English | Literary Interpretation
L202 | 6979 | Judith Brown

Judith Brown

PREREQUISITE:  Completion of the English Composition requirement.

Open to majors and declared minors only.

10:10a-11:00a MWF (25 students) 3 cr. A&H, IW.

TOPIC:  “Genius"

J.K. Rowling. Matt Groening. Steven Hawking. A recent list
of “living geniuses” offered these and many other people, citing
them for their paradigm shifting, popular acclaim, intellectual
power, achievement, and cultural importance. But what is a genius?
And how do you become one? Genius is associated with brilliance,
originality and creativity, but in earlier centuries it had a lot of
different meanings. We’ll look at the development of the concept
genius, from the Romantic period to the present. The semester will
be divided into two sections: first, “How We Think About Genius,” in
which we will look at literary representations of genius, and
second, “How to Think Like A Genius,” in which we will explore
multiple principles of genius. We’ll think about genius as a
cultural phenomenon and a way of thinking that marks extraordinary
ability, and see if we can’t get closer to it over the course of the

Students will be required to write four or five short (4-5 page)
essays in this class.