Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Narrative and Memory

MWF 10-11
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 memory, the present and future task of recollection. Students’ work toward improving their expository writing skills in this course will be shaped by these three pairs of texts.   » read more »

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R1A.002: The Erotic and the Exotic

MWF 11-12
224 Wheeler
S. Herbold

We will explore the link between eroticism and adventure, both imaginary and real, in texts ranging from a Greek tragedy of the fourth century B.C. to a novels, essays, and poems written by African-American women in the twentieth century. How and why have sexual and geographical adventures been linked by such diverse writers?   » read more »

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R1A.003: Love, Love, Love

T/Th 8-9:30
125 Dwinelle
Treat

This course is about love’s many dimensions, and especially about same-sex desire. We start by examining the Greek concept of love through Plato’s Symposium, then we will discuss Shakespeare’s Sonnets, addressed to two lovers: one young, male, and fair, the other an older, dark female.   » read more »

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R1A.004: Fool and the Sage

T/Th 9:30-11
9 Evans
Anderson & Bermudez

THEME:

The figure of the “holy fool”-a man or woman considered stupid who is actually very wise-is an ancient one and one that is still with us as movies such as “Being There” and “Forrest Gump” attest. Why is this figure such a compelling one? Why does the figure seem to hold such universal appeal, appearing in places as radically different as ancient China and the modern U.S.?   » read more »

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R1A.005: Dreamworlds

T/Th 11-12:30
174 Barrows
Walter & Dillon

“In my twentieth year, at the time when Love claims his tribute from young men, I lay down one night, as usual, and fell fast asleep. As I slept, I had a most beautiful and pleasing dream, but there was nothing in the dream that has not come true, exactly as the dream told it…” Our class will begin with these lines from Lorris’ Romance of the Rose, and from there on, we will try to make sense–and nonsense–of the world of dreams.   » read more »

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R1B.001: Fictions of Memory

T/Th 9:30-11
225 Wheeler
A. Moore

In this course, we will interrogate the shifting boundary between fiction and fact as we explore the role of memory in a variety of narratives. In our investigations of the tangled relations between personal recollection and collective memory, language and writing, culture and history, memory and fiction, we will examine how memory structures narrative. » read more »

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R1B.001: Literature of Fantasy, Fantasy of Literature

MWF 9-10
123 Dwinelle
Lin

What is fantasy? In this class it’s more than a category found in bookstores where stories about voyages, adventures in a never-never land await you (though I wouldn’t mind if you want to bring Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter into our classroom discussions).   » read more »

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R1B.002: Outsiders

MW 10-12 & F 11-12
107 Mulford
I. Perciali

A proficient reading and speaking knowledge of French is required for this course.

Outsiders are very powerful or very depressed; and often both. They can know and see more lucidly than insiders who are too close to a situation, and they can step back and pronounce judgments with a special authority. But, they can also be rejected and cast away, mistrustful of their own sanity and identity in their isolation, uncertain whether they even are bodily beings or just “floating eyeballs.”   » read more »

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R1B.002: Reporting from Ground Zero: Passing On Trauma in Literature, Film, and the Media

MWF 10-11
205 Dwinelle
S. Popkin

This course will examine why it is so difficult to pass on stories of trauma. To what extent are stories of trauma passed on (narrated), and to what extent are they passed on (overlooked)? What makes it possible for them to be narrated, and what limits this possibility? We will consider the role of language, the psyche, shame and pleasure in answering these questions.

Secondly, we will examine how the passing on of trauma shapes the identities of survivors, bystanders, and more broadly, ethnicity, race and gender. We will play close attention to the ways in which identity can both be torn asunder in the wake of trauma, and, also, paradoxically, how it can be constructed through the ‘wakefulness’ of trauma.

These questions will be pursued through a broad range of literature, film and the news media. We will consider how these questions are addressed from the positions of survivors, bystanders and perpetrators – and the instability between these boundaries which often occurs.

Required Texts:

The Bible

Song of Roland

Elie Wiesel, The Accident, Night

Toni Morrison, Beloved

Leo Tolstoy, Kreutzer Sonata

Slavenka Drakulic, S. A Novel About the Balkans

Marquis de Sade, Philosophy of the Bedroom

Films including Life is Beautiful and Wag the Dog

A course reader to include newspaper articles and psychoanalytic and philosophical essays on the course topic

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R1B.003: War is Hell

MWF 10-11
80 Haas Pavilion
P. Springer

Like the daily newspaper, our reading list dwells on some of our species’ less benign tendencies. The reading list is not, however, a horror-fest: no American Blood or Spark of Life here. But we will take a long hard look at institutional destruction and its transformation into art and legend. Dr. Strangelove will be the comic relief in this class. » read more »

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R1B.004: Journey and Quest

MWF 10-11
123 Dwinelle
S. Green

As we travel through textual worlds, we shall explore journey as a metaphor for human life and the unfolding of human experience. In its testing and molding of individuals and communities, how does journey invite (or require) transformation, whether physical, moral, psychological or spiritual? What is the relationship between journey and quest?   » read more »

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R1B.005: Love Stories

MWF 11-12
242 Dwinelle
D. Copenhafer & Manalo

Taking our cue from Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, we will ask after the nature of “love” in a variety of literary and philosophical texts as well as in several films. How is love to be differentiated from desire or from sexuality? Is love primarily a feeling or a way of acting/doing? How does writing structure love and how does love structure writing?   » read more »

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R1B.006: Reflections on Confrontation and War

MWF 11
123 Dwinelle
Lillis

History, it has been said, is a series of battlefields and defeats. What do the writers and film-makers think? How does the contemplative mind react to such a violent trajectory? The spirit of confrontation has yielded epic, romance, testimony, comedy, journalism, propaganda … In writings on war we cannot ignore the author’s point of view, be it cultural, political or religious.   » read more »

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R1B.007: Going Back to Nature

T/Th 8-9:30
123 Dwinelle
Alaniz

What is nature? What do we mean by “going back” to it? “Going back” implies a previous separation, a return to some former state. But has man ever truly “left” nature?   » read more »

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R1B.008: The Odyssey and its Offspring

T/Th 9:30-11
151 Barrows
Hausdoerffer

Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, is recognized as one of the key sources of the western narrative tradition-it is a veritable fountain of narrative modes and motifs. In this course, we will begin with a careful reading of The Odyssey, paying special attention to such issues as: the quest for identity, the uses and abuses of disguise, storytelling as a survival tactic, the search for the father, the meaning of home and of homelessness, and the dynamics of gender.   » read more »

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R1B.010: Telling the Truth

T/Th 9:30-11
80 Haas Pavilion
A. Ben-Yishai

How do we know that a storyteller is telling the truth?

Many writers of fiction, poetry and non-fiction use different ways to convince us that they are telling the truth. Some do so by insisting that they are, others by hinting that they are not. In this course we will look at the different narrative and poetic strategies for truth telling.   » read more »

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R1B.011: Tales of Travel

T/Th 11-12:30
220 Wheeler
M. Fisher & B. Tran

Epic journeys, Arthurian quests, colonial missions, voyages of self-discovery: these familiar tales are all tales of travel. What is it about traveling that fascinates writers, and what is it about writing that fascinates travelers? Does the unknown entice or frighten?   » read more »

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R1B.012: Exile, Displacement, and the Literary Imagination

T/Th 11-12:30
242 Dwinelle
L. Levy & P. Dimova

It has been said that with the unprecedented upheavals of the 20th century, exile and displacement have become the norm, rather than the exception, of the human condition. But at the same time, exile occupies an ages-old place in the literary consciousness, as reflected in works as ancient as the Hebrew Bible and classical Chinese poetry.   » read more »

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R1B.013: Epigonous Epiphanies

T/Th 11-12:30
89 Dwinelle
K. Zumhagen

Literally a showing forth or revelation, in Greek drama ‘epiphany’ can refer to the climactic moment when a god appears and imposes order on a scene before him. In the Christian religious tradition, the Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ’s divinity to the Magi. » read more »

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Undergraduate

40: Women and Literature

Whores and Other Feminists: Reading and Re-Evaluating Sex Work in World Literature

T/Th 9:30-11
160 Dwinelle
TINSLEY & SIEGEL

It may be the world’s oldest profession: but where can we look to read its (hi)stories? From stiletto wearing street walkers to veiled harem wives… from geisha girls to tranny beach hustlers… this course dialogues with various representations of sex workers’ bodies in attempts to listen to these stories.   » read more »

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41F: Introduction to Literary Forms: Forms of Literary Theory

Seeing is Believing: Theories of Urban Modernity

T/Th 11-12:30
80 Haas Pavilion
A. STENPORT

This course posits cultural and literary expressions of visuality to be fundamental tenets of the representation of European urban modernity from 1820 to 1920. During this period of rapid urbanization, industrialization, and dramatic social change, literature and art tries not only to represent this transformation into modernity, but also serve as active agents of that change.   » read more »

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41B: Introduction to Literary Forms: Forms of the Lyric

The Line in Lyric

T/Th 9:30-11
129 Barrows
PARK

This course aims to examine the music of the individual line in lyric poetry. We will consider the patterning of sound in the line, working our way through the complications of prosody. We will begin by examining the function of the line in different verse forms, paying special attention to Shakespearean and Miltonian sonnets.   » read more »

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

Writing the Past: History and Memory in the Novel

T/Th 11-12:30
130 Wheeler
A. SCHACHTER

The relationship between history and literature has emerged as a dominant theme in literary and historical discourse as scholars begin to question the basic premises of historical “truth” and literary representation. At the center of these arguments is the ability of writers to represent historical experience through literary texts.   » read more »

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50: Creative Writing in Comparative Literature

Script

T/Th 12:30-2
223 Wheeler
D. LARSEN

This will be a class on several activities named “writing.” First and foremost, it is a creative writing workshop to which students will be required to make a significant contribution of their own work and participation. In this it will resemble any other “creative writing” class. » read more »

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60AC: Topics in the Literature of American Cultures

How the West Was Won: The Frontier in American Literatures and Culture

T/Th 9:30-11
258 Dwinelle
J. WHITE

This course takes as its focus the Western frontier, both as contemporary myth and as historical fact, and particularly the way the frontier is figured as space and is mapped onto the Western landscape of what has come to be the United States.   » read more »

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60: Topics in the Literatures of American Cultures

Laughing in the Dark: Race, Ethnicity, and Humor in American Film

T/Th 12:30-2
182 Dwinelle
L. GOLD

From Groucho Marx to Margaret Cho and Chris Rock, this course will use film comedy as a lens through which to examine racial and ethnic experience in America. We will compare the different ways African Americans, Asian Americans and Jewish Americans have portrayed themselves and been portrayed by others in Hollywood.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: AC

100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Instructor: Leslie Kurke

T/Th 11-12:30
205 Dwinelle
L. KURKE

Comp. Lit. 100 is designed to present students with texts from various genres and historical periods, to introduce them to the methods of comparative study. The course will explore the connections between detective fiction and psychoanalysis, starting from the near synchronicity of their first appearances and their mutually reinforcing methods and narrative structures.   » read more »

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112B: Modern Greek Composition

M/W/F 12:00-01:00 279 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

MWF 12-1
279 Dwinelle
M. KOTZAMANIDOU

This course examines forms of Modern Greek writing (prose, poetry, drama) and the reading of literary texts as auxiliary to the acquisition of compositional skills.

Prerequisites: Comparative Literature 112A or consent of the instructor

A reader for the course is prepared by the instructor.

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152: The Middle Ages

Reading and Performing Medieval Drama

MW 2-3:30
20 Wheeler
WHITTA

Cross-listed as Dramatic Art 126:2

“A dramatic text is a blueprint for mimetic action.” (Martin Esslin)

Although Western Europe in the Middle Ages was in many ways a culture of the book, whose central metaphors for self-analysis were textual, medieval texts document a vibrant culture of performance as well. In this course, we will examine a broad sampling of medieval play texts (in English translation) with an eye to these performative qualities. » read more »

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165: Myth and Literature

Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

T/Th 11-12:30
121 Wheeler
REJHON

A study of Indo-European mythology as it is preserved in some of the earliest myth texts in Celtic, Norse, and Greek literatures. The meaning of myth will be examined and compared from culture to culture to see how this meaning may shed light on the ethos of each society as it is reflected in its literary works.   » read more »

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

The Modernist Masterpiece as a Genre and a Goal

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

Although our subject is “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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185: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture

Sex, Gender, and the Bible

T/Th 2-3:30
205 Dwinelle
KAWASHIMA

In this course we will investigate a series of questions regarding the mutual constitution of male and female in the Hebrew Bible. Through close readings of a range of biblical texts (narrative, law, wisdom literature), we will address such issues as: What happens to the goddess in monotheism?   » 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

Travel Literature of the European and Russian Enlightenment

Instructor: Victoria Kahn

T/Th 12:30-2
279 Dwinelle
A. KAHN

The course will examine the literature of travel and exploration in the period of the Enlightenment. Particular attention will be paid to questions of genre and narratology; to the relation between didacticism and entertainment; to the philosophic nature of voyages of discovery; to the construction of personal and national identity through a comparative perspective; to the literary performance of the self; to representations of ethnicity and gender; to the inter-relation of ethnographic and scientific study and belletristic texts. » read more »

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Graduate

210: Studies in Ancient Literature

The Gendered Voice in Ancient Lyric and Elegy

W 3-6
2525 Tolman
L. McCarthy

This seminar will use Latin lyric and elegy as a specific test case in which to explore the complex relations between these poetic genres and their social context. Latin lyric and elegy can be seen as descendants of the Greek use of these genres in specific social and ritual contexts (e.g. the symposium) and yet also as precursors of the later forms that come to be called ‘lyric’, forms which emphasize the immediacy of the voice and the interior life of the speaker, rather than engagement with a social context. » read more »

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215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Tragedy and Trauerspiel

Instructor: Victoria Kahn

W 3-6
321 Haviland
V. KAHN

Beginning with Walter Benjamin’s Origin of German Tragic Drama, and Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology, this course explores the theory and practice of tragedy in seventeenth-century England and France. » read more »

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223: Studies in the Nineteenth-Century

Lyric and Modernity

Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

T 3-6
2505 Tolman
FRANCOIS

An in-depth comparative study of some of the major European Romantic and early Modernist poets (Keats, Hölderlin, Baudelaire, Dickinson, Rilke and Yeats) focusing in particular on their relationship to the theoretical concept and experience of modernity. » read more »

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225: Studies in Symbolist and Modern Literature

Ideological Fantasy at the Fin-de-Siècle

Instructor: Barbara Spackman

Th 3-6
115 Barrows
B. SPACKMAN

This course will place a selection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century narratives in dialogue with several theories of fantasy and its relation to ideology. We will begin by examining the two models of fetishism that Slavoj Zizek draws upon in his formulation of the notion of “ideological fantasy”: the logic of fetishism as it is formulated in works by Freud and Octave Mannoni, and the structure of commodity fetishism as it is theorized by Marx.   » read more »

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