Transnational Literature


for January 23

Introduction: Self & Identity The “pie chart” self; Geertz; Freud (id, ego, superego; unconscious); Jung (animus, anima; subconscious); Hinduism (atman/Atman); Buddhism (skandhas/anatman)

for January 26
What is the Self? (Who are you?)
Post: your “Identity Pie”
Read: Justin Hubbell, Suicide (graphic novel); visit his WEBSITE

for January 30
More about identity
Read: "100 Dollars a Casket," "The Ski-mask Kid," "Reptilian Daze," "Mowing," and "Worms & Guinea Pigs" - You can read these quickly, but see if you can come away with a general sense of their central themes/concerns/images and what they mean.
Also read the "Rat Man" case study summary.
Post: A comment on ONE of the authors in the COMICS_comments folder in ASSIGNMENTS. When you write your comments, the point is not necessarily to take an academic point of view. Just be yourself and comment bluntly/directly/honestly. You're not writing an academic paper or explaining something for the class, you're presenting a response which can be as personal or idiosyncratic as you want/need as long as you provide a reason for your response. Sometimes the most interesting interpretations begin with what might seem initially to be an entirely irrational or purely emotional response.

for February 13-16
The North Korean comics can all be conveniently accessed via this page at WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS

The pieces are archived bottom-to-top, so begin reading at the bottom. The comic book pages will appear on the left and the accompanying intro/essay will appear on the right. Be sure to read the intro essay before the comic book pages.

There are 3 pieces, each reflecting a different aspect/technique of propaganda. At the same time, the works will give you some interesting cultural insight beyond the ideological purpose. Keep that in mind as you read. We will be discussing these throughout next week, so for Tuesday, just be sure to have the first two read (though they're quick reads). Next week, I'll also have a folktale to add. In class, we will be watching an animation on Tuesday to accompany the MIGHTY WING excerpt. (You will be posting a comment on Wednesday.)

for February 16-20
Read the KIM SEONDAL excerpt in DropBox and listen to the radio interview on NORTH KOREAN COMICS.

For Tuesday, think about the range of comics you've seen and what you can infer about the DPRK from them. We will be looking at a couple of North Korean stories next.

for February 20-23
For this week, read:
"Make the Ocean Blue" and "City of Specters" in DropBox.
As I mentioned in class, the first is by an "approved" North Korean writer (actually, on of the relatively few younger members -- and a woman -- in the Writer's Union). It was published in North Korea. The other one is by a dissident writer who is still in North Korea, but who hasn't been heard from in 2 years. It was smuggled out of the country and published a few years ago.

For your comment this week, you may compare them or write on one or both. Bandi, although the true nature of the pseudonym cannot be known, is probably a man (given that he writes traditional love poetry addressed to a woman). If I'm able to get permission, I will also show you a couple of poems by Bandi which are quite explicitly critical of the state.

If you want to see some fairly recent images from North Korea, go here and click on the gallery at the bottom of the article: 463 NORTH KOREA PHOTOS

for March 6-9
For Wednesday, watch the YouTube video documentary: THE STRANGE CASE OF YUKIO MISHIMA

Also read this essay at THE JOURNAL OF MYTHIC ARTS

In class, we talked about the issue of extrinsic/intrinsic analysis and intent/biography. Consider the ways in which literature/art and the writer/artist's life go together as you read the essay. Consider the relationship between the categories we label "reality" and "fiction."
Comments go in the REALITY and FICTION folder.

MIDTERM - Friday, MARCH 16, in class

FINAL EXAM - Tuesday, MAY 15, 12:30-2:30, in class