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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

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).

Degree Requirement Attributes

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.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Senior Seminar: Course Group IV