Magic and Metamorphosis
First-Year Seminar Program 061
What is magic and how can it transform the world? This course explores the fascination with magic as supernatural power, superstition, and carnivalesque playfulness and Romantic imagination in Russia and the West. We will discuss novels, poems, fairy tales, and art populated wth divinities and magic creatures that explain the nature of the world or present political allegories. By encountering captivating metamorphoses in Ovid, Shakespeare, Baudelaire, Kafka, Gogol, Bulgakov, and Süskind, we will inquire into notions of identity, corporeality, power, censorship, and resistance.