Course: Introduction to Literary Analysis: Transformation

From the humbling of Creon in Sophocles’ Antigone to the fall of Hester in Suzan-Lori Parks' In The Blood, this course examines the literature of transformation. Working with classical and modern texts in a variety of literary genres, this course will ask: How do characters transform in the face of desire, longing, violence, trauma, and loss? How do social structures transform (or fail to transform) through individual and collective action? We will look closely at contemporary adaptations of classical works, asking how the meanings of these works are transformed over time and across various media—including film, theater, dance, and performance art.  Finally, we will also track our own transformations over the course of the semester, asking how the practice of reading and writing literature and criticism transforms our senses of self and other. Particular attention will be paid to the politics of identity in the work of transformation, including gender, sexuality, race, and class.