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Literature MFA Course Descriptions FA19

Pre-authorization is required for students not enrolled in the Literature Department's MFA Program in Creative Writing. Please submit any pre-authorization request through the Enrollment Authorization System.

Instructor: Ben Doller

Please contact instructor for course description.

Aesthetics and Ethics of the Fragment
Instructor: Kazim Ali

The seminar will look at the aesthetics and ethics of the fragment in literature, both historically and as contemporary practice. Certainly, of some ancient literature, all we are left to contend with are fragments—all that may be left of epics and lyrics after the depredations of war, colonization, and history. Modernist writers took up this condition as a representation of loss and ruin, while postmodern and contemporary experimental writers explored what might be considered the wholeness of the fragment. One must also consider voices themselves “absented” from literature, whether by political condition or social/economic marginalization. We will consider this question in the first half of this seminar with Sappho in various translations in the second part of the seminar we will consider what a contemporary take on the fragment might look like in poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, and cross-genre writing. Throughout the seminar we will explore and interrogate the implications, both aesthetically and ethically, of the fragment as an artistic practice.