Literature is almost unique among the arts for its ability to represent the internal workings of the mind. In this course, students will learn about the evolution of literary techniques for conveying mental experience, from the medieval period to today; they will examine the ways in which literature responds to new psychological theories and discoveries; they will appraise contemporary interdisciplinary research on the mental processes involved in reading literature; they will investigate literature’s capacity to represent impaired, extreme, or inhuman minds and mental experiences; and they will address whether there are mental phenomena that literature as a verbal art-form can’t accurately address. Above all, they will work on substantial writing projects that combine research, psychological knowledge, and literary analysis to examine what the combined study of literature and psychology can contribute to both fields.

Skill Level: Beginner