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Men, Women, and War: Literary Perspectives

ENGL 293.601
instructor(s):
T 5:30-8:40

In this course, we will explore the depictions of war in the work of twentieth-century novelists, memoirists, essayists, poets, and filmmakers (both male and female) and consider what relation there might be--if any--between gender and war. Additional questions include: What have been the motivations for war as depicted in the works we consider? What have been the effects of war on men, women, and children? How has the traditional gendered division of labor between a public, "masculine" sphere and a domestic, "feminine" sphere affected attitudes toward war? We will analyze concepts including patriotism, nationalism, pacifism, terrorism, aggression, justice, and defense. We will read some of the following authors: Rebecca West, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, Rose Macaulay, Graham Greene, Joseph Heller, Gwendolyn Brooks, Tim O'Brien, Pat Barker, and Michael Ondaatje. Filmmakers are likely to include Stanley Kubrick and Marguerite Duras. Course requirements include lively participation, a brief in-class presentation, two essays (6-8 pages), and a final exam.