Monday, May 17, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM (via Zoom - TBA)
Seminar students in spring 2021 are exploring what it means to study literature
in a moment of overlapping and ongoing social and environmental crises, with
Professor Brooke Stanley. Please join us as students present their capstone
projects Monday, May 17, 2021 from 10:00 am - 11:30 am (via Zoom).
What does it mean
to study literature in a moment of global crisis? If you’ve tried to explain
your English major to somebody, you’ve perhaps thought about this question before.
It can be hard to insist on the value of books when wildfires and hurricanes
are raging, COVID-19 has altered daily reality, and anti-Black violence
continues to rupture society. And yet, in times of crisis, literary study might
be more important than ever.
In this course,
we are considering how literature and humanities scholarship confront a range
of urgent issues, including environmental justice, refugeeism, xenophobia,
structural racism, reproductive justice, and pandemics. We have approached these
various crises through contemporary literature by Global South, Black,
Indigenous, and Latinx authors, in dialogue with literary theory and cultural
criticism from a wide range of subfields: we’ve read examples of scholarship
from the environmental humanities, postcolonial studies, Indigenous studies,
Black studies, feminism and trans feminism, queer studies, critical race
theory, queer of color critique, and disability studies. What do rhetorics of
“crisis,” “apocalypse,” “disaster,” and “catastrophe” reveal, and what do they
obscure? What other frameworks do literature and scholarship offer for thinking
about large-scale problems? What do we learn from a literary approach to crisis
or hope? Students in this class are developing Capstone Projects that interrogate
such questions in relation to one or more of the aforementioned
fields. Capstone Projects may take the form of either a literary-critical
essay or a research-based public humanities project.