Cultural Representations: Metamorphosis, Embodiment, and Environment

Course Number: ENGL 122ME
Prerequisites: Writing 2 or upper-division standing
Advisory Enrollment Information: May be repeated for credit providing letter designations are different.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: GE Area G Requirement, Writing Requirement
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 122AA-ZZ
Quarter: Spring 2017
Instructor: Haber, Baron
Day(s): MW
Time: 9:30am - 10:45am
Location: SH 2635
Description:
What do narratives of metamorphosis tell us about the human body and its relationship to the nonhuman environment? How does metamorphosis destabilize normative assumptions about the relationship between biology, environment, and identity? What new forms of art, politics, and subjectivity do these transformations manifest?

In light of recent academic conversations about the human body and its capacity for change, this course surveys literature from the classical age through to the 21st century, looking at representations of metamorphosis – the transformation of a man into a woman, or of a human into an animal, plant, or mythical creature - to see how literature has historically represented the protean body. 

Primary texts include works by a international group of authors, including Homer, Ovid, Mary Shelley, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Amos Tutuola, Indra Sinha, and others. To stimulate discussion of these texts, we will also consider theoretical and critical texts from gender and queer theory, as well as from the environmental humanities. Student work will include quizzes, a group presentation, a close-reading essay, and a research paper.