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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Richard T Gray
C LIT 396
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Comparative Literature

Offered by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.

Class description

This course examines the central psychological theories developed by Sigmund Freud and their application to prominent literary texts from the early decades of the twentieth century. The class is structured around a set of themes that will be developed on the basis of paired readings: in each case we will examine a text or excerpt from Freudís psychological works in conjunction with the reading of a literary text that exemplifies the issue or issues highlighted in Freudís theory.

Student learning goals

A deeper understanding of Freudian theory and its relevance to contemporary cultural and political issues.

An awareness of the profound influence Freud had on literature and culture in general in the 20th century and beyond.

Absorbing strategies for reading literary and cinematic texts through a Freudian lens that inverts the common relationship between what seems significant or insignificant.

Acquiring tools for an analytical examination of literary and other texts that go beyond simple questions of plot and action.

Improvement of skills in analytical and descriptive writing about cultural topics.

General method of instruction

Lecture format with daily short question and answer sessions. One additional smaller discussion group meeting each week for detailed discussion and problem-solving.

Recommended preparation

No knowledge of Freudian theory or general psychology is presumed. Background in literature is helpful, but not required or necessary.

Class assignments and grading

1) Regular attendance in lectures and discussion group meetings. 2) Weekly short written assignments dealing with problems or questions raised in the lectures. 3) One 2000 word (7-8 pp.) mid-term paper, demonstrating a Freudian analysis of an assigned text. 4) One 2000 word (7-8 pp.) final paper analyzing a literary or cinematic work of the student's choice from a Freudian perspective.

Class participation: 15% Weekly written assignments: 15% MId-term paper: 35% Final paper: 35%


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 Anne Ec Hilton
Date: 04/29/2009