What does it mean to write about or imagine anxiety? How have authors and thinkers used the act of writing as a means of overcoming mental instability? How and why has the act of literary production led to periods of depression and mania in some of the most prolific writers of the modern era? What does it mean for a text to leave the reader anxious or uncomfortable? Can anxiety be a productive emotion? Focusing on these guiding questions, this course will introduce students to a wide variety of literary and critical texts that depict, react to, and attempt to theorize anxiety, depression, and other “non-normative” mental states. By examining how writing can both produce and describe moments of panic, this class will begin to think about the role of anxiety in the literary, academic, and real worlds.
Dr. Rebecca Soares