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Fictional Minds: The Representation of Consciousness in the European Novel

Submitted by vickylim on
20663
SCTH 20663,ENGL 20663
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
James McCormick

Through readings of texts by Goethe, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Woolf, Musil, and Zadie Smith, this course will examine the range of formal techniques for representing minds during different eras in the history of the European novel. We will ask how different modes of narrating fictional minds reveal underlying (and shifting) models of human subjectivity and how these models, in turn, structure our own reading practices and our interpretation of characters. The literary readings will be supplemented with secondary texts that will introduce students to the tools and concerns of classical narratology as well as to contemporary development in cognitive literary studies. Theoretical authors will include: Gerard Genette, Dorrit Cohn, Erich Auerbach, Monika Fudernik, Mikhail Bakhtin, Alan Palmer, Lisa Zunshine, and David Lodge.

Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception

Submitted by vickylim on
21906
FNDL 21906
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Haun Saussy

A reading of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (1945) with appropriate reference to its philosophical, psychological and even fictional predecessors. The course should be of interest to those working in the philosophy of consciousness, mind-body relations, critical theory, history of science, and even ethics and aesthetics. Reading ability in French encouraged but not required; we will use the original text and the translation by Colin Smith.

Magic Realist and Fantastic Writings from the Balkans

Submitted by vickylim on
22201
32201
SOSL 27400/37400
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Angelina Ilieva

In this course, we ask whether there is such a thing as a "Balkan" type of magic realism and think about the differences between the genres of magic realism and the fantastic, while reading some of the most interesting writing to have come out of the Balkans. We also look at the similarities of the works from different countries (e.g., lyricism of expression, eroticism, nostalgia) and argue for and against considering such similarities constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility.

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).

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.

Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
24712
NORW 24712, GRMN 24712
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Ingeborg Kongslien

This course examines a selection of literary texts from the Nordic countries - novels, plays, short stories, poems - by writers that figure prominently in the respective national canons and are also acclaimed internationally. It starts with the onset of modernism in the late 19th century represented by Henrik Ibsen and the young Knut Hamsun, continues with the great narrators of the 20th century including Karen Blixen, Halldór Laxness, and Vilhelm Moberg, and concludes around the millennium with playwright Jon Fosse, and the new voices of the novelists Linn Ullmann and Jonas Hassem Khemiri, the latter an eminent representative of  multicultural  writings,  so prominent in the international literary canon, now also featured in Scandinavia.  Readings in cultural and literary history as well as literary criticism will supplement the course in order to contextualize the literary works.

Foucault: History of Sexuality

Submitted by vickylim on
25001
PHIL 24800 (=GNSE 23100, HIPS 24300, FNDL 22001)
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Arnold Davidson

This course centers on a close reading of the first volume of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, with some attention to his writings on the history of ancient conceptualizations of sex. How should a history of sexuality take into account scientific theories, social relations of power, and different experiences of the self? We discuss the contrasting descriptions and conceptions of sexual behavior before and after the emergence of a science of sexuality. Other writers influenced by and critical of Foucault are also discussed.

Sea Fictions: Reading Transnationally

Submitted by vickylim on
25004
ENGL 24311
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Chandani Patel

This course will examine texts like Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, and Melville’s Typee alongside Reinaldo Arenas’s Farewell to the Sea (Cuba), Agualusa’s Creole (Angola), and Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies amongst others as transnational representations of the sea and human relationships to it. We will ask how these stories of oceanic journeys and the transnational affinities they produce generate accounts of language and history, and we will think comparatively about how the dangers these texts associate with the sea –such as shipwreck, cannibalism, death and loss –figure alongside its potentials –as a means of mobility and freedom, as a site of friendship and understanding. Discussing these fictional texts alongside theoretical works by writers such as Paul Gilroy, Mikhail Bakhtin, Isabel Hofmeyr, Emily Apter, and Michel Foucault, we will try to determine what new theoretical concepts and affiliations emerge when we untether these fictions from their national literary traditions. Students will have the opportunity to read originals in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Specificity/Interdisciplinarity: Myths of Orpheus

Submitted by vickylim on
25005
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
David Markus

This course takes a number of variations on the myth of Orpheus as the basis for an exploration of critical problems surrounding medium specificity, interdisciplinary study, and topics arising from cultural studies such as race and gender. We will begin with early representations of the myth in Ovid and Virgil before proceeding to more recent interpretations in the work of Rilke, H.D., Jean Cocteau, Tennessee Williams, Salmon Rushdie, and Neil Gaiman. Creative works will be considered alongside critical texts by Roland Barthes, Maurice Blanchot, André Bazin, Homi Bhabha, Kaja Silverman, Frederic Jameson, and Lauren Berlant. In keeping with the interdisciplinary theme of the course, film showings will be held regularly and music and visual materials will frequently figure as objects of study. 

Approaching Infinity: A History of Imaginative Attempts

Submitted by vickylim on
25303
HIPS 25303, HIST 25011
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Lily Huang
Does the infinite exist? Where, and by what lights? This course is an undisciplined investigation of multitudinous ways of denying, containing, and expressing the infinite. The sundry aspirations we study range from ancient natural philosophy to Enlightenment metaphysics, from Romantic poetry to fractal geometry. Authors include Aristotle, Lucretius, Shakespeare, Leibniz, Goethe, Coleridge, Keats, Flaubert, James, Bergson, Borges, and Calvino.
 
Full syllabus here: home.uchicago.edu/~lilyx

Introduction to the Renaissance

Submitted by vickylim on
26400
ITAL 25400
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Armando Maggi

The Renaissance, which first and foremost flourished in Italy, founded our modern concept of the self. The way we see ourselves, the values we cherish, derive from the Renaissance. Modernity is a product of the Renaissance. This course emphasizes the importance of introspection in Renaissance culture, poetry, and philosophy. The books I have selected have a strong autobiographical element. However, they also illuminate how the Renaissance theorizes the relationship between the individual and society. We will read, in Italian, passages from major Italian texts in prose, such as Castiglione's Il cortigiano, Machiavelli's Discorsi, Campanella's Citta' del Sole, and poetry by Michelangelo, Monsignor della Casa, and numerous women poets, such as Veronica Franco, Vittoria Colonna, and Veronica Gambara. Taught in Italian.

Hamlet and Critical Methods

Submitted by vickylim on
26601
ENGL 16711,FNDL 22205
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Joshua Scodel

Shakespeare's Hamlet has probably inspired the most criticism of any play in world literature, and it has certainly inspired some of the greatest criticism. This course explores the goals, presuppositions, strengths, and limitations of different kinds of scholarship and criticism by focusing upon the variety of approaches that have been (or in some cases, could be) applied to Shakespeare's play. The course will focus on modern editorial theory and practice; classical and neoclassical discussions of mimesis, plot, and theatrical affect; Romantic, psychoanalytic, and postmodern discussions of Hamlet as character; recent literary historical discussions of sources and genre; new critical, new historicist, and feminist analyses of the play's imagined world; as well as performances and literary adaptations of Hamlet conceived of as interpretations of the play. Students will write several short response papers to the assigned readings as well as a longer paper analyzing and/or applying different critical approaches to Hamlet.

Major Works of Goethe

Submitted by vickylim on
28610
GRMN 28600
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
David Wellbery

This course is an intensive study of selected works (i.e., poetry, drama, fiction, essays) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Students will become acquainted with one of the major figures in the history of European culture. Works to be considered include: Faust I, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Novelle, Farbenlehre (some appropriately excerpted). The seminar will also explore Goethe's life and times. All works to be read in German. Discussions in German.

Health Care and the Limits of State Action

Submitted by vickylim on
28900
BPRO 28600
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Evan Lyon; Haun Saussy

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.

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.

Introduction to Comparative Literature II: Theory & Practice of the Literary Avant-Garde

Submitted by vickylim on
29702
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Joel Calahan

This course takes a comparative approach to studying the innovations and legacy of the major European and American avant-garde movements, from Futurism and Surrealism through the postwar neo-avant-gardes to contemporary groupings such as L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. We will consider major theory, poetry, and prose texts by writers such as Mayakovsky, Bely, Marinetti, Breton, Huidobro, O’Hara, Sanguineti, Roubaud, Perec, and Cortazar. Foreign language texts will be read in translation, though knowledge of at least one of the original languages (Russian, Italian, French, or Spanish) is preferred.