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Fall 2021
May 21,2022
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LITR 319 - AUTHOR STUDIES
AUTHOR STUDIES. Each section focuses on one or two individual authors whose work has had a sustained impact on literary culture. Authors studied vary from semester-to-semester, as well as from instructor-to-instructor. Students should expect to engage in sophisticated discussion of literary topics ranging from contemporary criticism to literary biography, including the global contest of an author's work. The course requires substantial writing and research. AUTHOR STUDIES: Margaret Atwood -- This course will provide an in-depth look at the writings of a contemporary author from Canada who has established a truly international reputation for herself. Although Atwood began her writing career as a poet, she is best known as a novelist and Canadian nationalist. In this course, we will examine the range of Atwood’s literary production, studying several of her novels, selections of her poetry, and one of her collections of short fiction. We will also explore Atwood’s contributions to the field of literary criticism. This course should help you to appreciate the depth and breadth of Atwood’s work, to recognize and understand some of the recurring themes and motifs that characterize her oeuvre, and to trace their development over the course of her career to date. We will also discuss how Atwood’s “Canadianness” is a shaping and defining feature of her literary production. Furthermore, this class will help you to develop your own skills in researching and analyzing literary texts. We’ll read some of Atwood’s novels, including The Edible Woman, Surfacing, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Alias Grace. We’ll also read some of her essays, poetry, and Wilderness Tips, a book of short stories. This course can fulfill either the Major Author or International Literature requirement of the Literature Major. At the same time, it can fulfill the European/International requirement for secondary education English certification. AUTHOR STUDIES: Dante -- This course aims at introducing students to late medieval culture, using Dante, its foremost literary artist, as a focus. Attention is directed at medieval poetics, historiography, art and music in addition to political theory, religious, and social development of the time. The course emphasizes the continuity of Western tradition, especially the classical background of medieval culture, and its transmission to the modern world. Students study the Divine Comedy both as a mirror of high medieval culture and as a unique text that breaks out of its cultural bounds. Students will be engaged in close reading and discussion of Dante’s Vita Nuova and the Divine Comedy and will search for answers as to why after seven centuries the Commedia remains central to the European literary tradition. AUTHOR STUDIES: Mark Twain -- In this class we will examine the work of one author in detail. Our goal is to understand the work of this author in a variety of contexts. While we want to be able to appreciate the works for their individual merits, we also want to approach the work in historical and biographical contexts. Through intensive study of one author, we hope to gain insight into his artistic project, and to become “experts” on a major literary figure. The writer whose work we will examine is virtually synonymous with American for much of the world. Mark Twain was one of first American literary celebrities nationwide and abroad. A southerner who went west, and later settled in Connecticut, Twain could represent the nation in a way that few other writers could. He was also perceived abroad as, in Twain’s words “Not an American,” but “the American.” Through a reading of Twain’s fiction and non-fiction, we will grapple with a writer whose savage wit and literary daring still shocks and delights readers almost a century after his death. This course fulfills either the Author Studies requirement, or the American Literature requirement of the Literature Major. It also counts as one of the three 300-level courses Literature Majors must take. At the same time, it can fulfill the American Literature requirement for secondary Teacher Education Content Area Requirements (Literature). AUTHOR STUDIES: FRANZ KAFKA -- Kafka, a Central European author, is internationally known and of influence, especially in the early 20th century. His novels, prose, and short stories are widely taught and shared, most commonly “The Metamorphosis” and The Trial. Not only does his creative form contribute to the literary world, but his narrative art captivates Central European society, history, and political tension during his lifetime. His thematic elements of isolation, personification, methodology, and allegory create a background for his German heritage and hometown in the Czech Republic, Prague. Required course readings will cover some of the most well-known writings of Franz Kafka as well as writings on Kafka major literary critics have produced. This course fulfills either the Author Studies requirement, or the International Literature requirement of the Literature Major. It also counts as one of the three 300-level courses Literature Majors must take. At the same time, it can fulfill the International / Multicultural Literature requirement for secondary Teacher Education Content Area Requirements (Literature). AUTHOR STUDIES: JANE AUSTEN -- Jane Austen’s (1775-1817) reputation as a novelist of manners in the British tradition is robust and continues to grow in the 21st century. Austen created a richly detailed fictional world in which she invested with importance the largely female concerns of family life, courtship and marriage. Her characters do venture to the city but it was the often brutal social and economic milieu of the English countryside which especially interested Austen. We will read five of her major novels–Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Her life and the issues related to gender and publication that it raises will be examined, and her life and works will be placed within the context of British history and the British literary canon. We will also place Austen in the framework of a specific British female literary tradition and read some of the scholars who have created Austen’s place in that tradition. The course will further examine issues of film adaptation of her literary works. AUTHOR STUDIES - CHAUCER: This course focuses on some of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. The majority of the course (9 weeks) will be spent examining The Canterbury Tales. We will study a generous selection of the tales in some detail, as well as examine the work as a whole. In addition, several weeks will be spent focusing on Troilus and Criseyde and The Legend of Good Women, as well as some of the shorter poems. We will read Chaucer in the original Middle English, and will focus on the language as part of our study, as well as consider relevant social and political contexts of Chaucer’s day, and examine some of the critical and interpretive issues that have especially concerned scholars This course focuses on some of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. The majority of the course (9 weeks) will be spent examining The Canterbury Tales. We will study a generous selection of the tales in some detail, as well as examine the work as a whole. In addition, several weeks will be spent focusing on Troilus and Criseyde and The Legend of Good Women, as well as some of the shorter poems. We will read Chaucer in the original Middle English, and will focus on the language as part of our study, as well as consider relevant social and political contexts of Chaucer’s day, and examine some of the critical and interpretive issues that have especially concerned scholars. This course fulfills either the Author Studies requirement OR the pre-1800 Literature requirement. It also counts as one of the three 300-level courses Literature Majors must take. At the same time, it can fulfill the British Literature requirement for secondary Teacher Education Content Area Requirements (Literature).
0.000 TO 4.000 Credit hours
0.000 TO 4.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Hybrid, Lecture, Online Course

Literature Department

Course Attributes:
WRITING INTENSIVE

Restrictions:
Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels:     
      Undergraduate

Prerequisites:
FOR LITR 319

General Requirements:
Course or Test: CRWT 102
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently.
and
Course or Test: LITR 200 to 299
Required Courses: 1
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently.  )
and
Course or Test: LITR 203
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently.  )
or
Course or Test: LITR 101
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently. )


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Release: 8.7.2.4