Berkeley Connect (upper division)
The "Berkeley Connect in Comparative Literature" course works to make stronger connections among our undergraduates, graduate students, and professors–and with the larger campus and its various communities.
Comparative Literature Special Study Half Seminar
Hannah Arendt's writings have been criticized for their limited vision of the political sphere. Yet, her reflections continue to inform contemporary debates on civil disobedience, violence, and freedom in ways worth considering. In this course, we will work with both the limits and the promise of Arendt's writing for the present, her engagement with Kafka and Benjamin on tradition, authority, and power, and her critique of both individualist and collective notions of freedom implied by her ideas of plurality, concerted action, and revolution. Course is by permission of the instructor only.
Studies in Literary Theory
Notions of analogy, allegory, and symbolism refer to rhetorical devices and practices, forms of poetic language, and modes of forming perception and knowledge. Often understood in opposition to conceptual thought, they are connected with premodern epistemological orders, magical or mythical relations to things and the world, and to a series of modern movements from Romanticism to Symbolism, Surrealism, and Magical Realism.
Introduction to Comparative Literature
What do demons want? Why do spirits possess? How do humans and vampires interact? And when do the dead come back to life or remain in a limbo? In this course we will address the appearance of fantastic creatures in literature from across time, place, and language, and explore various theoretical modalities to contend with cultural representations of the supernatural.
Study Symbol Modern Literature
In her landmark study, _Reading in Detail_, Naomi Schor argues that the detail has traditionally been devalued in Western aesthetics, gendered feminine through an association with the everyday, the domestic, or the ornamental.
Genre: The Novel
This course focuses on contemporary novels written by Indigenous authors of New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, the United States, and Canada with an emphasis on how Indigenous aesthetics, epistemologies, and histories influence the novel form. Each of the texts in this course draws upon Indigenous literary canons, languages, and practices, while addressing problems related to colonization, such as ecological destruction, militarization, displacement, and genocide.
Genre: Lyric Poetry
[Note: This course is “Co-Listed” as Comparative Literature 202B and as Critical Theory 290]
Paul Celan’s poetry has often been characterized as the most groundbreaking in European poetic art since 1945; likewise as the poetry—perhaps as the body of work across all the arts—most crucial to the “after Auschwitz” debates that shadow countless artists, critics, and philosophers (though none more consequentially, none more controversially, than Celan and Theodor W. Adorno).
This advanced seminar considers a range of Native North American textual production, including non-alphabetic texts, such as wampum and winter counts, and their intertextual representations in plays, novels, and films. An emphasis will be placed on Indigenous language texts, the materiality of texts and textiles, and forms of literacy and writing from pre-contact to the present. An 18- to 20-page research paper will be the culminating project, with smaller research-related assignments along the way.
What is "reality"? How does the idea of realism change over time and in different media, from literature to photography to film and digital media? What are the political stakes of defining a given perspective as “real”? How are ideas of reality gendered and inflected by racialized forms?