Investigates various forms of the marvelous as they appeared throughout the Middle Ages. While we certainly deal with dragons, griffins, and lion-headed men, we also deal with marvelous encounters that are more intimate: the ways in which the category of the monstrous was used to define women as opposed to men; the miraculous visions and powers of saints; the interactions between the living and the dead in both "real life" and in dreams.
On a journey to other galaxies and others' worlds, you will meet strange beings, fight cosmic battles, view the end of time and the afterlife, and discover ultimate horizons and hopes. Texts and films include H.G. "Wells's War of the Worlds," Arthur Clark's "2001," Walter Miller's "Canticle for Leibowitz," Walker Percy's "The Thanatos Syndrome," Doris Lessing's "Memoirs of a Survivor," Terence Malick's "Tree of Life," Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," as well as "Elysium," "The Day After," and "Enders Game."
Murderous monkeys, cursed diamonds, drug addiction, bigamy, wicked half-brothers and step-mothers, genocidal alien-ghosts, and satanic hellhounds: detective fiction, like the detective him/herself, is a product of the nineteenth century. This course examines the history and evolution of the detective story. Together we will investigate the premise that detection—solving puzzles, uncovering crimes, revealing secrets—allowed authors to investigate such weighty issues as immigration, capitalism, and the rising voice and power of women. We will also discover that detection supplied a potent metaphor for the vexed relationship between readers and writers.
This course focuses on literary works from contemporary India to explore such topics as the emergence of English language writing in India, the formation of a postcolonial nation, shifting borders and boundaries, questions of socio-economic inequities, and globalization. We will study the history of English fiction in India within the context of political and social history and pay particular attention to questions of gender, religion, caste and class.
Writing effective fiction is about more than developing stories: It’s about creating a proxy for life. The challenge is, life slips around; it’s not easy to pin down. Becoming a fiction writer, then, means learning to encounter the ways that life contradicts itself. Moreover, it means learning to consider your audience carefully, as stories work best when both reader and writer can agree on a particular imagined view of the world.