FALL 2015 UNDERGRADUATE FEATURED COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Dystopian Fiction deals with a man-made future in which there are series of crises: this can entail, among other things, food and water shortages, global economic collapse, civil chaos, electrical grid down, totalitarian government, and a host of other calamities. Dystopian Fiction is, by its nature, anti-utopian. The course will focus on works of fiction in which authors envision such a future and its significance today. The format is lecture and class discussion. Required work: daily quizzes, three exams, and one research paper.
“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling—a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension—becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it. James Bond suddenly knew that he was tired. He always knew when his body or his mind had had enough and he always acted on the knowledge.”
These words—the opening of Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale—introduced one of the most exciting and influential characters in modern literature, who would go on star in the longest-running franchise in film history. James Bond—also known as 007—was created by Ian Fleming 60 years ago, and his global popularity grew with the successful films that began with Dr No in 1962 and marked their fiftieth anniversary with Skyfall, in 2012. Launching an exciting series of adventures featuring international spies, glamorous Bond girls, Aston Martins and other fast cars, exotic travel, luxurious dining, vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred!) and a gallery of memorable, fiendish villains, Casino Royale changed the course of post-war literature. As the critical and commercial success of Skyfall shows, James Bond is as popular now as he has ever been. But how can we explain the long lasting global appeal of this character? How much of Bond’s story is the creation of Ian Fleming—who died in 1964—and how much is the invention of the filmmakers, and actors, who gave him life on the screen? In what ways do the changing faces and varied adventures of Bond reflect wider social issues, political events, and historical trends? What can Bond tell us about changing gender roles and class identities in the last fifty years? In this course we will be looking closely at a selection of Bond films and the novels that inspired them—such as Dr No, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, Casino Royale, and Skyfall—so as to engage with the fascinating literary, cinematic, and cultural aspects of this popular icon. The assignments will include readings of novels and criticism (by Barthes, Eco, and others), film screenings, and quizzes and exams on the various works assigned.
[This course satisfies category II]
ENC 4930: Literary Publishing and Editing
Students taking this course will be working on the publication of Coastlines, the University's Literary Magazine. More information to follow.
[This course satisfies category III]