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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Seduction of the Strange

Instructor(s): John Anzalone, World Languages and Literatures and Mary Beth O'Brien World Languages and Literatures

Fantastic Literature and its more contemporary analog Magical Realism emphasize strange and disturbing categories of experience in tales of abiding fascination. By leaving ambiguous whether an experience is real or imagined, Fantastic fiction raises questions about perception, sanity, narration itself, and finally about the very nature of the real.  Students will examine the genre in relation to its history and evolution, particularly with regard to its status as a popular literature, and its cross-hybridization in the 20th Century with science, technology, and post-modernism.  There will be a particular emphasis on psychology and theory, especially with reference to altered states of perception and to sanity as a "problematic" category.  The materials studied will come from literature and art from a half dozen different cultures and languages over the two centuries of the genre's specific existence.  Art and the films will provide a specific focus for discussion and debate during the course's fourth hour.

Course Offered: