Continuing the inquiries begun in iphs 113Y-114Y, this seminar addresses the rise of modernism, which represented a massive fissure in Western consciousness. A fault line visible since Romanticism suddenly fractured and one consequence was that something utterly unique, highly unsettling and profoundly revolutionary occurred: the role of art and the artist leapt into extraordinary prominence. Why in modernism do the issues of "self," "society" and "authority" figure so prominently in the aesthetic domain? What does the signal role of art suggest about the character of modernism itself? How successful has art been as the focal point of questions regarding authority? Is art's centrality itself a paradoxical response to the issues of complexity, specialization, fragmentation and relativity that inform the modern world? In view of modernism's paradoxes and chief concerns, we will address contending views of art and authority in various disciplines and media, including the visual arts, architecture, philosophy, literature, music, dance and film. Readings will include Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Woolf, Kafka, Breton and Sartre. Films will include Triumph of the Will, Rashomon, and Mulholland Drive. If you would like this course to be used as .5 unit of history toward fulfilling diversification requirements in the Social Sciences Division, you must take it as IPHS 215D. Prerequisite: IPHS 113Y-114Y or two semesters of English or philosophy. This course will be offered every other year.
This introductory course in comparative world literature, will introduce cutting-edge literary studies. Weekly visits from Kenyon faculty present current issues like: translation, film, theory, postcolonial studies, desire in literature, narrative studies, folktales, oral culture, and multilingual and transnational comparison. Crossing boundaries of space and time, readings will be selected from important works in world literature and will center on themes of altered states and travel. Guest visits will take place on Wednesdays. Mondays and Fridays will entail class discussion.
This course investigates the phenomenon of postmodernism and considers its relation to the modernist era. We will study key definitions and ask: Can postmodernism be defined as a postindustrial capitalistic phenomenon, as an increasing emphasis on language games, as a refusal of grand narratives, or as a shift from epistemological to ontological concerns? We will look at the advent of structuralism and its response to existentialism, as well as poststructuralist critiques. What does postmodern politics look like, and what are the implications of its critique of humanism? Postcolonialism, feminism, gender studies and critical race theory also will be considered for their critique of the Western tradition. We will then examine the reinvigoration of religious discourse. Through our study of postmodern architecture, literature, the visual arts and film, we will explore the nature of dual-coding, the critique of "instrumental" rationality, new representations of the past, identity, time and space, and a new role for the reader/viewer. Finally, we will consider key critics' defense of humanism before asking whether our "information age" demonstrates a clear departure from the tenets of postmodernism. Prerequisite: IPHS 215. This course is offered every other year.
Literature is world literature when it is read for its truly global significance. To read literature as world literature is to discover its diversity. It is to see how fundamental questions inspire very different forms of literary creativity across the globe--to seek intersections across time and space and thereby to appreciate the many ways literary texts represent their cultures. This course explores what it means to read world literature by focusing on a single theme or problem common to many cultures but different for each. For example, the course might focus on the problem of migrations to see how global literary forms have found different ways to represent what happens when people move from place to place. Or the course might focus on the world's different ways of representing coming of age, or how the environment is figured across cultures. The course studies these themes through focus on texts including poems, plays, novels, stories and other literary forms from nations and cultures not routinely featured together in literature classes. At the same time, the course explores the theory of world literature, as well as the reasons to study it, which include broadening our sense of literature's possible forms and uses, appreciating the world's diversity through its literature, and developing one basis for a sense of global citizenship. Offered every other year.
The theme for this year will be travel and selected primary readings will include: Italo Calvino’s Gilgamesh and Invisible Cities, Chiang Yee's The Silent Traveler in London, Rifa'a el-Tahtawi's An Imam in Paris, Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad, Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo, Amitav Ghosh's In an Antique Land, Ibn Battutah's Travels, Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Salman Rushdie's East/West, and Marco Polo's The Travels. There also will be films, theory on world literature, presentations, and an excursion to Oberlin College for a conference.
The course will provide a setting for guided student advanced work in comparative world literature. Students will work collaboratively to assist one another in the development of individual research projects that represent the synthesis of the courses they have taken in comparative world literature, English, and modern languages and literatures. The course is required of all comparative world literature concentrators.
ENGL 212: Introduction to Literary Theory
ENGL 266: Violence and the Body: Narrative Insurgency
ENGL 317: Poetry and the Visual Arts
ENGL 363: Writing the Global City
ENGL 412: The Arts of Memory
GERM 387: Rilke, Celan, and Theory
IPHS 318D: Postmodernism and Its Critics
SPAN 385: Cities of Lights and Shadows: Urban Experiences in Latin America
SPAN 388: Literary Translation