American Naturalism: Humans, Animals, Machines, Degeneration|
Spring 2009 not offered
This course will interrogate the major cultural category of "nature" and its aesthetic partner, American literary "naturalism." What is nature's role in defining and producing the difference--if there is a difference--between human and animal, human and machine, and human and inhuman? We will try to understand how this category emerged, what and whom it excludes, and how, as a result, it has been a flashpoint for the political and aesthetic agendas of those who write about, legislate, and demarcate "the human" and its others.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Henry Adams, THE DYNAMO AND THE VIRGIN
Stephen Crane, MAGGIE: A GIRL OF THE STREETS, AND OTHER NEW YORK WRITINGS
Frank Norris: MCTEAUGE
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, HERLAND
Nella Larsen, QUICKSAND
Henry James, THE AMERICAN
Selections from Jack London
Theoretical, sexological, and eugenicist readings from Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, Mark Seltzer, Jennifer L. Fleissner, Giorgio Agamben, Charles B. Davenport, and Karl Pearson.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two five-page papers and one twelve-page final essay.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Prior work in literary and cultural theory helpful, but not required.
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