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What Is An Author?

Submitted by Anonymous on
32701
=ITAL 32800, SCTH 32800
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Benedetti

The course is directed primarily to graduate students, and is aimed at stimulating a theoretical approach to modern literature. It focuses on one of the most controversial categories of modernity: the author. From the time when works of art ceased to circulate anonymously, the notion of the author enjoyed an obvious existence for centuries. In the twentieth century, however, many literary theories ratified the irrelevance of the author, and celebrated its eclipse. We shall discuss pertinent theoretical writings by Barthes, Foucault, Eco, Benjamin, Booth, Genette, Bazin, and others, as well as some relevant literary works by Calvino, Pasolini, and Moresco. Taught in English, with the majority of readings in English. C.

Balkan Folklore

Submitted by Anonymous on
33301
=SOSL 26800/36800
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Angelina Ilieva

This course will give an overview of Balkan folklore from ethnographic, anthropological, historical/political, and performative perspectives. We will become acquainted with folk tales, lyric and epic songs, music, and dance. The work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, who developed their theory of oral composition through work among epic singers in the Balkans, will help us understand folk tradition as a dynamic process. We will also consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. The historical/political part will survey the emergence of folklore studies as a discipline as well as the ways it has served in the formation and propagation of the nation in the Balkans. The class will also experience this living tradition first hand through our visit to the classes and rehearsals of the Chicago based ensemble Balkanske igre.

Embracing the Past, Struggling with the Present; Poetry's Quest for Meaning

Submitted by Anonymous on
34101
=ENGL 34560, SCTH 34350
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Adam Zagajewski

PQ: Open to undergrads. In this class we'll be reading poets (and a few essayists as well) and, in doing so, paying attention to their romance with the historical time. We'll ask several questions and among them this one: Is the dialogue with history one of the main sources of meaning in poetry? And: Which layers of the past and the present are involved? Why does the imagination need the past? But we'll also concentrate on individual voices and situations. Texts: C.P. Cavafy, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, Joseph Brodsky, W.G. Sebald, Z. Herbert and other authors.

Reading Modern Poets

Submitted by Anonymous on
35901
=ENGL 27805/47215, SCTH 34340
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg, Adam Zagajewski

The idea of the class is to read a group of important 20th century poets and some of the crucial theoretical texts. This course will focus on a heterogeneous group of poets, some who write in English, some who will be read in translation. The course is not organized around a particular theme or problem. We will let each poet raise particular themes and problems for class discussion. The poets: Anne Carson, Philippe Jaccottet, Derek Mahon, Czeslaw Milosz, Eugenio Montale, Paul Valery, C. K. Williams.

Interpreting Goethe's Faust

Submitted by Anonymous on
36400
=GRMN 36409, SCTH 47011
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
David Wellbery

Intensive study of Goethe's Faust, Parts I and II. The major task of the seminar is to develop a synthetic reading of the entire Faust drama, as Goethe conceived it. What are the leading concepts of a contemporary interpretation of Faust? Discussion will address the major lines of interpretation as developed especially in the philosophical literature and in the major recent studies commentaries. Selective consideration of the tradition of Faust-representations (from the so-called Volksbuch to Valery will enable us to circumscribe the historical and aesthetic specificity of Goethe's work. Sound reading knowledge of German required.

Love-Songs

Submitted by Anonymous on
36801
=ENGL 27806/47213
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg

This course examines certain themes in poems and in popular song-lyrics that include devotion, sentiment, serial desire, bought love, and aged love. Many song-lyrics are tin pan alley tunes, often in their jazz versions. Students are encouraged to suggest songs that have particularly strong lyrics. Poems come from various historical periods, with the Norton Anthology of Poetry as our source.

Imaginary Worlds: The Fantastic and Magic Realisin Russia and Southeastern Europe

Submitted by Anonymous on
37701
=SOSL 27700/37700, RUSS 27300/37300
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Angelina Ilieva

In this course we will ask what constitutes the fantastic and magic realism as literary genres while reading some of the most interesting writings to have come out of RUssia and Southeastern Europe. While considering the stylistic and narrative specificities of the genres, we will also think about their political functions - from subversive to escapist, to supportive of a nationalist imaginary - in different contexts and at different historic moments in the two regions. We will ask whether there are such things as a Balkan and Russian type of magic realism and we will think about the differences between the genres of magic realism and the fantastic. We will also look at the similarities of the works from different countries - the lyricism of expression, eroticism and nostalgia, and will argue for and against considering such similarities constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility.

Theories of Narrative

Submitted by Anonymous on
38300
=CLAS 37009, SLAV 37100
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

This seminar will focus on critical approaches to narrative, story-telling, and discourse analysis. While the emphasis will be on the formalist/structuralist tradition (Shklovsky, Benveniste, Barthes, Genette), we will also discuss works by Plato, Aristotle, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Auerbach, Banfield, Silverstein, and others. Notably, most of these approaches were inspired by the analysis of modern European novel, and part of our task will be to test them against shorter narratives produced in different genres and historical periods (possible authors include Pindar, Cicero, Virgil, Pushkin, and Leskov).

Historiography, Literature, Archaeology

Submitted by Anonymous on
39601
=EALC 37460
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Tamara Chin

This course examines the relation between historicity and the literary, using Sima Qian's Shiji ( Records of the Grand Historian ) as our primary example. The Shiji is arguably the most influential Chinese work of historiography, and we will also explore its interdisciplinary and international afterlife. Particular attention will be paid to notions of the immaterial (the fictional, the spiritual, the theoretical), the exotic (the non-Chinese, the strange), and the universal, in traditional Chinese historiography and poetics, in modern archaeology, and in critical theory. Students without classical Chinese reading knowledge are welcome to join and to write their final papers on comparative topics .

Islamic Love Poetry

Submitted by Anonymous on
40100
=ISLM 40100, NEHC 40600
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Michael Sells

PQ: Some acquaintance with one of the following: Urdu, Persian, Turkish, Ottoman, Arabic, Punjabi, Pasho, Hindi, or other relevant languages.

Comparative Mystical Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
40200
=ISLM 43300, RLIT 43600
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Michael Sells

PQ: Willingness to work in one of these languages: Arabic, Latin, Greek, French, German, Hebrew, Aramaic or Spanish.

Before and after Beckett: Drama and Anti Drama in Theater and Film

Submitted by Anonymous on
40801
=CMST 28303/48303, ENGL 24402/44508, ISHU 28434, TAPS 28434
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Loren Kruger

PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing, and at least one prior course in modern drama or film. Working knowledge of French helpful but not required. Beckett is conventionally typed as the playwright of minimalist scenes of unremitting bleakness. But his experiments with theater and film echo the irreverent play of popular culture (vaudeville on stage and film, including Chaplin and Keaton) and the artistic avant-garde (Dreyer in film; Jarry and Artaud in theater). This course juxtaposes this early twentieth-century work with Beckett's plays on stage and screen, as well as those of his contemporaries (Ionesco, Duras) and successors. Contemporary authors depend on availability but may include Vinaver, Minyana, and Lagarce (France); Pinter and Greenaway (England); and Foreman and Wellman (United States). Theoretical work may include texts by Artaud, Barthes, Derrida, Josette Feral, Peggy Phelan, and Bert States.

Styles of Performance and Expression from Stage to Screen

Submitted by Anonymous on
40900
=ARTH 38704, CMST 38401, ISHU 35250
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Yuri Tsivian

This seminar will focus on the history of acting styles in silent film (1895-1930) mapping national styles of acting that emerged during the 1910s (American, Danish, Italian, Russian) and various acting schools that proliferated during the 1920s (Expressionist acting, Kuleshov's workshop, etc). We will discuss film acting in the context of stage acting: its history from the 17th to 20th century, its theories and systems (Delsarte, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold) and in the context of fine arts. We will also look at various theories of impact (empathy, identification, etc) and at some influential texts in the history of performance (Diderot, Coquelin, Kleist).

Decolonizing Literature and Film in Southern Africa

Submitted by Anonymous on
41200
=ENGL 44507
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Loren Kruger

Required texts in English or translation but those working with Portuguese, Afrikaans, Zulu etc will be accommodated. While 'postcolonialism' may turn a complex and contradictory history into a tidy theory, decolonizing highlights the uneven and unfinished processes of writing and filming national, transnational and anti-national narratives, from the cultural nationalism of the 1940s and 1950s to the possibly post-national present. We will explore the links as well as the differences among the textual and cinematic cultures of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique and examine the potential and pitfalls of applying postcolonial and other theories to these cultures. Authors may include Nadine Gordimer, Athol Fugard, Zakes Mda, Shimmer Chinodya, Yvonne Vera, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Bessie Head, Luandino Vieira, and/or Mia Couto; theory and political analysis may include anticolonial writing by Fanon, Mandela, Neto, and Cabral and contemporary critics: Ann McClintock, Njabulo Ndebele, Kwame Appiah, Robert Mshengu Kavanagh and others.

Whose Culture Is This, Anyway?

Submitted by Anonymous on
41600
=ENGL 42407
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Lawrence Rothfield

The past few decades have seen an explosion of debates over the question of who should own cultural goods. The particular goods in question -- the Elgin marbles, artworks looted by the Nazis, the skeletal remains of Kennewick Man, shared files – are as various as the stakeholders (individual victims, nation-states, museums, musicians, etc.). This course explores the philosophical bases for claims to own artifacts, sounds, words, and ideas, and the policy conundrums posed by these claims (restitution, cultural rights, assertions of national control over cultural patrimony, copyright). We will also look at the ways in which some of these issues have entered the popular imaginary via fiction and film.

Poetics of Disclocation

Submitted by Anonymous on
41701
=ENGL 25922/43706
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Jennifer Scappettone

This course explores crises of placelessness and displacement as modern and contemporary verse has attempted to map them: from modernist cosmopolitan collage to poetry of exile, migration, and diaspora, the work we will study, lodged between tongues, gives traction to discourse surrounding the abstraction of space in globalizing contexts. We will examine the formal and social prompts and repercussions of experiments in polylingualism, dialect, creole, barbarism, and thwarted translation; we will delve ultimately into some examples of poetic reckoning with the transformation of the site of reading, in the form of new media, installation and otherwise ambient poetics. Poets to include William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, John Ashbery, Amelia Rosselli, Andrea Zanzotto, Paul Celan, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Pamela Lu, Etel Adnan, M. Nourbese Philip, C.S. Giscombe, Édouard Glissant, Kamau Brathwaite, Caroline Bergvall. Readings in geography, aesthetics, translation by David Harvey, James Clifford, Marc Auge, Rem Koolhaas, Timothy Morton, Toni Morrison, Lucy Lippard, Juliana Spahr, others.

Baudelaire

Submitted by Anonymous on
43300
=FREN 43300, RLIT 43500
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Françoise Meltzer

PQ: All French works will be read in the original. Requirements for the course are one oral presentation, and one seminar paper. This course will look at Baudelaire and his surroundings, from the revolution of 1848 and its historians (Tocqueville in particular); to the artists that fascinated Baudelaire (Daumier, Delacroix, Guys, Wagner) and what the poet wrote about them; to the changes in Paris thanks to the Baron Haussmann; to the writers and political thinkers who most influenced the poet (Poe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Hugo, de Quincey, Maistre, Proudhon); to Baudelaire's obsession with original sin; to, of course, Baudelaire's own works and development. We will also consider some of the major works of critical theory that concern the poet (including Benjamin, Burton, Chambers, Derrida, T.J.Clark, Blanchot, DeMan, and Poulet, to name a few).

Seminar: Greek Tragedy in Africa

Submitted by Anonymous on
46500
=GREK 46509
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Sarah Nooter

This course will trace the progress of two bursts of dramatic creativity: tragedy in fifth century Athens and adaptations of tragedy in twentieth century Africa (including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt). We will read and discuss genre, thematic concerns, and interpretative problems in plays by Euripides and Sophocles. In alternating weeks, we will discuss these topics and issues of cultural and postcolonial identity as they relate to adaptations written by Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard, Ola Rotimi and others in the 1960s and 70s. All plays will be read in their original language, but students without knowledge of Greek may enroll with instructor's consent.

Circulation, Sensibility, and the Discourses of Modern Value

Submitted by Anonymous on
47000
=ARTH 48509, ENGL 48606, GNDR 48600
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
David Bunn and Jane Taylor

We will look at the figure of circulation arising from Harvey's anatomical investigations, philosophical enquiries from Descartes, Smith and Hume, and literary texts including Behn, Wycherley, Fielding, Austen, Smollet, Burney, Goldsmith and Pope and Worsworth as well as Kubrick's film of Thackeray's novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon, and will look at circulation, feeling and value from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. We will discuss the particular emergence of two sites for the performance of mobility: on one hand, the English landscape, with the impact of practitioners such as Vanbrugh, Capability Brown, and Humphry Repton, as well as Vauxhall Gardens and Stowe; on the other is the auction house: both as key tropes. Theoretical readings will include Marx, Veblen, Simmel, Benjamin, Habermas, Nancy Fraser. Literary and performance history of the early modern era suggests that there was considerable instability around matters of gender identity. In this course we will look at such historically particular cultural phenomena as 'the breeches part' and the 'castrato' in an enquiry into how passing (across class positions as well as gendered identities) gets deployed as a strategy for representing increasingly mobile conceptions of selfhood in an era of upheaval within the economic sphere.

Seminar: Tragedy and the Tragic

Submitted by Anonymous on
50100
=CLAS 40709
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
David Wray

PQ: Consent of instructor. Outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in Classics. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. Students who wish to take this course but have already taken a Comparative Literature core course may take this course with permission of the instructor. Course readings include Greek, Roman, and early modern European tragic dramas (including Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Corneille, Racine, and Schiller) together with major works of literary criticism on tragedy and the idea of the tragic, from Plato, Aristotle, and Longinus to Sidney, Hegel, and Lacan. Each student must read at least one play in a language other than English.

Seminar: Catharsis and other Aesthetic Responses

Submitted by Anonymous on
50200
=ENGL 59304, CMST 50200
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Loren Kruger

PQ: Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature and Cinema and Media Studies. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. Students who wish to take this course but have already taken a Comparative Literature core course may take this course with permission of the instructor. For other humanities PhDs: ACTIVE working knowledge of at least one of the following: French, German, (classical) Greek or Spanish. This PhD seminar examines the ramifications of catharsis and other responses to texts and images, in other words it investigates the relationship between effect and affect. Beginning with Aristotle and present day responses to catharsis, we will investigate the kinds of aesthetic response invoked by tragic drama and theory (esp Hegel), realism (Lukacs, Bazin and Brecht), as well as theories of pleasure (Barthes, Derrida), judgment (Kant, Bourdieu) and boredom (Spacks). We will conclude with a test case, exploring the potential and limitations of catharsis as an appropriate response to the literary and cinematic representation of trauma in and after the Argentine 'dirty war.' An essential part of the discussion will be the problem of translating key terms, not only from one language to another but also from one theoretical discourse and/or medium to another.

Race, Media, and Visual Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
51500
=CDIN 51300, ENGL 51300, ARTH 49309, CMST 51300, ARTV 55500
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Darby English, WJT Mitchell

This seminar will explore the question of race, racism, and racial identity across a variety of media and social practices, including photography and cinema, visual art and literature, and the iconology of everyday life. The seminar will provide a twin introduction to the fundamentals of visual cultural theory and media studies, on the one hand, and racial theory on the other. The study of racial theory will converge with issues of visuality, mediation, and iconology, particularly the question of stereotype and caricature, the role of fantasy and the imaginary in racist perception, and its reproduction and critique in various form of visual art and media. Sponsored by the Center for Disciplinary Innovation (CDI), the seminar will combine methodologies from art history, literary criticism, visual and media studies, as well as anthropology.

Archaic Poetics

Submitted by Anonymous on
20301
40300
=CLCV 27209, CLAS 47209, SLAV 20301/42200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

This seminar investigates the notion of archaic (a.k.a. primitive, folk, sentimental, mythological) poetics, originally formulated by the Romantics, but later pursued by scholars who sought to conceptualize the presumed break between oral literatures of traditional societies, as well as texts produced in Archaic Greece, and modern literary praxis. In this course we will be interested both in the actual lineaments of an archaic poetics and its literary reception in the 19 th -20 th c. Apart from relevant primary sources (Homeric epic, archaic Greek choral lyric, primitivist modernist poetry, etc.), we will discuss works by Fr. Schlegel, Veselovsky, Propp, Levi-Strauss, Bakhtin, Parry, and others.

Jewish Thought and Literature III: The Multilingual Twentieth Century

Submitted by Anonymous on
20401
30401
=JWSC 20006, JWSG 30006, NEHC 20406/30406
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Na'ama Rokem

This seminar examines one of the most striking dimensions of the modern Hebrew literary canon: it was largely written by non-native speakers. This is true not only for the generation of the revival, but also for following generations and even after the foundation of the state of Israel. While most contemporary Hebrew authors do not fall into this category, the phenomenon has a fascinating afterlife to this day. The seminar thus covers a range of materials that span over a century of literary production. It is designed to give students not familiar with Hebrew literature a sense of the historical trajectory it follows over the twentieth century, while raising a number of theoretical and historical questions. Among the questions that will interest us are: To what extent is the category of the native speaker relevant, or even viable, in the study of literature? What is the role of bilingualism and auto-translation in literary production and literary theory? And how does the case of Zionism and the Hebrew revival compare with other cases of bilingual authorship, such as contemporary Latino-American literature? How has the position of Hebrew in the Jewish cultural sphere evolved? How has Hebrew language learning been tied to other categories such as religion, gender or class, and what are the implications for reading Hebrew literature? Readings will all be made available in translation, with an additional tutorial for readers of Hebrew.

History and Theory of Drama I

Submitted by Anonymous on
20500
30500
=ANST 21200, CLAS 31200, CLCV 21200, ENGL 13800/31000, ISHU 24200/34200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
David Bevington

May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20600/30600 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, the goal is to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

History and Theory of Drama II

Submitted by Anonymous on
20600
30600
=ENGL 13900/31100, ISHU 24300/34300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
David Bevington

May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20500/30500 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the late seventeenth century into the twentieth: Molière, Goldsmith, Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, Wilde, Shaw, Brecht, Beckett, and Stoppard. Attention is also paid to theorists of the drama, including Stanislavsky, Artaud, and Grotowski. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, the goal is to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with some other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

Before and after Beckett: Theater and Film

Submitted by Anonymous on
20801
=CMST 24203/44203, ENGL 24401/44506
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Loren Kruger

PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing, and at least one prior course in modern drama or film. This course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students who are majoring in Comparative Literature. Working knowledge of French helpful but not required. Beckett is conventionally typed as the playwright of minimalist scenes of unremitting bleakness. But his experiments with theater and film echo the irreverent play of popular culture (vaudeville on stage and film, including Chaplin and Keaton) and the artistic avant-garde (Dreyer in film; Jarry and Artaud in theater). This course juxtaposes this early twentieth-century work with Beckett's plays on stage and screen, as well as those of his contemporaries (Ionesco, Duras) and successors. Contemporary authors depend on availability but may include Vinaver, Minyana, and Lagarce (France); Pinter and Greenaway (England); and Foreman and Wellman (United States). Theoretical work may include texts by Artaud, Barthes, Derrida, Josette Feral, Peggy Phelan, and Bert States.

Shakespeare, Marlowe, Benjamin, and Brecht

Submitted by Anonymous on
20901
30901
=ENGL 16709/36709
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Victoria Kahn

In this course, we will read several plays of Shakespeare and Marlowe in relationship to the theoretical writings of two twentieth-century critics, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht. Why did Benjamin and Brecht think Shakespeare and Marlowe were radical, avant-garde playwrights? What conclusions did they draw from Shakespeare and Marlowe for their own political moment? How were Brecht's own plays and dramatic theory influenced by these earlier writers? Texts will include Shakespeare, Hamlet; Marlowe, Edward II and Tamburlaine; Benjamin, The Origin of German Tragic Drama and Understanding Brecht; Brecht, Selected Plays and his Short Organon for the Theater. For students with an interest in both Renaissance literature and European modernism, as well as a strong interest in literary theory.

The Theatrical Illusion: Corneille, Kushner and the Baroque

Submitted by Anonymous on
21001
31001
=FREN 28000/38000, TAPS 28460
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Larry Norman

We will explore the Baroque interest in meta-theatricality (the play in the play) by concentrating on Pierre Corneille's 1636 L'illusion comique. The play will be situated in the theatrical, literary and artistic corpus of the seventeenth century, in France (Rotrou, Moliere, Descartes, Poussin) as well as in Spain (Calderon, Velazquez) and beyond. We will also reflect on the contemporary adaptation of baroque theatre, in particular through the Court Theatre's preparation for a production of Tony Kushner's version of Corneille's play. Director Charles Newell will be a guest in the class, and students will be engaged in the dramaturgical process. Reading knowledge of French strongly preferred. Students taking courses for French credit must complete all readings and written work in French.

Contemporary European Philosophy and Religion

Submitted by Anonymous on
21201
31201
=DPVR 40900, PHIL 21209/31209
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Arnold Davidson

The first part of this course considers Martin Heidegger's critique of humanism and various attempts to formulate alternative versions of humanism. We also study Emmanuel Lévinas' conception of ethics as first philosophy and its effect on political philosophy and philosophy of religion, Jacques Derrida's politics of hospitality and cosmopolitanism, and Pierre Hadot's conception of spiritual exercises and philosophy as a way of life. In the second part of this course, we discuss the status of ethical, political, and religious concepts after the experience of Auschwitz. In addition to Primo Levi's If This Is a Man , other readings may come from Lévinas, Robert Antelme, Sara Kofman, and Hans Jonas. Texts in English and the original.

Prefaces

Submitted by Anonymous on
21501
31501
=PORT 23000/33000, SCTH 30611
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Miguel Tamen

In the last 2 centuries philosophers and writers have often written prefaces to their own works; many such prefaces have become famous, a few have become infamous. Both traditions include the names of otherwise very different authors such as Hegel and Wittgenstein, or Baudelaire and Frost. Since the functions of prefaces seem to be fairly obvious and well-known, we will not be putting forth any new theory about prefaces. Instead, we will read and discuss in depth some of the best philosophical and literary prefaces written since 1800. A complete list of about 20 texts, which is likely to include most of the names above, and a course packet will be made available in the first session.

Poetics of Dislocation

Submitted by Anonymous on
21701
=ENGL 25922/43706
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Jennifer Scappettone

This course explores crises of placelessness and displacement as modern and contemporary verse has attempted to map them: from modernist cosmopolitan collage to poetry of exile, migration, and diaspora, the work we will study, lodged between tongues, gives traction to discourse surrounding the abstraction of space in globalizing contexts. We will examine the formal and social prompts and repercussions of experiments in polylingualism, dialect, creole, barbarism, and thwarted translation; we will delve ultimately into some examples of poetic reckoning with the transformation of the site of reading, in the form of new media, installation and otherwise ambient poetics. Poets to include William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, John Ashbery, Amelia Rosselli, Andrea Zanzotto, Paul Celan, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Pamela Lu, Etel Adnan, M. Nourbese Philip, C.S. Giscombe, Édouard Glissant, Kamau Brathwaite, Caroline Bergvall. Readings in geography, aesthetics, translation by David Harvey, James Clifford, Marc Auge, Rem Koolhaas, Timothy Morton, Toni Morrison, Lucy Lippard, Juliana Spahr, others.

Caribbean Fiction: Self-understanding and Exoticism

Submitted by Anonymous on
21801
31801
=FREN 23500/33500
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Daniel Desormeaux

The Caribbean is often described as enigmatic, uncommon and supernatural. While foreigners assume that the Caribbean is exotic, this course will explore this assumption from a Caribbean perspective. We will examine the links between Caribbean and Old World imagination, the relationship between exoticism and Caribbean notions of superstition, and the way in which the Caribbean fictional universe derives from a variety of cultural myths. The course will be taught in English and all required texts are in English and English translations from French. A weekly session in French will be held for majors and graduate students in French and Comparative Literature.

Tolstoy's War and Peace

Submitted by Anonymous on
22301
32301
=RUSS 22302/32302,HIST 23704,FNDL 27103,ISHU 22304,ENGL 28912/ 32302
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Lina Steiner

Written in the wake of the Crimean War (1856) and the emancipation of the serfs (1861), Tolstoy's War and Peace is Russia's most famous national narrative. Tolstoy set his tale during the Napoleonic wars, which coincided with Russia's national awakening. This period witnessed major social and political transformations in Russian society. Some of these epochal changes were still underway at the time when Tolstoy came of age and began to wok on his national epic. By reading War and Peace we not only learn a lot about Russian history and culture, but also witness the creation of a completely original organic work of art. It is a telling fact that Tolstoy called his work a novel-epic—a unique hybrid of several different genres deliberately designed as a riposte to the typical West European novel. This course will focus on War and Peace as a work of literature and a historical document. It is highly recommended for all students interested in Russian and European literature, history and political science, as well as to those majoring in Fundamentals. The course is open to all undergraduates and some graduate students (by instructor's consent). In addition to Tolstoy's War and Peace , we will read several contemporary poems, memoirs, selections from Machiavelli's Art of War, as well as several short essays by Russian and German philosophers including Herder, Humboldt and Chaadaev. All readings, discussion and papers will be in English.

Vico's New Science

Submitted by Anonymous on
22501
32501
=ITAL 22900/32900,FNDL 21408
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Rocco Rubini

This course offers a close reading of Giambattista Vico's masterpiece, New Science (1744) – a work that sets out to refute all opinions hitherto held about the principles of humanity. Vico, who is acknowledged as the most resolute scourge of any form of rationalism, breathed new life into rhetoric, imagination, poetry, metaphor, history, and philology in order to promote in his readers that originary wonder and pathos which sets human beings on the search for truth. However, Vico argues, the truths that are most available and interesting to us are the ones humanity authored by means of its culture and history-creating activities. For this reason the study of myth and folklore as well as archeology, anthropology, and ethnology must all play a role in the rediscovery of man. The New Science builds an alternative philosophy for a new age and reads like a novel of formation recounting the (hi)story of the entire human race and our divine ancestors. In Vico, a prophetic spirit, one recognizes the fulfillment of the Renaissance, the spokesperson of a particular Enlightenment, the precursor of the Kantian revolution, and the forefather of the philosophy of history (Herder, Hegel, and Marx). The New Science remained a strong source of inspiration in the twentieth century (Cassirer, Gadamer, Berlin, Joyce, Beckett, etc.) and may prove relevant in disclosing our own responsibilities in postmodernity. Course taught in English.

Film Noir: French and American

Submitted by Anonymous on
22901
32901
=ENGL 28911/47214
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg

This course focuses on film noir in a broad sense, including neo-noir. We attend to some of the conventions of the genre in terms of plot, characterization, and cinematography. There is also a thematic focus: How is trust constructed in these films? What are the features of trust that most directly affect political systems? Is trust among men much different from that among men and women in heterosexual relationships? We interpret a set of films as utopian efforts to imagine trusting lives. Films include The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Kiss Me Deadly, Out of the Past, Touch of Evil, Notorious, Narrow Margin, Blast of Silence, Night and the City, Criss Cross, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Gilda, Double Indemnity, Rififi, Chinatown, LA Confidential, Band of Outsiders, Bob le Flambeur , and Le Samourai .

Lyric Genres from Classical Antiquity to Postmodernism

Submitted by Anonymous on
24501
34501
=CLAS 37109, CLCV 27109, SLAV 24501/34501
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

PQ: Texts in English. Optional discussion sessions offered in the original (i.e., Greek, Latin, German, Russian). Moving beyond the modern perception of lyric as a direct expression of the poet's subjectivity, this course confronts the remarkable longevity of poetic genres that have remained in use over centuries and millennia, such as the hymn, ode, pastoral, elegy, epistle, and epigram. What kept these classical genres alive for so long and, conversely, what made them serviceable to poets working in very different cultural milieus? In an effort to develop a theory and a history of Western lyric genres, we sample such poets as Sappho, Horace, Marvell, Hölderlin, Whitman, Mandel'shtam, Brodsky, and Milosz.

Sensibility, Sensation, and Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
24701
=ENGL 25307
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Larry Rothfield

This course traces a genealogy of affect by focusing on the representation and incitement of emotions in nineteenth-century fiction. Readings include Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther ; Austen, Sense and Sensibility ; Flaubert, Madame Bovary ; and Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd .

Cosmopolitanisms

Submitted by Anonymous on
24901
34901
=ENGL 24305/34901
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Tamara Chin

This course explores notions of cosmopolitanism in philosophy, historiography, and literature. Topics include ancient world systems, world literature, hospitality, and hybridity. Readings may include Derek Walcott's Omeros, the Hellenistic Life of Aesop, early Chinese prose-poetry, Derrida, Frank, and Spivak.

Foucault and The History of Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
25001
=FNDL 22001, GNDR 23100, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Arnold Davidson

Open only to college students. PQ: Prior philosophy course or consent of instructor. This course centers on a close reading of the first volume of Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality , with some attention to his writings on the history of ancient conceptualizations of sex. How should a history of sexuality take into account scientific theories, social relations of power, and different experiences of the self? We discuss the contrasting descriptions and conceptions of sexual behavior before and after the emergence of a science of sexuality. Other writers influenced by and critical of Foucault are also discussed.

Humor in Yiddish Literature and Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
25501
35501
=ENGL 28913/37404, GRMN 25510/35510, YDDH 25510/35510
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Jan Schwarz

This course will apply various theoretical models of Diaspora literature to the study of Yiddish tales, short stories, monologues, plays, novels and life-writing from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the topics addressed in the course are Yiddish humor and satire, literary modernism, the classical Yiddish writers' image of the shtetl (small Jewish town in Central and Eastern Europe) and Isaac Bashevis Singer's demon narrators. Readings are by Sh. Y. Abramovitsh, Y.L.Peretz. Scholem-Aleichem, Dovid Bergelson, Der Nister, Jonah Rosenfeld, I.B.Singer, Chaim Grade, Ester Kreytman, Chava Rosenfarb, Yankev Glathsteyn and Sh. Ansky.

Reading Modern Poets

Submitted by Anonymous on
25901
=ENGL 27805/47215, SCTH 34340
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg, Adam Zagajewski

The idea of the class is to read a group of important 20th century poets and some of the crucial theoretical texts. This course will focus on a heterogeneous group of poets, some who write in English, some who will be read in translation. The course is not organized around a particular theme or problem. We will let each poet raise particular themes and problems for class discussion. The poets: Anne Carson, Philippe Jaccottet, Derek Mahon, Czeslaw Milosz, Eugenio Montale, Paul Valery, C. K. Williams.

Introduction to the Renaissance

Submitted by Anonymous on
26400
=ITAL 22200
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Armando Maggi

This course examines the birth and development of the European Renaissance, with a special focus on sixteenth-century culture, philosophy, and literature. After an introductory analysis of Francesco Petrarca's Italian and Latin works, we will examine the phenomenon of Italian Humanism. Then, we will focus on some of the most important Renaissance philosophers, such as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino, Erasmus, Montaigne, Bruno. We will also read a selection of Renaissance lyric poetry with a special focus on authors, whose work has a philosophical content, including Michelangelo, Bembo, Camões, and Scève. The final section of our class will examine the impact on Catholic Counter-reformation on the evolution of the Renaissance.

Renaissance and Baroque Fairy Tales and their Modern Rewritings

Submitted by Anonymous on
26700
36700
=HCUL 34400, ITAL 26200/36200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Armando Maggi

We study the distinctions between myth and fairy tale, and then focus on collections of modern Western European fairy tales, including those by Straparola, Basile and Perrault, in light of their contemporary rewritings of classics (Angela Carter, Calvino, Anne Sexton). We analyze this genre from diverse critical standpoints (e.g., historical, structuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist) through the works of Croce, Propp, Bettelheim and Marie-Louise Von Franz. Class conducted in English.

Love-Songs

Submitted by Anonymous on
26801
=ENGL 27806/47213
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg

This course examines certain themes in poems and in popular song-lyrics that include devotion, sentiment, serial desire, bought love, and aged love. Many song-lyrics are tin pan alley tunes, often in their jazz versions. Students are encouraged to suggest songs that have particularly strong lyrics. Poems come from various historical periods, with the Norton Anthology of Poetry as our source.

Owning and Disowning: J. M. Coetzee

Submitted by Anonymous on
26900
46900
=ENGL 28605/48605
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
David Bunn, Colleen Taylor

This course is not simply about contemporary South Africa, and the novels of Coetzee, but also about the manner in which the public confession of past sins was and continues to be a critical point of reference for the ways in which political transition and justice are imagined. We will be reading Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, Foe, The Life and times of Michael K, Disgrace and the volume of essays, Giving Offence . We will also be reading Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, Yvette Christiaanse's novel, Unconfessed, and Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, Yael Farber's playtext, Malora, and will study two films: Alain Resnais' groundbreaking Hiroshima Mon Amour, and Christopher Nolan's recent psychological thriller, Memento. Theoretical readings will include works from Freud, Derrida, Foucault.

Historicizing Desire

Submitted by Anonymous on
27000
=CLCV 27706, EALC 27410, GNDR 28001
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Tamara Chin

This course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students who are majoring in Comparative Literature. This course examines conceptions of desire in ancient China and ancient Greece through an array of early philosophical, literary, historical, legal, and medical texts (e.g., Mencius, Sima Qian, Book of Songs, Plato, Sappho). We attempt not only to bring out the cultural specificities of ancient erotic experience but also to make visible the historical and geopolitical contingencies of our own methods of reading. To do so, we explore the broader cultural background of the two ancient periods, and engage with theoretical debates on the history of sexuality, feminist and queer studies, and intercultural comparative studies.

Imaginary Worlds: The Fantastic and Magic Realism in Russia and Southeastern Europe

Submitted by Anonymous on
27701
=SOSL 27700/37700, RUSS 27300/37300
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Angelina Ilieva

In this course, we will ask what constitutes the fantastic and magic realism as literary genres while reading some of the most interesting writings to have come out of Russia and Southeastern Europe. While considering the stylistic and narrative specificities of the genres, we will also think about their political functions - from subversive to escapist, to supportive of a nationalist imaginary - in different contexts and at different historic moments in the two regions. We will ask whether there are such things as a Balkan and Russian type of magic realism and we will think about the differences between the genres of magic realism and the fantastic. We will also look at the similarities of the works from different countries – the lyricism of expression, eroticism and nostalgia, and will argue for and against considering such similarities constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility.

Don Quijote

Submitted by Anonymous on
28101
38101
=CMLT 28101, FNDL 21211, RLLT 34202, SPAN 24202/34202
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Frederick de Armas, Thomas Pavel

This course will provide a close reading of Cervantes' Don Quijote and discuss its links with Renaissance art and Early Modern narrative genres. On the one hand, Don Quijote can be viewed in terms of prose fiction, from the ancient Greek romances to the medieval books of knights errant and the Renaissance pastoral novels. On the other hand, Don Quijote exhibits a desire for Italy through the utilization of Renaissance art. The course will be taught in English. Spanish majors and Spanish graduate students will read the text in the original and use Spanish for the course assignments.

Jewish American Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
29800
39800
=ENGL 25004/45002, GRMN 29800/39800, YDDH 27800/37800
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Jan Schwarz

This course expands the conception of the field of Jewish American literature from English-only to English-plus. We examine how Yiddish literary models and styles influenced the emergence and development of Jewish American literature. We also discuss how recent Jewish American novels have renewed the engagement with the Yiddish literary tradition. Readings are by Abraham Cahan, Henry Roth, I. B. Singer, Chaim Grade, Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Grace Paley, Jonathan Safran Foer, Pearl Abraham, and Dara Horn.

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