Brief Description of Course: This seminar will explore the ways in which serious, thoughtful—or intellectually challenging—literature employs sexuality and violence, not to titillate the reader, but to force us to engage moral complexity. We will read plays, poetry, and fiction that emphasize vivid ‘shocks’ as a way of asking us to confront the curt affronts that flout humanizing notions of “courtesy.” We may read Collected Works of Billy the Kid (Ondaatje), How to Make Love to a Negro (Laferrière ), Story of O (Réage), and Ariel (Plath), et cetera. We may watch such films as Django Unchained (Tarantino), A History of Violence (Cronenberg), and Fat Girl (Breillat). Evaluation will rest upon participation (approx. 20%), two 7-page (double-spaced) papers, and brief, reader-response pages.
Required Reading: TBA.
First Three Authors/Texts: TBA.
Method of Evaluation: Vocal participation and essay submission.