The stranger, the foreigner, the outsider, the alien, the visitor, the guest. This course proposes to study the stranger - and strangeness, generally - via manifold variations and subtleties found in literary and theoretical texts. Perspectives informed by studies in literature and literary theory will inform various units of the course. Topics include: self/other relations, citizens and problems of rights; (post-)coloniality; hospitality; humans/animals; exile; cosmopolitanism; foreigners and the Enlightenment; cyborgs; monsters; alienation, the uncanny, and other experiences of being strange to oneself. While the course will approach the figure of the stranger as empirical fact, we will also reflect on the internal and personal possibility that, as Julia Kristeva writes, the stranger "lives within us. He is the hidden face of our identity." This course will confront the humbling provocation that a primary and essential shared common substance among all people and things is foreignness—the strangers that we are both to others and ourselves.
Topics in Literary Theory and Criticism, fulfills Gen Ed ‘Principles of Textual Analysis’ and WIC