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The Task of the Self Translator

Submitted by isagor on
NEHC 30659
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Na'ama Rokem

We usually think of the translator as a mediator, the figure who allows authors and texts to speak to audiences beyond their original language. Consequently, the questions we tend to ask about translation revolve around the central issue of fidelity. Is the translation adequate to the original? Has it remained faithful? In this model, the origin and the target are both assumed to be monolingual and the translator is the bilingual go-between. But there are very few, if any, truly monolingual cultures, and translations usually circulate in a far more complex manner. In this seminar, we will turn to the self-translator as a figure who challenges conventional models of translation and cross-cultural circulation. Can the author betray herself in the act of translation? To approach this issue, we will read classical texts in translation theory as well as more recent work that thematizes self translation, and we will look at literary texts written by bilingual authors and constituted by self-translation.

Theories of Autobiography

Submitted by isagor on
35210
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Maria Anna Mariani

Ambiguous and elusive by definition, the autobiographical genre has attracted generations of critics determined to identify its specificity and define its boundaries. Throughout the course we will examine the main theories relevant to the study of autobiography, reflecting at the same time on various problematic aspects of the genre that literary theorists have long discussed: the pitfalls of personal identity, the presumption of pronouncing one’s final words when one’s life is not yet over, the untruthful mediation of writing, and the paradoxes of memory. We will focus our inquiries to the English, French and Italian contexts, analyzing in particular the theories developed by Gusdorf, Starobinski, Lejeune, Ricœur, De Man, Olney, Battistini, D’Intino. Part of our task will be to test these approaches against narratives produced in different historical periods.

The New Criticism

Submitted by jenniequ on
36015
SCTH 36015 / ENGL
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Thomas Pavel, Rosanna Warren
 
 
 

An examination of primary works of The New Criticism, British and American. We will consider the theoretical variety and different critical practices of these loosely allied critics, who were often not allies at all. Authors to be studied: I.A. Richards, T.S. Eliot, F.R. Leavis, Kenneth Burke, John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, Yvor Winters, R. P. Blackmur, William Empson.

Ruins

Submitted by jenniequ on
40010
CDIN 40010, ARTH 40010, RLIT 40010
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Jas’ Elsner, Françoise Meltzer

“Ruins” will cover texts and images, from Thucydides to WWII, via the Reformation. We will include films (e.g. Rossellini’s “Germany Year Zero”), art (e.g. H. Robert, Piranesi) archaeology, the museum (Soane).  On ruins writing, we will read Thucydides, Pausanias from within antiquity, the Enlightenment responses to the destruction and archaeological rediscovery of Pompeii, Diderot, Simmel, Freud on the mind as levels of ruins (Rome) and the analysis as reconstructive archaeologist as well as on the novel Gradiva and the Acropolis, the Romantic obsession with ruins, and the firebombing in WWII. We will also consider the photographing of ruins, and passages from the best-known works on photography (Benjamin, Sontag, Ritchen, Fried, Azoulay). The goal is to see how ruin gazing, and its depictions (textual, imagistic, photographic, etc.) change from the ancients (Greek and Roman), to the Romantic use of ruins as a source of (pleasurable) melancholy, to the technological “advances” in targeting and decimating civilian populations that describe the Second Word War.

The Debt Drive: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Neoliberalism

Submitted by jenniequ on
42416
GRMN 42416
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Aaron Schuster, Eric Santner

Debt has become a paramount topic of discussion and controversy in recent times, fuelled by the financial crisis of 2008 and the different episodes of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, above all involving Greece. This has produced a great deal of commentaries, economic analyses, and journalistic polemics from all sides of the political spectrum. Yet despite this profusion of discourse, it still proves difficult to seize the exact contours of the problem. Debt affects both the most isolated individuals and the most powerful states, it is equally a matter of “cold” economic rationality and the “hottest” emotions and moral judgments, it appears at once as the most empirical thing with the hardest material consequences and as a mysterious, ethereal, abstract, and purely speculative entity (the unreal product of financial “speculation”). The concept of indebtedness not only characterizes an increasingly universal economic predicament, but also defines a form of subjectivity central to our present condition. This seminar will examine the problem of debt by first looking at how different approaches to it—economic, anthropological, and psychodynamic—were formed by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, and then reading more contemporary authors on the theme, including Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Graeber, and Lazzarato. 

Hölderlin and the Greeks

Submitted by jenniequ on
48616
GRMN 48616, CLAS 48616
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Christopher Wild, Mark Payne

The German poet Friedrich Hölderlin submitted to the paradoxical double-bind of Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s injunction that “the only way for us [Germans] to become great or — if this is possible — inimitable, is to imitate the ancients.” As he wrote in his short essay “The standpoint from which we should consider antiquity,” Hölderlin feared being crushed by the originary brilliance of his Greek models (as the Greeks themselves had been), and yet foresaw that modern European self-formation must endure the ordeal of its encounter with the Greek Other. The faculty of the imagination was instrumental to the mediated self-formation of this Bildung project, for imagination alone was capable of making Greece a living, vitalizing, presence on the page. Our seminar will therefore trace the work of poetic imagination in Hölderlin’s texts: the spatiality and mediality of the written and printed page, and their relation to the temporal rhythms of lived experience. All texts will be read in English translation, but a reading knowledge of German and/or Greek would be desirable. C. Wild and M. Payne.

Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary

Submitted by jenniequ on
50106
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy

Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure. Open to students from any department. Enrollment max 25.

This course fulfills the Autumn core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature

Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary

Submitted by jenniequ on
50106
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy

Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure. 

Contemporary Critical Theory

Submitted by jenniequ on
50201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Françoise Meltzer

This course will examine some of the salient texts of postmodernism. Part of the question of the course will be the status and meaning of “post”-modern, post-structuralist. The course requires active and informed participation.

This course fulfills the winter core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.

Textual Knowledge and Authority: Biblical and Chinese Literature

Submitted by jenniequ on
50805
BIBL 50805/KNOW 40401
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy / Simeon Chavel

Ancient writers and their patrons exploited the textual medium, the virtual reality it can evoke and the prestige it can command to promote certain categories of knowledge and types of knowers. This course will survey two ancient bodies of literature, Hebrew and Chinese, for the figures they advance, the perspectives they configure, the genres they present, and the practices that developed around them, all in a dynamic interplay of text and counter-text. Excerpts from Hebrew literature include (a) royal wisdom in Proverbs & Ecclesiastes; (b) divine law in Exodus 19–24, Deuteronomy, the Temple Scroll, and Pesharim. Readings from Chinese literature include (c) speeches from the Shang shu (Book of Documents), (d) odes from the Shi jing (Book of Songs), and (e) commentaries from Han to Qing periods that elucidate, often in contradictory terms, the law-giving properties of these texts.

Performance Theory: Action, Affect, Archive

Submitted by jenniequ on
59306
TAPS 59306 / CMST 62202 / ENGL 59306
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Loren A. Kruger

This PhD seminar offers a critical introduction to performance theory and its applications not only to theatre but also to performance on film and, more controversially, to ‘performativity’ to fictional and other texts that have nothing directly to do with performance.  The seminar will be organized around three key conceptual clusters:

a) action, acting, and other forms of production or play, in theories from the classical (Aristotle) through the modern (Hegel, Brecht, Artaud), to the contemporary (Richard Schechner, Philip Zarilli, and others)

b) affect, and its intersections with emotion and feeling: in addition to the impact of contemporary theories of affect and emotion (Massumi, Sedgwick) on performance theory (Erin Hurley), we will read earlier modern texts that anticipate recent debates (Diderot, Freud) and their current interpreters (Joseph Roach, Tim Murray and others), as well as those writing about the absence of affect and the performance of failure (Sara Bailes and others)

c) archives and related institutions, practices and theories of recording performance, including the formation of audiences (Susan Bennett and with evaluating print and other media yielding evidence of ephemeral acts, including the work of theorists of memory (Pierre Nora) and remains (Rebecca Schneider), theatre historians (Rose Bank, Jody Enders,  Tracy Davis and others) as well as current theorists on the tensions between the archive and the repertoire (Diana Taylor) or between excavation and performance (Michael Shanks/ Mike Pearson)

Requirements: one or two oral presentations of assigned texts and final paper. To prepare PhDs for professional writing, final paper will take the form of a review article (ca 5000 words) examining key concepts in the field and the controversies they may engender, by way of two recent books that tackle these concepts

Shakespeare's History Plays

Submitted by dmmettlach on
2677
36750
ENGL 16550 / 36550
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
David Bevington

This course on Shakespeare's English history plays will adopt an unusual stratagem of reading the plays in order of the historical events they depict: that is, starting with King John, who ruled England from 1199 until his death in 1216, then (after a sizable interval of time devoted to the reigns of Henry III, 1216-1272, Edward I, 1272-1307, Edward II, 1307-1327, and Edward III, 1327-1377, not dramatized by Shakespeare), Richard II (reigned 1377-1390), Henry IV Parts I and II (1399-1413), Henry V (1413-1422), Henry VI Parts I-III (1422-1461 and 1470-1471, alternating with Edward IV, 1461-1470, 1471-1483), Richard III (1483-1485), and finally Henry VIII (1509-1547, having succeeded his father, Henry VII, who reigned from 1485-1509 and whose reign is not celebrated by a Shakespeare play). The emphasis will be on the great plays, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and II, Henry V, and Richard III. My hope is that this approach will enable us to explore Shakespeare's concept of English history over a large sweep of time, leading up to the Tudor dynasty that began with Henry VII's victory over Richard III in 1485 and concluded with the long and successful reign of Elizabeth I, Henry VIII's daughter, whose rule ended with her death in 1603, soon after Shakespeare had completed his writing of all these plays except Henry VIII. We will be reading the plays in the order in which they were printed in the first complete edition of Shakespeare works in the 1623 First Folio. Undergraduate:(D, E) Graduate:(Med/Ren)

Comparative Methods in the Humanities

Submitted by jenniequ on
20109
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Olga Solovieva

This course introduces the models of comparative analysis across national literatures, genres, and media. The texts to be discussed include Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”; Benjamin’s “The Storyteller,” Kafka’s “Josephine the Mouse Singer,” Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller; Victor Segalen’s Stèles; Fenollosa and Pound’s “The Chinese Character as a Medium of Poetry” and Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei; Mérimée, “Carmen,” Bizet, Carmen, and the film adaptation U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (South Africa, 2005); Gorky’s and Kurosawa’s “Lower Depths;” Molière, Tartuffe, Dostoevsky, The Village Stepanchikovo and its Inhabitants, and Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel”; Gogol, The Overcoat, and Boris Eikhenbaum, “How Gogol’s Overcoat Is Made.”

Jewish Literature in a Century of Transformation: 1880-1980

Submitted by jenniequ on
20226
30226
JWSC 20226, NEHC 20226
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Na'ama Rokem

A survey of Jewish Literature written by Jews around the globe in different languages (including Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian, English, Polish, German) in an era of upheaval and transformation. We will discuss the literary representation of phenomena such as: the national movement and the foundation of the State of Israel; persecutions, pogroms and the Holocaust; waved of migration, acculturation and assimilation; the involvement of Jews in political movements, such as communism and anarchism; changing gender roles and changing ideas about the Jewish family. And we will ask: how have these events - and the modern era that they are a part of - influenced ideas about literary representation and the relationship between literature and history. 

Monstrosity and the Monstrous

Submitted by jenniequ on
20505
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Pablo Maurette

This course centers on the relationship between literature and science by focusing on the figure of the monster. The human imagination can produce the most outlandish forms: we will call this the monstrous. Natural philosophy and science, on the other hand, have to deal with the deformed, the organically distorted, the preternatural: we will call this monstrosity. Both concepts can spark thrilling debates on identity and difference, divine providence and chance, fear and lust, gender, race, and more. In a journey that takes us from antiquity to the 21st century, we will be looking at ancient history and literature, Medieval bestiaries, Renaissance scientific treatises, plays, nineteen and twentieth-century novels, evolutionary biology, theory, philosophy, and film.

Translation and Translation Theory

Submitted by jenniequ on
20510
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy

Translation is one of the central mechanisms of literary creativity. This course will consider translation both concretely and theoretically. Topics to be discussed will include semantic and grammatical interference, loss and gain, the production of difference, pidgin, translationese, bilingualism, self-translation, code-switching, translation as metaphor, foreignization vs. nativization, and distinct histories of translation.

Literatures of “Eurasia”

Submitted by jenniequ on
20905
30905
=HIST 23603 / HIST 33603 / REES 29812 / NELC 20705/30705
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Leah Feldman

This course explores literatures produced across Eurasia, with a particular focus on the Caucasus and Central Asia including the writings of Lermontov, Blok, Gorodetsky, Solovyov, Memmedquluzadeh, Iskender, Aitmatov, as well as the films of Paradjanov and Ibragimbekov. We will also trace the intellectual history of the orientalist conception of Eurasianism and its variants including conceptions of race and ethnicity that it produced. In this way, we will attend to connections forged between Eurasianist ideologies and conceptions of language, geography and biology. 

Roman Elegy

Submitted by jenniequ on
21101
31101
LATN 31100 / 21100
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
David Wray

This course examines the development of the Latin elegy from Catullus to Ovid. Our major themes are the use of motifs and topics and their relationship to the problem of poetic persona.

Balkan Folklore

Submitted by jenniequ on
23301
33301
REES 29009/39009, NEHC 20568/30568, ANTH 25908/35908
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Angelina Ilieva

Vampires, fire-breathing dragons, vengeful mountain nymphs. 7/8 and other uneven dance beats, heart-rending laments and a living epic tradition.
 This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from historical, political and anthropological, perspectives. We seek to understand folk tradition as a dynamic process and consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. We also experience this living tradition first-hand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.”

Kurosawa and his Literary Sources

Submitted by jenniequ on
23302
33302
EALC 23312/33312, REES 29814/39814, SCTH 34012
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Olga Solovieva

This interdisciplinary graduate and advanced undergraduate course focuses on ten films of Akira Kurosawa which were based on literary sources ranging from Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Georges Simenon, and Shakespeare to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev. The course not only introduces 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 combines 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 hands-on training in the interdisciplinary methodology of Comparative Literature.

Cross-Listed with East Asian Studies and Committee on Social Thought.

 

Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise

Submitted by jenniequ on
23401
33401
REES 29013/39013, NEHC 2/30573, HIST 2/34005
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
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).

Fact and Fiction: Hoaxes and Misunderstandings

Submitted by isagor on
24017
34017
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Françoise Lavocat

This course will focus on fictional texts that readers have misrecognized as factual accounts, as well as the less frequent case of factual texts misidentified as fictional. Students will study the rhetorical strategies or historical and cultural circumstances responsible for these “errors of pragmatic framing” (O. Caïra) by investigating the contexts governing the production or reception of works such as Apuleius’ The Golden AssLes Lettres d’une religieuse portugaise, Denis Diderot’s La Religieuse, Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s Marbot: A Biographyand Orson Welles’ adaptation of The War of the Worlds, among others.

Gender and the Body in Yiddish Literature

Submitted by ldzoells on
25002
35002
YDDH 25002/35002
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Anna Elena Torres

This course examines gender, race, and dis/ability in texts drawn from across the breadth of Yiddish literature. Using critical theory as a lens into the world of Yiddish writing, we will encounter medieval troubadours and healers, spirit possession, feminist performance art, and more. With an emphasis on poetry, the syllabus begins with some of the earliest known Yiddish verse (c. 1382) and concludes with the 20th century avant-garde. Literary authors include Peretz Markish, Meyshe Kulbak, and Dvoyre Fogel. Theoretical and historical studies include the work of Eve Sedgwick, Mel Chen, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs.

No prior knowledge of Yiddish is required for enrollment. All course literature for the seminar will be available in English translation. An additional weekly session will meet to read Yiddish texts in the original.

Thomas Mann’s Novel, Joseph and His Brothers

Submitted by jenniequ on
25103
FNDL 25100, GRMN 25117, RLST 28215
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Olga Solovieva

Thomas Mann’s novel Joseph and His Brothers, a modern rewriting of the biblical story, was written over sixteen years (1926 - 1943) that shook German and European history through the assumption of power by the National Socialist party and the Second World War. Mann began the novel under the Weimar Republic and continued working on the novel in exile. The writer himself saw his novel as an act of resistance to his country’s anti-Semitic policies. In this course, we will closely read the novel, explore its relation to its biblical and other sources, learn about the history of its writing and publication and contextualize its genesis in Mann’s complicated involvement with German and world politics.

Fashion and Modernity

Submitted by ldzoells on
25302
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Barbara Vinken
 

The relationship between fashion and modernity has always been taken for granted. Indeed, it is guaranteed in the very etymology of the French and German words “mode” and “modernité”. Yet, on closer inspection, there is a blind spot in this relation in that fashion seems rather to be the Other of modernity than modernity itself, an Oriental colony in the heart of the West.

The modern discourse of fashion testifies to the ambivalences and paradoxes in this relationship. From the beginning of the modern world until now, it is strangely split: there is fashion and fashion. Properly speaking, men’s fashion is not really fashionable. The perfectly functional suit without superfluous adornment is, in its world-wide constancy through the centuries, almost invariably classical. Its staggering universal success is due to the fact that it is the ideal modern dress: beautiful, because functional. Women’s fashion, on the contrary, is a remnant of the old, effeminate aristocracy – a frivolous frill, an all-in-all dysfunctional ornament, badly in need of thorough modernization. The „new woman“ is born in agonizing pain and perpetual fallbacks: while Chanel almost lead us toward a functional feminine form, Dior’s new look was, from this perspective, a setback: it brought back the unhealthy, restrictive corset and offered a slap in the face to the modern aesthetic dogma of „form follows function“. Fashion therefore seems to be the locus of a strange intimation of the political set against the common politics of modernity.

By reading texts form Friedrich Nietzsche to Adolf Loos and Thorstein Veblen, Rousseau to Baudelaire, from Gautier, Zola and Apollinaire to Simone de Beauvoir and Pierre Bourdieu,  the course will center around this blind spot between fashion and modernity and the new gendering of fashion in the bourgeois, post-feudal era.

Machiavelli and Machiavellism

Submitted by Anonymous on
25801
=FNDL 21603, ITAL 23000, REMS 33001
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Rocco Rubini

This course is a comprehensive introduction to Machiavelli's The Prince in light of his vast and varied literary corpus and European reception. The course includes discussion of Machiavelli as playwright ( The Mandrake ); fiction writer ( Belfagor , The Golden Ass ); and historian ( Discourses , Florentine Histories ). We also closely investigate the emergence of myths surrounding Machiavelli (Machiavellism and anti-Machiavellism) in Italy (Guicciardini, Botero, Boccalini); France (Bodin and Gentillet); Spain (Ribadeneyra); and Northern Europe (Hobbes, Grotius, Spinoza) during the Counter Reformation and beyond. Classes conducted in English. Students who are majoring or minoring in Italian do all work in Italian.

Gramsci

Submitted by jenniequ on
26002
ITAL 2/36000, REMS 36000, FNDL 26206
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Rocco Rubini

In this course we read selections from Antonio Gramsci’s Letters and Prison Notebooks side by side with their sources. Gramsci’s influential interpretations of the Italian Renaissance, Risorgimento, and Fascism are reviewed testi alla mano with the aim of reassessing some major turning points in Italian intellectual history. Readings and notions introduced include, for the Renaissance, Petrarch (“the cosmopolitan intellectual”), Savonarola (the “disarmed prophet”), Machiavelli (the “modern prince”), and Guicciardini (the “particulare”); for Italy’s “long Risorgimento,” Vico (“living philology”), Cuoco (“passive revolution”), Manzoni (“questione della lingua”), Gioberti (“clericalism”), and De Sanctis (the “Man of Guicciardini”); and Croce (the “anti-Croce”) and Pirandello (theater and “national-popular” literature), for Italy’s twentieth century. Taught in English or Italian, depending on language skills of enrolled students.

Civil War and Literature

Submitted by ldzoells on
26305
54855
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Barbara Vinken
 

The topic of Civil war has massivly resurfaced in literature after the Second World War. Interestingly, it comes back in the Roman disguise that had dominated already the 19th, and a fortiori the 20th and 21th centuries. How  can one narrate the total dis-integration of society that is civil war? We will look at Claude Simon’s novel Georgiques and Michel Houellebecq’s novel Soumission. But we will also go back ad fontes with Vergil’s poem Georgiques and the last book of the Aeneid. To understand the principle of this translatio Romae, we will take a look into Karl Marx’s The 18th Brumaire of Napoléon Bonaparte.

Strangers to Ourselves: Twentieth Century Émigré Literature and Film from Russia and South Eastern Europe

Submitted by jenniequ on
26902
36902
SOSL 2/36900
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Angelina Ilieva

“Being alienated from myself, as painful as that may be, provides me with that exquisite distance within which perverse pleasure begins, as well as the possibility of my imagining and thinking,” writes Julia Kristeva in Strangers to Ourselves, the book from which this course takes its title. The authors whose works we are going to examine often alternate between nostalgia and the exhilaration of being set free into the breathless possibilities of new lives. Leaving home does not simply mean movement in space. Separated from the sensory boundaries that defined their old selves, immigrants inhabit a warped, fragmentary, disjointed time. Immigrant writers struggle for breath – speech, language, voice, the very stuff of their craft resounds somewhere else. Join us as we explore the pain, the struggle, the failure and the triumph of emigration and exile. Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Brodsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Nina Berberova, Julia Kristeva, Alexander Hemon, Dubravka Ugrešić, Norman Manea, Miroslav Penkov, Ilija Trojanow, Tea Obreht

Imaginary Worlds: The Fantastic and Magic Realism from Russia and Southeastern Europe

Submitted by jenniequ on
27701
37701
SOSL 2/37700, RUSS 2/37300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Angelina Ilieva

In this course, we will ask what constitutes the fantastic and magic realism as literary genres while reading some of the most interesting writings to have come out of Russia and Southeastern Europe. While considering the stylistic and narrative specificities of this narrative mode, we also think about its political functions —from subversive to escapist, to supportive of a nationalist imaginary—in different contexts and at different historic moments in the two regions.

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

Submitted by jenniequ on
28240
38240
SCTH 38240, FREN 25301/35301
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Thomas Pavel
 
 

The course will examine several major 18th-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.

 

The course is taught in English.  A biweekly session in French will be held for majors and graduate students in French and Comp Lit.

 

Islams and Modernities

Submitted by jenniequ on
35017
25017
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Leah Feldman

This course explores the topic of political Islam in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia with an eye on the emergence of similar discourses globally through historical, anthropological, and literary works produced both by contemporary scholars of Islam (Fazlur Rahman, Olivier Roy, Talal Asad) scholars of Islam in the Russian empire (Adeeb Khaled, Alexandre Benningsen, Ayse-Azade Rorlich) as well as nineteenth and twentieth century thinkers (Ismail Gasprinsky, Sultan Galiev) alongside literary and artistic works (the satirical journal Molla Nasreddin, Umm El-Banine Assadoulaeff, Chingiz Aitmatov, Hamid Ismailov). The course focuses on the ways in which these works problematize the relationship between the representation of ethno-linguistic discourses of Muslim identity (including Pan-Turkism, Pan-Islamism, Jadidism) to national and supranational discourses of modernity and women's rights formulated both during the formation of the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet national republics. Reading knowledge of Russian, French or Azeri Turkic is encouraged but not required.