L: Serious Laughter
All the readings in our seminar use humor in a serious consideration of the world. The humor may be comic, satiric, ribald, dark, farcical, bitter, tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes we will laugh outwardly; sometimes we will laugh inwardly. But no character in our readings, however serious the circumstances, will go to his or her fate without being offered a laugh, a smile, or a witty rejoinder. Readings will range through many cultures and times. They will include short stories, poetry, two plays, and a novel. Among the writers will be Nikolai Gogol, Machado De Assis, Ho Hua Huong, Jaroslav Hasek, James Joyce, Langston Hughes, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O'Connor, Grace Paley, Eugene Ionesco, Heinrich Boll, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Graham Greene, to name a few. Students will write a one page critical paper and a one page creative paper for each class, based on the readings. There will also be a final paper of 5 to 8 pages, which may include for evidence a student?s own art, architecture, or design practice, developing and crystallizing a major idea derived from the class.