English | Intro to Writing and the Study of Literature
L142 | 1915 | Woodcock
L142 1915 WOODCOCK
INTRODUCTION TO WRITING AND THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
Topic: "SCIENCE, SOCIETY, AND SELF"
Lecture Section: 1915 09:05A-09:55A TR
L142 continues L141's introduction to college-level reading,
writing, and literary interpretation. This section focuses on the
human or cultural aspects of science. We will read, discuss, and
write about works by 19th- and 20th-century authors who were
interested in how science affects society and the human self-image.
Following our authors, we will address questions such as the
following: What images of ourselves and our future does science
provide? What is the relation between science and politics? Between
science and religion? What is the source of the stereotype of the mad
scientist? Can science and technology change human nature? Are
scientists responsible for the social consequences of their
discoveries? Are there some facts it is better not to know?
These are not simple questions, and in discussing them we will
look not so much for final answers as for an informed and useful sense
of what such discussion involves and of how literature can contribute
to it. Students should finish the course with improved writing and
discussion skills, a sharpened critical understanding of written
texts, and a more informed sense of science's many cultural
influences. Students will write four papers on the readings and
lectures and also several short exercises to prepare for the papers.
There will be a midterm and final on broader themes, and weekly
quizzes to check on the basics of critical reading. The papers and
exams will account for about 80% of the final grade, and the
paragraphs, quizzes, and class participation will make up the
remaining 20%. A list of probable readings: Michael Crichton,
Jurassic Park; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy
of the People; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Joyce Wadler, My Breast; H.
G. Wells, The Time Machine; and, for help with style and usage, Diana
Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual.