Special Course Offerings - Fall 2014
ASC 001/002 - Bridging the Millenium: The Sacred, the Profane, and the Sublime in Five American Masterworks
Instructor : Dr. Anne Davidson Sobel
Description: An invitation to study five astonishing works of fiction that span a quarter of a century surrounding the new millennium. The stylistic range of these works is extraordinary, and one of the most important questions we'll ask throughout the term is: how does the emotional power of each derive from its formal brilliance? How might verbal violence and/or the profane yield to the sublime? How might the sacred arise from the literary? What role, moreover, do cultural contexts play in the production and reception of these works (note, for example, that each author on the syllabus was born between 1933 - 1943)?
This course asks for your active participation throughout the term (seminar format, limited to twenty participants in each section). To help foster the highest possible level of discussion, you will also be asked to write weekly Blackboard responses (one to two paragraphs in length). Class meets once a week (eighty minutes) for six weeks.
Lecture 1: Introduction; "Dancing After Hours" (1996), Andre Dubus. Please read "The Intruder" and "A Love Song" (first two stories in the collection)
Lecture 2 : Remainder of "Dancing After Hours"
Lecture 3 : Blood Meridian (1985), Cormac McCarthy
Lecture 4 : Sabbath's Theater (1995), Philip Roth
Lecture 5 : Gilead (2004), Marilynne Robinson
Lecture 6 : Home (2008), Marilynne Robinson
Dates and times to be determined prior to registration in September. There will be two sections of twenty auditors each.
ASC 003 - Title to be determined
Professor John G. Gager, Jr., William H. Danworth Professor of Religion, Emeritus
Professor Gager will present a four week lecture series in the fall. We will provide more information on the topic and dates before registration in September.