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IAP 2018 Non-Credit Activities SP2018 Course Supplement Fall 2018 Course Supplement
Show Descriptions

Introductory

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Imagining Alternative Worlds , Section 1 Marah Gubar TR 11:30 - 1:00 1-277

Prereq: none
3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H
Topics: Fiction

In this course, we will study what one critic has called “the literary prehistory of virtual reality”: fantasy narratives that invite readers to immerse themselves in enchanted alternative realms or magical worlds enmeshed within the realm of everyday life. Starting with L. Frank Baum’s Oz and J. M. Barrie’s Neverland, we will investigate how authors employ tools of fiction to craft such convincing alternative worlds. Were these fantasies an escapist solution to the problem of modern disenchantment, or can we tell some more complicated story about their emergence and function? As we move through the twentieth century, we will compare comic fantasies by writers like E. Nesbit with more somber ones by writers like C. S. Lewis, and conclude with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Section 2 Ina Lipkowitz TR 9:30 - 11:00 1-277

Prereq: none
3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H
Topics: Fiction

Fiction: late 14c., “something invented,” from L. fictionem, “a fashioning or feigning,” from L. fingere “to shape, form, devise, feign,” originally “to knead, form out of clay.”

What is fiction? Something invented or something formed out of clay—or out of one’s life, one’s culture, one’s historical moment, or even out of someone else’s fiction? In this class, we’ll consider what fiction is, the difference between historical truth and fictional truth, and have fun looking at some of the many ways writers have formed their fictions out of the materials at hand. Authors might include: E.M. Forster, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Alistair MacLeod, Tim O’Brien, and Sandra Cisneros.