COLT 42.03 Robbers, Pirates & Terrorists W19/Klaus Milich

Klaus Milich @ 2A Winter Term 2019

From Sherwood Forest to the Caribbean, this course will focus on representations of rebels, outlaws and vigilantes in difference cultural contexts, historical periods, and genres to include novels, films, drama, diaries, and opera. We will examine what legitimizes individual justice versus socially controlled jurisdiction.

Robin Hood, the archetypal, courteous, pious and swashbuckling outlaw of the medieval era, has become an English (literary) folk hero by way of robbing the rich to provide for the poor and fighting against injustice and tyranny. From Robin Hood via actual and legendary robbers, rebels, pirates, and corsair in the 17th and 18th centuries, to present day pirates, terrorists and guerilla groups in Somalia, Latin America, Italy, Germany, and the U.S., individuals have always been involved with what they considered legitimate (though illegal) resistance against poverty, authority, patriarchy, feudalism, capitalism, and imperialism. Whether one calls them rebels or outlaws evokes a question that has already been at the center of Aeschylus’ Orestes: what legitimizes individual justice versus socially controlled jurisdiction, vigilantism versus politics, or antinomianism versus legalism? Starting from the political-philosophical dichotomy between legitimacy and legality—what is ethically or religiously legitimate isn’t necessarily legal, and vice versa—this course will focus on representations of rebels in different cultural and historical contexts and genres such as novels, movies, dramas, and diaries, and operas.

Please contact: [email protected]