Haunted spaces are occupied spaces, inhabited by some force or trace of the past. In this course we will explore the various ways in which authors have employed hauntings to understand our relation to place and to the past, to issues of time, memory, knowledge, culture, history, and mortality. How do ghosts function both as objects to fear and as historical subjects with ethical and political potential? Why does literature insist on keeping the dead (and the Gothic) alive? In focusing our course on haunted spaces we will consider the text itself as a haunted site, asking questions about how and why we read , and what happens when we do. Both real and phantasmatic, texts hover between life and death, operating as conduits through which authors communicate, through which characters and events appear, again and again and again. We believe in ghosts.
English 162 is a course for non-English majors that uses literature to deepen the understanding of the rich, complex, and varied engagement between human beings and the places they inhabit and imagine. We will examine how places, with their history, traditions, myths, customs, tensions, social structures, and physical form interact with people's daily lives. In this course, we will read texts from various literary genres--novels, short stories, essays, memoir, poetry, and drama--to think about the myriad functions of place in a rich, complex, and varied engagement between human beings and the places they inhabit and imagine. Throughout the semester students will develop their skills of literary analysis, building arguments, and making connections among various texts, and communicating ideas effectively. Students will have the opportunity to practice and share these developing skills by participating in our class discussions, informal writing responses to readings online and in class, as well as in a formal academic essay, a midterm and final.
This is a general education course that satisfies the Literature requirement for the Queens Core under the CUNY General Education structure called Pathways. The course also satisfies the Reading Literature requirement under the Perspectives curriculum that was in effect at Queens