F101 | Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness |
Ronald Strickland

Fridays 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. | Five Sessions on Zoom - 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23

Click the image below to see a clip about this course.

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness presents a stark critique of nineteenth century colonialism and capitalism. Calling into question European assumptions about “savagery” and “evil” in faraway lands, while revealing that “darkness” that can be found closer to home in our own well-meaning endeavors, the novel also raises issues of gender and race relations. In this online course I will present Conrad’s work with those historical and sociopolitical issues in mind, supplemented by clips from three filmed versions: the CBS Playhouse 90 production of Heart of Darkness (1959), Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1976), and Nicholas Roeg’s 1993 made-for-television adaptation of the novel. Short lectures and film clips will be interspersed with small group “Zoom Breakout” sessions followed by whole-group summaries and discussions.

Suggested Readings: In class, I will use Heart of Darkness: A Norton Critical Edition (2016), but any complete edition will do, though to follow pagination, this one, if you can get it, will be easiest.

Ron Strickland is a retired professor of English literature, former Director of Graduate Studies in English at Illinois State University and former Chair of Humanities at Michigan Technological University. In addition to articles on literary topics ranging from Shakespeare and other early modern poets to twentieth-century French literature, he is the author and/or editor of several essays and collections focusing on the cultural politics of higher education. He is also the creator of more than 100 short YouTube lectures on topics in literature and cultural studies.

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