COMPLIT 384 - Literature and Other Disciplines
Section: 001 Literature, Art and Anthropology in Modern Europe
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
One course in literary studies.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In this course we will explore the relation between literature, art, and anthropology in Europe, during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. While Western Europe claimed a civilizing role and an indisputable supremacy over less developed countries in Africa and Asia, in order to better justify its expansionist goals, many European writers and artists fell under the spell of the “primitive Other,” which they viewed as a source of spiritual enrichment in a (European) culture increasingly devoid of spirituality. This is the case of many Impressionist artists and Symbolist writers and painters in Fin-de-Siècle Europe. Ethnographic travel and discoveries also played a significant role on the development of the avant-garde and of modernist movements, including Dada, Surrealism, and Négritude.

Readings will include ethnographic texts by contemporary ethnographers, such as Malinowski, Lévi-Bruhl, Frobenius, Mauss, and Lévi-Strauss, and more recent perspectives in anthropology represented by Clifford Geertz, James Clifford, and Victor Turner. Literary and visual materials (including film) will be drawn from various 20th century artistic movements.

Evaluation will be based on a midterm paper, and a final essay, a presentation on a self-designed topic, and participation in class. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

Other departments: Art History, Anthropology

COMPLIT 384 - Literature and Other Disciplines
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MWF 3:00PM - 4:00PM
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