Robert Bledsoe

1:00p-2:15p TR (25 students) 3 cr., IW.

This section of W350 will focus on romantic love. Using a range of genres (fiction, poetry, essays, drama, painting, film) we will interrogate love as an ideal, an abstraction, a spiritual, transcendent experience, and a social phenomenon. How has the ancient world shaped our concept of romantic love? How does this blueprint continue to inform our desires? Since love is, arguably, the most common theme in imaginative literature, how do artistic constructions and interpretations influence our individual perceptions and experience? Our interrogation will include reading, discussing, and writing about love from different cultures and historical periods; ancient texts as well as popular culture: love songs, greeting cards, and blogs. Readings and class discussion will explore and seek to characterize our topic in an organized and systematic way—a counterpoint to an experience as elusive, fleeting, and hard to pin down as love. There will be three formal assignments and five shorter response papers on the reading assignments.

Plato, The Symposium
Tristan & Iseult (Joseph Bedier, Hilaire Belloc)
Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
Nothing But You: Love Stories from The New Yorker, ed. Roger Angell
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Tony Kushner, Angels in America