LS 800: Reflections on Reason and Passion I

Fall 2014  | Dr. Sasha Colby

This course will explore a variety of texts - both written and visual - that in some way address the relationship between passion and reason, action and thought, desire and restraint and, in this sense, help us define the central tensions of experience. While some consideration has been given to chronology, our major focus will be the feelings and behaviours of being human and the images and themes that have been used to represent this experience from ancient cultures to the present moment.

Course Readings

Week 1     Sappho, Poetry
                 Rumi, Love is a Stranger

Week 2     Sophocles, Antigone
                 Leaky Heaven Circus, Antigone Undone

Week 3     Euripides, The Medea
                 Atwood, The Robber Bride

Week 4     Bible - Genesis
                 The Ramayana
                 Rohinton Mistry, "Journey to Dharmsala"
                 Guest Speaker from Special Collections on the Wayang
                 Kulit Collection of Shadow Puppets

Week 5     Walter Pater, The Renaissance
                 Robert Browning, "Fra Lippo Lippi"
                John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
                William Morris, "Useful Work versus Useless Toil"

Week 6     Ezra Pound, "The Malatesta Cantos"
                 Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Painter of Battles

Week 7     Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
                 H.D. Selected Poems

Saturday: Titus, Julie Taymor, dir.

Week 8     Sigmund Freud, "Civilization and its Discontents"
                                            "A Note Upon the Mystic Writing Pad"

Week 9     Henrik Ibsen, Hedda Gabler
                 Henry James, Daisy Miller

Week 10    Plato, Phaedrus
                  Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

Week 11    Lucretius

Week 12    Rousseau, "Reveries of a Solitary Walker"
                  Shelley, "Triumph of Life"
                  Shelley, "On Life"

Week 13    Reflections and Re-tellings