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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
GER 517 / SLA 522 / COM 519 / MOD 516   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Modernism and Modernity - The Avant-Garde and the Pastoral Drive

Devin A. Fore

"Good proletarian art is usually Covert Pastoral," wrote the critic William Empson in 1935. This seminar examines the rebirth of pastoral in the avant-garde literature, film and photography of Germany and Soviet Union, exploring topics such as: the revolutionary intelligentsia and the countryside; the return of Naturalism and landscape genres; poetic archaism and narodnost'; modernization and the agricultural mode of production. The seminar concludes with contemporary reflections on the pastoral project, including its relationship to the politics of ecologism and to the geological turn in media theory.

Sample reading list:
Anna Seghers, The Revolt of the Fishermen of St. Barbara
Friedrich Engels, The Dialectic of Nature
Andrei Platonov, The Foundation Pit
Dziga Vertov, One Sixth of the World
Sergei Eisenstein, Nonindifferent Nature
Heiner Müller, The Mission
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Reading 150 - 200 pp. per week

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 60%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21552 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T   East Pyne Building   205   Enrolled:20 Limit:25