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Special Topics in Comp Lit II

CWL 496

Selected literary topics of international significance in relation to other cultural expressions. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 9 undergraduate or 12 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

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Freud-Nietzsche-Kafka In German/Comparative Literature 496, we will read works by Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Franz Kafka, and others in order to examine the ways in which psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literature intersect around 1900 and beyond. How are psychoanalytic, philosophical, and aesthetic views of the self compatible, and where do they differ? How can they be understood in the context of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe? Can they contribute to our attempts to understand what happened in Europe shortly before, during, and just after WWII? What are these thinkers’ messages for us today? We will investigate visions of hope and redemption, self and community, art and life in some of the most fascinating works ever written. We will use supplementary readings and film as well. Readings and discussion are in English. Students in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures are encouraged to read at least some of the assigned texts in the original German, and are welcome to complete at least some writing assignments in German. Graduate students, please see me for options for earning four credits for this course. Meets with GER 496 and PHIL 444.