- What knowledge of literature can be gained by focusing attention on the author? Can, or should, authors’ intentions and the creative process itself be understood through observing authors or knowing something of their lives? Is the creative process as important as the final product, even though it cannot be observed directly? Are an author’s intentions relevant to assessing the work? Can a work of art contain or convey meaning of which the artist is oblivious?
- What knowledge of literature can be gained by focusing attention on its social, cultural or historical context?
- What is lost in translation from one language to another? Why?
Works in Translation (Year 1, First half)
(Year 1, Second half)
- What is the proper function of literature—to capture a perception of reality, to teach or uplift the mind, to express emotion, to create beauty, to bind a community together, to praise a spiritual power, to provoke reflection or to promote social change?
- Can literature express truths that cannot be expressed in other ways? If so, what sort of truths are these? How does this form of truth differ from truth in other areas of knowledge?
- How important is the study of literature in individual/ethical development? In what ways?
(Year 2, First half)
- Does familiarity with literature itself provide knowledge and, if so, of what kind—knowledge of facts, of the author, of the conventions of the form or tradition, of psychology or cultural history, of oneself?
- What knowledge of literature can be gained by focusing attention solely on the work itself, in isolation from the author or the social context?
- Is a work of literature enlarged or diminished by interpretation? What makes something a good or bad interpretation?
Literary Genres (Year 2, Second half)
- How can a literary work of fiction, which is by definition non-factual, convey knowledge?
- What constitutes good evidence within the study of literature?
- What knowledge can be gained from the study of literature?