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Mimesis

Submitted by vickylim on
30202
CLAS 39200, EALC 30100
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Tamara Chin

This course will examine one of the central concepts of comparative literature: mimesis (imitation). We will investigate traditional theoretical and historical debates concerning literary and visual mimesis as well as more recent discussions of its relation to non-western and colonial contexts. Readings will include Aristotle, Auerbach, Butler, Spivak, and Taussig. Students are encouraged to write final papers on their own research topics while engaging with issues discussed through the course.

Marxism and Modern Culture

Submitted by vickylim on
31600
ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature depts. and art history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences.

Living Poetry

Submitted by vickylim on
34381
SCTH 34381
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Thomas Pavel

Russian Modernist Prose

Submitted by vickylim on
34503
RUSS 34503
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Robert Bird

A survey of Russian modernist prose from the neo-realists (Bunin, Gorky) and symbolists (Sologub, Briusov, Bely) to early Soviet writers (Zamiatin, Zoshchenko, Bulgakov, Pil'niak, Platonov). Topics will include the development of style and the literary language, experimentation with narrative form, and concurrent developments in criticism and theory. Extensive comparison will be made to modernist prose in Polish, German, French and English. Knowledge of Russian required. 

Virgil, The Aeneid

Submitted by vickylim on
35902
SCTH 35902
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Glenn Most

A close literary analysis of one of the most celebrated works of European literature. While the text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, attention will also be directed to the extraordinary reception of this epic, from Virgil's times to ours.
PQ: Latin helpful

Poetic Force

Submitted by vickylim on
38513
GRMN 28513/38513
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Florian Klinger

Centered on the works of Kafka, Beckett, and Musil, this seminar sets out to explore poetic form generated from radical experimentation with force. At around 1900, a recent configuration of the terms force, motion, energy, and entropy, emerging from the intersection of disciplines as varied as thermodynamics, sociology, and philosophy, starts to inform literary production as well. Traditional binarisms such as form/matter, form/content, or form/substance get replaced by the new paradigm of an interplay between form and entropy, force and exhaustion. Is form opposed to exhaustion or does it live off it? To what extent can form be conceived as motion? How does it reflect the cultural shift from energy to information? How can we conceptualize categories such as probability, intensity, or elasticity for literary analysis? Supplementary materials reach from Aristotle to Deleuze, including key modernist accounts of force by Adams, Freud, Warburg, Valéry, and Boccioni.

Historiography, Literature, Archaeology

Submitted by vickylim on
39601
EALC 37460
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Tamara Chin

This course examines the relation between historicity and the literary, using Sima Qian’s Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) as the 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 unreal, the fictional, the spiritual, the theoretical), the exotic (the non-Chinese, the foreign), 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 vickylim on
40100
ISLM 40100,NEHC 40600,RLIT 40300
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Michael Sells

The focus is on the pre-modern Islamic love lyric (nasib, ghazal). Since none of us know all the relevant languages, I ask each participant in the course to be a guide for a tradition for which he or she knows the language. We almost always devote sections to Arabic, Persian, Ottoman, and Urdu love lyric, and in the past, depending on the background and skills of the participants, we have read Bengali, Punjabi, Turkish, and Hindi poems. Other languages are possibility as well.
Prerequisite: ability to work in one of Islamicate languages, such as those mentioned above or an equivalent.

Death and the Afterlife: Cultural Models ca. 1800

Submitted by vickylim on
40413
GRMN 40413
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
David Wellbery

This seminar examines the literary and philosophical treatment of death (and related matters) in literary, philosophical, and theological texts from the late Enlightenment to Classicism and Romanticism. The task is to discriminate the competing models of meaning-articulation that bear on this question in the wake of the Enlightenment critique of religious dogmatism. Among the writers to be considered are: Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Novalis, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Hebel. Readings in cultural history as well as paradigmatic analyses in literature and philosophy will help us to frame our discussions. Primary Readings in German. 

Death and the Afterlife

Submitted by vickylim on
40413
GRMN 40413,SCTH 40413
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
David Wellbery

This seminar examines the literary and philosophical treatment of death (and related matters) in literary, philosophical, and theological texts from the late Enlightenment to Classicism and Romanticism. The task is to discriminate the competing models of meaning-articulation that bear on this question in the wake of the Enlightenment critique of religious dogmatism. Among the writers to be considered are: Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Novalis, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Hebel. Readings in cultural history as well as paradigmatic analyses in literature and philosophy will help us to frame our discussions. Primary Readings in German. 

Brechtian Representations

Submitted by vickylim on
40500
ENGL 44500; CMST XXXXX
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Loren Kruger

This course will examine the contribution of Brecht, the most influential playwright of the twentieth century and its principal theatre theorist, to the practice and theory of theatre and cinema. We will pay particular attention to the relationships between theory and practice in Brecht's own work so as to clarify the significance of terms that are both concepts and techniques--epic theatre, Verfremdung, gest, historicizing, refunctioning the apparatus, and the formation of the critical audience--and go on to consider the influence (and refunctioning) of Brechtian theory and practice in more recent work of playwrights (Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss,RW Fassbinder, Caryl Churchill, Athol Fugard, Lynn Nottage...), film-makers (Jean-Luc Godard, Alexander Kluge, Fassbinder ...), and theorists (Barthes, Adorno)

Brechtian Representations: Theatre, Theory, Cinema

Submitted by vickylim on
40500
CMST 46200,ENGL 44500,GRMN 47200
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Loren Kruger

This course will examine the contribution of Brecht, the most influential playwright of the twentieth century and its principal theatre theorist, to the practice and theory of theatre and cinema. We will pay particular attention to the relationships between theory and practice in Brecht's own work so as to clarify the significance of terms that are both concepts and techniques--epic theatre, Verfremdung, gest, historicizing, refunctioning the apparatus, and the formation of the critical audience--and go on to consider the influence (and refunctioning) of Brechtian theory and practice in more recent work of playwrights (Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss,RW Fassbinder, Caryl Churchill, Athol Fugard, Lynn Nottage...), film-makers (Jean-Luc Godard, Alexander Kluge, Fassbinder ...), and theorists (Barthes, Adorno)

Performance Theory

Submitted by vickylim on
40600
ENGL 593XX; CMST XXXXX
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Loren Kruger

This PhD intensive reading course examines theoretical texts that deal with the interdisciplinary issues around performance in various cultural contexts. Central concerns will include dramatic action, theatricality, visual and aural representation, and the competing phenomenologies of audience experiences of performance as opposed to its cinematic mediation. We will be looking closely at the nature of drama as “doings” (the literal  translation of the Greek) as well as plotted action, the mediation of performance through cinema and video, and the ways in which drama and theatricality manifest themselves in cultural activity more broadly,. We will also scrutinize the ways on which metaphors of theatricality and performativity have been appropriated by other disciplines in the humanities and beyond. 

Seminar. Constructing Oedipus: Performance and Adaptation

Submitted by vickylim on
41612
GREK 41612
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
David Wray

This course will start with a close reading of Sophocles’ play and relevant literary criticism. We will then survey the reception of Oedipus Tyrannus through the centuries, reading from different texts and adaptations, and touching along the way on issues of reception theory itself. The course will coincide with an on-campus performance of a version of Oedipus, and students will be invited to contribute to this production or, at least, attend to the process. Experience of the practice of theater and staging will supplement our readings, which will range from Aristotle, Freud, and Lévi-Strauss to Stravinsky, Dove, and Rotimi. 

Poetics of Dislocation

Submitted by vickylim on
41701
ENGL 43706
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Jennifer Scappettone

This course explores crises of placelessness and displacement as modernist and self-consciously postmodern verse has attempted to map them. From cosmopolitan collage epics to postwar and contemporary poetry of exile and migration, the work we will study, lodged between languages, 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 barbarism, polylingualism, dialect, creole, and thwarted translation, and will delve into examples of poetic reckoning with the transformation of the site of reading as well, in the form of mixed/new media poetics. Poets will include Ezra Pound, Charles Olson, Paul Celan, Emilio Villa, Amelia Rosselli, Andrea Zanzotto, John Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Etel Adnan, Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, M. Nourbese Philip, Ashbery, C.S. Giscombe, Caroline Bergvall, Pamela Lu, Tan Lin, kari edwards. Theoretical writing by Edouard Glissant, David Harvey, Deleuze and Guattari, Jacques Derrida, James Clifford, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Miwon Kwon, others.

Theories of the Novel

Submitted by vickylim on
42418
ENGL 42418
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Lawrence Rothfield

This course introduces undergraduates to some of the fundamental conceptual issues raised by novels: how are novels formally unified (if they are)? What are the ideological presuppositions inherent in a novelistic view? What ethical practices do novels encourage? What makes a character in a novel distinct from character in other fictive systems? Readings include Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Dickens, Great Expectations; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway. Critics covered include Lukacs, Bakhtin,  Watt, Jameson, McKeon, D.A. Miller, Woloch, Moretti, and others.

Pindar: Ritual, Poetics, Monuments

Submitted by vickylim on
42801
CLAS 44912, CDIN 44912, ARTH 43340
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Boris Maslov and Richard Neer

This course will be taught by Boris Maslov (Comp. Lit.) and Richard Neer (Art History) with the continuous participation of Leslie Kurke (Classics and Comp. Lit., University of California at Berkeley).  It will explore new ways of reading Greek poetry, and new disciplinary formations at the intersection of archaeology, art history, classics and comparative literature.  Coursework will consist of close readings of Pindar with an eye to material and institutional contexts of poetic production.  Topics will include the “thingly” or material nature of the poem; architectural metaphors; the emergent discourse of poetic professionalism; relation between epinician and traditional cult poetry; sites of poetic performance; Pindar’s allusions to monuments at Delphi, Olympia and elsewhere; the historical phenomenology of architecture and statuary; and the construction of sacred landscapes.

Students wishing to develop a closer familiarity with Pindar and Pindaric scholarship will meet, as part of an informal reading group, run by Boris Maslov, in the Winter quarter (starting in Week 4); those wishing to take part should send an email tomaslov@uchicago.edu. Prerequisites: Classical Greek required; graduate standing (seniors may be admitted; should email Prof. Maslov or Prof. Neer in advance).  

The Face on Film

Submitted by vickylim on
43002
CMST 63002,ARTH 43002
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Noa Steimatsky

The seminar will discuss on the workings of the face –as imprint of identity, as figure of subjectivity, as privileged object of representation, as mode and ethic of address – through film theory and practice. How has cinema responded to the mythic and iconic charge of the face, to the portrait’s exploration of model and likeness, identity and identification, the revelatory and masking play of expression, the symbolic and social registers informing the human countenance. At this intersection of archaic desires and contemporary anxieties, the face will serve as our medium by which to reconsider, in the cinematic arena, some of the oldest questions on the image. Among the filmmakers and writers who will inform our discussion are Balázs, Epstein, Kuleshov, Dreyer, Pasolini, Hitchcock, Warhol, Bresson, Bazin, Barthes, Doane, Aumont, Nancy, Didi-Huberman, and others.

Philosophy and the Poetics of Presence in Postwar France

Submitted by vickylim on
43312
CDIN 43312 (=CLAS 43312, HIST 66503, SCTH 43312
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Mark Payne; Alison James

This course will examine the extent to which Martin Heidegger’s redescription of Greek poetry and philosophy as an ontological project provided a normative horizon for avant-garde poetic practice in postwar France. We will begin with Heidegger’s encounter with René Char in Provence, and their rereading of the pre-Socratic philosophers in a series of seminars between 1966 and 1973. We will look at Heidegger’s response to Char’s poetic prose in connection with Heidegger’s call for thinking instead of philosophy, and at the philosophical commitments of poets who took Char as model, or who develop alternative accounts of the link between poetry and Being. Authors will include Ponge, Celan, Guillevic, Du Bouchet, Royet-Journoud, Albiach, Sobin, Susan Howe, and Daive. Texts may be read in the original or in English translation.

Seminar: Phaedrus

Submitted by vickylim on
44212
CLAS 44212, GREK 44212, LATN 44212
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
David Wray

We will study ancient (Euripides, Ovid, Seneca) and modern (Racine, D'Annunzio, H.D., Kane) versions of Phaedra and her family system.  Topics of discussion will include intertextuality, incest, abjection, and the relations between poetics and moral psychologies.  No knowledge of languages other than English is required, but Classics and Comp Lit students will read one or more tragedies in the original language.

Problems in International Cultural Policy

Submitted by vickylim on
44620
LAWS 94704,PLSC 44620,ENGL 44620,PPHA 40410
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Lawrence Rothfield

We live in an era of unprecedented global flows of cultural goods both tangible and intangible (artworks, antiquities, dancers and musicians, intellectuals, texts, films, images and ideas), and of unprecedented threats to culture from both market and ideological forces. How are these challenges being addressed by the cultural policies being pursued by states, international organizations, and non-governmental groups? We will focus on three main arenas of international cultural policy: cultural patrimony and restitution issues ranging from the Elgin marbles and Franz Kafka's unpublished papers to international efforts to protect archaeological sites and museums in failed states; initiatives focused on cultural diplomacy/exchange/engagement; and globalization/protectionism of cultural industries and institutions ranging from film and music to museums and universities.

Postcolonial Americas

Submitted by vickylim on
46303
ENGL 46303
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Raul Coronado

MAPH SEMINAR

Postcolonial Americas

During the eighteenth century, European Enlightenment writers led a philosophical assault on the Americas.  From Spain, France, and Britain, philosophers made various arguments claiming that in the Americas everything degenerated:  humans and animals would, over generations, become smaller.  The Americas, it turned out, simply paled in comparison to Europe.  This class is an exploration of the American response to this rhetorical subalternization.  To be clear, this class is not a study of the subalterns of the Americas; rather, we will focus on the elite Spanish American and British American response to their subalternization by Europe.  We’ll examine then the emerging sense of what it means to be an American by focusing on the Spanish American and British colonies, and follow this through with the early national periods.  The course is an interdisciplinary course.  We’ll read literary, cultural, and social history for context and theories of imagined communities, reading publics, and literary history.  Our focus, however, will be on the primary texts:  non-fiction prose narrative, the rise of the novel in the Americas, short stories, political philosophy, journalism, and travel writing.  Spanish-reading skills will definitely aid in comprehension, but all non-anglophone texts are available in translation.

South Asia from the Peripheries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Transnational

Submitted by vickylim on
46902
SALC 46902
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
C. Ryan Perkins

This graduate course seeks to approach the region of South Asia through a focus on the peripheries – geographic, social and cultural – hoping to shed light on the historic role margins have played in shaping not just South Asia, but the larger world in which we live.  The areas of focus will include Khushal Khan Khattak’s encounters with the Mughals, colonial attempts to subdue and control tribes in revolt, the Taliban, regional literatures, the arts, gender and Islam, hijras, mendicants, diaspora communities, resistance movements and orality.   A concentration throughout the course on transregional and transnational networks will provide us with a broader framework to help interrogate state-centric approaches.  Readings will include primary source materials in translation, scholarly engagements with the region and theoretical writings, from Althusser and Foucault to readings from the Subaltern Studies collective, Gramsci and Sayd Bahodine Majrouh, to name a few.  

Narratology: Classical Models and New Directions

Submitted by vickylim on
50103
GRMN 40212
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
David Wellbery

This seminar is an introduction to the formal study of narrative. Its purpose is to provide graduate students with a set of conceptual instruments that will be useful to them in a broad range of research contexts. Topics to be considered: 1) the structure of the narrative text; 2) the logic of story construction; 3) questions of perspective and voice; 4) character and identification; 5) narrative genres. After a brief consideration of Aristotle’s Poetics, we will move on to fundamental contributions by (among others) Propp, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, Greimas, Genette, Eco, Lotman, Marin, Ricoeur, and then finish with recent work in analytic philosophy and cognitive science. Readings in theoretical/analytical texts will be combined with practical exercises. 

Seminar: Historicism and the Comparative Method

Submitted by vickylim on
50202
SLAV 50202, GRMN 40213
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Boris Maslov

This seminar will explore historicism as a theoretical problem in the study of literature. Our particular foci will be the development of historicism as a distinctly modern hermeneutic mode from the 18th c. to the 20th c.; its relation to organicism, aestheticism, and evolutionism; the rise of comparative literature alongside other "comparative disciplines" on a historicist-empiricist basis in the second half of the 19th century; literary methodologies that profess a version of historicism (Historical Poetics, (Neo)-Marxism, New Historicism). Critics discussed will include Johann von Herder, Alexander Veselovsky, Georg Lukács, Mikhail Bakhtin, Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer, Fredric Jameson, Reinhart Koselleck, and Carlo Ginzburg. 

Foucault: Self, Government, and Regimes of Truth

Submitted by vickylim on
50511
PHIL 50211, DVPR 50211
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Arnold Davidson

A close reading of Michel Foucault’s 1979-80 course at the Collège de France, Du gouvernement des vivants.  Foucault’s most extensive course on early Christianity, these lectures examine the relations between the government of the self and regimes of truth through a detailed analysis of Christian penitential practices, with special attention to the practices of exomologēsis and exagoreusis.  We will read this course both taking into account Foucault’s sustained interest in ancient thought and with a focus on the more general historical and theoretical conclusions that can be drawn from his analyses.  Reading knowledge of French required.