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Detailed Course Information


Fall 2021
Oct 04,2022
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Information Select the desired Level or Schedule Type to find available classes for the course.

LITERATURE SEMINAR: The topics studied in this course vary from semeser-to-semester, as well as from instructor-to-instructor. This course is the capstone of the Literature Major. Students should expect to engage in sophisticated discussion, to work independently, and to participate in--and lead--seminar discussions. The couse will require students to call on the experience of their previous coursework in the major to produce polished writing informed by reseach. LITR 414: Arthurian Literature -- During the semester we will be looking at Arthurian literature. The first half of the course will focus on the origins of the Arthurian legend and its medieval developments; in the second half we will consider retellings of the legend in later centuries. Through a series of linked assignments culminating in a research paper, students will explore how the legend changes as it is taken up by different authors and cultures. This course fulfills either the SEMINAR requirement OR the pre-1800 Literature requirement. At the same time, it can fulfill the British Literature requirement for secondary Teacher Education Content Area Requirements (Literature). LITR 414: International Modernism -- This course will look at modernism—the artistic period taking place between the two world wars—from an international perspective. We will look closely at both the form and content of literary texts as we analyze how different writers contributed to this movement. The effects of World War I, as well as the discoveries of Freud and Einstein, radically changed how people responded to the world around them. We will examine how artists, particularly writers, reacted to the great upheavals of the early twentieth century. LITR 414: POSTMODERNISM -- In the preface to Postmodern Literary Theory, Niall Lucy states: “Literature today is a very different concept from that of only a generation ago, and this difference is usually attributed to ‘postmodernism’ as a powerful signifier of the radically new and challenging.” This seminar will trace the notion of the postmodern in theory and fiction after World War II. After a brief historical overview of the development of the concepts of postmodernism and postmodernity, we will focus on texts by literary theorists such as Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, and Cixous that celebrate difference and experimental fiction by Blanchot, Barth, Calvino and Lispector that defy literary conventions and question our assumption of reality. Through the in-depth examination of a variety of literary, critical and visual texts, the course will enable students to analyze contemporary art forms and discuss their social, economic and political implications. LITR 414: PERFORMANCE OF EVERYDAY LIFE -- Prior to the twentieth century, most people assumed that “great art” was defined by its ability to transcend the concerns and constraints of popular, everyday life. However, the twentieth century welcomed a number of artists, philosophers and activists who challenged the sacred line separating “art” from “real life.” These vanguard artists and scholars challenged traditional definitions of art by asking: What happens if we apply what we know about literary interpretation to the world outside of the book? If all the world is truly a stage, can we analyze that stage the way we analyze dramatic performances? What props and what settings shape the variety of characters we perform in our daily routines? How are theatrical rituals related to other social rituals, and how are these related to quotidian habits (e.g. ordering food, making jokes, puttering, or walking through the city)? How is the line separating art from everyday life constructed and maintained by institutions such as schools, churches, museums, galleries, and courts? This course will introduce students to an interdisciplinary field known as “everyday life studies,” a growing field that combines the methods and insights of literary studies with those of theatre and performance studies, anthropology, psychoanalysis, political theory, cartography, architecture, the visual arts, and sociology. The main text in the class will be the everyday life and world of the students, but we will also read essays by writers who have blurred the distinction between the “aesthetic” and the “everyday.” Such writers may include Walter Benjamin, Bertol Brecht, Michel de Certeau, Siegfried Kracauer, Sigmund Freud, Roland Barthes, Erving Goffman, Richard Scheckner, Guy Debord, J.L. Austin, Jacques Derrida and Slavoj Žižek. LITR 414: AMERICAN LITERATURE AND LAW - A senior Literature seminar, this is an interdisciplinary course examining fictional and non-fictional literature on American law. Much of American philosophy and culture are embedded in its literature, and the literature of the law is a particularly rich site for studying American life and its legal culture. The field of literature and law recognizes how essentially stories shape the field of law, how an understanding of the ambiguity inherent in studying literature can assist anyone examining the law, and how such literary acts as character analysis and inference, among others, span the two disciplines. This movement includes law as literature, which we will also examine but which will not be our principal focus.
0.000 TO 4.000 Credit hours
0.000 TO 4.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Seminar

Literature Department

Course Attributes:

Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels:     
Must be enrolled in one of the following Classifications:     


General Requirements:
Course or Test: CRWT 102
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently.
Course or Test: LITR 300 to 399
Required Courses: 1
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently.  )
Course or Test: LITR 101
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently.  )
Course or Test: LITR 203
Minimum Grade of D
May not be taken concurrently. )

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