Narrative Analysis Prof Elana Gomel
A selection of short stories and theoretical texts will be made available online.
We live our lives surrounded by stories. Novels, movies, video games, and newscasts are narratives, and so are biographies and autobiographies. The concept of narrative is crucial not only to literature but also to psychology, history and political science. The theory of narrative is, therefore, of primary importance in literary and cultural studies today.
In this course we will learn about the basic and fundamental concepts of narrative theory, such as author, reader, plot, setting, character, and point of view. We will study the classic narratological theories of Viktor Shklovsky, Gerard Genette, Seymour Chatman and others. But we will also discuss the recent and exciting innovations in narratology, connected to the rise of the Internet, the changing media landscape and the influence of cognitive and evolutionary science. The aim of the course is to equip you with the necessary analytical tools for understanding both literary and non-literary narratives.
The course will involve reading a selection of theoretical texts paired with short stories. A detailed syllabus will be posted before the beginning of the semester.
Familiarity with all the major theoretical approaches to narrative
Ability to apply the theoretical tools provided by the course to a variety of narrative texts
Independent and original thinking about narrative
Active independent work, quizzes, two short papers, a midterm and a final exam.
Online resources will be provided
The final grade will be calculated on the following basis: final exam – 50%, the papers – 30%, quizzes and class participation – 2-%