FYS-159 The Romance and Trauma of Exile

Instructor: Associate Professor Christopher D'Addario
Department: English

Course Description:
In the last one hundred years, displacement and exile have become the common fate of groups and individuals too numerous to mention as the ravages of totalitarianism, genocidal ideology, fundamentalism and nationalism have bereft scores of communities of their homes and homelands. This course explores the experience of exile, the psychological upheaval, the familial struggles and the ethical questions raised by the forced migration of individuals and whole communities. We will do so by reading the memoirs, novels, poetry and essays of prominent exiled writers as well as listening to music and watching movies created out of the experience of exile. The course also seeks to understand the nature of artistic creation from exile: what effects does exile have on the artist? What common characteristics does writing from exile have? Our focus is on the Jewish migration during World War II, Eastern European exiles of the post-war era, the dispersal from the Indian subcontinent and Latin and Caribbean authors and musical artists struggling with forced migrations to America.