Harvard feces class: Annabel Kim’s course to examine poop in French literature

For those who’ve ever questioned why there’s a lot poop in French literature, Harvard College has a category for you.

“Cacaphonies: Towards an Excremental Poetics,” a 4-unit course for graduate college students taught by assistant professor Annabel Kim this spring, options “a various vary of scatological texts” from the twentieth and twenty first centuries, in response to the course catalog.

“If literature is excrement, then the canon is a chamber pot,” proposes the course itemizing.

“French literature, from the Center Ages to at the moment, has been persistently and remarkably scatological,” reads the course description. “Fecal matter is omnipresent in works and authors that we think about canonical (e.g. the fabliaux, Rabelais, de Sade, Beckett, Celine) and but its presence has been remarkably submerged or handed over in readerly and important reception of recent and modern French literature.”

The course description proposes excretion as a metaphor for the artistic course of, noting that “the duty of excretion – we excrete what we absorb, processing and giving it new type – can also be the duty of literature.”

The category additionally will look at how feces impacts ladies in French literature and “the gendering of constipation as a female situation.”

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