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Writing the Jewish State

Submitted by vickylim on
30452
NEHC 30452
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Na'ama Rokem

This seminar examines the role of literature in the Zionist movement. We will read utopian descriptions of the Jewish State, poems about its foundation and short stories that criticize its actions. Particular attention will be paid to the literature of war and to questions of genre. How are generic choices motivated by the author's political positions and how do these choices define the impact of a work? If there is student interest, a section will be created for reading sources in Hebrew. Knowledge of Hebrew is not a prerequisite.

Marxism and Modern Culture

Submitted by vickylim on
31600
ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature depts. and art history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences. TuTh 1:30-2:50 for all students; If ten or more MAPH students enroll, they will also attend a tutorial session on Friday 8:30-10:20.

Aby Warburg and the origins of Kulturwissenschaft

Submitted by vickylim on
33114
GRMN 33114
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Ingrid Christian

This course explores Aby Warburg as a founder of Kulturwissenschaft in the context of other thinkers of the time such as Jacob Burckhardt, Sigmund Freud, and Walter Benjamin.  Trained as an art historian with an expertise in Renaissance art, Warburg morphed into a historian of images (i.e., Bildwissenschaft) and – more broadly – into a historian of culture.  We will trace Warburg’s cultural historical method as it develops primarily from philology, but also art history, anthropology, the comparative study of religions, and evolutionary biology.  How does Warburg read culture? What is his methodological approach for examining a wide variety of cultural artifacts ranging from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Poliziano’s poetry, and Dürer’s etchings to postal stamps and news photographs? How can these artifacts be vehicles for cultural memory? And how does the transmission of cultural memory in artworks manifest itself in different media such as literary texts, religious processions, astrological treatises, photography, and painting? Moreover, how does Warburg’s work help us contextualize and historicize “interdisciplinarity” today?

MAPH Poetics Core Course

Submitted by vickylim on
34810
MAPH 34800, ENGL 34800
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
John Wilkinson

This intensive seminar focuses on recurrent tensions in poetics: for instance, voice and text, object and event, semantics and prosody, invention and representation. The historical span will reach from Plato to Prynne, and discussion will advance between constellations of poems and theoretical texts.

19th Century French Poetry in Translation

Submitted by vickylim on
36012
SCTH 36012, ENGL 36012
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Rosanna Warren

A study of modern French lyric poetry at the graduate level: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire. Texts will be read in English with reference to the French originals. Close reading, references to poetry in English, and focus on problems in translation. Students with French should read the poems I the original. Class discussion to be conducted in English; critical essays to be written in English.

Early-Modern Aesthetics and French Classicism

Submitted by vickylim on
36200
FREN 36200
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Larry Norman

Though “aesthetic” philosophy first developed as an autonomous field in the mid-eighteenth century, it has important roots in earlier seventeenth-century debates concerning literature and the arts. In the wake of Cartesian rationalism, could reasoned method be reconciled with non-rational creativity, or decorous order with the unruly “sublime”?  Just what kind of “truth” was revealed by poetry or painting?  We will consider the relation between literature and other media (including music, opera, and the visual arts) and gauge the impact of French classical criticism on the broader European scene, considering its reception and contestation in Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany.  Among the authors considered will be Descartes, Pascal, Boileau, Molière, Félibien, Du Bos, Addison, Hutcheson, Vico, Montesquieu, Diderot, and Herder.  Course conducted in English, but reading knowledge of French is required;  students  taking course for French credit must do all written work in French.

Brechtian Representations: Theatre, Theory, Cinema

Submitted by vickylim on
40500
ENGL 44500
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Loren Kruger

This course will examine the contribution of Brecht, the most influential playwright of the twentieth century and its principal theatre theorist, to the practice and theory of theatre and cinema. We will pay particular attention to the relationships between theory and practice in Brecht's own work so as to clarify the significance of terms that are both concepts and techniques--epic theatre, Verfremdung, gest, historicizing, refunctioning the apparatus, and the formation of the critical audience--and go on to consider the influence (and refunctioning) of Brechtian theory and practice in more recent work of playwrights (Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss,RW Fassbinder, Caryl Churchill, Athol Fugard, Lynn Nottage...), film-makers (Jean-Luc Godard, Alexander Kluge, Fassbinder ...), and theorists (Barthes, Adorno)

The Literary Life of Things in China

Submitted by vickylim on
41410
EALC 41400
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Judith Zeitlin

This course investigates traditional literary strategies in China through which objects are depicted and animated. Our emphasis will be on reading in primary sources, but we’ll also draw on secondary sources from anthropology, the history of material culture, literary theory, and art history, both from within and outside China studies. 

Each week will introduce some basic genre and key literary works while also foregrounding certain conceptual issues. Ideally, students will select a case study to work on throughout the quarter, which will become their final research paper and which will also help orient their shorter class presentations. The choice of subject for the case study is quite open, so that each student can pursue a project that relates to his or her own central interests. It might be a cultural biography of a real object or class of objects; it might be a study of how objects are deployed in a novel or play, encyclopedia or connoisseurship manual, but there are many other possibilities.  

Renaissance Humanism

Submitted by vickylim on
42503
HIST 42503, CLAS 42514
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Ada Palmer

Humanism in the Renaissance was an ambitious project to repair what idealists saw as a fallen, broken world by reviving the lost arts of antiquity. Their systematic transformation of literature, education, art, religion, architecture, and science dramatically reshaped European culture, mixing ancient and medieval and producing the foundations of modern thought and society. Readings focus on primary sources: Petrarch, Poggio, Ficino, Pico, Castiglione, Machiavelli, and Thomas More, with a historiographical review of major modern treatments of the topic. We will consider such topics as the history of education, the history of science, the cultural and intellectual history, and the history of the book. The course will include hands-on work with manuscripts and early printed books with sessions on note-taking and other library and research skills. Flexible and self-directed writing assignments with a focus on advanced writing skills.

PQ: Upper-level ugrads with consent of instructor. Students w/ Latin, Gk, Italian, French, Spanish, or German will have the opportunity to use them.

Philosophy and Theology of Judaism

Submitted by vickylim on
43357
PHIL 53357, HIJD 53357, DVPR 53357
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Arnold Davidson

PQ: Reading knowledge of French is required. An examination of the works of some of the most significant twentieth-century philosophers of Judaism. In the first part of the seminar we will examine the philosophical, theological, and ethical foundations of Modern Orthodox Judaism. The principal readings will be Joseph B. Soloveitchik's The Emergence of Ethical Man and Aharon Lichtenstein's By His Light. The second part of the seminar will focus on the post World War II emergence of a new philosophy and theology of Judaism in France. Primary readings will come from Emmanuel Lévinas, Léon Askénazi, Alexandre Safran, and Henri Meschonnic. Special attention will be given to the relation between philosophical argument and analysis, and theological conception and method. 

Spectacle and Surveillance

Submitted by vickylim on
44624
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
W.J.T. Mitchell & Bernard Harcourt

Note: MA students require consent of instructor.

Spectacle and surveillance have been central tactics in the production of political power since at least the early modern era, when the pageants of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, were accompanied by the spies of Cardinal Richelieu, who kept careful watch for potential rebellion in the provinces. The British empire’s musterings of uniforms, ribbons, and banners in mass formations of loyal subjects were probably as important to the maintenance of imperial power as the actual mustering of armed conflict. At the same time, Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon envisioned a world of incarcerated subjects, all exposed to the gaze of power at all times.  How does it stand with the relation of spectacle and surveillance today, the age of total information storage, retrieval, and big data?  The overall purpose of this seminar will be to reflect on the dialectical pairing of spectacle and surveillance as modes of image power—that is, power over subjects in the case of spectacle, over objects in the case of surveillance—and as modes of governing in our contemporary age of Big Data. While we are interested in the history of this pairing in theoretical discourses on visual culture, politics, law, media, and iconology, our major emphasis will be on contextualizing and analyzing the present state of the surveillance/spectacle dynamic, as well as exploring all the forms of resistance.

Readings will include Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, George Orwell, Glenn Greenwald and selected films dealing with surveillance and spectacle.

Blood Libel: Damascus to Riyadh

Submitted by vickylim on
50104
ISLM 41610
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Michael Sells

This course examines the Blood-Libel from the thirteenth-century to the present, with special focus upon the Damascus Affair of 1840 and its repercussions in the modern Middle Eastern and European contexts and in polemics today among Muslims, Christians and Jews. We will review cases and especially upon literary and artistic representations of ritual murder and sacrificial consumption alleged to have been carried out by Waldensians, Fraticelli, witches, and Jews, with special attention to the forms of redemptive, demonic, and symbolic logic that developed over the course of the centuries and culminated in the wake of the Damascus Affair. Each participant will be asked to translate and annotate a sample primary text, ideally one that has not yet been translated into English, and to use that work as well in connection with a final paper.

PQ: Willingness to work on a text from one of the following languages--Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Arabic, Modern Greek, or Turkish--at whatever level of proficiency one has attained. This course fulfills the autumn core requirement for first year PhDs in Comparative Literature

Comparative Literary History

Submitted by vickylim on
50203
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Boris Maslov

This seminar pursues a twofold agenda. First, we will survey the history of criticism and theoretical reflection on change, evolution, receptivity, and traditionality in literature. Second, we will debate how the writing of literary histories – whether national or comparative, form- or author-centered, “continuist” or period-based – can be approached today, and how such work may be useful for other kinds of literary scholarship. In addition to literary theorists, we will read pertinent work in cultural history, philosophy of history, and history of art. Texts discussed to include works by Hegel, Burckhardt, Veselovsky, Warburg, Benjamin, Tynianov, Bakhtin, Blumenberg, Jameson. This course fulfills the winter core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.