War in Literature and Film
If, as the author Christopher Hedges has claimed, “War is a force that gives us meaning,” how have artists communicated and shaped that meaning? And what meanings have been communicated? This course examines war as a subject of ideology, protest and representation. We will investigate how authors have defined and depicted war in Western civilization, from Homer‟s epic poetry to Shakespeare‟s nationalist rallying cries to Hollywood‟s widescreen blockbusters. At every point we will acknowledge both war‟s allures and its costs, with emphasis on the role played by masculinity in the long history of representing human conflict. Authors include Homer, William Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, Isaak Babel and Jacques Tardi. All course readings and viewings in English.