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LITERATURE

LIT-121 Rethinking Literature FA1 (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. The course focuses on a compelling idea or area of inquiry rendered in literature. Students interrogate a range of literary and cultural texts in order to deepen their understanding of the literary endeavor. Rotating topics include poetry and the world, desire and identity, human nature after Darwin, the culture of detective fiction, etc. Usually offered every term.

LIT-121 001
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Detective Fiction
This class uses detective fiction as a way to approach issues that are common to literature and interpretation generally; after all, a detective is always an interpretive "reader" of the case or mystery that must be solved. Students read classic detective fiction and also variations on the form that occur in more traditionally "literary" fiction as well. Texts include authors such as Poe, Conan Doyle, Freud, Chandler, and Pynchon.
LIT-121 002
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Literary Hauntings
Apparitions have long been a staple of fiction, perhaps since early storytellers gathered around the fire to swap spine-tingling tales. What are the sources of readers' perennial attraction to spectral beings, haunted houses, paranormal events, and things that go bump in the night? Students read a diverse selection of short stories and novels by classical and contemporary authors of ghost stories and other literary hauntings, ranging from Edgar Allen Poe, W. R. James, Henry James, and Edith Wharton to Shirley Jackson, R. K. Narayan, Susan Hill, and Toni Morrison. Students consider the elements that make such uncanny tales satisfying and deepen their understanding of the forms and variations of literary texts written to produce both dread and pleasure.
LIT-121 003
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Angelheaded Hipsters and the Absurd
This course surveys the work of the Beats and other experimental writers of the 50s and 60s including, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, Amiri Baraka and Frank O'Hara, within the postwar context of anti-Communism, consumerism, homophobia, sexism and racism. The course explores uses of the absurd in experimental writing as a response to the absurdity of the suburb, "Leave it to Beaver" norms, the Communist menace and McCarthyism, among other political and cultural trends. The course considers how jazz, drugs, sex and the visionary quest were influences on these literary movements.
LIT-121 004
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Literature on the Silver Screen
This course considers the dynamic relationship between literature and cinema throughout the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Grounding discussions in recent studies of adaptation, the class analyzes films of canonical novels and plays as texts employing the distinctive visual language of the cinema, rather than as lesser versions of literary originals. Texts include Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet, Baz Luhrmann's 1996 William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and Shakespeare's play; Jane Austen's Emma and Amy Heckerling's 1995 Clueless; Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre; and Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca. The course includes a bi-weekly film screening.
LIT-121 GE1
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sports Literature
Although the origin of sport in ancient social rituals has long been acknowledged, academic study has paid slim attention to the cultural significance of modern sport, often dismissing it as frivolous entertainment. This course explores the ways in which sports writing illustrates the profound impact of athletics on both our public myths and private fantasies. The course focuses on three particular areas: sport as a social discourse that establishes important communal ties, both challenging and reinforcing conceptions of gender, class, and nation; sport as a spiritual discourse that develops ideas of the sacred and the transcendent; and sport as a physical experience that promotes particular understandings of the body and movement. Primary texts include Friday Night Lights, The Last Amateurs, Into Thin Air, The Natural, and Hoop Dreams. Secondary readings include essays by Bourdieu, Geertz, Huizinga, Callois, and Winnicott. Students write an analysis of an actual sporting event as well as an analysis of a sports literature text.
LIT-121 006
Term: SPRING 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Monstrous Memoir
This course considers the literary memoir, in particular the "monstrous personal chronicle." The course analyzes how these texts blend the documentary and the fictional in order to respond to both the monstrosity of history and the trauma of personal experience. Authors often turn to the memoir when their subject matter is unconventional or transgressive and therefore seemingly unsuitable for the novel. The class looks at the personal chronicle as a category committed to challenging conventional boundaries through its use of singularity, rawness, and self-reflexivity. Analyzing these texts as a separate genre improves understanding of their individual meanings, their social roles, and their cultural contexts. Primary texts include Thomas De Quincy, Confessions of an English Opium Eater; Bill Clegg, Portrait of the Addict as a Young Man; Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Art Spiegelman, Maus; Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast; Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; Virginia Woolf, A Sketch of the Past; and Mary Karr, The Liar's Club.
LIT-121 B01
Term: SUMMER 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 001
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 002
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 003
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 004
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 005
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 006
Term: FALL 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title:
LIT-121 F01
Term: SUMMER 2016
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: