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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Mind, Subjectivity and Literature (ENLI10352)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course aims to provide students with the opportunity to study psychoanalytical literary theory alongside more recent cognitive approaches to literature. It will chart the effects of changing notions of the human mind and subjectivity in science and philosophy on literature and literary methodologies in a number of ways. The theoretical structure will cover the development of several interconnected traditions of thinking about the mind and subjectivity, beginning with the psychoanalytical tradition (Freud and Lacan's works, and Judith Butler's reconfiguring of these in weeks 1 to 5), it will then examine models from cognitive linguistics (week 6), evolutionary psychology (week 7), theory of mind (week 9), and the embodied and extended mind theories (weeks 10 to 11). At the same time it will trace the relationship between these traditions and developments in theoretical approaches to studying literature. The course will also consider the ways in which literature itself records, develops and challenges different understandings of the mind and the subject, explicitly in textual discourse and implicitly through the use of rhetoric and the structuring of texts, thereby exploring the means by which literary texts stimulate readers' or audiences' imaginative and 'mind-reading' capacities.

The course will achieve these aims by reading psychoanalytical and cognitive scientific texts, alongside works of literary theory and literature. The literary works studied will be explored in relation to a range of different methodologies, in order to allow the students to examine the ways in which the fertile nature of literary texts can offer up a rich variety of readings. This course will explore the ways in which the structure and interpretation of literary forms are related to traditional and emerging scientific and philosophical ideas about the human mind and subject.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course the student will have gained an insight into psychoanalytical and cognitive scientific notions of the mind and subjectivity and will have explored the relation between these approaches. The course will also explore how these approaches have influenced literary methodologies and how they can contribute to reading a range of literary texts. This course will develop students' knowledge of the relationships between literary forms and understandings of the human mind and subject. It will enhance their ability to read critically and comparatively and to engage with an area of specialist knowledge not otherwise available to students at Edinburgh.
Assessment Information
One course essay of 2,500 words (25%);

One take-home examination essay of 3,000 words (75%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Primary Texts
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Book of the Duchess
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet
Shakespeare, William. Measure for Measure
Woolf,Virinia. Mrs Dalloway
Carter, Angela. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories.

Selected Secondary Reading
Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter. New York: Routledge, 1993.
Giving an Account of Oneself. New York: Fordham University Press, 2005.
Clark, Andy. Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.
Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008
Crane, Mary Thomas. Shakespeare¿s Brain: Reading with Cognitive Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
Damasio, Antonio. Descartes¿ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. 1994. Rev. ed. and new preface. London: Vintage Books, 2006.
Freud, Sigmund. The Freud Reader. Ed. Peter Gay. London: Vintage, 1995.
Gottschall, Jonathan and David Sloan Wilson (eds). The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2005.
Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Postmodern: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Hogan, Patrick Colm. Cognitive Science, Literature and the Arts: A Guide for Humanists. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Routledge, 1997.
Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. 1980. Afterword. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Paster, Gail Kern, Katherine Rowe and Mary Floyd-Wilson (eds). Reading the Early Modern Passions: Essays in the Cultural History of Emotion. Philadelphia: University of Pennysylvania Press, 2004.
Shapiro, Lawrence. Embodied Cognition. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.
Turner, Mark. The Literary Mind: The Origins of Thought and Language. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1996.
Varela, F.J., E. Thompson, and E. Rosch. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.
Zunshine, Lisa. Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies. Baltimore: John Hopkins, 2010.

Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsMind, cognitive, psychoanalysis, subjectivity, self, literature
Course organiserDr Miranda Anderson
Course secretaryMs June Haigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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