COMPLIT 122 - Writing World Literatures
Section: 002 Hot to be Hip: Translating Speech, Image and Experience in American Literature and Film
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
FYWR
Waitlist Capacity:
100
Cost:
0
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The American vernacular word “hip” comes from the Wolof (West African) word hepi, which means “to open one’s eyes.” Through the lens of hipness, the history of America and American culture can be read as a story of recognitions, reciprocal “eye-openings” between people with different viewpoints, experiences, and desires – in other words, as a story of getting hipped. But it is also a story about misrecognitions and miscommunications, sometimes comic and sometimes tragic, that can remind us of the risks and the difficulties of keeping your eyes open, of staying hip. Most of all, this story is marked by the urgent struggle to find a common viewpoint and a common language – a struggle to translate our experiences for each other, without losing that experience in translation. In this course, we will examine what could be called the project of hipness in American life through its literary and cinematic forms of expression in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the ultimate aim of developing students’ skills in critical reading, analysis, and argumentative writing. Starting from the archetypally hip decision of Huck Finn, and ending with its unhip antithesis in the racial and social apocalypse of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, we will trace how hip exchanges take place across economic, sociopolitical, and linguistic divides and find expression in literary and cinematic artifacts. The aim of the course is to hone students’ capacities to read and perceive critically, to draw parallels and distinctions in a comparative and/or intertextual context, and to argue their insights effectively in writing. Exercises in close reading will develop critical and argumentative acumen; class time will be balanced between brief lectures, discussion of the primary texts, and peer editing workshops of student writing.

COMPLIT 122 - Writing World Literatures
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
P
21004
Closed
0
 
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MWF 9:00AM - 10:00AM
002 (REC)
P
21005
Open
1
 
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MWF 11:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (REC)
P
23658
Open
1
 
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TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
004 (REC)
P
27876
Closed
0
 
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TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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