Reading & Composition: Celtic Literature and Psychoanalysis
This course will introduce you to some of the most exciting and enduring concepts of psychoanalysis—dreams, transference, psychic structure, desire, sexuality—through classic and contemporary psychoanalytic readings. Since this is a Celtic studies course, we will also be reading, discussing, and writing about artistic works drawn from that tradition, including but not limited to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes, and selected short stories by James Joyce and Anne Enright. We will also watch at least one film. These Celtic works have been selected, in part, for their thematic affinities with the psychoanalytic readings. The wager of this course, however, is that apart from any overt connections between psychoanalytic theory and Celtic literature, a curious, playful and imaginative psychoanalytic mode of thinking will not only be unpredictably useful for our thinking about these texts, but for our development as readers and writers.
Writing in this course will assume several forms: textual glosses, argumentative summaries, stylistic explorations, a close-reading analysis paper, and a final research paper. The reading load for this course will average between 40-70 pages per week.
Course Reader (available at Metro Publishing): All readings will be contained in the course reader.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.