11-Week Session: May 28 - August 9, 2019
Human beings make sense of the world by telling stories. In this course, we will read a selection of narratives from different places and different eras, always paying attention to the formal aspects of storytelling: from Greek romance, Sanskrit theatre, therapeutic fables, and medieval travel-diaries in the first half of the course, to modern fiction, cinema, and life-writing from the global South in the second. Along the axes of culture and history, what changes and what persists, of the impulse to freedom, the confusions of love, the webs of memory? How might each narrative suggest a way of seeing the world afresh and differently? We will learn to analyze unfamiliar genres; to read, discuss, and interpret diversely; to write and rework short essays; and to reflect on our own practices of narrative. Students are assessed on class participation and writing assignments; there is no final paper/exam. All readings are in English; students at all levels, including those without prior exposure to the literary humanities, are welcome.