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. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. This course will explore major trends in Western literary criticism from Plato to the late eighteenth-century conceived of as the prehistory of comparative literature as a discipline. The course will take as its particular focus the critical treatment of epic in some of the following: Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Horace, Giraldi, Montaigne, Tasso, Sidney, Le Bossu, St. Evremond, Dryden, Addison, Voltaire, and Burke. The course will also examine both twentieth-century comparative approaches to epic (e.g., Auerbach, Curtius, Frye) and more recent debates within comparative literature in order to assess continuities and discontinuities in critical method and goals. Students will be encouraged to write final papers on subjects and authors of their choice while addressing issues treated in the course.
Love's Books, Love's Looks: Textual and Visual Perspectives on the Roman de la Rose
=CDIN 41400, ARTH 42208, FREN 31403, GNDR 31600
Daisy Delogu, Aden Kumler
The course will initiate students into the complex allegorical narrative of the Roman de la Rose and its images. Through discussion of topically organized scholarship on the Rose and its historical ambient the seminar will provide students with the historical and historiographical orientation required for sophisticated interpretation of the work. The seminar will provide a setting for discussion and debate that draws from the special disciplinary skills of seminar participants and works toward a more integrated and mutually engaging conversation about how we can work to 'see' the Rose collaboratively.
The Moral and Political Philosophy of Foucault
A close reading of Michel Foucault's Surveller et punir. Naissance de la prison . Some attention will also be given to the debates provoked by this book, and to the political activities of the groupe d'information sur les prisons. Reading knowledge of French is required.
May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20600/30600 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, the goal is to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.
Latino/a Intellectual Thought
=ENGL 22804, GNDR 22401, LACS 22804, SPAN 22801
This course traces the history of Latina/o intellectual work that helped shape contemporary Latina/o cultural studies. Our focus is on how Chicanas/os and Puerto Ricans have theorized the history, society, and culture of Latinas/os in the United States. Themes include folklore and anthropology, cultural nationalism, postcolonialism, literary and cultural studies, community activism, feminism, sexuality, and the emergence of a pan-Latino culture. Throughout, we pay attention to the convergences and divergences of Chicana/o and Puerto Rican studies, especially as contemporary practitioners have encouraged us to (re)think Latina/o studies in a comparative framework.
This is the first part of a two-quarter course. The two parts may be taken individually, but taking them in sequence is helpful. The aim of this course is to introduce what was singular about the art and craft of silent film. Its general outline is chronological. We also discuss main national schools and international trends of filmmaking.
Cinema from the Balkans
=ISHU 27603, SOSL 27600/37600
This course is designed as an overview of major cinematic works from Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Rumania, former Yugsolavia and Turkey. While the main criterion for selection will be the artistic quality of the work, the main issues under consideration will be those of identity, gender, the poignant relation with the Western World, memories of conflict and violence, socialism, its disintegration and subsequent emigration. We will compare the conceptual categories through which these films make sense of the world and especially the sense of humor with which they come to terms with that world. Some directors whose work we will examine: Vulchanov, Andonova (Bulgaria), Kusturica, Makavejev, Grlic (Former Yugoslavia), Guney (Turkey), Boulmetis (Greece), Manchevski (Macedonia).
Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe
This course will investigate the complex relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western gaze for whose benefit the nations stage their quest for identity and their aspirations for recognition. We will focus on the problems of Orientalism, Balkanism and nesting orientalisms, as well as on self-mythologization and self-exoticization. We will also think about differing models of masculinity, and of the figure of the gypsy as a metaphor for the national self in relation to the West. The course will conclude by considering the role that the imperative to belong to Western Europe played in the Yugoslavian wars of the 1990s.
Mandel'shtam and Celan
Both the Russian poet Osip Mandel'shtam and the German poet Paul Celan envisioned a poem as a message in a bottle written to an unknown reader in the future. Placing ourselves in the position of such a reader we will conduct a detailed reading of the poetry and prose of these two poets-one who died in a holocaust in the east, the other who survived the Holocaust in the west-to try to decipher what this message may be. Particular emphasis will be place on the ways in which poetics and ethics overlap for both authors. Secondary readings will likely include works by Tynyanov, Heidegger, Levinas, Bakhtin and Adorno. No knowledge of Russian or German expected.
Poems and Essays
=ENGL 26702/46702, SCTH 34320
Robert von Hallberg, Adam Zagajewski
This course will focus on five poets who also wrote essays: Charles Baudelaire, Wallace Stevens, Gottfried Benn, Joseph Brodsky, and Zbigniew Herbert. We will first read poems by each of these authors, then we will turn to the essays. Our objective is to study both poems and essays as artful writing; we will not be looking to the essays for explanations of the poems, though some of the essays we will read do directly concern the art of poetry. Certain literary critical questions will no doubt arise: to what extent does the art of the essay depend upon brilliant moments, as poems often do? Is continuity a necessary feature of an artful essay? Is the persuasive objective of an essayist altogether different from the objectives of a poet? How far can rhetorical analysis take one in understanding lyric poetry? Each student will give one oral report (of about ten minutes) on one of the writers in the course, and also write a final essay (of ca. 15 pp., on a topic to be approved by one of the instructors) due at the end of the quarter.
Foucault and The History of Sexuality
=GNDR 23100, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800
Open only to college students. PQ: Prior philosophy course or consent of instructor. 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.
Sociology of Literature
This course explores the critical potential and limitations of a few key sociological approaches to literature, working with the London literary scene of the 1890s as our case. We will focus on Bourdieu's theorization of the field of cultural production; Foucault's analytics of power/knowledge and discursive formations; Luhman's influential systems theory; and recent efforts by Moretti and others to import geographic and evolutionary models into literary studies.
The last decade has seen a dramatic shift away from nation-based approaches to literary studies and a desire to move towards more transnational approaches. But how and more importantly why should we do so? What is to be gained? This course will explore these conceptual questions as we read primary texts from late eighteenth and nineteenth-century Spanish America and the U.S..
Classic Yiddish Fiction: Sholem-Aleichem and the Diasporic Imagination
This seminar examines the Yiddish writer Sholem-Aleichem's work as a prime example of the diasporic imagination in modern Jewish literature. Key texts (e.g., Tevye the Dairyman , the Railroad Stories , Menakhem Mendel ) are discussed in the context of Russian Jewry's crisis and transformation at the turn of the twentieth century. Sholem-Aleichem's encounter with America during his visit in 1905-06 and his immigration in 1914 are discussed in connection with his play writing for the Yiddish stage and cinema. We examine Sholem-Aleichem's unique literary universe and style as the pivotal expression of classic Yiddish fiction.
B.A. Project and Workshop: Comparative Literature
All fourth-year Comparative Literature majors are required to register for the B.A. project and workshop (CMLT 29801) and attend its meetings. The workshop begins in the Autumn Quarter and continues through the middle of the Spring Quarter. While the B.A. 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 will be assigned in the Spring Quarter based partly on participation in the workshop and partly on the quality of the B.A. paper.