Course Listing

Filter by course level:

Filter by quarter:

Filter by academic year:

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.

Chinese Economies

Submitted by vickylim on
22504
EALC 22504
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
Tamara Chin

Early twentieth century Chinese asked whether the modern term “economy” could be usefully translated into the traditional Chinese context.  To revisit this question, this course will examine the texts that they and historians since have taken as the main sources of early Chinese economic thought and history.  These include selections from Mencius, Shiji, Hanshu, Guanzi, Debate on Salt and Iron, as well as Precepts for my Daughters.  We will read these in light of traditional commentaries and modern anthropological and literary approaches to economic writing and practice, including Mauss, Polanyi, Goux, Bourdieu, Bray, Liu.  Topics will include genre, rhetoric, and gender.  We will ask how the early Chinese instance might affirm or revise the comparative models we engage.  Some reading knowledge of classical Chinese required.

Seminar: Literary Criticism from Plato to Burke

Submitted by Anonymous on
30102
=ENGL 52502
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2008-2009
Joshua Scodel

PQ: Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. This course will explore major trends in Western literary criticism from Plato to the late eighteenth-century conceived of as the prehistory of comparative literature as a discipline. The course will take as its particular focus the critical treatment of epic in some of the following: Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Horace, Giraldi, Montaigne, Tasso, Sidney, Le Bossu, St. Evremond, Dryden, Addison, Voltaire, and Burke. The course will also examine both twentieth-century comparative approaches to epic (e.g., Auerbach, Curtius, Frye) and more recent debates within comparative literature in order to assess continuities and discontinuities in critical method and goals. Students will be encouraged to write final papers on subjects and authors of their choice while addressing issues treated in the course.

Seminar: Literary Criticism from Plato to Burke

Submitted by Anonymous on
30102
=ENGL 52502
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Joshua Scodel

PQ: Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of 32students are ComLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. This course will explore major trends in Western literary criticism from Plato to the late eighteenth-century . The course will take as its particular focus the critical treatment of epic in the following: Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Horace, Montaigne, Sidney, Le Bossu, St. Evremond, Dryden, Addison, Voltaire, and Burke. The course will also examine some twentieth-century approaches to epic (e.g., Auerbach, Curtius, Frye) in order to assess continuities and discontinuities in critical method and goals. Students will be encouraged to write final papers on subjects and authors of their choice while addressing issues treated in the course.

Seminar: Modern European Poetics

Submitted by Anonymous on
30103
=ENGL 47210
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Robert von Hallberg

PQ: Reading knowledge of one modern European language is required; Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. This course, intended for M.A. and Ph.D. students, focuses on theories of poetry proposed by European writers of the 20th century. We will read essays by Mallarme, Valery, Benn, Eliot, Pound, Breton, Ponge, Heidegger, Celan, Bonnefoy, Oulipo writers, Kristeva, and others. Students will give one or two oral reports and write one essay on a poet of their choosing.

Seminar: Theories of the Novel

Submitted by Anonymous on
30201
=ENGL 57102
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2006-2007
Larry Rothfield

PQ: Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of students are ComLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. This course introduces graduate students to some of the fundamental conceptual issues raised by novels: how are novels formally unified (if they are)? What are the ideological presuppositions inherent in a novelistic view? What ethical practices do novels encourage? Readings include Sterne, Tristram Shandy; Austen, Emma; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Yong Man; critics covered include Lukacs, Bakhtin, Watt, Jameson, and others.

Mimesis

Submitted by vickylim on
30202
CLAS 39200, EALC 30100
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Tamara Chin

This course will examine one of the central concepts of comparative literature: mimesis (imitation). We will investigate traditional theoretical and historical debates concerning literary and visual mimesis as well as more recent discussions of its relation to non-western and colonial contexts. Readings will include Aristotle, Auerbach, Butler, Spivak, and Taussig. Students are encouraged to write final papers on their own research topics while engaging with issues discussed through the course.

Seminar: Mimesis

Submitted by Anonymous on
30202
=CLAS 39200, EALC 30100
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2007-2008
Tamara Chin

Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in East Asian Language and Civilization and Classics. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. This course will introduce the concept of mimesis, from early formulations by Plato and Aristotle through reformulations in recent literary theory, especially in relation to non-western aesthetic traditions. Other readings will include Auerbach, Derrida, Saussy, and Taussig. Students are encouraged to write final papers on their own research projects while engaging with issues discussed through the course.

Seminar: Poet-Critics

Submitted by Anonymous on
30203
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Robert von Hallberg

PQ: Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are ComLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. A course on the methods and procedures of a few poet-critics of the 19th and 20th centuries: Matthew Arnold, R. W. Emerson, Paul Valery, T. S. Eliot, William Empson, Charles Bernstein. To what extent is the history of criticism a record of the work of poet-critics? Are these writers models for contemporary critics? Insofar as they are, how? Insofar as they are not, why not? This course will focus to some extent on the essay form and on prose style.

Writing the Jewish State

Submitted by vickylim on
30452
NEHC 30452
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Na'ama Rokem

This seminar examines the role of literature in the Zionist movement. We will read utopian descriptions of the Jewish State, poems about its foundation and short stories that criticize its actions. Particular attention will be paid to the literature of war and to questions of genre. How are generic choices motivated by the author's political positions and how do these choices define the impact of a work? If there is student interest, a section will be created for reading sources in Hebrew. Knowledge of Hebrew is not a prerequisite.

Antigone(s)

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

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

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

Marxism and Modern Culture

Submitted by vickylim on
31600
ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature depts. and art history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences. TuTh 1:30-2:50 for all students; If ten or more MAPH students enroll, they will also attend a tutorial session on Friday 8:30-10:20.

Marxism and Modern Culture

Submitted by vickylim on
31600
ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature depts. and art history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences.

Marxism and Modern Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
31600
=ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature departments, art history and possibly history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences.

Marxism and Modern Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
31600
=ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature depts., art history and possibly history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences.

Marxism Modern Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
31600
=ENGL 32300
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Loren Kruger

This course covers the classics in the field of marxist social theory (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Reich, Lukacs, Fanon) as well as key figures in the development of Marxist aesthetics (Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Marcuse, Williams) and recent developments in Marxist critiques of new media, post-colonial theory and other contemporary topics. It is suitable for graduate students in literature depts., art history and possibly history. It is not suitable for students in the social sciences.

What Is Art?

Submitted by vickylim on
32001
RLLT 32000, SCTH XXXXX
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Miguel Tamen

The course will address contemporary arguments and claims in aesthetics and the philosophy of art via a detailed discussion of a small number of major texts: Oscar Wilde’s “The Decay of Lying” and “The Critic as Artist” (1891), Leo Tolstoy’s What Is Art (1898), and Martin Heidegger’s The Origin of the Work of Art (1935-7; published 1950). The extravagant claims of these texts are presumed to be of help in describing the ubiquitous attention to art in contemporary affluent societies. A number of more recent essays on aesthetics will also be discussed.

What Is An Author?

Submitted by Anonymous on
32701
=ITAL 32800, SCTH 32800
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Benedetti

The course is directed primarily to graduate students, and is aimed at stimulating a theoretical approach to modern literature. It focuses on one of the most controversial categories of modernity: the author. From the time when works of art ceased to circulate anonymously, the notion of the author enjoyed an obvious existence for centuries. In the twentieth century, however, many literary theories ratified the irrelevance of the author, and celebrated its eclipse. We shall discuss pertinent theoretical writings by Barthes, Foucault, Eco, Benjamin, Booth, Genette, Bazin, and others, as well as some relevant literary works by Calvino, Pasolini, and Moresco. Taught in English, with the majority of readings in English. C.

Twentieth Century Literature from the Balkans

Submitted by Anonymous on
33101
=SOSL 26500/36500
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Angelina Ilieva

In this course, we will examine the works of major writers from former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania, Rumania, Greece, and Turkey from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will examine how their works grapple with the issues of national identity and their countries' place in the Balkans and in Europe, with the legacies of the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires, with socialism and its demise, with emigration, as well as simply with the modern experience of being. We will compare the conceptual and mythic categories through which these works make sense of the world and argue for and against considering such categories constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility. The readings will include works by Orhan Pamuk, Ivo Andri, Norman Manea, Mesa Selimovi, Danilo Kis, Miroslav Krle a, Ismail Kadare and others.

Aby Warburg and the origins of Kulturwissenschaft

Submitted by vickylim on
33114
GRMN 33114
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Ingrid Christian

This course explores Aby Warburg as a founder of Kulturwissenschaft in the context of other thinkers of the time such as Jacob Burckhardt, Sigmund Freud, and Walter Benjamin.  Trained as an art historian with an expertise in Renaissance art, Warburg morphed into a historian of images (i.e., Bildwissenschaft) and – more broadly – into a historian of culture.  We will trace Warburg’s cultural historical method as it develops primarily from philology, but also art history, anthropology, the comparative study of religions, and evolutionary biology.  How does Warburg read culture? What is his methodological approach for examining a wide variety of cultural artifacts ranging from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Poliziano’s poetry, and Dürer’s etchings to postal stamps and news photographs? How can these artifacts be vehicles for cultural memory? And how does the transmission of cultural memory in artworks manifest itself in different media such as literary texts, religious processions, astrological treatises, photography, and painting? Moreover, how does Warburg’s work help us contextualize and historicize “interdisciplinarity” today?

Balkan Folklore

Submitted by Anonymous on
33301
=NEHC 20568/30568, SOSL 26800/36800
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Angelina Ilieva

This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from ethnographic, 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, help us understand folk tradition as a dynamic process. We also 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 our visit to the classes and rehearsals of the Chicago-based ensemble Balkanske igre.

Balkan Folklore

Submitted by Anonymous on
33301
=SOSL 26800/36800
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Angelina Ilieva

This course will give an overview of Balkan folklore from ethnographic, anthropological, historical/political, and performative perspectives. We will 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, will help us understand folk tradition as a dynamic process. We will also 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 visit to the classes and rehearsals of the Chicago based ensemble Balkanske igre.

On Acquaintance

Submitted by Anonymous on
33412
=PORT 33412, SCTH 33412
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
M Tamen

The poet Philip Larkin once stated: “I have never been to America, nor to anywhere else, for that matter.” Unlike him, most people believe that there are advantages to going to places, witnessing events, or meeting people. The topic occurs often in matters of art, philosophy, anthropology, and, not least, history: is, for instance, acquaintance required for knowledge or understanding? Is acquaintance required by truth? The class will mainly discuss three very different books that will help us describe the problem: Claude Lévi-Strauss's Tristes tropiques (an anthropological memoir of a series of travels in South and Central America and India), Marie Vassiltchikov's Berlin Diaries 1940-1945 (a description of the fall of the Third Reich from the viewpoint of a minor clerk in the German Foreign Office, with a double life), and Céleste Albaret's Monsieur Proust (a memoir of the novelist Marcel Proust by his housekeeper). All texts will be read in English.

The Mirror and the Maze: Scenes and Sentences in Flaubert’s Sentimental Education and Moore and Campbell's From Hell— Two Cities of the Mind

Submitted by vickylim on
33602
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Samuel Delany

The Mirror and the Maze is a month-long seminar taught by Professor Samuel Delany, during January of 2014. The format of the seminar is a series of informal lectures and discussions. Attendance is required at all eight sessions and class participation is expected. 

Love's Books, Love's Looks: Textual and Visual Perspectives on the Roman de la Rose

Submitted by Anonymous on
33800
=CDIN 41400, ARTH 42208, FREN 31403, GNDR 31600
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2008-2009
Daisy Delogu, Aden Kumler

The course will initiate students into the complex allegorical narrative of the Roman de la Rose and its images. Through discussion of topically organized scholarship on the Rose and its historical ambient the seminar will provide students with the historical and historiographical orientation required for sophisticated interpretation of the work. The seminar will provide a setting for discussion and debate that draws from the special disciplinary skills of seminar participants and works toward a more integrated and mutually engaging conversation about how we can work to 'see' the Rose collaboratively.

Things Poets Say

Submitted by Anonymous on
34001
=PORT 36501, SCTH 30640
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Miguel Tamen

Do poets know what they say? Do they know what they do? Can we talk about 'poets', in any general intelligible sense? Attempting to answer these questions, we will use as a basic corpus for seminar discussion seven interviews well-known poets gave to The Paris Review since 1953 (which will be made available in the first session). We will then discuss a classic statement of the theory according to which poets don't know what they say or do: Plato's Ion .

Embracing the Past, Struggling with the Present; Poetry's Quest for Meaning

Submitted by Anonymous on
34101
=ENGL 34560, SCTH 34350
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Adam Zagajewski

PQ: Open to undergrads. In this class we'll be reading poets (and a few essayists as well) and, in doing so, paying attention to their romance with the historical time. We'll ask several questions and among them this one: Is the dialogue with history one of the main sources of meaning in poetry? And: Which layers of the past and the present are involved? Why does the imagination need the past? But we'll also concentrate on individual voices and situations. Texts: C.P. Cavafy, Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, Joseph Brodsky, W.G. Sebald, Z. Herbert and other authors.

Great Poems

Submitted by Anonymous on
34370
=SCTH 34370
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2011-2012
J Lear and A Zagajewski

This class has a simple premise: to read closely poems which offer an interesting form and a rich and complex content (if these two can be separated). To read great poems. What's expected here is an intellectual detective work. Among the poets there will be representatives of different generations of literary Modernism: Guillaume Appollinaire, Gottfried Benn, Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Celan, Zbigniew Herbert, Paul Valery, C.K. Williams. Technically speaking, we'll only read one or two poems each week. Students will be required to participate actively in the conversations and to write a final paper.

Measuring the World: Poetry as a Magnetic Compass

Submitted by Anonymous on
34380
=SCTH 34380
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2011-2012
A Zagajewski

The idea of the class is to read attentively selected poems by five distinguished poets representing five cultures and languages: English, Russian, German, Modern Greek and Polish: Philip Larkin, Joseph Brodsky, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, C.P. Cavafy and Wislawa Szymborska. These five poets are different and yet their work can be put on the same map - the map of the European Modernism. We'll read and discuss these poems; students will be required to participate actively in the conversations and to write a final paper. Undergraduates can attend the class with my consent.

Living Poetry

Submitted by vickylim on
34381
SCTH 34381
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Thomas Pavel

Kurosawa and his Sources

Submitted by vickylim on
34410
CMST 34410, EALC 34410, SCTH 34012
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Olga Solovieva

This interdisciplinary graduate course focuses on ten films of Akira Kurosawa which were based on literary sources, raging from Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Georges Simenon, and Shakespeare to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev. The course will not only introduce to 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 will combine 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 a hands-on training in the interdisciplinary methodology of Comparative Literature. Undergraduate students can be admitted only with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: Intro to Film or Close Analysis of Film class. Course limited to 10 participants.

Syllabus available here.

Russian Modernist Prose

Submitted by vickylim on
34503
RUSS 34503
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Robert Bird

A survey of Russian modernist prose from the neo-realists (Bunin, Gorky) and symbolists (Sologub, Briusov, Bely) to early Soviet writers (Zamiatin, Zoshchenko, Bulgakov, Pil'niak, Platonov). Topics will include the development of style and the literary language, experimentation with narrative form, and concurrent developments in criticism and theory. Extensive comparison will be made to modernist prose in Polish, German, French and English. Knowledge of Russian required. 

The Bakhtin Mystery: Text, Context, and Authorship

Submitted by vickylim on
34505
REES 33147
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2015-2016
Boris Maslov; Robert Bird

The Bakhtin Circle was an informal alliance of several young thinkers, formed amid the tumult of the Russian revolution, swiftly forced into silence after a brief efflorescence in the 1920s, and rediscovered with aplomb in the 1960s. Despite their broad influence in recent decades, basic issues of authorship, originality and coherence continue to dominate scholarship on Bakhtin and his colleagues. We will survey the corpus of texts originating in the Bakhtin Circle, not only those published under the name of Mikhail Bakhtin, but also the explicitly Marxist texts published under the names of Pavel Medvedev and Valentin Voloshinov but frequently attributed to Bakhtin. At issue in the course is not only the historiography and interpretation of the Bakhtin corpus, but also the origins of critical theory, the dynamics of theoretical collaboration, and methods of attribution. We will also be interested in the potential that these writings hold for constructing a viable theory of literary forms today. Our first task will be to establish the sources, contexts and development of Bakhtin's early work, including "Toward a Philosophy of the Act," "Art and Answerability" and Problems of Dostoevsky's Art. We will then examine the works published by Medvedev and Voloshinov, using the mystery of their authorship to frame questions concerning the organization of intellectual activity (including authorship) in a revolutionary situation and the role of the Bakhtin Circle in the development of critical theory in the West (especially via the mediation of Raymond Williams and Fredric Jameson). We will then proceed to an examination of major concepts in Bakhtin's later work, including chronotope and carnival. Students will collaborate on the creation of a web-based glossary of major terms of the Bakhtin Circle, as the germ of a larger project. All texts are available in English translation.

Russian Poetry from Blok to Pasternak

Submitted by vickylim on
34505
RUSS 34505
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Robert Bird; Boris Maslov

We will survey the selected poetry of major Russian modernists from 1900 to 1935, including lyrical and narrative genres. Poets covered include: Aleksandr Blok, Andrei Belyi, Viacheslav Ivanov, Nikolai Gumilev, Osip Mandel’shtam, Anna Akhmatova, Velimir Khlebnikov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak. In addition to tracing the development of poetic doctrines (from symbolism through acmeism and futurism), we will investigate the close correlations between formal innovation and the changing semantics of Russian poetry. Attention will also be paid to contemporary developments in Western European poetry. Knowledge of Russian required.

Poets in Their Context

Submitted by Anonymous on
34700
=SCTH 34360
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
Adam Zagajewski

PQ: Open to undergrads with consent of instructor. The idea of this class consists in reading European and US poets – including one of the major modernist Russian poets, Osip Mandelstam, Spanish giant Antonio Machado, Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz and our contemporary, Seamus Heaney from Ireland – in the context of their historic situation. We'll be looking both at the political and cultural context of their writing and try to combine interest in what's absolutely specific for each single writer with the concern for conditions underlying his/her creative endeavor. Students will be asked to actively participate in the class discussions and to write a final paper addressing the issues relevant to the course content. Books: Inger Christensen: Alphabet ; Seamus Heaney: Poems Essays ; August Kleinzahler: Green Sees Things in Waves ; Osip Mandelstam: Poems Essays ; Czeslaw Milosz: Poems The Witness of Poetry ; Don Paterson: The Eyes [Versions of Antonio Machado] ; Tadeusz Rozewicz: New Poems .

Mysticism and Modernist Writing. Philosophy, Aesthetics, Politics

Submitted by Anonymous on
34800
=GRMN 34811, FREN 34811
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Sandra Janssen

This seminar will explore the question of why so many European writers in the 1930s and 1940s (e.g., Robert Musil, Georges Bataille) were fascinated by mysticism. Although they were intensely interested in authors from the mystical tradition (e,g,. Meister Eckhart), they nevertheless did not seek a new kind of spirituality, but a secular form of mysticism, that is, a special kind of 'inner experience'. In this seminar, we will investigate the theory of subjectivity that this kind of experience aims at and will ask how it relates to concepts of society. For not only Bataille devises, in his activities for the Collège de Sociologie, the notion of a sociologie sacre, but also Henri Bergson links mysticism to a renewal of society ( Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion , 1932). We will also consider the more problematic implications of this conjunction, since exponents of Nazi ideology such as Alfred Rosenberg, or writers (temporarily) seduced by it such as Gottfried Benn, refer to mysticism as a form of collective participation.

MAPH Poetics Core Course

Submitted by vickylim on
34810
MAPH 34800, ENGL 34800
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
John Wilkinson

This intensive seminar focuses on recurrent tensions in poetics: for instance, voice and text, object and event, semantics and prosody, invention and representation. The historical span will reach from Plato to Prynne, and discussion will advance between constellations of poems and theoretical texts.

Money and Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
34902
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Tamara Chin

This seminar examines a set of imaginative and economic writings about money, drawn from western and non-western traditions. Topics will include the market and aesthetic values, counterfeiting and realism, coinage and ideology, and the historical emergence of economic genres. Readings will include Aristotle, Smith, Marx, Kurke, Poovey, Goux, Derrida, Sima Qian, Guanzi, Arrighi.

Phaedra and Hippolytus: Euripides, Seneca, Racine

Submitted by Anonymous on
35200
=FREN 35960, SCTH 35960
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Glenn Most

PQ: Knowledge of ancient Greek, Latin, or French, or permission of the instructor. French students work must be in French, including the final paper, for French credit. A close comparative reading of Euripides' Hippolytus, Seneca's Phaedra, and Racine's Phedre. There will be one seminar meeting each week for the whole class and one additional session to discuss the texts in the original language with those students who can read it. This course is a two-quarter course and will meet for the first five weeks of the winter term and the last five weeks of the spring term. There will be one grade report at the end of spring quarter. Students are mandated to register for both quarters.

Phaedra and Hippolytus: Euripides, Seneca, Racine

Submitted by Anonymous on
35200
=FREN 35960, SCTH 35960.
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2006-2007
Glenn Most

PQ: Knowledge of ancient Greek, Latin, or French, or permission of the instructor. French students work must be in French, including the final paper, for French credit. A close comparative reading of Euripides' Hippolytus, Seneca's Phaedra, and Racine's Phedre. There will be one seminar meeting each week for the whole class and one additional session to discuss the texts in the original language with those students who can read it. This course is a two-quarter course and will meet for the first five weeks of the winter term and the last five weeks of the spring term. There will be one grade report at the end of spring quarter. Students are mandated to register for both quarters.

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.

Judgment and Distinction (Urteilen und Unterscheiden)

Submitted by Anonymous on
35600
=GRMN 35911
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Susanne Luedemann

Modernity has often been interpreted as a 'crisis of distinction' (Krise des Unterscheidens), that is: as a loss of confidence in the ontological validity of human judgement and linguistic distinctions. On the one hand, this crisis resulted in doctrines of decisionism (Carl Schmitt, Heidegger) and constructivist approaches (George Spencer Brown, Niklas Luhmann); on the other hand, theories of undecidability have been flourishing during the last few decades (most prominent: Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben). Between these extreme positions, a new concept of judgment (Urteilskraft) seems to emerge which combines certain elements of Kant's aesthetic judgment with a rethinking of the political space (Jean-François Lyotard, Hannah Arendt). This course will therefore consider judging and distinguishing as elementary forms not only of logical thinking, but also of aesthetic practice and political reasoning. It addresses students of literary studies as well as students of political sciences, and philosophy. Readings will include texts by Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hölderlin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Giorgio Agamben, Niklas Luhmann, and others. Readings in German or English or French, discussion in English.

Hölderlin and the Greeks

Submitted by vickylim on
35614
GRMN 35614, CLAS 45613
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Christopher Wild and M. 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 spoken discourse. All texts will be read in English translation, but a reading knowledge of German and/or Greek would be desirable. (Cross-listed with: Classics and Comparative Literature. Graduate).

Avarice, After All

Submitted by vickylim on
35713
CDIN 35713, GRMN 35713
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2013-2014
Eric Santner and Mladen Dolar

With the help of Freud, Marx, Lacan, Foucault, Agamben (among others) along with some highpoints of the European literary canon, we propose to develop a “critique of avarice,” a project to be sharply distinguished from the moralistic indignation at greed. Our historical and theoretical reflections on avarice open out on to a number of domains and modes of inquiry: from literary criticism to psychoanalysis, from the study of political economy to theories of biopolitics, and finally to the “Jewish question” in relation to all of this. The core text and touchstone of the seminar will be Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, in which the tensions, ambiguities, disavowals, hatreds, projections, and repressions associated with the “avarice complex” are magisterially staged and played out. Attention will also be given to the subsequent history of the figure of Shylock as well as to the capacities for mercy and forgiveness that were posited as the ideal opposites of avarice and usury. One of the goals of the seminar is to interrogate this very opposition.

Note: Consent of instructor required.

Reading Modern Poets

Submitted by Anonymous on
35901
=ENGL 27805/47215, SCTH 34340
  • Graduate
  • 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.

Virgil, The Aeneid

Submitted by vickylim on
35902
SCTH 35902
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Glenn Most

A close literary analysis of one of the most celebrated works of European literature. While the text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, attention will also be directed to the extraordinary reception of this epic, from Virgil's times to ours.
PQ: Latin helpful

Euripides, Bacchae

Submitted by vickylim on
35912
SCTH 35912
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2011-2012
Glenn Most

Euripides' Bacchae was probably the last play Euripides finished and is certainly one of the latest plays of the three great 5th century Athenian tragedians. Unusually among Greek tragedies, it takes as its subject a myth about the god of tragedy himself, Dionysus; and explores the relations between city and cult, rationality and religious fervor, man and woman, among other issues; it has always played a central role in interpretations of Euripides and of Greek tragedy in general. The seminar will work through the text closely, examining its philological problems and the history of scholarship but also considering its literary, religious, political, anthropological, and other dimensions. Some attention will also be given to the reception of the play in art and literature and to modern stagings and films. While knowledge of ancient Greek is not indispensable, students planning to take the course who do not know Greek should get in touch with the professor beforehand.

Walter Benjamin

Submitted by vickylim on
35913
SCTH 35913
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2011-2012
Glenn Most

Walter Benjamin is not recognized as one of the most  seminal thinkers of the 20th century and has proved very influential in a number of disciplines. The seminar will provide a survey across his whole career and through the variety of fields in which he wrote, placing the emphasis on his literary criticism but also including discussion of his writings in philosophy, political thought, religion, autobiography, and other areas. Knowledge of German is not indispensable but would be welcome. Open to ug by consent.

How to think about literature: the main notions

Submitted by vickylim on
36001
RLLT 36000, SCTH XXXXX (coming soon)
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Thomas Pavel

In literary studies new trends and theories rarely supersede older ones.  While in physics and biology Aristotle has long been obsolete, literary scholars still find his Poetics to be a source of important insights.  And yet literary studies are not resistant to change.  Over time, they have experienced a genuine historical growth in thinking. Perhaps one can best describe the discipline of literature as a stable field of recurring issues that generate innovative thinking. 

How to think about literature will introduce graduate students to the main notion of the field.  The aim of the course is to identify an object of study that is integral, yet flexible enough to allow for comparisons between its manifestations in various national traditions.

19th Century French Poetry in Translation

Submitted by vickylim on
36012
SCTH 36012, ENGL 36012
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Rosanna Warren

A study of modern French lyric poetry at the graduate level: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire. Texts will be read in English with reference to the French originals. Close reading, references to poetry in English, and focus on problems in translation. Students with French should read the poems I the original. Class discussion to be conducted in English; critical essays to be written in English.

Pages