LI256 – Varieties of Literature

In this course, I focus on opening windows to new ways of thinking, attention to close reading (how to decode the nuances of language), and using those skills to write effective prose. All new ideas in every discipline come from the right brain—the site of innovation and for understanding wholeness.  This is the language of metaphor—and the language of metaphor is the language of literature.  Ian McGilchrist in his recent book, The Divided Brain warns we are losing this in a contemporary world showered with fragmented pieces of information.  This course can give you new ways to think and create, to regain a sense of connection.   

I have chosen readings that have contemporary relevance: the difficulty of finding identity in this contemporary world, the increased presence of technology, and the threats of a looming apocalypse—so hopefully you will stay entertained. I have also chosen readings that lend themselves to particular reading strategies—ways to decode meaning.  Many students tell me they learn to read differently—and that is my hope. This course also includes new media with the intent of encouraging you to transfer what you have learned in literary analysis to visual culture.

Thirdly, the writing assignments are designed to give you real-world practice. They parallel other writing situations you will encounter inside and outside the university.