603-103-MQ, Madness and Malaise
This course will view madness as a system of thought which reflects and shapes a society’s values and beliefs. By looking at various literary representations of madness over the last century in primarily American literature, we will seek to determine the underlying value systems reflected in each work. As madness is often used as a way of critiquing socio-cultural norms, we will look specifically at what role an author has given his or her “mad” figure and to what end. Also, noting how conceptions of madness and malaise have changed contextually over time, we will investigate the thoughts on insanity/sanity currently at work in our world today.