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The Literary Imagination and the Idea of the University

ENGL 293.302
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3

The central aim of the course is to study the idea of the university in twentieth century America, and to give special attention to the way the experience of the university is understood by the modern American literary imagination. As background to this study, the class will review the identity of the academy in the Old World, receiving reports from student teams on the Graeco/Roman, the Medieval/Renaissance and the Early Modern periods. Teams will also report on the New World American foundations of the academy, and on imaginative and fictional accounts of experience there. Students in the course will assume three kinds of responsibility: first, to command a core list of reading common to the whole class; second, to serve on one of six teams that will offer the background reports; and third, to formulate a modest research project that addresses some historical, topical or literary aspect of university identity. The research project will produce a paper of perhaps l5 pages, but will also require at least one listserve/in-class presentation. Through this, as well as through the team project, each student will be expected to help *teach* the class. (A pre-requisite for taking the course is the capacity to communicate on-line.)                       
                           
                         Core Reading List
    
Newman, [from] The Idea of a University  (1853)
Whitehead, [from] The Aims of Education (1927)
Veblen, The Higher Learning in America (1918: 1993)
Kerr, The Uses of the University (1963: 1982)
Adams, [from] The Education of Henry Adams (1917)
Johnson, [from] Stover at Yale  ( 1912)
Fitzgerald, [from] This Side of Paradise (1920)
Warren, R. P., All the King's Men (1946)
Trilling, L., Of This Time, Of That Place (1945: 1979)
DeLillo, D., White Noise (1985)