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ENGL477 A Topic in American Literature

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An advanced study of a topic in American literature.

This interdisciplinary paper examines the implications of Cubist painting for 20th-century literary and filmic practices. It investigates Cubism's role in the formal innovations of American poets (Stein, Williams); the development of avant-garde filmmaking (Léger); cinematic and novelistic montage (Vertov); experimental narrative (Robbe-Grillet); dialectical structuring in political theatre and film (Brecht, Godard, Tanner); and the collage aesthetic in fiction and film (Fowles, Berger, Marker, Ondaatje, and Girard).

Paper title A Topic in American Literature
Paper code ENGL477
Subject English
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,154.90
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,801.79

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72 points from ENGL 311-368, EURO 302
Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Rochelle Simmons

I. Books to be purchased - please make sure that you either own or have access to the following:

  • Stein, Gertrude. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933)
  • Brecht, Bertolt. The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1945)
  • Robbe-Grillet, Alain. Jealousy (1957)
  • Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969)
  • Berger, John. G. (1972)
  • Ondaatje, Michael. In the Skin of a Lion (1987)
  • McCarthy, Tom. Men in Space (2007)
  • Smith, Ali. Autumn (2016)

II. Films to be screened

  • Léger, Fernand. Ballet mécanique (1924)
  • Vertov, Dziga, The Man With a Movie Camera (1928)
  • Godard, Jean-Luc. Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1966)
  • Godard, Jean-Luc. Tout va Bien (1972)
  • Berger, John. Ways of Seeing, Episode One (1972)
  • Marker, Chris. Sunless (1982)
  • Girard, Francois. Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)

III. A course reader will be available from the Printery.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  1. Discuss relationships between literary, cinematic and visual material
  2. Examine inter-art analogies drawn from a variety of media
  3. Analyse a range of texts from historical, theoretical, critical and comparative perspectives
  4. Develop methodological and scholarly tools appropriate for literary, cinematic and visual analysis

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Film Screening

Stream Days Times Weeks
S1 Tuesday 09:00-10:50 15, 21, 28-29, 33-34, 40


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 11:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
M1 Tuesday 11:00-12:50 28-34, 41