Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Persuasion and Misrepresentation

MWF 10-11
223 Wheeler
SYSON

In this course we shall examine the dangers and the rewards that result from succumbing to persuasion. Central to each of these texts is anxiety about how far appearances, whether visual or shaped by words, correspond to reality, and about the effects of these appearances.   » read more »

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R1A.002: Impersonations

MWF 11-12
123 Dwinelle
Hill

Works from a variety of genres, from antiquity to last year, and which involve the theme of impersonation are the basis for frequent student writing in this course.   » read more »

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R1A.003: In Love with Death

T/Th 9:30-11
123 Wheeler
Hochberg

Why do so many works of literature, film, opera, theater end with the death of the heroine? Why is the “death scene” so often graphic and detailed? What is it about death that makes it so intriguing?   » read more »

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R1A.005: On Violence

T/Th 11-12:30
205 Dwinelle
COPENHAFER

What is the origin of violence? How is violence related to punishment? What is the relationship between violence and justice? How does violence, particularly when it is said to be just or perhaps justified, tend to invoke a logic of substitution (e.g.: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” capital punishment for so-called capital crimes, mutual assured destruction, etc.)?   » read more »

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R1B.001: Unfaithful Subjects: Narratives of Infidelity

MWF 9-10
125 Dwinelle
A. MOORE

Infidelity scandals provide tabloids and talk shows with best-selling material; yet tabloids are not alone in their focus on this fascinating subject. Stories of infidelity are and have been popular topics for the daily news as well as for literature and movies.   » read more »

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R1B.001: Sibling Stories

T/Th 9:30-11
107 Mulford
Greiman

The readings in this course explore the stories of brothers and sisters which also tell stories of the foundation and foundering of communities and nations. Along with our primary texts, we will consider a variety of recent scholarship on kinship and nationhood to ask: How is the language of kinship used in the imagination of a nation or community? » read more »

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R1B.002: On the Other Side of the Line: Passing and Cross-Dressing in World Literature

MWF 10-11
121 Wheeler
Tinsley

“Contrary to some psychiatric tenets, half and halfs are not suffering from a confusion of… identity… What we are suffering from is an absolute despot duality that says we are able to be only one or the other. It claims that human nature is limited and cannot evolve into something better.”

–Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera » read more »

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R1B.003: Reading and Composition

MWF 10-11
123 Dwinelle
Louar

This course will explore the concept of translation and its relationship with memory. Translation will be approached not only as the passage from one given language into another, but also as the ability to translate experience into words. The process of writing will be at the core of our investigation.   » read more »

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R1B.005: Narrative and Identity

MWF 11-12
225 Wheeler
Lisowski

What structures each of the three pairs of texts below is a set of relationships between narrative, the telling of the story of the past, and identity, the building of a self.   » read more »

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R1B.006: Reading and Composition

T/Th 8-9:30
125 Dwinelle
P. Springer

The course focuses on uses and abuses of power in politics and art. We will look through the lens of art at power struggles involving gender, class, ethnicity, occupation, and other boundaries, and our primary readings will take us from the founding of Rome over two thousand years ago to the streets of Los Angeles in the early 1950s. » read more »

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R1B.007: Crime

D. Larsen

TT 9:30-11

121 Wheeler

“America can’t have what it wants, so it has America’s Most Wanted instead.”

–Hakim Bey

From Cain and Abel to cops and robbers, this class will be an extended meditation on crime, as a category of behavior and rhetoric equally. “What,” we will ask, “is behind Western culture’s apparently bottomless appetite for representations of crime?”   » read more »

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R1B.009: What’s in the Box?, or, Detecting Bodies

T/Th 9:30-11
225 Wheeler
E. Haffner

In the recent movie Jumanji, the success of one of the characters’ two thousand hours of psychoanalysis, she says, depends on Robin Williams’s having been hacked to pieces by his father in 1969 and hidden in the house’s nooks and crannies. Unfortunately for her, he has really been stuck in the “Jumanji” game box, and now he’s out and ready to continue playing. Why should that “really” somehow be more real?   » read more »

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R1B.010: The Storyteller’s Story: Self-Conscious Narration and Beyond

T/Th 11-12:30
210 Wheeler
A. Schachter

This course will focus on a series of narratives which thematize storytelling and narration, as well as the transmission and interpretation of narratives. As we read texts that take as their central subject matter reading and writing, we will address the following questions: To what ends can an author foreground the production and consumption of narratives and their conventions? » read more »

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R1B.012: Where the Buffalo Roam…

T/Th 11-12:30
222 Wheeler
J. White

The narrator of Sam Shepard’s short story, “Gary Cooper or the Landscape,” asks which of the two is more important, the actor/character or the space through which he moves.   » read more »

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R1B.013: Puzzles, Con-Games, Secrets, and Codes: Interpretation and Detection in Literature and Film

T/Th 8-9:30
225 Wheeler
K. ZUMHAGEN

In this course, we will be concerned to examine a series of literary and filmic texts each of which, in its own peculiar way, can be said either to represent as a whole or contain within it certain interpretive and/or ethical puzzles which demand (whether implicitly or explicitly) that readers or viewers learn to hone and develop their imaginative and detective skills in order to engage in the challenging kind of interpretive work these texts ask of them. » read more »

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Undergraduate

40: Women in Literature

Women Warriors: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

T/Th 12:30-2
223 Dwinelle
Anderson & L. Gold

In this seminar on epic poetry, we shall read The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Aeneid, and Beowulf (the last accompanied by F.Gibson’s CD of her reading of Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf translation).   » read more »

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41D: Introduction to Literary Forms: Forms of the Drama

Figuring Difference: “Playing the Other” in Classical and Early Modern Drama

T/Th 12:30-2
203 Wheeler
T. HAUSDOERFFER

The theater played a key role in both Classical and Early Modern cultures, functioning not only as an important source of entertainment, but also as the central arena for both the construction and the criticism of cultural fantasies about ‘alterity’ (i.e. ‘otherness’).   » read more »

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60AC: Topics in the Literatures of American Cultures

Singing the Self: Narrative and Identity in Nineteenth Century America

T/Th 9:30-11
219 Dwinelle
WAREH

In this course we will explore how varied notions and depictions of the self, primarily in nineteenth century American literature, served both political and personal ends at a time of great social changes, including the crisis of the Civil War, national expansion, and the Suffrage movement. » read more »

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60AC: Topics in the Literatures of American Cultures

Coming of Age in North America: Assimilation and Adulthood in African, Irish, and Chinese American Communities

T/Th 11-12:30
219 Dwinelle
Fulmer

This course addresses the question: What forms of rhetoric convey a culture’s ideal of adulthood? This course addresses the question of how a young person approaches adolescence while stepping from one culture into the next.   » read more »

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Instructor: Barbara Spackman

T/Th 11-12:30
2038 Valley LSB
B. Spackman

In this course, we will examine the relation between narrative and desire in a selection of works from various historical periods, national traditions, and genres. Questions to be considered include: How do desires generate narratives? How do narratives produce desiring subjects?   » read more »

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152: The Middle Ages

Dissent and Heresy in the Middle Ages

T/Th 2-3:30
258 Dwinelle
WHITTA

This course will have as its focus an examination of discourses of dissent formulated in the early and high Middle Ages by a variety of social groups in Western Europe. We will study the “origins of European dissent” both as concrete phenomena and as cultural metaphors, as signs of political and personal resistance to forms of externally-mandated control or censorship.   » read more »

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155: The Modern Period

T/Th 3:30-5
Dwinelle
M. A. BERNSTEIN

Although its subject might be called “The Modernist Masterpiece as a Genre and a Goal,” I will not be concentrating solely upon the relationships of the works we are reading to any single over-arching motif, nor to various more traditional literary-philosophical taxonomies. » read more »

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155: The Modern Period

The European Avant-Garde: from Futurism to Surrealism

T/Th 11-12:30
121 Wheeler
RAM

The literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century was the most radical 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 1910’s and the 1930’s: Italian and Russian futurism, dada in Zurich and Berlin, and French surrealism.   » read more »

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156: Fiction and Culture of the Americas

Literature of the Americas: Migration-Diaspora-Return

T/Th 2-3:30
234 Dwinelle
E. Tarica

This course will examine contemporary Latin American and Caribbean prose and poetry to discuss how men and women writers have defined the native/natal land–often as a mother, as lost, unknown, corrupt, pristine, or new–and imagined a return to it.   » read more »

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165: Myth and Literature

Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

T/Th 11-12:30
220 Wheeler
Rejhon

This course will examine contemporary Latin American and Caribbean prose and poetry to discuss how men and women writers have defined the native/natal land–often as a mother, as lost, unknown, corrupt, pristine, or new–and imagined a return to it.   » read more »

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

Mass Media and Culture

Instructor: Miryam Sas

MWF 11-12
258 Dwinelle
M. Sas

What is the impact of mass media on our view of the world? How can we understand our place within the identity frameworks into which we are “thrown” and within which we perform our own cultural work?   » read more »

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

The Medieval Frametale Genre: Its Hispano-Arabic Roots

Instructor: James Monroe

T/Th 9:30-11
123 Dwinelle
J. Monroe

The art of inserting stories within stories is typical of certain Oriental literatures, and was widely cultivated in Arabic. Via Spain, the Arabs transmitted this form of writing to medieval Europe.   » read more »

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

The Literature of Suffering

Instructor: Robert Alter

T/Th 11-12:30
258 Dwinelle
R. Alter

One of the recurrent functions of imaginative literature has been to confront and try to make sense of what seems intolerable about human life–the suffering of the innocent, the helpless, and the young, the evident power of evil, the inexorable fact of human mortality.   » read more »

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Graduate

202B: Approaches to Genre: Lyric Poetry

W 3-6
2505 Tolman
K. Weisinger

There is no formal list of ‘required texts’: the members of the seminar, in consultation with Professor Weisinger, will select the readings for this class.

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212: Studies in Medieval Literature

Instructor: Joseph Duggan

F 2-5
Bancroft Library (Stone Room)
J. Duggan

The subject of this course is the editing of medieval manuscripts. Students will be introduced to the paleography of caroline minuscule, gothic, Burgundian, and cursive hands.  The elements of codicology will be presented, with illustrative examples taken primarily from the manuscript collection of the Bancroft Library. (The course will meet in the Stone Seminar Room of the Bancroft Library.)   » read more »

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215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Politics and the Passions in Early Modern Europe

Instructor: Victoria Kahn

W 2-5
2525 Tolman
V. Kahn

This course will focus on the representation of the passions in early modern European literature and political theory. What role do the passions play in the history of mimesis, poetic imitation, and rhetorical figuration? What is the role of the passions in eliciting or frustrating political obligation?   » read more »

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225: Studies in Symbolist and Modern Literature

French Feminism Texts, Pre-Texts and Contexts

F 2-5
203 Wheeler
Weil

This course will focus on those texts of post-war French Feminism which had the greatest impact on feminist theory in the United States. While trying to account for the particular reception of Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva and Wittig in the States, we will also have recourse to the philosophical and psychoanalytic traditions within which and against which these writers tried to imagine feminine desire, difference and writing. » read more »

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232: Studies in Near Eastern-Western Literary Relations

Instructor: James Monroe

Th 2-5
4407 Dwinelle
J. Monroe

(This seminar is a continuation of CL 232 , Fall 2001. New students are encouraged to attend Part II.)

In this class we will read a select number of Arabic poems, both monorhymed and classical (qasida and qita’), as well as strophic and colloquial (muwassah and zajal), from al-Andalus. » read more »

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253: Studies in Literary Criticism

Balzac, James, and Genealogies of Critical Practices

Instructor: Michael Lucey

T 2-5
2525 Tolman
M. Lucey

In this seminar, we will combine three inquiries, whose relations we will hope to discover over the course of the semester. One inquiry will be organized around the question: what kinds of things can be said about Henry James’s relation as a novelist to Balzac? (We’ll also take a look at a novel by Zola, another novelist James studied closely.)   » read more »

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