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Mondays & Wednesdays, 11 am-12 pm | Location: Sever 110
This course studies epic literature through six significant works in the genre: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Milton’s Paradise Lost, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and George Lucas’ Star Wars. We will examine these works in terms of their formal conventions, thematic interests, and historical contexts, as well as attending to the interactions between texts in the epic tradition, the shift from narrative poetry to novel and film, and the manifestations of epic in the modern world.
Note: This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding.Read more »
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11 am-12 pm | Location: Barker 024
The novel’s emergence as a new literary form and the remarkable record of narrative experimentation that emergence involved, as seen in works by Behn, Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, Fielding, Hogarth, Sterne, and Austen. Questions about genre and about the nature of fictionality will be central for us, and so we will investigate what was novel about novels by pondering how novels differ from epics or histories or the news in newspapers. But we will also use our reading to investigate what the modern novel’s emergence can tell us about modernity itself–about love, sex, and marriage, consumer capitalism, empire, and urban life.Read more »
Mondays & Wednesdays, 10-11 am | Location: Harvard Hall 104
A survey of the 20th-century novel, its forms, patterns of ideas, techniques, cultural context, rivalry with film and radio, short story, and fact. Wharton, Age of Innocence; Cather, My Antonia; Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms and stories; Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury and stories; Ellison, Invisible Man; Nabokov, Lolita; Robinson, Housekeeping; Salinger, Catcher in the Rye and stories; Ha Jin, Waiting; Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station. Stories by James, London, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gaitskill, Wallace, Beattie, Lahiri, and Ford.Read more »
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1-2 pm | Location: Emerson 305
The estranged, didactic, intellectual theatre of Brecht, and the ritualistic, emergency theatre of Artaud serve as reference points for a range of American, English, and Continental plays. The unique part played by “consent” in theatrical experience. Emphasis on the structural features of drama: establishing or violating the boundary between audience and stage; merging or separating actor and character; expanding or destroying language. Readings include Brecht, O’Neill, Artaud, Genet, Pirandello, and such earlier authors as Euripides and Shelley.
Note: This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding.
Read more »