Courses > 2016 Spring



COML 127 | GSWS 125 | RUSS 125
601 | SEM | R. Seguy | T 5:30-8:30pm | 25 FBH

The object of the course is to analyze a series of novels (and a few short stories) about adultery from the late eighteenth through the late nineteenth centuries. At the same time, we will be examining a series of films concerning the same subject matter half of them adaptations of the works that we will read and half original treatments of infidelity. Our reading will teach us about novelistic traditions of the periods in question and about the relationship of Russian literature to the European models to which it responded. Our film viewings will allow us to consider the meaning of adultery in later periods (the twentieth century up to the present) through a different medium of communication, as well as problems of literary adaptation and the status of classic literature in contemporary society. In our coursework we will apply various critical approaches in order to place adultery into its social and cultural context, including: sociological descriptions of modernity, Marxist examinations of family as a social and economic institution, Freudian/psychoanalytic interpretations of family life and transgressive sexuality, and feminist work on the construction of gender. In general, we will see the ways in which human identity is tied to gender roles, and the complex relationship tying these matters of the libido and the family to larger issues of social organization.