How can artists ethically represent war? Are certain media predisposed to certain kinds of narratives and interpretations of war? Do films, comics, photographs, and prose stories create different political and emotional effects? How do our cultural frames change the way that we understand “enemy,” “conflict,” and who is grievable or killable? In this course we will explore these questions by investigating how war is represented in contemporary and historical literature, graphic narratives, documentaries, and animated films that depict combat zones and lives affected by war. We will use theory from Susan Sontag, Ariella Azoulay, and Judith Butler as well as readings such as comics journalism from Joe Sacco, graphic memoir from Thi Bui, short stories by Aleksandar Hemon, and films by Alain Resnais and Ari Folman to develop critical frameworks for analyzing the ethics of representing war, armed conflicts, and the pain of others.
Literature, 1789 to the present courses focus on literary work produced over more than two centuries -- from the period of British romanticism and the early republic of the United States up to now -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history. Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.
Media, Folklore, and/or Culture courses focus on print and non-print media to explore culture and its processes of creative expression.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
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.