ENGL 295 - Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies
Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement. Students in this course study a group of works related by theme, by culture, by topic, by genre, or by the critical approach taken to the texts. Involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Spring 2022, ENGL 295-01: Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Writing and Art (3). Writing and Art A lot of great poetry and prose has been written in response to paintings, sculptures and other works of art. This is called ekphrastic writing, and our spring class will be an ekphrastic feast. We’ll read many famous examples–from Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” to Anne Carson’s “Hopper: Confessions.” We’ll also study new writings commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, in New York. Over the past few years MoMA has invited writers to reflect upon various works in their collection. Our focus will be Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series–60 small paintings that tell the story of the Great Migration–and we’ll zoom with Leah Dickerman, the MoMA art historian who curated an exhibit on that series. Then we’ll close-read poems written in response to Lawrence’s paintings, including works by Rita Dove and W&L alumna Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. We’ll also spend considerable time each week visiting local galleries and private studios, and exploring W&L’s art collection. Students will keep a journal of their own informal ekphrastic writings, graded pass/fail. Course requirements will include two analytical papers and a take-home final essay/exam. (HL) Brodie.
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