Provocative ideas and shocking content do not always make their way in the world without a fight. Whether censored by political regimes, rejected by publishing houses, or banned by librarians and parents, books and films that are banned express content and styles that some deem dangerous. In this writing intensive introduction to world literature texts in their cultural contexts, we will analyze texts that have been the object of controversy and outrage and texts that thematize forbidden or erased histories. Some key questions we will return to throughout our discussions are the following: How do stories, poems and films become incendiary? What is erased and how? How is silencing represented in artful ways?
Through this course, students will improve their ability to ask questions of and to read, analyze, and interpret complex literary texts, using relevant literary terminology critically and creatively. They will augment their knowledge of how literature is organized by historical periods, genres, cultures, and cultural formations. They will improve their ability to express ideas by organizing, developing and supporting a description, analysis, or argument in written formats, within the conventions of academic writing. Finally, they will produce a significant amount of writing such that the course fulfills the requirements of its mandatory W Focus designation (i.e. 4,000 words).