LAT 383 • Genre and Politics
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
We begin by defining a genre as a (cognitive) pattern of associations of form, content, and occasion/context. (This applies both to self-consciously defined genres [epic; equestrian sculpture] and to categories which show such associations without being named [tyrant narratives; portraits of dynasty X].) To the extent that an occasion is something "as construed," not a natural given, associations of a given form and/or content can help select a construal and create their own context. Choice of genre then represents an intervention by the writer (artist, patron, et al.) with the potential to re-arrange the social order. Thus genre interacts freely with the "political" in the exercise and distribution of power. We will consider a variety of specific examples in both literature and art (most cases will be Roman, but students may also select a Greek topic for their final paper).