ENGL 483
Representing History Spring 2020
Division I
Cross-listed ENGL 483 / COMP 483

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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 Gay, Edgeworth, Scott, Shelley, Balzac, Eliot, Conrad, Kafka, Babel, Mann, Borges, Stoppard, Kushner, Morrison, Pamuk, Bolano, and Philip, and theoretical essays by Kant, Burke, Carlyle, Marx, Benjamin, 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: Type: discussion seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3779
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two shorter or one longer paper/s, approximately 20 pages
Prerequisites: a 300-level English course or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: junior and senior English majors
Materials/Lab Fee: cost of books
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 483 Division I COMP 483 Division I
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses
ENGL Literary Histories B

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