Studies in Literary Theory and Criticism: Affect Theory and Practice

Course Number: ENGL 236
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 236
Quarter: Fall 2014
Instructor: Young, Kay
Day(s): W
Time: 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: SH 2714
Description:


How does literature feel? What creates its feelings states? What relation is there between literary feeling and human emotion?

Why is emotional understanding important—to our work as scholars, teachers, and humanists?

In this seminar, we’ll explore affect—its nature, meanings, presence, and significance to the study of the verbal arts—through neuroscience, contemporary psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literary theory.

Each seminar member will choose a literary work by any author, from any period, genre, nation about which s/he has strong feelings to read as an affect theory project at the seminar’s close.

We’ll bring selections from the “Affect/ Feeling/Emotion” section of the Literature and Mind Field List, as well as from:
Henry James' *The Golden Bowl*, Joseph LeDoux’s *The Feeling Brain*, Antonio Damasio’s *The Feeling of What Happens*, Jaak Penksepp’s *Affective Neuroscience*, Alan Schore’s *Affect Regulation*, William James’ *The Principles of Psychology*, Donna Orange’s *Emotional Understanding*, Thomas Dixon’s *From Passion to Emotions*, essays David Miall and Don Kuiken, Martha Nussbaum’s *Love’s Knowledge* and/or *Upheavals of Thought*.

*FIRST MEETING ASSIGNMENT*: For our first meeting, please have read all of Philip Fisher’s *The Vehement Passions*.