Spring 2013 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This graduate seminar asks whether "Eastern Europe" has disappeared. The region is a product of the reorganization of national territories after World War Two, when countries that had only recently emerged from Austro-Hungarian, German, Russian, or Ottoman control were re-organized as a zone of socialist states, "satellites" of the Soviet Union. Middle Europe became Eastern. This political and cultural colonization reoriented the lives and imaginations of writers within these countries.
The seminar will begin with works written under socialist governments, examining the ways in which aesthetics impinged on politics, and vice versa. These readings will form the basis for the second half of the seminar, in which follow the transformations in literature that accompanied these nations' violent and "velvet" political re-transformations. We will ask whether it is still useful to refer to the region as "Eastern Europe," when writers and readers may travel freely over the old division, and moreover, when the literary field has expanded to include writers living abroad, even those who write in larger languages, such as English.
our readings will include:
Peter Esterhazy, Not Art
Danilo Kis, The Encyclopedia of the Dead
Oksana Zabuzhko, Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
two 500-word posts to eLearning
an 18-page seminar paper