COMP 320
Kafka
Last Offered Spring 2023
Division I Writing Skills
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

“It’s so Kafkaesque!” We love to use the most famous Austro-Hungarian-Czech-Jewish writer of all time to characterize puzzling and dispiriting situations. But close examination of Franz Kafka’s work and life reveals a multi-dimensional world that goes far beyond the cliché. Jewish in an increasingly anti-Semitic environment, German-speaking surrounded by Czech-speakers, deeply alone in a family that didn’t understand him, Kafka produced texts that simultaneously demand and refuse to be interpreted. In this tutorial we will begin with intensive readings of selected short stories and parables, then move on to an exploration of Kafka’s own words from diaries and letters, as well as secondary sources. The course will conclude with discussions of how Kafka’s texts and their contexts might relate to contemporary conditions and/or to students’ own lives and thoughts. This will be a modified tutorial, with five groups of three students apiece. Conducted in English.
The Class: Format: tutorial; the class will be divided into groups of 3. At each weekly meeting, one of the 3 will present a 5-page paper, another will present a formal response, and the third will participate actively in discussion. Students will incorporate at least one of their papers into a final project that links their discussions of Kafka to their own interests and/or to contemporary issues.
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3620
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Three 5-page papers, three 1-2 page responses, one final project, discussion leading. Evaluation: Tutorial papers will receive extensive comments, but no grade; the instructor will meet with individual students at least twice during the semester to discuss how things are going for them. Responses will not be evaluated by the instructor, but instead will function well or less well in the context of the discussion. The final project will receive a grade, and the final grade will be determined by the overall trajectory of the student's learning.
Prerequisites: One college literature course
Enrollment Preferences: majors or prospective majors in Comparative Literature or German
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
WS Notes: Modified tutorial. Students will write 3 five-page papers apiece, plus the same number of 1-2-page response papers, and will revise and expand one of their papers for a final project. Each paper will receive extensive comments.

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  • COMP 320 - TUT Kafka
    COMP 320 TUT Kafka
    Division I Writing Skills
    Not offered

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