English 166

Special Topics: Comedy & Violence


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2018 Flynn, Catherine
MWF 2-3 102 Wheeler

Book List

Ades, Dawn: The DADA Reader: A Critical Anthology; Beckett, Samuel: The Complete Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett; Breton, André: The Anthology of Black Humor; Carroll, Lewis: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Flann, O'Brien: The Poor Mouth: A Bad Story about the Hard Life; Jarry, Alfred: The Ubu Plays; Joyce, James: Ulysses; Synge, J. M.: The Playboy of the Western World

Other Readings and Media

Course reader

Description

What relation does comedy have to violence? Can humor be a gauge of political freedom? How does it resist violence or ally itself with it? In this class, we will consider various styles of humor—wit, buffoonery, satire, parody, nonsense, absurdity, and humour noir—from Irish, English, and French traditions, and consider their connection to force. Beginning in the eighteenth century with Jonathan Swift’s pamphlet, “A Modest Proposal,” the course will focus on fiction and drama from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as spending some time on film. Over the course of the semester, we will consider political, psychoanalytic, literary, critical, and anthropological theories of humor ranging from the Earl of Shaftesbury and William Hazlitt to Sigmund Freud, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Mary Douglas, as well as to recent accounts by Sianne Ngai and Lauren Berlant.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2020

166/2

Special Topics: The Literature & Art of Incarceration

166/3

Special Topics: Moby-Dick

166/4

Special Topics: Pomo: Exploring the Landscape of Postmodernism

166/5

Special Topics: American Humor: Books & Movies

166/6

Special Topics: Art of Writing: Grant Writing, Food Writing, Food Justice

166/7

Special Topics: Arthurian Romance

fall, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Getting Global: Literature & Film of an Expanding & Unequal World

166/2

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/3

Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/4

Special Topics: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

166/7

Special Topics: Charles Dickens

166/8

Special Topics: Green Thought in a Green Shade

166/9

Special Topics: New Orleans

166/11

Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov

Naiman, Eric
spring, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Gothic

166/2

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/4

Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class

166/5

Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality

166/6

Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now

166/7

Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

Muza, Anna
fall, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock

166/3

Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700

166/4

Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson

166/5

Special Topics

spring, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Romantic Science

166/3

Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama

166/4

Special Topics: Marxism & Literature

166/5

Special Topics: Emily Dickinson

166/6

Special Topics: Speculative Fiction

summer, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures

166/2

Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern

fall, 2017

166/3

Special Topics: Black Science Fiction

166/4

Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice

spring, 2017

166/1

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/2

Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather)

166/3

Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy

166/4

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/5

Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature


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