ENGL 334 Fall 2013 The Orientalist Sublime and the Politics of Horror (D)

Cross Listed as COMP324
How do we name those things that are beyond the grasp of reason, outside the realm of intelligibility? How do we attempt to domesticate that which is foreign or other? What, to Western Europeans, is the deep mysterious Orient but a new instance of the sublime? This course will take up the inheritance of the eighteenth-century fad in Europe for all things Oriental that followed the translation of The Arabian Nights into French in 1707. We will read the Nights alongside Edmund Burke's theory of the sublime and writings on the French Revolution in order to frame an investigation of the relationship between the real politics of Empire and the politics of imperial representation. In aiming to reveal how literary and visual texts deal with the magisterial, the infinite, the unmapped, and the mystery of the Sublime East, we will touch on important writers and artists in the long history and aftermath of European Orientalism from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, including J.A.D. Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Goethe, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker, E.M. Forster, Jorge Luis Borges, and Salman Rushdie. As we mine the texts and practices of Orientalism for historical and aesthetic lessons about how imagination works to conceive the other, we will also reckon with contemporary discourses of cultural difference and in so doing, contribute to the College's Exploring Diversity Initiative.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly discussion questions, one short provocation paper of 2-3 pages, presentation, and a research paper of 10-12 pages
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Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: English majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: ASAM Core Courses,ENGL Literary Histories B
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 1875
ENGL334-01(F) SEM The Orientalist Sublime (D) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity Initiative Anjuli F. Raza Kolb
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Griffin 5 1875
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