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Antigone(s)

Submitted by jenniequ on
31221
SCTH 31221, GREK 3/45808
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Laura Slatkin

Antigone: heroine or harridan? Political dissident or family loyalist? Harbinger of the free subject or captive of archaic gender norms? Speaking truth to power or preserving traditional privilege? Sophocles’ Antigone has been good to think with since its first production in the fifth century BCE. From ancient commentators through Hegel to contemporary gender theorists like Judith Butler, readers have grappled with what Butler calls “Antigone’s Claim.” The play’s exploration of gender, kinship, citizenship, law, resistance to authority, family vs. the state, and religion (among other issues) has proved especially compelling for modern thought. We will supplement our reading of the play with modern commentary grounded in literary interpretation and cultural poetics, as well as philosophy and political theory. We will end by considering three modern re-imaginings of Antigone: Jeean Anouilh’s Antigone, Athol Fugard’s The Island, and Ellen McLaughlin’s Kissing the Floor. Although no knowledge of Greek is required for this course, there will be assignment options for those who wish to do reading in Greek. Requirements: weekly readings and posting on Chalk; class presentation; final paper.

This class will be taught twice a week during the first five weeks of the quarter.

Theories of Narrative

Submitted by vickylim on
38300
CLAS 38315, REES 33158
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Boris Maslov

This class serves as an introduction to critical approaches to narrative, story-telling, and discourse analysis. While the emphasis will be on the Formalist-Structuralist tradition (Shklovsky, Propp, Tomashevsky, Jakobson, Benveniste, Barthes, Genette), we will also discuss works by Plato, Aristotle, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Auerbach, Pavel, Banfield, Silverstein, and others. Part of our task will be to test these approaches against narratives produced in different genres and historical periods (authors will include Pindar, Apuleius, Pushkin, Leskov, and Nabokov). Students will have the option of either writing a research paper or doing a final exam. Required books for this class are: V. Propp, The Morphology of the Folktale (Austin: U. of Texas Press); G. Genette, Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method (Ithaca: Cornell UP); R. Barthes, S/Z (New York: Hill and Wang).

Empire, Slavery, and Salvation: Writing Difference in the Colonial Americas

Submitted by jenniequ on
38810
SPAN 38810, LACS 38810
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Larissa Brewer-García

This course explores portrayals of human difference in literature, travel writing, painting, and autobiography from Iberia, England, and the Americas. Students will become versed in debates surrounding the emergence of human distinctions based on religion, race, and ethnicity in the early modern Atlantic.

Approaches to Teaching Comparative Literature II

Submitted by jenniequ on
41204
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Adhira Mangalagiri, Megan Macklin, Chloe Blackshear

This course explores approaches and curricula related to teaching Comparative Literature in different university and college settings. We will begin with discussing course objectives and how these are related to the missions of institutions, programs of study, student demographics, as well as the specificities of handling literary texts. Next, we will hold a series of genre-specific sessions to familiarize ourselves with the kinds of texts we may be expected to teach, while practicing skills such as leading discussion, designing assignments, and organizing class time. Lastly, we will discuss ways to reflect on and convey our personal teaching methods through teaching statements and portfolios.

We will hold two syllabus workshop sessions. Towards the beginning of the quarter, we will discuss introductory, survey-style syllabi at various institutions. At the end of the quarter, we will each produce and workshop a self-designed syllabus tailored to our own research and pedagogical interests.

The overall goal of the course is to prepare participants to teach in a post-secondary setting by deepening our understanding of what practices constitute effective teaching, and by producing documents related to the teaching of college-level courses.

Note: This course will meet for 20 hours during the quarter in order to count towards the Certificate in University Teaching offered through the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT). Since part of this course involves critical reflection on teaching, it is only open to those students who have previously taught at the college-level in some capacity, either as a course assistant or standalone instructor

Aeschylus and the Birth of Drama

Submitted by vickylim on
42804
CLAS 42815
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Boris Maslov

In this advanced seminar we will undertake an in-depth study of different aspects of the surviving corpus of Aeschylus (including meter, dialect, narrative, thematics, plot-construction, and ritual context), while placing it in a comparative context of early forms of drama and varieties of choral performance attested across the world. In addition to discussing all of Aeschylus’s surviving works in English translation, we will read at least two of his plays in Greek (most likely, Agamemnon and Seven Against Thebes). We will also read important scholarship on Aeschylus. Advanced knowledge of Greek is a prerequisite.

Poetry and Theory: Mallarmé

Submitted by vickylim on
43351
DVPR 43351, FREN 43351
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Françoise Meltzer and Jean-Luc Marion

This course will undertake a close reading (in French) of seminal texts (essays and translation as well as poems) by Mallarmé. We will also read older critical interpretations (Mauron, Sartre, H. Friedrich, Robert Greer Cohn, Scherer, J-P Richard, Poulet, eg) and more contemporary theorists (Derrida, Blanchot, De Man, Jameson, Johnson, Kristeva, Rancière, bersani, Zizek). Finally, we will read him in conjunction with some other, more or less overtly philosophical texts (Heidegger, Badiou, Nietzsche, Meschonnic, e.g.). Reading knowledge of French is REQUIRED, though the course will be conducted in English.

Seminar: Catharsis & Other Aesthetic Responses

Submitted by vickylim on
50200
ENGL 59304
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Loren Kruger

This seminar examines the ramifications of catharsis, tedium 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) and tedium (Heidegger and again Barthes). We will conclude with a test case, exploring the potential and limitations of catharsis as an appropriate response to the textual and cinematic representation of trauma and reckoning in post dictatorship Chile, particularly through the critical work of Tomas Moulián and Nelly Richard.  The focus will be on theoretical texts but some reference will be made to literary and cinematic material by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Brecht, Renoir, and Guzmán. Because an essential part of the discussion will be the problem of translating key terms from one language to another as well as from one theoretical discourse and/or medium to another, the seminar is reserved for PhD students with a working knowledge of one or more of the following languages: French, German, Spanish and/or classical Greek.

Postcolonial Constellations

Submitted by vickylim on
56702
ENGL 66702
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Sonali Thakkar

This course trains graduate-level students in postcolonial theory and literature, and it contends that we can best understand postcolonial studies neither in terms of a canon of literary works nor in terms of a discrete historical moment but as a set of key questions and debates that have shaped methods of literary and cultural interpretation and intellectual inquiry over the three decades in which postcolonial literary and culture studies have coalesced (and now, perhaps disintegrated) as a field. We will consider topics such as writing and resistance, postcolonial literary revisions, mimicry and hybridity, and gender. We will also consider whether “postcolonial literature” as a category has a future in the discipline of English literary studies, particularly in light of the ongoing sense of crisis theorists in the field have identified and the ascendance of terms such as “planetarity,” “global Anglophone literature,” and “world literature.” What is the status of the global in the postcolonial, and vice-versa? What is gained or lost when we revise or abandon the term postcolonial? What conceptual significance does the nation-state retain when we talk about global literature?

Authors and critics will include Emily Apter, Homi Bhabha, Aimé Césaire, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Michelle Cliff, Frantz Fanon, Leela Gandhi, Édouard Glissant, Mohsin Hamid, Bessie Head, Isabel Hofmeyr, C.L.R. James, Achille Mbembe, Walter Mignolo, V.S. Naipaul, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Michael Ondaatje, Edward Said, David Scott, W.G. Sebald, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among others.

Multilingualism and Translation in Modern Jewish Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
20225
JWSC 20225
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Na'ama Rokem

Covering the period roughly between 1880 and 1980, this course touches on some of the transformations and upheavals that have formed modern Jewish culture: waves of migration, modernization, and assimilation; the rise of Jewish nationalism and the foundation of the State of Israel; and the Holocaust. Our driving questions will be: How do these different revolutions and upheavals influence the dynamic relations between the different languages in which Jews speak and write? What is the role of translation in Jewish culture? What do we learn from the Jewish case about language politics more broadly? How should we theorize and describe the monolingual ideologies that are dominant in the modern West? And how should we read bilingual literature?

The Novel-Essay and its Past: From Artsybashev's Sanin to Musil’s Man Without Qualities

Submitted by vickylim on
21705
31705
REES 29811, GRMN 22716/32716
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Olga Solovieva
Two important examples of the the “novel-essay” or “novel of ideas”, Mikhail Artsybashev’s Sanin and Robert Musil's Man Without Qualities will be discussed in the light of the theory of the novel and in comparison with the genre of philosophical essays.  We will also consider the role of the narrator in modernist fiction. 
 

Classical Art in the Literature of Renaissance &Early Modern Italy, Spain and France

Submitted by vickylim on
23310
33310
SPAN 23300, SPAN 33300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Frederick de Armas

As classical statues emerged from the ground as if they were corpses revived by ancient necromancers, delight and curiosity concerning these artistic findings spread from Renaissance Italy to the rest of Europe. Even so, there was one aspect that was missing. The great paintings of antiquity were mostly lost due to their fragility. Only some of the wall paintings of later periods remained. Thus, the names and works of famous Greek painters came to be known mainly through Pliny´s Natural History. This course will focus on three of these painters whose works, although destroyed, are preserved in writing and ekphrasis: Apelles, Timanthes and Zeuxis. We will investigate how they come to be painted and described anew in the art and literature of the Renaissance and Early Modern periods, from Vasari to Rubens; and from Boscán and Tirso de Molina to Cervantes and Montaigne. Although the course is taught in English, students need to have a reading knowledge of Spanish.

LOVE AND TRANSFORMATION

Submitted by jenniequ on
24110
ITAL 24110
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Armando Maggi

This course analyzes the multi-faceted relationship between the love experience and an inner process of psychological, spiritual, or physical transformation. What is the relationship between Eros and human identity? Are friendship and love two distinct experiences? We will investigate these essential topics from a philosophical, literary, and religious point of view. We will study a variety of texts from different cultural traditions. Among other texts, this course will examine Plato’s Symposium, Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, Dante’s Purgatory, selections from Giovambattista Basile The Tale of Tales, which is the first collection of fairy tales of the Western tradition, selections from Martin Buber’s fundamental I and Thou, Junichiro Tanizaki’s erotic novel The Key, and Elena Ferrante’s recent powerful Italian novelMy Brilliant Friend

The class will be conducted in English. All books are available in English. Students in Italian will read the Italian texts in the original Italian and will write their midterm and final paper in Italian.

Allegory in the Western Literary Tradition

Submitted by vickylim on
25015
CLCV 25015
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
David Orsbon

What kinds of power can a text have? Is it possible for language and literature to do far more than instruct and entertain? Indeed, might it be possible for a text to give us access to types of knowledge that a human being would otherwise be unable to obtain? In what ways can the study of allegory help us to better understand how (and why) other cultures interpret the world in ways that differ from our own? And how do we, as readers, respond when we reach the apparent limits of our texts?

To ask such questions as these—particularly in the case of allegory—involves much more than asking what a text means. Indeed, although the question of meaning is fundamental to allegory, to view a text as allegorical is to view a text as possessing some kind of power or insight that can transform the way in which we view the world (or, even, the divine) and our relation to it. In fact, for generations of thinkers—from the earliest interpreters of Homer to the Early Modern Period and beyond—allegory represents literature at its most dynamic and powerful. The study of allegory and the history of its interpretation provides us, therefore, with the unique opportunity to examine how generations of authors and interpreters have pushed their respective arts to their limit, as if attempting to communicate with words an idea that, by its very nature, defies verbalization.

Readings for this course will include the following: Plato’s Republic (in particular, the Allegory of the Cave), Virgil’s Aeneid, Chaucer’s dream-vision poetry, Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, William Blake, and Italo Calvino.

Health Care and the Limits of State Action

Submitted by vickylim on
28900
BIOS 29323,BPRO 28600,HMRT 28602
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
E. Lyon, H. Saussy
In a time of great human mobility and weakening state frontiers, epidemic disease is able to travel fast and far, mutate in response to treatment, and defy the institutions invented to keep it under control: quarantine, the cordon sanitaire, immunization, and the management of populations. Public health services in many countries find themselves at a loss in dealing with these outbreaks of disease, a deficiency to which NGOs emerge as a response (an imperfect one to be sure). 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.  Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. This course does not meet requirements for the biological sciences major.

South Asian Aesthetics: Rasa to Rap, Kamasutra to Kant

Submitted by vickylim on
29302
39302
SALC 29300, SALC 49300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Tyler Williams

This course introduces students to the rich traditions of aesthetic thought in South Asia, a region that includes (among others) the modern-day states of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. By engaging with theories of art, literature and music from the Indic and Indo-Persian traditions, we will attempt to better understand what happens in an aesthetic experience. A central concern will be thinking about how much any aesthetic tradition, be it South Asian or other, is rooted in the particular epistemic and cultural values of the society that produced it; we will therefore explore how ideas from the South Asian tradition can help us to understand not only South Asian material, but art in other societies as well, and to re-think the boundaries of 'aesthetic' thought.  Class discussion, small group work, and individual presentations will be regular features of the class. Two sessions will include performances by, and discussions with, performing artists (dancers and musicians). We will also make one visit to the Art Institute Chicago.

Intro to Comparative Lit II: Case Study: Davidismo

Submitted by vickylim on
29705
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Chloe Blackshear

This course will examine the story of David in 1 and 2 Samuel in combination with some of its myriad literary and artistic afterlives in order to explore the nature of biblical narrative and (biblical) rewriting. The narrative’s familial drama, political intrigue, subtle characterization, and philological challenges have inspired a wide variety of reinterpretations in disparate literary traditions and historical periods, providing fertile ground for comparative analysis. Students will initially gain some of the skills and perspectives needed to approach the biblical text in translation as a literary artifact as well as an appreciation of the difficulties inherent in such a task. Subsequently, students will engage with literary reworkings of the narrative organized around issues such as gender, political power, and Jewish/Christian identity-formation and accompanied by select theoretical works treating rewriting and intertextuality. Why has this story— and David himself— had such lasting resonance? How do later works from different periods and linguistic traditions both capitalize on certain aspects of the ‘original’ and redefine it in important ways? What role do rewritings play in literature, and what does it mean to read these distinct interpretations together? The David Story offers rich opportunities for thinking through these and other comparative literary questions. Literary works will include plays and novels by Tirso de Molina, Gide, Faulkner, Heym, Weil, and Kalisky as well as selections from NBC’s critically-acclaimed 2009 drama, Kings; theorists may include Curtius, Warburg, Tynianov, Genette, Ben-Porat, and Rabau, among others.

Intro to Comp. Lit II: Case Study: Davidismo

Submitted by jenniequ on
29705
RLST 26680, JWSC 28800
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Chloe Alexandra Blackshear

This course will examine the story of David in 1 and 2 Samuel in combination with some of its myriad literary and artistic afterlives in order to explore the nature of biblical narrative and (biblical) rewriting. The narrative’s familial drama, political intrigue, subtle characterization, and philological challenges have inspired a wide variety of reinterpretations in disparate literary traditions and historical periods, providing fertile ground for comparative analysis. Students will initially gain some of the skills and perspectives needed to approach the biblical text in translation as a literary artifact as well as an appreciation of the difficulties inherent in such a task. Subsequently, students will engage with literary reworkings of the narrative organized around issues such as gender, political power, and Jewish/Christian identity-formation and accompanied by select theoretical works treating rewriting and intertextuality. Why has this story— and David himself— had such lasting resonance? How do later works from different periods and linguistic traditions both capitalize on certain aspects of the ‘original’ and redefine it in important ways? What role do rewritings play in literature, and what does it mean to read these distinct interpretations together? The David Story offers rich opportunities for thinking through these and other comparative literary questions. Literary works will include plays and novels by Tirso de Molina, Gide, Faulkner, Heym, Weil, and Kalisky as well as selections from NBC’s critically-acclaimed 2009 drama, Kings; theorists may include Curtius, Warburg, Tynianov, Genette, Ben-Porat, and Rabau, among others.