Studies in Literary Criticism and Theory: Ecology and Psychology

Course Number: ENGL 236
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 236
Quarter: Winter 2015
Day(s): M
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: SH 2714

In this class, we will study some of the theoretical literature concerning the mind's engagement with the environment, and vice-versa. Following the inspirations of James Gibson ("Theory of Affordances"), Harold F. Searles ("Unconscious Processes in Relation to the Environment"), Geoffrey Bateson (Steps to an Ecology of Mind), and systems theory, we will focus in particular on the Deleuzo-Guattarian tradition, "extended mind," enactivism and contemporary "beyond-the-couch" psychoanalysis.We will also read selections from Hicks, ed. The Literature of California, as examples of the aesthetic dimension (some would say there is no other!) of the environed mind.Texts include Bateson, /Mind and Nature/; Deleuze and Guattari, "What is Philosophy"; Varela, The Embodied Mind; and Andrews, The Animal Mind.Course requirements:briefs, seminar reports, final project.