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Special Topics Comp Lit I

CWL 395

Presentation and discussion of subjects relating literature to other disciplines; topic varies. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.

CWL 395: Special Topics: Global Comics and Graphic Novels This course provides an overview of the study of comics and graphic narratives from around the world. How do we define comics? What can comics express that just text or just visual art cannot? What does the combination of word and image achieve? How do comics change across national contexts? Why are comics an appropriate form for narratives of trauma, disaster, memory, and childhood? These questions and more will guide our class.

Literature and War How do humans imagine one of their most characteristic and most controversial activities: war? Do descriptions of aggression and of trauma define fundamental values for most human society? How do we interpret the gap between the official heroic virtues recognized by a people and the disillusionment experienced by individuals who have lived through the horrors of warfare? This course will consider some of the various depictions of battle chronologically, beginning with Homer’s Illiad (8th C BC) and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (6th C BC) and ending with contemporary texts. We will also travel across cultures in an attempt to understand the uses, philosophical, imaginary and symbolic of conflict.