This course will examine how various artists have portrayed war and its effects, and what these portrayals reveal about both. It is a truly comparative class, looking at short stories, novels, poetry, painting, photography, film, and even dance, in an attempt to analyze what it means to make art about war, how people cope with war—in some very surprising ways—and how conceptions about war have both shifted over time and shaped our perceptions about life generally. While the course has a large historical component, it focuses not on historical fact as much as on how artists have chosen to manipulate fact into fiction in order to enhance our understanding of war.
• Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières
• The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
• All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Remarque
• Johnny Got His Gun – Dalton Trumbo
• A Farewell to Arms – Earnest Hemingway
• Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
• The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien