Jun 13, 2024  
2013-2014 Academic Catalog 
2013-2014 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 331-01 - Studies in American Prose II (Fall)

4 credits
Neuroliterature. In a recent article in N+1, the critic Marco Roth describes the emergence of a new kind of literary work, the “neuronovel,” in which the protagonist sports an atypical brain. Whether Tourette syndrome or autism or Capgras syndrome or facial agnosia or paranoid schizophrenia, this difference, says Roth, offers the novelist an opportunity to reflect on the impact of scientific knowledge on the culture at large. Roth detects a shift from mind to brain in the province least likely to accede to a mechanistic understanding of human existence - namely, fiction - and he doesn’t view this development in entirely positive terms. In this course we will expand Roth’s term to include both memoir and poetry, and we will bring a disability studies perspective to the questions at hand. Why shouldn’t writers engage with the dominant explanatory narrative of their time? To what extent might literature constitute the ideal venue in which to work out new notions of difference? Possible critical texts include The Soul in the Brain: The Cerebral Basis of Language, Art and Belief; The Master & His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World; “Multisensory Images”; My Stroke of Insight; and “Poetry as Right-hemispheric Language.” Possible literary texts include The Echo Maker; Motherless Brooklyn; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime; Lowboy; Twitch and Shout; Songs of a Gorilla Nation; and How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move?

Prerequisite: ENG 227 , ENG 228 , ENG 229 , ENG 231 , ENG 232 , or ENG 273 .
Instructor: Andrews, Savarese