First- Year Seminar:

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 111C

Recent trends in the United States and around the world have led many to believe that the beliefs and institutions undergirding democracy are in peril. This First-Year Seminar examines how literary and theatrical works have explored both the promises and challenges of democracy. Can literary and theatrical works model democracy by articulating multiple points of view in ways that allow for informed civic deliberation? How can literary works allow for free, democratic expression in totalitarian and repressive political contexts? We will focus on the democracies of ancient Greece (Athens) and the United States of America. In ancient Greece, we will examine how the theater of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides could both model democratic deliberation and even (imperfectly) represent those excluded from democratic institutions, such as women and slaves. For the democratic experiment in the United States, in addition to some reading about American democracy by writers such as Emerson and de Toqueville, we will read the poetry of Walt Whitman, read texts regarding the problem of censorship like Arthur Miller's The Crucible, and consider how writers such as James Baldwin have addressed the fraught relationship of African-Americans to American democracy from slavery to the present day. This course is for first-year, non-transfer students only.
Course Attributes: EN H; FYS; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

First- Year Seminar:
INSTRUCTOR: Henke
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