Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Central to this course is the study of a selection of landmark nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary texts that embody concepts and arguments springing from the realm of ethics. Noting that such concepts and arguments assume a crucial importance in the plot and structure of these works, we shall explore the genre by analyzing some of its representative aesthetic schemes and moral statements. Furthermore, we shall ask questions about the boundaries between the field of morality and aesthetics as well as about the relevance of ethical considertations in evaluating literature. Ultimately, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which a work's moral system and its aesthetic scheme can illuminate and enrich one another.
H. von Kleist, "The Marquise of O."
Victor Hugo, Les Miserable
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbevilles
Leo Tolstoy, "The Death of Ivan Ilych"
Emil Zola, L'Assomoir
E. M. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
J. P. Sartre,No Exit
Doris Lessing, The Fifth Child
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Class presence, participation in class discussions, two exams, and two analytic papers (6-10 pages)