Caryl Emerson

  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, and the Tasks of Literature

    An introduction to Tolstoy through his select short fiction and/or drama, critical essays, and all of [War and Peace] in the context of various theories of the novel. Our thesis--which is open to debate--is that Tolstoy's radical ideas on narrative have their counterpart in his radical ideas on history and the self, which, taken together, offer a coherent view of the human condition at odds with most Russian writers and philosophers of his time.

  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, and the Tasks of Literature

    An introduction to Tolstoy through his select short fiction and/or drama, critical essays, and all of [War and Peace] in the context of various theories of the novel. Our thesis--which is open to debate--is that Tolstoy's radical ideas on narrative have their counterpart in his radical ideas on history and the self, which, taken together, offer a coherent view of the human condition at odds with most Russian writers and philosophers of his time.

  • Bakhtin, the Russian Formalists, and Cultural Semiotics

    The seminar surveys (in English) three influential schools of 20th-century Russian textual and cultural criticism: the Russian Formalists (1920s); Mikhail Bakhtin (1920s-70s), and the cultural semiotics of Yury Lotman and the Tartu School (1960s-80s). Readings will include both primary and secondary texts; major essays will be read in conjunction with literature that illustrates and tests the critical approach.

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