ENGL 383
Representing History Spring 2015
Division I
Cross-listed COMP 383 / HIST 399 / ENGL 383
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Moments of political turmoil expose the highly charged ways in which a culture structures itself around a narrative past. In this course, we will read literary and cinematic works that invoke such moments of upheaval–the French and Russian Revolutions as well as those of 1848, the rise of fascism and the Great Depression of the 1930s, the battle for Algerian independence, the AIDS crisis, among others–in order to explore those fraught narratives of the past. We will consider such issues as the rise of the historical novel, the aesthetics of fascism and of democracy under pressure, fantasies of decolonization, representational clashes of culture, forms of affective and sexual disorientation, and the uses of melancholy in representing historical loss. Readings will be drawn from literary works by Edgeworth, Scott, Shelley, Balzac, Eliot, Conrad, Kafka, Babel, Mann, Borges, Stoppard, Kushner, Morrison, Pahmuk, Bolano, and Philip, and theoretical essays by Kant, Burke, Carlyle, Marx, Benjamin, Lukacs, Adorno, Foucault, de Certeau, Jameson, Lefort and Ahmed. Films will include such works as Eisenstein’s October, Reifenstahl’s The Blue Light, Wellman’s Nothing Sacred and Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3696
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two essays, 8-10 pages
Extra Info: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL or COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course, or a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in English Literature or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate
Enrollment Preferences: Junior and senior English and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 383 Division I HIST 399 Division II ENGL 383 Division I

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