This course will explore irony as a literary trope and as a broader rhetorical, discursive, and psycho-social phenomenon. Often defined as "saying the opposite of what one means" or "saying one thing and meaning another," irony crosses literary genres, periods, and cultures to become entangled with philosophical inquiry, dialectical negativity, and social critique. How does irony function in relation to gender and race? How is it connected with camp, kitsch, queerness, and postmodern culture? Irony is often thought to pit voice against identity. What about text against image, poetry against prose? Irony has a reputation for political impotence. What about its resources for political insurgency? The course will be largely discussion-based. Two main writing assignments, a final project assignment (which need not be written), other shorter assignments TBD.
- Teacher: Jennifer Bajorek