Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Between Language and the Senses

T/Th 11-12:30
130 Wheeler
P. Dimova & H. Freed-Thall

What can we see while we are reading? And what can we hear? How does a literary text transcend the silence of the page and its black-and-white print? Does literature merely tell us of sensory experiences or does it also trigger our senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch?   » read more »

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R1A.002: Old School: Education and Its Discontents

MWF 10-11
125 Dwinelle
P. Springer

The class will make a quick survey of theories of education, starting with those originating in classical antiquity. After reviewing these sometimes naive textbook ideas, we will see how the various novels address the student experience and treat the transmission of cultural values through “hidden curricula.” » read more »

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R1A.004: The Erotic and the Exotic

T/Th 9:30-11
210 Wheeler
S. Herbold & N. Shulman

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 poems written by African-American women in the twentieth century.   » read more »

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R1B.001: Literature and Philosophy

T/Th 12:30-2pm
125 Dwinelle
J. Fort

This will be a course of intensive reading and composition in which we will explore the relationship between literary (fictional, poetic) modes of presentation and philosophical arguments and expositions.   » read more »

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R1B.001: Vision and Quest

MWF 11-12
224 Wheeler
S. Green

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 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.002: Silence, Sense, and Non-Sense

MW 10-12 & F 10-11
123 Dwinelle
J. DeAngelis

We take for granted that the primary purpose of language is to communicate meaning. But what happens when language as we know it becomes insufficient? What happens when language loses its conventional meaning? How does one give language a new significance or break the “code” that upholds conventional linguistic and related political, religious, and social structures? » read more »

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R1B.002: The Case of Jewish Literature

MWF 9-10
130 Wheeler
A. Schachter & M. Barzilai

In this course we will read Jewish literature from a multi-lingual and multi-national perspective, looking at texts originally written in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, and English. Jewish literature provides an especially rich lens for approaching problems of identity (ethnic, racial, national, sexual, gender) that remain pressing concerns for contemporary social, cultural, and political discourse, as well as literary studies.   » read more »

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R1B.003: How to be a Parasite And Live Forever

T/Th 9:30-11
200 Wheeler
J. Ramey & S. Moody

Worried about getting older? Looking for alternatives other than the traditional one (i.e., death)? Then this is the course for you. We will begin by observing that in this world there are “Givers” and there are “Takers.” » read more »

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R1B.004: Fires on the Plain: Representing War in Literature, Film, and Photography

T/Th 11-12:30
125 Dwinelle
L. Ramos

It is often stated that World War II, both in terms of its means and magnitude of destruction, ushered in a heightened (although not altogether novel) era of “total war” whereby traditional distinctions between civilian and soldier, innocent bystander and responsible participant, are suspended in moments of international conflict and civil strife. » read more »

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R1B.005: La Malmariée

MWF 9-10
182 Dwinelle
Walter

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” These famous words from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina provide the initiative for a course on women whose marriages and engagements prove less than satisfying to them.   » read more »

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R1B.006: Sadism

MWF 10-11
224 Wheeler
Walter

This course examines works that manifest internal patterns of sadistic behavior. Our goal is to expose the diverse narrative strategies that artists employ to represent their fantasies of power. Beginning with tales of Narcissus and of Tereus and Procne from Ovid’s epic, Metamorphoses and passing on to the testimonies of Catherine of Sienna and Margery Kempe, we will shed sexual clichés and try to develop a more complex definition of sadistic subjectivity.   » read more »

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R1B.007: Adaptations

MWF 11-12
121 Wheeler
B. Tran & T. McEnaney

This class looks at literary texts that have been adapted for another genre, another medium, or another historical moment. How have the works been re-created or re-worked? Why have they been revised as such?   » read more »

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R1B.008: One Bad Trip: Travel in Fact and Fiction

T/Th 9:30-11
223 Dwinelle
M. Fisher & S. Boyarin

Epic journeys, swashbuckling adventures, Arthurian quests, colonial missions, anthropological explorations, 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.009: Literature and Philosophy

T/Th 9:30-11
125 Dwinelle
J. Fort

This will be a course of intensive reading and composition in which we will explore the relationship between literary (fictional, poetic) modes of presentation and philosophical arguments and expositions. Special attention will be given to the ways in which the “literary” and the “philosophical” intermingle—how does fiction take on philosophical problems?   » read more »

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R1B.010: Rethinking Community

T/Th 12 :30-2
123 Wheeler
H. Cruz & M. Bhaumik

In his Keywords, Raymond Williams explains, “community can be the warmly persuasive word to describe an existing set of relationships, or the warmly persuasive word to describe an alternative set of relationships.” What we define as a community, our community, is often difficult to pin-down specifically (though we’d like to think we know it when we see it). » read more »

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R1B.011: Passing On Trauma

MWF 10-11
182 Dwinelle
S. Popkin

While many post-Holocaust writers stress the ethical responsibility of passing on stories of trauma, many of these same writers also convey the essential impossibility of this very task. Narratives of the Holocaust often hit up against a barrier that resists representation.   » read more »

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R1B.012: What Is That Thing Called Love? The Transformative Power of Erotic Love

MWF 10-11
20 Wheeler
L. Gold & J. White

This course’s primary objective is to hone students’ composition skills. In conjunction with our work on writing, we will consider literary and filmic depictions of the most volatile and the most pacifying of emotions–love. Of special concern will be interactions and overlap between erotic love and familial, brotherly, religious, and national loves.   » read more »

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Undergraduate

39F: Freshman/Sophomore Seminar

Coffee and Cigarettes: The Literature of Boredom and Anxiety

Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

MWF 2-3pm
321 Haviland
Francois

Is there a literature of what Adam Phillips has called “that most absurd and paradoxical wish, the wish for a desire”? Why has the “modern period” been called the Age of Anxiety? What makes “ennui” a specifically modern experience? Why does it emerge with the modern legislation of a secular right to the “pursuit of happiness”? » read more »

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40: Women and Literature

Dancing Girls

MWF 1-2pm
219 Dwinelle
S. Schwartz

Whether the bodies onstage belong to a perfect gleaming row of Rockettes, or to a thunderous troupe of men in pink tulle tutus, the subject of gender and dance is complex intersection of gender and performance. In this class, we will look at “dancing” and at “girls” as terms that combine a tradition of artistic expression (sometimes sacred or ceremonial, sometimes profane and professional) with a host of political issues (class distinctions, race and national identity, labor laws, definitions of gender and sexuality).   » read more »

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

Play

T/Th 3:30-5
310 Hearst Mining
Liu

It has been argued that the emergence of the novel in Western literature was intimately connected to the rise of a new leisure class and a new culture of recreation. In this course, we will study several novels—traditional and postmodern, western and non-western—to reassess that thesis. In particular, we will be interested in the relation between the conventions of the novel (the tools and limitations of this genre) and narrative dynamics of play. » read more »

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60AC: Topics in the Literatures of American Cultures

Reading the Landscape of Ethnic Fiction: The Construction of Place-Based Diversity in the San Francisco Bay Area

T/Th 9:30-11am
130 Wheeler
A. Stenport

This interdisciplinary class presents a localized literary history of some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s ethnic groups and the ways they have imagined, shaped, and formed the diversity of a densely populated metropolitan area. The locations and ethnic groups in particular focus will be Asian American in San Jose (with a particular emphasis on the Vietnamese American community), African American in Oakland, and European American in San Francisco. » read more »

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60AC: Topics in the Literature of American Cultures

The Politics of Representation

MWF 10-11
88 Dwinelle
M. Allan

What does an analysis of literature, and along with it reading, feeling and interpretation, bring to our understanding of political theory? This course sets out to explore the question of how literature relates to politics, and how discussions of race, ethnicity and gender have inflected ways of reading.   » read more »

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Mass Media and Culture

Instructor: Miryam Sas

T/Th 11-12:30
242 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? How does our consumption of so-called “trash” affect notions of creativity, the role of the artist, the relevance of 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
N. Kotzamanidou

This course examines forms of writing (prose, poetry, drama) and the reading of literary texts as auxiliary to the acquisition of compositional skills. (Prerequisite: Comp.Lit.112A or Consent of the Instructor)

Texts:

A. Samarakis, Zetetai Elpis (Hope Wanted)

G. Seferis, Exerpts from Mythistorema

K. Kavafis, Selected Poetry

A. Farmakides, Oedipus the King: A Free Rendition of the Ancient Drama into Modern Greek

D. Holton et al., Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar

P. Mackridge, The Modern Greek Language: A Descriptive Analysis of Standard Modern Greek

E.Demiri-Prodromidou et al., I Glossa ton Idiotismon kai ton Ekfraseon ( The Language of Idiomatic Expressions)

The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Greek

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152: The Middle Ages

Medieval Literature

Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

T/Th 9:30-11
215 Dwinelle
A. Rejhon

The course will present a survey of major works of medieval literature from some of the principal literary traditions of the Middle Ages, with an emphasis on epic and on Arthurian romance.   » read more »

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155: The Modern Period

In Flanders Fields: The Great War in European Literature

T/Th 3:30-5
102 Wurster
Buelens

This course is first of all devoted to the very different ways in which the First World War is represented in European literature. British poets like Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg, Brooke and Graves are internationally known for their work – they are The War Poets.   » read more »

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155: The Modern Period

Instructor: Robert Alter

T/Th 11-12:30
210 Wheeler
R. Alter

The second and third decades of the 20th century, the heyday of what is sometimes called High Modernism, was a watershed for the development of European and American fiction, and we still live with its consequences. Writers, impelled by a sense of mounting historical crisis as well as by a desire to renovate and transform the inherited conventions of the 19th-century novel, undertook a bold renegotiation of the formal and thematic terms of the novel.   » read more »

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

The Search for a New National Identity and the Escape of Fiction (1929-1949)

Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

F 2-5
1-4 Dwinelle
M. Kotzamanidou

The disaster, which concluded the war in Asia Minor in 1922, the collapse of the irredentist dreams, which ended with the forced exchanges of populations and poured over one million refugees into the Greek cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, changed radically the character of Greek society and intellectual life.   » read more »

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170/NES 155: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

Wonder and the Fantastic: The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination

T/Th 2-3
166 Barrows
Larkin

Cross-listed with NES 155

In this course we will study in depth the text of the Thousand and One Nights. After discussing the origins of the text and the various ways of approaching it, we will examine its reception by the West and its profound influence on Western literature. In addition, we will pay close attention to the role the Nights had in shaping Western notions of the Oriental “other.” » read more »

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185/Classics 161, UGIS and Women's Studies 145: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture

History of Sexualities

Instructor: Leslie Kurke

MW 2-3
4 LeConte
L. Kurke

Additional Required Discussion Section (see schedule of classes) Cross-listed with UGIS and Women’s Studies 145 & Classics 161

This course will study sexuality and gender in two very different historical periods–ancient Greece and 19th-century Europe. Sexuality will be defined as including sexual acts (e.g. sodomy, pederasty, masturbation); sexual identities (e.g. erastes and eromenos); and sexual systems (e.g. kinship structures, subcultures, political hierarchies). » read more »

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

The Modernist Masterpiece

T/Th 3:30-5
203 Wheeler
M. 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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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

The Medieval Frametale Genre: Its Hispano-Arabic Roots

Instructor: James Monroe

T/Th 9:30-11
225 Wheeler
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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Graduate

212: Studies in Medieval Literature

The Troubadours and the Troubadour Tradition

Instructor: Joseph Duggan

F 2-5
410 Barrows
J. Duggan

The course will begin with an introduction to the troubadours, including instruction in their language, Medieval Occitan. After reading a representative selection of troubadour poems, the class will move to consideration of major lyric traditions that take their inspiration from, or are cognate with, the troubadours: the trouvères, Minnesang, the Sicilian School, the Dolce Stil Nuovo, the Galician-Portuguese cantigas de amor, and strophic poetry in Arabic depending on the interests of the students.   » read more »

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258: Studies in Philosophy and Literature

Mimesis: History and Theory

Instructor: Victoria Kahn

W 2-5
125 Dwinelle
V. Kahn

This course will investigate the theoretical debates concerning the concept of mimesis (imitation) in the Western tradition. We will focus on three periods: classical Greece, early modern Europe, and the twentieth century. We will also consider the relevance of mimesis to plagiarism, legal cases on the right of personality, and The Americans with Disability Act.   » read more »

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260: Problems in Literary Translation

From Cicero to Postcolonialism

Tu 3-6
180 Barrows
Seidman

This course will explore the theory and practice of literary translation from the classical period to post-structuralism. We will focus, however, on the politics of translation from Romanticism through the modernism of Pound, Benjamin and Buber-Rosenzweig and the post-colonialist and feminist approaches of contemporary literary translators. The course will also include opportunities for students to “workshop” their own translations.

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266/Spanish 280: Nationalism, Colonialism, and Culture

‘Boomsday!’—Joyce and the Latin American Literary Boom

Instructor: Francine Masiello

W 3-6
123 Dwinelle
F. Masiello

Cross-listed with Spanish 280:4

This course is an exploration of the ways in which modern Latin American writers have borrowed from James Joyce in order to construct narratives about colonialism, identity, and the crisis of cosmopolitanism and the avant-garde in the 20th century. » read more »

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