Senior Seminar

It’s been said that poetry is what is untranslatable, yet one poem often translates another, and many of us only read one another’s languages in translation. As a catch-all concept for whatever “out there” can’t quite be captured in human terms, “Nature” can also be thought of as a language only ever encountered in translation.

Problems in Literary Translation

The course will be conducted as a workshop in literary translation.  Each student will have a translation project for the semester, which may be from any literature, any historical period, and any genre.  Each week, two of the participants in the seminar will circulate specimens of their work, and the class session will be devoted to discussion of their translations in what will amount to collaborative work.  There are no secondary readings.  Underlying the course is a conviction that translation is an essential activity for any student of literature and especially of comparative literature

The Craft of Critical Writing/NES 291

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. We will work against the isolation and competitiveness that often characterize this process and develop best strategies and habits for clear, forceful, and engaging writing. The vast majority of our time will be spent discussing the written work of the seminar members  We will also read and discuss articles that are pertinent to the dissertation project of each member.

Studies in Literary Theory

This course will undertake a close reading of Kafka’s parables, letters, and short stories as well as The Trial to understand the relationship between literature, law, and justice.  We will consider as well some key commentators on his work, including Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, and Jacques Derrida.

Studies in the Relations Between Literature and the Other Arts (Combined with Film 240)

What does it mean to be born into the legacy of a cultural disaster that one did not experience oneself, but came to know only through the lives of others? How do major historical upheavals impact the generations that follow? What is a “second generation” survivor?

Approaches to Genre: The Novel

What is sociological knowledge? How do certain novels acquire the resources to produce sociological forms of knowledge?  In particular, what aesthetic practices and what features of novelistic form contribute to this kind of knowledge production?

Modern Greek Literature

In this course we will read select writings by Greek women authors whose literary works reflect, in a direct or indirect manner, moments of crisis in Greek history, society, and/or in Greek literary culture. As the Greek state emerged out of its scattered contact with European Enlightenment, the ideological and cultural construction of Greece as a nation emerging from the Ottoman Empire, included also attempts to envision a new Greek society of the European type.

Myth and Literature

A study of Indo-European mythology as it is preserved in some of the

The Modern Period

In this course we will read a number of literary texts set in colonized territories, largely though not entirely under French domination.

Modern Greek Language