English 27

Introduction to the Study of Fiction

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2015 Knox, Marisa Palacios
MWF 2-3 206 Wheeler

Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

A course reader including secondary criticism and short stories by Poe, Hemingway, O'Connor and others. 


A 2013 study at the New School for Social Research corroborates the truism that reading literary fiction enhances our ability to understand the emotional states of other people. Even without the blessing of the sciences, it is undeniable that fiction and the “real world” have a mutually influential relationship. This course will approach the question of how to define and analyze fiction and its unique appeal through the field of literary criticism. We will read short stories and novels in a variety of genres and explore the structure of fiction through plot, story, narrative point of view and focalization, setting, character, and discourse. In addition to writing two 5-8 page interpretative papers on the assigned reading, students will participate in an ongoing project of recording their own responses while reading fiction, and experiment with “re-writing” particular fictional passages by altering one of the author’s stylistic choices. 

This will be a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to study fiction and learn how to write about it critically.

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