ENG 1034: Stranger Things: The Art of the Unreal (INTC)
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In this interdisciplinary core class, we will study how literature and other media can usher us into a claimed actuality very different from the external world as it is collectively perceived or experienced. At least initially, then, the issues we confront will be epistemological in nature—that is, they will concern how art challenges or otherwise defines the limits of what we can know and understand; and yet we will also try to push beyond familiar theoretical frameworks (e.g., Plato, Freud) by examining modern philosophical accounts of literary aesthetics. This work will guide us through a broad range of textual forms and discourses, from classical epic to contemporary film and television, all variously marked by the ramifying proximity of the alien and the familiar, by moments of estrangement and epistemic disruption. To reference the shadowy parallel dimension from the popular television miniseries “Stranger Things,” think of the course as a class trip to the Upside Down and its analogous settings, as afforded by engagements with classical poetry; medieval romance; Arthurian legend; fantasy literature; mystical and visionary writing; magical realism; abstract expressionism; and, by the end of the term, science fiction. We will supplement this diverse assemblage of material with critical and theoretical readings intended for a general student audience. Requirements will include regular responses to an on-line discussion forum, short response papers, at least one critical essay, and a final paper/collaborative multimedia project. NOTE: “Interpreting the Creative” (INTC) courses within the Yeshiva College core curriculum provide students with foundational tools for appreciating, understanding, and interpreting works from various domains of the creative arts—literary, visual, musical, theatrical and other performing arts. (see more below)
Lavinsky, David. (2020, Spring). ENG/INTC1034: Stranger Things: The Art of the Unreal, Yeshiva College.