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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Nov 17, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ENGL 4920 - Honors Seminar II


     


Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Enrollment limited to: students in the Honors Program in English or related fields, or by permission of instructor. Seminar 102 may be used as one of three pre-1800 courses required of English majors.

P. Lorenz, M. Ngugi.

The purpose of the Honors Seminar is to acquaint students with methods of study and research to help them write their senior Honors Essay. However, all interested students are welcome to enroll. The seminar will require a substantial essay that incorporates literary evidence and critical material effectively, and develops an argument. Topics and instructors vary each semester.

Seminar 101: Africa Writes Back

What happens to the truth of fiction when two authors, each with a unique and sometimes opposing cultural and historical perspective, write about the same events? What if the two novelists are writing for different audiences and even different nations? In African literature one often finds African writers responding to European writers about their portrayals of colonialism and resistance. In this course, we shall be considering the “she said, he said” of African colonial and anti-colonial literature. For example, we shall look at the ways in which Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a response to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and at the treatment of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe by J.M. Coetzee in his novel, Foe.

 

Seminar 102: Shakespeare: The Late Plays

The course focuses on Shakespeare’s middle to late plays, from the “problem comedies,” through the great tragedies and romances. While we will pay particular attention to questions of dramatic form (genre) and historical context (including ways in which the plays themselves call context into question), the primary concentration will be on careful close readings of the language of the play-texts, in relation to critical questions of subjectivity, power, and art. On the way, we will encounter problems of sexuality, identity, emotion, the body, family, violence, politics, God, the nation, nature and money (not necessarily in that order).



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