College of Arts and Sciences | Origins and Aftermaths:War Stories
C103 | 29210 | Anderson, P. & Van der Laan, S.


COLL-C 103 29210 Origins and Aftermaths:War Stories (Anderson, P. &
Van der Laan, S.: English & Comparative Literature) (A & H) (3 cr.)

1:25 - 2:15PM MW
See Schedule of Classes for discussion section times
Part of Themester 2011:  Making War, Making Peace

The stories that we tell about how a particular country or people came
to exist are often, at their heart, war stories. But the most lasting
and influential war stories are the narratives of aftermaths: the
attempts to reassemble the fragments of our shattered lives after
devastating conflicts, to identify the core elements necessary for
human existence, and to cling to those values in the face of
overwhelming adversity. This is a course about the stories that make
us who we are. It is also, more importantly, about the ways that
stories make us who we are: how telling, listening to, and retelling
stories profoundly shape our culture and our selves. Three wars and
three major texts will orient our journey: Homer's Odyssey, which
narrates Odysseus's struggles to return home after the Trojan War;
John Milton's Paradise Lost, which explores the human consequences of
the war in heaven after the failure of the English Civil Wars; and
Irčne Némirovsky's Suite Française, the start of a novel cycle about
World War II cut short by Némirovsky's deportation to Auschwitz.

This focus on major texts will foster skills of in-depth literary
analysis, illuminating the historical and cultural impact of
literature and the social value of the human imagination. After their
introduction in lecture, students will then practice these critical
approaches themselves, in writing assignments that require analysis,
creativity, and research.