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CSCL 1101 note week 1

by: Gloria Chan

CSCL 1101 note week 1 CSCL 1101

Gloria Chan
U of M
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About this Document

- What is “literature” - Defining “literature” - canon
Vayo, Isaac
Class Notes
CSCL, CSCL 1101, Literature




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Popular in Literature

This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gloria Chan on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CSCL 1101 at University of Minnesota taught by Vayo, Isaac in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 49 views. For similar materials see Literature in Literature at University of Minnesota.

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Date Created: 02/07/16
Week 1: Jan 21 What is “literature”? - foundational question within (inter)discipline - definitions shift and change over time - today’s goal: create a working definition of literature based on our ideas and existing definitions, and put that definition in context within comparative literature - form discussion communities Defining “literature” - no stable/certain definition exists, and definitions change over time - more general approaches: - written works with artistic merit - writings on a particular subject - printed material used to advertise/give advice - early definitions are inclusive, culturally relative - during the Romantic period (late 1700s/early 1800s), definitions become more specific and based on certain artistic/imaginative qualities - distinction from ordinary/everyday speech is key (formalist understanding) - contemporary definitions are more inclusive What counts/doesn’t count? (cont’d) - generally includes poetry, prose, and drama - poetry: composed in lines with rhyme, meter, unusual syntax, all used to create meaning - prose: composed in sentences with ordinary syntax (including novels, novellas, short stories) - drama: intended for performance, based largely in dialogue between characters - philosophy and history often included - in the past, science writing and law also included - Questions concerning other forms: - graphic novels/comic books - films/television - electronic/digital Who decides on the canon? - canon: list of texts considered great, timeless and/or worthy of study, culturally influential - typically consists of works by old, dead white men from western Europe/the US, written in English/French/German/Italian/Greek/Latin - leaves out young, living, people of color, women, work from outside western Europe/ the US, written in languages other than English/French/German/Italian/Greek/ Latin Comparative literature - comparative literature: study of literature across boundaries of language, culture, nation - interdisciplinary, including sociology, cultural studies, religious studies, history - emerges as a field in the late 19 /early 20 century - three major schools: French, German, American - French School focuses on ideas of origin/influence (much historical research) - German school expands focus to transnational and Transatlantic influence (but still nationally rooted) - American school looks for universal truths based in literary archetypes, moves beyond Western focus


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