All aboard the potty train? Harvard offers a class on excrement

13 Feb, 2018 23:58 / Updated 5 years ago

Harvard University is offering a class on excrement this spring term, entitled, “Cacaphonies: Toward an Excremental Poetics.” The class explores the subject of fecal matter in French texts from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Aiming to take “fecal presence seriously” in scatological French literature, the class will tackle “the gendering of constipation as a feminine condition.” It will also “theorize an excremental poetics where excretion provides a model for the process of writing,” among other scholarly objectives.

If literature is excrement, then the canon is a chamber pot,” the course description states. Ultimately, “rather than take feces as a site of disgust,” the graduate-level class “takes it as a site of creation.

The Ivy League school is America’s oldest university and charges students without financial aid $43,280 per year for tuition, according to its website.

The course, which is worth 4 credits, will be taught by Annabel Kim, an Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard.  Readings for the class will be in French.

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