Monthly Archives: November 2012

Final Papers (HUM303/415/455/470)

The final papers are to be turned in on the last day of class in hard copy format as well as to I will provide you with a password prior to the due date. In the meantime, here are some basic guidelines for the final papers.

1. The final paper ought to address some of the significant themes of the course. It ought to make use of the critical vocabulary that we have amassed this semester. It ought to show fluency with the historical contexts provided in readings and in class.

Continue reading

Real Magic (HUM415/ HUM303/ HUM455)


We already know that realism is a genre of narrative fiction, an aesthetic ideology linked to Aristotle’s notion of mimesis in which art functions as a mirror to nature. Eagleton taught us that the rise of realism– and with it the novel– parallels the ascent of the bourgeoisie. The reality that they created– capitalist modernity– values the verifiable; it seeks, above all, results. For such a worldview– originating in the Renaissance and flowering in the Age of Enlightenment– empirical evidence trumps metaphysical belief. And simultaneously it blueprints a model of itself, a cosmological imaginary. By the 18th century various thinkers conceived of the universe as a celestial clock: rational and precise. Symmetrical. Perfect. According to such an ideology “Progress with a capital P” was inevitable. As humankind gained in knowledge– improving existing technologies and increasingly dominating Nature– it climbed the civilizational ladder.

Continue reading

Isabel at MOAD (HUM455/HUM415)

AUTHORS IN CONVERSATION | Isabel Allende in conversation with Carolina de Robertis

Thursday November 15, 2012

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm


Isabel Allende will read from Island Beneath the Sea and discuss her work and its relationship to the African Diaspora in conversation with local author Carolina de Robertis.

Chilean author Isabel Allende won worldwide acclaim when her bestselling first novel, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982. In addition to launching Allende’s career as a renowned author, the book, which grew out of a farewell letter to her dying grandfather, also established her as a feminist force in Latin America’s male-dominated literary world.She has since written nearly 20 more works, including Island Beneath the Sea in which Allende spins the unforgettable saga of an extraordinary woman born into slavery on the island of Saint-Domingue determined to find love amid loss and forge her own identity under the cruelest of circumstances. In addition to her work as a writer, Allende also devotes much of her time to human rights. Following the death of her daughter in 1992, she established in Paula’s honor a charitable foundation dedicated to the protection and empowerment of women and children worldwide.

Carolina de Robertis is the author of the novelsPerla and The Invisible Mountain, which was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, and an O, The Oprah Magazine 2009 Terrific Read. De Robertis grew up in a Uruguayan family that immigrated to England, Switzerland, and California. Prior to completing her first book, she worked in women’s rights organizations for ten years, on issues ranging from rape to immigration. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is at work on her third novel, and is also co-producing a documentary entitled Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together, about people of African descent in Uruguay, their musical tradition of candomble, and their road toward racial equity and uplift.

Free with MoAD Admission