ENGLISH 298 - Introduction to Literary Studies
Section: 101 The Games We Play
Term: SP 2013
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
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Other Course Info:
Prerequisite for concentrators in English and Honors English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Beginning as early as the first printed book in English (William Caxton’s The Game and Playe of Chesse) a host of approaches have sought to explain and to modify human behavior through the analysis of games, and vice versa. Game studies has attempted to analyze human culture through the window of the games we play, especially as those games articulate complex social structures. Seen as a tool to optimize decisions—and to anticipate the decisions of others—game theory has shaped political science, mainstream economics, the probability theory used in quantum physics, cryptography, and so on. It has also become a powerful tool—perhaps too powerful—for reading literature, film, and the arts. And, finally, a recent explosion of studies and practices called, loosely, “gamification” or “serious games” has held out the promise of a new utopia, turning everyday life into an extended episode of play. Taken together, then, games may be said to be deeply entwined with what it means to be human.

This course will explore the importance of the play of games in and by the arts and sciences. Texts will include a very early play (Middleton’s A Game of Chess), a mock-epic poem (Pope’s The Rape of the Lock), several puzzles and short stories (by Arthur Conan Doyle and Jorge-Luis Borges), and a number of novels (Casino Royale and The Man in the High Castle, among others).

Course Requirements:

Students will choose among a menu of assignments, which may include two or three essays, several kinds of response papers, short presentations, and other forms of written work. Focus will be on the revision and editing of prose. The course will also include a series of weekly challenges, built around the tools we develop in the analysis of games in literature and literary games.

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ENGLISH 298 - Introduction to Literary Studies
Schedule Listing
101 (REC)
TuTh 9:00AM - 12:00PM
102 (REC)
MW 9:00AM - 12:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780142002025
Casino royale : a James Bond novel, Author: Fleming, Ian, 1908-1964., Publisher: Penguin Books 2002
ISBN: 0451197968
The running man, Author: Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman., Publisher: Signet Pbk. ed. 1999
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