PS 570 Literature and Politics: Power, Writing, Resistance

This course examines a series of political, philosophical, and literary texts in order to imagine the possible relations between power, writing, and resistance. Rather than using literature as a key to politics, or imposing political themes on literary works, we will attend to how literaturetaken as a coded form of linguistic and aesthetic practiceand politicsunderstood both as the exercise of power and strategies of resistancemight be related. Throughout our readings we will attend to three related questions: What is the power of literature? Can literary writing affect political consciousness? Does literature enable modes of resistance? The goal of this course is thus to offer students of politics insights into how literary works represent and negotiate political questions in writing, and inversely, to encourage students of literature to read and think politically. Requirements include two papers (4-5 pages) and one in-class presentation (See presentation handout for details). Paper prompts will be distributed in class and by email.