Literature Seminars: Oceanic Politics

Exploration of major themes in selected works of literature. Individual sections focus on topics such as war, justice, childhood, sex and gender, the supernatural, and the natural world. Emphasis on the development of writing skills and the analysis of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose.

English 115 explores a theme in the social and historical life of literature through. Our section will focus on Oceanic Politics. For our purposes, the “politics” of oceans are threefold: oceans are the source of aesthetic inspiration; the routes of trade and conquest; and the interface between human and nature. We will explore oceanic politics across different genres and media, including poetry, narrative, drama, film, and digital media. This range of genres and texts will anchor our encounters with regionally-specific historical flashpoints: for example, the Atlantic slave trade, the Indian Ocean opium wars, settler colonialism in the Pacific Islands. We will also wrestle with the myriad contradictions that oceanic politics make available. How ought we understand the romance of exploration in conjunction with the brutalities of conquest? How do oceans function as both sites removed from the territorial centers of power and the very premise of imperial violence? Writers on the will include William Shakespeare, Jack London, Toni Morrison, Jean Rhys, Safiya Sinclair, Ruth Ozeki, and Amitav Ghosh.  

Students who wish to enroll in a section of this seminar should participate in online preregistration, which opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12, 2016 and closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

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MW 9:00am-10:15am
WR, Hu