Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.003: Kinship

T/Th 8-9:30
224 Wheeler
Liu

Since Levi-Strauss’s work provocatively recasts “kinship” as a social system made possible by marriage–understood as “the exchange of women between groups”–rather than descent, the study of kinship has been usefully compounded with inquiries into a wide array of concerns outside of anthropology, such as ethics, the formation of the nation-state, gay and lesbian sexualities, “everyday life,” and linguistic exchange.   » read more »

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R1A.004: Supposedly Real

T/Th 9:30-11
220 Wheeler
B. Tran & S. Sayar

Realist representation runs rampant on today’s television screens, from popular reality shows to the recent “Shock and Awe” campaign in Iraq. If nothing else, realist representation seems to be a relevant issue for us today. This course will focus on the concept of realist representation in literature. How does literature go about representing the world as it is? » read more »

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R1A.005: Exile, Displacement, and the Literary Imagination

11-12:30
200 Wheeler
P. Dimova & A. Dwyer

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 age-old place in the literary consciousness, as reflected in works as ancient as the Bible and classical Chinese poetry.   » read more »

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R1A.006: The Erotic and the Exotic

MWF 9-10
125 Dwinelle
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 novel, 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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R1B.001: Bodies on the Line: Sexuality and the Frontier

T/Th 8-9:30
125 Dwinelle
J. White

The American “frontier” calls to mind stereotypes of rugged masculinity, from pioneering mountain men to cowboys, Davy Crockett to the Marlboro Man. These figures, agents of the expansion of a young and virile nation, represent the frontier in terms of male sexuality. But what about female sexuality on the frontier?   » read more »

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R1B.001: War and Pieces

MWF 9-10
20 Wheeler
P. Springer

The course will focus on the ugly realities of war and war’s relationship to pre- and post-war social situations. To what extent do these examples of “war literature” focus on the battlefield? To what extent are they about what the participants have left behind or expect to return to after the official conflict is over?   » read more »

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R1B.005: Striptease

MWF 11-12
121 Wheeler
GRALLA & Kay

Under an alluring paper-thin veil, the narrative beckons the reader, winking knowingly, full of secrets and half-hidden revelations. This course will take up the striptease acted out by texts and performances when they deliberately stage themselves provocatively.   » read more »

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R1B.008: Writing Violence

T/Th 9:30-11
130 Wheeler
Gajarwala & A. Borrego

This course will examine the representation of violence in the literary text. Focusing on literal depictions of the violent act, theoretical articulations of a violent project, as well as violence as pervasive metaphor, we will read texts from various genres (novel, poem, short story, memoir, graphic novel etc.) to better understand the relationship between violence and language.   » read more »

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R1B.009: War, Culture, and Identity-Formation

T/Th 9:30-11
210 Wheeler
A. Vargas & J. DeAngelis

For all its carnage and pain, war involves basic experiences that provide valuable insights into the human condition. Loss, hate, terror, agony and an array of other traumas brought about by conflict have always characterized this staple of human history. In an indication of the profundity of the phenomenon of war, it also often involves valor, loyalty and love.   » read more »

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R1B.010: Mobility: Upward or Outward

T/Th 9:30-11
107 Mulford
DILLON

This course will examine the confrontation with global, national, urban, and modern social processes by local, traditional and rural subjects. What does that mean? That means we’re reading the rags-to-riches kind of story: the stories of enfranchisement and all the corruption and loss of innocence that it entails.   » read more »

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R1B.011: In Illo Loco: Transformative Territories in Narrative Fiction

T/Th 11-12:30
123 Wheeler
T. HAUSDOERFFER & Nathan

From the ancient epic, The Odyssey, down to the science fiction novels of today, fantastic, otherworldly, and alternative spaces have been prevalent in literature. These alternative sites, often located outside the carefully delimited boundaries of “normal” society, offer or threaten (depending on how you look at it) the possibility of transgression and transformation. » read more »

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R1B.012: The Reflexive Turn

T/Th 11-12:30
219 Dwinelle
D. COPENHAFER & S. Kimmel

“Words. Words. Words.”

– Hamlet

What happens when literature reflects on itself? How does reflection interfere with representation? Does self-reflexive writing try to represent anything, to construct a world, as it were?   » read more »

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R1B.013: Sympathy for the Devil

T/Th 12:30-2
30 Wheeler
J. Ramey

For every monster there is a monster’s-eye-view. This is easy to overlook if you’ve never been a monster. The study of monsters, teratology, is an ancient scholarly discipline often viewed, with some justification perhaps, as somehow sinister.   » read more »

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R1B.015: Economies of Aesthetic Education

T/Th 9:30-11
224 Wheeler
MANALO

Aesthetic education has been a central problem of literature and philosophy since the eighteenth century. It rests on the idea that aesthetic experience provides a moral, political, and social education, or “improvement,” that reconciles the split between the individual’s sense and intellect, inclination and reason, feeling and labor brought about, in part, by the processes of modernization. » read more »

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R2B.001: Fictions of Memory

MW 10-12 & F 10-11
123 Dwinelle
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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R3B.001: Masterpieces of Spanish Literature

MW 2-4 & F 2-3
54 Barrows
D. INCIARTE

This course is entitled “Masterpieces of Spanish Literature” and will explore some of these masterpieces with a view towards synthesizing some general patterns. The choice of texts will reflect an interest in picaresque literature including several Spanish embodiments of the picaresque genre as well as some Latin American and English language picaresque texts, and texts translated from Arabic and Hebrew into Spanish and English.   » read more »

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Undergraduate

39E: Freshman/Sophomore Seminar

Gods and Monsters: Concepts of the Alien Other in the European Middle Ages

T/Th 2-3:30
156 Dwinelle
WHITTA

The medieval world used the categories of the “demonic” and the “monstrous” to think about many things. Especially important as a means of defining the self in society, such oppositional categories of deviance or heterodoxy helped to establish norms for self and society – and police their borders.   » read more »

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40: Women in Literature

Femmes Fatales, Lady Killer, and Babes in Arms

T/Th 9:30-11
85 Evans
S. SCHWARTZ

When a murder can’t be handled by the homocide department…

Among the most darkly fascinating literary and dramatic characters are the murderesses, whose crimes put them dead center in the debate on sex, gender, violence, and taboo. At center stage, there is Medea’s act of “domestic violence,” a vengeance killing of her own children; closer to the empathies of the audience, Russell Banks’ novel of an accidental schoolbus catastrophe evades snap judgements of blame and justice.   » read more »

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

The Experimental Novel

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

This course will explore novelistic works which self-consciously lay claim to some sort of experimental or avant-garde status. The experimental novel might be thought of as a slush-heap of remainders from previous novelistic efforts, composed of scraps and fragments gleaned from other media, and resulting in something new, different, and often difficult. » read more »

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

Marxism and Literature

T/Th 12:30-2
109 Dwinelle
I. PERCIALI

This class serves as a survey of foundational texts and debates in Marxist theory, and a first encounter with some of the most influential and exciting ideas in intellectual history. We will embark on a close theoretical engagement with Marxism as an analytic method and a way of reading literature. Marxism is more than a theory of history or economics; it is a method of understanding culture and representation.   » read more »

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50: Creative Writing in Comparative Literature

Script

T/Th 12:30-2
289 Dwinelle
D. LARSEN

This will be a class on several of the activities named “writing.” The class will be part creative writing workshop and part forum for critical readings of primary and secondary texts. We will refuse to take for granted the common assumption about writing: namely, that artistic writing is undifferentiated from word-processed type, and that above all the other possible styles and systems of writing, modern typography is best suited for the poet or author’s transmission of verbal art to a reader. In so doing, we will try to figure out just what constitutes this “writing” named by “creative writing,” and what separates it from the many genres and forms of “non-creative” writing.   » read more »

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Rewriting the Canon

Instructor: Karl Britto

T/Th 11-12:30
242 Dwinelle
K. Britto

In this course, we will examine a number of texts by authors from Africa and the Caribbean, all written in self-conscious relationship to earlier works from the European canon. Working closely with these texts and their sources, we will read comparatively so as to explore the ways in which similar stories, characters, and narrative structures are transformed by authors writing from different historical, cultural, and geographic locations.

Texts:

Shakespeare, The Tempest

Aimé Césaire, A Tempest/Une tempête

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

J. M. Coetzee, Foe

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Maryse Condé, Windward Heights/La migration des coeurs

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Off Center: Performance, Narrative, Ethnography

Instructor: Miryam Sas

MWF 3-4
210 Dwinelle
M. SAS

This course introduces key arguments and reading strategies of comparative literature. Designed for majors and prospective majors, the course engages theories of gender and sexuality, studies of subjectivity, and questions of context, historiography, and ethnography within comparative literature.   » 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

Saints and Sinners: Sanctity and Its Discontents in Medieval Europe

T/Th 9:30-11
210 Dwinelle
WHITTA

This course will examine concepts of sanctity and sin formulated in the early and high Middle Ages in Western Europe. We will sample the literatures of hagiography and heterodoxy to see how such categories were used to define and police normative selves and cultural agendas. » read more »

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153: The Renaissance

Renaissance and Modern: Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne, Descartes (and related authors)

Instructor: Anthony Cascardi

M 2-5
104 Dwinelle
A. CASCARDI

This course will investigate the transition from “Renaissance” to “modern” in a comparative context. We will take Cartesian philosophy as one paradigm for “modern” thinking, and we will look at its relationship to the predecessor culture.   » read more »

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155/Slavic 131: The Modern Period

The European Avant-garde: From Futurism to Surrealism

Instructor: Harsha Ram

T/Th 11-12:30
121 Wheeler
RAM

Cross-listed with Slavic 131

The literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century was the most extreme expression of European modernism in literature and art. We will be focusing on the four most radical and creative of the avant-garde movements to have swept through Europe between the 1910s and the 1930s: Italian and Russian futurism, dada in Zurich and Berlin, and French surrealism.   » read more »

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

The Irrational in Modern Greek Fiction

Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

F 2-5
104 Dwinelle
M. KOTZAMANIDOU

By placing each novel in its own context, this course examines the different strategies through which the violation of the bonds of reason in the narrative reflects a reaction against social, political, historical or economic conditions. Madness, unexplained powers, prophetic visions, narrative of an apocalyptic style etc. disrupt an imposed order, demand redefinitions of roles and articulate positions of protest against individual powerlessness and vulnerability.

Texts:

Alexandros Papadiamantis: I Fonissa (The Murderess)

George Vizyinos: Moskov Selim

Stratis Myrivilis: I Panayia Gorgona (The Mermaid Madonna)

George Theotokas: I Kampanes (The Bells)

Vasilis Vasilikos: To Fyllo (The Plant)

Margarita Karapanou: O Ipnovatis (The Sleepwalker)

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

The Medieval Frametale Genre: Its Hispano-Arabic Roots

Instructor: James Monroe

T 2-5
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. A masterpiece such as the Spanish Libro de buen amor, which stands as a unique work, with nothing else to which it may be compared within the context of Spanish literature, nevertheless bears comparison with certain Arabic works that preceded it. » read more »

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

James Joyce’s Ulysses and its Heirs

Instructor: Robert Alter

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

Joyce’s ULYSSES was not only one of the central achievements of modernist fiction but also a watershed novel, representing an ultimate realization of the process of interiorization of narrative that had been evolving in European fiction during the latter part of the nineteenth century.   » read more »

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

The Image of Arthur in the Middle Ages

Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

T/Th 11-12:30
129 Barrows
REJHON

The course will focus on Arthurian romance in medieval French, Welsh, and English literatures. The figure of Arthur-his image and social function-will be examined in the three cultural contexts with special attention devoted to how his reception in each culture reflects the concerns of that particular milieu.   » read more »

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Graduate

202B: Approaches to Genre: Lyric Poetry

The Lyric: A View from the Margins

Instructor: Chana Kronfeld

W 3-6
129 Barrows
C. KRONFELD

This seminar will focus on lyrical poetry produced in the margins of the modern European canon in order to call into question static typological theories of genre. The students will compile a multi-lingual anthology of modern lyrical poets marginalized by gender, class, race or language. » read more »

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225: Studies in Symbolist and Modern Literature

Modernism and the Imagination in Fin-de-Siecle Vienna

T 3-6
205 Wheeler
M. A. BERNSTEIN

Robert Musil saw his Vienna as both uniquely itself and “nothing but a particularly clear-cut case of the modern world,” and this seminar will explore how some of the central problems of both literary modernism and of modern political, social, and sexual history can be seen with particular vividness in the Austria of 1900 to 1914. » read more »

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254: Studies in East-West Literary Relations

The Novel and Material Culture

Instructor: Sophie Volpp

M 2-5
129 Barrows
S. Volpp

In this seminar, we will examine the multiple ways in which anthropologists, art historians, historians and sociologists as well as scholars of literature have related the interpretation of objects to the interpretation of texts.   » read more »

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258: Studies in Philosophy and Literature

The Anxiety of Aesthetics

Instructor: Anthony Cascardi

T 2-5
2525 Tolman
A. CASCARDI

This seminar will focus on the shifting identities of aesthetic theory from the early modern period to the present day. We will begin with a series of 18-th century readings and we will proceed through some of the “paradigm” texts of the 19th and 20th centuries, concluding with some 20-th century redefinitions of aesthetics in the contemporary period. Among the central questions of the seminar will be the ongoing identity-crisis of aesthetics as a discipline, its relationship to practical criticism, its status vis-a-vis various branches of philosophy, and its ambition to produce a reconciliation of sense and concept.   » read more »

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