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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.

Love-Songs

Submitted by Anonymous on
26801
=ENGL 27806/47213
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg

This course examines certain themes in poems and in popular song-lyrics that include devotion, sentiment, serial desire, bought love, and aged love. Many song-lyrics are tin pan alley tunes, often in their jazz versions. Students are encouraged to suggest songs that have particularly strong lyrics. Poems come from various historical periods, with the Norton Anthology of Poetry as our source.

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.

Soil: Patriotism, Pollution, and Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
27100
=CLCV 27406
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Tamara Chin

This class investigates the deployment of soil as both symbol and material fact in various texts and traditions, along with the commonly associated practices and concepts of agriculture, property, migration, race, nationhood, and belonging. Our primary and critical texts arrive not only from radically different cultures but also in radically different forms.

Chinese Historiography

Submitted by Anonymous on
27101
=EALC 27101
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Tamara Chin

PQ: Two literary Chinese courses. This course introduces Han dynasty historiography and its relation to the Chinese literary tradition. Through close readings of the Shiji and Hanshu , we explore a range of prose and poetic forms and consider traditional and comparative methods of interpretation.

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.

Renaissance Demonology

Submitted by Anonymous on
27602
=HIST 22110, ITAL 26500, RLST 26501
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Armando Maggi

This course analyzes the complex concept of demonology according to early modern European culture from a theological, historical, philosophical, and literary point of view. The term demon in the Renaissance encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Demons are hybrids. They are both the Christian devils, but also synonyms for classical deities, and Neo-Platonic spiritual beings. As far as Christian theology is concerned, we read selections from Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas's treatises, some complex exorcisms written in Italy, and a new recent translation of the infamous Malleus maleficarum , the most important treatise on witch-hunt. We pay close attention to the historical evolution of the so-called witch-craze in Europe through a selection of the best secondary literature on this subject, with special emphasis on Michel de Certeau's The Possession at Loudun . We also study how major Italian and Spanish women mystics, such as Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi and Teresa of Avila, approach the issue of demonic temptation and possession. As far as Renaissance Neo-Platonic philosophy is concerned, we read selections from Marsilio Ficino's Platonic Theology and Girolamo Cardano's mesmerizing autobiography. We also investigate the connection between demonology and melancholy through a close reading of the initial section of Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and Cervantes's short story The Glass Graduate (El licenciado Vidriera) . Classes conducted in English.

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

Submitted by Anonymous on
27701
=SOSL 27700/37700, RUSS 27300/37300
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
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 the genres, we will also think about their political functions - from subversive to escapist, to supportive of a nationalist imaginary - in different contexts and at different historic moments in the two regions. We will ask whether there are such things as a Balkan and Russian type of magic realism and we will think about the differences between the genres of magic realism and the fantastic. We will also look at the similarities of the works from different countries – the lyricism of expression, eroticism and nostalgia, and will argue for and against considering such similarities constitutive of an overall Balkan sensibility.

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.

Racine's Phdre: Text, Sources, and Translation

Submitted by Anonymous on
28000
=FNDL 29401, FREN 23201
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Larry Norman, David Wray

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. We read Racine's Phdre closely for its dramatic and poetic structures as well as its philosophical, psychological, and moral themes. We consider Racine's principal ancient sources, Euripides and Seneca, placing all three versions in their intellectual and aesthetic contexts. We study twentieth-century translations of Phèdre (Wilbur, Hughes) in light of translation theory and practice. Textual study is complemented by scene study performance. Classes conducted in English. Optional French discussion sessions offered weekly. French majors do all written work in French. Comparative Literature majors read one tragedy in the original (French, Latin, or Greek).

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. 

Cervantes's Enigmatic Feasts: The Exemplary Novels and Don Quixote, Part II

Submitted by Anonymous on
28102
=REMS 34301, SPAN 24311/34311
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Frederick de Armas

This course focuses on The Exemplary Novels (1613) and Don Quijote, Part II (1615) from the point of view of calendared feasts. To the recently instituted Gregorian calendar, the novel superimposes at least three other time maps. First, the Julian calendar with its many feasts as depicted in Ovid's Fasti ; second, the celestial movement through the twelve signs of the zodiac as represented by Hercules' twelve labors; and third, the Egyptian lunar calendar that leads to the knight's defeat. This meandering through calendars creates an instability and sense of unease that recalls the changes in mapping that are taking place with the discovery of America and the change to a heliocentric cosmos. The Novelas show an inordinate interest in feasts while, as Don Quixote proceeds, a kind of dilatio takes place, as Don Quixote diverts his route over and over again from his destination (Zaragoza and the feast of St. George). Time then becomes a subjective phenomenon that affects both the reader and the characters. We examine Cervantes's novel through the lenses of Ovid's Fasti and Apuleius' Golden Ass . Maps and paintings of the period are also examined. Classes taught in English. Students in Spanish and REMS read the text in the original language and write their papers in Spanish.

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.

Literature and Madness

Submitted by Anonymous on
28600
=GRMN 26500
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Christiane Frey

This course explores the curious proximity between literature and the discourse on madness in the modern era. Discussion topics include definitions of insanity and their evolution across time, insane or deviant characters and their function in drama and fiction, the topos of the poet as madman, and the poetics of madness. Authors discussed may include Cervantes, Shakespeare, Goethe, Tieck, Hoffmann, Bchner, Poe, Gogol, James, Hauptmann, Dblin, Pirandello, Schnitzler, Kant, Pinel, Reil, Lombroso, Schreber, and Freud.

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.  

Fiction, Ideals, and Norms

Submitted by vickylim on
28601
38601
FREN 28600/38600, SCTH 38211
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Thomas Pavel

The 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.  

Novels of Self-Discovery: Stendhal, Flaubert, and Fontane

Submitted by Anonymous on
28701
38701
=CMLT 28701. FREN 26400/36400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Thomas Pavel

PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing and consent of instructor. This course is a study of Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and Fontane's Effi Briest that emphasizes the search for self-identity and the erratic pursuit of happiness. Classes conducted in English. Students who are majoring or minoring in French read the French texts in the original and participate in a weekly French discussion group.

Health Care and the Limits of State Action

Submitted by vickylim on
28900
BIOS 29323,BPRO 28600,HMRT 28602
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
E. Lyon, H. Saussy
In a time of great human mobility and weakening state frontiers, epidemic disease is able to travel fast and far, mutate in response to treatment, and defy the institutions invented to keep it under control: quarantine, the cordon sanitaire, immunization, and the management of populations. Public health services in many countries find themselves at a loss in dealing with these outbreaks of disease, a deficiency to which NGOs emerge as a response (an imperfect one to be sure). Through a series of readings in anthropology, sociology, ethics, medicine, and political science, we will attempt to reach an understanding of this crisis of both epidemiological technique and state legitimacy, and to sketch out options.  Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. This course does not meet requirements for the biological sciences major.

Silk Road Fictions

Submitted by Anonymous on
29001
=EALC 27450, ENGL 16181
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Tamara Chin

This course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students who are majoring in Comparative Literature. The Silk Road is a modern idealization of a pre-modern crossing of peoples, ideas, and cultural traditions across a Eurasian continent. The array of texts that falls under this rubric has historically grown from a few ancient Greek and Chinese narratives to embrace any number of works that exemplify or narrate cross-cultural encounters between a notional East and West. This course introduces students to some basic problems in cross-cultural comparative reading through the example of the Silk Road. We will look closely at a selection of Silk Road fictions and their relation to multiple literary or aesthetic traditions, and consider the ways in which writers have used, translated, and even forged ancient manuscripts in constructing cross-cultural history. We will also consider theories of world literature, cosmopolitanism, and bilingual and bicultural texts. Primary readings will include The Monkey and Monk (from the 16th century epic Chinese novel The Journey to the West ), the Greek Alexander Romance , Jamyang Norbu's The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes , and David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly . Knowledge of classical Greek or Chinese is helpful but not required.

Pascal and Simone Weil on the Human Condition

Submitted by vickylim on
29101
39101
FREN 29100, FREN 39100
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Thomas Pavel

Pascal in the seventeenth century and Simone Weil in the twentieth formulated a compelling vision of the human condition, torn between greatness and misery. They showed how human imperfection coexists with the noblest callings, how attention struggles with diversion and how individuals can be rescued from their usual reliance on public opinion and customary beliefs. Both thinkers point to the religious dimension of human experience and suggest unorthodox ways of approaching it. The course will be taught in English. For French undergraduates and graduates, we will hold a by-weekly one-hour meeting to study the original French texts. Undergrads must be in their third or fourth year.

Colonial Spanish American Theatre: Cuzco and Lima

Submitted by vickylim on
29116
39116
LACS 29116,LACS 39116,SPAN 29116,SPAN 39116,
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Jose Rodriguez Garrido

This seminar is devoted to a comparative study of the development of theater in the two major cities of the Viceroyalty of Peru: Lima and Cuzco in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Although the starting point is the performance of works written in Spain, during this period several Creole writers wrote a significant set of plays in both cities. Through these plays, the local letrado elite participate actively in the colonial project either appropriating dominant models or redefining them. The result is a theatrical corpus that, although in formal terms seems merely to elaborate on peninsular models, it also reveals a complex range of linguistic and cultural relationships, which are characteristic of the colonial world: comedias marianas (comedies devoted to Virgin Mary) o autos sacramentales (sacramental plays) written in Quechua, dramas rewriting the events of the conquest as they were told by the chroniclers, courtly plays that adapt or adjust the parameters of the opera or French tragedy. From this perspective, the seminar will examine a set of representative authors (Juan de Espinosa Medrano, Gabriel Centeno de Osma, Lorenzo de las Llamosas, Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo and Francisco del Castillo). Spanish texts will be read in the original language and Quechua texts in Spanish translation. Those students taking the course for Ph.D or Spanish credit must complete all assignments in Spanish.  Those taking the course from other departments have the option of completing assignments in either English or Spanish.

Extremist Poetry: Paul Celan and Sylvia Plath

Submitted by Anonymous on
29200
39200
=ENGL 27802/47802, GRMN 29206/39206
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Robert von Hallberg

PQ: Reading knowledge of German is required. This course will focus largely on the relation of lyric poetry to extreme historical experience, to the Shoah in particular. We will focus on Celan's poems for seven weeks, and then on Plath's late work for three weeks.

The Idea of Europe in Realist Prose

Submitted by Anonymous on
29301
39301
=CMLT 29301. ENGL 28907/48907, ISHU 29303, SLAV 29800/39800
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Lina Steiner

The idea of Europe as a shared cultural space, in which different national cultures and literatures can engage in a dialogue, emerges in the second half of the nineteenth century in the works of the Western-European authors and several outsiders who include Gogol, Turgenev, and Henry James. This course examines the connections between the development of realist fiction and the formation of the transnational cultural conception of Europe as a realist-age successor of Goethe's conception of Weltliteratur. Our texts include fictional works, essays, and criticism by Goethe, Mme. de Stael Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and Henry James. Texts in English and the original; discussion and papers in English.

South Asian Aesthetics: Rasa to Rap, Kamasutra to Kant

Submitted by vickylim on
29302
39302
SALC 29300, SALC 49300
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Tyler Williams

This course introduces students to the rich traditions of aesthetic thought in South Asia, a region that includes (among others) the modern-day states of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. By engaging with theories of art, literature and music from the Indic and Indo-Persian traditions, we will attempt to better understand what happens in an aesthetic experience. A central concern will be thinking about how much any aesthetic tradition, be it South Asian or other, is rooted in the particular epistemic and cultural values of the society that produced it; we will therefore explore how ideas from the South Asian tradition can help us to understand not only South Asian material, but art in other societies as well, and to re-think the boundaries of 'aesthetic' thought.  Class discussion, small group work, and individual presentations will be regular features of the class. Two sessions will include performances by, and discussions with, performing artists (dancers and musicians). We will also make one visit to the Art Institute Chicago.

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.

Reading Course

Submitted by Anonymous on
29700
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
Staff

PQ: Consent of instructor and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Must be taken for a quality grade. This course does not satisfy distribution requirements for students who are majoring in CMLT unless an exception is made by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Introduction to Comparative Literature II: Theory & Practice of the Literary Avant-Garde

Submitted by vickylim on
29702
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Joel Calahan

This course takes a comparative approach to studying the innovations and legacy of the major European and American avant-garde movements, from Futurism and Surrealism through the postwar neo-avant-gardes to contemporary groupings such as L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. We will consider major theory, poetry, and prose texts by writers such as Mayakovsky, Bely, Marinetti, Breton, Huidobro, O’Hara, Sanguineti, Roubaud, Perec, and Cortazar. Foreign language texts will be read in translation, though knowledge of at least one of the original languages (Russian, Italian, French, or Spanish) is preferred. 

Intro to Comparative Lit II: Case Study: Davidismo

Submitted by vickylim on
29705
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Chloe Blackshear

This course will examine the story of David in 1 and 2 Samuel in combination with some of its myriad literary and artistic afterlives in order to explore the nature of biblical narrative and (biblical) rewriting. The narrative’s familial drama, political intrigue, subtle characterization, and philological challenges have inspired a wide variety of reinterpretations in disparate literary traditions and historical periods, providing fertile ground for comparative analysis. Students will initially gain some of the skills and perspectives needed to approach the biblical text in translation as a literary artifact as well as an appreciation of the difficulties inherent in such a task. Subsequently, students will engage with literary reworkings of the narrative organized around issues such as gender, political power, and Jewish/Christian identity-formation and accompanied by select theoretical works treating rewriting and intertextuality. Why has this story— and David himself— had such lasting resonance? How do later works from different periods and linguistic traditions both capitalize on certain aspects of the ‘original’ and redefine it in important ways? What role do rewritings play in literature, and what does it mean to read these distinct interpretations together? The David Story offers rich opportunities for thinking through these and other comparative literary questions. Literary works will include plays and novels by Tirso de Molina, Gide, Faulkner, Heym, Weil, and Kalisky as well as selections from NBC’s critically-acclaimed 2009 drama, Kings; theorists may include Curtius, Warburg, Tynianov, Genette, Ben-Porat, and Rabau, among others.

Intro to Comp. Lit II: Case Study: Davidismo

Submitted by jenniequ on
29705
RLST 26680, JWSC 28800
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Chloe Alexandra Blackshear

This course will examine the story of David in 1 and 2 Samuel in combination with some of its myriad literary and artistic afterlives in order to explore the nature of biblical narrative and (biblical) rewriting. The narrative’s familial drama, political intrigue, subtle characterization, and philological challenges have inspired a wide variety of reinterpretations in disparate literary traditions and historical periods, providing fertile ground for comparative analysis. Students will initially gain some of the skills and perspectives needed to approach the biblical text in translation as a literary artifact as well as an appreciation of the difficulties inherent in such a task. Subsequently, students will engage with literary reworkings of the narrative organized around issues such as gender, political power, and Jewish/Christian identity-formation and accompanied by select theoretical works treating rewriting and intertextuality. Why has this story— and David himself— had such lasting resonance? How do later works from different periods and linguistic traditions both capitalize on certain aspects of the ‘original’ and redefine it in important ways? What role do rewritings play in literature, and what does it mean to read these distinct interpretations together? The David Story offers rich opportunities for thinking through these and other comparative literary questions. Literary works will include plays and novels by Tirso de Molina, Gide, Faulkner, Heym, Weil, and Kalisky as well as selections from NBC’s critically-acclaimed 2009 drama, Kings; theorists may include Curtius, Warburg, Tynianov, Genette, Ben-Porat, and Rabau, among others.

Jewish American Literature, Post-1945

Submitted by Anonymous on
29800
=ENGL 25004/45002, GRMN 27800/37800, YDDH 27800/37800
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Jan Schwarz

The goal of this course is to expand the conception of the field of Jewish American literature from English-only to English-plus. We examine how Yiddish literary models and styles influenced the resurgence of Jewish American literature since 1945, and we discuss how recent Jewish American novels have renewed the engagement with the Yiddish literary tradition. Readings are by I. B. Singer, Chaim Grade, Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Grace Paley, Jonathan Safran Foer, Art Spiegelman, and Michael Chabon.

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.

BA Project and Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2011-2012
Staff

Required of fourth-year students who are majoring in CMLT. 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.

BA Project and Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2010-2011
Joel Calahan

Required of fourth-year students who are majoring in CMLT. 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.

B.A. Project and Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Dustin Simpson

All fourth-year Comparative Literature majors are required to register for the B.A. project and workshop (CMLT 29801) and attend its meetings. The workshop begins in the Autumn Quarter and continues through the middle of the Spring Quarter. While the B.A. 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 will be assigned in the Spring Quarter based partly on participation in the workshop and partly on the quality of the B.A. paper.

B.A. Project and Workshop: Comparative Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
29801
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Dustin Simpson

All fourth-year Comparative Literature majors are required to register for the B.A. project and workshop (CMLT 29801) and attend its meetings. The workshop begins in the Autumn Quarter and continues through the middle of the Spring Quarter. While the B.A. 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 will be assigned in the Spring Quarter based partly on participation in the workshop and partly on the quality of the B.A. paper.

Modern Rewritings of the Gospel Narratives

Submitted by vickylim on
34409
24409
GRMN 24413, GRMN 34413, RLST 28809, RLIT 34400, SCTH 34009
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Olga Solovieva

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the literary dimension of the gospels and on their artistic reception in modern culture. Starting from a presentation of narrative theory, it asks whether religious and secular narratives differ in structure, and illuminates narrative conventions of different media and genres. Both thematic aspects (what aspects of the gospels are selected for development in modern adaptations?) and features of presentation (how do different media and styles transform similar content?) will be considered. Principal works include Johann Sebastian Bach, The Passion According to St. Matthew (1720); Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus (1865); Nikos Kazantzákis, The Last Temptation of Christ (1955); Pasolini, The Gospel According to Matthew (1964); José Saramago, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991); Norman Mailer, The Gospel According to the Son (1997); and Monty Python, Life of Brian (1979). Secondary readings include Mieke Bal, Narratology, and Bultmann, History of the Synoptic Tradition. 

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