Writing the Disaster: Literature and Atrocity

Course Number: ENGL 16GLA
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
Advisory Enrollment Information: May be repeated for credit providing letter designations are different.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 165AA-ZZ
Quarter: Fall 2010
Instructor: Samolsky, Russell
Day(s): TR
Time: 3:30 - 4:45 PM
Location: GIRV 1112

This course will examine how modern and contemporary literature has engaged with the problem of atrocity. Beginning with the Jewish Holocaust and working our way through apartheid South Africa and the Rwandan genocide, we will broach such themes as the limits of representation, the work of mourning, ethics and the Other and literature as testimony. Continuing our analysis of the text as a political narrative, the site of ideological, economic, gender and racial conflicts, we move to an analysis of war and trauma in the contemporary Israeli graphic novel Waltz with Bashir (adapted from the film). In the wake of 9/11, the war on terror and the revelations of torture in Abu Ghraib prison, our course concludes with a consideration of the place of literature in a time of terror.