Reading & Composition

The short story delights in paradox: at once dependent upon brevity and capaciousness, it promises more than it can ever deliver. Deprived of the great spatial expanse that longer works afford, a short story must begin immediately, must attack the reader rather than simply welcome them in. Similarly, it must in its beginning move inexorably and maliciously toward its ending.

Reading & Composition

In this course we focus on women artists, female roles, female-like creatures, virtual representations, and the disciplinary practices that mediate their rich and extreme performativity. What is it about wild, feral, reckless, irrational, powerful, and fantastic acts by women artists that galvanize our imaginations and drive our responses of deep empathy?

Reading & Composition

Reading & Composition

Do poems take up truths? Can a novel be a way of thinking about something? What can you learn—about yourself, about others, about the world—from a film? This course considers the ways that literature, art, and film are not only a part of our creative imaginations but also central sources of insight into what is real and actual. How do fictional and imaginative works touch what is worldbound? How do they help us see, hear, and understand our world?

Reading & Composition

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.

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