English 190

Research Seminar: Vital Texts: Literature and the Discourse of Life


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Spring 2016 Gaydos, Rebecca
TTh 11-12:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Kazuo, I.: Never Let Me Go; Shelley, M.: Frankenstein; Stoker, B.: Dracula; Venter, C.: Life at the Speed of Light

Other Readings and Media

A course reader including texts by Eramus Darwin, Immanuel Kant, Williams Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, Gertrude Stein, Henri Bergson, Ezra Pound, Wolfgang Köhler, W.H. Auden, Robert Duncan, Norbert Wiener, Katherine Hayles, Mark Hansen, Michel Foucault, and Achille Mbembe.

Films: F.W. Murnau, Nosferatu; James Whale, Frankenstein

Description

If the romantic trope of “organic form” naturalizes literature by likening literary texts to living organisms, it equally suggests that man-made forms can be "alive." In this course, our task will be to trace the trope of "organic form" through the romantic period into the 21st century, keeping in mind that the notion of "organic form" is thoroughly ambiguous: it at once grants literary forms a biological significance and challenges the traditional distinction between life and artifice. We will read romantic and modernist poetry that tries to capture the flowing rhythms of lived experience, and we will examine novelistic representations of artificial and unholy life--the undead and monstrous beings that test the very limits of life as a normative and scientific category. Moving into the contemporary era, we will investigate how the romantic interest in the ambiguity of life reemerges in recent debates around the politics and ethics of synthetic biology and biotechnological interventions into human (and nonhuman) bodies. How might the long history of literature's relationship to the living help us better understand and/or challenge contemporary forms of biopolitical control?

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

fall, 2019

190/1

Research Seminar: Creative Sentences

190/2

Research Seminar: Shakespeare and Company

190/3

Research Seminar: American Transcendentalism

190/4

Research Seminar: Cli Fi (Climate Change Fiction)

190/5

Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

190/6

Research Seminar: Literature on Trial: Romanticism, Law, Justice

190/8

Research Seminar: Ideology

190/10

Research Seminar: Inventing Nature and Constructing Race

spring, 2019

190/1

Research Seminar: Flann O'Brien and Irish Literature

190/2

Research Seminar: Transsexual Literatures and Cultures

190/3

Research Seminar: James / Baldwin

190/5

Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I

190/6

Research Seminar: Carnal Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

190/7

Research Seminar

190/8

Research Seminar: Edgar Allan Poe

190/9

Research Seminar: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

190/10

Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson

190/11

Research Seminar: Willa Cather

190/13

Research Seminar: Sixties Cinema

fall, 2018

190/1

Research Seminar: Melville in the 50s

190/2

Research Seminar: Laughter and Vision: Explorations in the Novel of Ideas

190/3

Research Seminar: Representations of Coercion and Resistance in African American Slave, Jim Crow, and Neo-slave Narratives

190/4

Research Seminar: William Blake

190/7

Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

190/8

Research Seminar: Repression and Resistance

190/9

Research Seminar: Mark Twain

Griffin, Ben

190/10

Research Seminar

No instructor assigned yet.

190/11

Research Seminar

No instructor assigned yet.

190/12

Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I

190/13

Research Seminar: The Jamesian Novel

190/14

Research Seminar

spring, 2018

190/1

Research Seminar: Trials of Literature: Romanticism, Justice, and the Law

190/2

Research Seminar: James Joyce

190/3

Research Seminar: Hawthorne & Melville

190/4

Research Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully

190/5

Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance

190/6

Research Seminar: Sixty Years Since: The Historical Novel

190/7

Research Seminar: Contemporary Historical Fiction

190/8

Research Seminar: Literary Theory and Its Objects

190/9

Research Seminar: The Faerie Queene: The Ethics of Imagination

190/10

Research Seminar: Pagan Fictions in Christian Literature

190/11

Research Seminar: Andrew Marvell

190/12

Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I

190/13

Research Seminar: Alfred Hitchcock

fall, 2017

190/1

Research Seminar: Britain in the ‘60s

190/2

Research Seminar: The Historical Novel

190/3

Research Seminar: Another Day in Purgatory: Irish Literature and the Afterlife

190/6

Research Seminar: Literature and Revolution

190/7

Research Seminar: Monsters, Exiles, and Outlaws in Medieval Literature

190/8

Research Seminar: George Eliot and the Realist Novel

190/9

Research Seminar: Historiography and Narrative: Literature and the Interstices of History

190/10

Research Seminar: Suspicious Mind

190/11

Research Seminar: Nonsense

190/12

Research Seminar: Making Memories

spring, 2017

190/1

Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial

190/2

Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance

190/3

Research Seminar: Literature and the Linguistic Turn

190/4

Research Seminar: Jane Austen and the Theory of the Novel

190/5

Research Seminar: Writing a World in Crisis: Medieval and Modern

190/6

Research Seminar: Shakespeare: From the Globe to the Global

190/7

Research Seminar: Place-Love: Fiction and the Melancholy of Form

190/8

Research Seminar: Literatures of the Ocean

190/9

Research Seminar: Beowulf

190/10

Research Seminar: Hollywood in the 1930s

190/11

Research Seminar: The Literature of Immortality

190/13

Research Seminar: California Literature & Film Since WWI


Back to Semester List