• Oceanic Studies Syllabus

    Shawna Ross (see profile)
    American literature, British literature, Modern literature
    Item Type:
    oceanic studies, OEW2017
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    This course will introduce you to the new humanist field of oceanic studies, which foregrounds the history of ocean travel and epistemologies over the humanities’ implicit yet traditional and ingrained focus on the nation-state. You will be introduced to these theories by reading literature and viewing films related to one particular topic within oceanic studies: the history of transatlantic crossings in the era of steamships. In our first unit, Early Crossings, we will investigate the expectations and frustrations of early steamship travel through the eyes of Charles Dickens, W. M. Thackeray, and Mark Twain. Next, we will investigate the relationship between emigration, nationhood, and oceanic travel by reading R. L. Stevenson and watching two films (The Golden Door, in addition to excerpts from Brooklyn). Our third unit, Cosmopolitan Exchanges, covers realist and modernist short stories about crossings from a variety of authors, including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mansfield, James, Trollope, Christie, and Waugh. Then we move to a unit focused just on the Titanic, during which we compare filmic, non-fictional, and fictional textual representations, and end with Global Circulations, which works closely with Vita Sackville-Wests’s around-the-world cruise novel, No Signposts in the Sea. In addition to completing these readings and participating actively in classroom discussion, you will write a short analytical paper, a prospectus and bibliography, and a long research paper. As majors close to graduate, you are expected to perform at an exceptionally high level without artificial pressures such as quizzes or daily homework.
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    1 year ago
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