This course focuses on questions foundational to the study of literature. That is, why do humans tell stories and where do they come from? Why do some works of literature become popular, sometimes for several centuries and adapted for new generations of readers, while others fade away? What kind of “equipment for living” do works of literature provide? In delving into these questions, we study a variety of literary genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, and the graphic novel. Through critical reading, discussion, and written analyses of literary works, students will develop the techniques and vocabulary of literary analysis while learning how rhetorical conventions and historical contexts shape textual interpretations.