E 320M • Literature and the Visual Arts
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
In this course, we will consider a question that has remained central to aesthetic culture from antiquity to the twenty-first century: What is the relation between words and images? Though the majority of readings for this course will come from Renaissance England, we will also explore this pervasive topic by examining words and images across a broad historical sweep. In addition to examples from the visual and verbal arts, we will read theoretical works that attempt to define the nature of poetry and of the visual arts. Particular attention will be given to the pictorial impulse within literature, but our inquiry will also allow us to consider topics including: the competition between the "sister arts"; the representation of time; verbal and pictorial narrative techniques; mythography; the figure of the artist; the intersection of ethics and aesthetics.
Both you and your copy of the text are required at every class. Absences will lower your course grade. There will be several unannounced quizzes. No make-ups will be permitted; your lowest quiz score will be dropped.
Quizzes and in-class presentation (10%); Close-reading exercise (15%); Midterm exam (25%); Final exam (35%); Class participation (15%)
Texts: Readings may include works by Shakespeare, Homer, Leonardo da Vinci, Horace, Spenser, Sidney, Chaucer, John Keats, Elizabeth Bishop.