2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Forbidden Knowledge

Spring 2013 quarter

Susan Preciso English literature , Mark Harrison theatre, opera, film, performance studies
Fields of Study
American studies, classics, cultural studies, history, literature and moving image
Preparatory for studies or careers in
education, history, literature

Across time and cultures, humankind has struggled with moral taboos that obstruct the pursuit of knowledge deemed inappropriate or dangerous. While institutions have often dictated what is acceptable for us to know, the arts, literature, and mythology have been the chief mechanisms through which we have been able to explain or justify this fundamental human conflict. For example, in the creation story of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost we encounter one of western culture’s most enduring mythic structures. Faust and Frankenstein speak to a more modern dilemma about acquisition and use of knowledge. In this program we will explore this complex subject through visual art, music, poetry, and literature. Roger Shattuck’s Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography will provide one analysis of the stories, but we’ll read other critical approaches as well. Students will be expected to read critically and well, take excellent reading notes, and write occasional critical essays on assigned topics. They will participate in seminar, lecture, workshop, and a field trip.

Credits may be awarded in world literature and cultural studies.

Advertised Schedule
6-9:30p Wed, 10a-5p Sat (Apr. 13, 27, May 11, 25, Jun. 1)
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$10 for event entrance fees
Offered During
Evening and Weekend