ENG 290 Literature and War

This course will introduce students to the vast field of literary representations of war from the Bible and Homer to the literature of 9/11. As old and as varied as the history of literature itself, the literature of war crosses time periods, national traditions, and genres. Moreover, the theme of war gives us a way to study the relationship between literature and philosophy, literature and other arts (such as painting, photography, cinema, and music), and literature and technology. However, the definition of 'war' has changed dramatically over time and continues to change. Accordingly, this course will approach the study of literature and war by examining these changes, seeing how shifts in the structure of war can alter our experience of time and space, self and other, friend and enemy, nation and people, public and private, love and death, and war and peace, just to name a few. Finally, we will consider how literary representations of war might themselves constitute an attempt to find alternatives to war.