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This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on matters of style in literature, art, and music in order to explore and subsequently reimagine how relationships between texts form literary traditions. Instead of assuming what a literary tradition is, and without prioritizing a teleological chronology of literary influence as literary traditions tend to do, we will study work ranging from antiquity to the present, anachronistically and in tandem, in order to better understand how the past speaks to the present and how the present speaks to the past. As a general, if imperfect, rule of thumb we will be working regularly with pairs of texts, one from prior to 1800 and another from after 1800: for example, a Toni Morrison novel with a Homeric epic, the work of Jamaica Kincaid with John Milton’s Paradise Lost, or the poetry of John Donne with the lyrics of the Wu Tang Clan.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Students will be expected to write a number of one-pages response papers during the semester, two papers in the range of 5-8 pages each, and a final paper of 8-10 pages.
In the case of overenrollment, preference will be given to English majors and Africana Studies concentrators.
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course will focus on the educational system as a means of reproducing hierarchies and inequality.
ENGL Literary Histories A
ENGL Literary Histories C