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    Vassar College
   
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
 
    
Catalogue 2017-2018
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GRST 302 - The Blegen Seminar

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)


The course is offered by the Blegen Distinguished Visiting Research Professor or the Blegen Research Fellow in Classics, appointed annually to pursue research and lecture on his/her scholarly concerns in classical antiquity. We encourage students to take note of the fact that each Blegen Seminar is uniquely offered and will not be repeated. Since the topic changes every year, the course may be taken for credit more than once.

Topic for 2017/18b: Literature on the Brain: An Introduction to Cognitive Literary Studies. What happens to your brain when you read a poem and find yourself laughing out loud or wrinkling your nose in disgust? What makes a story feel “nightmarish,” “trancelike” or “dreamy” and can we pinpoint the literary features that generate such impressions? Why do we care so much about characters we meet in novels? Cognitive Literary Studies is an emerging approach the study of literature that seeks to answer precisely such questions. It uses insights drawn from cognitive science to reveal why novels and poems make us feel the way they do. Each week we read cutting edge research in this exciting new field and ask how it helps us make sense of literary texts.  These texts range widely through different languages, cultures and times from ancient Greek epics to contemporary American science fiction. The course appeals to students with interests in Greek and Roman Studies, literary studies, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and beyond – but it requires no prior experience in any of these areas. Elizabeth Young.

Prerequisite(s): previous coursework in Greek and Roman Studies or a field related to the topic, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.



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