The course discusses modes in which the “character” of the cultural and literary text relates to various types of (interior/exterior) spaces and times, as well as body and language expressions in order to configure trajectories of memory in dislocation situations disclosed through limit experiences, implicit or explicit conflicts between centre and “margins”, erotic itineraries. The conceptual approach of the course is based on various critical contemporary interpretative visions, both complementary and discordant. The course examines authorial perceptions on the rapport between the character and memory objects, inscribed reconfigurations of pastness, with reference to themes which are relevant for identity constructions and crises in contemporary texts, such as: cityscapes and natural landscape, biographical landmarks, mental conflict structures, cultural and erotic models in historical context, transgenerational and inter-personal rapports. The support texts for the illustration of various conceptual approaches studied in the course are selected from representative literatures in English, which are significant for the identity issues from the perspective of space-time-memory complex interconnections.
Course instructor: Prof Irina Pana
Week 1 Introduction to course. Subjects of memory. Exercise and essay structure.
Week 2 Representing pastness
Readings: Paul Ricoeur. Time and Narrative. 1986. Vol 2, chapter 4, “The Fictive Experience of Time”; Linda Hutcheon. The Politics of Postmodernism. 1989, Chapter 3, “Re-presenting the Past”, 67-99; Chapter 9, “The Problem of Reference”, 141-157.
Week 3 Memorial bodies
Readings: Peter Brooks. Body Work: Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993, Chapter 8, ”Talking Bodies, Delicate Vessels”, 221-257, Chapter 9, „Transgressive Bodies”, 257-289.
Week 4 Memory into language
Readings: Peter Brooks. Body Work: Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993, Chapter 7, „ What is a Monster? (According to Frankenstein)”, 199-221.
Week 5 Fictions of memory
Readings: Julia Kristeva. Tales of Love. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987, Chapter 1, “In Praise of Love”, 1-19. Selections.
Week 6 Fictions of place, hysterical monuments
Readings: Evelyn Ender. Sexing the Mind. Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Hysteria. London: Cornell University Press, 1995, „Introduction”, 1-23, “George Eliot, Hysteria, and History”, 230-272.
Week 7 Timing the place
Readings: Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs, eds. Travel Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, Chapter 2 ‚ “The Grand Tour and After”, 37-53, Chapter 3, „Exploration and Travel Outside Europe”, 70-87, “Africa/the Congo: the Politics of Darkness”, 156-174, Chapter 11, „India/Calcutta: City of Palaces and Dreadful Night”, 191-207, Chapter 12, “The West/California: Site of the Future”, 207-225.
Week 8 Translating the margins
Readings: Homi K. Bhabha, ed. Nation and Narration. London: Routledge, 1990, ”Narrating the nation” (Introduction).
Week 9 Hybrid memory
Readings: Homi K. Bhabha. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994, Chapter 2, “Dissemination: Time, Narrative and the Margins of the Modern Nation”, 139-170, Chapter 11, “How Newness Enters the World: Postmodern Space, Postcolonial Times and the Trials of Cultural Translation”, 212-235.
Week 10 Revision
REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION
- A minimum of 50% attendance
- Oral presentations and responses: 25%
- Exercises (1000 words) and final essay (essay topics to be discussed with course coordinator): 25%
- Exam: 50%