Orality, Text, Brain National Taiwan University
This graduate course has no written tests and no fixed textbook. Much of the written work will be collective in nature.
The literary material for this course is ancient, medieval, and modern oral poems, including Beowulf, English and Scottish ballads, Middle and Modern English sayings, contemporary US spoken word poets (poetry slam poets), and translations from the worlds greatest oral poems and laws. Each student will construct his or her own virtual (oral) book of poetry.
The methodology of this course is partly performative: each class meeting will consist of an operational discussion of orality--learning and jamming oral poemsas well as a theoretical discussion of orality. In other words, we will read theories of orality and ethnopoetics for the sake of putting them into practice and testing them as performance, and we will perform as a way to understand the ahistorical processes of orality, so often misrecognized in modernity. Guest speakers from other faculties will be invited to educate us on the brain and memory; the relationship of music, voice, and text; and performance. Individually and as a group we shall build a repertoire, a living corpus of intangible culture. We will also watch and describe performances of oral poetry from around the world, including the South African ibongi, the Argentine payador, and American poetry slams.
The theoretical foundations of this course include cognitive approaches to literature, oral theory, and ethnopoetics. Subthemes include memory and participatory knowledge.
1. Learn about and master pre-modern texts, especially English-language ballads, Middle English poetry.
2. Learn oral theory, and see how orality is part of even hyper-literate societies.
3. Develop a more sophisticated understanding of history and historical change.
4. Apply oral theory and performance theory not only to texts but to the study process.
5. Write publishable, collaborative essays or prepare collaborative conference presentations.
Online Course Requirement
Graduate Institute of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Site for Inquiry
Please inquire about the courses at the address below.
Email address: http://www.forex.ntu.edu.tw/main.php?lang=en