Reading & Composition

This will be a class that focuses on the construction of the love story and on the “natural” feelings that serve as its basis; we will examine and analyze the correlations between the forms love may take and the shapes of their narratives by surveying a wide variety of love plots from various historical time periods and national literatures. Beginning with prototypical love stories,we will move on to stories about alternative forms of love and ask what happens to narrative form when love’s appearance becomes unconventional.

Reading & Composition

If, as some say, history is written by the victors, in this course we will ask what alternative histories literary texts write. How does literature create worlds for the so-called losers of history, for those not included in the fight and those who turned away from either by choice or by necessity and who prefer not to appear in the historical record? In what ways do literary texts contest the official historical record or collude with it or both? How do the resources that are distinctive features of literary genres (fiction, drama, poetry) register the less-than-audible voices of history?

Reading & Composition

Definitions of modernity are legion and hotly debated. A related, thought distinct, word—modernization—has taken on a life of its own, usually referring to a wider variety of phenomena than those usually associated with modernity. What does it mean to modernize? What is involved in this process, at a local, concrete level (a building can be modernized) or at a global, more abstract level (a country can be modernized)? In this course, we will study literary, aesthetic and critical works that engage these questions.

Reading & Composition

In this course, we will look at how contemporary East Asian writers, filmmakers, theorists, and content producers work to expose the ecological toll of state-led development and to envisage alternative futures in the era of global capitalism. We will learn how to identify the critical capacity of literary and media practices—to mourn, to inscribe memory, to promise narrative justice in the midst of environmental injustice.

Reading & Composition

In this course we will focus on the intersections of voice, movement, music, and lyrics within live and mediatized popular culture performances. We will examine how film, youtube, mobile phone, animation, TV, and music video re-construct, translate, and transform the bodies, choreographies, images, sounds, and lyrics of performers through media techniques. Central to this study is the foregrounding of women performers from different cultures from the 20 th and 21 st centuries.

Reading & Composition

In this R1B course we will explore fictional (and often fantastical) depictions of and engagements with real events of the past - that is, with history. Over the semester, we will examine and discuss films and literature which incorporate descriptions, references, personal recollections, and even richly imagined accounts of historical events or periods into the fictional(ized) stories they tell and worlds they construct.

Reading & Composition

Time the destroyer is time the preserver.

- T. S. Eliot,  The Dry Salvages.

Reading & Composition

In this course, we will examine found documents as a literary device, i.e., stories that are told through an accumulation of texts, often “found” and assembled by the author or narrator.  Our readings will include examples of epistolary literature as well as experimental tales told through pieces of poetry, critical reviews, footnotes, and gallery labels.  We will also consider horror writers’ particular fondness for found documents, and cases when the mysterious sources of certain materials — and the gaps between texts — represent encounters with the unknown.  Many of our texts will feel r

Reading & Composition

Imagine that you are reading a book and, at some point in the story, you learn that what you are reading is actually the translation of a work written in an ancient language by an author from a faraway land. How would this affect your relation to the text? Would you now consider the story more interesting and valuable? Or would you start suspecting that the translator may have made changes and additions to the story? Would you be worried—or perhaps excited—about the possibility that there may be different versions of the text?

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