This course will investigate the idea of violence across an extensive spectrum of authors, texts, films, and literary-philosophical perspectives from the East and the West. We seek not merely to engage in a conventional critique but to exceed the boundaries of our understanding by seeking out violence as a form of fascination, power, beauty, and transformation. Topics will therefore include cruelty, vulnerability, power, betrayal, destruction, vengeance, anger, terror, defacement, pain, disaster, and inhumanity. From the poetics of torture to the writings of war, from theoretical works on catastrophe to cinematic/artistic pieces on the nature of evil, the intent is to explore the many narratives that have emerged across the global horizon in the face of an often violent experience of the modern world.

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