The Literary and the Visual

This course which focuses on material drawn from Europe between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries aims to equip students with the ability to move between literary and visual forms and to track ways in which expressive strategies mutate in this process. The course will focus on formal categories such as realism and the differing ways in which chronotopes are deployed by literary and visual forms , but it will also take students through a set of paintings and novels to demonstrate how these forms can be brought into an interanimating relationship.

Unit 1: Time and Space
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Laocoon : An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry translated by Edward Allen McCormick, Chapters 16-18
Mikhail Bakhtin “Forms of time and of the Chronotope in the Novel” ( excerpt) from The Dialogical Imagination translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist.
3 weeks

Unit 2: Realism
E.H .Gombrich, Art and Illusion ( excerpts )
Norman Bryson Vision and Painting ( excerpts)
Roland Barthes , S/Z Trans. Richard Miller.
Jaques Ranciere, The Future of the Image. trans. Gregory Elliott. Chapter 3, “Painting in the Text”
6 weeks

Unit 3: Painting and the Novel
Titian , “Venus of Urbino”
Vermeer “The Lace maker”
Peter de Hooch , “Woman Reading a Letter”
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
Hogarth, “Industry and Idleness” all 12 plates
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
5 weeks

Evaluation in this course will be continuous and conducted throughout the semester. The object of evaluation will be to test a student’s knowledge of the material taught through the course and the development of her analytical, critical and writing abilities. A final grade will be awarded on the basis of written presentations in seminars, participation in seminars and a 2,000 words term paper to be submitted at the end of the course. The course instructor may also set a short written examination to test the student’s knowledge of the texts taught.

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