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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2006

WGS 345 • Writing the Alienated Self-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47623 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
BUR 128
Bizer, Marc

Course Description

One of the most prominent themes of modern literature is alienation: from self, from body, from society. We will read contemporary authors, male and female, who deal with social ostracism, its causes and consequences, from perspectives ranging from the intensely personal to the more broadly political. We will determine to what extent in these texts the body is not merely a place of disconnection from oneself and of crisis of personal identity, but also a symbol of the disintegration of the entire social fabric. We will also show how literary treatment of these themes enriches sociological and psychological studies of alienation, and vice versa. Lastly, we will examine to what extent art and creativity can both mediate and palliate alienation.

Grading Policy

Participation 20% Research reports 25% 5-7 page paper 20% Research proposal w/annotated bibliography (2-3pp). 5% Final 10-12 page paper 30%


Claire de Duras, Ourika Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face Toni Morrison, Sula Leila Sebbar, Sherazade Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis and "The Hunger Artist" Albert Camus, The Fall & The Exile and the Kingdom J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians Edward Albee, The Goat Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents Films: Eyes Without a Face The Elephant Man


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