Junot Díaz’s 2007 novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is complex and heart wrenching, but still gut-bustingly funny. One of its most famous characteristics is its narrator’s constant barrage of references, in-jokes, quotations, and innuendo. In “COLT 380: Allusion and/as Identity,” we will dig deeply into the wealth of allusions in Oscar Wao by examining the novel alongside the broad range of music, film, novels, poetry, and history it references. In the course of examining these texts, we will, of course, work toward a more robust understanding of Oscar Wao…but in doing so we will also make sense of why we make references, how literature creates meaning, and how that meaning defines us.
Comics Studies Minor courses present students with an international, historical, and critical perspective on the art of editorial cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels, and how these forms communicate, inform, and emotionally engage their audiences. Students will be required to think outside of accustomed disciplinary boundaries, and to analyze and experiment with the interaction of both visual and linguistic systems of meaning.