Spring 2023

21L.024 Literature & Existentialism: Life, Death, and Freedom Caitlyn Doyle MW 11-12:30p 56-169

Prereq: none
3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H

Are we free? Do we live authentically? What is the meaning of life? What does it mean to die?  This course examines the principal ideas regarding the human condition developed through existential philosophy, literature, and film. Death, absurdity, alienation, freedom, and authenticity are some of the key concepts that we will grapple with as we engage with works by foundational figures of existential thought such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Beauvoir, Sartre, and Camus.  We will also consider films that explore and challenge existential themes by directors such as Kurosawa, Resnais, and Bergman. In addition to exploring the affinity between existential philosophy and art, students will investigate the different capacities of various media as they compare existential themes across philosophical, political, literary, and filmic texts.