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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timothy J Welsh
ENGL 242
Seattle Campus

Reading Prose Fiction

Critical interpretation and meaning in works of prose fiction, representing a variety of types and periods.

Class description

Marie-Laure Ryan argues that immersion and interactivity are inversely related modes of engaging a work of fiction. The more closely the possible world conjured by a story resembles the reader's actual world, the more easily the reader can immerse herself in that world. Ryan claims that interactivity disrupts the immersive experience by drawing attention to artifice of the text and to the act of reading. This class will take up Ryan╬▓ s claim as a starting hypothesis to explore the relation between immersion and interactivity in fiction. The course will be divided equally between immersion and interactivity, as we will examine texts exemplary of each mode to determine if, and possibly where, there is crossover. Readings will likely include selections from Flaubert, Cervantes, Capote, O'Brien, Calvino, Kafka, Gilman, Woolf, Hemingway, Barth, Danielewski, and Mateas and Stern.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

seminar-style class discussion, small group tasks.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

This class offers a W credit, which means students will be expected to produce a total of 10-15 pages of formal, academic writing, which has gone through a cycle of instructor feedback and revision. This requirement will be met with two short essays of 2 pages each and one longer essay of 6-8 pages.


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Timothy J Welsh
Date: 09/26/2008