Culture, the Arts and Society - Metamorphosis: Art and Politics

CLLC-L 210 / CLASS 22635 — Fall 2021 — Themester

Foster-Martin 012B
Days and Times
Tu/Th 1:10 p.m. - 2:25 p.m., 3 credits
Course Description

This course will explore the role of metamorphosis in western art and culture, and all that is exciting, frightening, and puzzling about its core idea of transformed identity. We start with the conventional trope of metamorphosis—supernatural transformations from the human to the nonhuman—in literary classics. We then dive into the influence of metamorphosis on contemporary works such as music videos and creative nonfiction. In mapping this history, we will take on urgent philosophical and political questions such as: When do we understand radical change as loss and gain, punishment and liberation? How does the transformed self also transform the community? These themes give shape to our understanding of metamorphosis as a tradition, while also highlighting its internal tensions, its shifts across genre and context, and its impact on our present day raced, classed, gendered, and regional imaginations.

Instructor: Anushka Sen

Collins Seminars: Selected by Board of Educational Programming (BOEP)