Nov 14, 2018  
2016-2017 HillBook (Class of 2020) 
2016-2017 HillBook (Class of 2020) [ARCHIVED HILL BOOK]

ENG 100/118 - War and Gender in Literature and Film (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Three or Four Credits
Fall Semester

How do cultures and societies as well as individual artists narrate the experience of war and what it means to be a soldier? We will explore how writers and filmmakers have addressed the tensions between societal expectations and the reality of war, as well as the challenges they see in telling stories about what are essentially often traumatic experiences. How does trauma or memory affect the stories we tell about war? What is the relationship between the ‘front’ and the ‘home’, between those who serve and those who don’t? In addition, we will discuss societal gender norms and expectations and the insights we might gain about how these norms operate in a particular society by looking at them in the context of war. How, in other words, does the experience of war a society goes through crystallize what that society thinks of the role of men and women, of “proper” masculine behavior, of what makes a “real” soldier (aka a “real” man), and so forth. In order to explore these and other questions, we will study poetry, short stories, letters, novels, as well as films dealing with World War I, Vietnam, and more recent wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Likely texts include the “Trench Poetry” of World War I, short fiction by Ernest Hemingway and Tim O’Brien, letters written by soldiers fighting in Vietnam, recent “war bloggers,” and films such as Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Jarhead, and Black Hawk Down.

Prerequisite(s):  ENG 118 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as ENG 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Literature Cornerstone Requirement.
When offered as ENG 118, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and
Literature Cornerstone Requirements.