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Introduction to Drama: Adventures in Time and Space

Submitted by vickylim on
20601
ENGL 10600, TAPS 19300
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
John Muse

This course introduces students to key concepts and interpretive tools to read and understand drama both as text and as performance. Students will learn to read and watch plays and performances closely, taking into account form, character, plot and genre, but also conventions of staging, acting, and spectatorship across historical time and geographic space. Through close reading, theater research, and trips to performances, we will consider how various agents—playwrights, directors, actors, and audiences—generate plays and give them meaning. Essential plays from a range of times and places: Sophocles, Shakespeare, Calderon, Strindberg, Ibsen, Wilder, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Parks, McCraney.

The Global South Asian Diaspora in Literature and Film

Submitted by vickylim on
21970
CRES 21907
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Chandani Patel

The migration of peoples from South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan)
abroad is usually divided into two distinct strands: the first is centered on the migration of
indentured laborers in the late 19th century to locales in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the
Caribbean, while the second takes shape around the post-1960s migration of South Asians to the
UK, USA, and Canada. Scholars whose work focuses on the various communities of South
Asians in all of these places use the word “diaspora” as one that links these groups together. The
term itself is of Greek origin, meaning to scatter or disperse, and in its earliest usages referred to
the dispersal of the Jewish community exiled from its homeland. But in its expanded use,
“diaspora” refers to communities of people who share a common national or ethnic origin, and
often, but not always, a common language and religious belief. This course takes up literary and
cinematic representations of the global South Asian diaspora in order to analyze how they create
narratives about diasporic experiences across historical periods and around the globe. How do
these texts represent the experiences of dislocation, marginalization, and acculturation usually
associated with migration? How do the ideas of home, longing, and belonging shift throughout
these texts? How do distinct historical, social, cultural and political parameters impact both the
writing and reading of these texts? Can we, and should we try to, read these multifaceted voices
of the South Asian diaspora together? To answer these questions, the course will draw on a
variety of perspectives from literature, history, and sociology and evaluate issues, such as gender,
politics, generational conflict, race, class, and transnational encounters as they pertain to the
course material. The texts under consideration will include novels by Kiran Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri,
and Monica Ali and films by Mira Nair and Gurinder Chadha, among others.

Theories of the Novel

Submitted by vickylim on
23415
ENGL 23415
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Lawrence Rothfield

Theories of the Novel: This course explores some of the fundamental conceptual issues raised by novels: in what way do plot, character, and authorial intention function in the novel, as opposed to other genres? How are novels formally unified (if they are)? What special problems are associated with beginnings and endings of novels? How do such basic features as titles and chapter divisions contribute to novelistic meanings? What are the ideological presuppositions – about gender, race, class, but also about the nature of social reality, of historicity, and of modernity -- inherent in a novelistic view? What ethical practices and structures of affect do novels encourage?

Forms of Lyric from Classical Antiquity to Postmodernism

Submitted by vickylim on
24501
CLCV 27109,SLAV 24501
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Boris Maslov

Moving beyond the modern perception of lyric as an expression of the poet’s subjectivity, this course confronts the remarkable longevity of varieties of lyric 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 will sample from the work of many poets, including Sappho, Horace, Ovid, Hölderlin, Pushkin, Whitman, Mandel’shtam, Brodsky, and Milosz. All readings in English.

South African Fiction and Film

Submitted by vickylim on
24807
ENGL 24807
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Loren Kruger

This course examines the intersection of fiction and film in Southern Africa since mid 20th Century decolonization. We begin with Cry, the Beloved Country, a best seller written by South African Alan Paton while in the US, and the original film version by a Hungarian-born British-based director (Zoltan Korda), and an American screenwriter (John Howard Lawson), which together show both the international impact of South African stories and the important elements missed by overseas audiences. We will continue with fictional and non-fictional narrative responses to apartheid and decolonization in film and in print, and examine the power and the limits of what critic Louise Bethlehem has called the “rhetoric of urgency” on local and international audiences. We will conclude with writing and film that grapples with the complexities of the post-apartheid world, whose challenges, from crime and corruption to AIDS and the particular problems faced by women and gender minorities, elude the heroic formulas of the anti-apartheid struggle era. (B)

Comparative Migrations

Submitted by vickylim on
25010
ENGL 25010
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Chandani Patel

"Comparative Migrations" interrogates how literature and film takes up the issue of migration across the globe. How do these texts represent the experiences of dislocation, marginalization, and acculturation usually associated with migration across literary traditions? How do the ideas of home, longing, and belonging shift throughout these texts? How do distinct historical, social, cultural and political parameters impact both the writing and reading of these texts? Texts under consideration will include novels by Samuel Selvon, Calixthe Beyala, Milton Hatoum, and Junot Diaz and films by Gurinder Chadha, Pedro Costa, and Mathieu Kassovitz. Theorists include Stuart Hall, Edward Said, Édouard Glissant, Michel Foucault, and Miguel Vale de Almeida.

Beckett Beyond the 'Absurd'

Submitted by vickylim on
25011
ENGL 24409
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Brian Berry

As an author that dislikes being pigeonholed, Samuel Beckett nonetheless gets labeled as an Absurdist, even the father of the Theater of the Absurd. It is not as if this label is entirely unmerited, but his philosophical interests reach beyond the species of existentialism that was fashionable at the moment of his literary debut. This course will look at theatrical and prose texts spanning Beckett’s career, in conjunction with a variety of philosophical texts from the Cartesian, continental, and analytic traditions, to see how Beckett re-appropriates and transforms philosophical problems and themes within a literary context. Specifically we will look at how Beckett reorients the relations between philosophical skepticism, the philosophy of language, and the problem of meaning.

Catching Spies

Submitted by vickylim on
25215
GRMN 25215
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Tamar Abramov

How do we account for 20th century literature's fascination with spies and spying? How do we explain the emergence of this new literary subject with the inauguration of the new century? This course will examine the place the figure of the spy holds for twentieth-century imagination as reflected in literature, theater and film. It will suggest that the spy becomes a locus of fascination for literature when overlooked by the disciplines charged with regulating his actions. In positing espionage literature and film as a response to the law's impossibility of address we will establish the potential the figure of the spy holds to respond to an array of questions relating to identity and subjectivity through such tropes as homelessness and border crossing, sexual difference, theatricality and masquerade, technology and voyeurism.

Love Connections: Stories of Famous Couples in Pre-Modern Indian Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
25310
SALC 25300, GNSE 25310, RLST 26811
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Ilanit Loewy Shacham

Is love a universal theme? What constitutes a good match? To what extent are love and desire culturally constituted? This course aims to answer such questions through the stories of five famous couples in pre-modern Indian literature. These couples—some divine, some human and some mixed—will provide multiple perspectives on central themes in Indian culture such as love, desire, and devotion as well as on the advantages and disadvantages of being human and/or of being divine where love is concerned. Readings in this course will include translations of classical Sanskrit texts their retellings in various regional languages and a few modern adaptations.

Seriously Funny: Comedy, Critique and Transformation

Submitted by vickylim on
26014
GRMN 26014
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
B. Loschenkohl

“True earnestness itself invents the comic,” according to Søren Kierkegaard. Exploring philosophies of the comic, as well as filmic and literary material, this seminar seeks to investigate what may be called the serious core of comedy. First, some fundamental theories of comedy, humor and laughter will be introduced. These range from perspectives of supremacy, relief, shallowness or negligibility (especially when compared to the tragic), the mechanic, the lowly/corporeal, to theories of incongruity. We will then focus on the critical, transformative and political potentials of the comic / comedy: Ways in which comedy copes with chance and contingencies; with strategies of resistance and inversion in face of disproportionately more powerful opponents; the comic as a mode of inclusion and exclusion; comedy and its relation to freedom and to the sublime; comedy as a means to exceed, undermine and open up boundaries; the comic as an attempt to get to grips with situations and events we cannot (fully) master. We will also discuss limits and complications of any such critical potential. Readings may include texts by S. Freud, I. Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, F. Th. Vischer, Jean Paul, Søren Kierkegaard, Mikhail Bakhtin, Henri Bergson, Judith Butler, Alenka Zupančič and others; films include works by Ernst Lubitsch and Woody Allen.  Some reading knowledge of German is desirable, but not a course requirement.

The Medieval Persian Romance: Gorgani's Vis and Ramin

Submitted by vickylim on
26016
FNDL 26016
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Cameron Cross

This class is an enquiry into the medieval romance genre through the close and comparative reading of one of its oldest extant representatives, Gorgâni's Vis & Râmin (w. ca. 1054 CE). With roots that go back to Late Antiquity, this romance is a valuable interlocutor between the Greek novel, Arabic love theory and poetics, and well-known European romances like Tristan, Lancelot, and Cligès: a sustained exploration of psychological turmoil and moral indecision, and a vivid dramatization of the many contradictions inherent in erotic theory, most starkly by the lovers' faithful adultery. By reading Vis & Râmin alongside some of its generic neighbors (Kallirrhoe, Leukippe, Tristan, Cligès), as well as the love-theories of writers like Plato, Avicenna, Jâhiz, Ibn Hazm, and Andreas Cappellanus, we will map out the various kinds of literary work the romance is called upon to do, and investigate myriad and shifting conceptions of romantic love as performance, subjectivity, and moral practice. An optional section introducing selections from the original text in Persian will be available if there is sufficient student interest.

Literatures of Russian and African-American Soul

Submitted by vickylim on
26208
RUSS 26208, RUSS 36208, ENGL 28917
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
William Nickell

Among the legacies of slavery, serfdom and colonialism is the idea that dominant, Europeanized cultures have lost something essential, which can still be found in the peoples they have oppressed, and is sometimes vaguely designated by the term "soul." We consider this tendency in the Russian and American traditions, reading texts from both sides of the social and economic divide. Material includes Tolstoy, Turgenev, Douglass, Dostoevsky, DuBois,  Hurston, Hughes, Platonov, Baldwin, & Solzhenitsyn—and lots of music.

Faust, Myth of the Modern World

Submitted by vickylim on
27114
GRMN 27114
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
David Wellbery

In this course, we will consider three renderings of the Faust myth: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, Part One, Heinrich Heine’s “dance poem” Faust, and Friedrich Murnau’s expressionist film Faust. In addition to these core readings/viewings, we will study the origins of the Faust myth in sixteenth-century Germany and survey its many transformations across art, literature, and music. This course is an excellent introduction to the history of German literature and culture. All readings and class discussions will be in German.

Intro to Comparative Lit I: Problems, Methods, Precedents

Submitted by vickylim on
29701
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Rana Choi

As the study of relations among the world's literary and other expressive,traditions, comparative literature confronts a host of questions. What do,works from different times and places have in common? How can we meaningfully assess their differences? How do we account for systematic and extra-systemic features of literature? Is translation ever adequate? This course offers consideration of these and related issues through influential critical examples. This course is the first of a two-quarter sequence required for all majors in Comparative Literature.

Intro to Comp Lit II: Comparative Modernisms: China and India in the Modern Literary World

Submitted by vickylim on
29704
SALC 27300, EALC 25009
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Adhira Mangalagiri

This course takes a comparative approach to the literary term “modernism.” Instead of reading the term as originating in the West and subsequently travelling to the East, we will explore modernism as a plural and globally constituted literary practice. In doing so, we will also challenge the literary and real categories of “East” and “West.” Reading the roles and imaginations of China, North India, and the (differentiated) West in a variety of texts, we will question the aesthetics and politics of representation, of dynamic cultural exchange, and of the global individual in the modern literary world. Through novels, short stories, poetry, and theoretical orientations, we will conduct close readings and develop working definitions of cross-cultural comparative modernisms. Contributing to recent interest in China-India relationships, this course also aims to uncover new dialogues between Chinese and Indian writers during the modern period. Literary readings include E.M. Forster, Franz Kafka, Lu Xun, Yu Dafu, Premchand, Nirmal Verma, among others. We will also consider the theoretical works of Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, and Georg Lukacs, and others. All readings will be in English.