Course Listing

Filter by course level:

Filter by quarter:

Filter by academic year:

History and Modern Arabic Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
30551
ARAB 30551
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Orit Bashkin

PQ:  reading knowledge of Arabic (namely three years of Arabic at least) is required; students are expected to read the novels as part of their homework assignment.

The class studies historical novels and the insights historians might gain from contextualizing and analyzing them. The Arab middle classes were exposed to a variety of newspapers and literary and scientific magazines, which they read at home and in societies and clubs, during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. Such readers learned much about national identity, gender relations and Islamic reform from historical novels popularized in the local press.  Some of these novels were read not only by adults, but also by children, and consequently their ideas reached a very large audience. The novels’ writers paid great attention to debates concerning political theory and responded to discourses that were occurring in the public spheres of urban Middle East centers and, concurrently, appropriated and discussed themes debated among Orientalists and Western writers. The class will explore these debates as well as the connections between the novel and other genres in classical Arabic literature which modern novels hybridized and parodied.  It will survey some of the major works in the field, including historical novels by Gurji Zaydan, Farah Antun, Nikola Haddad, and Nagib Mahfuz.

Ideas of Lyric

Submitted by vickylim on
34270
MAPH 34270,ENGL 24270,ENGL 34270
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Joshua Adams

What is lyric poetry? Should the genre be defined by its relationship to song? By the convention of a first-person speaker? By reference to a particular model of the self or the person? By the presence of ambiguity or paradox? By the fact that it resists paraphrase? Or is the lyric ultimately a product of practices and institutions that can and should be historicized? This course will attempt to answer some of these questions by surveying some important modern and contemporary theories of lyric poetry. We will read philosophical and critical work by, among others, Hegel, Wordsworth, J.S. Mill, T.S. Eliot, William Empson, Theodor Adorno, Paul de Man, W.R. Johnson, Allen Grossman, Robert von Hallberg, Susan Stewart, Virginia Jackson, Daniel Tiffany, and Oren Izenberg. We will analyze these texts as arguments, but also test their claims against actual poems. Requirements include a class presentation and a final paper.

Current MAPH students and 3rd and 4th years in the College. All others by instructor consent only. THIS COURSE WILL NOW BE HELD ON MW AT 1:30-2:50 FOR THE UPCOMING SPRING 2013 QUARTER.

Archaic Poetics

Submitted by Anonymous on
20301
40300
=CLCV 27209, CLAS 47209, SLAV 20301/42200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

This seminar investigates the notion of archaic (a.k.a. primitive, folk, sentimental, mythological) poetics, originally formulated by the Romantics, but later pursued by scholars who sought to conceptualize the presumed break between oral literatures of traditional societies, as well as texts produced in Archaic Greece, and modern literary praxis. In this course we will be interested both in the actual lineaments of an archaic poetics and its literary reception in the 19 th -20 th c. Apart from relevant primary sources (Homeric epic, archaic Greek choral lyric, primitivist modernist poetry, etc.), we will discuss works by Fr. Schlegel, Veselovsky, Propp, Levi-Strauss, Bakhtin, Parry, and others.

Jewish Thought and Literature III: Biblical Voices in Modern Hebrew Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
20401
30401
JWSC 20006,NEHC 20406,NEHC 30406,RLST 20406
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Na'ama Rokem

The Hebrew Bible is the most important intertextual point of reference in Modern Hebrew literature, a literary tradition that begins with the (sometimes contested) claim to revive the ancient language of the Bible. In this course, we will consider the Bible as a source of vocabulary, figurative language, voice and narrative models in modern Hebrew and Jewish literature, considering the stakes and the implications of such intertextual engagement. Among the topics we will focus on: the concept of language-revival, the figure of the prophet-poet, revisions and counter-versions of key Biblical stories (including the story of creation, the binding of Isaac and the stories of King David), the Song of Songs in Modern Jewish poetry.

Jewish Thought and Literature III: The Multilingual Twentieth Century

Submitted by Anonymous on
20401
30401
=JWSC 20006, JWSG 30006, NEHC 20406/30406
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Na'ama Rokem

This seminar examines one of the most striking dimensions of the modern Hebrew literary canon: it was largely written by non-native speakers. This is true not only for the generation of the revival, but also for following generations and even after the foundation of the state of Israel. While most contemporary Hebrew authors do not fall into this category, the phenomenon has a fascinating afterlife to this day. The seminar thus covers a range of materials that span over a century of literary production. It is designed to give students not familiar with Hebrew literature a sense of the historical trajectory it follows over the twentieth century, while raising a number of theoretical and historical questions. Among the questions that will interest us are: To what extent is the category of the native speaker relevant, or even viable, in the study of literature? What is the role of bilingualism and auto-translation in literary production and literary theory? And how does the case of Zionism and the Hebrew revival compare with other cases of bilingual authorship, such as contemporary Latino-American literature? How has the position of Hebrew in the Jewish cultural sphere evolved? How has Hebrew language learning been tied to other categories such as religion, gender or class, and what are the implications for reading Hebrew literature? Readings will all be made available in translation, with an additional tutorial for readers of Hebrew.

Decolonizing Drama and Performance in Africa and Beyond

Submitted by Anonymous on
21202
41202
=CMST 24508/44508, ENGL 22402/44508
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Loren Kruger

PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing and prior course in either theatre or African studies. Working knowledge of French and/or Spanish is required for Comparative Literature status and recommended, but not required, for other students. This course examines the connections among dramatic writing, theatrical practice, and theoretical reflection on decolonization primarily in Africa and the Caribbean in the twentieth century. Authors (many of whom write theory and theater) may include Aima Aidoo, Fatima Dike, Aime Cesaire, Franz Fanon, Fernandez Retamar, Athol Fugard, Biodun Jeyifo, Were Liking, Mustafa Matura, Jose Marti, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kwame Nkrumah, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott. Texts in English, French, and/or Spanish.

Prefaces

Submitted by Anonymous on
21501
31501
=PORT 23000/33000, SCTH 30611
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Miguel Tamen

In the last 2 centuries philosophers and writers have often written prefaces to their own works; many such prefaces have become famous, a few have become infamous. Both traditions include the names of otherwise very different authors such as Hegel and Wittgenstein, or Baudelaire and Frost. Since the functions of prefaces seem to be fairly obvious and well-known, we will not be putting forth any new theory about prefaces. Instead, we will read and discuss in depth some of the best philosophical and literary prefaces written since 1800. A complete list of about 20 texts, which is likely to include most of the names above, and a course packet will be made available in the first session.

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

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

Caribbean Fiction: Self-understanding and Exoticism

Submitted by Anonymous on
21801
31801
=FREN 23500/33500
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Daniel Desormeaux

The Caribbean is often described as enigmatic, uncommon and supernatural. While foreigners assume that the Caribbean is exotic, this course will explore this assumption from a Caribbean perspective. We will examine the links between Caribbean and Old World imagination, the relationship between exoticism and Caribbean notions of superstition, and the way in which the Caribbean fictional universe derives from a variety of cultural myths. The course will be taught in English and all required texts are in English and English translations from French. A weekly session in French will be held for majors and graduate students in French and Comparative Literature.

The Manifesto, Revolution, and Modernity

Submitted by Anonymous on
22000
32000
=SLAV 21800/31800
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Radoslav Borislavov

As a genre the manifesto provides a unique opportunity for studying the political and aesthetic movements of modernity. It thrives on a culture of crisis by articulating demands, galvanizing public opinion, and dividing the body politic. This class will study the politics, poetics, and geography of the manifesto form between 1870 and 1930. Readings will include symbolist, futurist, dada, and surrealist manifestoes. Additional texts by Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, Leon Trotsky, Hugo Ball, Andre Breton, Kazimir Malevich, Wyndham Lewis, Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Tretiakov. Films by Rene Clair, Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Luis Bunuel.

Nineteenth Century Literature of the Balkans

Submitted by Anonymous on
22101
32101
=SOSL 26600/36600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Angelina Ilieva

In this course, we will look at the works of the major nineteenth century writers and poets from the Balkans. We will examine how their works grapple with the issues of national identity, with the emergence of their nations from the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires, and with their countries? place in the Balkans and in Europe. We will map our work on two major axes: syntagmatic difference-how each work develops its own rules of reading-and paradigmatic similarity-how working through the difference, one uncovers systematic correlations in the ways the texts go about structuring their universe. We will pay attention to the historical context and will investigate the main philosophical categories through which these works make sense of the world. It is the hope of the instructor that by the end of the course, these older foreign texts will no longer seem impenetrable and strange because we will have learnt to understand the power and beauty with which these texts speak.

Left-Wing Art and Soviet Film Culture of the 1920s

Submitted by Anonymous on
22200
32200
=ARTH 28100/38100, CMST 24701/34701, SLAV 26700/36700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Yuri Tsivian

The course will consider Soviet montage cinema of the twenties in the context of coeval aesthetic projects in other arts. How did Eisenstein's theory and practice of intellectual cinema connect to Fernand Leger and Vladimir Tatlin? What did Meyerkhold's biomechanics mean for film makers? Among other figures and issues, we will address Dziga Vertov and Constructivism, German Expressionism and Aleksandr Dovzhenko, Formalist poetics and FEKS directors. The course will be film-intensive (up to three hours of out-of-class viewings per week).

Magic Realist and Fantastic Writings from the Balkans

Submitted by Anonymous on
22201
32201
=SOSL 27400/37400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Angelina Ilieva

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

Magic Realist and Fantastic Writings from the Balkans

Submitted by Anonymous on
22201
32201
=ISHU 27405, SOSL 27400/37400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Angelina Ilieva

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

War and Peace

Submitted by vickylim on
22301
32301
RUSS 22302, RUSS 32302, HIST 23704, FNDL 27103, ENGL 28912, ENGL 32302
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
William Nickell

A close reading of Tolstoy's great novel, with attention to theoretical approaches to be found in the large critical apparatus devoted to the novel.

Literatures of the Christian East: Late antiquity, Byzantium, and Medieval Russia

Submitted by vickylim on
22302
32302
CLAS 31113, CLCV 21113, SLAV 22302/32302, HCHR 34604, RLIT 34604
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Boris Maslov

After the fall of Rome in 476 CE, literatures of the Latin West and – predominantly Greek-speaking – Eastern provinces of the Roman empire followed two very different paths. Covering both religious and secular genres, we will survey some of the most interesting texts written in the Christian East in the period from 330 CE (foundation of Constantinople) to the late 17th c. (Westernization of Russia). Our focus throughout will be on continuities within particular styles and types of discourse (court entertainment, rhetoric, historiography, hagiography) and their functions within East Christian cultures. Readings will include Digenes Akritas and Song of Igor’s Campaign, as well as texts by Emperor Julian the Apostate, Gregory of Nazianzus, Emphraim the Syrian, Anna Comnena, Psellos, Ivan the Terrible, and Archbishop Avvakum. No prerequisites. All readings in English.

History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960

Submitted by Anonymous on
22500
32500
=ARTH 28600/38600, ARTV 26600, CMST 28600/48600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
Y Tsivian

PQ: Prior or current registration in CMST 10100 required; CMLT 22400/32400 strongly recommended. The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction ; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960

Submitted by Anonymous on
22500
32500
=ARTH 28600/38600, ARTV 26600, CMST 28600/48600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Yuri Tsivian

PQ: Prior or current registration in CMST 10100 required; CMLT 22400/32400 strongly recommended. The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction ; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960

Submitted by Anonymous on
22500
32500
=ARTH 28600/38600, ARTV 26600, CMST 28600/48600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Ronald Gregg

PQ: Prior or current registration in CMST 10100 required; CMLT 22400/32400 strongly recommended. The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History, An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

Film Noir: French and American

Submitted by Anonymous on
22901
32901
=ENGL 28911/47214
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg

This course focuses on film noir in a broad sense, including neo-noir. We attend to some of the conventions of the genre in terms of plot, characterization, and cinematography. There is also a thematic focus: How is trust constructed in these films? What are the features of trust that most directly affect political systems? Is trust among men much different from that among men and women in heterosexual relationships? We interpret a set of films as utopian efforts to imagine trusting lives. Films include The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Kiss Me Deadly, Out of the Past, Touch of Evil, Notorious, Narrow Margin, Blast of Silence, Night and the City, Criss Cross, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Gilda, Double Indemnity, Rififi, Chinatown, LA Confidential, Band of Outsiders, Bob le Flambeur , and Le Samourai .

Kurosawa and his Literary Sources

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

This interdisciplinary graduate and advanced undergraduate course focuses on ten films of Akira Kurosawa which were based on literary sources ranging from Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Georges Simenon, and Shakespeare to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev. The course not only introduces some theoretical and intermedial problems of adaptation of literature to film but also address cultural and political implications of Kurosawa’s adaptation of classic and foreign sources. We will study how Kurosawa’s turn to literary adaptation provided a vehicle for circumventing social taboos of his time and offered a screen for addressing politically sensitive and sometimes censored topics of Japan’s militarist past, war crimes, defeat in the Second World War, and ideological conflicts of reconstruction. The course combines film analysis with close reading of relevant literary sources, contextualized by current work of political, economic, and cultural historians of postwar Japan. The course is meant to provide hands-on training in the interdisciplinary methodology of Comparative Literature.

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

 

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

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

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

Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise

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

How and why do national identities provoke the deep emotional attachments that they do? In this course we try to understand these emotional attachments by examining the narrative of loss and redemption through which most nations in the Balkans retell their Ottoman past. We begin by considering the mythic temporality of the Romantic national narrative while focusing on specific national literary texts where the national past is retold through the formula of original wholeness, foreign invasion, Passion, and Salvation. We then proceed to unpack the structural role of the different elements of that narrative. With the help of Žižek’s theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we think about the national fixation on the trauma of loss, and the role of trauma in the formation of national consciousness. Specific theme inquiries involve the figure of the Janissary as self and other, brotherhood and fratricide, and the writing of the national trauma on the individual physical body. Special attention is given to the general aesthetic of victimhood, the casting of the victimized national self as the object of the “other’s perverse desire.” With the help of Freud, Žižek and Kant we consider the transformation of national victimhood into the sublimity of the national self. The main primary texts include Petar Njegoš’ Mountain Wreath (Serbia and Montenegro), Ismail Kadare’s The Castle (Albania), Anton Donchev’s Time of Parting (Bulgaria).

The Other within the Self: Identity in Balkan Literature and Film

Submitted by Anonymous on
23401
33401
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Staff

This two-course sequence examines discursive practices in a number of literary and cinematic works from the South East corner of Europe through which identities in the region become defined by two distinct others: the barbaric, demonic Ottoman and the civilized Western European.

The Burden of History: A Nation and Its Lost Paradise

Submitted by Anonymous on
23401
33401
=NEHC 20573/30573, SOSL 27300/37300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Angelina Ilieva

This course begins by defining the nation both historically and conceptually, with attention to Romantic nationalism and its flourishing in Southeastern Europe. We then look at the narrative of original wholeness, loss, and redemption through which Balkan countries retell their Ottoman past. With the help of Freud's analysis of masochistic desire and Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we contemplate the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the dynamic between victimhood and sublimity. The figure of the Janissary highlights the significance of the other in the definition of the self. Some possible texts are Petar Njegoš's Mountain Wreath ; Ismail Kadare's The Castle ; and Anton Donchev's Time of Parting .

Making a Scene

Submitted by Anonymous on
23702
33702
=ENGL 25931/42409
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Larry Rothfield

This course seeks to explore the arena of socialinteractions—from flirting to striving for status to solidarity-seeking and beyond—that is captured by the term the social scene. We make use of literary fiction (i.e., Austen, Flaubert, Wilde), artwork (i.e., Manet), film (i.e., Warhol), and television (i.e., Jersey Shore ) that helps bring into visibility the morphology, power dynamics, and ethical or political possibilities inherent in scenes. We also look at some efforts to conceptualize scenes (e.g., Benjamin, Lefebvre, Fischer, Jameson, Bourdieu, Foucault).

The Alice Books

Submitted by Anonymous on
24201
34201
=PORT 26801/36801
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Miguel Tamen

We will read Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). Some topics to be discussed are (alphabetically) animals, children, conversation, intention, justice and fairness, meaning of a word, malapropism, manners, pastoral, pictures, poems. Discussions will sometimes be accompanied by additional texts, which only occasionally count as secondary bibliography. Among these, we may read texts by Austin, Davidson, Empson, Oakeshott, Pitcher, Rawls, Russell, Wittgenstein and others.

Poetry and Translation: Theory and Practice

Submitted by vickylim on
24270
34270
MAPH 34310
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Joshua Adams

This course will introduce students to classic and contemporary texts of translation theory in the West, with an eye to the relevance of these theories for the difficulties and promises of translating poetry. We will read theoretical texts by Jerome, Dryden, Herder, Schleiermacher, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Pound and others, and will test these theories against one another and against various English translations of excerpts taken from Dante's Inferno, as well as translations of individual poems by Charles Baudelaire. Students will have the opportunity to produce their own translations as part of their required work for the course.

PQ: Reading knowledge of one foreign language.

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

Submitted by Anonymous on
24401
34401
=FREN 25301/35301
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Thomas Pavel

The course will examine several major 18th-century novels, including Manon Lescaut by Prevost, Pamela by Richardson, Shamela by Fielding, La Nouvelle Héloïse by Rousseau, Jacques le Fataliste by Diderot, and The Sufferings of Young Werther by Goethe. The course is taught in English. A weekly session in French will be held for majors and graduate students in French and Comparative Literature.

Lyric Genres from Classical Antiquity to Postmodernism

Submitted by Anonymous on
24501
34501
=CLAS 37109, CLCV 27109, SLAV 24501/34501
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

PQ: Texts in English. Optional discussion sessions offered in the original (i.e., Greek, Latin, German, Russian). Moving beyond the modern perception of lyric as a direct expression of the poet's subjectivity, this course confronts the remarkable longevity of poetic genres 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 sample such poets as Sappho, Horace, Marvell, Hölderlin, Whitman, Mandel'shtam, Brodsky, and Milosz.

Language of Power: Court Culture in Early Modern Europe and Russia

Submitted by Anonymous on
24502
34502
=RUSS 24501/34501, HIST 23811/33811, GRMN 24511/34511
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Kirill Ospovat

Crossing the disciplinary boundaries between social, political, cultural and literary history, as well as the symbolic divide between Russia and Western Europe, the course will explore early modern royal courts as crucial institutions of European culture. Rulers and the elites relied on symbolic resources of literature, philosophy and the arts to secure their growing political authority and broadcast values underpinning the existing social order. From the Renaissance on royal courts increasingly merged into a single an-European sociocultural paradigm, which over centuries framed the political effort of rulers as remote as Louis XIV, King of France, and Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, as well as creative work of artists, composers and writers as important as Rubens, Molière, Mozart, Goethe, and Derzhavin.Absolutist social values and the modes of their cultural (re)production at the courts of early modern Europe and Russia will be examined drawing on historical sources as well works of art, philosophy and science, but primarily concentrating on literature. Texts in English.

When Characters Meet Their Authors: Frontiers of Fiction

Submitted by vickylim on
24713
34713
FREN 24713/34713
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Francoise Lavocat

This course will examine the role and function of both the author and the character by investigating the long exploited narrative device of their encounter within the fictional world. In so doing, we will reflect upon the boundaries of fiction (do they exist ? what is their nature: logical, narratological, ontological ?).  We will read French, Spanish, Italian, and English texts, encompassing a variety of genres and media, from the early modern to contemporary periods.   Authors will include Cervantes, Molière, Fénelon, Bougeant, Pirandello, Caumery, Woody Allen, Paul Auster, and Jonathan Coe.

Note: All readings will be offered English, although students may read French, Italian and Spanish texts in their original language.   Students taking the course for French credit must read all French texts in the original language and do written work in French.  Prerequisites:  For FREN, at least two literature level courses (FREN 21700 or above); for Comp Lit, two literature level courses (200-level and above).

Cosmopolitanisms

Submitted by Anonymous on
24901
34901
=ENGL 24305/34901
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Tamara Chin

This course explores notions of cosmopolitanism in philosophy, historiography, and literature. Topics include ancient world systems, world literature, hospitality, and hybridity. Readings may include Derek Walcott's Omeros, the Hellenistic Life of Aesop, early Chinese prose-poetry, Derrida, Frank, and Spivak.

Mimesis

Submitted by Anonymous on
24902
30400
=CLAS 39200, EALC 30400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Tamara Chin

This course will introduce the concept of mimesis (imitation, representation), tracing it from Plato and Aristole through some of its reformulations in recent literary and critical theory. Topics to be addressed include desire, postcolonialism, and non-western aesthetic traditions. Readings may include Plato, Aristotle, Euripides's Bacchae , Book of Songs , Lu Ji's Rhapsody on Literature , Auerbach, Butler, Derrida, Girard, Saussy, and Spivak.

Greece/China

Submitted by vickylim on
24903
34903
CLCV 27612, CLAS 37612, EALC 24901, EALC 34901
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Tamara Chin

This class will explore three sets of paired authors from ancient China and Greece: Herodotus/Sima Qian; Plato/Confucius; Homer/Book of Songs.  Topics will include genre, authorship, style, cultural identity, and translation, as well as the historical practice of Greece/China comparative work.

Plato on Poets

Submitted by vickylim on
25013
35013
PORT 25013/35013, SCTH 30612
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Miguel Tamen

Humor in Yiddish Literature and Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
25501
35501
=ENGL 28913/37404, GRMN 25510/35510, YDDH 25510/35510
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Jan Schwarz

This course will apply various theoretical models of Diaspora literature to the study of Yiddish tales, short stories, monologues, plays, novels and life-writing from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the topics addressed in the course are Yiddish humor and satire, literary modernism, the classical Yiddish writers' image of the shtetl (small Jewish town in Central and Eastern Europe) and Isaac Bashevis Singer's demon narrators. Readings are by Sh. Y. Abramovitsh, Y.L.Peretz. Scholem-Aleichem, Dovid Bergelson, Der Nister, Jonah Rosenfeld, I.B.Singer, Chaim Grade, Ester Kreytman, Chava Rosenfarb, Yankev Glathsteyn and Sh. Ansky.

Unhappiness

Submitted by vickylim on
25703
35703
SCTH 35703,SCTH 25703,PHIL 21402,PHIL 31402,
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Irad Kimhi

"Nothing is funnier then unhappiness" says Nelly in Beckett's Endgame. We shall seek to distinguish between unhappiness, as the subject of poetic works, from unhappiness as it is understood by philosophy, which, I would argue, is precisely as funny as nothing. We shall discuss some famous unhappy families. A Greek tragedy (Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus), a Renaissance tragedy (Shakespeare, Hamlet), a modern theater of the absurd (Beckett: Endgame).

Medieval Epic

Submitted by Anonymous on
25900
35900
=ENGL 15800, RLST 26308
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
M Murrin

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.

Civil War and Literature

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

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

Oulipo in Context

Submitted by vickylim on
26510
36510
FREN 26510/36510
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
James Alison

This course will examine the history and achievements of the Paris-based literary collective Oulipo, (Workshop for Potential Literature), from its founding as a secret society in 1960 to its expansion into an internationally visible group. We will consider the group's relationship to (and reaction against) earlier and contemporary avant-garde movements, the French new novel, and structuralism, and we will also examine the reception of Oulipian writing outside France. Readings will include collective publications by the group as well as works by Queneau, Perec, Roubaud, Calvino, Mathews, Grangaud, and others. A weekly session in French will be held for French majors and graduate students. Students seeking French credit must do the readings (where applicable) and writing in French.

The Brighter Side of the Balkans: Humor & Satire in Lit & Film

Submitted by vickylim on
26610
NEHC 20884, NEHC 30884,SOSL 26610, SOSL 36610
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Angelina Ilieva and Victor Friedman

Laughter is universal but its causes are culturally determined. A joke in one culture can be a shaggy dog story in another.  The figure of the trickster occurs in many places and times and under many guises. Stereotypes can be revelatory about those who deploy them. At the same time, humor can be both an outlet and a danger. There is a special word in Russian for those sentenced to prison for telling political jokes.  This course focuses on Balkan humor, which, like the Balkans itself, is located in a space where "Western Europe", "Eastern Europe" "Central Europe" "The Mediterranean", "The Levant", and the "Near/Middle East" intersect in various ways (linguistically and culturally), compete for dominance or resist domination, and ultimately create a unique--albeit fuzzily bounded--subject of study.

In this course, we examine the poetics of laughter in the Balkans. In order to do so, we introduce humor as both cultural and transnational. We unpack the multiple layers of cultural meaning in the logic of “Balkan humor.” We also examine the functions and mechanisms of laughter, both in terms of cultural specificity and general practice and theories of humor. Thus, the study of Balkan humor will help us elucidate the “Balkan” and the “World,” and will provide insight not only into cultural mores and social relations, but into the very notion of “funny.” Our own laughter in class will be the best measure of our success – both cultural and intellectual.

Historicizing Desire

Submitted by vickylim on
27000
37001
EALC 27410/37410, CLCV 27706, GNSE 28001
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Tamara Chin

This course examines conceptions of desire in ancient China and ancient Greece through an array of early philosophical, literary, historical, legal, and medical texts. We will explore the broader cultural background of the two ancient periods, and engage with theoretical debates on the history of sexuality, feminist and queer studies, and East/West studies.

Contemporary Chinese Writers and the Literary Field

Submitted by Anonymous on
27402
37402
=EALC 28620/38620
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Paola Iovene

This course explores the ways in which Chinese writers and critics have responded and contributed to the transformations in the Chinese literary field from the 1970s to the present. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of the literary field, we discuss notions of autonomy and authorship, concepts of high and popular literature, and writers' attitudes toward commercialization. Texts include poems by Bei Dao and Yang Lian; and fiction by Mo Yan, Wang Shuo, Yu Hua, Han Shaogong, and Chen Ran. Texts in English. Students who read Chinese are encouraged to use Chinese materials.

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

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

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

Imaginary Worlds: Fantastic & Magic Realism in Russia & Southeastern Europe

Submitted by vickylim on
27701
37701
SOSL 27700 / 37700, RUSS 27300, RUSS 37300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Angelina Ilieva

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

Aeneids in Translation

Submitted by Anonymous on
28001
38001
=CLAS 37200, CLCV 27200, FNDL 26611
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
David Wray

We confront Virgil's Aeneid in translation as a poem, as an artifact and representation of Greco-Roman culture, as a response to a millennial oral (Homeric) poetic tradition and a particular historical (Augustan) moment, as a reflection of ancient thought rich with significance for contemporary questions about human life, and as a central piece of world literature. Readings include comparative study of English poetic translations ranging from early modernity (Caxton, Douglas, Phayer, Surrey, and Dryden) to the twentieth century (Taylor, Lewis, Jackson Knight, Mandelbaum, and Fitzgerald) and beyond (Lombardo and Fagles). Students who are majoring in Comparative Literature compare versions of a book of the Aeneid in at least two languages.

A Hero and a Fool: Don Quixote and its impact on art and literature

Submitted by vickylim on
28101
38101
SPAN 24202/34202, REMS 34202, SCTH 38250, FNDL 21211
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Fred de Armas, Thomas Pavel

The course will study the most popular novel of Early Modern times, its heroic origins, its comedy, and its humanist message.  The adventures of Don Quixote on the dusty roads of La Mancha challenge the actual world in the name of a dream and mix the highest ideals with the humblest reality.  We will see how Cervantes’s novel dialogues with the narratives of its period and later play a major role in English, French, Russian, and Spanish fiction.  We will also examine and appreciate the silent omnipresence of Italian Renaissance art in this novel.

The course will be taught in English.  Spanish majors will read the text in the original and use Spanish for course assignments. 

Comparative Metrics

Submitted by Anonymous on
28401
38401
=CLAS 38410, CLCV 28410, ENGL 28914/38401, GRMN 28411/38411, SLAV 28502/38502
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Boris (Rodin) Maslov

Working knowledge of one European language besides English is strongly recommended. This class offers an overview of major European systems of versification, with particular attention to their historical development. We are particularly concerned with Graeco-Roman quantitative metrics, its afterlife, and the evolution of Germanic and Slavic verse. In addition to analyzing the formal properties of verse, we inquire into their relevance for the articulation of poetic genres and, more broadly, the history of literary (and sub-literary) systems.

Fictions, Ideals, and Norms

Submitted by vickylim on
28601
38601
FREN 28600/38600; (=SCTH XXXXX)
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Thomas Pavel

This course will discuss the ways in which fiction imagines a multitude of individual cases meant to incite reflection on moral practices.  The topics will include: the distance between the “I” and its life, the birth of moral responsibility, and the role of affection and gratitude.  We will read philosophical texts by Elisabeth Anscombe, Charles Taylor, Robert Pippin, Hans Joas, Charles Larmore, and Candace Vogler, and literary texts by Shakespeare, Balzac, Theodor Fontane, Henry James, Carson McCullers, and Sandor Marai.  

Pages