Archive for September, 2009

Trying your hand at satire

by   |  09.13.09  |  Announcement

If you’re looking for someone to blame for our final project, it may as well be the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal. He’s the one I quoted in the class blurb who said living in times like ours who would not write satire. Given our discussion of the explosion of dissenting voices and forms on the internet, I’d say today is another such time.Picture 2

Before you get too far into developing your final project, please read the assignment carefully. I’ll keep an eye on this thread, so once you’ve had a chance to read the assignment feel free to post questions or comments.

I look forward to seeing and hearing what you all come up with.

Satire Colloquium Project

Sample Projects from 2007

Colbert on Campus interview

by   |  09.12.09  |  Media

A one-hour interview we ran across in class today. Feel free to comment below if you end up watching sections you want to recommend to others (include how many minutes in you find them):

Colbert at Kennedy School of Government

Colbert offers one popular example of the ironic persona seen regularly on his Comedy Central show and at the 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

The Word: Truthiness – Colbert Report

Ten Commandments – Colbert Report

Colbert at White House Correspondent’s Dinner

Satire: A Critical Reintroduction

by   |  09.11.09  |  Assignment

Several passages from Dustin Griffin’s landmark study. . .

“According to consensus, satire is a highly rhetorical and moral art. A work of satire is designed to attack vice or folly. To this end it uses wit or ridicule. Like polemical rhetoric, it seeks to persuade an audience that something or someone is reprehensible or ridiculous; unlike pure rhetoric, it engages in exaggeration and some sort of fiction. But satire does not forsake the “real world” entirely. Its victims come from that world, and it is this fact (together with a darker or sharper tone) that separates satire from pure comedy. Finally, satire usually proceeds by means of clear reference to some moral standards or purposes” (Griffin 1).

Dryden’s Discourse, was “codified into typically Augustan binary formulas: Horace versus Juvenal, comic verus tragic satire, specific versus general satire, raillery versus chastisement, vice versus folly. . . John Dennis is characteristic: ‘Horace argues, insinuates, engages, rallies, smiles, Juvenal exclaims, apostrophizes, exaggerates, lashes, stabs” (Griffin 24).

“As a committed Christian moralist, Erasmus prepares the reader to make choices and to take actions . . . [like More] “a process of educative testing, variously playful or hostile, whereby the moral intelligence of the public was to be trained by being subjected to attempts to undermine or confuse it. . . . Inquiry for its own sake has no value. . . Erasmus seeks not to leave his reader in suspended judgment, in a state of musing doubt and irresolution, but to urge him toward a better choosing” Griffin 56)

The goal of the theorist of satire (as I see it) is not to arrive at elegant and irrefutable definitions of satire as a genre but to enable readers of satire to become more attentive, to enable them to seen an interplay of impulses and effects in a text that—whether written now or five hundred years ago—may or may not have been called “satire” on the title page. . . . Satire is in my view rather an “open” than a “closed” form, both in its formal features (particularly in its reluctance to conclude) and in its more general rhetorical and moral features, in its frequent preference for inquiry, provocation, or playfulness rather than assertion and conclusiveness. (Griffin 186)

Tempus Fugit

by   |  09.06.09  |  Announcement

Tempus Fugit. Yes, as Horace would say, time is passing and the final few days between now and our colloquium weekend are wasting quickly away. I hope you’re all well into Gulliver and have had a chance to look over the syllabus.

I bring up the syllabus because I’m afraid several of you are already running behind on weekly preparations for our class this coming weekend. If this sound like you, I’d call you to carpe diem, or to repent, or stand and be counted, or whichever impassioned appeal encourages you to get started on the preparatory assignments that stand between you and successful completion of our class.

Please refer to the course syllabus and schedule to make sure you’re caught up. Remember, objects on the syllabus are closer than they appear.