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Comparative Literature Courses

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Topics in English and American Literature: The Body in Pain

Comparative Literature 312C - Spring 2020

Since Elaine Scarry's "The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World," there has been an abundance of interdisciplinary work dedicated to the representation of pain at every level, from private suffering to public policy. How do we pathologize our feelings, and how can we communicate pain without inflicting it? This course explores a range of discourses about pain, including theoretical and technical ones. To what extent has literature developed special modes of expression for pain, and to what extent is the literary construction of pain gendered and open to cultural change? In addition to Scarry's book, we read a diverse collection of works, including selections from the Bible and Ovid, Freud's "Anna O," Kafka's "In the Penal Colony," W.G. Sebald's "The Emigrants," Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose," Woolf's "On Being Ill," and poetry by Nazim Hikmet and Sylvia Plath. Students will be encouraged to draw on personal experience as well as their intellectual resources, and there will be opportunity to write creatively as well as academically. This course is Writing Intensive. Satisfies the Twentieth Century and later requirement.
Course Attributes: EN HBU HumAS HUMAS WI IFA HUMAR HUMEL TC

Section 01

Topics in English and American Literature: The Body in Pain
INSTRUCTOR: Lawton
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