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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Christo Ortiz Y Prentice


E 314J • Literature & Psychology

34600 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm FAC 10
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Instructor:  Ortiz y Prentice, C.            Areas:  n/a

Unique #:  34600            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  Yes

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: Ever since Sigmund Freud found Oedipus at the crossroads, his father's blood in his hands, literature and psychology have shared a common destiny. But in fact, since its beginnings in the eighteenth century, modern psychology has shared with imaginative literature concerns like insanity, sexual identity, agency, and cognition. Because what literature portrays cannot be experimentally verified, it cannot serve as scientific evidence. Nevertheless, psychologists from the early associationists to the psychoanalysts, behaviorists, and cognitive scientists who followed have all used literature to guide their inquires. In turn, the science of the psyche has influenced the form and content of novels and poems.

This course explores key literary and psychological works in which the two fields become deeply indebted to one another.  The course is designed with both English majors and non-English majors in mind. The skills it focuses on will help students succeed in upper-division courses in many majors across campus, including English.  These skills include close analytic reading and critical writing, as well as methods for understanding the texts we will study in their formal, historical, and cultural dimensions.

Required Texts will include: Selections from Hartley’s Theory of the Human Mind, on the Principle of Association of Ideas (1775); J. Webb: “An Essay on the Influence of Poetry on the Mind” (1839); selections from Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Sigmund Freud: Selections from The Interpretation of Dreams (1900); “Creative Writers and Daydreaming” (1907); Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway (1925); Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962); Noam Chomsky: “A Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior” (1959); B. F. Skinner: Walden Two (1948); Richard Powers: Galatea 2.2 (1995)

Readings will be available in a course packet or electronically; the novels are available for purchase through the UT Co-Op, or another vender of your choosing.

Requirements & Grading: Three 2-3 page close reading essays (45%): you will be given an option to revise two of these essays for a better grade. OED Presentation on a Key Word (10%); Attend related lecture on campus and provide 1-page notes (5%); Peer-Review activities (10%); 7-8 page research paper, due at end of the semester (30%): you will write two drafts of this final paper and will receive comments for revision from the instructor.

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