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Foucault and the History of Sexuality

Submitted by Anonymous on
25001
=GNDR 23100, HIPS 24300, PHIL 24800
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Arnold Davidson

Open only to college students. PQ: Prior philosophy course or consent of instructor. This course centers on a close reading of the first volume of Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality, with some attention to his writings on the history of ancient conceptualizations of sex. How should a history of sexuality take into account scientific theories, social relations of power, and different experiences of the self? We discuss the contrasting descriptions and conceptions of sexual behavior before and after the emergence of a science of sexuality. Other writers influenced by and critical of Foucault are also discussed.

Sea Fictions: Reading Transnationally

Submitted by vickylim on
25004
ENGL 24311
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Chandani Patel

This course will examine texts like Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, and Melville’s Typee alongside Reinaldo Arenas’s Farewell to the Sea (Cuba), Agualusa’s Creole (Angola), and Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies amongst others as transnational representations of the sea and human relationships to it. We will ask how these stories of oceanic journeys and the transnational affinities they produce generate accounts of language and history, and we will think comparatively about how the dangers these texts associate with the sea –such as shipwreck, cannibalism, death and loss –figure alongside its potentials –as a means of mobility and freedom, as a site of friendship and understanding. Discussing these fictional texts alongside theoretical works by writers such as Paul Gilroy, Mikhail Bakhtin, Isabel Hofmeyr, Emily Apter, and Michel Foucault, we will try to determine what new theoretical concepts and affiliations emerge when we untether these fictions from their national literary traditions. Students will have the opportunity to read originals in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Specificity/Interdisciplinarity: Myths of Orpheus

Submitted by vickylim on
25005
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
David Markus

This course takes a number of variations on the myth of Orpheus as the basis for an exploration of critical problems surrounding medium specificity, interdisciplinary study, and topics arising from cultural studies such as race and gender. We will begin with early representations of the myth in Ovid and Virgil before proceeding to more recent interpretations in the work of Rilke, H.D., Jean Cocteau, Tennessee Williams, Salmon Rushdie, and Neil Gaiman. Creative works will be considered alongside critical texts by Roland Barthes, Maurice Blanchot, André Bazin, Homi Bhabha, Kaja Silverman, Frederic Jameson, and Lauren Berlant. In keeping with the interdisciplinary theme of the course, film showings will be held regularly and music and visual materials will frequently figure as objects of study. 

Private Lives, Public Intellectuals: On the Philosophical Essay in the Western Tradition

Submitted by vickylim on
25006
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2013-2014
Stephen Parkin

This course considers a selection of essays from philosophically informed authors from
across the Western tradition who engage in reflective literary activity in the public
sphere. We will ask questions such as: what is the essay, and what does it mean to call it
philosophical? Is the essay a form, a genre, a method, a perspective, an attitude, or
something else entirely? What are the rhetorical demands and concerns of the
philosophical essay? What issues do philosophically minded essayists contemplate and
what do they aim to achieve? How do authors navigate the tension between private,
intimate reflection and public reading and consumption? The essays read will take up
such topics as nature, God, love, friendship, death, writing, the self, education, and civic
responsibility. We will begin by reading historical antecedents of the philosophical
essay by authors such as St. Paul, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine. We will then
skip to the birth of the essay in the early modern period with readings including
Montaigne, Bacon, Rousseau, Pascal, Paine, and Kant, and will continue through a
variety of essayists including Samuel Johnson, William Hazlett, Thoreau, Emerson,
Nietzsche, and Tolstoy before we conclude with 20th century and contemporary
essayists including Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, E. B. White, and other essayists
selected by the students. Along the way we will encounter theoretical works on essay
writing, autobiography, and the rhetoric of public intellectuals.

The Places of Memory, 1780-1880

Submitted by vickylim on
25007
GRMN 25014, RUSS 25007
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Monica Felix

This course will investigate the affinities between place and memory in literature. In considering works that span a century of literature, we will reflect on memory as a force that emerges as an expression of self – or nation – that is tethered to objects, places, or structures. Course readings will be drawn primarily from German, Russian, and Anglophone literatures (Eichendorff, Tieck, Hoffmann, Fet, Tiutchev, Pushkin, Elliot, Scott, Brontë, others). Supplementary readings drawn from literary criticism, philosophy, historiography, and complementary fields will help us to consider the intersection of literature and history as it relates to questions of a historically constructed subject or nation. Topics include collaborative memory, romanticism, intertextuality, historical representation, historical fiction, and nostalgia.

No prerequisites. All readings in English with optional reading groups to discuss German and Russian works in the original for all interested students.

Comparative Migrations

Submitted by vickylim on
25010
ENGL 25010
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Chandani Patel

"Comparative Migrations" interrogates how literature and film takes up the issue of migration across the globe. How do these texts represent the experiences of dislocation, marginalization, and acculturation usually associated with migration across literary traditions? How do the ideas of home, longing, and belonging shift throughout these texts? How do distinct historical, social, cultural and political parameters impact both the writing and reading of these texts? Texts under consideration will include novels by Samuel Selvon, Calixthe Beyala, Milton Hatoum, and Junot Diaz and films by Gurinder Chadha, Pedro Costa, and Mathieu Kassovitz. Theorists include Stuart Hall, Edward Said, Édouard Glissant, Michel Foucault, and Miguel Vale de Almeida.

Beckett Beyond the 'Absurd'

Submitted by vickylim on
25011
ENGL 24409
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Brian Berry

As an author that dislikes being pigeonholed, Samuel Beckett nonetheless gets labeled as an Absurdist, even the father of the Theater of the Absurd. It is not as if this label is entirely unmerited, but his philosophical interests reach beyond the species of existentialism that was fashionable at the moment of his literary debut. This course will look at theatrical and prose texts spanning Beckett’s career, in conjunction with a variety of philosophical texts from the Cartesian, continental, and analytic traditions, to see how Beckett re-appropriates and transforms philosophical problems and themes within a literary context. Specifically we will look at how Beckett reorients the relations between philosophical skepticism, the philosophy of language, and the problem of meaning.

Plato on Poets

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

Writing Towards Freedom: Slave Narratives and Emergent Black Writing

Submitted by vickylim on
25014
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2015-2016
Mollie McFee

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, slave narratives were authored to convince Europeans of the injustices of slavery as an institution and the humanity of enslaved black Africans. However, these texts were more representative of anti-slavery rhetoric and conventional morals than the voices of enslaved men and women. In this course we will investigate many of the central slave narratives of 18th and 19th centuries in order to understand how these texts worked to redefine concepts of the human. We will also examine the ways slave narratives relied upon and bolstered norms of gender, family, and religion. Using comparative methods, this course will investigate why the overwhelming majority of slave narratives come from the Anglophone world. We will compare American and British narratives, and examine the genres used in the francophone and hispanophone worlds to demonstrate the rights of the enslaved, particularly law. Major texts to be examined will include The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano; The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave; My Bondage, My Freedom by Frederick Douglass; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriett Jacobs; and Autobiography of a Slave by Juan Francisco Manzano. Shorter readings would include excerpts from Saidiya Hartman, Michel Rolph Trouillot, The Memoires of Toussaint Louverture, and The Haitian Constitutions of 1801 and 1805.

Allegory in the Western Literary Tradition

Submitted by vickylim on
25015
CLCV 25015
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2015-2016
David Orsbon

What kinds of power can a text have? Is it possible for language and literature to do far more than instruct and entertain? Indeed, might it be possible for a text to give us access to types of knowledge that a human being would otherwise be unable to obtain? In what ways can the study of allegory help us to better understand how (and why) other cultures interpret the world in ways that differ from our own? And how do we, as readers, respond when we reach the apparent limits of our texts?

To ask such questions as these—particularly in the case of allegory—involves much more than asking what a text means. Indeed, although the question of meaning is fundamental to allegory, to view a text as allegorical is to view a text as possessing some kind of power or insight that can transform the way in which we view the world (or, even, the divine) and our relation to it. In fact, for generations of thinkers—from the earliest interpreters of Homer to the Early Modern Period and beyond—allegory represents literature at its most dynamic and powerful. The study of allegory and the history of its interpretation provides us, therefore, with the unique opportunity to examine how generations of authors and interpreters have pushed their respective arts to their limit, as if attempting to communicate with words an idea that, by its very nature, defies verbalization.

Readings for this course will include the following: Plato’s Republic (in particular, the Allegory of the Cave), Virgil’s Aeneid, Chaucer’s dream-vision poetry, Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, William Blake, and Italo Calvino.

History, Philosophy and the Politics of Psychoanalysis

Submitted by Anonymous on
25101
35101
=PHIL 25401/35401
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Arnold Davidson

A reading of some central texts of Freud (both early and late) in the context of a study of the role of psychoanalysis in contemporary European philosophy. Other authors to be read may include Foucault, Deleuze and Guatteri, Marcuse, and Derrida.

History, Philosophy and the Politics of Psychoanalysis

Submitted by Anonymous on
25101
35101
=PHIL 25401/35401
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2007-2008
Arnold Davidson

A reading of some central texts of Freud (both early and late) in the context of a study of the role of psychoanalysis in contemporary European philosophy. Other authors to be read may include Foucault, Deleuze and Guatteri, Marcuse, and Derrida.

Problems Around Foucault

Submitted by Anonymous on
25102
35102
=DVPR 35100, PHIL 21910/31910
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Arnold Davidson

We will read some of Foucault's most important essays and lectures, from all periods of his work, in an attempt to assess the originality and continued significance of his thought in the context of twentieth century European philosophy. We will also look at the work of other philosophers who influenced or were influenced by Foucault, for example: Georges Canguilhem, Gilles Deleuze, Paul Veyne, Pierre Hadot, Ian Hacking, etc. A final section of the course will consider how we can make use of Foucault today, with respect to questions of epistemology, politics, and ethics.

Thomas Mann’s Novel, Joseph and His Brothers

Submitted by jenniequ on
25103
FNDL 25100, GRMN 25117, RLST 28215
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Olga Solovieva

Thomas Mann’s novel Joseph and His Brothers, a modern rewriting of the biblical story, was written over sixteen years (1926 - 1943) that shook German and European history through the assumption of power by the National Socialist party and the Second World War. Mann began the novel under the Weimar Republic and continued working on the novel in exile. The writer himself saw his novel as an act of resistance to his country’s anti-Semitic policies. In this course, we will closely read the novel, explore its relation to its biblical and other sources, learn about the history of its writing and publication and contextualize its genesis in Mann’s complicated involvement with German and world politics.

Contemporary Hebrew Poetry

Submitted by Anonymous on
25201
=JWSC 21800, NEHC 20463
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Neta Stahl

This course examines the works (in the original) of major contemporary Hebrew poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Zach, David Avidan, Dalia Rabikovitch,Yona Wollach, Maya Bejerano, and Yitzhak Laor. These works will be read against the background of the poetry of previous literary generations of writers such as H.N Bialik, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Alterman and Shaul Tchernihovsky, in an attempt to uncover changes in style, themes and aesthetic. Through close reading of the poems, the course traces the unique style and aesthetic of each poet, and aims at presenting a wide picture of contemporary Hebrew poetry.

Catching Spies

Submitted by vickylim on
25215
GRMN 25215
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Tamar Abramov

How do we account for 20th century literature's fascination with spies and spying? How do we explain the emergence of this new literary subject with the inauguration of the new century? This course will examine the place the figure of the spy holds for twentieth-century imagination as reflected in literature, theater and film. It will suggest that the spy becomes a locus of fascination for literature when overlooked by the disciplines charged with regulating his actions. In positing espionage literature and film as a response to the law's impossibility of address we will establish the potential the figure of the spy holds to respond to an array of questions relating to identity and subjectivity through such tropes as homelessness and border crossing, sexual difference, theatricality and masquerade, technology and voyeurism.

The Metaphor of the Insect as a Social Critique: Women in Modern Hebrew Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25300
=NEHC 20460
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Neta Stahl

This course is an exploration of twentieth century Hebrew poetry and prose written by women. Through close reading of major works (in translation) by writers such as Dvora Baron, Elisheva, Yocheved Bat-Miriam, Rachel Blubstein, Ester Ra'ab, Lea Goldberg, Amalia Kahana- Carmon, Dalia Rabikovitch, Yona Wallach, and Orli Castel-Bloom, the course traces changes in themes and style and studies the emergence and the development of a woman's voice in modern Hebrew literature. Texts in English.

Sociology of Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25301
35301
=ENGL 25306/42404
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2008-2009
Larry Rothfield

This course explores the critical potential and limitations of a few key sociological approaches to literature, working with the London literary scene of the 1890s as our case. We will focus on Bourdieu's theorization of the field of cultural production; Foucault's analytics of power/knowledge and discursive formations; Luhman's influential systems theory; and recent efforts by Moretti and others to import geographic and evolutionary models into literary studies.

Fashion and Modernity

Submitted by ldzoells on
25302
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Barbara Vinken
 

The relationship between fashion and modernity has always been taken for granted. Indeed, it is guaranteed in the very etymology of the French and German words “mode” and “modernité”. Yet, on closer inspection, there is a blind spot in this relation in that fashion seems rather to be the Other of modernity than modernity itself, an Oriental colony in the heart of the West.

The modern discourse of fashion testifies to the ambivalences and paradoxes in this relationship. From the beginning of the modern world until now, it is strangely split: there is fashion and fashion. Properly speaking, men’s fashion is not really fashionable. The perfectly functional suit without superfluous adornment is, in its world-wide constancy through the centuries, almost invariably classical. Its staggering universal success is due to the fact that it is the ideal modern dress: beautiful, because functional. Women’s fashion, on the contrary, is a remnant of the old, effeminate aristocracy – a frivolous frill, an all-in-all dysfunctional ornament, badly in need of thorough modernization. The „new woman“ is born in agonizing pain and perpetual fallbacks: while Chanel almost lead us toward a functional feminine form, Dior’s new look was, from this perspective, a setback: it brought back the unhealthy, restrictive corset and offered a slap in the face to the modern aesthetic dogma of „form follows function“. Fashion therefore seems to be the locus of a strange intimation of the political set against the common politics of modernity.

By reading texts form Friedrich Nietzsche to Adolf Loos and Thorstein Veblen, Rousseau to Baudelaire, from Gautier, Zola and Apollinaire to Simone de Beauvoir and Pierre Bourdieu,  the course will center around this blind spot between fashion and modernity and the new gendering of fashion in the bourgeois, post-feudal era.

Approaching Infinity: A History of Imaginative Attempts

Submitted by vickylim on
25303
HIPS 25303, HIST 25011
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Lily Huang
Does the infinite exist? Where, and by what lights? This course is an undisciplined investigation of multitudinous ways of denying, containing, and expressing the infinite. The sundry aspirations we study range from ancient natural philosophy to Enlightenment metaphysics, from Romantic poetry to fractal geometry. Authors include Aristotle, Lucretius, Shakespeare, Leibniz, Goethe, Coleridge, Keats, Flaubert, James, Bergson, Borges, and Calvino.
 
Full syllabus here: home.uchicago.edu/~lilyx

Love Connections: Stories of Famous Couples in Pre-Modern Indian Literature

Submitted by vickylim on
25310
SALC 25300, GNSE 25310, RLST 26811
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
Ilanit Loewy Shacham

Is love a universal theme? What constitutes a good match? To what extent are love and desire culturally constituted? This course aims to answer such questions through the stories of five famous couples in pre-modern Indian literature. These couples—some divine, some human and some mixed—will provide multiple perspectives on central themes in Indian culture such as love, desire, and devotion as well as on the advantages and disadvantages of being human and/or of being divine where love is concerned. Readings in this course will include translations of classical Sanskrit texts their retellings in various regional languages and a few modern adaptations.

Contemporary Israeli Fiction

Submitted by Anonymous on
25400
=NEHC 20461
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2006-2007
Neta Stahl

This course examines the works of three major contemporary Israeli writers: Yehoshua Kenaz, Orly Castel-Bloom and Yoel Hoffmann. We will study the innovative use of style and genres in these works, as well as the new themes and agendas that they offer. Among the topics to be discussed are social and political critiques, minority representations, and relation to Jewish history and tradition. Classes conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Lacan

Submitted by ldzoells on
25500
SIGN 26033, FREN 25551, FREN 35551, ENGL 25509, ENGL 35509
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2017-2018
Françoise Meltzer
This course is an introduction to psychoanalytic theory, from the works of the two most influential figures in the field. We’ll read seminal texts by both Freud and Lacan, and look as well at how those works have influenced the Humanities and philosophy— specifically, we’ll consider brief passages by  Derrida, Kristeva, Kofman and Zizek.  Starting with Freud, the idea is to make students feel “at home” in the fascinating world of psychoanalysis and its assumptions. Major texts by Freud will include “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” “Note on a Mystic Writing Pad,” “The Uncanny,” “Jensen’s Gradiva,” the Dora case, and a selection of texts from other works. Lacan readings: “Seminar on the Purloined Letter,” Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” “God and the Jouissance of the Woman: A love letter,” and parts of the Ecrits. We will also read excerpts from a variety of texts that use the writings of Freud and Lacan for theoretical purposes: Derrida, Sarah Kristeva, Irigaray, Zizek, and others.

Humor in Yiddish Literature and Culture

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

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

The Re-Enchantment of the World: The Sacred and the Secular in Modern Literature and Philosophy

Submitted by Anonymous on
25601
=ENGL 25939, ITAL 25900, RLST 26701
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2010-2011
Lisa Barca

Looking at nineteenth- and twentieth-century creative literature, memoirs, and philosophical works, we investigate the connections between modernity and new forms of religious thought. With burgeoning scientific explanations for what were once perceived as miracles, combined with the array of religious and irreligious choices offered by an increasingly secular society, how do modern thinkers approach the problem of transcendent or mystical experience? Why has the yearning toward an ultimate, sacred reality proven strong in apparently secular authors? How does a rising interest in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy impact upon ancient Western debates about the relationship between the material and the spiritual? We explore such questions through detailed engagement with a series of short but challenging readings. Authors include Giacomo Leopardi, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Miguel de Unamuno, Henri Bergson, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Eugenio Montale, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Classes conducted in English. Students taking the course for credit toward the Italian major or minor read and discuss Leopardi, Montale, Pasolini, and others in special sessions conducted in Italian.

Comparative Literature of the Americas

Submitted by Anonymous on
25701
35701
=ENGL 22809/42804, LACS 22809/42804, SPAN 22803/32803
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2008-2009
Raul Coronado

The last decade has seen a dramatic shift away from nation-based approaches to literary studies and a desire to move towards more transnational approaches. But how and more importantly why should we do so? What is to be gained? This course will explore these conceptual questions as we read primary texts from late eighteenth and nineteenth-century Spanish America and the U.S..

Unhappiness

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

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

The Representation of Jesus in Modern Jewish Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25800
=JWSC 24800, NEHC 20457, RLST 26601
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2007-2008
Neta Stahl

This course examines the Jewish literary world's relation to the figure of Jesus from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. We study the transformations of Jesus through close readings of major works, both prose fiction and poetry, by Yiddish and Hebrew writers (e.g., Uri Zvi Greenberg, H. Leivick, Jacob Glatstein, S. Y. Agnon, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Bistritzki, A. A. Kabak, Haim Hazaz, Zalman Shneior, Yigal Mosenzon, Avot Yeshurun, Nathan Zach, Yona Wallach, Yoel Hoffmann). Classes conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

The Representation of Jesus in Modern Jewish Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
25800
=JWSC 24800, NEHC 20457, RLST 26601
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Neta Stahl

This course examines the Jewish literary world's relation to the figure of Jesus from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. We study the transformations of Jesus through close readings of major works, both prose fiction and poetry, by Yiddish and Hebrew writers (e.g., Uri Zvi Greenberg, H. Leivick, Jacob Glatstein, S. Y. Agnon, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Bistritzki, A. A. Kabak, Haim Hazaz, Zalman Shneior, Yigal Mosenzon, Avot Yeshurun, Nathan Zach, Yona Wallach, Yoel Hoffmann). Classes conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

Machiavelli and Machiavellism

Submitted by Anonymous on
25801
=FNDL 21603, ITAL 23000, REMS 33001
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2016-2017
Rocco Rubini

This course is a comprehensive introduction to Machiavelli's The Prince in light of his vast and varied literary corpus and European reception. The course includes discussion of Machiavelli as playwright ( The Mandrake ); fiction writer ( Belfagor , The Golden Ass ); and historian ( Discourses , Florentine Histories ). We also closely investigate the emergence of myths surrounding Machiavelli (Machiavellism and anti-Machiavellism) in Italy (Guicciardini, Botero, Boccalini); France (Bodin and Gentillet); Spain (Ribadeneyra); and Northern Europe (Hobbes, Grotius, Spinoza) during the Counter Reformation and beyond. Classes conducted in English. Students who are majoring or minoring in Italian do all work in Italian.

Medieval Epic

Submitted by Anonymous on
25900
=ENGL 15800
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2008-2009
Michael Murrin

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature . We will study a variety of heroic literature, including Beowulf , The Volsunga Saga, The Song of Roland, The Purgatorio, and the Alliterative Morte D'Arthur . A paper will be required, and there may be an oral examination.

Medieval Epic

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

We will study a variety of heroic literature, including Beowulf, The Volsunga Saga, The Song of Roland, The Purgatorio, and the Alliterative Morte D'Arthur. A paper will be required, and there may be an oral examination.

Reading Modern Poets

Submitted by Anonymous on
25901
=ENGL 27805/47215, SCTH 34340
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2009-2010
Robert von Hallberg, Adam Zagajewski

The idea of the class is to read a group of important 20th century poets and some of the crucial theoretical texts. This course will focus on a heterogeneous group of poets, some who write in English, some who will be read in translation. The course is not organized around a particular theme or problem. We will let each poet raise particular themes and problems for class discussion. The poets: Anne Carson, Philippe Jaccottet, Derek Mahon, Czeslaw Milosz, Eugenio Montale, Paul Valery, C. K. Williams.

The Archaeological Imagination

Submitted by vickylim on
25960
ENGL 25960
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2015-2016
Lawrence Rothfield

This course looks at the various ways in which the rise of archaeology provided writers, artists, and filmmakers with themes, characters, ideological frames, and philosophical problematics.  We will look at, among other things, Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”; Byron on the Elgin marbles; Egyptomania; Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King”; Hardy’s Tess; Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient; Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark; Stone’s Alexander; and Ai Weiwei’s “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn.”

Medieval Vernacular Literature in the British Isles

Submitted by Anonymous on
26000
=ENGL 15801, RLST 28301
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2010-2011
Michael Murrin

This course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students who are majoring in Comparative Literature. This course covers the Celtic tradition, Old and Middle English, Anglo-Norman French, and a late text from Scotland. Texts include: from Old English, Beowulf; from Irish, The Battle of Moytura and the Tain, and two of the immrana or voyages that concern Bran Son of Ferbal and Mael Duin; from Anglo-Norman French, The Lays of Marie de France; from Welsh, The Four Branches from the Mabinogion; from Middle English, selections from The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and from Scotland, Dunbar.

Multi-Cultural Literatures in Medieval England

Submitted by Anonymous on
26000
=ENGL 15801, RLST 28301
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2006-2007
Michael Murrin

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. This course covers the Celtic tradition, Old and Middle English, Anglo-Norman French, and a late text from Scotland. Texts include: from Old English, Beowulf; from Irish, The Battle of Moytura and the Tain, and two of the immrana or voyages that concern Bran Son of Ferbal and Mael Duin; from Anglo-Norman French, The Lays of Marie de France; from Welsh, The Four Branches from the Mabinogion; from Middle English, selections from The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and from Scotland, Dunbar.

Realism and Anti-Realism in Post-Holocaust Hebrew Literature

Submitted by Anonymous on
26001
=JWSC 21900 NEHC 20467
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2007-2008
Neta Stahl

This course seeks to trace the narrative dynamics and literary means of Post-Holocaust Hebrew Literature. The course focuses on works that break with the conventions of realism, and study the specific forms and means by which each work does so. In the center of the discussion will stand questions such as: what are the constraints of the literary discourse on the Holocaust, what is the role of anti-realist depiction of the Holocaust, and in what ways the fantastic threatens the collective memory. We will read works by writers such as: S.Y Agnon, Aharon Appelfeld, David Grossman, Itamar Levi, Yoel Hoffmann and Michal Govrin. Classes will be conducted in English, but students with knowledge of Hebrew are encouraged to read texts in the original.

Gramsci

Submitted by jenniequ on
26002
ITAL 2/36000, REMS 36000, FNDL 26206
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2016-2017
Rocco Rubini

In this course we read selections from Antonio Gramsci’s Letters and Prison Notebooks side by side with their sources. Gramsci’s influential interpretations of the Italian Renaissance, Risorgimento, and Fascism are reviewed testi alla mano with the aim of reassessing some major turning points in Italian intellectual history. Readings and notions introduced include, for the Renaissance, Petrarch (“the cosmopolitan intellectual”), Savonarola (the “disarmed prophet”), Machiavelli (the “modern prince”), and Guicciardini (the “particulare”); for Italy’s “long Risorgimento,” Vico (“living philology”), Cuoco (“passive revolution”), Manzoni (“questione della lingua”), Gioberti (“clericalism”), and De Sanctis (the “Man of Guicciardini”); and Croce (the “anti-Croce”) and Pirandello (theater and “national-popular” literature), for Italy’s twentieth century. Taught in English or Italian, depending on language skills of enrolled students.

Seriously Funny: Comedy, Critique and Transformation

Submitted by vickylim on
26014
GRMN 26014
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
B. Loschenkohl

“True earnestness itself invents the comic,” according to Søren Kierkegaard. Exploring philosophies of the comic, as well as filmic and literary material, this seminar seeks to investigate what may be called the serious core of comedy. First, some fundamental theories of comedy, humor and laughter will be introduced. These range from perspectives of supremacy, relief, shallowness or negligibility (especially when compared to the tragic), the mechanic, the lowly/corporeal, to theories of incongruity. We will then focus on the critical, transformative and political potentials of the comic / comedy: Ways in which comedy copes with chance and contingencies; with strategies of resistance and inversion in face of disproportionately more powerful opponents; the comic as a mode of inclusion and exclusion; comedy and its relation to freedom and to the sublime; comedy as a means to exceed, undermine and open up boundaries; the comic as an attempt to get to grips with situations and events we cannot (fully) master. We will also discuss limits and complications of any such critical potential. Readings may include texts by S. Freud, I. Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, F. Th. Vischer, Jean Paul, Søren Kierkegaard, Mikhail Bakhtin, Henri Bergson, Judith Butler, Alenka Zupančič and others; films include works by Ernst Lubitsch and Woody Allen.  Some reading knowledge of German is desirable, but not a course requirement.

The Medieval Persian Romance: Gorgani's Vis and Ramin

Submitted by vickylim on
26016
FNDL 26016
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2014-2015
Cameron Cross

This class is an enquiry into the medieval romance genre through the close and comparative reading of one of its oldest extant representatives, Gorgâni's Vis & Râmin (w. ca. 1054 CE). With roots that go back to Late Antiquity, this romance is a valuable interlocutor between the Greek novel, Arabic love theory and poetics, and well-known European romances like Tristan, Lancelot, and Cligès: a sustained exploration of psychological turmoil and moral indecision, and a vivid dramatization of the many contradictions inherent in erotic theory, most starkly by the lovers' faithful adultery. By reading Vis & Râmin alongside some of its generic neighbors (Kallirrhoe, Leukippe, Tristan, Cligès), as well as the love-theories of writers like Plato, Avicenna, Jâhiz, Ibn Hazm, and Andreas Cappellanus, we will map out the various kinds of literary work the romance is called upon to do, and investigate myriad and shifting conceptions of romantic love as performance, subjectivity, and moral practice. An optional section introducing selections from the original text in Persian will be available if there is sufficient student interest.

The Enlightenment and the Virtue of Selfishness in Its Historical Context

Submitted by Anonymous on
26200
=FREN 26200, HUMA 24904, ISHU 24904
  • Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 2006-2007
Karen Pagani

Course meets the critical/intellectual methods course requirement for students majoring in Comparative Literature. French majors and minors must read in French and do all written work in French for French credit. The overarching aim of this course is to examine the centrality of selfishness as a moral attribute to French literature and thought of the long eighteenth-century. As such, we relate the revalorization of amour-propre by thinkers such as D'Holbach, Diderot, Voltaire, and Condillac to both earlier and contemporaneous attacks on all forms of self-interest, such as those leveled by Pascal, Fénelon, Racine, and Rousseau. We conclude with Kant and Benjamin Constant.

Literatures of Russian and African-American Soul

Submitted by vickylim on
26208
RUSS 26208, RUSS 36208, ENGL 28917
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2014-2015
William Nickell

Among the legacies of slavery, serfdom and colonialism is the idea that dominant, Europeanized cultures have lost something essential, which can still be found in the peoples they have oppressed, and is sometimes vaguely designated by the term "soul." We consider this tendency in the Russian and American traditions, reading texts from both sides of the social and economic divide. Material includes Tolstoy, Turgenev, Douglass, Dostoevsky, DuBois,  Hurston, Hughes, Platonov, Baldwin, & Solzhenitsyn—and lots of music.

Civil War and Literature

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

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

Introduction to the Renaissance

Submitted by vickylim on
26400
ITAL 25400
  • Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Armando Maggi

The Renaissance, which first and foremost flourished in Italy, founded our modern concept of the self. The way we see ourselves, the values we cherish, derive from the Renaissance. Modernity is a product of the Renaissance. This course emphasizes the importance of introspection in Renaissance culture, poetry, and philosophy. The books I have selected have a strong autobiographical element. However, they also illuminate how the Renaissance theorizes the relationship between the individual and society. We will read, in Italian, passages from major Italian texts in prose, such as Castiglione's Il cortigiano, Machiavelli's Discorsi, Campanella's Citta' del Sole, and poetry by Michelangelo, Monsignor della Casa, and numerous women poets, such as Veronica Franco, Vittoria Colonna, and Veronica Gambara. Taught in Italian.

Introduction to the Renaissance

Submitted by Anonymous on
26400
=ITAL 22200
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2009-2010
Armando Maggi

This course examines the birth and development of the European Renaissance, with a special focus on sixteenth-century culture, philosophy, and literature. After an introductory analysis of Francesco Petrarca's Italian and Latin works, we will examine the phenomenon of Italian Humanism. Then, we will focus on some of the most important Renaissance philosophers, such as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino, Erasmus, Montaigne, Bruno. We will also read a selection of Renaissance lyric poetry with a special focus on authors, whose work has a philosophical content, including Michelangelo, Bembo, Camões, and Scève. The final section of our class will examine the impact on Catholic Counter-reformation on the evolution of the Renaissance.

Renaissance Romance

Submitted by vickylim on
26500
36500
RLIT 52100
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Michael Murrin

Renaissance Romance

Submitted by vickylim on
26500
36500
RLIT 52100
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Autumn
  • 2012-2013
Michael Murrin

Oulipo in Context

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

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

Hamlet and Critical Methods

Submitted by vickylim on
26601
ENGL 16711, FNDL 22205
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2013-2014
Joshua Scodel

Shakespeare's Hamlet has probably inspired the most criticism of any play in world literature, and it has certainly inspired some of the greatest criticism. This course explores the goals, presuppositions, strengths, and limitations of different kinds of scholarship and criticism by focusing upon the variety of approaches that have been (or in some cases, could be) applied to Shakespeare's play. The course will focus on modern editorial theory and practice; classical and neoclassical discussions of mimesis, plot, and theatrical affect; Romantic, psychoanalytic, and postmodern discussions of Hamlet as character; recent literary historical discussions of sources and genre; new critical, new historicist, and feminist analyses of the play's imagined world; as well as performances and literary adaptations of Hamlet conceived of as interpretations of the play. Students will write several short response papers to the assigned readings as well as a longer paper analyzing and/or applying different critical approaches to Hamlet.

Hamlet and Critical Methods

Submitted by vickylim on
26601
ENGL 16711,FNDL 22205
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 2012-2013
Joshua Scodel

Shakespeare's Hamlet has probably inspired the most criticism of any play in world literature, and it has certainly inspired some of the greatest criticism. This course explores the goals, presuppositions, strengths, and limitations of different kinds of scholarship and criticism by focusing upon the variety of approaches that have been (or in some cases, could be) applied to Shakespeare's play. The course will focus on modern editorial theory and practice; classical and neoclassical discussions of mimesis, plot, and theatrical affect; Romantic, psychoanalytic, and postmodern discussions of Hamlet as character; recent literary historical discussions of sources and genre; new critical, new historicist, and feminist analyses of the play's imagined world; as well as performances and literary adaptations of Hamlet conceived of as interpretations of the play. Students will write several short response papers to the assigned readings as well as a longer paper analyzing and/or applying different critical approaches to Hamlet.

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