2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Myth and Idea


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Leonard Schwartz philosophy, creative writing , Martine Bellen (F) , Trevor Speller British literature
Fields of Study
literature, philosophy and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
literature, writing and publishing.

This two-quarter program will examine the ways in which poetry and music are influenced by philosophy, and the other way around. The concentration is on a poetry devoted to the idea of myth, where myth can transform, or impeach, or pass into hoax; indeed, the subject of literary hoax and its relationship to fiction will be crucial. Some of the pairings of poets and philosophers that might be included are Fenellosa and Pound, Hobbes and Rochester, Locke and Defoe, Coleridge and Schelling, George Eliot and Ludwig Feuerbach, Walter Pater and Wilde and Swinburne, The Black Mountain Poets and Jed Rasula’s ideas on Ecopoetics, the Afro-Caribbean poet Kamau Brathwaite’s writing and thinking, Schopenhauer, the Symbolists and Richard Wagner, as well as Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy.

In fall quarter we will embark on a viewing/listening of Wagner's Ring Cycle, while winter quarter will feature a study of the Russian Futurists and their influence by, and struggle with, Marxist theory. Theories of myth to be considered include Roland Barthes Mythologies, Edward Said’s Orientalism, Kamau Brathwaite’s Roots, and Nathaniel Mackey’s Discrepant Engagement. The program will contain both a critical and creative component, which means we will both study texts and incorporate a poetry writing workshop into the program for those inclined to explore the language of poetry through constraint based writing exercises. There will be frequent guest speakers.

Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 3rd, 2011 Winter signature added.
May 24th, 2011 This program is now open to students of all class levels.