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Autumn 2014 Course: The Water Crisis in Literature and Film

Submitted by Jennifer M. Keene on May 14, 2014 - 4:52pm
Water Atom Bomb

FRENCH 228/LIT 228
Prof. Richard Watts
MW 9:30-11:20
5 credits/VLPA & I&S
SLN 14799/17159

We will interpret a variety of documents and objects—literature (e.g., Masters of the Dew), cinema (e.g., Even the Rain), landscape architecture (from the fountains of Versailles to the Brightwater sewage treatment plant)—that address the cultural significance of water with the aim of understanding how water’s meaning is changing as we become more conscious of risks in supply posed by pollution and natural/man-made scarcity and as access to it is increasingly mediated as a result of its privatization, commodification, etc. While no ten-week course could pretend to give a comprehensive and global view of a problem as complex as our relation to water, we will study novels, essays, films and other cultural documents from Western Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb, Asia, the Caribbean, and North America with a view to understanding the differential distribution of the water crisis and the variety of aesthetic responses to it.