Orhan Pamuk

Jan 2009

Despite the silly title, this class is no joke. Open only to seniors by application, it's an opportunity to join two great literary minds, who happen to be best friends, in their version of the Great Conversation. The course is surprisingly well organized—Huyssen and Pamuk take their feedback very, very seriously—around the interplay of textual and visual media from antiquity to the present. Since it's a literature class, that means mostly conversations about how writers deal with the problem of trying to represent images. There's considerable focus on theories of ekphrasis, discussion of a wide range of texts, mostly very interesting, and a lot of good class discussion. Huyssen is a fantastic professor for reasons that should be clear from other reviews. Pamuk is a fantastic author who's still learning his way around a classroom, but nevertheless had some interesting things to say. It's always nice having a class with a Nobel laureate, after all. Definitely recommended if you're into, well, words and pictures.