Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
What is interesting about bad behavior and provocation? In this writing seminar we will explore works of literature, visual art and critical thought that either depict or have caused scandals. We will engage recent as well as ancient material —from Pussy Riot to Sophocles’ Antigone—and will focus on the first half of the twentieth-century. We will analyze strategies, forms, and styles of defiance, and think about the complex set of cultural, economic, religious and political relations that are revealed through scandals. Some of the concepts and problems that we will be addressing are commodity, icon, fetish, shock, scandal, tragedy, manifesto, the intersections between religion and the secular avant-garde, the influence of the sensationalist press on the novel and “serious” literature, as well as the relationship between modern and archaic. The authors and materials we will deal with in this course include Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the artists and poets of Italian, Russian, and Afro- Futurism, Constructivists, Dadaists, Victor Shklovsky, Kazimir Malevich, Marcel Duchamp, Karl Marx and Pussy Riot.
First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)