ENGL 120
The Nature of Narrative Fall 2024 (also offered Spring 2025)
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed COMP 111

Class Details

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 functions of narrative using texts from a wide range of literary traditions, media, and genres. Readings may span classics (e.g. Homerian epic, The Tale of Genji, and/or the Popol Vuh), fiction ranging from nineteenth-century realism to postmodern experimentation (possibly including Kafka, Tolstoy, Toni Morrison, and/or Emile Habibi), and visual literature from film and drama to graphic memoir (possibly including Mizoguchi Kenji, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, and/or Joe Sacco). We may 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.
The Class: Format: seminar; The second half of the course may incorporate a modified tutorial format, where small groups meet with the instructor once a week, with students' papers and responses forming the basis of the discussion.
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 1702
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Regular attendance and participation in class; short and mid-length writing assignments spaced throughout the semester; revision of selected assignments after receiving instructor feedback.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Comparative Literature majors, students considering a major in Comparative Literature, first-years, sophomores.
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 111 Division I ENGL 120 Division I
WS Notes: Multiple writing assignments that build upon each other, including drafts and revisions, with substantial individualized feedback on writing from the instructor.
Attributes: FMST Related Courses

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