Fall 2019 Graduate Seminar

6500-01 (class# 10058) SEMINAR IN LITERARY THEORY: EMPATHY ETHICS AND NARRATIVES

(Hogan): This course will begin by introducing some common cognitive and philosophical ideas about emotion, empathy, and narrative in relation to ethics. We will then discuss a familiar work—perhaps, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl—in terms of those broad concerns. Starting in the third week, I would take part of the class to introduce relevant research in more detail—for example, on the nature of emotion. The rest of the class would be a discussion of the reading (e.g., Matravers), often guided by two of the students. I would also ask students to be prepared to relate the reading to a literary work or film (such as Jacobs). The following classes would follow the same general format, as outlined below. Requirements would include one conference-presentation-type essay (roughly seven pages) and one journal-type essay (roughly eighteen pages). A very, very tentative outline (just to give an idea of how the course will proceed):
Week 1. What is emotion? What is empathy? What is narrative? What is ethical evaluation?
Week 2. Same questions. Jacobs
Week 3.Emotion. Matravers. Jacobs.
Week 4. Emotion. Keen. Jacobs.
Week 5. Empathy. Keen. Satrapi.
Week 6. Empathy and Ethics. Decety. Satrapi.
Week 7. Empathy and Ethics. Decety. Satrapi.
Week 8. Blocking Empathy: Disgust. Shakespeare. (First paper due.)
Week 9. Blocking Empathy: Anger. Shakespeare.
Week 10. Against Empathy. Bloom. Godard.
Week 11. Narrative and Emotion. Haidt. Godard.
Week 12. Narrative and Emotion. Haidt. Mizoguchi.
Week 13. Narrative and Ethics. Mizoguchi.
Week 14. Students on their research projects.