Course Day & Time: Monday & Wednesday 14:30-17:30
Instructor: Daniel A. Newman
Course theme: Design & Disorder, Time & Other Dimensions
How does science alter the stories we live by? How do writers adopt and adapt new scientific theory, and how do they use it to tell new kinds of stories in new ways? In this course, we will read 20th-century novels, short stories, drama and poetry in order to see how literature responds to challenging scientific theories and events like Darwinian evolution, relativity and quantum mechanics, the atom bomb and cyberspace. We will focus works that are experimental or innovative by authors including Joseph Conrad, Kurt Vonnegut, Jeanette Winterson, Mary Robinette Kowal, William Gibson and David Mitchell.
The course combines lectures and seminars, the latter featuring some organized student-led discussion. Parts of some meetings may be used to view films related to the readings and/or the theories covered therein. You are expected to read the required readings, attend all classes, and participate actively in seminar discussions (including one discussion which you will lead as a facilitator or presenter). Plan to read between 200–300 pages of fiction a week, as well as occasional short popular fiction texts. Participation is a crucial part of the course.
Required Texts (available at the OCAD library)
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos