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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22


ENGL 53.45 Storytelling in Novels and Community

This course will focus on the role of storytelling and its importance to community in works of literature and anthropology. Rather than study short stories, we will consider why novels, as longer forms of fiction, nevertheless include storytelling by characters. How does such storytelling work? We will read several twentieth-century novels in which characters telling stories function as means of reforming community. In novels and anthropological study, we will pay particular attention to the ways that storytelling can reconceive identities of individuals and of history, at times opening up both so that persons and history become diverse and extensive. The boundaries of community may also become extensive, resisting containment and refusing to conform to a common cultural identity. We will read Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Storyteller” as well as several critical essays focusing on storytelling. Novels will include William Faulkner’s The Hamlet and Absalom, Absalom, Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient, and Toni Morrison’s Paradise. Works of anthropology will include Kathleen Stewart’s A Space on the Side of the Road: Cultural Poetics in an “Other” America.

Instructor

McKee

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.