Comparative Literature | Cross-Cultural Encounters: Europe Meets the World: Travels in Truth and Fiction
C262 | 28165 | Prof. Johnson

Comparative Literature ,  Europe Meets the World: Travels in Truth
and Fiction


MW 9:30-10:45 BH 011
This course carries Culture Studies Credit

Love and hate, admiration and disgust, curiosity and fear, a lost
utopia or the devil's playground.  All of these themes will surface
as we survey a wide range of European literatures reaching from
ancient Greece to Renaissance Portugal and England to the 20th
century. Our texts will be epic poems, travel journals, love
stories, letters, and chronicles.  Among other items, we will be
reading the Voyage of the Argo by Apollonius of Rhodes, Richard
Hakluyt's history of English exploration, and the Travels of Marco
Polo.  We will follow poets, captains, mercenaries, prisoners,
ambassadors, and other restless souls as they explore the
Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Eurasia, the Pacific rim, India, the
Middle East, and the coasts of Africa.  Their goals are as diverse
as the travelers themselves: military conquest, commerce, religious
conversion, colonization, escape from the law, the search for a
bride, to map the world.  The scope of the course welcomes students
interested in literature, history, geography, cultural studies,
religion, political science, sociology, and economics. We will be
examining how literature represents the meeting of different
cultures, and how labels like foreigner, alien, stranger, barbarian,
and outsider shape our reaction to "the other."  Assignments will
consist of 1 analytical essay of modest size, mid-term and final
exams, quizzes, and 1 in-class presentation.
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