English 190

Research Seminar: Materiality: How the Physical World Is Made to Mean


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Spring 2016 Flynn, Catherine
TTh 9:30-11 210 Dwinelle

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Course Reader

Description

We might think of physical matter as being simply present, but the stuff of the world is and has been understood very differently in different times and cultures. This research seminar will explore a broad range of understandings of matter, from the Book of Genesis and early creation myths to recent documentaries on hoarders and self-help books on purging personal belongings. We will consider some of the major approaches to interpreting matter: philosophical, anthropological, ecological, psychoanalytic and Marxist. Throughout the semester, we will bring these ideas to bear on literary representations of physical material, as we read closely works by a wide range of writers including Ovid, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickenson, W. B. Yeats, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Louis Aragon, Samuel Beckett and Karl Ove Knausgard.

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