Reading and Composition (R&C)

R1A.001: Double Takes

Tu/Th 8-9:30 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Mary Vitali

“With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

» read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23273

R1A.003: Writing

Tu/Th 11-12:30 30 Wheeler Instructor: Laura Ferris Laura Wagner

This course will consider texts that are engaged in the process of rewriting. Reading across historical periods, language traditions, and literary genres, we’ll interrogate what happens as ideas, forms, identities, and histories are revisited and transformed. How are characters, plots, or genres translated across time and space? Is the act of rewriting one of simple reproduction, or is it one of transformation? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23275

R1A.004: Writing the Self: Language, Memory, Confession

Tu/Th 09:30 - 11:00 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Wendi Bootes

How does one narrate the self? For centuries, people have been aiming to record their lives by presenting their struggles and outlining their memories, offering insights along the way. Why—and for whom—are we repeatedly compelled to articulate our own life stories? Is this a vain and selfish project, does it expose a didactic aspiration to teach others, or should we think of such efforts as merely an exercise in nostalgia? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23276

R1A.005: Love and its Discontents: Meddling Families, Warring States

Tu/Th 8:00-9:30 214 Haviland Instructor: Keru Cai

We may consider the experience of love to be intensely personal and private, but literature, drama, and film frequently portray narratives of courtship, marriage, erotic desire, or romance within a larger social context. Romantic love between individuals in these texts may be situated within and therefore impinged upon by a family entity, a social class, or even a state. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23277

R1A.007: Playing War: Performance, Film, Animation, and New Media in Militarized Cultures

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 134 Dwinelle Instructor: Katherine Mezur

Artists across time and geographies and cultures have been driven to reflect on militarization and war: what is war for? What does war do? What does militarization do to the soldier, the civilian, the child, and us? In this course we will examine how the arts are deployed in militarized zones, times of war, and postwar memorializations. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23279

R1A.008: In the Belly of the Beast: Exploring the Minds of Literary Criminals

MWF 12:00-1:00 233 Dwinelle Instructor: Erin Bennett

“There are those who believe in my innocence and there are those who believe in my guilt. There’s no in between – either I’m a psychopath in sheep’s clothing, or I am you.”

-Amanda Knox


Class Location: Dwinelle 233

Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:15-3:15                                                             CCN: 23280

Course Description:

In this course, we will enter the minds of literary characters who commit crimes – often violent, sometimes just petty. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23280

R1A.009: Ecology Without Nature? What is Environmental Literature?

Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 233 Dwinelle Instructor: Paul De Morais

This course takes its title from Timothy Morton’s book Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics, where Morton is one of several scholars who call for the abandonment of the term “nature” in environmental discourse. In this class we will discuss the concept of “nature” and its problematic status, both as an object of representation and in how we conceive of our relationship to the environment. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23281

R1B.001: Borderlands

Tu/Th 12:30-2:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Emily Laskin Donna Honarpisheh

Borders on maps have historically been used to delimit space and mark differences in cultures, regions, languages, and national identities. However, for the people who live in the space of borderlands the divisions between communities and cultures are rarely as concrete as the state-imposed boundaries that seek to divide them. What is more, the political, juridical, and cultural effects of borders vary based on one’s position in both the local and global order. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23282

R1B.002: Dystopia in the Americas: Literary Revisions of History

MWF 11:00-12:00 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Irina Popescu

This course investigates hemispheric American literature, film and art from the 19 th to the 21 st centuries. We will investigate how history is rewritten inside these mediums and how these novelists, film-makers and artists revise the past in order to produce an alternative reality for previously silenced voices. How is history produced in the first place? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23283

R1B.003: Am I Reading Too Much Into This?

Tu/Th 09:30-11:00 242 Dwinelle Instructor: Cory Merrill Louisa Kirk

Our course takes up its task of developing critical reading and writing skills through an exploration of literary texts that thematize their own reading: texts that draw attention to the work of reading itself; texts that make us think both critically and strategically about how we as readers ought to approach them; texts that implicate their readers in ways that make them uncomfortable or self-conscious. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23284

R1B.004: Literature and the (Ab)Uses of Reason

Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 189 Dwinelle Instructor: Aurelia Cojocaru

Nowadays, we are constantly asked to become “savvy” and “techknowledgeable” in new ways.  Yet this rapid evolution in the uses of our intellect seems to be rooted in a more fundamental understanding of “rationality” which we all share. Does this concept of “rationality” itself change with technological progress? Or are our ideas about “rationality” older than we realize? » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23285

R1B.007: Excavating Babel

MWF 10:00-11:00 79 Dwinelle Instructor: Amanda Siegel Dinah Lensing-Sharp

If an eternal traveler should journey in any direction,
he would find after untold centuries that the same volumes are repeated in
the same disorder—which, repeated, becomes order: the Order.
My solitude is cheered by that elegant hope.
—“The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges

The Tower of Babel is a story in the Book of Genesis that describes how languages and habitats became multiple and scattered. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39175

R1B.010: Unfaithful Narratives

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 61 Evans Instructor: Jenny Tan

In this course, we will read and analyze a wide range of literature that can be called “unfaithful” in a double sense. The texts on our reading list contain stories about romantic infidelity, but also narratives that are untrustworthy because their narrators are unreliable – whether maliciously deceptive, intentionally enigmatic, unaware/un-self-aware, or simply incapable of translating their subject matter into words. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39178

R1B.012: Possible Futures: Revolutionary Promises and Science Fiction

Tu/Th 08:00-09:30 AM 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Laura Wagner

This course centers on three science fiction novels that take seriously the possibility of revolution. Reading novels by Ann Leckie, Ursula K. Le Guin, and China Miéville alongside works by theorists of gender, political economics, postcolonialism, posthumanism, linguistics, and more, we’ll consider a number of questions about the intersection between speculative fiction and revolutionary thought: » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39180

R1B.013: Between Womxn

Tu/Th 03:30-05:00 234 Dwinelle Instructor: Alex Brostoff Marlena Gittleman

This is a class about womxn. This is a class about between. This is a class about what happens between womxn. This is a class about what happens between languages between womxn. This is a class about the problems with the language used to represent womxn. This is a class about what happens between womxn and the page. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39181

R1B.014: Dream Visions

MWF 03:00-04:00 106 Dwinelle Instructor: Molly Bronstein

In this course we will examine the development of the “dream vision” across a considerable span of literary history — from ancient Rome to medieval Europe to Victorian England and into the twentieth century — and consider what unites and divides various representations of dreams.  Some purposes underlying dream visions may appear remarkably stable (articulations of desire, encounters with the unknown, etc.), while others may shift considerably; for example, we might compare and contrast the allegorical dream model of the Middle Ages and Lewis Carroll’s more nonsensical dreamscapes.  Because the dream often functions as a sort of creative playground, its literary portrayals are accordingly quite varied, reflecting different authors’ efforts to negotiate and toy with the creative process itself and the limits of language and visual expression. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39182

R1B.016: Domestic, Wild, Edible: Introducing Animal Studies

MWF 08:00-09:00 AM 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Bristin Jones

WildDomesticEdible: Introducing Animal Studies

What does it mean to be human? What differentiates humans from non-human animals? As long as homo sapiens have told stories, we have told them about, through, and with animals. This course serves as an introduction to the emerging fields of animal studies and posthumanist theory. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39184


20: Literary Cultures

From Heroes to Superheroes

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 102 Wurster Instructor: Harsha Ram

What is a hero? What are the origins of the hero as a cultural and literary construct? Originating in myth, folktale and religious cult-worship, the hero archetype has had an astonishing history stretching from ancient times to the Marvel and DC superheroes of today. Endowed with superhuman or exceptional traits, the hero » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 32094

60AC: Literature of American Cultures

(Re)Making History

Tu/Th 12:30-02:00 3 LeConte Instructor: Karina Palau

What makes American history, and why would we want to—need to—remake it? This course explores literary and visual materials produced in the post-Civil Rights U.S. by artists and writers who ponder this question and approach history like a raw material that demands to be refashioned and constantly problematized. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 32095

100: Introduction to Comparative Literature

Children’s Literature in Theory, Context, and Practice

MWF 11:00-12:00 229 Dwinelle Instructor: Anne Nesbet

In this class we will take a close and multi-faceted look at books written primarily for children, a category of literature that remains rather under-examined, despite its popularity, persistence, and influence.  We will read examples of stories for children written in a number of different times (from the 18th to the 21st centuries) and places (Europe, Britain, North America), and our readings will make use of many different kinds of literary analysis:  » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23307

112B: Modern Greek Language and Composition

MWF 12:00-01:00 4104 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria 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: Comp Lit 112A or consent of the instructor.

A reader for the course is prepared by the instructor.


Course Catalog Number: 23308

165: Myth and Literature

Comparative Mythology:  Celtic, Norse, and Greek

Tu/Th 11:00-12:30 202 Wheeler Instructor: Annalee Rejhon

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

Course Catalog Number: 32039

171: Modern Greek Literature

Time as a Historical and Literary Category in Modern Greek Literature of Trauma (Prose and Poetry)

F 02:00-05:00 206 Dwinelle Instructor: Maria Kotzamanidou

How is time expressed, through the narrative presentation of trauma, in contemporary Greek fiction and poetry? In recent years, trauma theory has focused more intensely on the  relationship between trauma and history. As such, trauma literature is seen to provide a mode of interpretation of history as well as as mode of penetration into history. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23310

190: Senior Seminar

Detective Fiction and Psychoanalysis

Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 258 Dwinelle Instructor: Leslie Kurke

This course will explore the connections between detective fiction and psychoanalysis,
starting from the near synchronicity of their first appearances and their mutually
reinforcing methods and narrative structures. We will read Sophocles’ Oedipus the King
as the archtype of both forms, considering why the question of guilt (“Who did it?”)
insistently in these texts becomes a question of identity (“Who am I?”). » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 23311


200: Approaches to Comparative Literature

The Way We Read Now

Tu 02:00-05:00 4125A Dwinelle Instructor: Sophie Volpp

In this pro-seminar, we bring to the table those texts, whether literary or critical, that mean the most to us. The syllabus is set in conjunction with the students and this year will include the work of Gaston Bachelard, Jane Bennett, Sharon Cameron, Barbara Johnson, Susan Stewart, Elaine Freedgood, and Eve Sedgwick. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39703

202B: Lyric Poetry

Three Marxian Poets? Germany And The Americas? Brecht, Vallejo, Zukofsky

W 02:00-05:00 4104 Dwinelle Instructor: Robert Kaufman

[Note: This Course is also listed as an Elective for the Program in Critical Theory.]  The German Bertolt Brecht, the Peruvian César Vallejo, and the American Louis Zukofsky exert—within their lifetimes, and in their posthumous reception to this day—special influence on experimental-modernist and marxian (as well as broader Left) traditions of poetry, poetics, and criticism. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39221

227: Studies in Contemporary Literature

Narrative, Description, Affect

M 03:00-06:00 4104 Dwinelle Instructor: Dora Zhang

In his recent Antinomies of Realism, Frederic Jameson identifies an unresolvable tension in the realist novel between two impulses. One is familiar enough: it goes under the banner of récit, the tale, the story, or simply “narrative.” It’s characterized by a movement of progress and a temporality organized by past-present-future. The other impulse, which Jameson curiously calls “affect,” is everything that impedes this narrative movement. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 39225

250: Studies in Literary Theory (Combined with German 256)

Imagination, Fantasy, 'Einbildungskraft'

Tu 05:00-08:00 183 Dwinelle Instructor: Niklaus Largier

In this seminar we will discuss the significance of the notions and concepts of the imagination in philosophical and literary traditions. We will start with a discussion of basic texts by Plato and Aristotle; move on to the treatment of the imagination in classical rhetoric; and focus on four key areas where imagination, fantasy, and ‘Einbildungskraft’ play a significant role: the so-called mystical tradition up to Jacob Böhme; Baroque cultures of the imagination; poetic imagination in the 18th and 19th centuries; and 20th century philosophical approaches. The reading list will include texts by Plato, Aristotle, Quintilian, Ignatius of Loyola, Lohenstein, Böhme, Malebranche, Kant, Addison, Goethe, Moritz, Flaubert, Sartre, and Foucault.

Course Catalog Number: 41174

298.005: Jewish Studies mini-Seminar (Combined with JS 200)

Revisiting Oedipus: The Oedipal Figure in Literary Theory and Modern Hebrew Literature

Tu/Th 12-3pm (1/16-03/01) 4104 Dwinelle Instructor: Michael Gluzman

Although Freud’s “invention” of the Oedipus complex transpired in a particular cultural and historical setting, it rapidly became a hermeneutic bedrock, a cross-cultural and trans-historical paradigm which illuminates texts as remote from one another as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Kafka’s Letter to His Father. » read more »

Course Catalog Number: 17363