Instructor: Weissman Days: Friday Time: 10:10am – 1:00pm
Location: Uptown Campus West
This graduate seminar is an introduction to core concepts and debates in narrative theory. It is designed to help readers and writers of literary fiction attain a better understanding of what narrative is, how it functions, and how it may be analyzed through a variety of approaches. Through the study of rhetorical, feminist, cognitive, and antimimetic theories of narrative, we will explore authors, narrators and narration; characters and focalization; plot, time, and progression; space, setting, and perspective; and reception and readers. Our consideration of literary texts will extend from poetry to the short story, the novel, and works of nonfiction. In addition to various essays, our readings will include H. Porter Abbott’s The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (2008), the volume Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (2012), and Lisa Zunshine’s Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel (2006). Beyond learning about narrative theory, we will put it to use by applying it to a range of literary texts, including Vladimir Nabakov’s novel Lolita (1955).