English 166

Special Topics: Four Nobelists: Czeslaw Milosz, Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, and Seamus Heaney

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
4 Summer 2021 Nathan, Jesse
TWTh 1-3:30 Online A

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In this course, we’ll explore the lives and works of Czeslaw Milosz, Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, and Seamus Heaney, considering each writer’s context, how they spoke to their times, and how they spoke against them. We’ll grapple with what it means to make art in the aftermath of colonialism, slavery, sectarian violence, and world war. We’ll consider, too, the question of greatness—What is a “great writer,” and who gets to decide? Are there timeless literary qualities? How does “great work” in one time and place resonate—or not—in another? What, in 2021, can a concept of universality possibly mean? What makes a poem so sure, so sweet, or so powerful that it lodges in our lives, never leaving us?


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