|Oral contributions to recitation||50%|
Lectures/Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
Occasional evening film screenings
Classroom sessions are a mix of lectures for the entire class and smaller section discussions led by each course instructor.
This class examines the supernatural in belief and practice, and its reflection in literature and music.
The semester is divided into three sections concerned with:
1. Witchcraft beliefs and witch hunting. Special attention to the great European witch hunt of the 15th through 18th centuries: Shakespeare's Macbeth; Purcell's Dido and Aeneas; Verdi's Macbeth; Kurosawa's Throne of Blood
2. Wizards and sorcery. Necromancy, astrology, and other medieval and Renaissance magic: Goethe's Faust; Liszt's Faust Symphony; Gounod's Faust; Murnau's Faust
3. Ghosts and Spirit Contact. Spiritualism and ghosts in 19th-century America: H. James's The Turn of the Screw; Britten's The Turn of the Screw
Emphasis falls on weekly listening and reading assignments, to be completed by the class for which they are listed in the syllabus. There will be live performances by staff members, other faculty, and outside musicians and actors. Film adaptations and opera videos will be screened in the evenings: students who cannot attend a particular screening must view the material on their own using videos to be provided.
Students are required to attend lectures and recitations and to participate actively as part of the CI requirement of this class. At least one hour per week will be devoted to discussion.
Students will write a total of 20 pages divided among three papers (one with required revision and expansion).
At the end of the semester, several class sessions will be devoted to preparing and delivering oral presentations on aspects of the works considered in the last third of the course.
There is no final exam.
21M.013J / 21A.113J is both a HASS-D and CI-H subject. This means that each recitation can accept a maximum of 18 students. Priority is given to students who are registered in the class through the HASS-D lottery, but these students must attend the first two recitation meetings to keep their place in the class. Students may not change their preassigned recitation. Additional students may enter the class, so long as there are open slots, through the second week of classes.
James, Henry. The Turn of the Screw. New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 2003. ISBN: 9780141439907. [Download a version of this work from Project Gutenberg]
Additional required readings are assigned for each class session.
Students are required to write three papers, plus a substantial revision and expansion of the first paper. Successful writing in this course will largely depend on the organization of each essay, the strength of the reasoning, and competence with the fundamentals (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax).
Attendance is required. Because there is no final exam, students who miss class for any reason will be required to write a two-page summary of the material covered that day.
The individual recitation instructors give the grades in this class, adhering to the following approximate percentages:
|Oral contributions to recitation||50%|
L = Lecture
S = Section
F = Film screening
|SES #||TOPICS||KEY DATES|
|Part I. Witches|
|L2||Social history of witch-hunting|
|S1||Section discussions on witches introduction|
Introduction to Shakespeare's Macbeth
|F1||Evening screening of Kurosawa, Throne of Blood|
|S2||Shakespeare, Kurosawa and context|
|L4||Purcell, Dido and Aeneas; Handel, Alcina (excerpts)|
Alcina in-class performance excerpts by Boston Opera Collaborative
Discussion of Purcell, Handel
|Paper 1 due|
|L5||Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique; Verdi, Macbeth (excerpts)|
|Part II. Wizards|
|L7||Introduction to learned magic, alchemy and astrology|
|S4||Section discussions on wizards introduction||Paper 1 revision due|
|L8||Introduction to Goethe's Faust|
|L9||Liszt, Faust Symphony|
|F2||Evening screening of Murnau, Faust, with live musical accompaniment by Ellen Harris and Martin Marks|
|S7||Murnau and Goethe|
|Part III. Ghosts|
|L11||Introduction to hosts and spiritualism; Henry James's Turn of the Screw; Britten's Turn of the Screw|
|L12||Spiritualism and ghost stories||Paper 2 due|
|F3||Evening screening of Britten, Turn of the Screw|
|S9||Discuss choice of presentations|
|L13||Turn of the Screw on film|
|S11||Student presentations; discussion of context and James|
|S12||Student presentations; discussion of James and Britten|
|L14||Summary of class||Paper 3 due|