Studies in Ancient Literature

In the current return to formalism, the humanities have seen a re-evaluation of poetic form in terms of its capacity for unruly, queer ways of being and becoming, or unbecoming. The unsettling geometries of poetic form—its breaks and cuts, as well as its power of obstruction through repetition, congestion, expansion, and contraction—create a potential for resistance or willfulness, or wild escapes from meaning.

Studies in Contemporary Literature

Contemporary abolitionist thinking is often discounted or derided in mainstream political discourse. So is literature. Calls to abolish institutions including prisons, detention centers, and policing are framed as out of touch and impossible, as impractical, irresponsible, and politically counterproductive. So too is the reading of fiction and poetry regarded as a waste of time at best, as an adolescent pastime or an armchair indulgence that distracts us from serious work.

Problems in Literary Translation

This course is based on the conviction that translation is an essential process for all students of comparative literature.  Obviously, everyone is dependent on translations in order to have access to the many literatures written in languages we do not know.  But more urgently for us as people who want to attain a full understanding of literature, the process of turning a rich literary text into English, word by word and sentence by sentence, illuminates like nothing else how language choices make literature what it is.   There are no secondary readings in this course.  Instead, ea

Craft of Critical Writing

This seminar is intended for literature students at all stages of the dissertation writing process, from developing a prospectus to completing the dissertation and preparing a chapter for publication as a scholarly article.

Relations Lit and Other Arts

The Russian Empire and its successor states constitute the largest unified contiguous territory in the world while also being one of the most ethnically diverse. From the Caucasus to Ukraine and the Baltics, Central Asia, Siberia, and the Far East, Russia-Eurasia contains numerous peripheral regions, even as it arguably constitutes a semi-peripheral region with respect  to the West. Just as the Soviet Union constituted the core of the “second world” during the Cold War, so today post-Soviet space complicates the recent binary division of the globe into North and South.

Study Symbol Modern Lit

We will use this seminar to survey a range of ways people have thought about the relationship between music and writing, particularly literary forms of writing, over the past few centuries. Our survey will be somewhat idiosyncratic (and weighted toward French language materials -- although you are welcome to read along in English); in the course of it we will encounter a good range of critical schools of thought and a number of different types of music.

Genre: Lyric Poetry

The Peruvian César Vallejo (1892-1938) is one of international modernism’s greatest and—at least posthumously—most influential poets, known for twinned radical commitments: to artistic-aesthetic experimentation with lyric form; and to progressive and Left politics (a political commitment that eventuated in Vallejo’s intense, complex involvement during the last 15 years of his life with marxian theory, along with his connected  activism in three "fraternally aligned" communist parties: those of France, Spain, and--albeit from the distance of his exile in Europe--his homeland, Perú).

Methods of Teaching Literature and English Composition

Studies in Contemporary Literature

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.

Studies in Symbolist and Modern Literatures (Canceled 08/26/21)

[Note: Although this seminar emphasizes the importance of 19th and 20th-century poetry and poetics to the development of Frankfurt School aesthetics, criticism, and theory, and likewise considers more recent dialogues between later 20th and  21st-century poetry/poetics and Frankfurt-oriented criticism, the seminar is also co-listed as a Critical Theory 205 “Frankfurt School” Core-Curriculum Course (for students enrolled in the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory).