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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

ENGL 74.03 On Cruelty

What is cruelty? How can we understand the relation between cruelty and other forms of violence, such as sadism, masochism, and terrorism, all of which straddle the difficult boundary between pleasure and displeasure, enjoyment and pain. In this course, we will explore the concept of cruelty through a study of literary, filmic, psychoanalytic, and philosophical texts. We will also interrogate how appeals to cruelty underwrite various rights discourses, including debates on the death penalty, human and animal rights, and various international treatises that put a limit on the violence of war. Authors will include: Marquis de Sade, Antonin Artaud, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Films might include: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Dir. Pasolini), The Piano Teacher (Dir. Haneke), and Antichrist (Dir. von Trier).




Four completed English courses or instructor permission

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:INT or LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


Not offered 2017-18; May be offered 2018-19

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group IV