Spring 2014
- Seminar in Language and Literature: Apprehending New Worlds: The Literature of Discovery

The evolution of a modern concept of discovery is a story that belongs in part to the history of science, but in this course we will place this evolution in the context of literary history. In particular, we will ask how the European literary engagement with the New World since the fifteenth century transformed old literary genres (such as the utopia and the pastoral) and gave rise to new literary discourses (such as the novel) as well as modes of representing reality (such as the fantastic, realism, and magic realism). We will begin with the writings of Christopher Columbus and take this literary history of discovery up to its culmination in 1992, the 500th anniversary of the European ‘discovery’ of America, which saw an outpouring of historiography, novels, and short stories devoted to the issue.


Junior standing or higher; and must be in English Language and Literature program.


Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.