Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Migrations and Border-Crossings

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1A.1
Tu/Th 8-9:30
123 Dwinelle
CCN: 17203
Cullen Goldblatt
A rich literature explores experiences of migration. This course will focus upon literary treatments of
experiences of geographic movement and dislocation. We will also include in our exploration of
“migration” non-geographic experiences of border-crossings and dislocation, such as coming-out,
religious conversion, and grief. We will read contemporary novels of immigration, and examine a
number of other texts – poems, autobiographical essays, a film. The course includes, but does not focus
upon, immigration in a United States context. For example, the protagonist of one of our novels, The
Belly of The Atlantic, is a part of the Senegalese diaspora in France.

Course Catalog Number: 17203

R1A.002: Fan Fictions, Fiction Fans

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Marianne Kaletzky Current Graduate Students

CL R1A.2
Tu/Th 9:30-11
79 Dwinelle
CCN: 17206
Marianne Kaletzky and Emily Laskin

Fandom gets a bad name in the academic world. Literary scholars pride themselves on their analytical approach to, and critical distance from, works already recognized as high art. Fans, on the other hand, throw themselves into the least esteemed genres and forms.

Yet scholarship can’t entirely shake its ties to fandom. The history of the Western novel begins with a fan, Don Quixote, who devotes his life to the seventeenth-century equivalent of a Star Trek convention: dressing up as a character from the stories he loves. Many texts beloved by scholars have their origins in fandom, with authors so fascinated by their predecessors that they reinterpret their work. And literary criticism, no matter how objective it may seem, always depends on a reader’s often emotional, sometimes fanatical attachment to a text. So what’s the difference between a work of fan fiction and an artistic reinterpretation? And where’s the boundary between a fan and a critic?

This course will explore fandom as both a literary theme and a literary habit. Some texts we’ll read are populated by obsessive fans who can’t stop referencing their favorite works; other texts are themselves obsessive fans who can’t stop referencing their favorite works. The majority of our readings fall into both categories.

Since this is an R&C course, we’ll devote most of our time to close reading and intensive writing. The course will develop students’ abilities to read texts carefully, to examine both points of coherence and moments of tension within them, and to analyze the relationship between meaning and textual form. Its other major aim is to help students express increasingly complex ideas in writing. The various writing activities in the class, from the major analytical essays to shorter creative exercises, will connect critical thinking and writing, improve students’ control over their writing voice, and introduce new ways of thinking about structure and development.

Required books:
Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
A. S. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. James E. Falen

Required screenings:
Pedro Almodóvar, All About My Mother
David Lynch, Mulholland Drive
Joseph Mankiewicz, All About Eve
Martin Scorsese, Taxi Driver

A course reader will include excerpts from Don Quixote and Vikram Seth’s Golden Gate; a short story by Jorge Luis Borges; essays by Joan Didion and D. A. Miller; and poetry by Matthew Arnold, W. H. Auden, Anthony Hecht, Archibald MacLeish, Andrew Marvell, and Gary Snyder.



Course Catalog Number: 17206

R1A.003: Telling Family Stories

Tu/Th 05:00-06:30 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Ashley Brock

CL R1A.3
Tu/Th 5-6:30pm
123 Dwinelle
CCN: 17209
Ashley Brock

What family isn’t steeped in lore, haunted by skeletons in the closet, or delighted by its own humorous anecdotes no matter how many times they’ve been told? In this class we will explore the singular relationship between the family and story telling. What does it mean to understand family identity as a form of narrative? How does family identity intersect with individual identity, cultural identity, and national identity?  To what extent do the stories that are passed down through our families shape who we are and determine what kind of a world we inherit? What is the importance of unearthing, reconstructing, telling, and re-telling the stories of how our families came to be?

These are some of the questions we will address while examining texts from a wide range of time periods and cultural traditions. In addition to emphasizing critical reading skills, we will hone our written and oral communication skills by striving to express our ideas and observations with ever-increasing clarity and ever-sounder argument. To this end, significant class time will be devoted to the skills required to build an argument about a literary text and to write a clear and compelling argumentative paper.

Texts may include the work of: Sophocles, William Shakespeare, Clarice Lispector, William Faulkner, Gayl Jones, Marjane Satrapi, Sherman Alexie, Tillie Olsen, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, and David Chase.



Course Catalog Number: 17209

R1B.001: “Tales” of Rights and Memory: Orality, History, and Literature in the Americas

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Irina Popescu

CL R1B.1
Tu/Th 8-9:30am
204 Dwinelle
CCN: 17221
Irina Popescu

South and North America share a similar history of conquest, slavery, nation-building, and migration. The works and authors we will read in this course help us think about the ways this history is transmitted, codified and remembered. They ask us, as readers of these texts, to reexamine the history we think we know. Storytelling in the Americas thus acts as a means of rewriting history, thereby opening up the spaces for previously unheard voices to appear and exist.

This course will revolve around the following questions: » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17221

R1B.002: Schoolin’ Life

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 109 Dwinelle Instructor: Laura Wagner

CL R1B.2
Tu/Th 8-9:30
109 Dwinelle
CCN: 17224
Laura Wagner
This course will examine texts that are concerned with the education of their characters. We’ll look at the literary representation of various sites of schooling across multiple continents and centuries, from the governess-run nursery to the urban public school, from the boarding school to the world beyond its walls, and we’ll ask what can be learned and taught within these spaces, and also why some texts might make us skeptical about them. » read more »

Course Catalog Number:

R1B.002: Schoolin’ Life

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 205 Wheeler Instructor: Laura Wagner

CL R1B.02
Tu/Th 8-9:30
205 Wheeler
CCN: 17224
Laura Wagner

This course will examine texts that are concerned with the education of their characters. We’ll look at the literary representation of various sites of schooling across multiple continents and centuries, from the governess-run nursery to the urban public school, from the boarding school to the world beyond its walls, and we’ll ask what can be learned and taught within these spaces, and also why some texts might make us skeptical about them. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17224

R1B.003: The Mourning Due: Elegiac Literatures

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 202 Wheeler Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B.3
Tu/Th 9:30-11
202 Wheeler
CCN: 17227
Andrea Gadberry

“Elegy,” the Romantic poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge remarked, “is the form of poetry natural to the reflective mind. It may treat of any subject, but it must treat of no subject for itself; but always and exclusively with reference to the poet himself. As he will feel regret for the past or desire for the future, so sorrow and love become the principle themes of elegy. Elegy presents every thing as lost and gone, or absent and future.” This semester, we will put Coleridge’s definition to the test as we study elegiac poems as well as other literary forms preoccupied with what happens when “every thing” might seem to be “lost and gone.”

As we read across genres and national traditions, we will ask how works of art grapple with burial and mourning, how they commemorate the dead – or, sometimes, bring them back to life. Our inquiry will begin with the careful study of elegiac poems from several traditions, but we will also be interested in how other genres (novel, play, speech, film, essay) develop elegiac idioms of their own. How do these (often highly self-conscious) works deal with the question of a self that has lost an essential attachment? How do these texts construct identities for their speakers and narrators; in what ways, for instance, are expressions of sorrow and melancholy gendered or culturally coded? How might works about personal loss intersect with broader communities (the family, the state) or address their readers? How do poems of loss portray and interact with place? What is the relationship between grief and time: what are the temporalities of loss, how are they conveyed in form, and what is this “absent and future” space Coleridge imagines?

Anne Carson, Nox
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

A course reader will include Thomas Browne’s Urn Burial and Sophocles’ Antigone as well as shorter works by Catullus, John Donne, Thomas Gray, Victor Hugo, Alphonse de Lamartine, Stéphane Mallarmé, John Milton, Ovid, Charlotte Smith, Thucydides, and William Wordsworth.


Course Catalog Number: 17227

R1B.004: Just the Two of Us

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B:4
Tu/Th 9:30-11
210 Dwinelle
CCN: 17230
Oya Erez


“I don’t know which of us has written this page.”
-Jorge Luis Borges, “Borges and I”

Artists’ personas, alter egos, doppelgängers, shadows and evil twins are some of the literary doubles we encounter in this course. Our characters will turn out to be obsessed with mirrors, echoes, not getting old, cheating death, figuring out if they are real or fake, better or worse, and – not surprisingly – with their doubles. As we go from Babylonia in 2000 B.C. to Los Angeles in the new millennium, we will see that these kinds of relationships have been an ongoing subject of fascination for writers and filmmakers. We will try to understand what it is about being around someone so much like oneself that can bring out both the most profound and the most disturbing elements in one’s character. We will also ask what these relationships can tell us about the relationship between writer and reader, filmmaker and viewer, narrator and subject.

This is a writing-intensive course that builds on the skills you have gained in the first of the Reading and Composition sequence. In this course, you will use your critical reflections on the text as starting point for developing two papers, the latter of which will incorporate research on literary criticism. You will develop your papers through the course of the semester by means of a series of brainstorming assignments, draft outlines, in-class workshops, peer edits and revisions. In addition to the two longer papers, you will also complete shorter weekly reading responses and additional assignments devoted to specific elements of essay writing.


The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Myth of Narcissus
Bible, Book of Genesis, “Cain and Abel”
Jorge Luis Borges, “Borges and I” and “Everything and Nothing”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
August Strindberg, The Stronger
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Ingmar Bergman, Persona
Krzysztof Kieślowski, The Double Life of Veronique
David Lynch, Mulholland Drive

A required course reader will include several of the works above and excerpts from a number of theoretical texts.

Course Catalog Number: 17230

R1B.005: Literary Impressionism

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 130 Wheeler Instructor: Current Graduate Students Keith Ford

CL R1B:5
Tu/Th 9:30-11
130 Wheeler
CCN: 17233
Brian Clancy & Keith Ford

This course focuses on the impression as a unique mode of visual, philosophical, and literary experience. When people hear the word “impression” in the context of the history of art, they often think of the French Impressionists of the late-19th century. But the notion of the impression as a mode of perception has a much broader intellectual history, and it will be the goal of this course to present students with a grasp of its dynamic history, as well as its theoretical scope in an interdisciplinary sense. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17233

R1B.005: Memory and Narrative

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 130 Wheeler Instructor: Keith Ford

CL R1B.5
Tu/Th 9:30-11
130 Wheeler
CCN: 17233
Gabriel Page & Keith Ford

Memory is essential for personal and cultural identity; and memory is, for the most part, narratively constructed. Our sense of who we are – as individuals and as members of groups – depends upon the stories we tell about ourselves: stories that establish continuities over time, assign meanings to certain experiences, and create values.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17233

R1B.006: Reading for Plots

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B.6
Tu/Th 11-12:30
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17236
Caitlin Scholl & Jenny Tan

This course explores the relationship between the plotting of narratives and the plotting of conspiracies. We will read and view texts from a wide range of time periods, world regions, and genres—from Greek tragedy to French Harlequin comedy to American film noir to Congolese dystopian novel—paying attention to the ways in which the intrigue in the storylines thematizes not only the construction of the narratives themselves, but also the acts of reading and interpretation. What is the relationship between writers and the conspirators that they write about? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17236

R1B.007: Landscapes

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 182 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 11-12:30
182 Dwinelle
CCN: 17239
Mary Renolds & Philip Gerard

“What wood is this before us?”
Macbeth, 5.4.6

Even today we sometimes find ourselves before a landscape. Out car windows or on TV, on holiday or behind a bulldozer, this special category still presses itself on our imaginations, unseating us from our routines and casting us into an alternate context, a terrain seditmented out of its own history, vocabulary, tropes and moods.

» read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17239

R1B.008: The City and the Country

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 209 Dwinelle Instructor: Layla Forrest-White

CL R1B.8
Tu/Th 12:30-2
209 Dwinelle
CCN: 17242
Layla Forrest-White & Maya KronfeldIt’s difficult to imagine the city without the country; these places have long been linked in their opposition to one another. What stories are possible in the city that aren’t in the country, and vice versa? In this course, we will look at stories from such varied sourced as Greek philosophy, French and African-American poetry, American Southern literature, and the Hebrew Bible to examine how these texts pose this question of city and country in their own ways. Subtopics will include: incarceration; “thinking while walking”; jazz; & urban crime.As this course is an R1B, we will be focusing on formulating critical responses to writing and translating those thoughts into writing. A key component of this translation process is revision, which we will practice together and individually.

Texts to buy:

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
A Mercy
Eight Men: Short Stories
Notes from Underground
Course Reader

Course Catalog Number: 17242

R1B.009: Only the Lonely

Tu/Th 05:00-06:30 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B.9
Tu/Th 5-6:30
204 Dwinelle
CCN: 17245
Margarita Gordon


This course will acquaint you with an assortment of loners: stranded on desert islands, abandoned by their friends, misunderstood by the world, or deliberately shut away from human society. How does it feel to be alone? What factors lead to someone’s isolation? Whether it’s chosen or not, what possibilities, pains, pleasures, and perils does solitude beckon? To what extent are certain artistic forms predicated on solitude or its absence? Or do even the loneliest of genres—autobiographies, lyric poems, one-woman shows, even diaries—depend on an audience?

Texts may include:

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
St. Augustine, Confessions (excerpts)
Albert Camus, The Stranger
Anton Chekhov, “Ward No. 6”
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
Franz Kafka, The Castle
Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape or Company
Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin
Ovid, “Pygmalion,” and “Echo and Narcissus”

William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “Tintern Abbey”
Thomas Hardy, “Woman Much Missed”
Emily Dickinson, selected poems
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Charles Baudelaire, “Spleen”
Marina Tsvetaeva, “Homesickness”

Krzystof Kieslowski, Red
Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
Mark Romanek, One Hour Photo
Lars von Trier, Melancholia
David Lynch, The Elephant Man


Course Catalog Number: 17245

R1B.010: Legal Fictions: Law in/as Literature

M/W/F 09:00-10:00 100 Wheeler Instructor: Johnathan Vaknin Howard Fisher

CL R1B: 10
MWF, 9-10
100 Wheeler
CCN: 17248
Johnathan Vaknin & Howard Fisher

In this course, we will look at the ways in which law and literature converge, diverge, and inform one another directly or indirectly. From Sophocles’s Antigone to Melville’s Billy Budd, and from Kafka’s The Trial to Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, our readings will be guided by the following questions, among others: How might we think of social norms both in terms of culture and the law, and what is the function of each in the construction of these norms? How do certain texts represent positions outside of the law? Is there an “outside” to the law? What shared formal and stylistic elements might we identify between legal texts and cultural texts? (Think, for example, of the importance of testimony and narration). While most of our readings will be literary, in the final segment of the semester we will shift our attention to films as well as to specific legal documents.

The second in the University’s two-part R&C sequence, this class is meant, above all, to help students improve their critical writing, reading, and research skills. In addition to regular attendance and participation, requirements include a series of essays—drafts and revisions—and short responses.

Possible texts include:

Franz Kafka, The Trial
Herman Melville, Billy Budd
Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman
Sophocles, Antigone
Albert Camus, The Stranger
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis
Ridley Scott (dir.), Thelma & Louise
Jonathan Lynn (dir.), My Cousin Vinny
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner v. Texas

A course reader with selections from Colin Dayan, Judith Butler, and Katherine Franke, among others.


Course Catalog Number: 17248

R1B.011: A Thousand Words: Ekphrastic Literature

M/W/F 10:00-11:00 202 Wheeler Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B.11
MWF 10-11
202 Wheeler
CCN: 17251
Kathryn Crim

          Once a thing is put in writing, the composition, whatever it may be, drifts all over the place.

                                                                                                —Plato’s Phaedrus


Broadly defined, the term “ekphrasis” (ek – out, phrasis – to speak) is description: It once indicated, in the art of ancient rhetoric, “an expository speech vividly bringing the subject before our eyes.”  In literary studies, the term has come to denote a poetic mode of “giving voice” to a visual representation. This course will follow a long history of both “speaking out” an aesthetic experience and speaking for a mute object.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17251

R1B.012: Cultural Confusion: Migration and the Making of a Multicultural Identity

M/W/F 10:00-11:00 234 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B.12
MWF 10-11
234 Dwinelle
CCN: 17254
Vesna Rodic

In this course, we will focus on textual and visual representations of migration and multicultural identities in English, Spanish, and French-speaking contexts. We will read about cultural encounters occurring in various parts of the world, including France, Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean, in order to study key elements of a multicultural identity. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17254

R1B.013: Alternative Worlds

M/W/F 01:00-02:00 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Kfir Cohen Taylor Johnston

CL: R1B.13
MWF 1-2pm
242 Dwinelle
CCN: 17257
Kfir Cohen & Taylor Johnston


In this course we will develop writing and argumentative skills through exploring theoretical and imaginative texts whose imaginary worlds attempt to solve some of the perennial problems of modern living. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17257

R1B.014: Perfectly Normal Stories about Completely Ordinary People

Tu/Th 05:00-06:30 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students Bristin Jones

TuTh 5-6:30pm
79 Dwinelle
CCN: 17254
Oya Erez and Bristin Scalzo Jones


“This is a normal book about a normal life.”

– Karl Ove Knausgaard on My Struggle

Literary texts seem obsessed with the extraordinary: epic poems about heroes and monsters, tragedies about kings and star-crossed lovers, novels about citizens entangled in sweeping historical changes, films about celebrities and outcasts. But what about the normal, the average, and the ordinary? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17257

R1B.023: Revolution and Revision

M/W/F 01:00-02:00 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL R1B.23
MWF 1-2pm
123 Dwinelle
CCN: 17286
Noa Bar


Hannah Arendt describes the modern political revolution as a kind of narrative, as an attempt to write “an entirely new story, a story never known or told before.” However, Arendt goes on to question the accepted notion that the “plot” of the modern revolution necessarily culminates in the creation of an entirely new order which establishes a foundation for equality and self-governance.

In this course, we will follow both the connection Arendt makes between political revolution and literary narrative and heed her insight that revolution may not lead to unprecedented political freedom.  Looking at a variety of textual forms (novel, short story, graphic novel, film), including the work of Marjane Satrapi (Iran, Austria), Assia Djebar (Algeria) we will explore the following questions and tensions involved in revoution: How does the personal affect the political and vice-versa?  How can practices of everyday life become resistance (Satrapi, DeCerteau) What happens when a movement of national liberation from colonial rule nonetheless leaves gender inequality in place (Djebar)  How can modes of representation of political causes either open up or foreclose possibilities of rupture with old orders?

Just as revolution is an attempt to revise history, we will focus on our own process of revision as writers.  We will write multiple drafts for all assignments, which will be reviewed both by the instructor and by peers.  We will have a series of writing workshops throughout the semester which will present the writing process in concrete steps—from the simple act of making observations about a text, to techniques of close reading, and finally to constructing arguments.

Reading List:

Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (excerpts)
Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
Michel DeCerteau, The Practice of Everyday Life (excerpts)
Assia Djebar, Children of the New World
Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers (film)




Course Catalog Number: 17286


60AC: Topics in the Literature of American Cultures

Re-Visioning the “Sixties”

Tu/Th 03:30-05:00 105 Latimer Instructor: Current Graduate Students

Tu/Th 3:30-5
105 Latimer
CCN: 17287
Professor Michelle Koerner

In this course we will explore the diversity of selected works of American literature, film, and music produced during the “long sixties” (1955-1975). Placing considerable emphasis on the relationship between artistic experimentation and the emancipatory social movements of the period, we will ask how innovative practices of language, image, and sound related to the more directly political actions associated with the Civil Rights Movement, the Student Movement, the Black and Red Power Movements, and the Women’s and Gay Liberation Movements.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17287

100: “The Thousand and One Nights”

Tu/Th 03:30-05:00 130 Dwinelle Instructor: Gretchen Head

CL 100.1
Tu/Th 3:30-5
130 Dwinelle
CCN: 17290
Professor Gretchen Head

Gateway Course for work in the Comparative Literature Major.

The influence of The 1001 Nights on Western literature has been so widespread that, outside of the Bible, it has no rival from the literature of the Near in the world literary imagination. Jorge Luis Borges once said that the Nights, “is a book so vast that it is not necessary to have read it.” Yet, only by reading the original Arabic story collection of the Nights, taken from Indian and Persian sources, can we reach an understanding of how this story collection has come to play such a decisive role in both Arab and Western cultural spheres since the eighteenth century. This class will examine the core stories of the Nights based on Medieval Arabic manuscripts and the history of the Nights’ translation, reception, and large-scale appropriation by the West from the eighteenth century onward. We will look at the Nights’ narrative structure, often a source of innovation for later authors, while simultaneously examining how the stories have often served to reinforce colonial and neocolonial projects. We will likewise consider how the figure of the Nights’ famous storyteller, Shahrazad, has paradoxically been the subject of appropriation by both Western Orientalists and Arab feminists. We will work across different media and genres, with texts, images, theater, and film, to understand the Nights and its influence in the most far reaching sense. Texts will include the translation of Muhsin Mahdi’s edited fourteenth century Syrian manuscript, excerpts from Edward Lane’s and Richard Burton’s translations, and both Eastern and Western works fundamentally influenced by the Nights, among them: Edgar Allen Poe, Salman Rushdie, Jorge Luis Borges, Naguib Mahfouz, and Voltaire.

Course Catalog Number: 17290

100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

The Americas, North and South

Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 130 Dwinelle Instructor: Francine Masiello

CL 100.2
Tu/Th 2-3:30pm
130 Dwinelle
CCN: 17293
Professor Francine Masiello

Gateway Course for work in the Comparative Literature Major.

This course is designed to explore foundational narratives of the Americas in the 19th century. We will look at the ways in which the great masters of prose –Cooper, Melville, and Stowe in the United States and Sarmiento, Gómez de Avellaneda, Gorriti, and Matto de Turner  in Latin America–imagined the conflicts of the emerging liberal republic. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17293

112B: Topics in Modern Greek Literature

Shifting Moralities: Ethical Conduct and its Contexts in 19th and 20th Century Greek Fiction

F 02:00-05:00 125 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

CL 171
F 2-5pm
125 Dwinelle
CCN: 17311
Maria Kotzamanidou

In this course we will examine the various forms of ethical behavior in Modern Greek fiction which lead to valuations of “right (good) or wrong (bad)” actions, intensions, or decisions. We will distinguish the differences between ethics and morality and we will examine the philosophies, cultural or religious, that provide the ethical systems against which such actions are measured. What does the author intend to communicate to the reader as a result of such valuations? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17311

152: The Middle Ages

Literature of the Middle Ages

Instructor: Niklaus Largier

CL 152
Tu/Th, 9:30-11am
204 Wheeler
CCN: 17299
Professor Nicklaus Largier

This course will offer an overview of the fundamentals of irony and its theoretization from Socrates to the present day. We will examine the history of irony in all its permutations, as well as the various positions irony occupies within rhetoric, ontology, aesthetics, politics, and literary theory. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17299

154: Eighteenth- and 19th-Century Literature

The European Novel, 18th and 19th Century

M/W 04:00-05:30 106 Dwinelle Instructor: Anne-Lise Francois

CL 154
MW 4-5:30
106 Dwinelle
CCN: 17302
Professor Anne-Lise Francois

In this course we will tell the story of European novel of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by beginning with two points of origin in the seventeenth century–Cervantes’s Don Quixote and Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17302

155: The Modern Period

Gender and Identity in Modern Jewish and Israeli Drama

M/W 04:00-05:30 130 Dwinelle Instructor: Sharon Aronson-Lehavi

CL 155
MW 4-5:30
130 Dwinelle
CCN: 17305
Professor Sharon Aronson-Lehavi


In this course we will discuss dramatic works by Jewish and Israeli playwrights, authors, and performance artists, in which relations between gender, religion, and cultural identity are explored. By engaging with performance theory we shall discuss topics such as gender and ethnicity, feminism and religion, identity politics in historical and contemporary contexts, and performance as a vehicle for exploring self-identity. In order to discuss plays which conflate gender and questions of modern Jewish identity, the course will contextualize the plays with various modes of representation, examining the relations between the dramatic styles which are employed and at times invented by the authors and the social questions that are negotiated through the plays. These modes of representation include realistic drama (and the critique of realism); documentary drama; epic and Brechtian drama; Écriture féminine; solo performance, and performance-art. Classes will be accompanied by DVD recordings of many of the plays we discuss. All readings are in English.

Course Catalog Number: 17305

170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

Medicine in Literature

Tu 03:00-06:00 80 Barrows Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL 170.02
Thur 3-6pm
80 Barrows
CCN: 17310
Professor Marilyn McEntyre

The purpose of this course is to expand the repertoire of questions and analytical tools you bring to your reading, to sharpen your linguistic sensibilities, and to consider in what sense literature is an avenue for understanding cultural dimensions of medical practice, medical ethics, health and illness, and the body-mind relationship. We will be considering questions like the following: 

How does the practice of medicine reflect cultural mythologies, beliefs, habits of mind, manners, use of language? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17310

170: Special Topics in Comparative Literature

Holy Theatre and Performance: Medieval and Modern Paradigms

M/W/F 12:00-01:00 258 Dwinelle Instructor: Sharon Aronson-Lehavi

CL 170.01
MWF 12-1
258 Dwinelle
CCN: 17308
Professor Sharon Aronson-Lehavi

This course examines the concept of holiness in Western medieval and modern theatre and performance. We start with late medieval religious theatre, especially the genre of the mystery and passion plays, in which a unique blend of scriptural source materials, religious cultural context, and daily life was at the basis of a wide-scale theatrical endeavor.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17308

190/CL 212: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

Re-thinking Genre: The Middle Ages and Renaissance

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 123 Dwinelle Instructor: Christopher Davis

CL 190.2/212
Tu/Th 12:30-2
123 Dwinelle
Professor Christopher Davis

* satisfies L&S Arts and Literature breadth requirement

What is the difference between poetry and prose? Do they convey the same kind of knowledge or experience? How is this difference represented on the written page? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17317

190: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

Black Mountain Poetry and Poetics: An American Avant-Garde, At Home and in International Conversation

Tu 02:00-05:00 255 Dwinelle Instructor: Robert Kaufman

CL 190.1
Tu 2-5
255 Dwinelle
CCN: 17314
Professor Robert Kaufman

[Note: Students enrolling in this senior seminar will be assumed to have had experience with the close reading and the analysis of poetic form, content, and context, and to be at least somewhat familiar with the main lines or moments in American poetry’s 19th-20th C. development, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, through the modernism of  Pound, H.D., Eliot, Stevens, Moore, Hughes, Brooks, et al.]

Perhaps the three most influential experimental or avant-gardist groupings within the period of American poetry beginning just after 1945 are the Beats, the New York School, and the poets of–and associated with–the educational and arts experiment known as Black Mountain College.  Located in a collection of church buildings in Black Mountain, North Carolina, the College actually began (in 1933) well before “Beat” or “New York School” poetry came into being.  » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17314


202B: Approaches to Genre: Lyric Poetry

Lyric: Slow Reading

M 02:00-05:00 125 Dwinelle Instructor: Ellen Oliensis

CL 202B
Mon 2-5pm
125 Dwinelle
CCN: 17328
Professor Ellen Oliensis


What are the special resources and pleasures of what is generally if loosely identified as “lyric poetry”?   This seminar will start off with a series of sessions devoted to topics such as space, time, syntax, persona, gender, figure, and ecphrasis, with readings drawn mostly from the European lyric tradition. After spring break, readings and topics will be shaped by students in accordance with their research interests.

Course Catalog Number: 17328

225: Studies in Symbolist and Modern Literature

Advanced Decadence

M 02:00-05:00 6331 Dwinelle Instructor: Barbara Spackman

CL 225
Mon, 2-5
6331 Dwinelle
CCN: 17335
Professor Barbara Spackman

As a literary movement, “Decadence” came into existence by means of an act of cultural re-signification; taking up an epithet meant as an insult, Anatole Baju transformed “decadence” into a rallying cry.  This course will mime this inaugural gesture by grouping together a number of fin-de-siècle (for the most part) writers and intellectuals (including Freud and the sexologists) whose works are, we will suggest, the locus of a series of cultural re-significations.  In particular, we will look at the ways in which norms constraining and defining genders, sexualities, and literary, political, and aesthetic practices are tested and transformed in works by Charles Baudelaire, J.K. Huysmans, Georges Rodenbach, Octave Mirbeau, Leopold von Sacher Masoch, Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, Havelock Ellis, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer, and Rachilde. Requirements: one oral presentation; one 20-25 page seminar paper.


Course Catalog Number: 17335

227: Studies in Contemporary Literature

Introduction to Irony

Th 04:00-07:00 134 Dwinelle Instructor: Erica Weitzman

CL 227
Th 4-7
134 Dwinelle
CCN: 17338
Professor Erica Weitzman

This course will offer an overview of the fundamentals of irony and its theoretization from Socrates to the present day. We will examine the history of irony in all its permutations, as well as the various positions irony occupies within rhetoric, ontology, aesthetics, politics, and literary theory.   » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17338

260: Problems in Literary Translation

The Poetics and Politics of Translation

W 02:00-05:00 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Chana Kronfeld

CL 260
W 2-5
210 Dwinelle
CCN: 17344
Professor Chana Kronfeld

In this seminar we will 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.”  » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17344

266: Nationalism, Colonialism, and Culture

World Literature

Tu 02:00-05:00 125 Dwinelle Instructor: Harsha Ram

CL 266
Tues 2-5 pm
125 Dwinelle
CCN: 17347
Professor Harsha Ram

The role of national literatures in consolidating the cultural heritage of modern nations is indisputable. National literary histories organize and collate a remote, often premodern past, even as they consolidate linguistic standards and canonize new generic forms: in this sense they are essential for articulating the linguistic and aesthetic dimensions of the relationship between “tradition” and “modernity.” » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17347

298: Animation/Reanimation: New Starts in Eternal Recurrence

W 05:00-08:00 220 Stephens Hall Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL 298.2
Wed, 5-8pm
April 2 – 23
Geballe Room (220 Stephens)
CCN: 17353
1 unit

Professor Catherine Malabou will be in residence at the Townsend Center for the Humanities from April 2nd-23rd to offer a 1-unit, 4-week graduate seminar.

The leading question of this seminar will be: if we were to start our life anew, would we choose to live the same as the one we already lived, or would we opt for a totally new one? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17353

298: Fraught Crossroads: Class, Race, Sex and Violence Across American History

W 05:00-08:00 220 Stephens Hall Instructor: Current Graduate Students

CL 298.1
Wed, 5-8pm
January 22-February 12
Geballe Room (220 Stephens)
CCN: 17350
1 unit

Professor Lawrence Weschler will be in residence at the Townsend Center for the Humanities from January- February to offer a 1-unit, 4-week graduate seminar.

Avenali Chair in the Humanities Lawrence Weschler is the director emeritus of the New York Institute for the Humanities and a former staff writer of the New Yorker. His seminar will explore the ways in which race has served as the ordinary radioactive core of American history, continually warping the potential for ordinary class-based politics and accounting for all manner of perverse American exceptionalism.

The first session of the course will focus on the work of installation and assemblage artist Edward Kienholz and his viscerally charged 1968-1970 response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the lynchings that preceded it. The next three sessions will follow Kienholz’s work successively through American history to consider a series of key moments, spanning from Bacon’s Rebellion and the Revolutionary War, through the end of Reconstruction, to the Civil Rights movement and the subsequent rise and dominance of a white racist party.


Course Catalog Number: 17350