Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Memory and the Construction of Identity

T/TH 9:30-11:00
20 Wheeler
C. Piser

How do we define ourselves? Our identities are composites of our experiences, based on memories and memorabilia. But how dependable is memory? Why can some memories be recalled easily, whereas others are inaccessible or resurface involuntarily? » read more »

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R1A.002: Memory and the Sorrow Songs: Accessing a Musical Past

T/Th 3:30-5:00
30 Wheeler
T. Singleton & T. Daly

This course will discuss the relationship between a people, its history and music. Particularly, African American history has multiple historical “records” to remember itself, through the medium of music. As that history is retold musically, a testimony arises that has access to the past as it is experienced in the present. What kind of historical testimony are music and its performance? » read more »

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R1A.002: Makeshift

T/TH 8-9:30
155 Barrows
J. Bodik

This course brings together a number of texts that explore conditions of displacement and liminality as the site and occasion for the emergence of new social and aesthetic practices.   » read more »

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R1A.003: Social Fiction, Social Fact

T/Th 11-12:30
109 Dwinelle
K. Spira &  S. Scala

How do writers, artists, and intellectuals relate to the social world?  Through what means of representation do their works comment on societal issues?  Does the literary illuminate the social in unique ways?  How does genre shape social critique?

In this class, we will analyze texts that engage social issues.  We will begin the semester by reading four authors of prose fiction (Rulfo, Melville, Voltaire, and Avellaneda) and analyzing how literary technique (narrative perspective, tone, imagery, etc.) enables these authors to create compelling tales that hover between fiction and fact, addressing pressing social issues but always through the mode of the imaginary.  In the second part of the semester we will move away from the fictional and toward the documentary.  Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and I, Rigoberta Menchú will lead us to consider the possibilities (and limitations) of texts whose claims to authority rely more heavily on their “objectivity” or transparent relationship to social fact.  We will also discuss to what extent the literary techniques present in our prose fiction texts make their way into documentary texts and potentially complicate the distinction between these two modes of telling.  We will conclude the class by looking at two examples of rhetorical writing: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s essay “The Answer” and Barack Obama’s speech on race, “A More Perfect Union.”  Both pieces, though separated by over 300 years of history, constitute a fascinating mixture of the personal and the political, the autobiographical and the social, and seek through their articulation to diagnose and intervene in historical patterns of discrimination.

As we read this rich spectrum of texts, we will pay close attention to their impact on us as readers and analyze by what means they achieve these effects.  At each turn we will consider what literary and rhetorical tools writers, artists, and intellectuals have used in order to critique the societies in which they live and assess the extent to which we find their interventions successful.

This class satisfies the first half of Berkeley’s two-semester Reading and Composition requirement.  As such, we will spend a good deal of time working on critical reading and analytical writing skills.  Students in this class will learn how to construct convincing and insightful close readings of literary texts and compose works of original literary analysis.  Students should be prepared to participate in class discussions, in-class writing workshops, and an assortment of small group tasks.

Reading list:

Herman Melville, “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids”

Juan Rulfo, selections from The Burning Plain

Voltaire, Candide

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Sab

James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Rigoberta Menchú and Elizabeth Burgos, I, Rigoberta Menchú

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, The Answer

Barack Obama, “A More Perfect Union”

Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” “Song of the Open Road”

Note: This class will include a trip to either an art exhibit, a play, or a film related to our topic.

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R1A.004: Growing Pains: Narratives of Formation

MWF 11-12:00
123 Wheeler
A. Henry

In this reading and research writing composition course, we will examine the questions of “how does a young protagonist represent and critique social life” and “how does this critique evolve over historical time and geographical spaces” within world literatures. » read more »

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R1A.008: Versions and Re-visions

T/Th 11-12:30
130 Wheeler
J. DeAngelis & S. Chihaya
From translations to adaptations to intertextual reference, authors and artists frequently engage with past literary traditions, entering old texts from new critical perspectives.  In this class, we will gain insights about these “new” texts by studying them from the critical perspective of the “old” texts.  How do the new texts treat their sources?  Does a text’s engagement with another text matter to our understanding and interpretation of it?  Does a change in the genre matter?  A change in the language?  A new historical or cultural context?  Do we, as readers or audience members, receive the new text differently if we are familiar with the old text?  If so, what is the effect?

In addition to reading the old texts alongside the new ones, we will also expand our definition of “text,” considering how any given performance of a play becomes a “new text.”  To this end, we will view and discuss various recorded performances of Beckett’s Endgame, and you will create your own re-vision of Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker.  Additionally, we will study Shakespeare not only as literature but also from a performance perspective, including considering the complex relationship between the 1623 First Folio edition of Macbeth, the editions of modern editors, and the performance and interpretive decisions that are made as a result.

Texts will include:

Lyric poetry by Anne Sexton, Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath, and others
Poetry from the Troubadours and the Sicilian School
Angela Carter:  The Bloody Chamber
Selections from the Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault
Margaret Atwood:  The Handmaid’s Tale
Selections from the Bible
Samuel Beckett: Endgame
Various recorded performances of Endgame
Caryl Churchill: The Skriker
William Shakespeare: Macbeth
Selections from Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Marie de France: Lanval
Thomas Chester:  Sir Launfal

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R1B.001: Question and Quest, Riddle and Resolution

T/Th 9:30-11:00
24 Wheeler
K. Zumhagen-Yepkle

In this course, we will examine the figure of the riddle and enigma and narratives of quest and conversion from antiquity to the present, paying special attention to the ways in which tropes of search and transformative longing develop in the experimental texts that emerged in the twentieth century in response to various crises of representation, language, faith,identity and geopolitics. We will explore twentieth century literature’s attraction to difficulty and exploitation of problem, riddle and enigma as devices for engaging readers in the work of grappling with the deepest of formal, moral, spiritual,  political, philosophical and aesthetic questions and the longing for their elusive solutions. We will also be concerned with secular modernism’s deep residual engagement with the underlying structural patterns of spiritual quests for enlightenment and transformation and by a frustrated yearning for truth and meaning about which it nevertheless remains simultaneously agnostic, nostalgic, skeptical or ironic.

Course readings will be chosen from among the following texts:

Augustine, Confessions, excerpts
LeoTolstoy, A Confession, excerpts
St. Paul, Letters excerpts
Dante, Inferno, excerpts
Homer, Odyssey
Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground
Gertrude Stein, poems
James Joyce, “Ithaca” episode of Ulysses
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Franz Kafka, Parables, The Trial
Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
J.M. Coetzee. The Life & Times of Michael K
Ricardo Piglia, Absent City


Alain Resnais, dir., Last year at Marienbad
Dziga Vertov, dir., Man with a Movie Camera
George Lucas, dir., Star Wars
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, dirs. Little Miss Sunshine

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R1B.003: Writing Crimes

T/TH 8-9:30AM
109 Dwinelle
J. Caballero & A. Leong

Movie Screenings will be on Tuesday evenings from **8-10:30 pm** 243 Dwinelle!

This rigorous and demanding class will teach students how to write logical, objective, and critical analytical papers by narrowing its focus on one particularly fun, sinister, and popular streak through 20th century culture: crime fiction and its cinematic flowering in “film noir.”  » read more »

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R1B.004: The Politics of Style

T/Th 9:30-11:00
175 Barrows
J.H Cruz & S. Setter

Rhetorical and literary traditions have for a long time sustained the distinction between content and form, meaning and style, logos and lexis, res and verba. Of course, this distinction also implies a valuation of the terms that tends to favor the former over the latter. » read more »

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R1B.006: A Loss for Words

T. Warner/T Wolff
T/Th 9:30-11:00
215 Dwinelle

In this class we will consider the strategies and significance of a variety of narrative forms that valorize brevity. These will include short literary forms such as essays, prose and lyric poems, short stories and novellas. » read more »

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R1B.006: Comparative Partitions: Between Literature and Dispossession

M. Bhaumik and V. Eleasar
MWF 10-11
121 Wheeler

Challenging representations of race and geography, colonialism and national overcoming, event and fiction, this class interrogates commonplace notions of territory, citizenship and sovereignty. Students will be asked to turn to the complexity of spatial relations and subject formation in fiction in order to question social policies and governmental doctrines established as a means of resolving so-called “communal conflict.” Extrapolating from narratives about the traumatic separation of North and South Korea, the Bangladesh/India/Pakistan Partition, Northern Ireland and Ireland, Israel and Palestine, the U. S. Civil War we will examine the trope of the divided nation in print culture, cinema, and political theory. While recognizing the historical and cultural specificity of each of the above mentioned scenarios, the texts we encounter will ask students to dissect the intersection between art and narratives of individual emancipation, democracy, ethnic or religious homogeneity. Instead, by way of the literary imagination, we will examine the social and psychic effects of arbitrary territorial delineations on ideals of tradition, modernity, progress, freedom, and belonging.


Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun

Suji Kwock Kim, Notes from a Divided Country

Tom Paulin, The Riot Act

Edith Ravel, Ten Thousand Lovers

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children

Sophocles, Antigone


D. W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation

Neil Jordan, Crying Game

Deepa Mehta, Earth

Meghe Dhaka Tara (dir. Ritiwk Ghatak)

A reader will include the criticism, short fiction and poetry from: St. John de Crevecouer, Urvashi Batalia, Veena Das, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Seamus Heaney, Sadat Hasan Manto, John Montagne, Amir Mufti and Gyan Pandey.

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R1B.007: Pursuits of Happiness: Literatures of Self-Help, Etiquette, and Virtue

T/Th 11-12:30
215 Dwinelle
K. Nielsen & A. Gadberry
In this course we look at texts that ask a lot of their readers — and that make big promises to secure (or interrogate) happiness in its many guises (personal, social, political). These texts presume that their readers are looking to them not just for entertainment but for guidance and are willing to work with them as manuals for living. We will ask how their authors establish authority and seek to win not only the reader’s trust but also his or her participation in and transformation by the projects they propose. We will read literary and didactic texts next to each other, coming to understand the differences between the two modes while also noting how often they share goals and rhetorical strategies.

We will read texts in a variety of genres, some more explicitly didactic, others less so: verse fables, proverbs, parables, novels, autobiographies, manuals. We will pay attention to the historical specificity of each work but will read across all of them for common themes, techniques, and recurring examples. In addition to our how-to books that direct ethical, social, and spiritual life, we will read two writing guides, both for how they instruct, and to learn from them how to express our ideas more clearly.

There are two required papers for this class, the first straightforward literary analysis, and the second a research paper.

Required texts:

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Yale University Press; Labaree edition)
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (Pocket Books)
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (New World Library)
Ann Martin, Miss Manners Guide for the Turn of the Millennium (Fireside)
Strunk and White, The Elements of Style, 4E (Longman)
Constance Hale, Sin and Syntax (Broadway Books)

A course reader including shorter selections from the Bible, the Fables of La Fontaine, Montaigne, contemporary short stories, as well as critical writings by Foucault, Suleiman, and others.

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R1B.010: World Literature and the Private Sphere

Instructor: Nina Estreich

T/Th 11-12:30
209 Dwinelle
M. Bhaumik & N. Estreich

When Bimala, the main character of Rabindranath Tagore’s Bangla short story “The Home and the World” (1915), responds to her husband “What do I want with the outside world?” He replies: “The outside world may want you.”  The story presents us with a central problematic in modern literature, suggesting that both gender and structures of address are conditioned by the split between the private sphere and world politics.  How does the world appear to Bimala and her to this world?

The readings we will encounter in this class explore the complex relationships between the domestic sphere, wider civic realm and narrative fiction. Through a range of literary works, we will learn to examine how genres (i.e. the ancient tragedy, the Victorian novel, the U.S. slave narrative, French realism, science fiction and the postcolonial romance) reproduce or contest certain norms of national and worldly belonging.  Simultaneously, we will reflect on the category of world literature by probing the narrative tactics by which the globe appears as both a literary-philosophical concept and historical matter.  The class will examine how representations of the private are central to generating the world as both fiction and reality.

In particular, we will grapple with both the critical possibilities and limits of reading the private sphere across nations and cultures.  We will also explore how the private sphere emerges as a space of degradation and civil struggle, giving special attention to representations of suffering, conditions of labor (production and reproduction), norms of desire, legacies of imperialism as well as the emerging matrix between war and globalization.

Comparative Literature 1B is both a critical thinking and composition course. The mantra of this class is, “good writing is re-writing.”  You will be developing the fundamentals for choosing an engaging paper topic, advancing an engaging thesis, establishing an authoritative essay style, moving from concrete observation to abstract analysis, substantiating arguments with evidence from texts, revising drafts, producing critical bibliographies, acquiring research skills and producing scholarly research papers.


Sophocles, Antigone
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Jean Rhys, Wild Sargasso Sea
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Octavia Butler, Kindred
Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother
Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima Mon Amour
Nuruddin Farah, From a Crooked Rib
Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Desert Bold: The Juárez Murders


Frederick Crews, <U>The Random House Handbook (Sixth Edition)

* List subject to change

A course reader of theoretical writings and shorter works will include excerpts by Nancy Armstrong, Pierre Bourdieu, Maheswetha Devi, Assia Djebar, Sigmund Freud, Lata Mani, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Susan Sontag and Gayatri Spivak .

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R1B.011: Stories Inside-Out

T/TH 9:30-11:00
110 Wheeler
M. Fisher & J. Lillie

This course aims to develop critical reading and analytical writing skills by focusing on “meta-stories”: that is, stories about stories (among other things). » read more »

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R1B.012: The Novel Across Technique and Visual Art

MWF 11-12:00
30 Wheeler
B. Clancy

This course will examine the novel from the point of view of the formal techniques that different authors have employed within the genre, with a primary focus on works written in the 20th century. We will examine the way in which writers choose to represent aspects like character and setting in a way that concurrently points to particular aesthetic rules or patterns operating within the works themselves, the manner in which social relationships are framed within different novels, as well as the different ways in which authors work with reference material. We will then examine the interrelatedness of different aesthetic techniques, such as links between syntactical and narrative structures and the subsequent creation of unique forms of narrative temporality by means of which certain authors attempt to engage the reader. Another significant aim of the course will be to consider the importance of the references that works of fiction make to painting and architecture, as well as other visual media. Here we will examine further the unique position that the novel genre seems to occupy in conducting this relationship between the linguistic and visual realms of aesthetic representation.


Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Shakespeare, Hamlet
Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil
Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room
James Joyce, Ulysses
Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin, Lolita
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

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R1B.013: Marvelous Texts

MWF 12-1:00
130 Wheeler
J. Jimenez

History is rife with texts, images, and films that position themselves as speaking about or from the “place” of the marvelous. » read more »

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R1B.014: Caribbean Voices

T/Th 11-12:30
210 Wheeler
K Anderson & J. Bulger

This course offers an introductory overview of Caribbean literature while addressing the dual goal of Reading & Composition courses—to improve students’ written and oral expression. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the voices of colonial Caribbean writers and artists contributed to the development of national consciousness which resulted, in the 1960s and 1970s, in a new political status for these islands.   » read more »

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R1B.015: Sweetbitter: Alternate Configurations of Love

T/TH 8-9:30
130 Wheeler
N. Pick

In her exploration of Sappho’s term “sweetbitter,” which in standard translation is normally inverted and rendered as the more conventional “bittersweet,” Anne Carson suggests that the phrase conveys more than just a temporal relationship between the two parts, which would indicate that the sweetness of love is quickly followed by pain.   » read more »

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R1B.016: Natural Instincts

MWF 10-11:00
123 Wheeler
K. Dodson

What constitutes “natural” behavior in humans, animals, and plants and from whose perspective? When is the “natural” considered a desirable trait, associated with innocence and goodness, and when is it taken as wild, savage, and dangerous, an element to be cultivated and purged of deviancy? » read more »

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24: Reading and Reciting Great Poems in English

Tu 04:00-05:00 203 Wheeler Instructor: Steve Tollefson

Tu 4-5:00
203 Wheeler
Stephen Tollefson

People today do not have enough poetry in their heads, and everyone should be able to recite one or two of their favorite poems. In addition to its purely personal benefits, knowing some poetry by heart has practical applications: in a tough job interview, you can impress the prospective boss by reciting just the right line, say, from Dylan Thomas: “do not go gentle into that good night/rage rage against the dying of the light.” Or at a party some time, you’ll be able to show off with a bit of T.S. Eliot: “in the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo.” In this seminar, we will read a number of classic poems as well as a number of other (perhaps lesser, but still memorable) poems, and discuss them. The poems cut across centuries and types. Students will be encouraged to find other poems for the group to read. Participants will be required to memorize and recite 50-75 lines of their choice, and to prepare a short annotated anthology of their favorite poems

Steve Tollefson, a lecturer in the College Writing Programs, is the author of four books on writing and grammar as well as articles on a variety of subjects and several short stories. He is a recipient of the campus Distinguished Teaching Award.

Course Catalog Number: 17281

41C: Introduction to Literary Forms: Forms of the Novel

Deviant Sexualities and the Novel, 1740–1860

T/Th 9:30-11:00
243 Dwinelle
Sarah Herbold

Streetwalkers, homosexuals, transvestites: this course features five great novels written in England and France between 1740 and 1860 in which various “deviant” forms of sexuality are both exposed and censored. Besides just enjoying some great writing, we will consider whether, and how successfully, sexual policing is carried out in these texts. Is the affirmation of conventional sexuality that typically “ties up” the conclusion of each novel strong enough to counteract the sexual deviations that have generated excitement along the way? We will also be attentive to the formal qualities of these novels and discuss how those qualities contribute to or detract from the “surveillance” of sexuality that critics often describe as the nineteenth-century novel’s cultural project.

Course requirements will include one shorter and one longer research paper, both of which will be revised. No previous experience with literature of this period is necessary, but students need to be willing to immerse themselves in three fairly long novels and two shorter ones. We will likely also read some short critical articles.

Reading List:

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson (1741)Oxford World Classics ed. ISBN # 0192829602

Justine, or Good Conduct Well-Chastised by Marquis de Sade (1791) (excerpts) (Xerox)

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac (1830) (Xerox)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)Norton ed., ISBN # 039397542

Madame Bovary  by Gustave Flaubert (1857), trans. Lowell Bair Bantam ed. (out of print, but should be available used), ISBN # 0-553-21341-5

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Open Secrets

Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

T/Th 3:30-5:00
250 Dwinelle
Anne-Lise Francois

How do literary and filmic texts disclose and simultaneously keep their secrets? This course examines the role of secrets in producing and blocking narrative and dramatic movement, and in releasing and withholding meaning. Particular attention is given to secrets such as the gay closet or racial passing that seem to occur “in plain sight,” like Poe’s “Purloined Letter.” » read more »

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

American Poetry's Ethical-Political Dilemmas Since 1950: Some Comparatist Perspectives

Instructor: Robert Kaufman

T/Th 11-12:30
243 Dwinelle
Robert Kaufman

This introduction or gateway to the comparative literature major takes up a very big question as a way to begin exploring what comparative literary study is: How do American poets, from about 1950 to the present, attempt formally and thematically to engage ethics and politics?   » read more »

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112A: Modern Greek Language

M/W/F 12:00-01:00 125 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

MWF 12-1:00
125 Dwinelle
Maria Kotzamanidou

Modern Greek is unique among languages in that it is the only modern language directly descended from Ancient Greek. In this course, the student studies reading, writing, pronunciation and use of contemporary spoken idiom, all within the historical and cultural context of the language. By the end of the course, the student should have a strong grammatical and linguistic foundation in Greek as it is spoken today. (No Prerequisite)<

Course Catalog Number: 17317

120: The Biblical Tradition in Western Literature

Instructor: Robert Alter

T/Th 12:30-2:00
110 Wheeler
Robert Alter

This course will satisfy the Classical Literature Requirement for Comp Lit Majors

This course will explore the biblical tradition in Western literature by a series of close readings of selected biblical texts in conjunction with a series of novels written in different languages from the eighteenth century to the twentieth that make central use of these biblical sources. » read more »

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153/Italian Studies 120: The Renaissance

Shakespeare in Italy

T/TH 2-3:30
247 Dwinelle
Albert Ascoli

Also listed as Italian 120:2

Among the many attempts to prove that William Shakespeare was not really William Shakespeare but someone else, there is a little book entitled “Shakespeare fu un italiano”: Shakespeare was an Italian.  This course will argue no such thing.  Rather, we will explore the various ways in which Shakespeare was touched by and touched Italy, a country he only knew through books and second hand report.  We will look at some of the works of Italian literature that he read and rewrote in his plays (works by Boccaccio, Ariosto, Bandello, and others), plays of his that are set in Italy (Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Merchant of Venice), Italian operas, works of literature, and films which re-present or appropriate Shakespeare’s oeuvre (Verdi’s Otello; Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author; and so on).  In the process we will think about the process by which work circulate between places and over time, and how two very different cultures reciprocally interpret each other and in so doing, reveal themselves.


William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice,  Othello, As You Like It, The Tempest, All’s Well that Ends Well

Giuseppe Verdi, Otello, Falstaff

Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

Guido Ruggiero and Laura Giannetti, trans. Five Comedies of the Italian Renaissance

Course Reader

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155/Slavic 131: The Modern Period

The European Avant-garde: from Futurism to Surrealism

Instructor: Harsha Ram

T/Th 3:30-5:00
215 Dwinelle
Harsha Ram

This course is also listed as Slavic 131:1

The literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century was the most extreme expression of European modernism in literature and art. We will be focusing on the four most radical and creative of the avant-garde movements to have swept through Europe between the 1910s and the 1930s: Italian and Russian futurism, dada in Zurich and Berlin, and French surrealism. We will be reading avant-garde poetry, manifestoes, performance texts and plays, experimental fiction and memoirs. We will also be paying some attention to parallel developments in the visual arts.

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

The Klephtic Ballads and Descriptions of Greece before, during and after the Greek War of Independence.

Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

F 2-5:00
125 Dwinelle
Maria Kotzamanidou

The oral poetry surrounding the Greek outlaw culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, known as the klephtic (bandit) ballads, makes a very powerful statement about heroism motivated by the desire for autonomy and freedom. Indeed, the heroic legend of these insurgent mountain men, the klephts, was primarily based on the fact that they formed a resistance to, and fought in the War of Independence from, the Ottoman Empire. However, that war did not totally reflect either the ideals woven in these poems or those of a revolution as an apocalyptic event taking place in the climate of European Romanticism and shrouded in its political ideologies. Instead, the war appears to have been a long, protracted struggle (1821-1833) of small, intermittent accomplishments and great losses, of political games played by the European powers, of petty quarrels among the insurgents as well as of true heroism, of unbelievable savagery, of blighted urban centers with totally destroyed infrastructures, of enormous loss of life and property, of huge displacements of populations and of incredible chaos. By using mostly primary and some secondary material, this course attempts to reconstruct some aspects of that war and its aftermath and to place them in context by bringing together issues and accounts, from the freedom-inspired poetic output of the ballads to personal accounts, autobiographies, memoirs and descriptions taken from Greek and foreign sources and ranging from Ottoman, pre-revolutionary Greece to European, royalist, post-revolutionary Greece.

(Readers of selected material from the sources below are being prepared by the instructor.)


Anonymous: Elliniki Nomarchia (Power of the Laws), Venice, 1806

Helen Angelomatis-Tsougarakis: The Eve of Greek Revival: British Tavellers’ Perceptions of Early Nineteenth Century Greece, London New York, Routledge 1990

Evliya Celebi: (1611?-1682?): Seyahatname (Travel-Book)

John W.Baggally: The Klephtic Ballads in Relation to Greek History(1715-1821) Chicago, Argonaut, 1968

Richard Clogg: The Movement for Greek Independence 1770-1821: A Collection of Documents.London, Macmillan, 1976

Richard Clogg: A Short History of Modern Greece, Cambridge U. P., 1986

Douglas Dakin: The Greek Struggle for Independence 1821-1833. University of California Press, 1977

Claude Fauriel: Chantes populaires de la Grèce moderne, Paris, Dondey-Duprés 1824-1825 (Greek edition of Fauriel, Greek Folksongs, Athens, Nikos D. Nikas 1956)

George Finlay: History of the Greek Revolution and the Reign of King Otho, Claredon Press,Oxford, 1877

Stathis Gourgouris: Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution of Modern Greece.Stanford University Press, 1996

Michael Herzfeld: Ours Once More. Folklore, Ideology and the Making of Modern Greece.  New York, Pella, 1986.

T. Kolokotrones:The klepht, the Warrior. Sixty Years of Peril and Daring (Autobiography 1770-1843)in Greek with trans. By Elizabeth Edmonds, London, T.F. Unwin, 1892

Colonel W. Martin-Leake: Researches in Greece, John Booth Publisher, London, 1814

Ioannis Makriyannis (1797-1864): Apomnemoneumata (Memoirs), London, Oxford University Press, 1966

Walter Alison Phillips: The War of Greek Independence, 1821-1833,  London, 1897

Nicholaos Politis: Eklogai apo ta Tragoudia tou Hellenikou Laou, (Folk Poetry Collection) Athenae, Typ. Paraskeua Leone, 1932

William St. Clair: That Greece Might Still Be Free. The Philhellenes in the War of Independence,  Oxford, 1972

Christopher Wordsworth: Athens and Attica: Journal of Residence there. By the Reverend Christopher Wordsworth, London, J. Murray, 1836

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

National Narratives

Instructor: Karl Britto

T/Th 11-12:30
106 Wheeler
Karl Britto

Throughout the twentieth century, nationalism functioned as a powerful generator of meaning in colonial and postcolonial contexts, serving both as a source of political and creative inspiration and as a model of cultural and personal identity.  In this course, we will study literary texts written by authors from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, all of which foreground the central role of nationalism in the construction of colonial, postcolonial, and neocolonial communities.  Drawing upon the work of various theorists and critics, we will analyze the circulation and contestation of discourses of nationalism and models of national identity within these texts.  At the same time, we will be attentive to the ways in which their authors experiment with literary form in order to reveal the complex network of relationships linking the nation to culture and violence, gender and sexuality, language and writing.  Readings will include: Kateb Yacine, Nedjma; Assia Djebar, “The Woman in Pieces”; Mariama Bâ, So Long a Letter; Henri Lopes, The Laughing Cry; Bapsi Sidhwa, Cracking India; Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children; Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy.

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201: Comparative Literature Proseminar

F 12:00-01:00 4104 Dwinelle Instructor: Victoria Kahn

F 12-1:00
4104 Dwinelle
Vicky Kahn
This course is designed to give all new graduate students a broad view of the department’s faculty, the courses they teach, and their fields of research. In addition, it will introduce students to some practical aspects of the graduate career, issues that pertain to specific fields of research, and questions currently being debated across the profession. The readings for the course will consist of copies of materials by the department’s faculty.

Course Catalog Number: 17368

202B: Approaches to Genre: Lyric Poetry

Paul Celan and American Poetry

Instructor: Robert Kaufman

Tu 2-5:00
279 Dwinelle
Robert Kaufman
[Note: “American” will here mean primarily “U.S.”; but the course will also pay significant attention to Canadian and Latin American poetry and criticism.]

What are some of the ways, in our recent past and contemporary moment, that a groundbreaking poetry–radically innovative in form and content, with extraordinary international resonance, perceived on all sides to have gone for broke–may find its poetics taken up by artists of different languages, cultures, and sociopolitical situations?  » read more »

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215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Political Theology in the Early Modern Period

TH 2-5
140 Barrows
Vicky Kahn

This course provides an introduction to the European Renaissance and Reformation from about 1500 through 1700. We will focus in particular on the topic of political theology. Political theology has been the subject of much recent theoretical discussion, in the work of such figures as Claude Lefort and Giorgio Agamben. Yet one of the main texts to analyze the problem of political theology–Carl Schmitt’s 1922 text by that title–locates the modern formulation of this problem in the early modern period. In this seminar we will explore both the understanding of political theology in the early modern period and the seventeenth-century European critiques of political theology, some of which have their origins in the secularizing tendencies of Renaissance humanism. We will read texts by Luther, Calvin, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Shakespeare, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Locke. Students who encounter this description before the fall may want to read Carl Schmitt’s  Political Theology to get a head start on the course. I also recommend Mark Lilla’s The Stillborn God and Rebecca Goldstein’s Betraying Spinoza for popular (and enjoyable) accounts of some of the relevant issues.

Course Catalog Number: 17374

C 221/Critical Theory Group 205: Aesthetics as Critique

Critical Aesthetic Theory

Instructor: Anthony Cascardi

M 2-5:00
Geballe Room, Townsend Center, 210 Stephens Hall
Anthony Cascardi

Also listed at Critical Theory Group 205:1

The aims of this seminar are several fold:  to track the ways in which the goals of “critical theory” were from its earliest days associated with the project of an aesthetic critique; to assess the degree to which critical theory was (or was not) consistent with the major texts of Western aesthetics (Kant, Hegel, etc.); and finally to engage and evaluate the “return” of aesthetics since the 1970’s in light of cultural conceptual challenges to the paradigm of Western Marxism.  » read more »

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240/Film Studies 240: Studies in the Relations Between Literature and the Other Arts

Japanese Visual Cultures

Instructor: Miryam Sas

Wed 1-4:00, Screenings 4-6:00
226 Dwinelle
Miryam Sas

Also listed as Film Studies 240:3

This seminar reads key works and theoretical concepts related to Japanese visual cultures—film, visual arts, photography, and animation. From silent cinema (and benshi narration) to experimental/ New Wave works and animé, from avant-garde happenings and action art to Fluxus to contemporary internet culture, the seminar locates Japanese visual cultures in relation to central debates in Asian critical arts/film theory and contemporary critical theory.

Among the texts studied are works by: Akasegawa, Azuma, Chow, Dym, Hall, Hosoe, Hou, Jameson,  Jonouchi, Lee U-fan, Lippit, Matsumoto, Miyazaki, Moriyama, Ōno Y., Ōshima, Ozu, Tatsumi, Tsuge, and others.

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360S: Essaying Teaching: A Pedagogical Conversation

W 12-2:00
204 Wheeler
Sarah Herbold

Teaching is always —or should always be—an experiment, and one can only become a better teacher by reflecting on one’s own (and others’) teaching experiments. This class is designed to encourage participants to reflect critically on their own and others’ attempts to integrate teaching literature and writing. We will pursue this objective by

* reflecting on our goals as teachers;
* practicing teaching;
* observing each other teaching;
* discussing our experiences as teachers and giving each other feedback;
* discussing essays on teaching by professional teachers;
* preparing and reviewing teaching materials; and
* analyzing and responding to sample student work

Since most courses taught by GSIs in the department are Reading and Composition (“R&C”) courses, we will focus on preparing to teach in the 1A/1B sequence. You will learn many of the basic elements of teaching a successful 1A/1B course from experienced teachers in the Comp Lit department. We will begin by discussing what constitutes an argument and then cover a series of topics such as grading, leading discussion, and teaching revision. Each student will also present a sample lesson. But we will also reflect on our philosophies and goals in teaching literature and writing, and aim to integrate as much as possible the theoretical concerns of our own approaches to literature with practical approaches to teaching beginning students. Regular attendance and the completion of all assignments are required in order to satisfy the departmental pedagogy requirement.

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