Course Listing

Filter by course level:

Filter by quarter:

Filter by academic year:

Narratology: Classical Models and New Directions

Submitted by vickylim on
50103
GRMN 40212
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
David Wellbery

This seminar is an introduction to the formal study of narrative. Its purpose is to provide graduate students with a set of conceptual instruments that will be useful to them in a broad range of research contexts. Topics to be considered: 1) the structure of the narrative text; 2) the logic of story construction; 3) questions of perspective and voice; 4) character and identification; 5) narrative genres. After a brief consideration of Aristotle’s Poetics, we will move on to fundamental contributions by (among others) Propp, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, Greimas, Genette, Eco, Lotman, Marin, Ricoeur, and then finish with recent work in analytic philosophy and cognitive science. Readings in theoretical/analytical texts will be combined with practical exercises. 

Blood Libel: Damascus to Riyadh

Submitted by vickylim on
50104
ISLM 41610
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Michael Sells

This course examines the Blood-Libel from the thirteenth-century to the present, with special focus upon the Damascus Affair of 1840 and its repercussions in the modern Middle Eastern and European contexts and in polemics today among Muslims, Christians and Jews. We will review cases and especially upon literary and artistic representations of ritual murder and sacrificial consumption alleged to have been carried out by Waldensians, Fraticelli, witches, and Jews, with special attention to the forms of redemptive, demonic, and symbolic logic that developed over the course of the centuries and culminated in the wake of the Damascus Affair. Each participant will be asked to translate and annotate a sample primary text, ideally one that has not yet been translated into English, and to use that work as well in connection with a final paper.

PQ: Willingness to work on a text from one of the following languages--Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Arabic, Modern Greek, or Turkish--at whatever level of proficiency one has attained. This course fulfills the autumn core requirement for first year PhDs in Comparative Literature

Literary Criticism from Plato to Burke

Submitted by vickylim on
50105
ENGL 52502
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2015-2016
Joshua Scodel

This seminar will explore Western literary criticism from Plato to the late eighteenth-century conceived of as a prehistory of comparative literature as a discipline.  The course will take as its particular lens the critical treatment of epic in some of the following authors: Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Horace, Montaigne, Tasso, Giraldi, Sidney, Boileau, Le Bossu, St. Evremond, Dryden, Addison, Voltaire, Fielding, and Burke. The course will also examine both twentieth-century comparative approaches to epic (e.g., Auerbach, Curtius, Frye) and more recent debates within comparative literature with an eye to continuities and discontinuities in critical method and goals. 

Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary

Submitted by ldzoells on
50106
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Haun Saussy
Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure. This course fulfulls the Autumn core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.

Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary

Submitted by jenniequ on
50106
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy

Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure. Open to students from any department. Enrollment max 25.

This course fulfills the Autumn core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature

Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary

Submitted by jenniequ on
50106
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy

Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure. 

Seminar: Catharsis & Other Aesthetic Responses

Submitted by vickylim on
50200
ENGL 59304
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Loren Kruger

This seminar examines the ramifications of catharsis, tedium and other responses to texts and images, in other words it investigates the relationship between effect and affect. Beginning with Aristotle and present day responses to catharsis, we will investigate the kinds of aesthetic response invoked by tragic drama and theory (esp Hegel), realism (Lukacs, Bazin and Brecht), as well as theories of pleasure (Barthes, Derrida) and tedium (Heidegger and again Barthes). We will conclude with a test case, exploring the potential and limitations of catharsis as an appropriate response to the textual and cinematic representation of trauma and reckoning in post dictatorship Chile, particularly through the critical work of Tomas Moulián and Nelly Richard.  The focus will be on theoretical texts but some reference will be made to literary and cinematic material by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Brecht, Renoir, and Guzmán. Because an essential part of the discussion will be the problem of translating key terms from one language to another as well as from one theoretical discourse and/or medium to another, the seminar is reserved for PhD students with a working knowledge of one or more of the following languages: French, German, Spanish and/or classical Greek.

Seminar: Catharsis & Other Aesthetic Responses

Submitted by vickylim on
50200
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Loren Kruger

Consent of instructor. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. Students who wish to take this course but have already taken a Comparative Literature core course may take this course with permission of the instructor. For other humanities PhDs: ACTIVE working knowledge of at least one of the following: French, German, (classical) Greek or Spanish. This PhD seminar examines the ramifications of catharsis and other responses to texts and images, in other words it investigates the relationship between effect and affect. Beginning with Aristotle and present day responses to catharsis, we will investigate the kinds of aesthetic response invoked by tragic drama and theory (esp Hegel), realism (Lukacs, Bazin and Brecht), as well as theories of pleasure (Barthes, Derrida), judgment (Kant, Bourdieu) and boredom (Spacks). We will conclude with a test case, exploring the potential and limitations of catharsis as an appropriate response to the literary and cinematic representation of trauma in and after the Argentine 'dirty war.' An essential part of the discussion will be the problem of translating key terms, not only from one language to another but also from one theoretical discourse and/or medium to another.

Seminar: Catharsis and other Aesthetic Responses

Submitted by Anonymous on
50200
=ENGL 59304, CMST 50200
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2009-2010
Loren Kruger

PQ: Consent of instructor, outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in English Language and Literature and Cinema and Media Studies. Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. Students who wish to take this course but have already taken a Comparative Literature core course may take this course with permission of the instructor. For other humanities PhDs: ACTIVE working knowledge of at least one of the following: French, German, (classical) Greek or Spanish. This PhD seminar examines the ramifications of catharsis and other responses to texts and images, in other words it investigates the relationship between effect and affect. Beginning with Aristotle and present day responses to catharsis, we will investigate the kinds of aesthetic response invoked by tragic drama and theory (esp Hegel), realism (Lukacs, Bazin and Brecht), as well as theories of pleasure (Barthes, Derrida), judgment (Kant, Bourdieu) and boredom (Spacks). We will conclude with a test case, exploring the potential and limitations of catharsis as an appropriate response to the literary and cinematic representation of trauma in and after the Argentine 'dirty war.' An essential part of the discussion will be the problem of translating key terms, not only from one language to another but also from one theoretical discourse and/or medium to another.

Contemporary Critical Theory

Submitted by ldzoells on
50201
DVPR 50201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Françoise Meltzer

This course will examine some of the salient texts of postmodernism. Part of the question of the course will be the status and meaning of “post”-modern, post-structuralist. The course requires active and informed participation.

Contemporary Critical Theory

Submitted by jenniequ on
50201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Françoise Meltzer

This course will examine some of the salient texts of postmodernism. Part of the question of the course will be the status and meaning of “post”-modern, post-structuralist. The course requires active and informed participation.

This course fulfills the winter core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.

Seminar: Contemporary Critical Theory

Submitted by vickylim on
50201
DVPR 50201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2015-2016
Françoise Meltzer

Seminar: Contemporary Critical Theory

Submitted by vickylim on
50201
DVPR 50201
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2013-2014
Françoise Meltzer

This course will examine some of the salient texts of postmodernism. Part of the question of the course will be the status and meaning of “post”-modern, post-structuralist. The course requires active and informed participation.

Seminar: Contemporary Critical Theory

Submitted by Anonymous on
50201
=DVPR 50201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Françoise Meltzer

PQ: Consent of instructor. Outside students will be accepted, with the class size limited to 15 students, as long as the majority of the students are CompLit Grad students and PhD students in the Divinity Scbool (Philosophy of Religion). Fulfills the core course requirement for CompLit students. Students who wish to take this course but have already taken a Comparative Literature core course may take this course with permission of the instructor. This course will examine some of the salient texts of postmodernism. Part of the question of the course will be the status and meaning of post-modern, post-structuralist. The course requires active and informed participation.

Seminar: Historicism and the Comparative Method

Submitted by vickylim on
50202
SLAV 50202, GRMN 40213
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2012-2013
Boris Maslov

This seminar will explore historicism as a theoretical problem in the study of literature. Our particular foci will be the development of historicism as a distinctly modern hermeneutic mode from the 18th c. to the 20th c.; its relation to organicism, aestheticism, and evolutionism; the rise of comparative literature alongside other "comparative disciplines" on a historicist-empiricist basis in the second half of the 19th century; literary methodologies that profess a version of historicism (Historical Poetics, (Neo)-Marxism, New Historicism). Critics discussed will include Johann von Herder, Alexander Veselovsky, Georg Lukács, Mikhail Bakhtin, Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer, Fredric Jameson, Reinhart Koselleck, and Carlo Ginzburg. 

Comparative Literary History

Submitted by vickylim on
50203
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2014-2015
Boris Maslov

This seminar pursues a twofold agenda. First, we will survey the history of criticism and theoretical reflection on change, evolution, receptivity, and traditionality in literature. Second, we will debate how the writing of literary histories – whether national or comparative, form- or author-centered, “continuist” or period-based – can be approached today, and how such work may be useful for other kinds of literary scholarship. In addition to literary theorists, we will read pertinent work in cultural history, philosophy of history, and history of art. Texts discussed to include works by Hegel, Burckhardt, Veselovsky, Warburg, Benjamin, Tynianov, Bakhtin, Blumenberg, Jameson. This course fulfills the winter core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.

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 Politics of Taste

Submitted by Anonymous on
50500
=ENGL 42403, PPHA 37501
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Larry Rothfield

Taste has long been a concern of public policy. This course examines the history of efforts to define, monitor, control, and shape public tastes. Among the questions to be considered are: what constitutes a taste? What do tastes consist of? How can tastes be measured? What is hip, and how does fashion or faddishness affect tastes? What is the difference between good taste, distastefulness, and bad taste? How do these distinctions manifest themselves, and what ideological work do they do? What norms, principles, and interests underlie the distinction between good and bad taste, high-brow/middle-brow/lowbrow, the excellent and the merely popular? What tools are available for shaping tastes? We will discuss a few classic discussions of taste (Hume, Veblen, Adorno); more recent work on the subject by cultural critics, sociologists, and economists (Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Raymond Williams, Paul Dimaggio, Pierre Bourdieu, Richard Peterson, Gary Becker); and recent policy research and governmental initiatives designed to affect public tastes. We will also be looking at some cases where works of literature, art, dance, film, and antiquities-collecting generated conflicts about taste.

Foucault: Self, Government, and Regimes of Truth

Submitted by vickylim on
50511
PHIL 50211, DVPR 50211
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Arnold Davidson

A close reading of Michel Foucault’s 1979-80 course at the Collège de France, Du gouvernement des vivants.  Foucault’s most extensive course on early Christianity, these lectures examine the relations between the government of the self and regimes of truth through a detailed analysis of Christian penitential practices, with special attention to the practices of exomologēsis and exagoreusis.  We will read this course both taking into account Foucault’s sustained interest in ancient thought and with a focus on the more general historical and theoretical conclusions that can be drawn from his analyses.  Reading knowledge of French required.

French Philosophy

Submitted by Anonymous on
50600
=PHIL 58500
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Arnold Davidson

Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of French required. A close reading in French of Emmanuel Lvinas's Totalit et Infini. Some supplementary texts will be considered, but primarily as a way of situating Totalit et Infini within the corpus of Lvinas's work and within the history of 20th century European philosophy.

South Africa in the Global Imaginary: Textual and Visual Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
50700
=ENGL 59302
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2007-2008
Loren Kruger

PQ: This seminar is for graduate students (MA and PhD) who have taken courses in either African/ post colonial literature or in film studies. Those uncertain of their qualifications should consult the instructor at the end of *autumn* quarter. This course will address the theoretical and methodological problems posed by the thoroughly Northern metropolitan category of the 'postcolonial' and its imposition of supposedly global categories on to distinctly local cultural forms and contents in South Africa. In addition to building knowledge of South African materials, seminar participants will thus develop tools for critiquing northern especially North American assumptions about 'postcolonial' generalities in form and content, which can be profitably used in other contexts that make up the global South. We will begin by interrogating the persistent power of Alan Paton's Cry Thy Beloved Country (novel and film) in the American imagination, from its initial publication in New York (1947) to it adoption in Oprah's Book Club (2001), as against local tastes in the same period from Nadine Gordimer's fiction to films like Come Back Africa and continue to examine local responses and challenges to metropolitan norms of literary form, especially in fiction and drama, as well as film. We will consider the impact of apartheid and anti apartheid writing (1960s to 1980s) on metropolitan as well as local audiences and also examine post apartheid local/global configurations that run south/south rather than south/north, including emergent writing by 'Indian' and other 'minority' South Africans.

Textual Knowledge and Authority: Biblical and Chinese Literature

Submitted by jenniequ on
50805
BIBL 50805/KNOW 40401
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy / Simeon Chavel

Ancient writers and their patrons exploited the textual medium, the virtual reality it can evoke and the prestige it can command to promote certain categories of knowledge and types of knowers. This course will survey two ancient bodies of literature, Hebrew and Chinese, for the figures they advance, the perspectives they configure, the genres they present, and the practices that developed around them, all in a dynamic interplay of text and counter-text. Excerpts from Hebrew literature include (a) royal wisdom in Proverbs & Ecclesiastes; (b) divine law in Exodus 19–24, Deuteronomy, the Temple Scroll, and Pesharim. Readings from Chinese literature include (c) speeches from the Shang shu (Book of Documents), (d) odes from the Shi jing (Book of Songs), and (e) commentaries from Han to Qing periods that elucidate, often in contradictory terms, the law-giving properties of these texts.

Space, Place, and Landscape

Submitted by Anonymous on
50900
=ARTH 48900, CMST 69200, ENGL 60301
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
WJT Mitchell

This seminar will analyze the concepts of space, place, and landscape across the media (painting, photography, cinema, sculpture, architecture, and garden design, as well as poetic and literary renderings of setting, and virtual media-scapes). Key theoretical readings from a variety of disciplines, including geography, art history, literature, and philosophy will be included: Foucault's Of Other Spaces, Michel de Certeau's concept of heterotopia; Heidegger's Art and Space; Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space; Henri Lefebvre's Production of Space; David Harvey's Geography of Difference; Raymond Williams's The Country and the City; Mitchell, Landscape and Power. Topics for discussion will include the concept of the picturesque and the rise of landscape painting in Europe; the landscape garden; place, memory, and identity; sacred sites and holy lands; regional, global, and national landscapes; embodiment and the gendering of space; the genius of place; literary and textual space. Course requirements: 2 oral presentations: one on a place (or representation of a place); the other on a critical or theoretical text. Final paper. Consent of Instructor Required: Submit a statement of your proposed seminar project to wjtm@uchicago.edu by 9/22/06 indicating what specific aspect of space, place, and landscape you would like to explore, and what particular theoretical resources and archives you intend to develop. Statements should be one page single-spaced, and be accompanied by a short list of the texts you regard as most crucial to your research. Indicate what department and what level you are in.

Translating Theory

Submitted by Anonymous on
51200
=CDIN 51200, ENGL 59303, SLAV 40200, GRMN 51200
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2008-2009
Robert Bird, Loren Kruger

This seminar uses the theory and practice of translating texts of theory, criticism, philosophy and other genres of disciplinary inquiry to explore the boundaries between disciplines. Authors may include: T.W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, Jos Ortega y Gasset, Roman Jakobson, Friedrich Schleiermacher and Viktor Shklovsky, and current theorists whose work raises questions of translation directly or indirectly such as Franz Fanon, Nestor Garca Canclini, and Philip Lewis. Topics include the translation of sacred and quasi sacred texts (including Marx) as well as contemporary theory. Open to all humanities *PhDs* including philosophy, visual art, and all language departments, as well as the divinity school and the committee on social thought. Cultural social sciences (eg anthropology or history) by application. PQ ACTIVE working knowledge of at least one source language: French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish; possibly Dutch. Admission to seminar based on a short in-class translation. Requirements: formal presentation on an existing translation and final translation of an as yet untranslated text of theory, philosophy or criticism.

Montage: History, Theory, Practice

Submitted by Anonymous on
51400
=CMST 67201
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Yuri Tsivian

This seminar will look at the history of editing from early attempts at multi-shot sequencing to self-conscious experiments in intellectual montage; at editing techniques ranging from cross-cutting to CGI sequences; and at the variety of montage theories from Eisenstein and Pudovkin to Bazin. We will test Eisenstein's hypothesis about biological foundations of temporality in art; connect dynamic patterns of film editing to Daniel Stern's study The Present Moment; link temporal contours of cutting to theories of gendered narratology.

Race, Media, and Visual Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
51500
=CDIN 51300, ENGL 51300, ARTH 49309, CMST 51300, ARTV 55500
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Darby English, WJT Mitchell

This seminar will explore the question of race, racism, and racial identity across a variety of media and social practices, including photography and cinema, visual art and literature, and the iconology of everyday life. The seminar will provide a twin introduction to the fundamentals of visual cultural theory and media studies, on the one hand, and racial theory on the other. The study of racial theory will converge with issues of visuality, mediation, and iconology, particularly the question of stereotype and caricature, the role of fantasy and the imaginary in racist perception, and its reproduction and critique in various form of visual art and media. Sponsored by the Center for Disciplinary Innovation (CDI), the seminar will combine methodologies from art history, literary criticism, visual and media studies, as well as anthropology.

Seeing Madness: Mental Illness and Visual Culture

Submitted by Anonymous on
51700
=ARTH 48911, CDIN 51700, CMST 57000, ENGL 51305
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Françoise Meltzer, Tom Mitchell

This course will ask how the experience of insanity is conveyed and represented. What are the face and look of madness? How does madness make itself visible? How has it been treated as exhibition and spectacle? These questions will be approached while keeping two considerations at the forefront: first, how madness is understood to manifest itself; second, how it is in turn displayed and represented in a number of different (western) cultures. The first of these two considerations engages the history of the concept—the place of madness in medicine and the political-cultural framing of the insane as a legal, social, and clinical category. This includes as well what the conventions of madness are and how they change with the history of medicine as well as of cultural givens. The aim here is not to undertake such a historical account fully. Rather, students will be looking at moments in the history of madness when the idea is redefined or at issue. The second of the considerations for the seminar is the theater of madness—that is, how madness is represented graphically, from drawings to the modern media of photography, painting, cinema, architecture, and literature. Theoretical readings will include Freud, Foucault and Lacan, among other theorists and practitioners. In literature, students will be reading passages from texts such as Don Quixote , Breton's Nadja , Marat/Sade , late Nietzsche, and Hölderlin. Students will explore a number of films (e.g A Beautiful Mind , Vertigo and David and Lisa ), early photographs, drawings and paintings, and blue prints from various eras for the housing of the insane.

Improvisation as a Way of Life

Submitted by Anonymous on
51800
=CDIN 50910, MUSI 45511, PHIL 50910
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
Arnold Davidson, George Lewis

This seminar will be organized around the idea that the practice of improvisation is not at all limited to the artistic domain, but is a ubiquitous practice of everyday life, a primary method of exchange in any interaction. Improvisation is, in effect, a certain kind of orientation or attitude towards oneself, others, and the world. Combining philosophical, ethnographic, musicological, and technological modes of analysis and creation, this seminar aims at the presentation of new models of intelligibility, agency, expression, and social responsibility that can inform the theory and practice of real-time musical analysis, leading to new and more effective interactive technologies as well.

Post-Classical Goethe

Submitted by Anonymous on
53600
=GRMN 53611
  • Graduate
  • Autumn
  • 2011-2012
D Wellbery

This seminar will consider Goethe's work after 1805 with the aim of delineating the characteristics of Goethe's post-classical style and thought. One could also say: Goethe's modernity. It has become a commonplace in the study of Goethe to refer to the allegorical nature of his late works. We shall contest this reading. 1805, the year of Schiller's death, is taken as the starting point of a reassessment of the nature of artistic activity that finds expression in Goethe's poetic works as well as in his theoretical and critical writings. Among the texts to be discussed: the Winckelmann essay, Pandora, Wahlverwandtschaften, Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, essays from Kunst und Altertum, selected scientific writings.

Postcolonial Constellations

Submitted by vickylim on
56702
ENGL 66702
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Sonali Thakkar

This course trains graduate-level students in postcolonial theory and literature, and it contends that we can best understand postcolonial studies neither in terms of a canon of literary works nor in terms of a discrete historical moment but as a set of key questions and debates that have shaped methods of literary and cultural interpretation and intellectual inquiry over the three decades in which postcolonial literary and culture studies have coalesced (and now, perhaps disintegrated) as a field. We will consider topics such as writing and resistance, postcolonial literary revisions, mimicry and hybridity, and gender. We will also consider whether “postcolonial literature” as a category has a future in the discipline of English literary studies, particularly in light of the ongoing sense of crisis theorists in the field have identified and the ascendance of terms such as “planetarity,” “global Anglophone literature,” and “world literature.” What is the status of the global in the postcolonial, and vice-versa? What is gained or lost when we revise or abandon the term postcolonial? What conceptual significance does the nation-state retain when we talk about global literature?

Authors and critics will include Emily Apter, Homi Bhabha, Aimé Césaire, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Michelle Cliff, Frantz Fanon, Leela Gandhi, Édouard Glissant, Mohsin Hamid, Bessie Head, Isabel Hofmeyr, C.L.R. James, Achille Mbembe, Walter Mignolo, V.S. Naipaul, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Michael Ondaatje, Edward Said, David Scott, W.G. Sebald, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among others.

Performance Theory: Action, Affect, Archive

Submitted by jenniequ on
59306
TAPS 59306 / CMST 62202 / ENGL 59306
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Loren A. Kruger

This PhD seminar offers a critical introduction to performance theory and its applications not only to theatre but also to performance on film and, more controversially, to ‘performativity’ to fictional and other texts that have nothing directly to do with performance.  The seminar will be organized around three key conceptual clusters:

a) action, acting, and other forms of production or play, in theories from the classical (Aristotle) through the modern (Hegel, Brecht, Artaud), to the contemporary (Richard Schechner, Philip Zarilli, and others)

b) affect, and its intersections with emotion and feeling: in addition to the impact of contemporary theories of affect and emotion (Massumi, Sedgwick) on performance theory (Erin Hurley), we will read earlier modern texts that anticipate recent debates (Diderot, Freud) and their current interpreters (Joseph Roach, Tim Murray and others), as well as those writing about the absence of affect and the performance of failure (Sara Bailes and others)

c) archives and related institutions, practices and theories of recording performance, including the formation of audiences (Susan Bennett and with evaluating print and other media yielding evidence of ephemeral acts, including the work of theorists of memory (Pierre Nora) and remains (Rebecca Schneider), theatre historians (Rose Bank, Jody Enders,  Tracy Davis and others) as well as current theorists on the tensions between the archive and the repertoire (Diana Taylor) or between excavation and performance (Michael Shanks/ Mike Pearson)

Requirements: one or two oral presentations of assigned texts and final paper. To prepare PhDs for professional writing, final paper will take the form of a review article (ca 5000 words) examining key concepts in the field and the controversies they may engender, by way of two recent books that tackle these concepts

Shakespeare's History Plays

Submitted by dmmettlach on
2677
36750
ENGL 16550 / 36550
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
David Bevington

This course on Shakespeare's English history plays will adopt an unusual stratagem of reading the plays in order of the historical events they depict: that is, starting with King John, who ruled England from 1199 until his death in 1216, then (after a sizable interval of time devoted to the reigns of Henry III, 1216-1272, Edward I, 1272-1307, Edward II, 1307-1327, and Edward III, 1327-1377, not dramatized by Shakespeare), Richard II (reigned 1377-1390), Henry IV Parts I and II (1399-1413), Henry V (1413-1422), Henry VI Parts I-III (1422-1461 and 1470-1471, alternating with Edward IV, 1461-1470, 1471-1483), Richard III (1483-1485), and finally Henry VIII (1509-1547, having succeeded his father, Henry VII, who reigned from 1485-1509 and whose reign is not celebrated by a Shakespeare play). The emphasis will be on the great plays, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and II, Henry V, and Richard III. My hope is that this approach will enable us to explore Shakespeare's concept of English history over a large sweep of time, leading up to the Tudor dynasty that began with Henry VII's victory over Richard III in 1485 and concluded with the long and successful reign of Elizabeth I, Henry VIII's daughter, whose rule ended with her death in 1603, soon after Shakespeare had completed his writing of all these plays except Henry VIII. We will be reading the plays in the order in which they were printed in the first complete edition of Shakespeare works in the 1623 First Folio. Undergraduate:(D, E) Graduate:(Med/Ren)

Comparative Methods in the Humanities

Submitted by ldzoells on
20109
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2017-2018
Olga Solovieva
This course introduces the models of comparative analysis across national literatures, genres, and media. The texts to be discussed include Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”; Benjamin’s “The Storyteller,” Kafka’s “Josephine the Mouse Singer,” Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller; Victor Segalen’s Stèles; Fenollosa and Pound’s “The Chinese Character as a Medium of Poetry” and Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei; Mérimée, “Carmen,” Bizet, Carmen, and the film adaptation U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (South Africa, 2005); Gorky’s and Kurosawa’s “Lower Depths;” Molière, Tartuffe, Dostoevsky, The Village Stepanchikovo and its Inhabitants, and Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel”; Gogol, The Overcoat, and Boris Eikhenbaum, “How Gogol’s Overcoat Is Made.”

Comparative Methods in the Humanities

Submitted by jenniequ on
20109
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Olga Solovieva

This course introduces the models of comparative analysis across national literatures, genres, and media. The texts to be discussed include Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”; Benjamin’s “The Storyteller,” Kafka’s “Josephine the Mouse Singer,” Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller; Victor Segalen’s Stèles; Fenollosa and Pound’s “The Chinese Character as a Medium of Poetry” and Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei; Mérimée, “Carmen,” Bizet, Carmen, and the film adaptation U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (South Africa, 2005); Gorky’s and Kurosawa’s “Lower Depths;” Molière, Tartuffe, Dostoevsky, The Village Stepanchikovo and its Inhabitants, and Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel”; Gogol, The Overcoat, and Boris Eikhenbaum, “How Gogol’s Overcoat Is Made.”

Writing the Jewish Body: Health, Disease, Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
20222
JWSC 20222
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2015-2016
Sunny Yudkoff

This course investigates the representation of the Jewish body in twentieth-century prose. We will focus on the European, American and Israeli contexts, exploring how the figures of health and illness are mobilized as commentaries on Jewish identity. We will also consider how representations of physical strength, physiological frailty, contagion and susceptibility shift in different landscapes and in different languages, paying particular attention to such figures as the ailing shtetl dweller, the Central European Jewish patient and the Zionist “New Jew.” Readings include works by Mendele Mocher Sforim, Franz Kafka, Philip Roth and Orly Castel-Bloom in conversation with theoretical texts by Susan Sontag, Walter Benjamin and Arthur Kleinman. All readings are in English. A section may be organized for reading sources in Yiddish.

Multilingualism and Translation in Modern Jewish Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
20225
JWSC 20225
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
Na'ama Rokem

Covering the period roughly between 1880 and 1980, this course touches on some of the transformations and upheavals that have formed modern Jewish culture: waves of migration, modernization, and assimilation; the rise of Jewish nationalism and the foundation of the State of Israel; and the Holocaust. Our driving questions will be: How do these different revolutions and upheavals influence the dynamic relations between the different languages in which Jews speak and write? What is the role of translation in Jewish culture? What do we learn from the Jewish case about language politics more broadly? How should we theorize and describe the monolingual ideologies that are dominant in the modern West? And how should we read bilingual literature?

Jewish Literature in a Century of Transformation: 1880-1980

Submitted by jenniequ on
20226
30226
JWSC 20226, NEHC 20226
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2016-2017
Na'ama Rokem

A survey of Jewish Literature written by Jews around the globe in different languages (including Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian, English, Polish, German) in an era of upheaval and transformation. We will discuss the literary representation of phenomena such as: the national movement and the foundation of the State of Israel; persecutions, pogroms and the Holocaust; waved of migration, acculturation and assimilation; the involvement of Jews in political movements, such as communism and anarchism; changing gender roles and changing ideas about the Jewish family. And we will ask: how have these events - and the modern era that they are a part of - influenced ideas about literary representation and the relationship between literature and history. 

Contemporary Drama: Alienation and Cruelty

Submitted by Anonymous on
20300
=ENGL 24502
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Jonathan Ullyot

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. This course will take as its starting point two radical positions that rethink the nature and purpose of theatricality in the 20th Century: Brecht's idea of the alienation-effect and Artaud's theatre of cruelty. It will look at recent playwrights influenced by this tradition, including Heiner Müller, Bernard-Marie Koltès, Valère Novarina, Sarah Kane, Caryl Churchill, Tom Stoppard, David Mamet, Athol Fugard and Jon Fosse. Close attention will be given to how these plays are self-conscious of their own theatricality, and how this self-consciousness is related to these dramas' political message, their investigation into subjectivity, and their violence. All texts will be read in English, but students with knowledge of French or German will be encouraged to read the texts in the original.

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.

Eden to Eliot, J.C. to Jay-Z: The Bible in Western Culture

Submitted by vickylim on
20360
30360
JWSC 20006, NEHC 20406
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Charles Huff

The Bible, a complex anthology of literature from a variety of religious, political, and historical perspectives from ancient Israel, has been primary textual authority in Western culture, politics, and religion. This class will explore how the authority of the Bible has been understood and used by people in Western societies in their political, historical, religious, and aesthetic contexts. We will accomplish this by a close reading of both the biblical texts and their reception in the texts, music, and visual arts of Western civilization, with a special emphasis on the use of these receptions in particular societies. The material covered in this course is necessarily selective; the course will give a basic literacy in the Bible and its use, and, more importantly, it will also teach the student to recognize and analyze biblical allusions in their future research.

Samak-e 'Ayyar

Submitted by Anonymous on
20361
30361
=PERS 30361, SALC 20604/30604
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2011-2012
F Lewis

PQ: Persian 20103 or equivalent. Introduction to the popular Persian romance of the 12th century, Samak-e 'ayyar, featuring a close reading of selected passages. Questions of genre; concepts of masculinity; chivalry and the character of the 'ayyar; the relationship of Samak to similar works in the Islamicate literatures as well as in the European traditions; oral story-telling and the performance context; folklore motifs; etc.

Tragedy in Early Modern Spain and England

Submitted by Anonymous on
20400
=ENGL 16708, SPAN 22001
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Kathryn Swanton

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. Early modern England and Golden Age Spain built thriving public theaters that broke away from the confines of neoclassicism to create some of the seminal tragedies of western civilization. As we compare the development of the public theater in both countries during the 17th century, and trace their shared Senecan heritage, we will also consider their distinct treatment of women in the performance space, and the nations' opposing Protestant and Catholic orientations. Plays from the two national theaters will be paired according to the themes of revenge, desengao , female power, and damnation as represented in tragedies by Lope de Vega and Middleton, Shakespeare and Caldern, Webster and Claramonte, and Shadwell and Tirso. The class will use English translations of the Spanish plays, but readers of Spanish will be encouraged to read the Spanish texts in the original. Spanish concentrators taking this course for their major will be required to read texts in the original Spanish.

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.

History and Theory of Drama I

Submitted by Anonymous on
20500
30500
=CLAS 31200, CLCV 21200, ENGL 13800/31000, TAPS 28400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2011-2012
D Bevington

May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20600/30600 or individually. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

History and Theory of Drama I

Submitted by Anonymous on
20500
30500
=CLAS 31200, CLCV 21200, ENGL 13800/31000, TAPS 28400
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
David Bevington, Drew Dir

May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20600/30600 or individually. This course meets the general education requirement in the dramatic, musical, and visual arts. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

History and Theory of Drama I

Submitted by Anonymous on
20500
30500
=ANST 21200, CLAS 31200, CLCV 21200, ENGL 13800/31000, ISHU 24200/34200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
David Bevington

May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20600/30600 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, the goal is to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

History and Theory of Drama I

Submitted by Anonymous on
20500
30500
=ANST 21200, CLAS 31200, CLCV 21200, ENGL 13800/31000, ISHU 24200/34200
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2008-2009
David Bevington

May be taken in sequence with CMLT 20600/30600 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, the goal is to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

Monstrosity and the Monstrous

Submitted by jenniequ on
20505
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Pablo Maurette

This course centers on the relationship between literature and science by focusing on the figure of the monster. The human imagination can produce the most outlandish forms: we will call this the monstrous. Natural philosophy and science, on the other hand, have to deal with the deformed, the organically distorted, the preternatural: we will call this monstrosity. Both concepts can spark thrilling debates on identity and difference, divine providence and chance, fear and lust, gender, race, and more. In a journey that takes us from antiquity to the 21st century, we will be looking at ancient history and literature, Medieval bestiaries, Renaissance scientific treatises, plays, nineteen and twentieth-century novels, evolutionary biology, theory, philosophy, and film.

Translation and Translation Theory

Submitted by jenniequ on
20510
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Haun Saussy

Translation is one of the central mechanisms of literary creativity. This course will consider translation both concretely and theoretically. Topics to be discussed will include semantic and grammatical interference, loss and gain, the production of difference, pidgin, translationese, bilingualism, self-translation, code-switching, translation as metaphor, foreignization vs. nativization, and distinct histories of translation.

Pages