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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.