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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.

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

Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus

Submitted by vickylim on
35903
SCTH 35901, GREK 40112
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Glenn Most

A close literary and philological analysis of one of the most extraordinary of all Greek tragedies. While this play, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, some attention will also be directed to its reception.
PQ: Greek or consent.

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.

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.

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. 

Balkan Folklore

Submitted by vickylim on
23301
SOSL 26800
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Angelina Ilieva

Immerse yourself in the magic world of vampires and dragons, bagpipes and uneven beats, quick-step circle dance. This course give an introduction to Balkan folklore from anthropological, historical/political, and performative perspectives. We 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, helps us understand folk tradition as a dynamic process – how is oral tradition transmitted, preserved, changed, forgotten? how do illiterate singers learn their long narrative poems, how do musicians learn to play? We 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 in-class workshop with the Chicago based dance ensemble “Balkanski igri.” The Annual Balkan Folklore Spring Festival will be held in March at the International House.

The Burden of History: A Nation and its Lost Paradise

Submitted by vickylim on
23401
SOSL 27300
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Angelina Ilieva

How and why do national identities provoke the deep emotional attachments that they do? In this course we try to understand these emotional attachments by examining the narrative of loss and redemption through which most nations in the Balkans retell their Ottoman past. We begin by considering the mythic temporality of the Romantic national narrative while focusing on specific national literary texts where the national past is retold through the formula of original wholeness, foreign invasion, Passion, and Salvation. We then proceed to unpack the structural role of the different elements of that narrative. With the help of Žižek’s theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we think about the national fixation on the trauma of loss, and the role of trauma in the formation of national consciousness. Specific theme inquiries involve the figure of the Janissary as self and other, brotherhood and fratricide, and the writing of the national trauma on the individual physical body. Special attention is given to the general aesthetic of victimhood, the casting of the victimized national self as the object of the “other’s perverse desire.” With the help of Freud, Žižek and Kant we consider the transformation of national victimhood into the sublimity of the national self. The main primary texts include Petar Njegoš’ Mountain Wreath (Serbia and Montenegro), Ismail Kadare’s The Castle (Albania), Anton Donchev’s Time of Parting (Bulgaria).

Mikhail Bakhtin and Yurii Lotman: Polyphony to Semiosphere

Submitted by vickylim on
23502
33502
RUSS 23501/33501
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Lina Steiner

This seminar will focus on major works by the Russian philosopher, philologist and literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975), including his early philosophical work Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity, his essays on Speech genres and the Bildungsroman, as well as his books Rabelais and His World and Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. We will also read contemporary scholarly studies devoted to Bakhtin and his circle (Clark&Holquist, Morson&Emerson, Tihanov etc.) In the last two weeks of the seminar we will turn to Yurii Lotman, examining his works on semiotics of culture as an original approach to literary theory and semiotics as well as a response to Bakhtin.

The course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. All texts are in English. Discussion and final papers are in English. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Beautiful Souls, Adventurers and Rogues: The European 18th Century Novel

Submitted by vickylim on
24401
34401
FREN 25301/35301; SCTH 38240
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Thomas Pavel

The course will examine several major eighteenth-century novels, including Manon Lescaut by Prevost, Pamela and fragments from Clarissa by Richardson, Shamela and fragments from Joseph Andrews by Fielding, Jacques le Fataliste by Diderot, and The Sufferings of Young Werther by Goethe. Taught in English. A weekly session in French will be held for French majors and graduate students. PQ: Not open to first-year undergraduates.  

Before and After Beckett: Theater and Theory

Submitted by vickylim on
24408
ENGL 24402
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Loren Kruger

Beckett is conventionally typed as the playwright of minimalist scenes of unremitting bleaksness but his experiments with theatre and film echo the irreverent play of popular culture (vaudeville on stage and screen eg Chaplin and Keaton) as well as the artistic avant garde (Jarry). This course with juxtapose these early 20th c models with Beckett’s plays on stage and screen and those of his contemporaries (Ionesco, Genet, Duras,). Contemporary texts include Vinaver, Minyana, in French, Pinter, Churchill, Kane in English. Theorists include Barthes, Badiou, Bert States and others ComLit students will have the opportunity to read French originals.

Renaissance Epic

Submitted by vickylim on
29100
39100
RLIT 36300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Michael Murrin

Introduction to Comparative Literature I: Problems, Methods, Precedents

Submitted by vickylim on
29701
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Haun Saussy

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.