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FR3114: Ethics and Violence: Murder, Suicide and Genocide in Literature and Film

2017-18: Terms 1 and 2

Convenor: Colin Davis

Assessment:

Oral presentation (20%)
Long essay, 2800-3000 words (80%)
Formative piece (0%)

Overview

Why do people kill? Can murder or suicide ever be justified? How can murder escalate in scale to the point that it turns into genocide? The course examines these questions by looking at how they have been dealt with in texts and films concerned with the ethical and political dilemmas of the twentieth century. Political and self-destructive uses of violence will be considered to see how far they can be explained and judged to be legitimate. The course concludes by studying some of the specific problems of understanding and representing the Holocaust.

 Key Primary Bibliography / Filmography:

Texts:

Albert Camus, L’Etranger, Les Justes (The Outsider, The Just Assassins)

Jean-Paul Sartre, Les Mains sales (Dirty Hands)

Elie Wiesel, La Nuit (Night)

Films:

Le Crime de monsieur Lange (The Crime of Mr Lange, dir. Jean Renoir)

La Bête humaine (The Human Beast, dir. Jean Renoir)

Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog, dir. Alain Resnais)

Shoah (dir. Claude Lanzmann) (NB in the discussion we will be concentrating only on the first part of this film)

 

 

  
 
 
 
 

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