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The Mirror and the Maze: Scenes and Sentences in Flaubert’s Sentimental Education and Moore and Campbell's From Hell— Two Cities of the Mind

Submitted by vickylim on
33602
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Samuel Delany

The Mirror and the Maze is a month-long seminar taught by Professor Samuel Delany, during January of 2014. The format of the seminar is a series of informal lectures and discussions. Attendance is required at all eight sessions and class participation is expected. 

Kurosawa and his Sources

Submitted by vickylim on
34410
CMST 34410, EALC 34410, SCTH 34012
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Olga Solovieva

This interdisciplinary graduate course focuses on ten films of Akira Kurosawa which were based on literary sources, raging from Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Georges Simenon, and Shakespeare to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev. The course will not only introduce to some theoretical and intermedial problems of adaptation of literature to film but also address cultural and political implications of Kurosawa’s adaptation of classic and foreign sources. We will study how Kurosawa’s turn to literary adaptation provided a vehicle for circumventing social taboos of his time and offered a screen for addressing politically sensitive and sometimes censored topics of Japan’s militarist past, war crimes, defeat in the Second World War, and ideological conflicts of reconstruction. The course will combine film analysis with close reading of relevant literary sources, contextualized by current work of political, economic, and cultural historians of postwar Japan. The course is meant to provide a hands-on training in the interdisciplinary methodology of Comparative Literature. Undergraduate students can be admitted only with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: Intro to Film or Close Analysis of Film class. Course limited to 10 participants.

Syllabus available here.

Russian Poetry from Blok to Pasternak

Submitted by vickylim on
34505
RUSS 34505
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Robert Bird; Boris Maslov

We will survey the selected poetry of major Russian modernists from 1900 to 1935, including lyrical and narrative genres. Poets covered include: Aleksandr Blok, Andrei Belyi, Viacheslav Ivanov, Nikolai Gumilev, Osip Mandel’shtam, Anna Akhmatova, Velimir Khlebnikov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak. In addition to tracing the development of poetic doctrines (from symbolism through acmeism and futurism), we will investigate the close correlations between formal innovation and the changing semantics of Russian poetry. Attention will also be paid to contemporary developments in Western European poetry. Knowledge of Russian required.

Lacan and Religion

Submitted by vickylim on
43350
DVPR 49904
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Françoise Meltzer

Whereas Freud believed with the Enlightenment that science would increasingly demonstrate religion to be an illusion, Lacan saw religion as that which would save us from the increasingly loud discourse of science. From Lacan’s early (Freudian) notion of the Nom-du-Père, to his later conflation of Freud and Christ (as rescuing the father), and finally to his Barromean knots and the sinthome, Lacan considers religion a “garbage can, for it has not the slightest homogeneity.” This course, then, will consider Lacan’s concept of religion. We will begin with readings from Freud’s texts on religion: “Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices,” “The Future of an Illusion,” “Totem and Taboo,” “Civilization and its Discontents,” “Moses and Monotheism.” We will then read the texts on religion from Lacan, considering how his views change on the subject, and what the stakes are in his efforts to separate psychoanalysis from science and religion.

Requirements: reading knowledge of French, basic familiarity with Lacan. 

Goethe’s Faust I

Submitted by vickylim on
46114
GRMN 46114, SCTH 44912
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
David Wellbery


This is the first part of a two-quarter seminar devoted to Goethe’s Faust tragedy, with each segment devoted to one of the work’s two parts. Since three substantial new editions (plus commentary) have been published within the past two decades, scholarship now finds itself in an excellent position to develop theoretically informed readings of what is arguably the most significant work in the German canon. The main task of the first-quarter seminar will be to examine Faust I. However, we will also consider the Faust tradition, including the 1587 Volksbuch (so-called), Lessing’s Faust fragment, and some other contemporary and subsequent renditions of Faust. This segment will also provide an opportunity to survey Goethe’s poetic and intellectual development from 1770 to 1808, when Faust I was first published in its complete form. Of particular interest in our investigation of Faust I will be: a) the theological background; b) structural principles; c) linguistic figuration. Prominent interpretations of the play by Goethe’s contemporaries (e.g., Schelling, Hegel) will be considered. We shall also examine two sequences of Faust illustrations by Peter Cornelius and Eugène Delacroix as well as two performances of the drama (from dvd). This seminar may be taken alone, or in combination with the seminar on Faust II.  Students taking both seminars are encouraged to write a single substantial research paper.

Seminar: Catharsis & Other Aesthetic Responses

Submitted by vickylim on
50200
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Loren Kruger

Consent of instructor. 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.

Brecht and Beyond

Submitted by vickylim on
20800
ENGL 24400, CMST 26200, TAPS 28435
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Loren Kruger

Brecht is indisputably the most influential playwright in the twentieth century. In this course we will explore the range and variety of Brecht’s own theatre, from the anarchic plays of the 1920’s to the agitprop Lehrstück to the classical parable plays, as well as the works of his heirs in Germany (Heiner Müller, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Peter Weiss), Britain (John Arden, Edward Bond, Caryl Churchill), and sub-Saharan Africa (Soyinka, Ngugi, and various South African theatre practitioners). We will also consider the impact of Brechtian theory on film, from Brecht’s own Kuhle Wampe to Jean-Luc Godard. Undergrad; no first years: PQ Hum and either a theatre or a film course.

Zhuangzi: Literature, Philosophy, or Something Else

Submitted by vickylim on
21851
31851
FNDL 22306, EALC 31851
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Haun Saussy

The early Chinese book attributed to Master Zhuang seems to be a patchwork of fables, polemical discussions, arguments, examples, riddles, and lyrical utterances. Although it has been central to the development of both religious Daoism and Buddhism, the book is alien to both traditions. This course offers a careful reading of the work with some of its early commentaries. Requirement: classical Chinese. 

Prosody and Poetic Form: An Introduction to Comparative Metrics

Submitted by vickylim on
22303
32303
CLCV 21313, CLAS 31313, SLAV 22303/32303, GRMN 22314/32314
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Boris Maslov

This class offers (i) an overview of major European systems of versification, with particular attention to their historical development, and (ii) an introduction to the theory of meter. In addition to analyzing the formal properties of verse, we will inquire into their relevance for the articulation of poetic genres and, more broadly, the history of literary (and sub-literary) systems. There will be some emphasis on Graeco-Roman quantitative metrics, its afterlife, and the evolution of Germanic and Slavic syllabo-tonic verse. No prerequisites, but a working knowledge of one European language besides English is strongly recommended.

Dialectic and Vernacular Culture in Nineteenth-Century Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
24290
MAPH 34290
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Joel Calahan

The popularity and influence of dialect and regional language in Romantic- and Victorian-era literature may be said to reflect new social and scientific understandings of language as a dual phenomenon, both individual and social. This course will examine the mutual influence of literature and dialectology in the nineteenth century examining important questions about speech and regional oral traditions. We will read popular works by pseudonymic dialect figures like Tim Bobbin and Nathan Hogg, the rural poetry of Clare and Barnes, as well as canonical works by Burns, Mistral, Belli, Twain, Longfellow, Shaw, Hughes, and MacDiarmid. We will also discuss critical issues concerning dialect and vernacular in works by Dante, Herder, von Humboldt, Veselovsky, Bakhtin, Manzoni, Webster, Whitney, Schuchardt, and Bonaparte.

Early Novels: The Ethiopian Story, Parzifal, Old Arcadia

Submitted by vickylim on
24402
34402
SCTH 35914, RLLT 24402, RLLT 34402
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Thomas Pavel; Glenn Most

The course will introduce the students to the oldest sub-genres of the novel, the idealist story, the chivalric tale and the pastoral.  It will emphasize the originality of these forms and discuss their interaction with the later Spanish, French, and English novel. 

Private Lives, Public Intellectuals: On the Philosophical Essay in the Western Tradition

Submitted by vickylim on
25006
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Stephen Parkin

This course considers a selection of essays from philosophically informed authors from
across the Western tradition who engage in reflective literary activity in the public
sphere. We will ask questions such as: what is the essay, and what does it mean to call it
philosophical? Is the essay a form, a genre, a method, a perspective, an attitude, or
something else entirely? What are the rhetorical demands and concerns of the
philosophical essay? What issues do philosophically minded essayists contemplate and
what do they aim to achieve? How do authors navigate the tension between private,
intimate reflection and public reading and consumption? The essays read will take up
such topics as nature, God, love, friendship, death, writing, the self, education, and civic
responsibility. We will begin by reading historical antecedents of the philosophical
essay by authors such as St. Paul, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine. We will then
skip to the birth of the essay in the early modern period with readings including
Montaigne, Bacon, Rousseau, Pascal, Paine, and Kant, and will continue through a
variety of essayists including Samuel Johnson, William Hazlett, Thoreau, Emerson,
Nietzsche, and Tolstoy before we conclude with 20th century and contemporary
essayists including Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, E. B. White, and other essayists
selected by the students. Along the way we will encounter theoretical works on essay
writing, autobiography, and the rhetoric of public intellectuals.

Realisms

Submitted by vickylim on
27204
37204
CMST 27204/37204
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Noa Steimatsky

The course will examine key genealogies, theoretical debates, and critical accounts of realism in the cinema. Questions of realism have been carried over from the “traditional” arts and literature, but had undergone a sea-change with the particular ontological and epistemological claims of the cinematic medium, across fiction and documentary, mainstream and experimental forms. While the concept seemed bracketed (or buried) with the advent of structuralism and post-modernism, reality effects—traversing types, genres, and ideologies of representation—still haunt the cinematic imagination. The claim to “presence” carried by photographic indexicality, the historical conventions of mimesis and illusionism, the shifting values of document, witness, testimony, of the material and the referential, of the authentic and the composed—all ensured the continued fascination with realism and its productive transfigurations through our time. We will explore examples from different cinemas and cultural moments, and consider debates on the political implications of realism and its capacity for transformation and revival.

Interpolation: Towards a Poetics of Philology in Early-Modern Europe

Submitted by vickylim on
27414
37414
FREN 27414/37414
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Sophie Rabau

This course will examine the philological notion of interpolation - the insertion of new material into a text perceived to be faulty or lacking - not only as an operation of textual reparation or editorial alteration, but more importantly as constituting in and of itself a form of literary writing or authorship, whose poetics we will explore.  What is, we will ask, the relation between literary scholarship and literary creation?  We will concentrate primarily, but not exclusively, on early-modern writings, employing a comparative perspective which will allow the examination of other artistic practices beyond the literary, including music and sculpture.  Among the authors to be considered will be Euripides, Pascal, Mme de Sévigné, Mme Dacier, Furetière, Milton, Swift and Baudelaire.  In addition, theoretic readings will be discussed to examine problems such as the coherence and identity of literary texts, the role of the author, and the status of philology and literary criticism.  The course will be in English, but students registering under the French course number will read French texts in their original language and conduct all written work in French.

Health Care and Limits of State Action

Submitted by vickylim on
28900
BPRO 28600, BIOS 29323, HMRT 28602
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Haun Saussy; Evan Lyon

Epidemic disease is a challenge on many levels, and increasingly characteristic of our interlinked, post-statist, unequal world. 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.

Le Règne des passions au 17e siècle

Submitted by vickylim on
29500
39500
FREN 24301/34301, REMS 34301
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Thomas Pavel

This course is a study of the Early Modern vision of human passions, as reflected in literature. We read plays by Shakespeare, Corneille and Racine, narratives by Cervantes, d’Urfé, Saint-Réal, and Mme de La Fayette and maxims by La Rochefoucauld and Pascal. The course is in French and most required texts are in French. Undergrads must be in their third or fourth year.

Introduction to Comparative Literature II: Aesthetics and Politics in Southeast Asian Fictions

Submitted by vickylim on
29703
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Nicholas Yoke Hin Wong

Southeast Asia’s cultural production and the discursive legacies of colonialism are often neglected in geopolitically-focused studies of the region. Focusing on Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, the course will examine representations of Southeast Asia in European travel narratives, contrasting these with colonial-period and postcolonial fiction by local authors. Of special concern are: the role of geography, especially the frontier and the tropics (mangroves, swamps, forests), in the representation of self and Other; historical memory and violence; nation and the novel; the (ab)-uses of language and fiction in imagining a utopian or dystopian postcolonial future; canons and questions of value in world literature. Texts/viewings will include Joseph Conrad, Anthony Burgess, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Jose Rizal, Zhang Guixing, Preeta Samarasan and Joshua Oppenheimer. This course is the second of a two-quarter sequence required for all majors in Comparative Literature.