This course will consider the ways in which nineteenth- and early twentieth century European authors utilize the natural sciences, scientists and doctors, and scientific discourse in artistic texts. We will consider some of the themes and conflicts to which science readily lends itself (e.g. reason vs. faith, nature vs. culture, freedom vs. determinism, etc.); the use of scientists and practitioners of medicine as fictional protagonists; the typical plots engendered by questions of and anxieties about heredity and biology; and some literary and cultural responses to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. In addition to close readings of literary texts, students will also be expected to write a series of papers and perform in-class writing exercises. As the ultimate prupose of the course is to improve students' analytical writing skills, we will dedicate time, both in and outside of class, to: grammar and sentence construction; style and technique; adn development of persuassive arguments; and the reworking of drafts into well-written papers.