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Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
* COM 335 / ECS 336 / ENG 435 / GER 336 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Poetries of Resistance

Sandra L. Bermann
Michael G. Wood

Poetry can be seen as a mode of reflection on history and, very often, as an act of resistance to it. This course will examine works written in Europe, Latin America and the US during the 20th and 21st centuries in different languages and historical contexts. We will explore their oppositional and also their liberatory effects: their ability to evoke their times, to disrupt our usual understandings while offering new political, artistic and ethical perspectives. The course will pay special attention to the work of René Char and Paul Celan, as ideal points of focus for questions of language and resistance.

Sample reading list:
Bertolt Brecht, Poems 1913-1956
Pablo Neruda, Selected Poems
Rene Char, Furor and Mystery
Paul Celan, Collected Later Poems
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
Claudia Rankine, Citizen

Reading/Writing assignments:
All non-English texts will be available both in the original language and in English translation. No special language proficiency is required for the course. In preparation for each class, students will offer a brief set of questions or reflections on Blackboard

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Oral Presentation(s) - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other information:
The seminar will meet for one three-hour session each week. The first hour of the class will generally focus largely on the historical and philosophical context of the poetry. The second part of the class will involve close-readings of a number of texts, beginning with a short analysis by one of the students.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43362 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W        Enrolled:14 Limit:25