Topics in Comparative Studies 2 (S1, 2016/2017)

Semester 1

Thursday, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Fictions of Hospitality in Comparison
Susana Araújo

This seminar will explore the relation between fictionality and hospitality in literature and film. We will examine texts as they travel back and forth, across languages, countries and media, in order to explore how these movements shape the fantasies attached to the images of “hosts” and “guests.” We will attempt to understand the workings of hospitality in the text: what are the promises of welcome and limits of hosting? How does one become a “guest”? Who is the “master of the house”? Why and when does hospitality end and trespassing begin?

A list of fictional texts will be explored in relation to debates which have travelled from Ancient Greece to the homes of Kant and Derrida, via a number of uninvited guests/ghosts such as Freud, Marx and Said. We may explore images of borders, metaphors such as “homeland,” and multiple novels and visual texts from different countries, genres and traditions such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart, J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians, to Michael Haneke’s Caché (full list to be defined with students in the first seminar).