• Spring 2015 Types of Literature Syllabus

    Brooke Carlson (see profile)
    TM The Teaching of Literature
    Culture--Study and teaching, Literature, Literature--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    OEW2017, Cultural studies, Teaching of literature
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    Where do we come from? Our families play an instrumental role in our development. Indeed, the idea of the individual, apart from the family, challenges notions of family as a continual process, as something permanent. How old is the idea that the individual can strike out on her own, separate from her family, and thus do as she pleases? Families teach children how to be in the world, and particularly, how to be in that world immediately surrounding them; these teachings make up culture. Groups of families comprise communities, cities, and then nation. So at what point does the larger culture of community, or nation, come into conflict with the family? Similarly, when does (Western) culture begin to move away from the family model as center? To what extent has individualism always already been there? In what manner do we see culture clash with, or even in, society? We’ll begin with classical Greek drama, and Euripides’ The Bacchae. Euripides sets his play about the Greek god Bacchus among family. Part of being mortal is thus manifest as being part of family, wherein authority and family are at odds. Shakespeare, some 1,400 years later, uses pastoral comedy as a means to explore the family in opposition to authority. John Milton, in that same early modern period, returns the genre of poetry to the classics, with his revision of the Biblical origin of humanity as sinning souls. We’ll explore a wide selection of English, American, and Hawaiian poets to bridge the gap between the long eighteenth century and the present. Continuing our study of the family on stage, we will read Edward Albee’s The American Dream and Alani Apio’s Kamau. We’ll also be wrapping up the semester with a smattering of Modern and Post-Modern poets, from both the Western and Hawaiian traditions.
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