L371 2100 NASH
Introduction to Criticism

9:30a-10:45a TR (30) 3 cr.

PREREQUISITE: COMPLETION OF L202 WITH A GRADE OF C- OR BETTER. THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT WILL STRICTLY ENFORCE THIS PREREQUISITE.

STUDENTS TAKING THIS COURSE FOR HPS CREDIT SHOULD SEE THE UNDERGRADUATE SECRETARY IN BH442 FOR AN AUTHORIZATION.

TOPIC: LITERATURE AND SCIENCE

This course will be particularly concerned with the degree to which it makes sense to characterize modernity as consisting of "two cultures." To that end, we will examine not only C. P. Snow's original articulation of that position, but subsequent challenges to, and emendations of, his argument. From our initial exploration of the topic of a late-twentieth-century articulation of a "two-culture" hypothesis, we will also look back at the grounds by which such a notion of modernity came into being during the early-modern period (late 17th century-early 18th century). We will read recent critical and theoretical writings in science studies and literature and science (Bruno Latour, Steven Shapin, Donna Haraway, and others). In engaging with the arguments presented by such writers, we will consider not only literary attitudes toward science, but the degree to which literary and scientific cultures intersect with, as well as diverge from, one another. We will have a particular interest in how these cultures construct one or more understandings of "nature" and "human." With that set of interests in mind, we will read a range of literary works from Swift and Defoe to the present. While we MAY read some SF, this will NOT be primarily a course in "science fiction." Students will write one short paper (4-6 pages) and one long paper (8-12 pages).