HONORS 493 - College Honors Seminar
Fall 2018, Section 001 - Poetry and the Language of Oppression: A Poet's Perspective
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Honors Program (HONORS)
Department: LSA Honors
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Honors, Minicourse
Class Misc Info:
(Drop/Add deadline=09/17/18.).
Advisory Prerequisites:
Permission of instructor or of the Honors Director.
Other Course Info:
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:


This course explores, from the point of view of the poet rather than the critic, the interface between politics and poetry in our time, and the rift between a contemporary poet’s sense of private and public identity. The problem of the contemporary poet is not having to choose between art for art’s sake and political commitment, in order to feel like a responsible member of society. Rather, the poet begins to search for an adequate language to create and celebrate freedom in the deepest sense.

The poet Carmen Bugan reflects on the process of creating literature (poetry and memoir) out of personal testimony through a series of four lectures that explore how she engaged with Cold War Communist repression. She discusses the work of other poets who have responded to their own political realities, in order to offer several perspectives on writing poetry that arises from historical upheaval or oppression.

Carmen Bugan is the 2018 Helen L. DeRoy Visiting Professor in Honors.

Course Requirements:

Course discussion will revolve around the following texts:

  • A Book of Luminous Things, edited by Czeslaw Milosz (required for purchase)
  • Crossing the Carpathians by Carmen Bugan (provided to enrolled students)
  • Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile by Carmen Bugan (recommended, on reserve in the Honors office)
  • The Witness of Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz (recommended), Finders’ Keepers by Seamus Heaney (recommended), and Releasing the Porcelain Birds by Bugan (recommended)

    Intended Audience:

    Undergraduates at any level who look forward to reading, writing, and discussing poetry, to working with a renowned visiting poet and scholar.

    Class Format:

    Registered students will attend the four lectures, discuss lecture themes and poetry, and participate in poetry workshops with the instructor, in which they will have the opportunity to present their own poetry and receive group feedback on their poetry.

    The lectures will cover topics such as lyric language and the language of oppression, private and public narratives, and poetry in a second language.

  • Schedule

    HONORS 493 - College Honors Seminar
    Schedule Listing
    001 (LEC)
     In Person
    Tu 3:00PM - 4:00PM
    Partial Term 9/11/18 - 10/4/18
    Note: This course meets from 9/11 - 10/4. Students are auto-enrolled in lecture 001 when they elect discussion 002.
    002 (DIS)
     In Person
    WTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    Partial Term 9/11/18 - 10/4/18
    Note: This course meets from 9/11 - 10/4. Students are auto-enrolled in lecture 001 when they elect discussion 002.

    Textbooks/Other Materials

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    Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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