English 190

Research Seminar: Literature and Revolution


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2015 Lee, Steven S.
TTh 11-12:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Dickens, C.: A Tale of Two Cities; Hedges, C.: Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt; Malraux, A.: Man's Fate; Marx, K.: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte; Orwell, G.: Homage to Catalonia; Platonov, A.: The Foundation Pit; Serge, V.: Conquered City; Stoppard, T.: The Coast of Utopia

Other Readings and Media

Films:  October: Ten Days that Shook the World; The Square

Description

This course will piece together a cross-regional, cross-linguistic genre that we will loosely call “the literature of revolution”—texts that try to capture (and, at times, direct) great historical and political upheaval.  Our starting point will be the French Revolution, our ending point will be the Arab Spring, but our primary focus will be the troubled, international history of twentieth-century communism.  Throughout the semester, we will trace how literary texts allow for multiple ways of theorizing revolution and, more broadly, the flow of history.  How do these texts help us to understand the tendency for revolutionary illusions to give way to disillusion?  How do revolutions both expand and limit creative possibilities?  What does revolution mean in the twenty-first century—long after communism’s collapse and the supposed “end of history”?

Note: Since the reading list may change, please don’t buy books until after the first class.

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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