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Title: ENGL 190-01, What it Means to Walk Upright: Readings in Obedience and Authority, Fall 2011
Authors: Molinary, M.
Keywords: English, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;2011 Fall
Issue Date: 25-Aug-2011
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN;12220
Abstract: We come into the world / We come into the world and there it is … Thus begins Juliana Spahr’s poem, “Gentle Now Don’t Add to the Heartache”. But we don’t simply come into the world, we come into a particular world during a specific geological/natural epoch & we come into Culture—a specific culture at a particular time in natural & human history. From the moment of our entry into that world, enculturation begins. Words are spoken to us, we speak back, & so it goes. Much of the socialization that follows has to do with rules. We learn the rules & we learn to obey them. In short, we learn how to see & experience the world according to a culture & its language/s & metaphors. This class looks at that aspect of becoming socialized. This class has questions. Who or what & why do we obey? How are we encouraged or discouraged to obey in literature & art? What are the implications of our obedience? What does it mean to be autonomous. Can we be free? Are we doomed to be (free)? Using the literary corpse of one female child as a springboard metaphor into relationships of obedience, authority, & subjectivity, this class will inspect the body, will read it closely for what may be inscribed thereon & will ultimately seek to discover the cause of death. In order to build more focused critical perspective/sight & interpretive skill, this class will concern itself with the topic of obedience as it relates to subjectivity & as it is played out from cultural metaphors of nature to individual freedom to states of terror. The semester’s readings are divided into five delineations: Nature; Father Figures & Honor Codes; Education & Enculturation; The State; & Circling Back for Survivors. In literature, primarily, but in visual art & film also, students will investigate etymological & critical questions of obedience & authority & will respond in weekly, brief critical (& creative) exercises & writings, culminating in a final project.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor. Uploaded by Archives RSA Josephine Hill.
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