Anti-Portraits in Modern Literature and Visual Arts

Spring 2017 Special 1 credit honors/ethics course

ENGL 197 Honors (1 cr) Anti-Portraits in Modern Literature and Visual Arts

pawlikowskaPaterno Fellow Visiting Scholar Kamilla Pawlikowska, Seikei University, Tokyo

Class meetings Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, and 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and Thursday, March 2 5:00-10:00 p.m. (Meeting length for the last session will be adjusted for time needed for final projects.)

The course will introduce students to debates from the 19th and 20th centuries over the connection between the human face and human character in modern art and literature. In particular, it will examine differences between representations of the face in realism, the fantastic and modernism. It will give students insights into the work of major figures from different cultures (for example, Nikolai Gogol, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire) who challenged the connection and devised ‘anti-portraits’ of faces with blurred, fragmented or abstract features. Finally, this course will help the students understand why some critics considered modernist portraits (both textual and visual) to be dangerously subversive.

The seminar will usually start with about a 30-minute long lecture followed by a discussion, group/pair work, student presentations.

Representative readings for the course include selections from:
a) Kamila Pawlikowska, Antiportraits, Brill, 2015
b) George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, any edition
c) Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, any edition
d) Edgar Allan Poe (short stories), The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-tale Heart, any edition
e) Nikolai Gogol (short stories) The Nose, The Overcoat, any edition

Assignments and assessment pattern: essay 1 (25%), essay 2 (25%), seminar participation (25%), final presentation (25%). Essays should be up to 1500 words long.  Student presentation: 15 minutes on final night of the class, 3/2/17.

(Instructor listed on LionPATH as Donna Bahry, Class Number 28278)

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