Class syllabus (general information, weekly schedule, and list of texts)

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Class syllabus (general information, weekly schedule, and list of texts)

Post by Josephine Livingstone on Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:39 pm

MEDIEVAL + MODERN CONCEPTS OF NATURE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

The word “nature” has a bizarrely broad range of meanings. This single word can refer to the true character of any thing or being, animal and plant life in general, or a backyard. When referring to people, the concept of “nature” can be nefariously used to explain apparently essential differences between men and women, or people of different ethnicities. “Nature” is sometimes the antonym of “culture,” sometimes of “science,” sometimes of “nurture.” How did we get here? In this course, we will take up the threads that tangle up into our concept of nature and follow them into the medieval period, in order to examine their origins in the light of ecocriticism. I will distribute your readings in electronic form in an email every Saturday, but please always feel free to read beyond the excerpts.


OUR TEXTS

Contemporary

Jorge Luis Borges, ‘On Exactitude in Science’
Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay
R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of Nature
Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
William Howarth, ‘Some Principles of Ecocriticism’
Mark D. Jordan, The Invention of Sodomy
Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern
C. S. Lewis, Studies in Words
Henri Lefebvre, ‘Town and Country,’ Writings on Cities

Medieval and Antique

Aristotle, Physics and Metaphysics
Boethius, Consolations of Philosophy
The Book of Genesis
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
The Dream of the Rood
Alan of Lille, The Plaint of Nature
Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, Le Roman de la Rose
Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio
Plato, Timaeus
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Film

Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo
Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away
Andrei Tarkovsky, Stalker


CLASS SCHEDULE

Jan 22 What is “nature”?
In this class we will brainstorm a communal working definition of the word, and together locate the specific contradictions or stand-out concepts that interest us a group. Prompts to start thinking about in advance: plant life; identity; correct behavior; wildness; authenticity; gardens. Excerpts from: C.S. Lewis, Studies in Words.

Jan 29 The garden of knowledge
Excerpts from: The Book of Genesis; Aristotle, Physics and Metaphysics; Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern; William Howarth, ‘Some Principles of Ecocriticism.’

Feb 5 Diagramming knowledge
Excerpts from Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio; Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus; R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of Nature.

Feb 12 Making maps of knowledge
Macrobius cont.; different types of modern world map projection; Jorge Luis Borges, ‘On Exactitude in Science.’

Feb 19 Nature and mystery
Excerpts from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Feb 26 Dangerous landscapes
Sir Gawain cont.; Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker.

Mar 4 The goddess Natura
Excerpts from Plato, Timaeus; Boethius, Consolations of Philosophy; Chaucer’s Parlement of Fowles.

Mar 11 Nature and secular wisdom
Chaucer’s Parlement of Fowles cont.

Mar 18 [Spring Break]

Mar 25 Normativity and the “unnatural”
Excerpts from Le Roman de la Rose; Alan of Lille, The Plaint of Nature; Mark D. Jordan The Invention of Sodomy.

Apr 1 Nature, women, and sex
Chaucer’s ‘Wife of Bath’s Tale.’

Apr 8 Colonialism, power, and nature
Excerpts from The Tempest; Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay, Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor.

Apr 15 Nature, belonging, and Othering
Excerpts from The Book of John Mandeville; mappae mundi and and anti-Blackness.

Apr 22 Exploration
The Book of John Mandeville cont.; Le Divisement du Monde; A Thousand Plateaus.

Apr 29 Screening: Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away.

Josephine Livingstone
Admin

Posts : 5
Join date : 2016-01-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum