The Blue Humanities: Literature, Film and Science of the Sea
The ocean has been cast as “alien” to the human, yet it is the origin of all life and represented in image, song and narrative. Indeed, water origin myths are prevalent in diverse cultures around the world. We will study the significance of the sea in fictional and factual accounts, incorporating both science and humanities, to work through the many ways the sea is represented as a “heterotopic” space to explore identity, a laboratory, a place to escape, and a place of unknown mystery.
Identify themes in literature of the sea to understand how the sea is both real (physical) and metaphorical (imaginative).
Connect narratives to particular historical moments.
Examine how science, literature, and film meet at the crossroads of the ocean, drawing from each other to explore, represent, and narrate the sea.
Evaluate the social history of the sea and exploration
“The Uncanny” by Sigmund Freud
“Monster Theory” by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
“Maritime Culture” by Helen Rozwadowski
“Undersea” by Rachel Carson
Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
“Manuscript Found in a Bottle” by Edgar Allan Poe
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (Text and Film)
Prepared Daily Questions for Class Meeting
Weekly blog on readings (Think/Write Micro-Essays Responses)
Specific prompt on one text (Three short papers 2-3 pp.)
Specific Prompt for Comparative Essay (Two Long papers 5- 7 pp.)