Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: All in the Family

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 234 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 8-9:30am
234 Dwinelle
CCN: 17203
Emily Laskin

They say you can pick your friends, but can you pick your family? In this course, we’ll be reading about families of various kinds, from those who are stuck with each other because of biology, to those who end up together by accident or fate, and those who choose each other for their own reasons. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17203

R1A.002: What is Literature Good For?

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Paco Brito

Tu/Th 8-9:30am
79 Dwinelle
CCN: 17206
Paco Brito

What role should literature play in our lives? Does reading and discussing literature make us better people, better thinkers, better citizens? Or is attempting to extract some sort of use for literature a mistake, a misapprehension of something that has no purpose but that is good or pleasure in and of itself? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17206

R1A.002: Swashbuckling

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 209 Dwinelle Instructor: Jessica Crewe Cory Merrill

Tu/Th 9:30-11am
209 Dwinelle
CCN: 17209
Jessica Crewe & Cory Merrill

Tales of travelers questing across the globe have been a cornerstone of popular culture from Homer’s Odyssey to Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yet, while these adventure narratives continue to seduce large audiences, we must also consider the political and social ramifications of such texts. What ethical problems might authors face in trying to represent foreignness and “the exotic”?   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17209

R1A.004: Memory and Narrative: Exploring Nostalgia and Trauma

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Keith Ford

Tu/Th 11am-12:30pm
210 Dwinelle
CCN: 17212
Keith Ford

Memory is essential for personal and cultural identity; and memory is, for the most part, constructed as a narrative. Our sense of who we are – as individuals and as members of groups – depends upon the stories we tell about ourselves: stories that establish continuities over time, assign meanings to certain experiences, and create values.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17212

R1A.005: Imagined Communities

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 205 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students Paul De Morais

Tu/Th 11am-12:30pm
205 Dwinelle
CCN: 17215
Mary Renolds & Paul De Morais

As Benedict Anderson reminds us in Imagined Communities, “the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communication.” How do we construct this image of our fellow community members?   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17215

R1A.012: The Real Thing

M/W/F 01:00-02:00 234 Dwinelle Instructor: Ashley Brock

MWF 1-2pm
234 Dwinelle
CCN: 17266
Ashley Brock

Once considered primarily a form of education and/ or propaganda, the documentary film is enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the 21st century as a form of entertainment and art. In an age crazed with reality television and celebrity biographies, the documentary genre throws into relief a number of questions that have long vexed and animated literature, photography, and film: What does it mean to show a life “as it really is”, to tell a story “as it really happened”? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17266

R1B.001: Ghosts Haunting Genre

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Irina Popescu

Tu/Th 8-9:30am
123 Dwinelle
CCN: 17233
Irina Popescu

In this class we will read books centering on human rights issues, history and storytelling, primarily focused on the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries.  Ghosts, and other metaphysical beings, appear throughout all of the works we will be reading, as the past finds its way inside the present, reminding us of the historical atrocities which continue to shape our present and future.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17233

R1B.002: Translations

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Diana Thow

Tu/Th 9:30-11am
123 Dwinelle
CCN: 17236
Diana Thow

Translation is everywhere.  But what is it, exactly?  The term is often used to indicate anything transferred, adapted, communicated, displaced or interpreted. What does it mean to be “lost in translation”?  What is the difference between a translator and an author?  » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17236

R1B.003: Telling Learning

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Howard Fisher

Tu/Th 9:30-11am
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17239
Howard Fisher

“There are many understandings.” – Jeffrey Dolven

How do teachers know that their students understand? I may be satisfied if you repeat my words back to me just as I spoke them, but do you really get it? And how do I know that you, thinking you understand, won’t go and apply what I’ve taught you in a way I hadn’t intended?   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17239

R1B.004: Reading Performance

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Taylor Johnston Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 11am-12:30pm
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17242
Taylor Johnston & Yael Segalovitz

What does it mean to think of performance as narrative? How can we read a spectacle as though it were literature? In this course, we will explore how narrative inhabits dance, oral traditions, audio forms, and theatrical performance from antiquity to the present. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17242

R1B.005: Bad Debts Liberalism, Loan Sharks, and Literature

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 12:30-2pm
123 Dwinelle
CCN: 17245
Philip Gerard

“The power of debt is described as if it were exercised neither through repression nor through ideology. The debtor is “free,” but his actions, his behavior, are confined to the limits defined by the debt he has entered into.”

       – Maurizio Lazzarato, The Making of Indebted Man

Debt is a way of life. In California, 50% of college seniors who graduated from non-profit institutions last year left school with some form of student debt. From this pool, the average obligation comes out to $20,250. As any 19th century novelist could tell you, this is an auspicious way to begin a story.

In this Reading and Composition course we will pursue the topic of debt beyond the bounds of economics. From social obligations to moral duty, from financial lending to literary borrowing, we will examine the meaning(s) and genesis of debt as a concept and a metaphor. As we go over our own set of books, drawing on a series of artistic, anthropological and philosophical treatments of debt from a range of historical periods, we will refine our critical reading skills and study the art of making and defending an argument.

As we explore the sorts of obligations that bind us, we will also be studying the craft of writing and revising an analytical paper.  Students can expect to write and revise two papers, give an in-class presentation, and complete several smaller assignments.


William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Honoré de Balzac, The Wild Ass’s Skin
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals
Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story

» read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17245

R1B.006: Reading for Plots

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 12:30-2pm
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17248
Caitlin Scholl

This course explores the relationship between the plotting of narratives and the plotting of conspiracies. We will read and view texts from a wide range of time periods, world regions, and genres—from Greek tragedy to French Harlequin comedy to Japanese whodunit to Congolese dystopian novel—paying attention to the ways in which the intrigue in the storylines thematizes not only the construction of the narratives themselves, but also the acts of reading and interpretation. What is the relationship between writers and the conspirators that they write about? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17248

R1B.007: Made from Scrap: The Poetics and Politics of Salvage in the Americas

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 223 Dwinelle Instructor: Karina Palau

Tu/Th 12:30-2pm
223 Dwinelle
CCN: 17251
Karina Palau

‘Found’ poems, quilts, and sculptures made out of trash. Narratives preoccupied with how to recover and retell a lost story. Museum installations that assemble and remake remnants of a past. Anthropologists obsessed with documenting threatened cultures before they presumably disappear. What do these imply about questions of rescue, recovery, and reuse? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17251

R1B.008: Yours Truly: The Question of Sincerity

M/W 04:00-05:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

MW 4-5:30pm
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17254
Kathryn Crim

This above all: to thine own self be true
And it doth follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
—Polonius, Hamlet

This course will investigate how we read, register, expect or, alternately, disdain a sense of sincerity in literature.  What does it mean to really mean it? Is sincerity a performance or is it, rather, the absence of performance? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17254

R1B.009: Unreliable Narration

M/W/F 09:00-10:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Adeline Tran

MWF 9-10am
79 Dwinelle
CCN: 17257
Adeline Tran

In this course, we will investigate the question of narrative reliability and whether an objective, ‘reliable’ representation of reality is really possible.  We will look at the complexities of narration in fiction and film by first asking how we define the nature of truth and reality.  Is truth an objective viewpoint on our world or a set of subjective interpretations?  What role does ‘lying’ play in society, and how would the perspective of a biased or deceptive narrator problematize our interpretation of a text or film?  How do issues of perspective affect our perception of truth and reality?  We will examine how individual points of view shape the way we think, and we will be interested in how the themes of reliability and unreliability in art can help us learn about our own development as writers of essays.  This class includes two formal papers and places strong emphasis on active student participation.

Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Caspary, Laura
Woolf, To The Lighthouse
Greene, The Quiet American
Nabokov, Lolita

Siodmak, The Killers
Kurosawa, Rashomon
Singer, The Usual Suspects


Course Catalog Number: 17257

R1B.010: What if…? Alternate Histories and Political Imagination

MWF 10-11am
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17260
Mandy Cohen

What if the Cold War became hot? What if John Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry had succeeded?  What if the bomb under Hitler’s desk hadn’t missed? “What if” is the question that jump starts the imagination of children and scientists, writers and science fiction nerds, oppressed peoples and activists—everyone who thinks about making a different world possible. Science Fiction in general has sometimes been called “the literature of change”: take the world you know, imagine a possibly possible change, and chart the way from here to there. This course will zoom in on the hybrid child of science fiction and history: Alternate History. Alternate histories are science fiction that can take place in the past, the present or future, if only something in the “real world” had gone a little differently. We’ll look at examples from the hey-day of SF in 20th century US literature, but we’ll also explore older historical works and works from other literatures which ask the same question, “what if?”  Rather than escaping through a wormhole in search of sexy green aliens, we’ll investigate works in which “the literature of change” is concerned with this world: why are things the way they are? What’s gone wrong? And what are the political alternatives that might not be so fantastic, if we could only see the way from here to there?

The major goal of this course is to develop and practice critical reading and writing skills for a broad range of analytical and research writing, with the alternate histories serving as rich, stimulating and hopefully fun material for our writing. Through workshops, revisions, and collaborative work we’ll improve our ability to read a text analytically, create interesting and meaningful arguments, and support those arguments through research. In addition to the works of fiction, we’ll read literary and historical essays both as writing models and to engage our readings with their ideas.

Texts for the course will be:

Octavia Butler. Kindred
Alan Moore. Watchmen
Terry Bisson. Fire on the Mountain
Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse 5
Jorge Luis Borges. “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,”
Ray Bradbury, “A Sound of Thunder”
Thomas More. Selection from Utopia
Tommaso Campanella. Selection from The City of the Sun
Edward Bellamy. Selection from Looking Backward
Lorenzo Pignotti. Selection from The History of Tuscany


Frederic Jameson. Selections from Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia
Darko Suvin. Selected essays (Metamorphoses of Science Fiction; Defined by a Hollow)
Samuel Delany, “Some Presumptuous Approaches to Science Fiction”
Haydn White. Selection from Metahistory
Ursula Le Guin. “Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction”
Donna Harroway. “Ecce Homo: Ain’t (Ar’n’t) I a Woman and Inappropriate/d Others: The Human in a post-Humanist Landscape”

We will also watch several films in this course. One class showing will be scheduled for each, and the films will also be available from the Media Resource Center in Moffitt Library or online.

Course Catalog Number:

R1B.011: Fact and Fiction

M/W/F 11:00-12:00 209 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

MWF 11am-12pm
209 Dwinelle
CCN: 17263
Margarita Gordon

We tend to view fact and fiction as polar opposites, opposites that shape our concept of knowledge, truth, and morality. Yet when we speak of “actual fact” in contrast to “mere fiction,” we often take for granted or simply ignore the basis for differentiating them from one another. In this course, we will endeavor to define the precepts—cultural, philosophical, and psychological—that govern this distinction.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17263

R1B.013: Questions of Character

Tu/Th 05:00-06:30 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Laura Wagner Current Graduate Students

TuTh 5-6:30pm
79 Dwinelle
CCN: 17269
Laura Wagner & Maya Kronfeld

Fiction is full of characters who exert a pull on their readers: those in whom we see versions of ourselves, those for whom we sense an immediate bond of friendship or feel an intense enmity, those we hate to love or love to hate, and those who remain forever inscrutable no matter how hard we try to get inside their thoughts and feelings.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17269

R1B.014: Narratives of Confinement: Captivity, Prison, and Mass Incarceration

M/W/F 11:00-12:00 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Gretchen Head

MWF 11am-12pm
210 Dwinelle
CCN: 17272
Professor Gretchen Head

The experience of confinement has historically lent itself to literary expression, yet it has many different forms. Here we will examine three particular types of confinement as they have been voiced in literature in an East/West comparative context: captivity, prison (specifically, the experience of political imprisonment), and the more recent phenomenon of mass incarceration associated with the modern prison industrial complex. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17272

R1B.015: Narratives of Confinement: Captivity, Prison, and Mass Incarceration

M/W/F 01:00-02:00 215 Dwinelle Instructor: Gretchen Head

MWF 1-2pm
215 Dwinelle
CCN: 17274
Professor Gretchen Head

The experience of confinement has historically lent itself to literary expression, yet it has many different forms. Here we will examine three particular types of confinement as they have been voiced in literature in an East/West comparative context: captivity, prison (specifically, the experience of political imprisonment), and the more recent phenomenon of mass incarceration associated with the modern prison industrial complex. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17274

R1B.016: Across the Mediterranean

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 115 Kroeber Instructor: Celine Piser

Tu/Th 9:30-11am
115 Kroeber,
CCN: 17509
Celine Piser

The countries that border the Mediterranean Sea span multiple continents and are home to distinct cultures, languages, and politics. But this shared geographic plane has been a site of contact for centuries.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17509

R1B.017: Metamorphoses of the Self

M/W 04:00-05:30 104 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

MW 4-5:30pm
104 Dwinelle
CCN: 17512
Vesna Rodic

This course will explore literary representations of the self and its transformations across time, situations and contexts. We will read texts that represent the development of one’s identity in relation to the experience of time, the material world, interaction with others, the thought process, and, the act of writing. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17512

R1B.018: Transformations

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 78 Barrows Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 12:30-2pm
78 Barrows
CCN: 17518
Irene Hsiao

In this course, we will think about what transformation means as we read myths, poems, plays, and stories. Using selected texts as testing grounds for our inquiry, we will consider shifts in outward form and shifts in inward feeling.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17518


20: Episodes in Literary Cultures

Modernism, War, and Revolution

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 145 Moffitt Instructor: Niklaus Largier

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

Tu/Th 12:30-2:00
145 Moffitt
CCN: 17275
Professor Niklaus Largier

‘Modernism’ refers to a range of literary texts, music, and other media that have changed and revolutionized the intellectual and cultural landscape at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In all areas, traditional forms were replaced by new, innovative, and  experimental forms of cultural production. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17275

24: Reading and Reciting Great Poems in English

M 04:00-05:00 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Steve Tollefson

Mon 4:00-5:00pm
263 Dwinelle
CCN: 17281
Steve Tollefson
(1 unit Pass/No Pass)

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

39J: Mind Reading: Consciousness and Literature

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 205 Wheeler Instructor: Dora Zhang

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

Tu/Th 11-12:30
205 Wheeler
CCN: 17515
Professor Dora Zhang

One of the enduring appeals of novels is their ability to offer us access to other mind. Thus fictional characters can feel like close friends, and reading books can often be a practice in empathetic imagination, giving us the chance (at least for a few hundred pages) to walk in another’s shoes. But how do literary texts create the fiction of being inside someone’s consciousness? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17515

39I: Why Read Ancient Literature?

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 222 Wheeler Instructor: Kathleen McCarthy

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

Tu/Th 12:30-2:00
222 Wheeler
CCN: 17295
Professor Kathleen McCarthy

What can twenty-first century readers get out of reading works that were written in Greek and Latin thousands of years ago?  Is the primary goal historical understanding? the pleasure of an engaging story? a meditation on human emotions that transcend vast shifts in culture and time? In this class we will read some central texts from Greco-Roman antiquity, with the goal of exploring different notions of why this practice makes sense and what we can do with it.  Rather than start from the assumption that reading ancient texts is worth doing, this class will ask students to think critically about why and how such reading might matter or not matter. In fact, the questions we will ask are relevant for reading in general – what do we get out of texts that intersect with our own experience and what do we get from those very foreign to our own experience?

Course Catalog Number: 17295

100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Rewriting the Canon

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 223 Dwinelle Instructor: Karl Britto

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30
223 Dwinelle
CCN: 17311
Professor Karl Britto

In this course, we will approach the work of comparison by examining a number of texts by authors from Africa and the Caribbean, all written in self-conscious relationship to earlier works from the European canon. In what ways—and to what ends—do authors rework, reimagine, and rewrite canonical literature? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17311

112A: Modern Greek Language

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

MWF 12-1

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: 17314

155: The Modern Period

Modern Crime Fiction and the Postcolonial World

Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 87 Dwinelle Instructor: Karl Britto

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

Tu/Th 2-3:30
87 Dwinelle
CCN: 17319
Professor Karl Britto

In recent years, many of the most celebrated and widely-read authors of postcolonial literature have produced novels that engage with a variety of sub-genres within the field of crime fiction, including the “hardboiled” detective novel, the roman noir, and the serial killer novel. What might account for this literary turn toward the dystopian, toward texts constructed around mysteries and often marked by shocking descriptions of extreme violence? In what ways do the genres of crime fiction allow writers to engage with long and complex colonial and post-colonial histories, and to address issues of social, political, and economic injustice? To what extent is storytelling itself implicated in these narratives of crime? In what ways do writers push the generic boundaries of crime fiction, and to what ends? How do bodies function as sites of textual meaning in crime fiction, and how do crime narratives complicate notions of identity and identification? In this seminar, we will consider these questions and others through readings of several novels whose narratives emerge out of different historical, cultural, and geographic contexts. Please note: because electronic devices make interesting conversation difficult, students are asked to come to class with paper copies of the course reader and books. In addition to secondary readings, texts to be considered include:

Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnificent (Anchor)
Yasmina Khadra, Morituri (Toby Crime)
Alain Mabanckou, African Psycho (Soft Skull Press)
Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (Vintage)
Mukoma Wa Thiongo, Nairobi Heat (Melville International Crime)

Course Catalog Number: 17319

170: Medicine in Literature

M/W 04:00-05:30 233 Dwinelle

MW, 4-5:30pm
233 Dwinelle
CCN: 17322
Professor Marilyn McEntyre

The purpose of this course is to expand the repertoire of questions and analytical tools you bring to your reading, to sharpen your linguistic sensibilities, and to consider in what sense literature is an avenue for understanding cultural dimensions of medical practice, medical ethics, health and illness, and the body-mind relationship. We will be considering questions like the following:

How does the practice of medicine reflect cultural mythologies, beliefs, habits of mind, manners, use of language? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17322

170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

Honors Thesis Seminar: Literary Theory, Criticism, and Methodology

Tu 02:00-05:00 125 Dwinelle Instructor: Robert Kaufman

Tu 2-5
125 Dwinelle
CCN: 17320
Professor Robert Kaufman

[Note:  Enrollment in this seminar is limited exclusively to Comparative Literature students who will be writing an Honors Thesis during the 2014-2015 academic year (or very soon thereafter), and who have both the required overall and in-the-major GPA.  Instructor’s approval is required; please check with the Comparative Literature Department’s Undergraduate Advisor, Anna del Rosario.]

Although this seminar is optional rather than required for Comparative Literature Honors Thesis students (i.e., students who will be taking Comparative Literature CL H195 in 2014-2015 or soon thereafter, in which they will write an Honors Thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor), the seminar is nonetheless designed to help provide students with a strong background and training in what their Honors Thesis will entail. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17320

171: Topics in Modern Greek Literature

Apocalyptic Imagination and the Violence of the Text in 20th Century Greek Fiction (1960's-1980's)

F 02:00-05:00 211 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature or International Studies breadth requirement

F 2-5:00
211 Dwinelle
Maria Kotzamanidou

 course has no prerequisites

This course is concerned with works of fiction written before or after the seven-year military dictatorship of 1967, a regime marked by various degrees of censorship. These works examine the relationship between established structures (social, historical, religious) and modern worldviews that reflect multiple levels of reality and multiple belief systems. In these novels, whether written before or after the Greek totalitarian regime, the vision of the future is prophetic and frequently apocalyptic.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17323

190: Senior Seminar


M/W/F 12:00-01:00 140 Barrows Instructor: Eric Naiman

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

MWF 12-1
140 Barrows
CCN: 17329
Professor Eric Naiman

This seminar will be devoted to a careful rereading of Nabokov’s most famous novel. We will consider the critical and ethical debates that have arisen around the book, and we will look at the novel’s transposition to the screen (Nabokov’s screenplay, Kubrick’s classic and Lyne’s recent treatment). We will examine the novel’s relationship to the genre of pornography and to notions of a discursive “body.” » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17329

190: Senior Seminar

Narrative, Figure, and Argument in Freud

W 03:00-06:00 254 Dwinelle Instructor: Judith Butler

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

Wed, 3-6pm
254 Dwinelle
CCN: 17332
Professor Judith Butler

We will pursue an introduction to Freud’s basic works on the unconscious, dreams, the death drive, sexuality, and symptoms, by considering  the narrative, figurative, and argumentative dimensions of his case studies, his readings on literary and visual art, and his Interpretation of Dreams.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17332


200: Approaches to Comparative Literature

What Is Comparative Literature?

W 02:00-05:00 225 Dwinelle Instructor: Robert Kaufman

Wed, 2-5pm
225 Dwinelle
CCN: 17374
Professor Robert Kaufman

This seminar is an introduction to graduate study in Comparative Literature for incoming Comparative Literature Ph.D. students. Our readings and discussions will attempt to at least begin a formal, critical-theoretical, and historical overview—including considerations of influential critiques of the discipline—of Comparative Literature.  Along the way, we’ll look at developing notions of how scholars, critics, and literary historians (not to mention artists) have understood terms like text, form, genre, history, culture, theory, criticism, methodology, and, of course, literature and comparison themselves. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17374

201: Proseminar

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

F 12-1:00
4104 Dwinelle, (Comp Lit Conference Room)
CCN 17377
V. 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: 17377

202B: Approaches to Genre: Lyric Poetry

Poetry and the Fate of the Senses

M 03:00-06:00 258 Dwinelle Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

Mon, 3-6pm
258 Dwinelle
CCN: 17379
Professor Anne-Lise Francois

This comparative seminar in lyric poetry borrows its title from Susan Stewart’s Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (University of Chicago Press, 2002), to ask about the relation between poetry and sensory deprivation (or plenitude) and prosthesis. We will focus on early modern to twentieth-century poetry written in English, French, German, Italian and Japanese, in the age of print culture or what will later become, in Walter Benjamin’s terms, the “age of mechanical reproducibility.” » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17379

215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

The Renaissance Before the Secular

2303 Dwinelle Instructor: Victoria Kahn Current Graduate Students

Tu 2-5
2303 Dwinelle
CCN: 17383
Professors Victoria Kahn & Ethan Shagan

This course offers an introduction to Renaissance and early modern studies, focusing on debates about secularism as they pertain to four topics: the state, the human, literature, and society. We will read works by Dante, Luther, and Savonarola, Las Casas, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Milton, Lucy Hutchinson, Ann Halkett, and Giambattista Vico. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17383

250: Studies in Literary Theory

Versions of Critique: Kant, Hegel, Marx

Th 02:00-05:00 425 Doe Library Instructor: Judith Butler

Th 2-5
425 Doe Library
CCN: 17392
Professor Judith Butler

The seminar will consider how different versions of critique are developed within some major figures in Critical Theory. We will consider how Kant formulates the notion of critique in some of his essays and in sections of the Critique of Pure Reason, especially as it seeks to delimit the phenomenal world in which certain kinds of knowledge are restricted. We will then ask in what forms critique reemerges within Hegel’s writings, focusing on the opening chapters of The Phenomenology of Spirit and some of his early essays on sensuous understanding and property. The course will end with a consideration of the early Marx, focusing on his own critique of German Idealism, abstraction, and the importance of sensuous and embodied action and thought. One task of the course will be to understand the grounds and objects of critique in these thinkers, underscoring points of convergence and divergence.

This course is instructor approval only. The application process is as follows: please provide Professor Butler with a brief one page letter explaining your background and why you are interested in taking the course (including whether the course counts as a requirement for your major or emphasis).

Letters are due by email ( by May 10th.

Course Catalog Number: 17392

298: Revolution: From the Fictitious to the Real

W 05:00-08:00 220 Stephens Hall Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Wednesdays 5:00-8:00pm
October 29 and November 5, 12, 19
Geballe Room, Townsend Center for the Humanities (220 Stephens)

This is an intensive 4 week graduate seminar. It will meet 3 hours per week for lecture. Each lecture will require at least 6 hours of additional work (reading, writing).  The total number of hours for this course is calculated at not fewer than 36 hours. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17401