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February 23, 2017

LIT 61C | The Frame Tale

A story within a story, the frame tale is a playful and enduring literary genre. Dorothy wakes up to learn that the Land of Oz was just a fever-induced dream. The Princess Bride is a sick-day bedtime book read to a boy. These examples make use of an ancient technique - the nesting of stories within stories. In this course we will read some of the earliest examples of frame tales: characters who tell stories about characters who tell stories; characters whose stories are dreams from which they awake; stories that make us unsure of where we are in a cascading realm of fictions. Readings include the ancient Indian Panchatantra, The Arabian Nights, Boccaccio’s Decameron, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. 

Camilo Gomez-Rivas | GE: CC

LIT 61F | Introduction to Reading Fiction: Women and the Apocalypse

Extinctions. Climate Change. Politics. Zombies. Many of us feel we may be living in apocalyptic times. In this class we will look at apocalyptic writing in historical perspective. Our main focus will be the ways contemporary films and fictions have used the apocalypse as an occasion to reimagine gender dynamics. Anything is possible in the apocalypse. Texts include Parable of the Sower, Y: The Last Man, Into The Forest, and films Beasts of the Southern Wild and Terminator 2.

Micah Perks | GE: TA, IH

LIT 80X | Global Narratives: What is the Novel?

Why do people read novels? What do novels teach us about how we live, love, think, govern, and revolt?  The novel, an 18th-century “invention,” has been linked to the rise of revolutionary politics, individualism, capitalism, nationalism, bourgeois domesticity, and imperial ambitions. Historians credit the sentimental novel with inspiring movements for the abolition of slavery and the rights of women. The past month has seen unprecedented sales and reprints of 1984, Brave New World, and The Handmaid's Tale. Readings include excerpts from Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, and more. 

Vilashini Cooppan | GE: TA, T4 - Humanities and Arts, E

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