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Autobiography in the 20th Century

Submitted by Anonymous on
24001
=ENGL 25920, ISHU 24002
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Katarzyna Bartoszynska

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature . This course will explore autobiography as a genre and the theoretical issues it raises. We will examine how autobiography problematizes memory, truth and fiction, ethnic/racial identity and the relationship to the body, and the connections between the individual and the collective in history. Using a variety of texts, we will investigate contemporary strategies of self-representation and constructions of subjectivity that emerged in the 20th century. Readings will include Christa Wolf's Patterns of Childhood , Gertrude Stein's Autobiography of Alice B Toklas , Art Spiegelman's Maus , Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior , Benjamin Wilkomirski's Fragments , Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation , Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory , Mary McCarthy's Confessions of a Catholic Girlhood , and the film Big Fish, alongside theoretical works by Paul John Eakin, Sidonie Smith, Julia Watson, G Thomas Couser, and others.

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.

Crowds in fin de siècle Modernism

Submitted by vickylim on
24250
MAPH 34250
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Daniel Smyth

The increasing urbanization of late 19th and early 20th century Europe witnessed the advent of a comparatively novel social phenomenon and cultural trope: the crowd. Crowds have been represented as alienating, faceless monstrosities and as liberatingly anonymous environments of self-realization, as manipulable and as bullying. The crowd is figured as a hotbed of rumor, irrationality, madness, sedition, and communicable disease, but also as the site of transcendent super-personal experience, invention, historical progress, and the groundspring of political legitimacy. Crowds have a (statistical, social, psychological) life of their own which confronts and contrasts with the life of the individual. They confirm the flâneur in his ironic distance and insulated subjectivity even as the phenomenology of “merging with” or “melting into” the crowd challenges prevailing notions of individual identity and personal responsibility. This class will examine a variety of literary and visual representations of the crowded turn-of-the-century European metropolis in conjunction with contemporaneous psychological, sociological, and philosophical reflections on the significance of modern multitudes. Though our focal texts are historical we will also consider modulations of these themes in our present social environment of viral videos, big data, cyberbullying, targeted advertising, crowd-sourcing, and zombie movies. Texts will include works by Baudelaire, Benjamin, Freud, Kracauer, Fritz Lang, Manet, Musil, Rilke, Seurat, and Simmel.

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.

Literary Kierkegaard

Submitted by Anonymous on
24500
=FNDL 22700, GRMN 25200
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Chenxi Tang

In this seminar, we read Kierkegaard's novellas, literary criticism, and aesthetic theory. Topics of discussion include irony, repetition, observation, history, and authorship.

Forms of Lyric from Classical Antiquity to Postmodernism

Submitted by vickylim on
24501
CLCV 27109,SLAV 24501
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Boris Maslov

Moving beyond the modern perception of lyric as an expression of the poet’s subjectivity, this course confronts the remarkable longevity of varieties of lyric that have remained in use over centuries and millennia, such as the hymn, ode, pastoral, elegy, epistle, and epigram. What kept these classical genres alive for so long and, conversely, what made them serviceable to poets working in very different cultural milieus? In an effort to develop a theory and a history of Western lyric genres, we will sample from the work of many poets, including Sappho, Horace, Ovid, Hölderlin, Pushkin, Whitman, Mandel’shtam, Brodsky, and Milosz. All readings in English.

The Portrait of the President

Submitted by Anonymous on
24601
=ENGL 25916
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Amanda Macdonald

This course enquires into the work of power that is done by the portrait of the powerful. We will interrogate the portraiture of the President of the United States (and of those who would be President) not simply for its systems of meaning, its legibility, nor only in the spirit of diagnostic criticism, but most crucially for the portraiture's efficacy. This last is the most treacherous question of all for image studies, and it is the one we will articulate and pursue: What is it that portraits, in and of themselves, are able to do? What is the power of the portrait of the President? We will thus consider what we mean by power and by representation, and how the portrait tradition effects both. Louis Marin's The Portrait of the King will offer us a bundle of rich theoretical premises and analytical models. Other readings will include portrait theory, literature on US presidential portraiture, and a minor critical tradition linking the portrait of the monarchic bust to the portrait of the political ruler (Foucault on coins and caricatures; Barthes on election posters; Fresnault-Deruelle on French presidential portraiture). We will focus on four contemporary genres of representation of the President and of the presidential: money; election posters; official presidential portraits; and television talking heads. All students will be enrolled in the two hour Monday class, in addition to which they will choose between one of two meeting times on Wednesdays. Students wishing to read in English only will need to attend the 9:30-10:30 session on Wednesdays. Students who are literate in French and who wish to take the course with a French language component will need to attend the 10:30-11:30 session on Wednesdays, where they will read the key set text in the French original (Louis Marin's Le Portrait du roi), along with a selection of other set texts in French (e.g. Barthes, Foucault). The choice of session on Wednesdays is workload neutral.

Sensibility, Sensation, and Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
24701
=ENGL 25307
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Larry Rothfield

This course traces a genealogy of affect by focusing on the representation and incitement of emotions in nineteenth-century fiction. Readings include Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther ; Austen, Sense and Sensibility ; Flaubert, Madame Bovary ; and Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd .

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.

Self-Transformation and Political Resistance: Michel Foucault, Pierre Hadot, Primo Levi, Martin Luther King, Jr

Submitted by Anonymous on
24790
=PHIL 24790
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2011-2012
A Davidson

How should we understand the connections between an ethics of self-transformation and a politics of resistance to established relations of power? How are forms of the self and strategies of power intertwined? We shall examine the philosophical frameworks of Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot with respect to those questions and then study two particular cases: Primo Levi's account of Auschwitz and Martin Luther King Jr.'s account of the civil rights movement. We will look at the ways in which these two historically specific cases allow us to develop and test the philosophical frameworks we have examined.

Fiction and Freedom

Submitted by Anonymous on
24800
=GRMN 25900
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2007-2008
David Wellbery

This course examines a series of major twentieth-century works of fiction that explore the nature of human freedom. Our concern is not only to delineate the theme of freedom but also to attempt to understand the link between that theme and the fictional form the author chooses. A further concern is the position of the reader as it is figured in the texts examined. Authors considered include Herman Melville, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot, Maurice Blanchot, and Imre Kertsz.

South African Fiction and Film

Submitted by vickylim on
24807
ENGL 24807
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Loren Kruger

This course examines the intersection of fiction and film in Southern Africa since mid 20th Century decolonization. We begin with Cry, the Beloved Country, a best seller written by South African Alan Paton while in the US, and the original film version by a Hungarian-born British-based director (Zoltan Korda), and an American screenwriter (John Howard Lawson), which together show both the international impact of South African stories and the important elements missed by overseas audiences. We will continue with fictional and non-fictional narrative responses to apartheid and decolonization in film and in print, and examine the power and the limits of what critic Louise Bethlehem has called the “rhetoric of urgency” on local and international audiences. We will conclude with writing and film that grapples with the complexities of the post-apartheid world, whose challenges, from crime and corruption to AIDS and the particular problems faced by women and gender minorities, elude the heroic formulas of the anti-apartheid struggle era. (B)

Foucault: History Of Sexuality

Submitted by isagor on
25001
PHIL 24800, FNDL 22001, GNSE 23100, HIPS 24300, KNOW 27002
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
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.

Foucault: History of Sexuality

Submitted by vickylim on
25001
PHIL 24800, GNSE 23100, HIPS 24300, FNDL 22001
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2013-2014
Arnold Davidson

PQ: One prior philosophy course is strongly recommended. 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. 

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.

Foucault and The History of Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
25001
=FNDL 22001, GNDR 23100, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Arnold Davidson

Open only to college students. PQ: Prior philosophy course or consent of instructor. 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.

Foucault and The History of Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
25001
=GNDR 23100, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2008-2009
Arnold Davidson

Open only to college students. PQ: Prior philosophy course or consent of instructor. 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.

Foucault and the History of Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
25001
=GNDR 23100, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Arnold Davidson

Open only to college students. PQ: Prior philosophy course or consent of instructor. 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. 

Private Lives, Public Intellectuals: On the Philosophical Essay in the Western Tradition

Submitted by vickylim on
25006
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Stephen Parkin

This course considers a selection of essays from philosophically informed authors from
across the Western tradition who engage in reflective literary activity in the public
sphere. We will ask questions such as: what is the essay, and what does it mean to call it
philosophical? Is the essay a form, a genre, a method, a perspective, an attitude, or
something else entirely? What are the rhetorical demands and concerns of the
philosophical essay? What issues do philosophically minded essayists contemplate and
what do they aim to achieve? How do authors navigate the tension between private,
intimate reflection and public reading and consumption? The essays read will take up
such topics as nature, God, love, friendship, death, writing, the self, education, and civic
responsibility. We will begin by reading historical antecedents of the philosophical
essay by authors such as St. Paul, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine. We will then
skip to the birth of the essay in the early modern period with readings including
Montaigne, Bacon, Rousseau, Pascal, Paine, and Kant, and will continue through a
variety of essayists including Samuel Johnson, William Hazlett, Thoreau, Emerson,
Nietzsche, and Tolstoy before we conclude with 20th century and contemporary
essayists including Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, E. B. White, and other essayists
selected by the students. Along the way we will encounter theoretical works on essay
writing, autobiography, and the rhetoric of public intellectuals.

The Places of Memory, 1780-1880

Submitted by vickylim on
25007
GRMN 25014, RUSS 25007
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Monica Felix

This course will investigate the affinities between place and memory in literature. In considering works that span a century of literature, we will reflect on memory as a force that emerges as an expression of self – or nation – that is tethered to objects, places, or structures. Course readings will be drawn primarily from German, Russian, and Anglophone literatures (Eichendorff, Tieck, Hoffmann, Fet, Tiutchev, Pushkin, Elliot, Scott, Brontë, others). Supplementary readings drawn from literary criticism, philosophy, historiography, and complementary fields will help us to consider the intersection of literature and history as it relates to questions of a historically constructed subject or nation. Topics include collaborative memory, romanticism, intertextuality, historical representation, historical fiction, and nostalgia.

No prerequisites. All readings in English with optional reading groups to discuss German and Russian works in the original for all interested students.

Comparative Migrations

Submitted by vickylim on
25010
ENGL 25010
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Chandani Patel

"Comparative Migrations" interrogates how literature and film takes up the issue of migration across the globe. How do these texts represent the experiences of dislocation, marginalization, and acculturation usually associated with migration across literary traditions? How do the ideas of home, longing, and belonging shift throughout these texts? How do distinct historical, social, cultural and political parameters impact both the writing and reading of these texts? Texts under consideration will include novels by Samuel Selvon, Calixthe Beyala, Milton Hatoum, and Junot Diaz and films by Gurinder Chadha, Pedro Costa, and Mathieu Kassovitz. Theorists include Stuart Hall, Edward Said, Édouard Glissant, Michel Foucault, and Miguel Vale de Almeida.

Beckett Beyond the 'Absurd'

Submitted by vickylim on
25011
ENGL 24409
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Brian Berry

As an author that dislikes being pigeonholed, Samuel Beckett nonetheless gets labeled as an Absurdist, even the father of the Theater of the Absurd. It is not as if this label is entirely unmerited, but his philosophical interests reach beyond the species of existentialism that was fashionable at the moment of his literary debut. This course will look at theatrical and prose texts spanning Beckett’s career, in conjunction with a variety of philosophical texts from the Cartesian, continental, and analytic traditions, to see how Beckett re-appropriates and transforms philosophical problems and themes within a literary context. Specifically we will look at how Beckett reorients the relations between philosophical skepticism, the philosophy of language, and the problem of meaning.

Writing Towards Freedom: Slave Narratives and Emergent Black Writing

Submitted by vickylim on
25014
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2015-2016
Mollie McFee

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, slave narratives were authored to convince Europeans of the injustices of slavery as an institution and the humanity of enslaved black Africans. However, these texts were more representative of anti-slavery rhetoric and conventional morals than the voices of enslaved men and women. In this course we will investigate many of the central slave narratives of 18th and 19th centuries in order to understand how these texts worked to redefine concepts of the human. We will also examine the ways slave narratives relied upon and bolstered norms of gender, family, and religion. Using comparative methods, this course will investigate why the overwhelming majority of slave narratives come from the Anglophone world. We will compare American and British narratives, and examine the genres used in the francophone and hispanophone worlds to demonstrate the rights of the enslaved, particularly law. Major texts to be examined will include The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano; The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave; My Bondage, My Freedom by Frederick Douglass; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriett Jacobs; and Autobiography of a Slave by Juan Francisco Manzano. Shorter readings would include excerpts from Saidiya Hartman, Michel Rolph Trouillot, The Memoires of Toussaint Louverture, and The Haitian Constitutions of 1801 and 1805.

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.

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.

Contemporary Hebrew Poetry

Submitted by Anonymous on
25201
=JWSC 21800, NEHC 20463
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Neta Stahl

This course examines the works (in the original) of major contemporary Hebrew poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Zach, David Avidan, Dalia Rabikovitch,Yona Wollach, Maya Bejerano, and Yitzhak Laor. These works will be read against the background of the poetry of previous literary generations of writers such as H.N Bialik, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Alterman and Shaul Tchernihovsky, in an attempt to uncover changes in style, themes and aesthetic. Through close reading of the poems, the course traces the unique style and aesthetic of each poet, and aims at presenting a wide picture of contemporary Hebrew poetry.

Catching Spies

Submitted by vickylim on
25215
GRMN 25215
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Tamar Abramov

How do we account for 20th century literature's fascination with spies and spying? How do we explain the emergence of this new literary subject with the inauguration of the new century? This course will examine the place the figure of the spy holds for twentieth-century imagination as reflected in literature, theater and film. It will suggest that the spy becomes a locus of fascination for literature when overlooked by the disciplines charged with regulating his actions. In positing espionage literature and film as a response to the law's impossibility of address we will establish the potential the figure of the spy holds to respond to an array of questions relating to identity and subjectivity through such tropes as homelessness and border crossing, sexual difference, theatricality and masquerade, technology and voyeurism.

The Metaphor of the Insect as a Social Critique: Women in Modern Hebrew Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25300
=NEHC 20460
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Neta Stahl

This course is an exploration of twentieth century Hebrew poetry and prose written by women. Through close reading of major works (in translation) by writers such as Dvora Baron, Elisheva, Yocheved Bat-Miriam, Rachel Blubstein, Ester Ra'ab, Lea Goldberg, Amalia Kahana- Carmon, Dalia Rabikovitch, Yona Wallach, and Orli Castel-Bloom, the course traces changes in themes and style and studies the emergence and the development of a woman's voice in modern Hebrew literature. Texts in English.

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.

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

Love Connections: Stories of Famous Couples in Pre-Modern Indian Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
25310
SALC 25300, GNSE 25310, RLST 26811
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Ilanit Loewy Shacham

Is love a universal theme? What constitutes a good match? To what extent are love and desire culturally constituted? This course aims to answer such questions through the stories of five famous couples in pre-modern Indian literature. These couples—some divine, some human and some mixed—will provide multiple perspectives on central themes in Indian culture such as love, desire, and devotion as well as on the advantages and disadvantages of being human and/or of being divine where love is concerned. Readings in this course will include translations of classical Sanskrit texts their retellings in various regional languages and a few modern adaptations.

Contemporary Israeli Fiction

Submitted by Anonymous on
25400
=NEHC 20461
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Neta Stahl

This course examines the works of three major contemporary Israeli writers: Yehoshua Kenaz, Orly Castel-Bloom and Yoel Hoffmann. We will study the innovative use of style and genres in these works, as well as the new themes and agendas that they offer. Among the topics to be discussed are social and political critiques, minority representations, and relation to Jewish history and tradition. Classes conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Lacan

Submitted by ldzoells on
25500
SIGN 26033, FREN 25551, FREN 35551, ENGL 25509, ENGL 35509
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Françoise Meltzer
This course is an introduction to psychoanalytic theory, from the works of the two most influential figures in the field. We’ll read seminal texts by both Freud and Lacan, and look as well at how those works have influenced the Humanities and philosophy— specifically, we’ll consider brief passages by  Derrida, Kristeva, Kofman and Zizek.  Starting with Freud, the idea is to make students feel “at home” in the fascinating world of psychoanalysis and its assumptions. Major texts by Freud will include “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” “Note on a Mystic Writing Pad,” “The Uncanny,” “Jensen’s Gradiva,” the Dora case, and a selection of texts from other works. Lacan readings: “Seminar on the Purloined Letter,” Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” “God and the Jouissance of the Woman: A love letter,” and parts of the Ecrits. We will also read excerpts from a variety of texts that use the writings of Freud and Lacan for theoretical purposes: Derrida, Sarah Kristeva, Irigaray, Zizek, and others.

The Re-Enchantment of the World: The Sacred and the Secular in Modern Literature and Philosophy

Submitted by Anonymous on
25601
=ENGL 25939, ITAL 25900, RLST 26701
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
Lisa Barca

Looking at nineteenth- and twentieth-century creative literature, memoirs, and philosophical works, we investigate the connections between modernity and new forms of religious thought. With burgeoning scientific explanations for what were once perceived as miracles, combined with the array of religious and irreligious choices offered by an increasingly secular society, how do modern thinkers approach the problem of transcendent or mystical experience? Why has the yearning toward an ultimate, sacred reality proven strong in apparently secular authors? How does a rising interest in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy impact upon ancient Western debates about the relationship between the material and the spiritual? We explore such questions through detailed engagement with a series of short but challenging readings. Authors include Giacomo Leopardi, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Miguel de Unamuno, Henri Bergson, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Eugenio Montale, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Classes conducted in English. Students taking the course for credit toward the Italian major or minor read and discuss Leopardi, Montale, Pasolini, and others in special sessions conducted in Italian.

The Representation of Jesus in Modern Jewish Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25800
=JWSC 24800, NEHC 20457, RLST 26601
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Neta Stahl

This course examines the Jewish literary world's relation to the figure of Jesus from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. We study the transformations of Jesus through close readings of major works, both prose fiction and poetry, by Yiddish and Hebrew writers (e.g., Uri Zvi Greenberg, H. Leivick, Jacob Glatstein, S. Y. Agnon, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Bistritzki, A. A. Kabak, Haim Hazaz, Zalman Shneior, Yigal Mosenzon, Avot Yeshurun, Nathan Zach, Yona Wallach, Yoel Hoffmann). Classes conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

The Representation of Jesus in Modern Jewish Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25800
=JWSC 24800, NEHC 20457, RLST 26601
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Neta Stahl

This course examines the Jewish literary world's relation to the figure of Jesus from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. We study the transformations of Jesus through close readings of major works, both prose fiction and poetry, by Yiddish and Hebrew writers (e.g., Uri Zvi Greenberg, H. Leivick, Jacob Glatstein, S. Y. Agnon, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Bistritzki, A. A. Kabak, Haim Hazaz, Zalman Shneior, Yigal Mosenzon, Avot Yeshurun, Nathan Zach, Yona Wallach, Yoel Hoffmann). Classes conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

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.

Medieval Epic

Submitted by Anonymous on
25900
=ENGL 15800
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Michael Murrin

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature . We will study a variety of heroic literature, including Beowulf , The Volsunga Saga, The Song of Roland, The Purgatorio, and the Alliterative Morte D'Arthur . A paper will be required, and there may be an oral examination.

Reading Modern Poets

Submitted by Anonymous on
25901
=ENGL 27805/47215, SCTH 34340
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg, Adam Zagajewski

The idea of the class is to read a group of important 20th century poets and some of the crucial theoretical texts. This course will focus on a heterogeneous group of poets, some who write in English, some who will be read in translation. The course is not organized around a particular theme or problem. We will let each poet raise particular themes and problems for class discussion. The poets: Anne Carson, Philippe Jaccottet, Derek Mahon, Czeslaw Milosz, Eugenio Montale, Paul Valery, C. K. Williams.

The Archaeological Imagination

Submitted by vickylim on
25960
ENGL 25960
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2015-2016
Lawrence Rothfield

This course looks at the various ways in which the rise of archaeology provided writers, artists, and filmmakers with themes, characters, ideological frames, and philosophical problematics.  We will look at, among other things, Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”; Byron on the Elgin marbles; Egyptomania; Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King”; Hardy’s Tess; Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient; Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark; Stone’s Alexander; and Ai Weiwei’s “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn.”

Medieval Vernacular Literature in the British Isles

Submitted by Anonymous on
26000
=ENGL 15801, RLST 28301
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Michael Murrin

This course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students who are majoring in Comparative Literature. This course covers the Celtic tradition, Old and Middle English, Anglo-Norman French, and a late text from Scotland. Texts include: from Old English, Beowulf; from Irish, The Battle of Moytura and the Tain, and two of the immrana or voyages that concern Bran Son of Ferbal and Mael Duin; from Anglo-Norman French, The Lays of Marie de France; from Welsh, The Four Branches from the Mabinogion; from Middle English, selections from The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and from Scotland, Dunbar.

Multi-Cultural Literatures in Medieval England

Submitted by Anonymous on
26000
=ENGL 15801, RLST 28301
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Michael Murrin

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. This course covers the Celtic tradition, Old and Middle English, Anglo-Norman French, and a late text from Scotland. Texts include: from Old English, Beowulf; from Irish, The Battle of Moytura and the Tain, and two of the immrana or voyages that concern Bran Son of Ferbal and Mael Duin; from Anglo-Norman French, The Lays of Marie de France; from Welsh, The Four Branches from the Mabinogion; from Middle English, selections from The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and from Scotland, Dunbar.

Realism and Anti-Realism in Post-Holocaust Hebrew Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
26001
=JWSC 21900 NEHC 20467
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Neta Stahl

This course seeks to trace the narrative dynamics and literary means of Post-Holocaust Hebrew Literature. The course focuses on works that break with the conventions of realism, and study the specific forms and means by which each work does so. In the center of the discussion will stand questions such as: what are the constraints of the literary discourse on the Holocaust, what is the role of anti-realist depiction of the Holocaust, and in what ways the fantastic threatens the collective memory. We will read works by writers such as: S.Y Agnon, Aharon Appelfeld, David Grossman, Itamar Levi, Yoel Hoffmann and Michal Govrin. Classes will be conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

Seriously Funny: Comedy, Critique and Transformation

Submitted by vickylim on
26014
GRMN 26014
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
B. Loschenkohl

“True earnestness itself invents the comic,” according to Søren Kierkegaard. Exploring philosophies of the comic, as well as filmic and literary material, this seminar seeks to investigate what may be called the serious core of comedy. First, some fundamental theories of comedy, humor and laughter will be introduced. These range from perspectives of supremacy, relief, shallowness or negligibility (especially when compared to the tragic), the mechanic, the lowly/corporeal, to theories of incongruity. We will then focus on the critical, transformative and political potentials of the comic / comedy: Ways in which comedy copes with chance and contingencies; with strategies of resistance and inversion in face of disproportionately more powerful opponents; the comic as a mode of inclusion and exclusion; comedy and its relation to freedom and to the sublime; comedy as a means to exceed, undermine and open up boundaries; the comic as an attempt to get to grips with situations and events we cannot (fully) master. We will also discuss limits and complications of any such critical potential. Readings may include texts by S. Freud, I. Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, F. Th. Vischer, Jean Paul, Søren Kierkegaard, Mikhail Bakhtin, Henri Bergson, Judith Butler, Alenka Zupančič and others; films include works by Ernst Lubitsch and Woody Allen.  Some reading knowledge of German is desirable, but not a course requirement.

The Medieval Persian Romance: Gorgani's Vis and Ramin

Submitted by vickylim on
26016
FNDL 26016
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Cameron Cross

This class is an enquiry into the medieval romance genre through the close and comparative reading of one of its oldest extant representatives, Gorgâni's Vis & Râmin (w. ca. 1054 CE). With roots that go back to Late Antiquity, this romance is a valuable interlocutor between the Greek novel, Arabic love theory and poetics, and well-known European romances like Tristan, Lancelot, and Cligès: a sustained exploration of psychological turmoil and moral indecision, and a vivid dramatization of the many contradictions inherent in erotic theory, most starkly by the lovers' faithful adultery. By reading Vis & Râmin alongside some of its generic neighbors (Kallirrhoe, Leukippe, Tristan, Cligès), as well as the love-theories of writers like Plato, Avicenna, Jâhiz, Ibn Hazm, and Andreas Cappellanus, we will map out the various kinds of literary work the romance is called upon to do, and investigate myriad and shifting conceptions of romantic love as performance, subjectivity, and moral practice. An optional section introducing selections from the original text in Persian will be available if there is sufficient student interest.

The Enlightenment and the Virtue of Selfishness in Its Historical Context

Submitted by Anonymous on
26200
=FREN 26200, HUMA 24904, ISHU 24904
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2006-2007
Karen Pagani

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. French majors and minors must read in French and do all written work in French for French credit. The overarching aim of this course is to examine the centrality of selfishness as a moral attribute to French literature and thought of the long eighteenth-century. As such, we relate the revalorization of amour-propre by thinkers such as D'Holbach, Diderot, Voltaire, and Condillac to both earlier and contemporaneous attacks on all forms of self-interest, such as those leveled by Pascal, Fénelon, Racine, and Rousseau. We conclude with Kant and Benjamin Constant.

Literatures of Russian and African-American Soul

Submitted by vickylim on
26208
RUSS 26208, RUSS 36208, ENGL 28917
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
William Nickell

Among the legacies of slavery, serfdom and colonialism is the idea that dominant, Europeanized cultures have lost something essential, which can still be found in the peoples they have oppressed, and is sometimes vaguely designated by the term "soul." We consider this tendency in the Russian and American traditions, reading texts from both sides of the social and economic divide. Material includes Tolstoy, Turgenev, Douglass, Dostoevsky, DuBois,  Hurston, Hughes, Platonov, Baldwin, & Solzhenitsyn—and lots of music.

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