ENGL 483
Representing History
Last Offered Spring 2023
Division I
Cross-listed COMP 483
This course is not offered in the current 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, and the AIDS crisis — in order to explore those fraught narratives of the past. We will consider such issues as 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 Mary Shelley, Balzac, Eliot, Conrad, Kafka, Borges, Stoppard, Kushner, Morrison, Pamuk, Bolano, Sebald, and Philip, and essays by Kant, Burke, Marx, Benjamin, Adorno, Foucault, Jameson, Lefort, and Ahmed. Films will include such works as Eisenstein’s October, Riefenstahl’s The Blue Light, Wellman’s Nothing Sacred, and Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers.
The Class: Format: seminar; discussion
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3837
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: English and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 483 Division I ENGL 483 Division I
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses
ENGL Literary Histories B

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