identify" with a character, really? How much of our own lives do we read into a character's life? What does "being moved" by something we read or view involve? Are emotions universal or do they vary from culture to culture? How do emotions become a commodity in work and personal environments? What kinds of situations require emotions on demand? How do we account for the bodily responses that sometimes accompany intense emotional responses? Students will choose between writing two shorter or one longer paper, and will give a class presentation. Participation in discussion is required. So are lively opinions, and an interest in this topic.
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