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Renaissance Humanism

Submitted by vickylim on
42503
HIST 42503, CLAS 42514
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Ada Palmer

Humanism in the Renaissance was an ambitious project to repair what idealists saw as a fallen, broken world by reviving the lost arts of antiquity. Their systematic transformation of literature, education, art, religion, architecture, and science dramatically reshaped European culture, mixing ancient and medieval and producing the foundations of modern thought and society. Readings focus on primary sources: Petrarch, Poggio, Ficino, Pico, Castiglione, Machiavelli, and Thomas More, with a historiographical review of major modern treatments of the topic. We will consider such topics as the history of education, the history of science, the cultural and intellectual history, and the history of the book. The course will include hands-on work with manuscripts and early printed books with sessions on note-taking and other library and research skills. Flexible and self-directed writing assignments with a focus on advanced writing skills.

PQ: Upper-level ugrads with consent of instructor. Students w/ Latin, Gk, Italian, French, Spanish, or German will have the opportunity to use them.

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.

Theories of the Novel

Submitted by vickylim on
23415
ENGL 23415
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Lawrence Rothfield

Theories of the Novel: This course explores some of the fundamental conceptual issues raised by novels: in what way do plot, character, and authorial intention function in the novel, as opposed to other genres? How are novels formally unified (if they are)? What special problems are associated with beginnings and endings of novels? How do such basic features as titles and chapter divisions contribute to novelistic meanings? What are the ideological presuppositions – about gender, race, class, but also about the nature of social reality, of historicity, and of modernity -- inherent in a novelistic view? What ethical practices and structures of affect do novels encourage?

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)

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.