Literary Minds

English 370
Fall 2017

Wes Chapman
103 English House

library liaison: Chris Sweet - Ames 110 - 556-3984

Office Hours:
MW 3-4 PM
TTh 10 -11 AM
and by appt.

Course Description

How and why do minds read and write literature? The cognitive science revolution of the past two decades has revealed that the mind is fundamentally literary: literary staples such as narrative and metaphor turn out to be central to the way that minds interact with their environments. How the mind works, however, is a central theme in literature that long predates the rise of cognitive science. In this class, we will apply recent work in cognitive approaches to literature to various literary texts to try to understand what the mind is doing in reading and writing literature, and we will examine a number of literary representations of the mind to see how authors have tested or anticipated recent theories of cognition.

Course Goals

By the time you complete the course, you should have done the following:

Required Texts

Emily Dickinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. R. W. Franklin
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2
David Lodge, Thinks...
Peter Stockwell, ed. Cognitive Poetics
Hogan, ed., Cognitive Science, Literature and the Arts
Zunshine, Why We Read Fiction

Course Requirements

Your grade will be based on the following:

All assignments should be turned in .doc, .docx, .pages, or .pdf format to our Moodle course page. If you don't use a word processor that can produce one of those formats, talk to me about alternative arrangements.

All work will be graded on or converted to a 0-100 scale, where 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, and 0-59 = F. The highest three numbers in a range are equivalent to a plus grade (e.g. 87-89 = B+); the lowest three are equivalent to a minus (e.g. 90-92 = A-).

Attendance is mandatory. I will evaluate attendance on a case by case basis, but in general you should expect that more than four absences for any reason, including illness and university-sponsored activities, will lower your final grade.

Late papers: turning in the short paper or the term project late will result in a penalty of 4 points (e.g. 92 to 89) for every calendar day it is late, up to a maximum of 20 points (e.g. 95 to 75). Turning in the preparatory work for the term project (the prelimary topic, prospectus, first draft, and/or other work as assigned) late will result in a deduction of 1 point on the term project grade for every calendar day any piece of work is late, up to a maximum of 5 points per preparatory assignment. I usually don't grant extensions on papers, but you're welcome to ask. Because a low grade--say, an F at 50 points--is much less destructive to a grade than a 0 is, it is nearly always worthwhile to make up late work. See the Guidelines for the Reading Journal to see my policies for handling late and missing journal entries.

Participation in discussion is important in this class. Although there will be no separate grade rubric for participation, active and thoughtful participation in class will raise a borderline grade, while passive or disruptive participation will lower one. (A borderline grade is defined as a grade within .5 of a point of the cutoff between two grades. For example, 90 is the cutoff between B+ and A-; 89.5 - 90.5 is the borderline range between the two grades.)

Plagiarism will affect your grade in one of two ways. If you turn in work which is plagiarized in minor or unintentional ways (e.g. you use the language of a source you are writing about without quotes, but in only a brief passage and clearly without any intention to represent someone else's work as your own), the paper will receive a 0, and we will discuss plagiarism until it is clear that you understand what it is and how to avoid it. You may be able to rewrite such a paper for a higher grade if there is enough time left in the term. However, if you turn in a paper which, in my judgment, plagiarizes blatantly, either at length or with apparent intent to deceive, you will receive an F in the course, regardless of any other grades you have received, and I will file an Academic Dishonesty Report with the Associate Provost.

In accordance with the policy set forth in the IWU Catalog, this course is designed to demand two to three hours of work outside of class for every hour spent in class. As the Catalog cautions, however, the actual time any one student will need to spend "will inevitably vary greatly according to a student's ability, aptitude, and motivation with respect to the given subject matter."

Tentative Schedule

M 8/28 - Introduction. Read in class: excerpt from Brook and Etienne, The Man Who
W 8/30 - The terrain made unfamiliar. Reading: Powers, Galatea 2.2 (at least 50 pp.)
F 9/1 - Powers continued. Reading: Galatea 2.2 (at least 100 pp.)

M 9/4 - Labor Day; no class
W 9/6 - Powers continued.Reading: Galatea 2.2 (at least 200 pp.); Stockwell, Cognitive Poetics Ch. 1; Hogan, Cognitive Science, Literature and the Arts 29-34
F 9/8 - Powers continued. Reading: Galatea 2.2 (to the end)

M 9/11 - Powers continued
W 9/13 - Powers continued
F 9/15 - What does embodied cognition mean in literature anyway? Reading: TBA Reading journal 1 due

M 9/18 - Prototypes. Reading: Stockwell Ch. 3; Hogan 42-48; Macleish, "Ars Poetica" (online at <>)
W 9/20 - Scripts and Schemas. Reading: Stockwell Ch. 6; Hogan 70-75; Doyle, "A Scandal in Bohemia" (online at <>)
F 9/22 - Schemas continued. Reading: Carroll, "Jabberwocky" (online at <>)

M 9/25 - catch-up day on on to deixis. First paper due
W 9/27 - Deixis. Reading: Stockwell Ch. 4; Browning, "Fra Lippo Lippi" (online at <>)
F 9/29 - Deixis continued. Reading: Woolf, "Kew Gardens" (online at <>)

M 10/2 - Deixis continued. Reading journal 2 due
T 10/3, 7 PM - Viewing (out of class): Memento
W 10/4 - Schemas and narrative; discussion of Memento. Reading: Hogan Ch. 5
F 10/6 - Memento continued. Reading: script of Memento

M 10/9 - catch-up day or on to theory of mind
W 10/11 - Theory of mind. Reading: Zunshine, Why We Read Fiction 3-44; "Fra Lippo Lippi" again
F 10/13 - Theory of mind continued. Reading: Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (at least 119 pp.)

M 10/16 - Haddon continued (at least 140 pp.). Preliminary topic for term project due by email
W 10/18 - Metarepresentations. Haddon continued Reading: finish Haddon; Zunshine 47-82
F 10/20 - Fall Break

M 10/23 - Haddon continued
W 10/25 - Haddon continued
F 10/27 - Library research or catch-up day. Reading journal 3 due

M 10/30 - Conceptual metaphor. Reading: Stockwell Ch. 8; Hogan Ch. 4. View in class: Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Darmok"
W 11/1 -Discussion of "Darmok"
F 11/3 - Metaphor continued.Reading: Dickinson, poems 59, 124, 187, 222, 249, 376, 399, 448, 453, 479, 502, 582, 598, 666, 684, 690, 710, 743, 817, 822, 890, 899, 910, 965, 969, 1068, 1470, 1525, 1773
Sat 11/4, 11:55 PM - Prospectus due

M 11/6 - Dickinson continued. Reading: Dickinson, poems 571, 601, 610, 633, 853, 858, 930, 163
W 11/8 - Dickinson continued.
F 11/10 - Dickinson continued.

M 11/13 - catch-up day or on to Lodge. First draft of long paper due for those who want a chance to revise
W 11/15 - Consciousness. Reading: Lodge, Thinks... (at least 56 pp.)
F 11/17 - Lodge continued. Reading: Lodge, Thinks... (at least 102 pp.)

M 11/20 - Lodge continued. Reading: Lodge, Thinks... (at least 182 pp.) ; Donald, A Mind So Rare, Ch. 2. Reading journal 4 due
W 11/22 - F 11/24 Thanksgiving Break

M 11/27 - Lodge continued. Reading: Lodge, Thinks... (finish)
W 11/29 - Lodge continued
F 12/1 - Emotion. Reading: Hogan Chs. 6 and 7; Curious Incident continued.
Sat 12/2, 11:55 PM - Final draft of long paper due

M 12/4 - Hogan and Lodge continued.
W 12/6 - catch-up day
F 12/8 - last day of class

T 12/12, 3:30 - 5:30: Final exam (counts as a double journal posting)
T 12/12, 11:55 PM: Reading journal 5 due