Europe Reads America: The Rhetoric of Exploration, Conquest, and Travel From 1492 to the Present|
This first-year seminar looks at a wide variety of texts depicting European encounters with the "New World" of North and South America. Beginning with the premise that the experiences of Europeans in the Americas are shaped by previous accounts of unknown lands and unknown peoples, we will study the language, metaphors, and motifs that early explorers, conquistadores, and scientists use to depict their travels in the new world: themes will include first contact, fear of cannibalism, Christianity and conversion, the "master/slave dialectic," and discourses of imperialism. In the second part of the course, we will turn to seminal works of imaginative literature--including THE TEMPEST, ROBINSON CRUSOE, and LOLITA--to examine how the dynamics of encounter shape the art of storytelling across genres ranging from Shakespearean drama and the novel to modern opera and film. Throughout the semester, we will explore the tension between America as trope or idea and the representation of material and social conditions in real or imagined places by various European writers who read America in their own light.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Special Attributes: FYI|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
: Readings may include
C. Columbus, Letters and Journals
A.N. Cabeza de Vaca, Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition
W. Bradford, History of the Plymouth Plantation (selections)
W. Shakespeare, The Tempest
D. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
F-R. de Chateaubriand, Atala
A. von Humboldt,Travels to the Equatorial Regions of the New Continent (selections)
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
C. Dickens, American Notes
F. Kafka, Amerika
B. Brecht/ K. Weill,The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (opera screening)
A. Cesaire, A Tempest
W. Herzog, Aguirre Wrath of God or Fitzcarraldo (film screenings)
J. Baudrillard, America
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Students will lead one class discussion based on weekly on-line reading responses. There will be three short essays and a longer final project that may combine critical analysis with reflective auto-ethnography or original research.
Essay 1: Close reading of non-fiction text, 3-4pp.
Essay 2: Critical analysis of novel or play, 4-5pp.
Essay 3: Creative adaptation of a previous text, 4-5pp.
Final Project: Comparative analysis of two or more texts, 7-10pp.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
In addition to scheduled class meetings, attendance will be required at two or more film screenings and possibly on a local field trip. Students should also be aware of the creative writing component of Essay 3 (an imaginative retelling of a historical or fictional event).
|Instructor(s): Baraw,Charles Times: .M.W... 11:00AM-12:20PM; Location: BTFDC210; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 19||SR major: X||JR major: X|| || |
|Seats Available: 2||GRAD: X||SR non-major: X||JR non-major: X||SO: X||FR: 19|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
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