Summer 2023 MLAS courses begin Monday, June 5 and end Wednesday, August 9.
MLAS 6100-01: Seminar in the Humanities:
Adaptation: Across Media, Genres, Eras and Cultures
Prof. Judy Klass , Departments of English and Jewish Studies, College of Arts and Science
Monday evenings, 6:00-8:30 pm
Course Description: In this course we will look at the stories that have been told and re-told, across the centuries in some cases, in vastly different places and cultural contexts, often re-cast for newly invented genres and media, and often resonating in new ways. We will consider questions of why adaptations are made and what is lost and gained in the process. We will look at faithful adaptations, playful adaptations, parodies, adaptations in conversation with the works they derive from, adaptations intended in some sense to “deconstruct” the original works, and adaptations that say interesting things about the age and culture of the adaptation, in terms of how it contrasts with its source. What changed when Hollywood drew on Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai and made The Magnificent Seven? Did the Hollywood version of the story say anything about how the US saw Mexico and the rest of the world in the years before the US went into Vietnam? How did Jane Austen’s Emma turn into Amy Heckerling’s film Clueless? Can either be regarded as a feminist work? Do artificial people signify the same thing in Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner that they represent in Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Should Alice Randall’s novel The Wind Done Gone, which draws on Gone with the Wind, be regarded as a parody? Harsh satire? Deconstruction? There will be discussion of sociological, political, literary and film theory; the main emphasis will be on contextualizing and analyzing the works we encounter – allowing room for different interpretations.
(Fine and Creative Arts, Literature and Creative Writing)
MLAS 6100-02: Seminar in the Humanities:
Suffering and the Self: Ancient
Prof. Chiara Sulprizio , Department of Classical and Mediterranean Studies, College of Arts and Science
Tuesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 pm
Course Description: In this course we will read (in English translation) the major works of the tragic poets Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and examine the development of Greek tragedy from its origins to the last extant plays of the fifth century BCE. As we analyze each play, we will consider structural features like plot, character and staging, and we will explore the mythical and historical background that serve as their settings. We will delve into the thematic concerns that tend to dominate in the tragic realm: fate and freedom; citizenship, familial ties and the state; violence and heroism; gender and status differences; and reversal and recognition. We will also devote our attention to the broader Athenian political and religious contexts in which the plays were performed. Finally, we will engage with modern scholarship on Greek tragedy, and we will consider how modern adaptations continue to make an impact on audiences in the present day.
(History, Literature and Creative Writing)
MLAS 6300: Seminar in History:
Labor and Migration in US History
Prof. Mark John Sanchez , Department of Asian Studies, College of Arts and Science
Wednesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 pm
Course Description: This course will focus on 19th- and 20th-century histories of labor and migration in the context of United States history as a way to examine the roots and routes of immigration discourse in the United States today. Together, we will examine works that discuss labor and migration through race, gender, class, and nation. We will also engage in a methodological conversation, seeking to locate the possibilities and perils in migration and labor history offered by methods including oral history, social history, cultural history, and others. In drawing attention to the circulation of people, ideas, and objects, this course will ultimately explore the proportional importance of the United States in world history. Our conversations will focus both on the imperial and international histories that conditioned many forms of labor migration as well as the ways that immigrant communities engaged and/or contested these histories of power.
(History, Social Science)