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Southern African Fictions and Factions

Submitted by ldzoells on
ENGL / CRES
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Loren Kruger
 

This course examines the intersection of narrative in print and film (fiction and documentary) 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. Prerequisites: second-year or higher status, HUM Core, plus either Intro to Film or Intro to Novel.

Balkan Folklore

Submitted by isagor on
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Angelina Ilieva

Vampires, fire-breathing dragons, vengeful mountain nymphs. 7/8 and other uneven dance beats, heart-rending laments, and a living epic tradition. This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from historical, political, and anthropological perspectives. We seek to understand folk tradition as a dynamic process and consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. We also experience this living tradition firsthand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.”

Comparative Methods in the Humanities

Submitted by ldzoells on
20109
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Olga Solovieva
This course introduces the models of comparative analysis across national literatures, genres, and media. The texts to be discussed include Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”; Benjamin’s “The Storyteller,” Kafka’s “Josephine the Mouse Singer,” Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller; Victor Segalen’s Stèles; Fenollosa and Pound’s “The Chinese Character as a Medium of Poetry” and Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei; Mérimée, “Carmen,” Bizet, Carmen, and the film adaptation U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (South Africa, 2005); Gorky’s and Kurosawa’s “Lower Depths;” Molière, Tartuffe, Dostoevsky, The Village Stepanchikovo and its Inhabitants, and Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel”; Gogol, The Overcoat, and Boris Eikhenbaum, “How Gogol’s Overcoat Is Made.”

Literature and Technology: Machines, Humans, and the Novel

Submitted by ldzoells on
21200
PORT 28818, ITAL 28818
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Ana Ilievska

In his Scienza Nuova (New Science), Giambattista Vico writes that "the Egyptians reduced all preceding world time to three ages; namely, the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of men." What the Egyptians and Vico could not have predicted was that history had yet another age in store: the age of the machine. Carlyle baptized, Marx outlined it, Heidegger warned against it; Deleuze and Guattari proclaimed that "everything is a machine"; and Ted Kaczynski even went as far as to kill in order to free human beings from the "technological slavery" the machine age had purportedly brought about. And yet, as Heidegger wrote, "everywhere we remain unfree and chained to technology, whether we passionately affirm or deny it." So what is technology? What impact did it have on human beings and on the writing of literature as the Industrial Revolution exploded onto the European continent? In this course we will pose anew the question concerning technology within the one field that Heidegger deemed akin to the essence of technology: art, and by deduction, literature. Together, we will trace the ecological, economical, and emotional footprints of various machines and technological devices (automata, trains, phonographs, cameras). We will delve into the topic with Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, continue with a reflection on the human being as a machine (Frankenstein and Pinocchio), transition to accounts on cities, progress, and machines (Dickens, Zola, Eça de Queirós), and end with the Futurists' technological extravaganzas that will include a visit to Chicago's Art Institute. Other readings include texts by Marx, Raymond Williams, Heidegger, Leo Marx, Deleuze & Guattari, etc.

The Woman in Modern Greek Literature

Submitted by isagor on
21209
MOGK 21000; GNSE 21209, CLCV 22517
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Chrysanthi Koutsiviti

This course aims to reveal the woman and her world or what the society claims to be this world through prose and poetry written in different historical periods in Greece. The works chosen are part of major contemporary Greek literature and interact with culture, history and social ideas of the country. They represent three different periods:  the beginning of the 20th century, the years of dictatorship (1967-1974) and the period after the dictatorship until today. They all have a big impact on Greek literature and they all have drawn the interest of excellent translators in English. The works are offering the opportunity to observe the changes in women’ s position in Greece, and mostly to analyze major works examining the inner nature of the human being.

The texts will be taught in English. No knowledge of Modern Greek is required. However, students with such knowledge are encouraged to study the text in Modern Greek, as well, since the chosen editions are bilingual.

Nature in/as Literature

Submitted by isagor on
22380
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
David Orsbon

It seems self-evident that the world we live in influence our literatures and languages. The question is, How? On the other hand, nature itself is a kind of literature, and in more ways than one. From one point of view, nature writes itself when coastlines shift and mountains erode. But there are at least two other ways in which nature is a kind of literature. One of these stories is written by scientists and environmental historians, who take data acquired and use it to reconstruct narratives of environmental change. At the same time, there is another (and some would say, an especially urgent) story of nature, which is being etched into the natural world by bulldozers, bridges, and dynamite. Just like more traditional forms of nature writing, these other narratives of the environment are as much a form of literature as any other, and since humans have a role, not only in shaping the natural world, but also in telling its story, humans are the coauthors of the story of our planet in more than one sense.

This course is an introduction to the history of the concept of nature, ecocriticism, and environmental history. We will discuss issues and topics such as: relationships between nature and literature, ecofeminism, literary/textual ecosystems, environmental ethics, narratives of rise/collapse, animal studies, urban studies, ecolinguistics, and human-environment interactions.

Trans Performativity

Submitted by isagor on
23112
GNSE 23112, ENGL 23112
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Wolfson

In this course we will explore how these dialogues and conflicts between gender studies, queer theory, and trans studies have developed and transformed our understandings of categories like “gender,” “sex” and “trans.” Some guiding questions will be: how do we, and should we, conceive the materiality of the body? How do assumptions about ‘nature’ and the ‘natural’ determine how we view categories of identity, and what are the political ramifications of these determinations? Why, within certain discourses, has the fluidity of gender been promoted, while the fluidity of race remains controversial and generally unsupported? How do we account for these different receptions, and what kind of opportunities do they make available for politically engaged communities? How can we simultaneously value performative theories of gender, while also maintaining a certain stability of identity as developed within trans criticism, even when these two discourses seem in direct conflict?

Directors and Directing: Theory, Stage, Text

Submitted by isagor on
23305
TAPS 23305, ENGL 23305
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Michal Peles-Almagor

Theatre has always needed the concept of directing when staging a play. However, the role of the director as we know it has emerged only with the beginning of modern drama. This course will investigate the role of the director as an intersection between text, theory, and performance. The course explores the impact of the director in shaping modern drama, as well as critical approaches of literary and theatrical theory. We will deal not only with the historical development of the director’s role and textual interpretation, but also with the dynamics between theory and practice, and the changes in the concepts of space, acting, and performing. We will focus on approaches and writings by André Antoine, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Gordon Craig, Max Reinhardt, Jacques Copeau, Leopold Jessner, Erwin Piscator, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett. We will examine these approaches in relation to literary theories of performativity (John Austin, John Searle, Judith Butler, Mikhail Bakhtin). We will also be interested in testing whether these theories match the practice, and discuss the potential of constructing a theory of acting, performing, and directing today.    

Foucault: History Of Sexuality

Submitted by isagor on
25001
PHIL 24800, FNDL 22001, GNSE 23100, HIPS 24300, KNOW 27002
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Arnold Davidson

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.

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Lacan

Submitted by ldzoells on
25500
SIGN 26033, FREN 25551, FREN 35551, ENGL 25509, ENGL 35509
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Françoise Meltzer
This course is an introduction to psychoanalytic theory, from the works of the two most influential figures in the field. We’ll read seminal texts by both Freud and Lacan, and look as well at how those works have influenced the Humanities and philosophy— specifically, we’ll consider brief passages by  Derrida, Kristeva, Kofman and Zizek.  Starting with Freud, the idea is to make students feel “at home” in the fascinating world of psychoanalysis and its assumptions. Major texts by Freud will include “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” “Note on a Mystic Writing Pad,” “The Uncanny,” “Jensen’s Gradiva,” the Dora case, and a selection of texts from other works. Lacan readings: “Seminar on the Purloined Letter,” Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” “God and the Jouissance of the Woman: A love letter,” and parts of the Ecrits. We will also read excerpts from a variety of texts that use the writings of Freud and Lacan for theoretical purposes: Derrida, Sarah Kristeva, Irigaray, Zizek, and others.

Marsilio Ficino's On Love

Submitted by isagor on
26701
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Armando Maggi

This course is first of all a close reading of Marsilio Ficino’s seminal book On Love (first Latin edition De amore 1484; Ficino’s own Italian translation 1544). Ficino’s philosophical masterpiece is the foundation of the Renaissance view of love from a Neo-Platonic perspective. It is impossible to overemphasize its influence on European culture. On Love is not just a radically new interpretation of Plato’s Symposium. It is the book through which sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe read the love experience. Our course will analyze its multiple classical sources and its spiritual connotations. During our close reading of Ficino’s text, we will show how European writers and philosophers appropriated specific parts of this Renaissance masterpiece. In particular, we will read extensive excerpts from some important love treatises, such as Castiglione’s The Courtier (Il cortigiano), Leone Ebreo’s Dialogues on Love, Tullia d’Aragona’s On the Infinity of Love, but also selections from a variety of European poets, such as Michelangelo’s canzoniere, Maurice Scève’s Délie, and Fray Luis de León’s Poesía.

Health Care & the Limits of State Action

Submitted by isagor on
28900
BPRO 28600, CMLT 28900, HMRT 28602, KNOW 27006
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Haun Saussy & Mindy Schwartz, MD

In a time of great human mobility and weakening state frontiers, epidemic disease is able to travel fast and far, mutate in response to treatment, and defy the institutions invented to keep it under control: quarantine, the cordon sanitaire, immunization, and the management of populations. Public health services in many countries find themselves at a loss in dealing with these outbreaks of disease, a deficiency to which NGOs emerge as a response (an imperfect one to be sure). Through a series of readings in anthropology, sociology, ethics, medicine, and political science, we will attempt to reach an understanding of this crisis of both epidemiological technique and state legitimacy, and to sketch out options.

Return Health Care and the Limits of State Action

Submitted by isagor on
28900
BIOS 29232; BPRO 28600; HMRT 28602; KNOW 27006
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Haun Saussy & Mindy Schwartz, MD

In a time of great human mobility and weakening state frontiers, epidemic disease is able to travel fast and far, mutate in response to treatment, and defy the institutions invented to keep it under control: quarantine, the cordon sanitaire, immunization, and the management of populations. Public health services in many countries find themselves at a loss in dealing with these outbreaks of disease, a deficiency to which NGOs emerge as a response (an imperfect one to be sure). Through a series of readings in anthropology, sociology, ethics, medicine, and political science, we will attempt to reach an understanding of this crisis of both epidemiological technique and state legitimacy, and to sketch out options.

States of Surveillance

Submitted by isagor on
29024
REES 29024, REES 39024, CMLT 39024
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Ilieva

What does it feel to be watched and listened to all the time? Literary and cinematic works give us a glimpse into the experience of living under surveillance and explore the human effects of surveillance – the fraying of intimacy, fracturing sense of self, testing the limits of what it means to be human. Works from the former Soviet Union (Solzhenitsyn, Abram Tertz, Andrey Zvyagintsev), former Yugoslavia (Ivo Andrić, Danilo Kiš, Dušan Kovačević), Romania (Norman Manea, Cristian Mungiu), Bulgaria (Valeri Petrov), and Albania (Ismail Kadare).

Language is Migrant: Yiddish Poetics of the Border

Submitted by isagor on
29402
39402
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Anna Elena Torres

This course examines Ashkenazi Jewish literary narratives about geopolitical borders and border-crossing though travel and migration, engaged with questions about the linguistic borders of Yiddish itself. As a diasporic language, Yiddish has long been constructed as subversively internationalist or cosmopolitan, raising questions about the relationships between language and nation, vernacularity and statelessness.

This course explores the questions: How do the diasporic elements of the language produce literary possibilities? How do the “borders” of Yiddish shape its poetics? How do Yiddish poets and novelists thematize their historical experiences of immigration and deportation? And how has Yiddish literature informed the development of other world literatures through contact and translation?

Literary and primary texts will include the work of Anna Margolin, Alexander Harkavy, Peretz Markish, Dovid Bergelson, Yankev Glatshteyn, Yosef Luden, S. An-sky, and others. Theoretical texts will include writing by Wendy Brown, Dilar Dirik, Gloria Anzaldúa, Wendy Trevino, Agamben, Arendt, Weinreich, and others. The course will incorporate Yiddish journalism and essays, in addition to poetry and prose. All material will be in English.

B.A. Project & Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by isagor on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Trevor Tucker

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.

B.A. Project & Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by ldzoells on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Trevor Tucker

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.

B.A. Project & Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by isagor on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Trevor Tucker

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.