Themes in Literature: Love in Literature
“Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love.” -Susan Sontag
For centuries works of literature have centered on the theme of love: the mystery of love and the permutations of heartbreak. What is love? What shape does love take? This course is designed to introduce students to the study of literature through the analysis of literary works that traverse genres, cultures, and periods to explore gendered love, transcendent love, divine love, and love as conflict. As a class, we will investigate poems by Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson, contemporary short stories and plays, and novels, Forty Rules of Love (2009) by Elif Shafak, and A Map of Home (2008) by Randa Jarrar. The goal of the course is to turn students into critical thinkers, careful readers, and better writers through the process of research, analysis, synthesis, outlining, revising, and rewriting.