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Pathology of the Best Seller


Course Description

In this course, students will study various contemporary best sellers - some read with their "literary" counterparts - and bestsellers from the last century. This course explores what makes a book "literature" and why popular books are often considered less-than-literature, and the popular and financial success for a book automatically means it cannot be good literature. A comparison between "literary" and "non-literary" texts in the same subgenres will look for similarities and differences. Students will attempt to define what makes good literature, and we will apply these criteria to various bestsellers and compare them to the literary definitions provided by acknowledged "experts" in the field.

Course Number


Course Hours



ENGL1000 and ENGL1011 or one of the above and permission of the instructor