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Summer 2013 Undergraduate Courses: Nineteenth Century

351:313 Literature and Visual Culture

H1  7/8-8/14 MTWTH 10:20 AM -12:15 CAC  93990  TERRILL  MU-112

This class will consider the relationship between literature and different visual forms. Of course, we will read books, but we will also look at photography, watch films, and read graphic novels. Throughout, we will pay special attention to how social life is represented, especially in popular forms of entertainment. The nineteenth century will be a nexus point for us as we study the wide-ranging visual imagination of Victorian writers, artists, and thinkers as well as later interpretations of this material. We will consider Charles Dickens’ scenes of riots, illuminated manuscripts, the Great Exhibition, W.G. Sebald's tourism, concepts of the grotesque, German surrealism, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Through theoretical readings, we will try to answer some fundamental questions: how do different art forms represent differently? What is visual culture? What is vision? How do paintings or films translate a text and vice versa? The nineteenth century will merely be a starting point for working between periods and forms as we develop a vocabulary for discussing the literary and the visual. Students will be encouraged to pursue projects in the forms and periods that interest them.

The requirements will include short response papers, one in-class presentation, and one longer paper.