Course Listing

Filter by course level:

Filter by quarter:

Filter by academic year:

Brechtian Representations

Submitted by ldzoells on
40800
CMST 36200, TAPS 44500
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Loren Kruger
 

Brecht is indisputably the most influential playwright in the 20th century, but his influence on film theory and practice on cultural theory generally is also considerable. In this course we will explore the range and variety of Brecht's own theatre, from the anarchic plays of the 1920's to the agitprop Lehrstück and film (especially Kühle Wampe) to the classical parable plays, as well as the work of his heirs in German theatre (Heiner Müller, Peter Weiss) and film (RW Fassbinder, Alexander Kluge), in French film (Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker), film and theatre in Britain (Mike Leigh and Lucy Prebble), and theatre and film in Africa, from South Africa to Senegal. Crucially for graduate critical work: we will also give due attention to the often unacknowledged impact of Brecht's theorizing on a range of genres and media on this better known contemporaries Adorno, Benjamin, Lukács, as well as on cultural theory elsewhere from the Situationists to digital labor. Requirements: oral presentations, short midterm and final research paper. This course is designed for students in MAPH or HUM PhD programs; open to MFA with prior permission of instructor.

Destruction of Images, Books and Artifacts in Europe and South Asia

Submitted by ldzoells on
50204
CDIN 50204; SALC 50204; SCTH 50204; RLVC 50204; HREL 50204; ARTH 40204
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Olga Solovieva and Tyler Williams

The course offers a comparative perspective on European and South Asian iconoclasm. In the European tradition, iconoclasm was predominantly aimed at images, whereas in South Asian traditions it was also enacted upon books and buildings. The combination of these traditions will allow us to extend the usual understanding of iconoclasm as the destruction of images to a broader phenomenon of destruction of cultural artifacts and help question the theories of image as they have been independently developed in Europe and South Asia, and occasionally in conversation with one another. We will ask how and why, in the context of particular political imaginaries and material cultures, were certain objects singled out for iconoclasm? Also, who was considered to be entitled or authorized to commit their destruction? Through a choice of concrete examples of iconoclasm, we will query how religious and political motivations are defined, redefined, and intertwined in each particular case. We will approach the iconoclastic events in Europe and South Asia through the lenses of philology, history, and material culture. Class discussions will incorporate not only textual materials, but also the close collaborative study of images, objects, and film. Case studies will make use of objects in the Art Institute of Chicago and Special Collections at the University Library.

The Woman in Modern Greek Literature

Submitted by isagor on
21209
MOGK 21000; GNSE 21209, CLCV 22517
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Chrysanthi Koutsiviti

This course aims to reveal the woman and her world or what the society claims to be this world through prose and poetry written in different historical periods in Greece. The works chosen are part of major contemporary Greek literature and interact with culture, history and social ideas of the country. They represent three different periods:  the beginning of the 20th century, the years of dictatorship (1967-1974) and the period after the dictatorship until today. They all have a big impact on Greek literature and they all have drawn the interest of excellent translators in English. The works are offering the opportunity to observe the changes in women’ s position in Greece, and mostly to analyze major works examining the inner nature of the human being.

The texts will be taught in English. No knowledge of Modern Greek is required. However, students with such knowledge are encouraged to study the text in Modern Greek, as well, since the chosen editions are bilingual.

Nature in/as Literature

Submitted by isagor on
22380
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
David Orsbon

It seems self-evident that the world we live in influence our literatures and languages. The question is, How? On the other hand, nature itself is a kind of literature, and in more ways than one. From one point of view, nature writes itself when coastlines shift and mountains erode. But there are at least two other ways in which nature is a kind of literature. One of these stories is written by scientists and environmental historians, who take data acquired and use it to reconstruct narratives of environmental change. At the same time, there is another (and some would say, an especially urgent) story of nature, which is being etched into the natural world by bulldozers, bridges, and dynamite. Just like more traditional forms of nature writing, these other narratives of the environment are as much a form of literature as any other, and since humans have a role, not only in shaping the natural world, but also in telling its story, humans are the coauthors of the story of our planet in more than one sense.

This course is an introduction to the history of the concept of nature, ecocriticism, and environmental history. We will discuss issues and topics such as: relationships between nature and literature, ecofeminism, literary/textual ecosystems, environmental ethics, narratives of rise/collapse, animal studies, urban studies, ecolinguistics, and human-environment interactions.

Directors and Directing: Theory, Stage, Text

Submitted by isagor on
23305
TAPS 23305, ENGL 23305
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Michal Peles-Almagor

Theatre has always needed the concept of directing when staging a play. However, the role of the director as we know it has emerged only with the beginning of modern drama. This course will investigate the role of the director as an intersection between text, theory, and performance. The course explores the impact of the director in shaping modern drama, as well as critical approaches of literary and theatrical theory. We will deal not only with the historical development of the director’s role and textual interpretation, but also with the dynamics between theory and practice, and the changes in the concepts of space, acting, and performing. We will focus on approaches and writings by André Antoine, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Gordon Craig, Max Reinhardt, Jacques Copeau, Leopold Jessner, Erwin Piscator, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett. We will examine these approaches in relation to literary theories of performativity (John Austin, John Searle, Judith Butler, Mikhail Bakhtin). We will also be interested in testing whether these theories match the practice, and discuss the potential of constructing a theory of acting, performing, and directing today.    

Language is Migrant: Yiddish Poetics of the Border

Submitted by isagor on
29402
39402
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Anna Elena Torres

This course examines Ashkenazi Jewish literary narratives about geopolitical borders and border-crossing though travel and migration, engaged with questions about the linguistic borders of Yiddish itself. As a diasporic language, Yiddish has long been constructed as subversively internationalist or cosmopolitan, raising questions about the relationships between language and nation, vernacularity and statelessness.

This course explores the questions: How do the diasporic elements of the language produce literary possibilities? How do the “borders” of Yiddish shape its poetics? How do Yiddish poets and novelists thematize their historical experiences of immigration and deportation? And how has Yiddish literature informed the development of other world literatures through contact and translation?

Literary and primary texts will include the work of Anna Margolin, Alexander Harkavy, Peretz Markish, Dovid Bergelson, Yankev Glatshteyn, Yosef Luden, S. An-sky, and others. Theoretical texts will include writing by Wendy Brown, Dilar Dirik, Gloria Anzaldúa, Wendy Trevino, Agamben, Arendt, Weinreich, and others. The course will incorporate Yiddish journalism and essays, in addition to poetry and prose. All material will be in English.

B.A. Project & Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by ldzoells on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2017-2018
Trevor Tucker

This workshop begins in Autumn Quarter and continues through the middle of Spring Quarter. While the BA workshop meets in all three quarters, it counts as a one-quarter course credit. Students may register for the course in any of the three quarters of their fourth year. A grade for the course is assigned in the Spring Quarter, based partly on participation in the workshop and partly on the quality of the BA paper. Attendance at each class section required.