Using an interdisciplinary arts approach, investigates varied performance aesthetics, theory and practices of the later 20th and early 21st century with a focus on the American experience, new and disenfranchised voices, and hybrid genres in the arts. Considers perspectives in music, dance, directing, multimedia, and of theorists and playwrights. Disillusionment of the post-WWII era, voices of protest, agitation/propaganda, performance art, and identity politics; Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender performance, race relations, and the feminist aesthetic. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.)
Fifth century Athens is widely considered to be one of the apexes of civilization in the west, in terms of politics, art, and society. The century is bookended, however, by two devastating traumas: the economic crisis from the destruction of Athens in the Persian Wars, and the fall of the Athenian Democracy, precipitated, arguably, by the financial drain of the Sicilian Expedition. As the theater of Dionysos is an important place where the Athenians worked out their social and political anxieties, in this class we will read economically themed Athenian drama, from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon to Aristophanes’ Wealth, with a view toward understanding attitudes toward monetary enrichment, poverty, and greed. Upon mastering the origins and early forms of ancient drama, students will select a contemporary event, “ripped from the headlines”, and cast it in the form of an Aristotelian Greek tragedy.
Romantic, Commedia and Neo-Classic Theatre (CO200/DR222)
A survey of Western theatre from the English Restoration through German Romanticism, culminating with the advent of realism throughout Europe. Studies will include the work of Racine, Corneille, Goethe, Schiller, Bichner, Gozzi, Goldoni, and the innovators of modern stage practice.
Gender Trouble on the Acropolis: Athena and Dionysos in Fifth Century Athens (in Athens) (CO200/EN274/FG280/DR220/CL222)
Girls will be boys and boys will be girls. It’s a mixed up muddled shook up world . . .” In the fifth century BCE the Athenian acropolis prominently featured Athena, the masculine patron goddess of the city, and Dionysos, the most feminine of the male Olympians, and in whose cult gender reversal is prominent. Likewise, three of the most important civic festivals, the City Dionysia, the Lenaia, and the Panathenaia were in honor of these peculiarly gendered deities. In this course we will consider the major monuments on the acropolis, the three major festivals of the city, and the ancient Greek dramas, especially those paying specific attention to the issue of gender relations and the creation of civic ideology. In addition we will look at other monuments of the city, as well as artifacts in the National Archaeological Museum and the new Acropolis Museum.
Greek culture reached out into the world in new ways with Alexander the Great, and Greeks urbanized and cosmopolitanized in new ways. City-state based Old Comedy gave way to the New Comedy of character and situation and whole new genres arose exploring and narrating the marginal and vernacular and still-enchanted fringe of an increasingly known world. Pastoral evoked the experience of country people in hexameter verse, while prose romance-novels opened up the erotically charged space-time between infatuation and marriage. Reading from Menander, Plautus, Terence, Theocritus, Vergil, the Greek Romances and Petronius.
This Course Explores how Japanese writers have dealt with issues of gender and sexuality from the Heian Period through the modern era. Drawing on literary sources such as The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (11th c.), Five Women Who Loved Love by Ihara Saikaku (17th c.), and Kitchen by Yoshimoto Banana (20th c.), as well as films and manga. We will analyze how both male and female authors have portrayed gender and sexuality within an ever-changing landscape. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.)
Self-Conscious Fiction (CO200/EN280)
This course will explore self-conscious or metafictional texts, that is, texts that call attention to themselves as artifice. We will examine how these texts expose their status as fictional constructs both thematically and structurally and, thus, how they call into question the boundaries between fiction and reality. Texts include Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Gide’s The Counterfeiters, Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse, Nabokov’s Pale Fire, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author,
and Abish’s Alphabetical Africa
This course will introduce students to the rich tradition of epic poetry in South and Southeast Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos). We will look at the historical and religious contexts in which these epics were produced, as well as the performance traditions that often accompanied them. Special attention will be paid to the history of contact between these cultural areas and the ways in which translocal stories and poetic forms were influenced by local traditions.
Religion and myth of ancient Greece and Rome in relation to that of the ancient Mediterranean (Akkadian, Hittite, Sumerian, Egyptian). Female presence in art, literature and religion compared to treatment of women in their respective cultures. Theoretical approaches to the understanding of myth (Comparative, Jungian, Structuralist) in relation to myths as they are encoded in their specific cultures. Students may trace a myth through Medieval, Renaissance and modern transformations in art, music, poetry and film, or study myth in other cultures (e.g. Norse and Celtic).
Women, Literature, and Murder (CO200/EN280)
Women and murder have a curious and enduring relationship, and images of the femme fatale haunt fiction from Homer to the Lifetime Network. This class looks at literary representations of women and murder from various historical periods from antiquity to the contemporary world, and in various genres and media including film, drama, myth, and prose fiction. Texts may include Euripides' Medea, Papadiamantis' The Murderess, Wilder's Double Indemnity, Morrison's Jazz, and Lyne's Fatal Attraction.
African-American Theatre (CO200/DR320/ES200)
History of African and African-American theatre, emphasizing the synergy between the two forms and the two continents from the griot-driven oral tradition and African folk-tale languages of performance grounded in the talking drum through American minstrelsy and other African-American musical and theatrical traditions (choreo-poems, performance art, jazz). Examines the development of the two forms in their theatrical, literary, and performance traditions.
What do Tin Tin, Milou, and characters from Maus have in common? This course will examine the nature of the comic book and graphic novel from a comparative perspective. Drawing on French, American, Belgian, and English sources, we will study topics such as humor, iconography, nationalism, semiotic systems, and other topics. We will compare how representations of national traits, jokes, and caricature structure these works. We will also examine the nature of tragedy in the comic book by examining representations of the Holocaust and September 11th. All sources will be available in both English and in the original language of publication for those students capable of reading the original work.
Major psychoanalytical perspectives of the late 19th and 20th centuries on the concept of the unconscious, in theory, case studies, and fiction. Emphasis on unconscious processes as they relate to the formation of identity. Reading from such authors as Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Kohut and Yalom.
An investigation into the birth, development, and evolution of good and evil as philosophical, anthropological, and even psychological terms, using dramatic texts as guideposts for the discussion. Do good and evil exit? If so, do they exist as entities, or do we create them because of a basic human need? Are good and evil inherently oppositional, or can they be gradated and value-laden? Critical texts will include Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Augustine’s Confessions, Nietzche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and selected essays of Foucault. Dramatic texts will include Medea, The Duchess of Malfi, Othello, The Devils, Fargo (filmscript), Aunt Dan and Lemon, and selected scenes.
Holocaust in German Literature and Film (CO200/GR220)
Even though such writers as Jean Paul Sartre, Theodor Adorno, and George Steiner questioned whether one could ever create imaginative writing after Auschwitz, the Holocaust has been a presence in German literature from the 1940s to the present. Because the Nazis employed so many lies to pervert the truth, it has been the concern of a number of post-World War II writers and film-makers to render the horrendous truth in their art. In this class we will focus on the formal as well as on the moral responsibilities those artists had to face in order to understand and communicate the complexities of the Holocaust through literary or filmic representation.
A study of origins, early texts, performance practices and developing theatrical conventions in various cultures, with special emphasis on ancient Greek and Roman theatre.
The character of the warrior appears as a major figure throughout literary works produced in very different historical and cultural contexts. The warrior plays a special role in most cultures; while he/she is celebrated for his/her skill in killing, this role comes with responsibilities and moral dilemmas not faced by the civilian. This class explores representations of the warrior in literature from cultures ranging from ancient India to the contemporary United States, focusing on how heroism and morality are defined and questioned in times of war. A significant part of this course will be student engagement with military communities and institutions in and around Colorado Springs to better understand the diverse ways that contemporary, local communities experience and express the issues we have been exploring throughout the class. This course carries a Community Based Learning (CBL) designation.
This course provides a broad overview of movements in Mexican American literature in the twentieth century, from Revolutionary corridos, to Chicano movement documents, through the development of Chicana feminism. This interdisciplinary course emphasizes a relation between historical events and literary production. Authors to include Americo Paredes, Tomas Rivera, and Sandra Cisneros.
Nineteenth-century Europe was the site of great creativity, progressive social thought, and great violence. Artistic movements, ranging from romanticism through realism and naturalism, justified and criticized the creation of modern industrial society, the rise of a new type of city, recurring waves of revolution, and a new understanding of human emotions. This course is designed to explore European culture in the nineteenth century through an interdisciplinary perspective. We utilize different kinds of primary-source texts, such as novels, political philosophy, and opera libretti, and we’ll also analyze several contemporary movies. The nineteenth century will not be presented as a “monolith”; rather we will focus on different European cultures in comparative context (Germanic, French, Italian, British), and we will consider differences in the female and male experience by studying composers such as Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn. The climax of the course is a prolonged study of “La Traviata.” We'll read Camille, Alexandre Dumas Fils’ novel that served as a basis for the story; we'll study the libretto; we'll learn about the musical elements; and we'll see the opera. The end of the course will focus on one of the most important fin-de-siècle composers, Richard Wagner, and his romantic imagination.
Medieval and Renaissance Theatre (CO200/TH221/EN280)
Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World (CO200/CL222/FG206)
An introductory survey of issues relating to gender and sexuality in Greece and Rome. The focus will be on the role of women in ancient society and their characterization in literature. Though our sources are dominated by male perspectives, the class will attempt a balanced and accurate picture of ancient society. The course will also place these literary depictions in the broader context of art, political and societal structure, religious belief and family relations. Authors examined will include Hesiod, Homer, Aristophanes, Virgil, the female poets Sappho and Sulpicia, Ovid, and many more.
Mafia Movies (CO200/IT320/FS205)
Perhaps more than any other region, the Caribbean still bears witness to the legacies of colonialism, slavery, and transatlantic and transpacific migrations. Both the region and individual islands are multilingual and multicultural, formed by communities of the African, Asian, and European diasporas who each brought a variety of rich traditions, languages, philosophies, religions, and cultural practices to the small islands. This class will explore the challenges and opportunities of developing both individual and national identities in the context of cultural richness and economic and political challenges of this region. We will read authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, CLR James, Monique Roffey, Edouard Glissant, Aimé and Suzanne Césaire, Junot Diaz, and Andrea Herrera among others, as well as studying films such as Sugar Cane Alley, The Sweetest Mango, and Once in an Island.
Good and Bad in Times of War: Heroism and Morality in Literature of the Warrior (CO200/PA250/AN209)
The character of the warrior appears as a major figure throughout literary works produced in very different historical and cultural contexts. The warrior plays a special role in most cultures; while he/she is celebrated for his/her skill in killing, this role comes with responsibilities and moral dilemmas not faced by the civilian. Selected readings may include the Bhagavad Gita, Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain, Knight of the Lion, Mahasweta Devi's Breast Stories and Larry Heinemann's Paco's Story. While we will look at these texts in terms of themes that stretch across world literature, we will pay close attention to how the literary interpretations of these themes reflect cultural priorities and anxieties that may or may not be universal.
Feminist Performance (CO200/DR200/DA200/FG206)
Feminist performance since the sixties has used the body’s material presence and erotic force to disrupt masculine regimes of control and meaning. This course will examine how this disruptive tradition of resistance and affirmation has become the dominant paradigm for female artists across multiple disciplines, including dramatists, choreographers, and performance artists, such as Carolee Schneeman, Karen Finley, and Annie Sprinkle. However, the course will also investigate female artists whose personal accounts of social marginalization portray the disappearance or loss of individual identity. Beginning with Gertrude Stein’s elusive poetic idiom, we will trace this aesthetic of disappearance into novels, plays, and films of the seventies by Christa Wolf, Maguerite Duras, and Chantal Akerman. We also consider Ana Medieta’s emphemeral body performances and subdued choreography by Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, and Meredith Monk. In conclusion, the course will investigate three interdisciplinary artists—Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Yoko Tawada, and Cecilia Vicuña—whose multi-linguistic texts and performances turn feminist aesthetics towards a global horizon. Additional artists to be considered may include Adrian Piper, Kate Bornstein, Lynn Hershman, Mary Kelly, Louise Bourgeois, Rebecca Horn, and Nancy Spero.
Latin American Cinema (CO200/SP316/FS205)
This course examines different modes of film-making in Latin America, namely Industrial Cinema, autonomous film collectives and Indigenous Media, and auteur-based Art Cinema. We will integrate these major currents in the history of Latin American film within a broader political, economic, and social framework. We will also explore the interconnections between the Latin American film industry, Hollywood, and European Cinema. The social role of the cinematic medium will emerge as an important theme for analysis, as well as the tension between aesthetic experimentation and political engagement.
A study of the 20th-century movements in playwriting and theatre practice. Topics will include realism (Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov) and the revolts against it, such as the work of Brecht, Artaud, Pirandello, and various artists of “alternative” theatre.
Media & Psychoanalysis Considers the status of desire and subjectivity in the contemporary media landscape, a setting in which failure often has become a new means for success. How can we judge the aesthetic value of contemporary media when failure may ensure, rather than prevent, profitabilty? Is there any possibility for an ethics of media when nothing is off limits? To what extent can the psychoanalytic concept of desire be applied to and extended by the aesthetics of new media?
Jean-Luc Godard (CO220/PH203/FS205)
From Breathless (1960) to Film Socialism (2010), the films, writings, and videos of Jean-Luc Godard have delighted and perplexed generations of viewers. Indisputably one of the great figures in the history of cinema, Godard has continually pushed the boundaries of his medium, working simultaneously in fiction and documentary, film and video, text and audio. This course will explore a wide range of Godard’s work, focusing in particular on the ways in which his works both engage important questions in philosophy and constitute a new multimedia genre for the philosophical essay.
Contemporary Performance 1950-present (CO220/DR224)
Using an interdisciplinary arts approach, investigates varied performance aesthetics, theory and practices of the later 20th and early 21st century with a focus on the American experience, new and disenfranchised voices, and hybrid genres in the arts. Considers perspectives in music, dance, directing, multimedia, and of theorists and playwrights. Disillusionment of the post-WWII era, voices of protest, agitation/propaganda, performance art, and identity politics;
Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender performance, race relations, and the feminist aesthetic. Contemporary Performance will offer an optional field trip to Portland, OR in order to attend the Time-Based Art Festival, which is hosted by the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) draws artists from across the country and around the globe for a convergence of contemporary performance, dance, music, new media, and visual arts projects in Portland, Oregon. Now in its ninth year, the TBA Festival is presented September 8-18, 2011, with visual art installations running through October. TBA celebrates artists from across and in-between all mediums, and activates the entire community with art and ideas. PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival. The festival's website is: http://www.pica.org/tba/. Travel expenses will be determined based on the number of students who wish to attend the festival. Attendance is not required as part of the course. Interested parties should feel free to contact the course instructor, Ryan Platt at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.)
Childhood in Japanese History (CO220/JA250/PA250)
In this course we will examine the construction of childhood in Japan, primarily through literary texts about and for children. We will supplement this with a variety of texts from other fields (history, sociology, anthropology, art, and music). Through an analysis of the printed text and cultural artifacts, we will come to an understanding of the process of how childhood in Japan has evolved into its current status.
Latin American Literature and Mass Media (CO220/SP316)
Study of literature in interrelation with television, news, and current events. Team-taught wit the distinguished Chilean author, Antonio Skarmeta. Prerequisite: Spanish 306 for Spanish credit (taught in Chile).
The Age of Genius: The Enlightenment Through Music and History (CO220/HY200/MU228)
In this course, we will investigate some of the composers, writers, and theorists who made the long eighteenth century an Age of Enlightenment. Focusing on what many scholars have called the "Birth of Modernity," we will explore the broad-based questioning of Old Regime institutions and cultural practices. We will study the works of political theorists, such as Rousseau and Kant, writers, including Beaumarchais and Goethe, and composers, such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Reading Caribbean Feminisms through the Arts (CO220/PG320/FG206/ES200)
Topics in Hispanic Literature and Culture:Reading Caribbean Feminisms through the Arts" This course approaches feminist studies in the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora through multiple forms of artistic production, including cinema, visual art, creative fiction, dance, and music. The selected readings and audio-visual texts we will study represent a range of forms of expression and ideological positions produced in late nineteenth through early twenty-first century Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic. Through these texts students will become acquainted with a variety of ways of understanding knowledge production—art epistemologies—and will gain tools for approaching studies of the Caribbean and the Caribbean-diaspora using the arts as a point of theorization. In addition to gaining increased linguistic fluency in the realm of Spanish-language production, students will acquire the capacity to read feminisms through the lens of artistic production. By the end of the course students will be expected to focus on one artistic method and engage it as a methodological tool for studying one aspect of Hispanic Caribbean feminist expression.
The Life of the Soul (in Chicago) (CO220/CL220)
Since the beginning of time, humans have been searching into the nature of the soul, its life and its meanings. Starting from the Greeks, this course seeks to discover how the concept of “soul” is understood, and how its life is conceived. We will explore the roots of these questions in ancient Greek epic, drama and philosophy, how these answers transform in medieval and renaissance literature, and how modernity offers strikingly new answers to them. Possible common texts for the course: Presocratic philosophers, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Plato’s Symposium and Republic, Sophocles Oedipus Cycle, Aristotle’s On the Soul (De Anima), Ethics, Augustine’s Confessions, Neoplatonic writers such as Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola’s On the Dignity of Man; Goethe’s Faust, Franklin’s Autobiography, Emerson’s Essays, and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. These texts offer some of the most profound answers to how the soul can achieve its greatest life and will act as a template for the exploration of themes in the Newberry library’s collection.
Journeys to the Self: Hermann Hesse and Psychoanalysis (CO220/GR320)
We will focus will be on connections between some of the shorter novels of Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) and psychoanalysis, with particular emphasis on the life and works of Carl Jung (1875-1961), within the context of modernism. Of Hesse’s works, students will read Siddartha, Die Morgenlandfahrt (Journey to the East), Demian, and Der Steppenwolf. We will also watch and analyze film versions of several of the novels. In addition, students will read some basic background on Freud, Jung and the origins of psychoanalysis, as well as selections from Jung’s work, particularly from Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. The goal of the course will be for students to gain insight, not only into Hesse’s life and works, but also into the discourse of “modernism” as it arises at the turn of the century up through World War I. Hesse’s novels help to create a version of “selfhood” that persists in many ways to this day. Our readings and discussion will work toward a critical understanding of modernist version of the psyche. At the same time, we will analyze the literary techniques through which Hesse creates what we might call the “novel of the psychoanalytic self.” This will be a “Foreign Language Across the Curriculum” (FLAC) course. Students who register for GR 320 will read all texts, and submit written assignments, in German. No German language ability is required for students who register for CO 220.
Literature and the Environmental Imagination (CO220/EN280)
Centering on the works of Henry David Thoreau, this course examines what used to be called more generally “nature writing” in American literature. The term “environmental imagination” refers to imagining the natural environment as a human construction and reflecting upon such issues as these: how is human history implicated in natural history? Is human interest the only legitimate interest? How is human accountability to the environment an ethical matter? Texts that offer an opportunity to reflect on these questions include the writings of William Bartram, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aldo Leopold, and others.
Art in the Making of Brazil (CO220/PG320/FG206/ES200)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to a variety of artistic productions—film, fiction, popular music, contemporary choreographies, etc.—and the role that they play in the internally produced and externally consumed vision of Brazilian culture. We will focus on the ways that sexuality has been portrayed and displayed in the production of Brazilian culture. Students will be expected to read both historical and theoretical texts to inform their approach to various artistic productions and socio-historical contexts. The emphasis of the course will be the 19th-21st centuries with special attention to moments of transition, from the end of slavery in 1888 to the First and Second Republics that followed, as well as the impact of dictatorship and transition to democracy in more recent years. This course will explore the role of the sexualized body as a site of national identity formation and will engage feminist and queer theories to read “nationalized” culture forms such as samba, capoeira, and carnaval. Taught in English.
Practice in Comparison: The Romantic Vision (CO300/EN380)
We will look at the rise in romanticism in the late 18th century, particularly in England, France, and Germany, reading selections from both canonical and lesser-known British poets; French and German Romantics, such as Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Schiller, Novalis, Hoffmann; along with selections from 20th century critics who attempt to define Romanticism, including Marion Praz, M.H. Abrams, Paul De Man, and Jerome McGann. Of key significance is the understanding of how certain texts, some of which vary from each other immensely, come to be classified as “romantic.” We will try to understand how critics and scholars came to demarcate this particular area of cultural representation in opposition to delimiting periods such as “classicism” and “realism.” Finally, we will investigate a few strains of the “romantic” that persist both in “high” and popular culture up to the present day.
Practice in Comparison: The Novel as Genre (CO300/EN380)
As the title of the course indicates, we will examine the novel as a genre in a comparative context. We will begin by looking at what elements constitute a novel and how the novel compares to other genres. To illustrate, we will study two “classic” British novels, DeFoe's Moll Flanders and Austen's Emma, in conjunction with seminal theoretical statements on certain of these elements. We will then explore three more recent novels, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Nabokov's Pale Fire, and Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, to see how our reading of the text becomes more complicated by the novelist’s experimentation with language and form.
Travelers, Kings and Men of God: Literary Encounters between India and the West (CO351/EN380/PA250/ES300/AN308)
Since the earliest records India and the West have encountered each other in traveler's logs, historical accounts and a range of literary genres. In the eyes of the other these cultural and geopolitical bodies have been imagined as the end of the earth, land of opportunity, spiritual destination and center of depravity. This class looks at a range of such constructions of the other in texts from India, Pakistan, England, the United States and Portugal to better understand their long interrelated histories. Selected readings may include Rudyard Kipling's Kim, Ruth Jhabvala's Heat and Dust, W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, Gita Mehta's Karma Cola, and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Theatre of the Absurd (CO351/DR300)
An investigation of the influential dramatic texts of the Theatre of the Absurd, including works by Ionesco, Genet, Adamov, Beckett, Pinter, Albee, Jarry, and Pirandello. The class will examine the Theatre of the Absurd's philosophical roots in the existential philosophies of Camus and Satre and root the movement's genesis in the world wars of the of the 20th Century.
Plato’s Republic (CO351/PH314)
Among the greatest texts in the history of philosophy, Plato’s Republic is one of the most accessible, influential, and enigmatic. This course will explore Plato’s great work from a variety of perspectives, philosophical and literary, considering its implications for ethics, political philosophy, philosophical psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics. Working with multiple translations of the text, we will also read widely in the contemporary secondary literature on the Republic, considering both analytic and Continental approaches to the dialogue. Prerequisite: PH 101 or PH 201, and one 200- or 300-level literature course in CL, CO, EN, or other literatures, or COI.
Black Writers in Paris (CO351/EN385/ES385)
In this course, we explore Paris and its significance in the lives, work, and thought of African, Antillean, and African American writers during the first half of the twentieth century. From the American slaves who came to Paris to get an education denied to them in the United States, to the architects of the New Negro movement, to the jazz artists who charmed the French, to the African and Antillean francophone colonial subjects who, inspired by their encounters with other intellectuals from the Black Diaspora, returned to their native countries to loosen the bonds of colonialism, to the alienated young Arabs and Africans burning cars in the suburbs in 2005 and 2007, the city of Paris has played a central role in black diasporic culture, discourses of identity and freedom, and global conversations between black intellectuals. We will walk the historic streets, explore relevant museums, cultural sites, and monuments of the city which for generations has symbolized all the promises and betrayals of humanism, modernism and urban culture. In conversations with African American, Antillean, and African expatriate writers and artists, we gain insight into the work of writers such as Langston Hughes, Aimé Césaire, the Nardal sisters, Claude McKay and Cheikh Hamidou Kane as well as into still simmering debates about the power of literature, the legacies of colonialism, diasporic culture, the values of humanism, and social justice.
Pornography in the Age of Enlightenment (CO351/EN350/FR316)
Erotic writing appeared in many forms during the eighteenth century throughout Europe. Rarely were sexually explicit texts intended solely for the physical gratification and prurient interests of the reader. In fact, most often “pornographic” or so-called “lewd” texts served to express political or personal criticisms and challenged social structures. This course will look beyond the salacious details of the course material to locate the complex veiled critique beneath, while comparing the kinds and forms of critiques produced in the relatively stable constitutional monarchy of England (with its own sources of anxiety and tension) with those emerging from the volatile atmosphere of revolutionary France. Students should register for either FR 321 or EN 350. All students will meet together with both professors for each class session, but the students enrolled in the French course will complete all the French readings (and all written work) in French.
Borderlands Theory, Song, and Literature (CO351/EN380/SW308/ES300)
This course is an in depth examination of the theoretical and literary productions of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Readings of foundational theorists such as Jose Vasconcelos, Americo Paredes, Octavio Paz, and Gloria Anzaldua will provoke discussions of rapidly evolving concepts of race, gender, and language.
Philosophy of Technology in Film and Media (CO351/FM303/FS205)
Greek Myth in the Renaissance (CO351/EN320)
Greek myth was a rich source of inspiration for early modern writers, painters and sculptors. This class will start with looking at literary and visual representations of myth in the Italian Renaissance as we center on reading Golding’s 1567 English translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a highly erotic work. Golding defended it at the time as a symbolic representation of the same truths available in scripture, and Greek myth became for early modern England an allegorical tool for considering the soul’s relationship to God. Venus, Hercules, Jupiter, and Apollo fill pages and canvases with alternative ways of looking at the world, however, and myth also became a way of expanding attitudes to the human condition, human bodies and sex. Along with Golding’s Ovid, we will read other masterpieces of the English renaissance which make use of the mythical tradition.
Art in Context: Dante and Michelangelo: Art and Influence in the Renaissance (in Italy) (CO352/EN310/AH275)
This class frames the themes, issues, and problems of the Renaissance through the works of Dante and Michelangelo, giving special attention to the problems of artistic influence and cross-disciplinary fertilization in the period 1250-1550. The established connection between these two great artists will provide a structure for the class. Within this framework, we will consider the role of competition, admiration, and emulation in Renaissance art and literature, the effect of courtly patronage systems, and the reception of works of art at the time. Artists considered under this rubric of influence include: Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Donatello, and Signorelli; texts include Dante's Divine Comedy, selections from Ovid, Virgil, Boethius, Petrarch, Ficino. After an intensive period at CC, the class will travel to Italy to continue its work on site.
Queer Performance and Body Politics (CO352/TH329)
Examines how performances since 1960 by queer artists have challenged conventional ideas about the body, sexuality and selfhood. Uses readings by theorists such as Michael Foucault, Michael Warner, and Jose Esteban Munoz to identify strategic positions adopted by artists working in literature, film, drama, musical theatre, dance and performance art.
T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Poetry (CO352/PH303/EN383)
One of the most influential poet-critics in the English language, T. S. Eliot was also a philosopher: not only was he the author of a philosophical dissertation, but his critical essays on poetry and poetics are a significant contribution to the philosophy of literature. Reading Eliot's major poems and essays, along with other related writings, we will investigate his changing ideas about skepticism and religious belief, his aesthetics, his philosophy of experience, his views about poetry, his extraordinary achievement and influence, as well as the controversies engendered by his art and opinions.
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