Strange Natives, Strange Women COLT 10. 01 W18 @ 11 hour

Comparative Literature 10.01 John Kopper @ 11 hour

Strange Natives, Strange Women: The Uninvited Others of European Literature.

What does it mean when a President who trades in insults refers to a female US Senator as “Pocahontas”? Why is Chancellor Merkel, who grew up in Communist East Germany, perceived by her own people as a foreigner? And what happens when Medea moves from Switzerland to Senegal (with no stopovers in Greece)?  The class will look at how perceived or imagined differences of ethnicity or gender arise from and help constitute a people’s own sense of cultural and national identity. We will inspect some repeating themes, including Shakespeare's and Césaire's versions of the tale of the dark servant and white magician, and Euripides' and Bâ's take on one of the most terrifying figures our culture has produced, the homicidal mother. We will also look at unsettling contemporary parallels, like the Andrea Yates murders, and see how our society "scripts" these news events. We'll tackle all these texts through various theories  of how narratives work, and add our own theories.  Above all, we will experience the joys of close reading.

Dist:LIT; WCult:W. Cross-listed: INTS 17.11.
Open to all students. Serves as the pre-requisite to a Comparative

Syllabus
Bâ, Mariama.  Scarlet Song.
Babel, Isaac.  “Odessa Tales.”
Césaire, Aimé.  A Tempest.
Conrad, Joseph.  Tales of Unrest.
Euripides.  Medea.
Rhys, Jean.  Wide Sargasso Sea.
Rider Haggard, H.  She.
Shakespeare, William.  The Tempest.
Silvey, Craig. Jasper Jones
Dist:LIT; WCult:W. Cross-listed: INTS 17.11.
Open to all students. Serves as the pre-requisite to a Comparative