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Narrative–storytelling–is a fundamental human activity. Narratives provide us with maps of how the world does or should or might work, and we make sense of our own experiences through the narratives we construct ourselves. This course examines the nature and workings of narrative using texts from a wide range of literary traditions, media, and genres. Readings may include Western and Asian classics (Homerian epic, The Tale of Genji, medieval Chinese narrative), novelistic fiction ranging from nineteenth-century realism to postmodern experimentation (Tolstoy, Garcia-Marquez, Toni Morrison), and visual literature from film and drama to graphic memoir (Mizoguchi Kenji, David Mamet, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel). We will also read some short works of literary theory from around the world to help us broaden our idea of what literature can be and do. All readings in English.
Format: seminar; The spring section of this class will have a hybrid format to the extent possible given conditions on campus and student enrollment. Off-campus students must be able to Zoom in during the scheduled class times.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Regular attendance and participation in class; short and mid-length writing assignments spaced throughout the semester; revision of selected assignments after receiving instructor feedback.
Students considering a major in Comparative Literature
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Multiple writing assignments that build upon each other, including drafts and revisions, with substantial individualized feedback on writing from the instructor.
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