603-103-MQ, Arma Virumque Cano: The Literacy Legacy of World War I
The theme of this course is World War One. We will explore this cruel and literally earth-shattering phenomenon by analysing the works inspired by and produced mostly during or shortly after the Great War (as World War One was called at that time). Jingoistic optimism and Victorian idealism gave way to disillusionment and despair, but soldiers and their loved ones back home could sometimes force humour from this bleakest of situations. Literary works and other artistic response to the War in its varied dimensions were not the special preserve of the Allies but are recognized in the output of their German foes as well. The course aims to: expand the literary horizons of students by exposing them to different literary genres and perspectives on the Great War by the people who experienced it. Amongst the better known poets and writers whom we will study are Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Somerset Maugham. We will focus on written literary texts and supplement these with audiovisual material. instill appreciation of those works for their literary or artistic merit; psychological insights; and contributions to our factual knowledge of the historical events of the war and the cultural zeitgeist. demonstrate the universality of the horrors of war by giving voice to those on both sides of the conflict.