Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Just Deserts

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 Hearst Annex B1 Instructor: Paco Brito Emily Drumsta

Just Deserts

Comparative Literature R1A: 1 Fall 2015

Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8-9:30


B1 Hearst Annex

Instructor Info: Paco Brito; Office: 4414 Dwinelle; Email:

Emily Drumsta; Office 4321 Dwinelle; Email:

Deserts are both real landscapes and powerful, pliable metaphors, imagined spaces of ascetic deprivation and actual homes to many nomadic and settled peoples. There is both a vast and various literature written from and about desert ecosystems and a literature that uses the figure of the desert to explore cultural barrenness, human mortality, and catastrophe. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 12983


Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 209 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students Nicole Adair

Margarita Gordon, Nicole Jones

2015-16 R1A Course Description


“Now the whole life of mortal men, what is it but a sort of play, in which various persons make their entrances in various  costumes, and each one plays his own part until the director gives him his cue to leave the stage? Often he also orders one and the same actor to come on in different costumes, so that the actor who just now played the king in royal scarlet now comes on in rags to play a miserable servant. True, all these images are unreal, but this play cannot be performed in any other way.” » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 12985

R1A.004: Inside Story

Tu/Th 04:00-05:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: David Walter

David Walter
Inside Story
A good king who’s promised to find the cause of a plague killing his city winds up with himself as a prime suspect. A man working his way up the corporate ladder lets his bosses use him in exchange for promotions, but falls in love with the wrong woman. A teenage vampire slayer falls for an older man only to find out that the perfect happiness she gives him has transformed him into the creature she is sworn to kill. How do these simple plots grow into fully formed stories that capture audiences through the ages?
In this course we pull out the guts of stories to try and understand how storytellers craft works that grip us. In the process we examine classic attempts to say what makes a good story and put to the test the idea that a given genre—crime drama, romantic comedy, gothic fantasy—has certain “rules” that make it successful.
Required Books:
Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays
Colette, The Vagabond (La Vagabonde)
Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk
Required Film and TV:
Some Like it Hot (Wilder, 1959)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling, 1982)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Whedon, 1997-2003)

Course Catalog Number: 12986

R1B.004: Family Drama

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 205 Dwinelle Instructor: Jessica Crewe Danny Luzon

Comparative Literature R1B, Section 4, Fall 2015    T/Th, 9:30-11:00, 205 Dwinelle Hall

Jessica Crewe Danny Luzon

Office: 4414 Dwinelle Hall Office: 4321 Dwinelle Hall

Office Hours: T 12-2, or by appointment Office Hours: —

E-mail: E-mail:

Family Drama » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17236

R1B.005: Eyes Wide Shut

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 243 Dwinelle Instructor: Simone Stirner

Comparative Literature R1B, Section 5          Fall 2015

243 Dwinelle, Tues/Thurs 9:40-11:00am  Stirner & Tran

Adeline Tran      Simone Stirner

Office: 4416 Dwinelle    Office: TBD

Office Hours: Tues, 11-1 & by appt     Office Hours: TBD » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17239

R1B.007: Humanity and Nature: Histories of (Dis)Connection

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 205 Dwinelle Instructor: Bristin Jones

“Give me silence, water, hope.
Give me struggle, iron, volcanoes.”
—Pablo Neruda and
Edward Abbey

Comparative Literature R1B.07, Fall 2015,
T/Th 11:00-12:30, 205 Dwinelle Hall

Instructors: Keith Ford, (office hours: Wednesdays 1-3 pm and by appointment, Dwinelle 4414); and Bristin Scalzo Jones, (office hours: Thursdays 9-11 am 4321 Dwinelle).

To say that humanity has a vexed relationship with nature is a gross understatement. A glance into the literature of any period or place bears witness to the complexity of this relationship.  Across continents and centuries, writers have depicted nature contradictorily: as a space inspiring fear and respect yet also as a space providing succor and comfort; as force to be restrained and dominated or instead as a force to be accepted and embraced; as a presence from which we should distance ourselves (in ways both existential and visceral) or, conversely, as a presence with which we should connect (in ways equally existential and visceral).  This course, by engaging with a variety of genres and art forms, will explore some of the many ways that diverse cultures and time periods have represented and related to nature.  We will discuss themes such as Farming and Land Management; Shifting Perspectives; Labor and the Pastoral; Escapism, Solitude and Solipsism; and Anarchy, Activism and Sustainability. Authors and works for this course include:

 Elbow, Peter: Writing Without Teachers
 Plato: Critias
 Cortazár, Julio: “La Isla al mediodia”
 Virgil: Georgics
 Leopardi, Giacomo: Little Moral Works (in selection)
 Shakespeare, William: The Winter’s Tale
 Wordsworth, William and Samuel Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads (in selection)
 Clare, John: “A Lamentation for Round Oak Waters”
 Tolstoy, Leo: The Cossacks
 Dillard, Annie: “Heaven and Earth in Jest” and “Living Like Weasels”
 Abbey, Edward: Desert Solitaire (in selection)
 Neruda, Pablo: Odes (in selection)
 Fincher, David: Fight Club
 Reynolds, Michael: Garbage Warrior
This is a reading and writing intensive course with several essay assignments which will build upon the skills acquired in R1A. We will approach academic writing as a process, and students will articulate clear and interesting arguments about the texts we are studying while entering the world of literary criticism and learning to integrate and interrogate criticism in their own writing. This course satisfies the University requirement for the R1B Reading and Composition class.

Course Catalog Number: 17245

R1B.008: “Fifty Shades” of Desire

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Paul De Morais

Comparative Literature R1B: “Fifty Shades” of Desire
Section 8 Paul De Morais ( Fall 2015
Office Hours: Fridays 11 AM – 1 PM,  TBA Dwinelle Hall

“The world is little, people are little, human life is little.  There is only one big thing—desire.”

—Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17248

R1B.011: The Art in Artifice

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 234 Dwinelle Instructor: Taylor Johnston Alex Brostoff


Tuesday & Thursday 12:30-2:00 234 Dwinelle

Alexandra Brostoff  Office location:  4321 Dwinelle

Taylor Johnston  Office location:   4416 Dwinelle

Artifact. Artifice. Artist. The Latin root “art” signifies skill, and conventionally such skill produces an uninterrupted imaginary experience that is meant to approximate reality. But what happens when the artwork calls attention to the skill itself – to its own artistry? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17257

R1B.013: Writing Eros: Literature and Romantic Love

Tu/Th 05:00-06:30 3119 Etcheverry Instructor: Jonathan Rowan Christopher Scott

Writing Eros: Literature and Romantic Love

Tu Th 5-6:30 pm
Jonathan Rowan ( and Christopher Scott (; office 4319 Dwinelle)

What is this thing we call “love”? Is it selfish or selfless (or somewhere in between)? Is it something we do, or something that happens to us? Is it merely a matter of emotion, or is rationality involved too? Does it always involve illusion—an idealized image of the beloved? How does literary form capture the experience of love? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17263

R1B.014: Fictions of Technology, Science, and Society

M/W 04:00-05:30 289 Cory Instructor: Kfir Cohen Molly Bronstein

Comparative Literature R1B.14          Kfir Cohen and Molly Bronstein

MW 4:5:30pm 289 Cory ;

Office Hours [TBA]

Fictions of Technology, Science and Society

In this course we will develop writing and argumentative skills through exploring theoretical and imaginative texts that revolve around technology, science and social order. We will read texts that take up the questions of artificial intelligence and human attachment (Ex-Machina), the relation between justice and techniques of scientific prediction (Foundation, Minority Report), and time travel (The Time Machine) among others. We will watch several contemporary films and read a variety of texts from different historical periods and cultural traditions, focusing specifically on sci-fi and utopian/distopian fiction. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17266

R1B.020: Fictions of Technology, Science and Society

M/W/F 01:00-02:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Kfir Cohen Amanda Siegel

Comparative Literature R1B.20                                                            Kfir Cohen and Amanda Siegel

MWF 1-2pm 79 Dwinelle                                               ;

Office Hours [TBA]

Fictions of Technology, Science and Society

In this course we will develop writing and argumentative skills through exploring theoretical and imaginative texts that revolve around technology, science and social order. We will read texts that take up the questions of artificial intelligence and human attachment (Ex-Machina), the relation between justice and techniques of scientific prediction (Foundation, Minority Report), and time travel (The Time Machine) among others. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17497

R1B.021: Found On the Road Dreaming: Discovery and Epiphany in Travel Literature

Tu/Th 04:00-05:30 206 Wheeler Instructor: Keith Ford

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

—Bilbo Baggins

Found On the Road Dreaming:
Discovery and Epiphany in Travel Literature
Comparative Literature R1B, Fall 2015,
T/Th 4:00-5:30, 206 Wheeler Hall

Instructor: Keith Ford, (office hours: Tuesdays 1:00pm to 3pm, and by appointment, at Dwinelle 4414). Before we even set out on a journey, the places we go are invested with meaning and, often, idealized goals. Inevitably, there is a dissonance between destination and dream. Perhaps accounting for this, in literature, many travelers are bound to entirely fictitious destinations. And yet, the fiction is as revealing as any fact when considering why we are driven to travel. What values and expectations does the traveler carry with him, perhaps unwittingly? How are indigenous populations represented? What are the social and political motivations surrounding the writing of travel texts?

In order to investigate these and other questions, this course will engage with texts whose treatment of travel ranges from the fantastic (Lucian’s A True History and Apuleius’s The Golden Ass and selections from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring) to the philosophical and imperial (Thomas More’s Utopia, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, selections from both Thevet’s Singularities of Antarctic France and Lery’s True Voyage to Brazil,) to something foundational to identity itself (Momaday’s The Way to Rainy Mountain, Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children).

This is a reading and writing intensive course with several essay assignments which will build upon the skills acquired in R1A. We will approach academic writing as a process, and
students will articulate clear and interesting arguments about the texts we are studying
while entering the world of literary criticism and learning to integrate and interrogate
criticism in their own writing.

Assignments & Grading:
Diagnostic essay (2-3 pgs) Required
Two Annotated Bibliographies 5 points (each)
Two Explorations of Place 5 points (each)
Midterm Essay (draft & final revision) 25 points
Final Essay (draft & final)      35 points
In-class writing assignments and bCourses posts 10 points
Attendance & Participation 10 points
Total possible:            100 points

  Required: Texts

Utopia (Thomas More), ISBN: 978-0140449105

The Tempest (Shakespeare), ISBN: 978-0393978193

The Way to Rainy Mountain (N. Scott Momaday), ISBN: 978-0826304360

Midnight’s Children (Rushdie), ISBN: 978-0812976533


Blood on the Tracks (Bob Dylan)

Films (screened in class):


All other texts will be compiled into a course reader which will be made available at Copy
Central or made available on bCourses (as indicated).

Course Catalog Number: 17500


41B: Studies in Lyric

M/W/F 02:00-03:00 255 Dwinelle Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

MWF 2:00-3:00pm
255 Dwinelle
Professor Anne-Lise Francois

This course will offer a comparative introduction to lyric poetry across different linguistic traditions (including poems originally composed in Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese and Spanish). While we may consider different definitions and origin stories of the lyric genre–as muted song, verbal picture, overheard speech, or emotive expression–our main focus will be on learning how to read and write about poetry in its shorter forms. You will be encouraged to read in the original when possible, but all readings will be provided in English.

Poetry by Sappho, Ovid, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Bashō, Shiki, Keats, Baudelaire, Dickinson, Rilke, Lorca, Bishop, and Niedecker, among others.

Course Catalog Number: 17284

100: Dislocated Narratives

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 262 Dwinelle Instructor: Karl Britto

TuTh 11am-12:30pm
262 Dwinelle
CCN: 17302
Professor Karl Britto

In this course we will consider a variety of written and cinematic texts, largely produced in the last decades of the twentieth century, all of which foreground the movement of individuals or communities across national borders. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss a number of interrelated questions: how do contemporary writers attempt to come to terms with the profound historical ruptures and geographic displacements brought about by the experience of transnational movement? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17302

112A: Modern Greek Language and Composition

M/W/F 12:00-01:00 225 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

MWF 12-1:00
225 Dwinelle
CCN: 17305
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: 17305

153: Renaissance Literature

Literature and the Age of Exploration

M/W/F 02:00-03:00 134 Dwinelle Instructor: Timothy Hampton

MWF 2:00-3:00pm
134 Dwinelle
CCN: 17308
Professor Tim Hampton

In this course we will study the intersection between Renaissance literature and the great journeys of exploration and conquest that shaped the birth of the modern world. We will read fictional works by such authors as Shakespeare, Cervantes, More, Montaigne, Camoens, and Rabelais, in dialogue with writings of the sailors, missionaries, cartographers, scoundrels, and traders who expanded the limits of the European imagination with their accounts of “unknown” territory. In addition to reading a number of influential literary texts, we will work with primary historical material by studying maps, images, and collections of “curiosities.” Among the questions we will ask: how does the expansion of territory generate new forms of literary representation? How can you describe an object that has never been written about? How is a narrative like a map?


Reading list:

Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel, trans. Screech (Penguin).
Cervantes: Don Quixote, trans. Rutherford (Penguin).
More: Utopia, trans. Miller (Yale UP).
Columbus: The Four Voyages, trans. Cohen, (Penguin).
Camoens: The Lusiads, trans. White (Oxford World Classics).
Hakluyt: Voyages and Discoveries (Penguin).
Shakespeare: Othello (Signet), The Tempest (Signet).



Course Catalog Number: 17308

171: IN OTHER TONGUES: Thought and Literature by Greek Expatriates in 20th Century Europe

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

Fri 2:00-5:00pm
211 Dwinelle
CCN: 17314
Maria Kotzamanidou

This course will examine the work of Greek intellectuals (philosophers and literary writers) who, as adults, in moments of Greek historical and political crises, left Greece and emigrated to other European countries. The primary corpus of the work of these authors was written in the languages of their adopted countries, thus, allowing them to make major contributions to the specific intellectual life of those countries and to European letters in general. Even though these writers have appeared in Greece only in Greek translation, it will be interesting to examine to what extend each crisis, which drove them away from their original homeland, contributed to their evolution, and defined the direction of their ideas abroad.

All materials from foreign languages for this course are presented in English translation.

Greek History, theory and criticism are in English. Films are in English or with English subtitles.





Course Catalog Number: 17314

190: Literature and Human Rights

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 107 Mulford Instructor: Victoria Kahn

TuTh 11:00am-12:30pm
107 Mulford
CCN: 17320
Professor Vicky Kahn

This course will explore the history of the idea of human rights and the role of literature in depicting human rights abuses and in advancing human rights claims, with a particular focus on twentieth-century literature. How does literature contribute to the invention of the concept of human rights? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17320

190: Proust, Woolf and the Modern Novel

M 02:00-05:00 87 Dwinelle Instructor: Dora Zhang

Mon 2:00-5:00pm
87 Dwinelle
CCN: 17317
Professor Dora Zhang

“Well – what remains to be written after that?” wondered Virginia Woolf in a 1922 letter about Marcel Proust’s monumental seven-volume work, In Search of Lost Time. Chronicling everything from the strangeness of kissing to the casual cruelties of snobbery, Proust’s novel conducts a vast and searching inquiry into the nooks and crannies of human experience. At the same time, it’s an unflinching account of a particular era, as the glittering decadence of belle époque Paris gave way to the horrors to the First World War, and rapidly changing modern life came to include new inventions like the telephone, the automobile, and the cinema. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17317


200: Approaches to Comparative Literature

W 02:00-05:00 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Victoria Kahn

Wed 2:00-5:00pm
204 Dwinelle
CCN: 17362
Professor Vicky Kahn

This course serves as an introduction to the field of Comparative Literature. In the first half of the semester, we will take up the question, “What is literature?” Readings will include Roman Jakobson, Viktor Shlovsky, Tzevtan Todorov, Raymond Williams, Kate Hamburger, Jacques Derrida, Terry Eagleton, Catherine Gallagher, and others. In the second half of the semester we will ask “What is Comparative Literature?” Readings from Erich Auerbach, Edward Said, Terence Cave, Christopher Prendergast, Gayatri Spivack, Emily Apter, and J. M. Coetzee. Although this is a proseminar intended for first-year students in Comparative Literature, graduate students from other departments are welcome to enroll.

Course Catalog Number: 17362

202C: The Novel

and Sociological Forms of Knowledge

M 02:00-05:00 233 Dwinelle Instructor: Michael Lucey

Mon 2:00-5:00pm
233 Dwinelle
CCN: 17371
Professor Michael Lucey

What is sociological knowledge? What are social facts and social forms and what kind of existence do they have? How do certain novels acquire the resources to produce sociological forms of knowledge, to encourage sociological forms of attention?  In particular, what aesthetic practices and what features of novelistic form contribute to this kind of knowledge production? What critical frameworks allow us to perceive this aspect of the representational work that novels do?  We will use a series of American, French, and English novels to pursue these questions, reading in tandem with them a variety of sociological works, including work by Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Marx, Lukács, Bourdieu, and Goffman, as well as some recent literary criticism.

Novels:  Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans;  Balzac, Old Man Goriot; Eliot, Daniel Deronda; Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah;  Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Cather, The Professor’s House


Course Catalog Number: 17371

202B: Lyric Poetry

The View from the Margins

Tu 02:00-05:00 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Chana Kronfeld

Tues 2:00-5:00pm
263 Dwinelle
CCN: 17370
Professor Chana Kronfeld

This seminar will focus on lyrical poetry produced in the margins – or outside — of the modern Anglo-European canon in order to call into question static typological theories of genre, as well as the majoritarian, heteronormative or Eurocentric set of biases behind contemporary attacks on the lyric as solipsistic, apolitical “personal expression.” Participants will draw on their own cultural and linguistic specialties to help us compile a multi-lingual course Reader of modern lyrical poetry decentered by ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, class, place or language. My own contribution to the readings will include selections from modern Yiddish and Hebrew poetry, and examples of biblical poetry as an alternative model for the lyric, in which the very distinction between the personal and the collective, the political and the “apolitical” is rendered meaningless. Through a series of historically and linguistically informed close readings, we will examine both standard and non-normative theoretical studies of the lyric, maintaining a critical awareness of the extent to which our paradigm examples affect our understanding of the genre. Questions we may want to ask include: How does the view from the margins problematize such western commonplaces as the coherence and authority of the lyrical “I,” the subject-object divide, the dichotomy between apostrophe and address, the conflation of the “lyrical” and “subjective” with the “feminine,” or the lyric’s purported freedom — or flight! — from the historical and the social?

Reading List:

The Lyric Theory Reader: A Critical Anthology, edited by Virginia Jackson and Yopi Prins (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2014)

Course Reader (to include Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Jacob Blevins, Jonathan Culler, Benjamin Harshav, Virginia Jackson, Barbara Johnson, Roman Jakobson, Robert Kaufman, Will Waters, Rene Wellek and selections by seminar participants)

Selections from: The Penguin Book of Modern Yiddish Verse (bilingual anthology), eds. Irving Howe, Ruth R. Wisse & Khone Shemruk. (New York: Penguin, 1988). (Out of print; photocopy available at Instant Copying and Laser Printing).

The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, ed. Robert Alter (New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2015).

The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems (bilingual anthology), eds. Shirley Kaufman, Galit Hasan-Rokem and Tamar Hess (New York: Feminist Press, 1999) (paperback edition).

Course Catalog Number: 17370

212: Studies in Medieval Literature

Subjects of Desire: Exploring Medieval (Latin) Literatures

Th 02:00-05:00 263 Dwinelle Instructor: Frank Bezner

Thur, 2:00-5:00pm
263 Dwinelle
CCN: 17374

Professor Frank Bezner

Much has been written on Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern vernacular love poetry, and the rich scholarly criticism on Latin love elegy, Troubadour lyrics, German Minnesang, or Petrarcism ranges from more traditional philological, literary, and formalist approaches to fascinating uses of gender criticism and psychoanalytic thought.  Much less critical light, however, has been shed on the Medieval Latin side – i.e. on the prolific and somewhat implausible production of learned love lyrics and related prose texts that were written during the 11th to 13th centuries all over Medieval Europe.

» read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17374

212/art history 192: Studies in Medieval Literature

The Cultural Dynamics of Medieval Manuscripts

Th 02:00-05:00 308B Doe Library Instructor: Frank Bezner Beate Fricke

Frank Bezner / Beate Fricke
Comp Lit 212 / Art History 192 D1 :The Cultural Dynamics of Medieval Manuscripts
Th 2-5
308B Doe Library

CCN:  17356

In this course we will study medieval and early-modern manuscripts as complex intersections of materiality, aesthetics, politics, and institutionality. In a first part, students will be introduced into the fundamentals of codicology, paleography, and manuscript illumination: a hands-on phase for which we will use real manuscripts from Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. In addition, we will discuss some seminal critical work on the cultural dynamics of manuscripts. After this introductory part, our class will explore selected cases and genres such as medieval bibles, books of hours, poetic anthologies, and manuscripts with scientific texts. In the third part of the course, students will pursue their own research in collaboration with the instructors.

Course Catalog Number:

215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Image and Imagination in Early Modern Literature

Tu 03:00 - 06:00 282 Dwinelle Instructor: Niklaus Largier

Thur, 3:00-6:00pm
282 Dwinelle
CCN: 17376
Professor Niklaus Largier

Focusing on the history of iconoclasm, images, practices of figuration, and the imagination, this course will trace key aspects of the literary and intellectual history from the 16th to the 17th century. Readings will include key texts by Luther and the radical reformers; Ignatius of Loyola and his influence; the figure of the fool; the emblem tradition; as well as representatives of 17th century baroque drama, poetry, and mysticism. A final reading list will depend on the interests of the group of participants and will be established at the first meeting. All texts will be available in the original language and in English translation.

Course Catalog Number: 17376

240/CRP 290 (CCN 14454): Studies in the Relations Between Literature and the Other Arts

Urban Space and Literary Form: World Literature and the Modern and Contemporary City

Tu 02:00-05:00 494 Wurster Instructor: Harsha Ram

Tuesdays, 2-5pm
494 Wurster Hall South Tower (Cal Design Lab)
CCN: 17383
Professors Mia Fuller (Italian Studies) and Harsha Ram (Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature)

Literature and urban civilization have long been intimately connected. Our seminar seeks to explore their connection as it relates to the emergence and global spread of the modern and contemporary city. How has the spatial and social organization of the modern city informed the thematic and formal choices writers make?

And how, in turn, have the imaginative projections of literary texts shaped our experience of the city, its emancipatory potential and its alienating constraints? How exactly do cities get not merely mapped but also emplotted? What kinds of urban spaces and city-dwellers become the privileged focus of modern fiction and poetry? How do the density and scale of the urban built environment impinge on the way writers view the world and tell their stories? What genres seem best suited to rendering urban life? Is the city the defining context of modern literature or its implicit if barely human hero? To what extent is the global diffusion of the novel form related to the growth of urbanization? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17383

298: Producing the World: Travels, Encounters, the Clash of Cultures

M 05:00-08:00 220 Stephens Hall Instructor: Francine Masiello

Mondays, October 19-December 7, 2015, 5-8pm
Townsend Center for the Humanities, 220 Stephens Hall
298.03 (1 unit) CCN: 17392
298.04 (2 Units) CCN: 17395

Instructor: Beatriz Sarlo: Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30
Instructor: Francine Masiello: Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, Dec. 7

PLEASE NOTE: This course may be taken as a one-unit course (CC 17392), meeting in four consecutive sessions with Beatriz Sarlo on Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30, or as a two-unit course (CC 17395) meeting a total of eight sessions, 4 with Francine Masiello and 4 with Beatriz Sarlo.

The course will examine the discourse on travel as a way to account for different symbolic, political, social, and ethnic experiences. We will begin with the assertion of travel literature as an “objective” form of autobiographical and of scientific research, and then break down the model. Readings will integrate theoretical accounts of travel from major Latin American authors, among them the 19th century Sarmiento and the 20th century Victoria Ocampo. These examples will help develop an inquiry about tourism especially in its comparative manifestations–as entertainment and distraction for a mass public or as an inquiry for a lettered elite who prevailed upon travel accounts to advance a national project at home. Texts will include professionally written narratives as well as postcards, letters, and visual records from the 19th through 21st centuries.

Readings selected for each meeting include classical travel studies and contemporary reflections. The material should work as an introduction to travel writing and may suggest further ways of considering it in terms of place, time, and mobility. Discussion topics will cover a wide range and will include: Writing and painting spaces; The politician as exile and the idéologue as traveler; When music travels, jazz in Buenos Aires and tango on Broadway.

Beatriz Sarlo is a scholar of Latin American literature and culture and one of the most important Argentine literary and cultural critics of the last 40 years. She has been a Professor at the University of Buenos Aires and has held Visiting Professorships throughout Europe and the U.S. A public intellectual, Sarlo is the author of more than two dozen books on literary criticism, cultural history, visual culture, and politics.

Francine Masiello is Sidney and Margaret Ancker Distinguished Professor in the Humanities in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese & Comparative Literature.

For more information or a complete syllabus, contact Teresa Stojkov, Associate Director, Townsend Center: or visit

Course Catalog Number: 17392