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Course Details

Spring 2016-2017
ENG 567 / COM 567   No Pass/D/Fail

Special Studies in Modernism - Modernist Portraiture

Maria A. DiBattista

This course traces the emergence of the distinctly "modern" portrait, including, of course, the self-portrait, from its beginnings in the mid-nineteen century to the present day. We are particularly concerned with analyzing how this radical shift in the way a novel or a poem "framed" and depicted its central subject depended on corresponding stylistic revolutions in painting and developing technologies in photography & film. This focus helps us decide what distinguishes a portrait from a picture, particularly as that latter word has been transformed and given new meaning by the invention of the hand-held and motion picture camera.

Sample reading list:
Balzac, Unknown Masterpiece
James, Portrait of a Lady
Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray
Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Requirements/Grading:
Papers - 35%
Oral Presentation(s) - 35%
Other (See Instructor) - 30%

Other Requirements:
Open to Graduate Students Only.

Other information:
Roughly half the seminars are devoted to paintings, prints and photographs from the Princeton Art Museum as well as reproductions of photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron, August Sander and Bill Brandt. Films to be screened may include: Welles, Citizen Kane; Deren, Meshes in the Afternoon; Tarkovsy, The Mirror. "Other" 30% of "Requirement & Grading" below represents class participation.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42433 S01 9:30 am - 12:20 pm M   McCosh Hall   48   Enrolled:6 Limit:12