ENGL 346
Literary History: Shakespeare, Dickinson, Celan, Knausgaard Spring 2022
Division I

Class Details

This course will consider literature as a distinctive kind of historical object, one that emerges within a specific linguistic, cultural, and political context and that, nevertheless, travels far beyond its point of origin into unknown and, indeed, unknowable futures. The four figures who will concern us this semester are interested in one another – the later writers are careful readers of the earlier ones – but our thinking will go beyond reception history and the dynamics of literary influence. Instead, we will focus on the way in which literature’s own temporality structures its history and, indeed, the way in which history itself might be conceived in literary terms. We will read a lot of lyric poems, but we will end the semester with perhaps the most important contemporary European novel. We will also read a significant body of theory and criticism, including works by Theodor Adorno, Giorgio Agamben, Maurice Blanchot, Martin Buber, Sharon Cameron, Anne Carson, Jonathan Culler, Joel Fineman, Virginia Jackson, Boris Maslov, and Sianne Ngai.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3865
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Midterm paper of 6-8 pages, final research paper of 10-12 pages, thoughtful participation in class discussions
Prerequisites: either a 100-level ENGL course, a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam, or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: English majors and those intending to major in English. Reading knowledge of German welcome but not expected.
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories A
ENGL Literary Histories B
ENGL Literary Histories C

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