Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Writing Through Alternative Sexualities

T/Th 9:30-11:00
130 Wheeler
J. Caballero & T. Warner

In this course, we’ll be looking at how various artists and thinkers from diverse cultures use alternative and/or non-reproductive sexualities for non-sexual ends: as metaphors and schemas, as conceptual scaffolding, as territories to be mapped, as tools and building blocks for an argument or a worldview.  This is definitively not a class on alternative sexualities as practiced or conceived historically.  » read more »

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R1A.003: Melodrama and the Tragic Emotions

MWF 10-11:00
20 Wheeler
T. Hausdoerffer & K. Palau

What makes a given novel, play, movie, or tv show “melodramatic”? Is it the plot itself—are there certain patterns of action that are inherently melodramatic? Or is melodrama a matter of style—the mode in which a story is represented? Moreover, what are the aims of melodrama? » read more »

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R1A.004: Society and the Madman

MWF 11-12:00
121 Wheeler
S. Roberts

“If she’s mad, so much the better, let everyone be mad like her.”  (M. Duras, 1976)

What does it mean to be “mad”?  – or “not mad”?  Who decides – and to what ends?  Is it necessarily always desirable to be considered “sane”?  » read more »

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R1A.004: Books with Motives

MWF 11-12:00
20 Wheeler
R. Lorenz & K Spira

What is literature supposed to do for the reader? Does literature offer entertainment, catharsis, education, intellectual stimulation, beauty? How does the reader’s experience compare with what writers or critics claim should be happening? » read more »

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R1B.001: Loyalty and Betrayal

MWF 10-11:00
223 Wheeler
L. Rubman

Are loyalty and betrayal mutually exclusive?  To what and to whom do we owe fidelity and how and why do we pervert it?   We will seek—and maybe answer—questions like these as we examine works from Shakespeare to Borges. » read more »

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R1B.001: Dressing Up Bodies : Dis-figuring, De-figuring, and Re-figuring the Woman

T/Th 9 :30-11 :00
200 Wheeler
J. De Angelis

Pre-requisites: a 3.5 GPA in high school English, a reading knowledge of an ancient or modern foreign language or permission of the instructor.

Disfigurement, dismemberment, rape, and rhetoric are sometimes intricately intertwined in the medieval literary world, where rhetoric, as ornamented or dressed up speech, is related to the image of the dressed up female body through the Latin term figura.  » read more »

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R1B.002: Reading Rome: The Eternal City in Western Literature

T/Th 8-9:30
20 Wheeler
A. Gill

The city of Rome conjures up many colourful images: screaming World Cup soccer fans waving victory flags in front of the ancient coliseum; elderly cardinals gathered for papal elections in the Sistine Chapel; beautiful actresses roaming black-and-white streets and living La dolce vita; handsome, Armani-suited men conducting business over square-cut pizza and ice-cold gelato in Renaissance piazze.   » read more »

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R1B.003: Wanderers, Travelers, and Vagabonds

T/Th 2-3:30
223 Wheeler
S. Triplette

Then, as one who lives alone in the country, far from any neighbor, hides a brand as fire-seed in the ashes to save himself from having to get a light elsewhere, even so did Ulysses cover himself up with

leaves; and Minerva shed a sweet sleep upon his eyes, closed his eyelids,

and made him lose all memories of his sorrows.                                                             Book V The Odyssey

Our course begins with an image: that of the wanderer washed up naked and alone on a foreign shore, the sole survivor of disaster and misfortune, now lost in an unfamiliar country. » read more »

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R1B.005: Of Arms and the Men: Literature and the Fabled Life

MWF 8-9:00
258 Dwinelle
J. Chang-Augst

“I sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive; he was the first to journey from the coasts of Troy as far as Italy and the Lavinian shores. Across the lands and the waters he was battered beneath the violence of High Ones, for the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger; and many sufferings were his in war – until he brought a city into being and carried in his gods to Latium; from this have come the Latin race, the lords of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.” » read more »

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R1B.006: Rethinking Community

T/Th 8-9:30
223 Wheeler
J. H. Cruz

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.007: The Art of Stasis

T/Th 5-6:30
250 Dwinelle
C. Sumner

This class will focus on literary texts which use various representational strategies to depict scenes of personal and social stasis. With each text, we will return to a central question: how does this author represent stasis?  And related questions we will often ask are, what are the consequences for the notion of development in the play, poem, novel, story, etc?  » read more »

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R1B.008: The Limits of Autobiography

T/Th 11-12:30
220 Wheeler
L. Gurton-Wachter & G. Demeestere

In this course, we will investigate the possibilities and limits of autobiography, looking at a variety of texts, films, photographs and paintings that aim to represent or account for the self and its relation to others.  We will consider the relation between language and the self,the distortions of self-portraiture, and the distinction between memory and history. To whom does one address oneself in autobiography, and how does one define oneself in relation to others? How might autobiography be a form of subversion and resistance? » read more »

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R1B.009: Life as Literature: The Art of Living

T/Th 11-12:30
222 Wheeler
A. Henry

“An unexamined life is no life for a human being to live.”

-Socrates

In this reading and research writing course, we will examine the questions of “how does giving a narrative of oneself evoke identity?” and “how is living an aesthetic practice?” in relation to both Socrates’ claim and to more contemporary configurations. » read more »

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R1B.011: Mourning and Modernity

MWF 11-12:00
210 Wheeler
S. Herbold & J Weiner

Modernity often seems to be defined by a sense of loss and fragmentation. We will read several texts in which here and now seem largely to be defined by a there and then that are painfully absent, yet still consume the present. Paradoxically, the acts of remembrance performed in these texts take a strikingly innovative form. Moreover, writing itself can be said to be a way of leaving the past behind as well as of sustaining it. » read more »

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R1B.012: Women in War

MWF 3-4:00
106 Wheeler
A. Bruckel

In this course we will try to define women’s voices in war, both in male and  female authors from various places and eras.  The texts we will read range from a Greek epic of the eighth century B.C. to Shakespearean drama, to European and North African twentieth century texts written by women in response to violent conflicts such as the First  World War and the Algerian War (1954-62).  » read more »

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R1B.013: Knowledge, Ignorance, and the Consequence of Choice

T/Th 9:30-11:00
100 Wheeler
T. Singleton & N. Cleaver

“The danger lies, yet lies within his power:/Against his will he can receive no harm. But God left free the will; for what obeys/ Reason, is free; and Reason he made right, But bid her well be ware, and still erect;/ Lest, by some fair-appearing good surprised, she dictate false; and mis-inform the will/ To do what God expressly hath forbid.” » read more »

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R1B.014: Of Arms and the Men: Literature and the Fabled Life

MWF 9-10:00
20 Wheeler
J. Chang-Augst

“I sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive; he was the first to journey from the coasts of Troy as far as Italy and the Lavinian shores. Across the lands and the waters he was battered beneath the violence of High Ones, for the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger; and many sufferings were his in war – until he brought a city into being and carried in his gods to Latium; from this have come the Latin race, the lords of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.” » read more »

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R1B.015: Nostalgic Fictions: Desiring Homer

MWF 12-1:00
215 Dwinelle as of 2/2/07
T. Hausdoerffer & O. Sanjideh

Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey offers a rich exploration of the many ways that humans remember and relate to the past. However, the mode of remembrance that the Odyssey explores most centrally is nostalgia—that often painful yearning to return to the past. In the first half of this course, we will consider nostalgia in the Odyssey in two distinct ways. First, how is nostalgia represented within the story? » read more »

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R1B.016: Surviving Trauma

MWF 1-2:00
235 Wheeler
S. Popkin

A traumatic event is defined not by the nature of the event itself, but by the effects this event has – that is, the devastating effects that can wield their force for years and years.  How and when do these effects lose their force? » read more »

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R2B.001: French Theater of the Absurd

MWF 10-12:00 & F 10-11:00
222 Wheeler
A. Bruckel

Pre-requisites: Three years of high school French or two years with a B plus average

In this course, we will study French theater ranging from a seventeenth comedy by Molière to plays representative of some major trends in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on surrealist/absurdist and existentialist theater.  » read more »

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R3B.001: Masterpieces of Spanish Literature

MW 2-4:00 & F 2-3:00
222 Wheeler
D. Inciarte

Pre-requisite: 3 years of high school Spanish, 2 years with a B plus average, or native speaker with adequate skills for the class. Students will undergo an evaluation of their spoken Spanish during the first class meeting. » read more »

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Undergraduate

40: Women and Literature

Gender, Community, and the Laboring Body

T/Th 11-12:30
6 Evans
I. Siegal

This course will critically examine a range of western-feminist paradigms regarding conceptions of self-in-community.  We will examine the ways that western agendas have habitually overwritten the economic, social and cultural priorities of women in the third-world. We’ll re-think conceptions of gender, sexuality, the nation and religious identity as they are realized through a range of embodied praxes.  » read more »

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

Performing Gender: Gender Roles in Dramatic Traditions

T/Th 2-3:30
228 Dwinelle
M. Fisher

The theater, focused as it is on the performance of roles of all kinds, has always provided a particularly appropriate arena in which to explore the nature and boundaries of gender roles (and the possibilities of escaping from them) even more so in those traditions in which women were not allowed on the stage.  In this course, we will examine three such traditions: Sanskrit, Classical Greek, and Elizabethan drama.  » read more »

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60AC: Topics in the Literature of American Cultures

Culture Clash: Narratives of Immigration at the Borders of Incommensurability

11-12:30
203 Wheeler (Classroom Change effective 1/23)
L. Ramos

What do a Chicana writer in France and a Chinese shopkeeper in Thailand have in common?  A Mexican immigrant in Chicago and Chinese waiter in Mexico City? This course will be premised on the understanding that the cultures of US immigration cannot be separated from larger patterns of displacement and redistribution (i.e., of bodies, of commodities, information) that have given rise to a singular planetary order based on the circulation of finance capital and its attendant interstate system.  » read more »

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100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Narrative and Desire

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 121 Wheeler Instructor: Barbara Spackman

T/Th 11-12:30
121 Wheeler
Prof. 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? How might desire interrupt narrative?  Does desire have a gender? What is the relation between epistemological desire and sexual desire?  How might we understand the relation between self-knowledge and the desire for narrative?   Texts will include Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, Boccaccio, The Decameron, Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Freud, “The Wolf-Man,” Henry James, “The Aspern Papers” and “The Beast in the Jungle,” Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, Anna Banti, Artemisia, and Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. We will also look at a selection of critical essays that offer models of desire, of narrative, or of their relation; readings will be drawn from works of Peter Brooks, Judith Butler, René Girard, Teresa de Lauretis, J.Hillis Miller, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.

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112B: Modern Greek Language and Modern Greek Composition

M/W/F 12:00-01:00 201 Wheeler Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

MWF 12-1:00
201 Wheeler
M. Kotzamanidou

This Course examines forms of writing (prose, poetry, drama) in Modern Greek and the reading of literary texts as auxiliary to the acquisition of compositional skills. Prerequisite: 112A, or consent of the instructor.

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152: The Middle Ages

Medieval Literature

M/W 04:00-05:30 175 Dwinelle Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

MW4-5:30, 175 Dwinelle.

CCN:  17317

Annalee Rejhon.

Medieval Literature

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 »

Course Catalog Number: 17317

152: The Middle Ages

Medieval Literature

Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

T/Th 9:30-11:00
109 Wheeler
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.  The epics that will be examined are the Song of Roland and Beowulf, as well as the Old Irish saga of the Táin; the romances are those of Chrétien de Troyes, along with Gottfied von Strassburg’s Tristan, Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet, and the Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Included in the survey will be the chantefable of Aucassin and Nicolette, the Arthurian section of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, and several of the native tales and romances of the Middle Welsh Mabinogion.  A selection of troubadour lyrics will round out the survey.

All texts will be available in English translation.  Course requirements will include a midterm and a final examination.

Required Texts:

Anon., The Song of Roland

Anon., Beowulf

Anon., The Táin

Anon., The Mabinogion

Anon., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Anon., Aucassin and Nicolette

Chrétien de Troyes, Erec and Enide

Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart

Perceval or The Story of the Grail

Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain

Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan

Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, Lanzelet

Troubadour Lyrics

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155: The Modern Period

The Modernist Masterpiece as a Genre and a Goal

T/Th 3:30-5:00
222 Wheeler
Prof. 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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155/Slavic 131: The Modern Period

The European Avant-Garde: From Futurism to Surrealism

Instructor: Harsha Ram

T/Th 3:30-5:00 (please note this new class time)
200 Wheeler (please note this new location)
Prof. H. Ram

Also listed is Slavic 131

The literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century was the most radical expression of European modernism in literature and art.   » read more »

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170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

On Myth and History in 20th Century Greek Novel of Trauma

Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

F 2-5:00
204 Dwinelle
M. Kotzamanidou

During the last ten years, literary criticism has become aware that the literature of trauma, whether of personal narratives, of collective experiences, or of historically motivated events, constitutes a separate category that crosses generic boundaries. This course examines the predilection for the use of mythological constructions in 20th cent. Greek novel of trauma motivated by historical events. Some of the areas of our examination include but are not limited to: The deconstruction of historical events by the author as a means of creating new “authenticity” and replacing “historicity” and “documentary evidence” by the effectiveness of a mythological, literary genre such as the parable or the moral tale. The use of culturally defined mythological constructions in handling profoundly disturbing experiences through the narrative. The depersonalization of the traumatic events and their distancing through tropes and mythopoetic constructions in order to maintain certain relationships of power within the social context.

We will work with such texts as: Christ Re-crucified (N. Kazantzakis), The schoolmistress with the Golden Eyes (S..Myrivilis), The Mermaid Madonna (S.Myrivilis), The Labyrinth (P.Karnezis), Aeolian Land (E.Venezis), Fool’s Gold ( M.Douka). Literary texts are in Greek. Criticism, theory and history are in English.

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190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

Autobiography and Modernity

Instructor: Sophie Volpp

T/Th 12:30-2:00
222 Wheeler
S. Volpp

This course interrogates the relationship between autobiography and modernity by examining a series of western and Chinese autobiographical texts written in the early modern and modern periods.  Given that the parameters of autobiography as a genre are notoriously problematic and the term “modernity” has an enduring instability, what can we make of the commonplace invocation of autobiography as a quintessentially modern genre?  We will consider the relation between autobiography and modernity in order to historicize notions of interiority and the self, asking how they have become associated with various conceptions of modernity.  We will also examine the ways in which changes in material life at various junctures – for example, changes in print culture and reading practices — helped facilitate the development of an autobiographical voice.  As we go along, we will examine the work of structuralist and postructuralist theorists of autobiography, asking in part how their interest in self-representation highlights the paradigmatic concerns of their particular schools of thought.

Primary texts include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions; Cao Xueqin, Story of the Stone, Shen Fu, Six Records of a Floating Life; Darwin, “Autobiography;” De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater; Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being; Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road; as well as selections from Lu Hsun, Eileen Chang, and Xie Bingying.

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Graduate

215: Studies in Renaissance Literature

Cervantes, Montaigne, Tasso: “Post-Humanism” and the Politics of Genre

Instructor: Timothy Hampton

Th 2-5:00
175 Dwinelle
Prof. T. Hampton

This course will engage the intersection of a particular historical moment and a particular literary problem.  The moment is the so-called “late Renaissance,” and the literary problem is the question of genre.  The literary culture of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century in Europe has been called “the age of criticism,” because of the proliferation of theoretical writing on poetics and rhetoric which emerged from the great generation of humanist-trained writers that flourished in the mid-1550s.  » read more »

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223: Studies in the Nineteenth-Century

Critical Passions

Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

M 2-5:00
332 Giannini
Prof. A. Francois

Students interested in the class are invited to read Shakespeare’s Hamlet in advance of the first class meeting on January 22.

Is criticism the story of falling in or out of love? When does desire end and critical reflection on it begin? From Wordsworthian “wise passiveness” to Keatsian “Negative Capability,” a number of Romantic tropes and attitudes privilege passive over active modes of desire, contemplative over end-oriented action, reception over production, and imaginative transformation over other, more overt forms of political revolution.  » read more »

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250/French 270: Studies in Literary Theory

Theories of Discourse

Instructor: Michael Lucey

T 2-5:00
4226 Dwinelle
Prof. M. Lucey

Also listed as French 270

We might also call the seminar “What Is Discourse? What Isn’t Discourse?”  We’ll look at three different critical currents in which discourse is a key concept:  Bakhtin and Volosinov; Foucault and Deleuze and Guattari; and then some American sociolinguistic thinkers (Goffman, Silverstein, Urban). » read more »

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258: Studies in Philosophy and Literature

Tragedy and Philosophy

Instructor: Anthony Cascardi

W 2-5:00
332 Giannini
Prof. A. Cascardi

Beginning with Plato’s response to the tragic poets, and continuing through the work of figures such as Hegel and Nietzsche, the development of philosophy in the Western tradition has been intimately linked to the fate of tragedy.  Indeed, it could be said that philosophy has always had to contend with tragedy.  What forces have determined the philosophical responses to tragedy?  » read more »

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260: Problems in Literary Translation

The Poetics and Politics of Translation

Instructor: Chana Kronfeld

W 2-5:00
202 Wheeler
Prof. C. Kronfeld

In this seminar we’ll explore developments in the field of translation studies that have taken it beyond the once common metaphors of fidelity and betrayal — of being faithful or unfaithful to the original.  We’ll focus on (mis)translations as symptomatic of the poetic and political dynamics of a negotiation between cultures in a particular historical moment.  » read more »

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