603-103-MQ, Violence and Trauma in Literature
In “The Black Hole of Trauma,” Bessel A. van der Kolk and Alexander C. McFarlane write, “Experiencing trauma is an essential part of being human; history is written in blood” (3). Our news, entertainment, and literature are full of stories about violent acts and their repercussions. Violence can be disturbing, exciting, fascinating, devastating, horrifying, or even funny. As such, it is important to talk about and try to understand its place in our lives. In this course, we will explore experiences of and reactions to violence in literature. We will examine the intersections between violence and topics such as race, gender, sexuality, social class, culture, psychology, and history. Ultimately, we will try to determine what we can learn about violence through literature, and how individuals and communities cope with trauma through storytelling.