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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* ENG 416 / COM 431 (EM)   No Audit

Topics in Literature and Ethics - Modern Evil

Simon E. Gikandi

This is a course on the problem of evil in the modern world as it is represented in works of literature and film. What is the nature of evil and how is it imagined? How can the noble ideas that define the modern world--justice and human rights, for example--be reconciled with the terrible events of the twentieth century: genocide, racial violence, and war? Why do good people do terrible things to others? What can reading books on evil in distant places teach us about ourselves? The course will explore how evil functions as a form of deep ethical violation and challenges how we understand the world and our relationship to others.

Sample reading list:
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Edwidge Daniticat, The Dew Breaker
Michael Ondaatje, Anil's Ghost
Uzodinma Iweala, Beast of No Nation
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Readings: 150 pages of reading per week, oral presentations, short response papers, midterm paper, and one research paper

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Papers - 15%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%

Other information:
Distribution Requirement: Theory/Criticism and Diaspora

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21120 L01 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm M W   McCosh Hall   4   Enrolled:17 Limit:18
23327 P01 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm T   Frist Campus Center   207   Enrolled:8 Limit:13
23926 P02 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm F   McCosh Hall   40   Enrolled:4 Limit:13
21121 P99 TBA        Enrolled:5 Limit: