Reading & Composition
A revenant is defined as that which returns, the remnant of being that clings to the earth beyond the boundary of death. In other words, a ghost.
Ghosts haunt literature and art, whether literally, metaphorically, or somewhere in between. This course will examine the ghosts of art across languages, cultures, and time periods, looking at the cultural survival of the dead as well as their impact on the living. How do the dead offer spiritual sustenance and redemptive narratives to the living? How might “the other side” still speak to us in our world? What does it mean to be haunted, anyway? And how do we reckon with the continued presence of the dead among the living?
This is a reading and composition course that fulfills the university’s R1B requirement. The course will develop students’ abilities to read primary and secondary texts carefully and to formulate and express literary arguments. We will be focused equally and simultaneously on the interrelated skills of close reading and intensive writing. Class discussion will focus on developing and articulating ideas about texts and on collaborate close reading. The various writing activities, from the major analytical essays to shorter creative exercises, will connect critical thinking and writing, improve students’ control over their writing voice, and introduce new ways of thinking about structure and development.
Key texts (subject to change):
Joyce, “The Dead”
Adichie, “The Ghost”
Mishima, Lady Aoi
Film: The Others, dir. Amenábar
Film: O Estranho Caso de Angélica, dir. Oliveri