Slavic Languages and Literatures | Topics in Polish Lit & Culture
P565 | ALL | Beinek


Course description:
Human bodies have always been the object of fascination and inquiry.
Philosophy, theology, politics, and science have conceptualized the
body in various ways, according to ideologies and beliefs of the day.
Literature and other forms of cultural production, such as fine arts
and cinema, have attempted to depict the human body in a number of
forms from realistic to surreal. The body is the material reality that
we experience on a daily basis, yet it remains an enigma, impossible
to capture through the discourses of science, philosophy, or art.

This course discusses manifold representations of the human body in
Polish literature and culture. Primary texts and images come primarily
come from the twentieth century, a time of the rapid development of
new aesthetic movements that sought original ways of representing the
body. In this course main topics of interest include: the body and
mind/soul dichotomy, body and cognition, body and the discourse of
desire, body and gender, body and illness/trauma, metamorphoses of the
body, persons and things, body and communist politics in post-war
Eastern Europe, and bodies in the cybernetic age.

Selected texts: Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert, Schulz, Gombrowicz,
Chwin, Maslowska. Two films e.g. Kieslowski's "White" or "A Short Film
about Love," Machulski's "Sexmission" or Kolski's "Jasminum."

A take-home midterm and a final.