CHASS Connect: 2008 - 2009 Sequences


The three courses which make up the Violence CHASS Connect sequence evaluate ideas about violence in the global community. When you have completed the sequence at the end of the year, you will have fulfilled 3 college breadth requirements; you will possess the knowledge to assess the political, cultural and social aspects of violence; you will be able to judge the relationship between imaginary and real violence. The discussions of historical and contemporary violence will provide you with the means to make informed decisions about issues confronting you in college and beyond.


Fall 2008
English, Katherine Kinney

From Shakespeare's tragedies to detective novels, violence is central to many kinds of literature. How do writers represent violence and what does it mean for us to read such accounts with interest and even enjoyment? We will debate different theories of literary violence, from the uplifting experience of catharsis to the standard of truth in realism to the exploitive qualities of popular or “pulp” fiction.


Winter 2009
Political Science, Bronwyn Leebaw

How should countries remedy or remember political violence? This class will examine three responses to past atrocities that have become increasingly prominent in recent years: truth commissions, reparations, and criminal tribunals. Should international criminal tribunals hold former political leaders accountable for genocide? Is it cathartic or healing for victims of violence to testify before criminal tribunals and truth commissions? Should the U.S. provide reparations for slavery? We will explore such questions by examining theoretical debates as well as case studies on the role of institutions designed to investigate, document, and address past violence.


Spring 2009
Dance, Derek Burrill

Video games have become the recent punching bag when it comes to mediated, represented violence. But does violent play activate violence itself, or is gameplay a cathartic means to release energy, and therefore pent-up violence? How do games, structurally and functionally, teach a violent vocabulary and does this
translate to real violence? Why is there so much violent content in the games, period? Looking at games such as the Grand Theft Auto series, the Halo series and the James Bond series, this class will explore the nature of videogames and digitized violence.