Business and Literature (3) An investigation into how writers and the cultures in which they write have represented business and those engaged in it.
ENGL 460 Business and Literature (3)
For many people, literature and business could not have less to do with each other. According to this view, literature escapes from reality to the imaginative, while nothing could be more focused on the real than business and its buying and selling of commodities and services. The problem is that no one told literary writers of this mutual incompatibility. For centuries, writers have peered into the world of business and brought back stories intended to document, inspire, and warn. True, writers have often, and sometimes unthinkingly, condemned business and those who follow it, but they have just as often had genuine insights into its workings. In this course, we will follow the relationship between literature and business over the course of modern history. Although one version of the course would begin with literature that dates back to the invention of capitalism in (more or less) the sixteenth century, our course will begin at the turn of the nineteenth century with the Industrial Revolution in England and the United States and follow the literature of business up to the present. Our aim in reading is not just to understand how writers have represented business and those who pursue it, which, it has to be admitted, has often been with contempt. But, rather, in reading more sympathetic works, to understand the drama of business, why those who pursue it find it so invigorating. Money, of course, is one answer to that question, but it is neither the only nor the most important one.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.