Forms of Western Narrative

A sampling of some of western culture’s central storytellers and story-forms, including Homer, Cervantes, the Brothers Grimm, and Charley Chaplin, the course aims to update and complicate older notions of our literary tradition by juxtaposing classic texts with such popular forms as folk tales, movies and graphic novels. Through close reading of specific scenes and passages, we’ll study the way stories are both enabled and constrained by the medium in which they’re expressed and by the societies they inhabit. This subject should be especially valuable for students interested in a serious but also joyfully various introduction to literary or media study.