FYS 101 The Spirit of Revenge

An individual is capable of revenge, but so is a government, a nation or a god. Revenge can be exerted externally, against someone, or it can be internalized and exerted against oneself. In this class we will think about the spirit of revenge in literature, philosophy, film, and social media (e.g. the way Twitter and Facebook provide an unsavory outlet for revenge). We will study famous passages in the Old Testament and read texts by Kafka, Poe, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Audre Lorde, and Freud. Finally, we will contemplate the border between justice and revenge, and ask whether there is a mode of (political) resistance that rises above the spirit of revenge.