Literatures of Lying
Fall 2014 not offered
This jointly taught course analyzes the subject of lying in the disciplines of science and literature and investigates its status as a foundational principle and ongoing problem in both. Lying is an unusually elusive and contested subject, but our work throughout the semester is not to adjudicate ethical questions. Rather, it is to explore the desire to find veracity in the world, using these two domains. What is at stake for practitioners in both fields, as they assert their "truths"? How do the histories of the scientific method and the novel inform one another? Under what conditions are "scientific" and "literary" lies produced and interpreted as such? How can literature and humanities scholarship--including the dependence of both the novel and nonfiction memoir on firmly held, yet flexible, ideas about factuality--inform our understanding of science--and vice versa? How does the experience of producing, blurring, and adjudicating the lines between lie and truth drive scientific research and inform readers' experiences of fiction and nonfiction? Texts include philosophical works on lying; scientific studies on the detection of lies, including scientific frauds; fiction by Daniel Defoe and Henry James; and nonfiction by Mary McCarthy. Students interested in thinking beyond their usual comfort zones and participating in an interdisciplinary experiment are encouraged to apply.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
Readings will probably include: Sissela Bok, LYING: MORAL CHOICE IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE; Mary McCarthy, MEMORIES OF A CATHOLIC GIRLHOOD; fiction by Henry James and Daniel DeFoe; social psychology by Robert Feldman and Erving Goffman; and others
|Examinations and Assignments:
1 midterm exam
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
This course fulfills the Theory major requirement and contributes to the Theory & Literary Forms concentration for the English major.
The course counts as an elective towards the psychology major.
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests
|Total Submitted Requests: 0
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