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English 275: You Are Who You Eat: Cannibalistic Thinking in Literature Colleen E.

Kennedy
Rationale for the Course: Three years ago, I put together a panel for GEMCS (The Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies) entitled Cannibalistic Thinking in Early Modern Texts in which I presented the following paper, Oglio del Scoto: Medicinal Cannibalism in Jonsons Volpone. Although there is no explicit cannibalism in Jonsons playonly allegorical depictions of legacy hunters as carrion eatersthere are several references to mummia, the medicinal practice of consuming powdered human skull. Yet, in this moralistic animal fable it is the heroine who actually buys this cannibalistic cure-all. The panel, which also included papers about Titus Andronicus, Richard Crashaws poetry, and Jesuit accounts of Native Americans, was a success. Since that time, I have been interested in putting together a course on cannibalism. I am especially interested in moments where representations and actual practice seem to overlap, a conflation that blurs the boundaries of aesthetics and ethics. Survival cannibalism (especially if the consumed are already dead) is often grudgingly accepted in extreme circumstancesthe Donner Party, the Medusa Raft (famously painted by Thodore Gricault), the English yacht Mignonette, or more recently, the plane crash involving the Uruguayan Rugby team in the 1970s. In the United States, we most often associate cannibalism with the most horrific of American serial killerssuch as Ed Gein (the inspiration for Norman Bates, Leatherface, and Buffalo Bill) and former OSU student, Jeffrey Dahmer. Yet there are other types of cannibalismsuch as the mortuary consumption of revered family members or even the exocannibalism of ones enemies that are both more morally ambiguous and yet more ripe for further philosophical inquiry. Cannibalism is familiar to most of us through the fairy tales or Classical myths we encountered as a child, such as the wicked witch of Hansel & Gretel or the sailor-eating Polyphemus in The Odyssey. It is a popular subject among many of our most studied writers: Seneca, Shakespeare, Jonson, Melville, Twain, Swift, and Montaigne. The topic of cannibalism can lead to discussions about larger issues of justice, morality, mortality, aesthetics, revenge, and what it means to be human, especially when considered alongside key anthropological, religious, and psychological texts. This course is multidisciplinary, incorporating the cannibalistic texts of major authors with anthropological, religious, and historical accounts of cannibalism, and occasional theory. In this course, we will also study films and artistic depictions of cannibalism. This course should appeal to a range of students in diverse majors and disciplines.

English 275: You Are Who You Eat: Cannibalistic Thinking in Literature

Class Times: MW 11:30-1:18 Class Location: 238 Denney Hall Instructor: Colleen Kennedy Kennedy.623@buckeyemail.osu.edu Office hours: M 1:30-3:30 & by appointment, 461 Denney Hall Course Description: I ask whether the mere eating of human flesh so very far exceeds in barbarity that custom which only a few years since was practiced in enlightened England: a convicted traitor, perhaps a man found guilty of honesty, patriotism, and suchlike heinous crimes, had his head lopped off with a huge axe, his bowels dragged out and thrown into a fire; while his body, carved into four quarters, was with his head exposed upon pikes, and permitted to rot and fester among the public haunts of men!Herman Melville What is Cannibalism? Why do people eat people? Why dont people eat other people more often? Why is cannibalism so taboo? Or, is cannibalism even taboo? Are there instances that allow for cannibalism? Why or why not? How do different cultures feel about cannibalism? How is cannibalism related to religion? Or to art? Can cannibalism be funny? What are the aesthetics, ethics, and logistics of cannibalism? Cannibalism is not simply the consumption of human flesh; there are moral, ethical, religious, cultural, and social implications behind every mouthful. We will explore depictions of cannibalismsome highly stylized and metaphorical, some startlingly real, and many somewhere in-betweenin a variety of texts as well as in several films. The course readings move across time and space from familiar European fairy tales to GrecoRoman myths, from Biblical passages to Renaissance drama, and finally to the American frontier. In addition, we will read passages and excerpts from anthropological, psychological, and historical studies of cannibalism. We will also view clips from several films about cannibalism: Delicatessan (dir. Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1991), (Sweeney Todd (dir. Tim Burton, 2007), Titus (dir. Julie Taymor, 1999), and Ravenous (dir. Antonia Bird, 1999).

Required Materials: Seneca. Thyestes. Six Tragedies. (Oxford World Classics, 2010) ($10.45/ $13.95) Shakespeare, William. Titus Andronicus. (The Oxford Shakespeare/Oxford World Classics, 2008) ($8.20/$10.95)(I will order a copy, but if you already own an annotated collection of Shakespeares plays that will be fine) Bible. King James Version. (Oxford World Classics, 2008) ($14.20/$18.95) (If you already own the KJV of the Bible that will be fine) All Other Readings Will Be Available Through Carmen. There will also be suggested readings for many classes, but these readings are optional and supplementary meant to enhance your reading.

Course Requirements: Two Exams 40% Quizzes 20% One Paper 25% Participation 15% 40% 20%

Two Exams: Midterm Exam

Final Exam (during Exam Week) 20% Exams may involve one or two pictures that you may have to identify, several key terms, characters, etc. that you will give brief definitions for. You will also have several passages from our readings where you must identify 1. the title, 2. the author (if there is one), 3. culture, and 4. say something intelligent about the text. Quizzes: 20%

There will be several unscheduled quizzes throughout the quarter. Quizzes will last ten minutes and consist of questions (multiple choice, fill in the blanks, etc.) concerning that days readings. If you miss a quiz, you cannot make it up. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Final Paper: 25%

In class, we will view the 1999 Antonia Bird film Ravenous. You will write a 6-8 page paper (size 12 Times New Roman font, double spaced, one inch margins) that analyzes the depictions of cannibalism found in the film. This film brings together different aspects from many of our course readings, so a comparative essay is encouraged. Do not just give a summary of the films plot nor should you just catalogue the similarities between the

course readings and the film, but you should look at how these images, themes, and characters are used to create a compelling film. Make sure to give your paper an interesting title. You must cite all sources used for your paper using MLA in-text citations (including the film and any course readings) and a create Works Cited page if you consult material we did not read in this course. A more thorough description of the requirements of the final paper may be found on Carmen. The paper is due in the Carmen dropbox on Friday, December 3rd at 11:59 p.m. Late submission of a final graded assignment will result in the deduction of one full letter grade for each day past the due date (for example, B+ to C+). Please also see the policy on plagiarism below. Participation: 15%

This course will be conducted as a combination of lecture and discussion. There will be ample opportunity for class discussion and student participation. Participation begins with attendance. If you are not here, you are not participating. Your participation grade reflects the quality and thoughtfulness of your contributions in class, respect shown to class members, your attitude and role in small group exercises, and evidence given of completion of reading assignments. You are expected to volunteer an answer, insight, comment, or question at least once a week. If you do not, be prepared to be called on. In addition to in-class participation, all students are expected to frequently post to Carmen. These postings may include film reviews, website links and reviews, questions or thoughts on that days readings, or other information that you feel might be useful or of interest to the class. See Carmen for more information. Course Policies: Attendance is important to the success of this class and to your development as a writer. Therefore, each unexcused absence after two will result in the lowering of your final grade by a third of a grade. Excused absences, such as those for documented illness, family tragedy, religious observance, or travel for inter-collegiate athletics, will not affect your grade. It is program policy that five unexcused absences will automatically result in failure for the course. Tardiness is disruptive to the classroom environment, and prevents you from fully participating and assimilating the information and materials discussed in class. Excessive tardiness (i.e. more than five minutes late) will lower your participation grade. Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of the words or ideas of another person. It is a serious academic offense that can result in referral to the Committee on Academic Misconduct and failure for the course. Please remember that at no point during the writing process should the work of others be presented as your own.

Class Cancellation Policy: In the unlikely event due to emergency, I will contact you via email and request that a note on department letterhead be placed on the door. In addition, I will contact you as soon as possible following the cancellation to let you know what will be expected of you for our next class meeting. The OSU Writing Center is available to provide free, professional writing tutoring and consultation. You may set up an appointment by calling 688-4291 or by dropping by the center at 475 Mendenhall Laboratories. If you are interested in on-line writing advice, visit the OWL (On-Line Writing Lab) at www.cstw.osu.edu. The Office for Disability Services, located in 150 Pomerene Hall offers services for students with documented disabilities. Contact the ODS at 2-3307. Class Schedule (Subject to Minor Changes) You are expected to come to class having already read that days readings and with copies of those readings Wednesday, September 21: And Now for Something Completely Different: Cannibalism! Introduction to the syllabus, Carmen, course theme In class viewing: Film clip: from Monty Pythons Flying Circus The Lifeboat Sketch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFDgSKbapzY

Monday, September 26: The Raw and the Cooked Maggie Kilgour, The Function of Cannibalism at the Present Time ( if you are unfamiliar with the film or novel Silence of the Lambs, you may want to read a plot summary as it is the basis of Kilgours essay. Of course, watching the film which won several Oscars would be even better.) from Claude Levi Strausss Culinary Triangle from Freuds Totem & Taboo (excerpts) Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14:1-21 (if you have not yet purchased the KJV Bible, use online Bible) o In class viewing: Film clips: from the trailer for Cannibal Holocaust & opening sequence of Red Dragon

Wednesday, September 28: The Better to Eat You With Little Red Riding Hood Variations: o Required: The Story of Grandmother, Charles Perraults Little Red Riding Hood, and the Brothers Grimms Little Red cap

Hansel & Gretel Variations: o Required: The Brothers Grimms Hansel & Gretel & The Juniper Tree, and Joseph Jacobs Molly Whuppie [Suggested Reading: Marina Warner Fee Fi Fo Fum: The Child in the Jaws of the Story]

Monday, October 3: Greco-Roman Myths of Cannibalism Greek Creation Myths: Passages from Hesiods Theogony (the Creation by Hesiod, The Creation by Ovid, The Birth of Zeus by Hesiod, Zeus & the Titans by Hesiod, The ages of Mankind by Hesiod, TheAges of Mankind by Ovid), Homers The Odyssey (the Cyclops), (Tantalus) Ovids Metamorphoses (Pelops, Philomela, etc.)

Wednesday, October 5: A Bloody Banquet Senecas Thyestes (entire play)

Monday, October 10: Thyestes (continued)

Wednesday, October 12: Cannibalism in the Bible (this section may be slightly altered) Genesis 1-4 (creation, Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel), Genesis 6-9 (Noah), Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28 (and especially 28:53-57); 2 Kings 6:24-33; Jeremiah 19; Lamentations 2, and 4:1-11; Ezekiel 5, Luke 22:14-20, Matthew 26:20-30, Mark 14:1628, John 6 (especially John 6:1-15, 25-59), 1 Corinthians 5 o [Suggested: Conklin, Beth A. 1995. Thus Are Our Bodies, Thus Was Our Custom: Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society. American Ethnologist, 22(1) 75-101.]

Monday, October 17: The Hell-Mouth In class viewing: Last Judgment Images from Torcello, San Giovanni, Bosch, Excerpts from The Visions of Tondal Excerpts from Dantes Inferno, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV Midterm Review o [suggested: Dante Inferno, Cantos I-II]

Wednesday, October 19: MIDTERM

Monday, October 24:: Revenge Cannibalism in Shakespeare Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus (in entirety) Francis Bacon, On Revenge o [Suggested: Stewart, Pamela and Andrew Strathern (1999). Feasting on My Enemy: Images of Violence and Change in the New Guinea Highlands. Ethnohistory 46 (4): 645-669.]

Wednesday, October 26: Titus (continued) o [Suggested Reading: Noble, Louise. And Make Two Pasties of Your Shameful Heads: Medicinal Cannibalism and Healing the Body Politic in Titus Andronicus. ELH 70 (2003): 677-708.]

Monday, October 31: Titus (continued) Gordon-Grube, Karen 1988. Anthropophagy in Post-Renaissance Europe: The Tradition of Medical Cannibalism. American Anthropologist 90:405-409. excerpts from Renaissance medical manuals on medicinal cannibalism (TBD)

Wednesday, November 2: In class viewing of Julie Taymors Titus Andronicus Monday, November 7: Consuming the Poor & Eating the Rich Jonathan Swifts A Modest Proposal In class viewing: Film clips from Sweeney Todd, Delicatessan, and Fellinis the Satyricon

Wednesday, November 9: Caribbean/Cannibal is not the same as Tomato/Tomahto Schmidt, Bettina 2001. The Interpretation of Violent Worldviews: Cannibalism and other Violent Images of the Caribbean. In Anthropology of Violence and Conflict. Routledge; London. Pp 76-96. Michelle de Montaignes On Cannibalism Excerpts from William Arens The Man-Eating Myth (TBD)

Monday, November 14: The Donner Party/ Alferd Packer http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/donner/player/ (PBS Special About the Donner Party)

Passages from Patrick Breens Diary (of the Donner Party) (TBD)

Wednesday, November 16: Cannibalism as American Myth Mark Twain Cannibalism in the Cars Abler, Thomas S. Iroquois Cannibalism: Fact Not Fiction. Ethnohistory 27.4 (Autumn 1980): 309-316. Excerpts from Where the Chill Came From (Native American myths of Windago)

Monday, November 21: Eat Me! Ravenous as Black Comedy Film Viewing: Ravenous

Wednesday, November 23: Film Viewing: Ravenous

Monday, November 28: When the Anthropologist Becomes Anthropophagus Allen, Gary. 1999. What is the Flavor of Human Flesh? Presented at the Symposium Cultural and Historical Aspects of Foods Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. http://web.archive.org/web/20080202122009/http:/food.oregonstate.edu/ref/cultur e/taboo_allen.html Paul Raffaele Sleeping with Cannibals Smithsonian Magazine, Sept. 2006 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/cannibals.html Excerpts from: Seabrook, William Buehler. Jungle Ways. London, Bombay, Sydney: George G. Harrap and Company, 1931. o [Suggested: Rosaldo, Renato. (1993) 2004. Grief and a Headhunters Rage. In Death, Mourning, and Burial. Blackwell Publishing; Oxford. Pp 167-178.] Wednesday, November 30: FINAL EXAM Friday, December 3: Final Paper Due at 11:59 pm