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CS92PROD
The Mediterranean Archipelago: Literary and Cultural Representations
CHUM 389
Spring 2022
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 389, MDST 360, WLIT 340, ITAL 289

"Islands which have / never existed / have made their ways / onto maps nonetheless" (Nicholas Hasluck). In this course, we study Mediterranean islands as geographical, textual, and metaphorical spaces. We focus on specific islands--both fictional and real--as case studies for the aesthetic, political, and metaphysical implications of insularity, while also aiming to present the Mediterranean as a spatial, historical, and cultural network of relationality and conflict. Elaborating upon Predrag Matvejevitc's statement that "the Mediterranean is not only geography," we approach Mediterranean insularity not only in cartographical representations (from Greek geographers to Arab cartographers), but also as poetic topos (from Ariosto's Island of Alcina to Goethe's Capri), narrative stratagem (from Homer's Phaeacia to Boccaccio's Rhodes), literary protagonist (from Deledda's Sardinia to Murgia's Sardinia), political concept (from Plato's Atlantis to Campanella's Taprobane), and existential condition (from Cervantes's Cyprus to Cavafy's Ithaca). We engage in a diachronic and synchronic exploration of Mediterranean islands' inherent dialectic between resistance and occupation, identity and assimilation, marginality and integration, zoological extinction and speciation, inbreeding and metissage, autochthony and allogeny, linguistic conservatism and creoleness, territorial boundedness and internal division. Our approach will also be archipelagic and include methods and concepts from historical linguistics and dialectology to diplomatic history and postcolonial poetics.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ITAL112
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on DEC-02-2021
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