English 100

The Seminar on Criticism: Histories of Writing

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2022 Francois, Anne-Lise
TuTh 9:30-11 Wheeler 305


In this seminar of literary criticism, we will explore some of the stories that have been told about writing as a technology of reproduction, dissemination, circulation, amplification, preservation, and citation. While writing commonly refers to the one-way transfer of speech to some kind of material object capable of circulating on its own, how does literature bear witness to the ongoing transfers between oral practices and written objects?  If writing is commonly understood to originate as a means of recording debt and storing accumulated knowledge, what is its relation to other figures of temporal prosthesis and play--figures that disperse as well as extend the otherwise passing moment? While not technically a course in the environmental humanities, we will spend some time on the notion of the Anthropocene as the inscription of racialized violence and genocide upon the earth’s geological strata.  Readings will include works by Cha, Derrida, Douglass, DuBois, Ong, Plato, Vicuña, Yusoff.  Dear students, please accept this description as a temporary placeholder! 

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