English 203

Research Seminars: Visuality, Textuality, and Cultural Memory


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2010 Abel, Elizabeth
Abel, Elizabeth
W 3-6 108 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Theorists will include: Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Jonathan Crary, Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, W.J.T. Mitchell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Susan Sontag. Primary texts will include: T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, selected World War I poets, Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room, and Mrs. Dalloway; and collections of Holocaust photographs.

Description

Probing what has been called the “visual turn” in literary studies, this course will scrutinize the interplay between verbal and visual modes of representation in a range of philosophical, literary, and visual texts. We will ask how and why visual perspectives and materials have been incorporated into literary study. Through readings in semiotics, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and Marxism, we will map some key tensions of twentieth-century cultural theory and production: the relations between subjects and objects of observation, mechanical reproduction and imaginative creation, the legibility of images and the visibility of words. Literary and photographic theories and practices will be our primary subjects, but we will also glance at film from time to time. The course will be divided into three basic units: a broad theoretical inquiry into questions of epistemology, subject formation, and vision; a more targeted exploration of topics that cross different media (the codes of realism, the composition of the image, the construction of perspective); and an inquiry into the uses of verbal and visual media in the construction of cultural memory. This final unit will dwell primarily on two defining crises of the twentieth century: World War I, a famously literary war, and World War II, specifically the Holocaust, as a vexed crux of iconic images.

Two papers will be assigned: depending in part on your choice of topics, the course could satisfy either the twentieth-century or the non-historical requirement.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2022

203/1

Graduate Readings: Marx and Marxism Today: Re-Reading the Grundrisse

203/2

Graduate Readings: The Sixties

203/3

Graduate Readings: Novel Theory, Narrative Theory, and the Sociology of the Novel

fall, 2021

203/1

Graduate Readings: Shakespeare and the Law of Genre

203/2

Graduate Readings: The Politics and Aesthetics of Latinx Literature

spring, 2021

203/1

Graduate Readings: Realism

203/2

Graduate Readings: "A dream of passion": Affects in the Renaissance Theater

203/3

Graduate Readings: Radical Enlightenment

203/4

Graduate Readings: Philosophical Contexts for Modernist Poetry

fall, 2020

203/1

Graduate Readings: Literature and Analytic Philosophy

203/2

Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

203/3

Graduate Readings: Harlem Renaissance

spring, 2020

203/1

Graduate Readings: Contemporary Fiction

203/2

Graduate Readings: Modernist Fiction and Affect

203/3

Graduate Readings: Comedy and Violence

203/4

Graduate Readings: The Lyric Eye: A Material History of Poetic Form

fall, 2019

203/1

Graduate Readings: On Interpretation

203/2

Graduate Readings: Prospectus Workshop

203/3

Graduate Readings: Aesthetics and Politics: Kant and Beyond

spring, 2019

203/1

Graduate Readings: William Faulkner and the Historical Novel

203/3

Graduate Readings: The Queer and the Oriental

203/4

Graduate Readings: Renaissance Drama

203/5

Graduate Readings: Nineteenth-Century U. S. Historical Poetics


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