18145

LIT 312

 a fly in buttermilk:

 Home & Abroad with James Baldwin

Peter L'Official

  W      10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 309

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies  During his travels as a literary expatriate, James Baldwin remarked to a friend who had urged him to settle down that, “the place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.” This course takes Baldwin’s restless wanderings as captured in both his fiction and non-fiction as inspiration for its own locomotion: we will, from week to week, “travel” from America, abroad, and from region to region, as much as we will from novel to essay, and from short story to play. More broadly, the course uses the work and career of James Baldwin to explore critical issues in the fields of American and African American literature. We will read Baldwin’s work (and that of his contemporaries, predecessors, critics, and scholars) in order to examine issues of race and ethnicity, gender, language, identity, and technique, and we will also consider questions regarding canon formation and archive-building, in light of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s recent acquisition of Baldwin’s papers. This is a Literature Junior Seminar, and as such we will devote substantial time to methods of research, writing, and revision.  Class size: 16

 

 

18147

LIT 322

 Representing the Unspeakable

Marina van Zuylen

   Th    1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 309

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights  What means do writers use to demonstrate conditions that defy our comprehension? This seminar will focus on how literary works from diverse genres find a language to describe emotions and experiences that usually cannot be translated into everyday speech.  We will examine how figurative tropes such as description and metaphor, allegory and indirect discourse, can evoke powerful states of physical difference, psychological and social negativity: depression, failure, discrimination, loneliness.  How do these tropes help illuminate the distinction between the human and the non-human, between success and failure? Readings will include: Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein," Kafka’s "The Metamorphosis," Mark Haddon’s "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time," Jenny Erpenbeck’s "Go, Went, Gone," Coetzee’s "The Lives of the Animals," and Hervé Guibert’s "Blindsight." Theoretical texts will include: Foucault, Scarry, Manning, Rancière. Prerequisite: Students need to have read Shelley's Frankenstein before the first class. This course is a Literature Junior Seminar. Class size: 15