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CLAS 201
Love and Strife Fall 2020
Division I
Cross-listed COMP 233 / CLAS 201

Class Details

In one of the earliest known attempts to explain the universe, the philosopher-poet Empedocles wrote that everything in existence is moved by love and strife. This fundamental pair of forces has shaped accounts of human experience for over two millennia. Are these principles simple opposites, complements, or even two aspects of a single concept? What happens when they fall out of balance or both are absent? Can love consume strife, or strife destroy love? Artists and writers have taken up these and similar questions in myriad forms, from nursery rhymes to epic poems, from philosophical contemplation to popular song, from the tragic stage to the silver screen. This course will use Greek and Latin works as touchstones for exploring ancient and modern representations of love and strife. Our ancient sources may include Homer, Sappho, Sophocles, Horace, Catullus, and Seneca, as well as architecture, graffiti, and epitaphs. Later sources may include Shakespeare and screwball comedies, Broadway standards and the Beatles, Renaissance fresco and modern sculpture, and literary professions of love from the silly to the sublime. All readings are in translation.
The Class: Format: seminar; For the fall of 2020, this course will taught online. The seminar will meet at the regularly scheduled time twice a week.
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 2185
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation, short written assignments, and a final paper/project.
Prerequisites: None.
Enrollment Preferences: If the course is overenrolled, preference will be given to Classics and Comparative Literature majors and prospective majors.
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 233 Division I CLAS 201 Division I

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