SLAVIC 290 - Studies in Eastern European Cultures
Section: 003 Robots, Newts, Plague: Karel Capek's Path towards Anti-Nazi Resistance
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLAVIC)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:
Meets 10/23/17 - 12/12/17. (Drop/Add deadline=11/06/17.).
May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The mini-course focuses on the work of the prominent Czech author of the 1920s and 1930s, Karel Capek.  We will read and discuss select examples of his novels and theater plays, eventually tracing a line that could be called a line of author’s political maturation in a time of crisis and conflict. We will start with Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.) of 1920, a play that made Capek internationally famous, continue with a highly acclaimed sci-fi prose The War with the Newts of 1936, and we will add a lesser known play, The White Plague (1937).  The Robot play is an expression of moderate social criticism, the newts novel already moves into a political direction, while the Plague play, written on the eve of World War II, is an open statement of resistance to dictatorships and Nazism. Although the course has a monographic core, Central European background of the period will be also introduced. In addition, a session will be dedicated to Karel Capek’s brother, the painter Josef Capek, who will be discussed as an example of an artist who in parallel to his brother, and others, proceeded from abstraction to political anti-Nazi caricature.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and active participation will not be graded – they are the prerequisite for passing the course. No more than one unexcused absence is allowed. Attendance list will be circulated. The final grade will be determined as follows:

Three graded tests – 33.3 % each (all tests must be written in order to pass the course). Strong participation in class discussion may justify an upgrade of the final grade.

SLAVIC 290 - Studies in Eastern European Cultures
Schedule Listing
002 (LEC)
Tu 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: This mini-course takes place every Tuesday, September 5-October 24.
003 (LEC)
Tu 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: This mini-course takes place every Tuesday, October 31-December 12.
004 (LEC)
Th 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: This mini-course takes place every Thursday, September 7 through October 19.
005 (LEC)
TuTh 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: This mini-course takes place every Tuesday and Thursday, October 24 through December 12. It is a 2-credit mini-course.
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 1473208041
War with the newts, Author: C?apek, Karel, 1890-1938,
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