Comparative Literature | Modern Literature and the Other Arts
C255 | 2098 | Liyan Shen

TR 9:30 am - 10:45 am
Fulfills CS & A & H requirements

This is the course that takes us into the creative mind of the
modern artist, composer and poet and into the analytical mind of the
critic. In C255, we analyze works of art (painting, music and
literature) of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, compare how these
works interrelate and discover how they are unique. We learn what
motivates the creative personality and how such a person turns
materials, sounds, silences and language into art. We also observe
how styles in the arts change over time. Students of C255 see, hear
and comprehend art in new, exciting and discriminating ways. For
example, we discover how a musician paints a seascape, how a painter
composes motion and how a poet creates musical and visual effects in
verbal expression. We also study how the arts evolved from the 18th
century, through the Romantic era, and the early modern period. By
the end of the course, the student-through her/his own secured
powers of discernment, increased confidence and strengthened
abilities of perception - will determine what constitutes a work of

Requirements, Assignments and Course Activities: Visits to the IU
Art Museum. Two 3-4 page papers and one 6-8 page comparative paper.
Midterm and final exam; possible group or individual project.  No
prerequisites and no previous experience in literature, painting or
music is required or expected. Attend at least three cultural events.

Required readings (subject to minor change):

Goethe, Sorrows of Young Werther
Poetry anthology, revised throughout semester (Oncourse)
Maupassant, selected short stories (Oncourse or e-reserve)
Vaughan, Romanticism and Art
Gay, Modernism
Other short readings to be assigned throughout the semester (check
Oncourse and e-reserve and stay tuned)