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War and Representation: War, Trauma, and Representation in Literature

ENGL 085.920
crosslisted as: COML 150
MW 1:15-5:05

Representations of war are created for as many reasons as wars are fought: to legitimate armed conflict, to critique brutality, to vilify an enemy, to mobilize popular support, to generate national pride, etc. In this course we will examine a series of representations of war drawn from literature, film, memoirs, and music from the United States, Europe, and Africa. We will pursue an investigation of images of conflict and bloodshed in the larger context of the history of military technology, social life, and communications media over the last two centuries. Students will be expected to write two papers and take part in a group presentation on an assigned topic. The goal of the course will be to gain knowledge of literary history in social and historical context, and to acquire critical skills for analysis of rhetoric and visual representations.