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ENGL478G - From Milton to the Moon Landing

Selected Topics in Literature before 1800

When and why do literary writers draw upon the experimental practices and observational habits of the sciences in order to construct their narratives, stage their scenes, represent their characters, paint their pictures, and build their worlds? How do elements of lyric, narrative, drama, and visual art contribute to scientific practice? This course explores a “documentary impulse” across a wide range of media, with special attention to the truth-telling ambitions of literary works, including the most fantastical. We’ll discuss skepticism as a habit of mind and as a method, the conditions of scientific observation and the experience of discovery, and the relationship between technology and moral responsibility. Readings will range across historical periods and genres—from the Renaissance to the present, from philosophy to poetry to science fiction.

Section(s):

0101 -  David Simon

Schedule of Classes

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