C LIT 357: Literature and Film VLPA
SLN 20828 5 Cr, T/F 3:30-5:20 SAV 155
Instructor: Yizhong Gu
This course focuses on the correlation between literature and film in reflecting and constructing the Chinese social ideologies during the 20th century. The narrative of sacrifice and martyrdom is one of the prominent ideologies to build up the new China as a nation-state.
The course will investigate the literary and cinematic representations of sacrifice in multiple layers.
While providing a general survey of the 20th century Chinese literature, film and culture, the course emphasizes the following issues: how does the collective passion of sacrifice for one’s nation sublimate the individual desire to sacrifice for one’s lover or family in modern China? Can we clearly delineate the boundary between the sacrificed subject/object as martyrs (self-sacrifice) and as scapegoats (forced to sacrifice)? What historical force causes the ever-shifting representations of sacrifice in each period of modern China? Finally, what makes us take for granted of martyrs’ voluntary sacrifice for a nation?
The literary and cinematic texts that we discuss in this course represent a wide range of styles and subject matters related to these issues. All readings will be in English (all films with English subtitles). Prior knowledge of modern Chinese history and familiarity with literature and film analysis are not required.
C LIT 210: Literature and Science – SLN 20829 5 Cr VLPA Instructor: Nicla Riverso Levander, T/Th 3:30-4:50 MGH 271
Science is an interpretation of perceived facts that consists in blending them into larger constructs in which mathematical regularity dominates. Such constructs are produced by imagination and controlled by experiments. Imagination is educated and stimulated by literature and philosophy. Consequently each scientific revolution needs an effort of imagination that should break the customary one and build up a new system of images, in which perceived facts should be located. Which role does imagination play in scientific works? What is the connection between literature and science? Do literature and science work in similar ways? What kind of knowledge do they produce? How do literary works shape the practice of science? What is the impact of science as a cultural reading? This course attempts to answer these questions by considering the developments in scientific studies in conjunction with literary theory and the works of contemporary fiction.
Selections drawn from Darwin, Vico, Mendel, Watson, Descartes, Newton, Verne, Shelley, Calvino