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Proseminar: Swift vs. Defoe: Humanity, Society, and the Individual - Details

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Lehrveranstaltung wird online/digital abgehalten. Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Swift vs. Defoe: Humanity, Society, and the Individual

General information

Semester WS 2019/20
Home institute Englische Literaturwissenschaft
Courses type Proseminar in category Teaching
First appointment Tue , 22.10.2019 14:00 - 15:30, Room: (D, 1087a)
Pre-requisites *EAS-1411*:
If you are allotted to this course you will automatically be signed up for the corresponding Übung "Narrative Analysis" (Thursdays, 17:30-19:00). Be sure to keep this slot free in your timetable.


*EAS-1412*
If you are wrongly allotted to the Übung, please make sure to sign out of it, in order to open up the slot for your fellow students.
Performance record Short response paragraphs
Final Research Essay (5000 words) or Portfolio
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird online/digital abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache englisch
Miscellanea *EAS-1411*:
If you are allotted to this course you will automatically be signed up for the corresponding Übung "Narrative Analysis" (Thursdays, 17:30-19:00). Be sure to keep this slot free in your timetable.

*EAS-1412*
If you are wrongly allotted to the Übung, please make sure to sign out of it, in order to open up the slot for your fellow students.

Lecturers

Times

Tuesday: 14:00 - 15:30, weekly (from 22/10/19)

Course location

(D, 1087a)

Fields of study

Comment/Description

In Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels readers follow the adventures of the eponymous castaway protagonists on remote islands. From this shared starting point, however, Defoe’s 1719 novel and Swift’s 1726 satire develop into quite distinct narratives, offering diverging perspectives on some of Enlightenment’s most pressing questions: What is the role of the individual in society and what impact does society have on the individual? What does it mean to be human? Is mankind destined to rule the world? Are some societies destined to rule (and civilise) others? What is the right balance between reason, passion, and religious belief?

Besides the fact that Robinson cultivates a desert island whereas Gulliver encounters a series of highly developed societies, the two books differ considerably in their markedly dissimilar narrative styles and the unequal degrees of optimism and pessimism they display with regards to (scientific) progress, the capacities of human reason, and the essential goodness of human beings. To some extent, the two travel narratives are literary manifestations of the contrastive political, religious, and philosophical views of their rivalling authors. At the same time, however, they are independently valuable works of fiction which engage not only with historically specific political, social, and intellectual issues but with timeless questions revolving around conceptions of ‘human nature.’

In this seminar, we will analyse these two classics of world literature with a special focus on the views of society and mankind they express. It is essential for this purpose that students attentively read both novels and are prepared and willing to enter into informed discussions in class. To ensure this, one course requirement will be that students hand in a number of Reading Response Papers that will serve as basis for group discussions. A schedule including more details about course organisation and requirements will be made available before the course starts.

admission settings

The course is part of admission "ELW/ ALW/ NELK: BA/ LA Aufbaumodul (Proseminar)".
Settings for unsubscribe:
  • Enrollment possible from 03.09.2019, 00:00 to 27.09.2019, 23:59.
  • A defined number of seats will be assigned to these courses.
    The seats in these courses will be assigned at 01.10.2019, 23:59. Addional seats may be added to a wait list.
  • This setting is active from 03.09.2019 00:00 to 27.09.2019 23:59
    It is allowed to enroll to max. 1 courses in this admission.
Assignment of courses:

attendance

Current number of participants 29
maximum number of participants 25