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Mysticism and Modernist Writing. Philosophy, Aesthetics, Politics

Submitted by Anonymous on
34800
=GRMN 34811, FREN 34811
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Sandra Janssen

This seminar will explore the question of why so many European writers in the 1930s and 1940s (e.g., Robert Musil, Georges Bataille) were fascinated by mysticism. Although they were intensely interested in authors from the mystical tradition (e,g,. Meister Eckhart), they nevertheless did not seek a new kind of spirituality, but a secular form of mysticism, that is, a special kind of 'inner experience'. In this seminar, we will investigate the theory of subjectivity that this kind of experience aims at and will ask how it relates to concepts of society. For not only Bataille devises, in his activities for the Collège de Sociologie, the notion of a sociologie sacre, but also Henri Bergson links mysticism to a renewal of society ( Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion , 1932). We will also consider the more problematic implications of this conjunction, since exponents of Nazi ideology such as Alfred Rosenberg, or writers (temporarily) seduced by it such as Gottfried Benn, refer to mysticism as a form of collective participation.

Judgment and Distinction (Urteilen und Unterscheiden)

Submitted by Anonymous on
35600
=GRMN 35911
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Susanne Luedemann

Modernity has often been interpreted as a 'crisis of distinction' (Krise des Unterscheidens), that is: as a loss of confidence in the ontological validity of human judgement and linguistic distinctions. On the one hand, this crisis resulted in doctrines of decisionism (Carl Schmitt, Heidegger) and constructivist approaches (George Spencer Brown, Niklas Luhmann); on the other hand, theories of undecidability have been flourishing during the last few decades (most prominent: Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben). Between these extreme positions, a new concept of judgment (Urteilskraft) seems to emerge which combines certain elements of Kant's aesthetic judgment with a rethinking of the political space (Jean-François Lyotard, Hannah Arendt). This course will therefore consider judging and distinguishing as elementary forms not only of logical thinking, but also of aesthetic practice and political reasoning. It addresses students of literary studies as well as students of political sciences, and philosophy. Readings will include texts by Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hölderlin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Giorgio Agamben, Niklas Luhmann, and others. Readings in German or English or French, discussion in English.

The History of Feeling: On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry

Submitted by Anonymous on
37200
=GRMN 36111
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
David Wellbery

This seminar is an attempt to understand Schiller's treatise Über naïve und sentimentalische Dichtung (1796). We will endeavor to reconstruct the literary, philosophical, and biographical context within which the thoughts of that treatise formed themselves and to which they responded. In addition to texts by Schiller, we will study writings by Diderot, Mendelssohn, and Kant on the concept of naiveté; literary works by Geßner, Goethe ( Die Leiden des jungen Werthers ; Hermann und Dorothea ), Voss (Homer translation, Luise ); correspondence of Goethe, Schiller, Körner, W. von Humboldt, and others. Key contributions to the interpretation of Schiller's treatise (e.g., Brinkmann, Jauss, Szondi) will be consulted along with contemporary theories of the emotions.

Cervantes's Enigmatic Feasts: The Exemplary Novels and Don Quixote, Part II

Submitted by Anonymous on
38102
=REMS 34301, SPAN 24311/34311
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Frederick de Armas

This course focuses on The Exemplary Novels (1613) and Don Quijote, Part II (1615) from the point of view of calendared feasts. To the recently instituted Gregorian calendar, the novel superimposes at least three other time maps. First, the Julian calendar with its many feasts as depicted in Ovid's Fasti ; second, the celestial movement through the twelve signs of the zodiac as represented by Hercules' twelve labors; and third, the Egyptian lunar calendar that leads to the knight's defeat. This meandering through calendars creates an instability and sense of unease that recalls the changes in mapping that are taking place with the discovery of America and the change to a heliocentric cosmos. The Novelas show an inordinate interest in feasts while, as Don Quixote proceeds, a kind of dilatio takes place, as Don Quixote diverts his route over and over again from his destination (Zaragoza and the feast of St. George). Time then becomes a subjective phenomenon that affects both the reader and the characters. We examine Cervantes's novel through the lenses of Ovid's Fasti and Apuleius' Golden Ass . Maps and paintings of the period are also examined. Classes taught in English. Students in Spanish and REMS read the text in the original language and write their papers in Spanish.

Urban Zones of Modernism and Modernity 1700-1950

Submitted by Anonymous on
41500
=ENGL 48105
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Jennifer Scappettone

This geographical history of modernism will track intertwining and clashing forces defining the 20th-century avant-garde through their topographical touchstones. We will examine literary representations of delimited zones summoned in documentary or preservative modes as well as utopian projections and schemes for the metropolis writ large. Occupying the objectives of outsiders and insiders in tandem, we will consider texts not only as representations of urban space, but as inventors of it. We will try to detect the reciprocal interference of public and private interests, work and leisure, fortune and emiseration within the several precincts of our concentration as we ask what new languages and forms were enabled by an urban compression of variegated ethnic and linguistic traditions. Our primary sites of focus will be Paris, Venice, and New York, but we will necessarily (and according to class interests) digress elsewhere. Major readings will be drawn from Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Raymond Williams, Elias Canetti, and T.J. Clark—and from Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, F.T. Marinetti, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, and Louis Zukofsky; we will also consider pertinent visual and architectural projects. Readings will be given in English, but students with experience in other languages are encouraged to read primary texts in the original. Two papers and a presentation to the seminar will be required.

Tales of the Future in Contemporary Chinese Narratives

Submitted by Anonymous on
41900
=EALC 48701
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Paola Iovene

The imagination of how life will or might be is central to many definitions of literature that consider it as a form of social practice. In this course we will discuss how diverse dimensions of the future—as hope, anxiety, plan, as possibility or fear of transformation—shape the literary imagination. Our focus will be on Chinese fictional narratives and theories of literature of the 20th century, with particular attention to the periods of transition to and away from socialism, but we will also look at concepts of timeliness and untimeliness in critical and narrative theory elsewhere. Overall, our aim will be to explore how the function and fate of literature has been imagined in relation to other cultural, political, and social practices, an issue that inevitably emerges every time one tries to pin down the problem of Chinese literary modernity itself. In the second part of the course students will be asked to work on their own projects on texts, films, or other media of their choice. Readings may include Liang Qichao, Lu Xun, Mao Zedong, Zhou Yang, Li Tuo, Ge Fei, Mo Yan, E. Bloch, J. Derrida, G. Morson, F. Jameson, M. Bakhtin.

Recovering Bakhtin

Submitted by Anonymous on
42201
=RUSS 42201
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

Since the 1970s, Mikhail Bakhtin's work has had an enthusiastic reception in the Western academe. In spite of – or, arguably, as a result of – its wide dissemination, it has also suffered much from reductionist readings. In this seminar, we will read Bakhtin's major works, seeking to restore them to the intellectual context of the Russian school of historical poetics. In addition, we will discuss primary texts that provided the impetus for Bakhtin's theories (Petronius, Plutarch, Dostoyevsky). All readings in English.

Decolonizing Drama and Performance in Africa and Beyond

Submitted by Anonymous on
21202
41202
=CMST 24508/44508, ENGL 22402/44508
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Loren Kruger

PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing and prior course in either theatre or African studies. Working knowledge of French and/or Spanish is required for Comparative Literature status and recommended, but not required, for other students. This course examines the connections among dramatic writing, theatrical practice, and theoretical reflection on decolonization primarily in Africa and the Caribbean in the twentieth century. Authors (many of whom write theory and theater) may include Aima Aidoo, Fatima Dike, Aime Cesaire, Franz Fanon, Fernandez Retamar, Athol Fugard, Biodun Jeyifo, Were Liking, Mustafa Matura, Jose Marti, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kwame Nkrumah, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott. Texts in English, French, and/or Spanish.

Introduction to Narratology

Submitted by Anonymous on
21403
=GRMN 21411, FREN 21411
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Sandra Janssen

The first part of this course is designed as an overview of some major theories of narrative. We will focus on structuralist approaches such as those of Roland Barthes and Grard Genette's, but also discuss texts such as Benjamin's analysis of the narrator, Bakhtin's theory of polyphony, and new approaches to narratology in the field of cognitive poetics. In the second part, we will analyze literary examples taken especially from German and French literature from the 18th to the 20th century. A special emphasis will lie on different narrative representations of consciousness, in free indirect speech (Flaubert), the stream of consciousness (Joyce), or narrative styles that try to render more visual forms of consciousness (Musil). Finally, we will consider some experimental forms of narrative from the later 20th century (Queneau, Perec, D. Grossman).

Comparative Fairy Tale

Submitted by Anonymous on
21600
=GRMN 28500, NORW 28500
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Kimberly Kenny

For some, fairy tales count as sacred tales meant to enchant rather than to edify. For others, they are cautionary tales, replete with obvious moral lessons. Critics have come to apply all sorts of literary approaches to fairy tale texts, ranging from stylistic analyses to psychoanalytical and feminist readings. For the purposes of this course, we assume that these critics are correct in their contention that fairy tales contain essential underlying meanings. We conduct our own readings of fairy tales from the German Brothers Grimm, the Norwegians, Asbjørnsen and Moe, and the Dane, Hans Christian Andersen. We rely on our own critical skills as well as on selected secondary readings. All work in English.

Magic Realist and Fantastic Writings from the Balkans

Submitted by Anonymous on
22201
32201
=SOSL 27400/37400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Angelina Ilieva

In this course, we ask whether there is such a thing as a Balkan type of magic realism and think about the differences between the genres of magic realism and the fantastic, while reading some of the most interesting writing to have come out of the Balkans. We also look at the similarities of the works from different countries (e.g., lyricism of expression, eroticism, nostalgia) and argue for and against considering such similarities constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility.

History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960

Submitted by Anonymous on
22500
32500
=ARTH 28600/38600, ARTV 26600, CMST 28600/48600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Yuri Tsivian

PQ: Prior or current registration in CMST 10100 required; CMLT 22400/32400 strongly recommended. The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction ; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

The Other within the Self: Identity in Balkan Literature and Film

Submitted by Anonymous on
23401
33401
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Staff

This two-course sequence examines discursive practices in a number of literary and cinematic works from the South East corner of Europe through which identities in the region become defined by two distinct others: the barbaric, demonic Ottoman and the civilized Western European.

The Burden of History: A Nation and Its Lost Paradise

Submitted by Anonymous on
23401
33401
=NEHC 20573/30573, SOSL 27300/37300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Angelina Ilieva

This course begins by defining the nation both historically and conceptually, with attention to Romantic nationalism and its flourishing in Southeastern Europe. We then look at the narrative of original wholeness, loss, and redemption through which Balkan countries retell their Ottoman past. With the help of Freud's analysis of masochistic desire and Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we contemplate the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the dynamic between victimhood and sublimity. The figure of the Janissary highlights the significance of the other in the definition of the self. Some possible texts are Petar Njegoš's Mountain Wreath ; Ismail Kadare's The Castle ; and Anton Donchev's Time of Parting .

Making a Scene

Submitted by Anonymous on
23702
33702
=ENGL 25931/42409
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Larry Rothfield

This course seeks to explore the arena of socialinteractions—from flirting to striving for status to solidarity-seeking and beyond—that is captured by the term the social scene. We make use of literary fiction (i.e., Austen, Flaubert, Wilde), artwork (i.e., Manet), film (i.e., Warhol), and television (i.e., Jersey Shore ) that helps bring into visibility the morphology, power dynamics, and ethical or political possibilities inherent in scenes. We also look at some efforts to conceptualize scenes (e.g., Benjamin, Lefebvre, Fischer, Jameson, Bourdieu, Foucault).

Language of Power: Court Culture in Early Modern Europe and Russia

Submitted by Anonymous on
24502
34502
=RUSS 24501/34501, HIST 23811/33811, GRMN 24511/34511
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Kirill Ospovat

Crossing the disciplinary boundaries between social, political, cultural and literary history, as well as the symbolic divide between Russia and Western Europe, the course will explore early modern royal courts as crucial institutions of European culture. Rulers and the elites relied on symbolic resources of literature, philosophy and the arts to secure their growing political authority and broadcast values underpinning the existing social order. From the Renaissance on royal courts increasingly merged into a single an-European sociocultural paradigm, which over centuries framed the political effort of rulers as remote as Louis XIV, King of France, and Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, as well as creative work of artists, composers and writers as important as Rubens, Molière, Mozart, Goethe, and Derzhavin.Absolutist social values and the modes of their cultural (re)production at the courts of early modern Europe and Russia will be examined drawing on historical sources as well works of art, philosophy and science, but primarily concentrating on literature. Texts in English.

Mimesis

Submitted by Anonymous on
24902
30400
=CLAS 39200, EALC 30400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Tamara Chin

This course will introduce the concept of mimesis (imitation, representation), tracing it from Plato and Aristole through some of its reformulations in recent literary and critical theory. Topics to be addressed include desire, postcolonialism, and non-western aesthetic traditions. Readings may include Plato, Aristotle, Euripides's Bacchae , Book of Songs , Lu Ji's Rhapsody on Literature , Auerbach, Butler, Derrida, Girard, Saussy, and Spivak.

Chinese Historiography

Submitted by Anonymous on
27101
=EALC 27101
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Tamara Chin

PQ: Two literary Chinese courses. This course introduces Han dynasty historiography and its relation to the Chinese literary tradition. Through close readings of the Shiji and Hanshu , we explore a range of prose and poetic forms and consider traditional and comparative methods of interpretation.

Contemporary Chinese Writers and the Literary Field

Submitted by Anonymous on
27402
37402
=EALC 28620/38620
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Paola Iovene

This course explores the ways in which Chinese writers and critics have responded and contributed to the transformations in the Chinese literary field from the 1970s to the present. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of the literary field, we discuss notions of autonomy and authorship, concepts of high and popular literature, and writers' attitudes toward commercialization. Texts include poems by Bei Dao and Yang Lian; and fiction by Mo Yan, Wang Shuo, Yu Hua, Han Shaogong, and Chen Ran. Texts in English. Students who read Chinese are encouraged to use Chinese materials.

Renaissance Demonology

Submitted by Anonymous on
27602
=HIST 22110, ITAL 26500, RLST 26501
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Armando Maggi

This course analyzes the complex concept of demonology according to early modern European culture from a theological, historical, philosophical, and literary point of view. The term demon in the Renaissance encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Demons are hybrids. They are both the Christian devils, but also synonyms for classical deities, and Neo-Platonic spiritual beings. As far as Christian theology is concerned, we read selections from Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas's treatises, some complex exorcisms written in Italy, and a new recent translation of the infamous Malleus maleficarum , the most important treatise on witch-hunt. We pay close attention to the historical evolution of the so-called witch-craze in Europe through a selection of the best secondary literature on this subject, with special emphasis on Michel de Certeau's The Possession at Loudun . We also study how major Italian and Spanish women mystics, such as Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi and Teresa of Avila, approach the issue of demonic temptation and possession. As far as Renaissance Neo-Platonic philosophy is concerned, we read selections from Marsilio Ficino's Platonic Theology and Girolamo Cardano's mesmerizing autobiography. We also investigate the connection between demonology and melancholy through a close reading of the initial section of Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and Cervantes's short story The Glass Graduate (El licenciado Vidriera) . Classes conducted in English.

Cervantes's Enigmatic Feasts: The Exemplary Novels and Don Quixote, Part II

Submitted by Anonymous on
28102
=REMS 34301, SPAN 24311/34311
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Frederick de Armas

This course focuses on The Exemplary Novels (1613) and Don Quijote, Part II (1615) from the point of view of calendared feasts. To the recently instituted Gregorian calendar, the novel superimposes at least three other time maps. First, the Julian calendar with its many feasts as depicted in Ovid's Fasti ; second, the celestial movement through the twelve signs of the zodiac as represented by Hercules' twelve labors; and third, the Egyptian lunar calendar that leads to the knight's defeat. This meandering through calendars creates an instability and sense of unease that recalls the changes in mapping that are taking place with the discovery of America and the change to a heliocentric cosmos. The Novelas show an inordinate interest in feasts while, as Don Quixote proceeds, a kind of dilatio takes place, as Don Quixote diverts his route over and over again from his destination (Zaragoza and the feast of St. George). Time then becomes a subjective phenomenon that affects both the reader and the characters. We examine Cervantes's novel through the lenses of Ovid's Fasti and Apuleius' Golden Ass . Maps and paintings of the period are also examined. Classes taught in English. Students in Spanish and REMS read the text in the original language and write their papers in Spanish.

Comparative Metrics

Submitted by Anonymous on
28401
38401
=CLAS 38410, CLCV 28410, ENGL 28914/38401, GRMN 28411/38411, SLAV 28502/38502
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

Working knowledge of one European language besides English is strongly recommended. This class offers an overview of major European systems of versification, with particular attention to their historical development. We are particularly concerned with Graeco-Roman quantitative metrics, its afterlife, and the evolution of Germanic and Slavic verse. In addition to analyzing the formal properties of verse, we inquire into their relevance for the articulation of poetic genres and, more broadly, the history of literary (and sub-literary) systems.

BA Project and Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Joel Calahan

Required of fourth-year students who are majoring in CMLT. This workshop begins in Autumn Quarter and continues through the middle of Spring Quarter. While the BA workshop meets in all three quarters, it counts as a one-quarter course credit. Students may register for the course in any of the three quarters of their fourth year. A grade for the course is assigned in the Spring Quarter, based partly on participation in the workshop and partly on the quality of the BA paper. Attendance at each class section required.