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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.

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. 

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

Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe

Submitted by vickylim on
23201
33201
SOSL 27200/37200, NEHC 20885/30885
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Angelina Ilieva

The Other Within the Self: Identity in Balkan Literature and Film. This two-course sequence examines discursive practices in a number of literary and cinematic works from the South East corner of Europe through which identities in the region become defined by two distinct others: the “barbaric, demonic” Ottoman and the “civilized” Western European.

This course investigates 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 also think about differing models of masculinity, the figure of the gypsy as a metaphor for the national self in relation to the West, and the myths Balkans tell about themselves. We conclude by considering the role that the imperative to belong to Western Europe played in the Yugoslav wars of succession. Some possible texts/films are Ivo Andric, Bosnian Chronicle; Aleko Konstantinov, Baj Ganyo; Emir Kusturica, Underground; and Milcho Manchevski, Before the Rain.

Gender in the Balkans: Sworn Virgins, Wounded Men & Eternal Mothers

Submitted by vickylim on
23902
33902
SOSL 27601 / 37601, GNSE 27607
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Angelina Ilieva

Through some of the best literary and cinematic works from Southeastern Europe, we will consider the questions of socialization into gendered modes of being – the demands, comforts, pleasures and frustrations that individuals experience while trying to embody and negotiate social categories. We will examine how masculinity and femininity are constituted in the traditional family model, the socialist paradigm, and during post-socialist transitions. We will also contemplate how gender categories are experienced through other forms of identity–the national and socialist especially–as well as how gender is used to symbolize and animate these other identities. The course assumes no prior knowledge of the history of Southeastern Europe, literature or gender theory. All readings in English translation.

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.

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.

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.

Marsilio Ficino's "On Love"

Submitted by vickylim on
26701
36701
ITAL 33900,FNDL 21103,ITAL 23900
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
A. 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.

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.