Spring 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Reynolds, Clay
Discipline and Number
LIT 3381 Section 501
W Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Sex & Sentimentality

Description of Course:

This course will focus on the examination of a number of novels from the Western literary tradition. Each of the selected works will be examined and discussed in light of the perceived tensions that exist between sex and sentimental treatments of characters and situations in literary art. Many of the works selected for the course have been at one time or another the center of social or political controversy. Some have been banned in some parts of the world. Of special interest in the course will be an examination of how these novels and their authors approach traditional taboos in western culture—promiscuity, homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, incest, etc.—and how the violation of these taboos is handled in the context of traditional moral doctrines as well as in light of the prevailing attitudes regarding the more sentimental aspects of human relationships—love, parental responsibility, fraternal association, courtship, marriage, etc. Film treatments of some of the novels or similar works will also be considered in the course. Course format will be lecture/seminar/discussion.

Required Texts:


Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be responsible for at least one long paper and one short paper. Additionally, reading quizzes of spot examinations may be given, and in-class reports may be part of the overall assignments. Written work and class participation, including attendance, will form the basis for final grade.

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