Reading & Composition

How do we define “nature”? While some might assign the status of nature to the non-human and the non-man-made (animals, plants, etc.), a problem emerges when we consider that humans, too, are animals (mammals). Would not genetic clones, indistinguishable from their originals, also complicate this perspective?

Reading & Composition

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love,” writes Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey. Implicit within this quote is the connection (or conflict) between friendship and romance. Tellingly, in several of Austen’s novels a significant shift takes place when a woman gets married; her best-friendship loses its relevance and her marriage takes centerstage. What does this say, Austen’s novels ask, about the (de)value of female friendships in a patriarchal world? Why does the marriage plot take precedence over friendship?

Reading & Composition

Across time, geographies, and cultures, artists have been driven to reflect on militarization and war. What does war do? How do soldiers, civilians, children, and "nations" become militarized? What role do artists play in militarized cultures? In this course we will examine how the arts are deployed in times of war, in militarized zones, in postwar memorializations, and in future fantasy wars. We will analyze "performance" in diverse militarized cultures through the technologies of animation, film, new media, and theatre.

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