Fall 2020 Neustadt Course
ENGL 4950.001 | MLLL 4950.001
Dates: August 25; September 8 & 22; October 6, 13 & 27; plus October 19-21
Time: Tuesdays 3:00-4:15pm
Professor: Dr. Emily D. Johnson, Professor of Russian
Office Location: Copeland Hall 12B
The Neustadt course for 2020 will focus on the work of Ismail Kadare (b. 1936), one of the world’s most acclaimed novelists and the 2020 laureate for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. An Albanian author who now lives in Paris, Kadare won the inaugural Man Booker International Prize in 2005 and has repeatedly been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize. His work considers the role of tradition and resonance of myth in modern life, the ways in which totalitarian governments deform both social norms and individual lives, and the short- and long-term effects of war and violence on communities. Even when set in centuries past, his novels speak to contemporary concerns. In this course, students will read some of Kadare’s most well-known novels, including Broken April and The Palace of Dreams.
Kadare will visit the University of Oklahoma campus for the Neustadt Festival (October 19-21, 2020). Students will be expected to attend all festival events and will interview Kadare or one of the other festival guests as part of a course assignment. Three of Kadare’s principal English-language translators—David Bellos, Peter Constantine, and Ani Kokobobo—will take part in the festival, along with distinguished MLLL alumni David Shook and Fabrice Conte-Williamson as well as more than a dozen other writers, scholars, and artists. One research paper is required.
N.B. This is a partial list, which will be updated by early summer.
There will likely be a total of 5-6 books.
Broken April, [trans. Jon Rothschild?], ISBN 978-1493055173, $16.95
The Palace of Dreams, trans. Barbara Bray, ISBN 978-1628723236, $14.95
Three Elegies for Kosovo, trans. Peter Constantine, ISBN 978-0099560951, $18.50