Comparative literature courses explore a range of times, places and media. But they usually focus on one central issue: the ways poems mean, what sides have been taken in the debate over women, what makes a text anti-Semitic, how settled peoples imagine and depict foreigners, how travelers see new worlds.
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CLT 100 Introduction to Comparative Literature: The Pleasures of Reading
Margaret Bruzelius, M/W 2:40-4:00 p.m.
Topic(s) course: Adventure
Adventure uses an organization of the landscape that has influence far beyond the usual boundaries of fiction. This course examines the structuring elements of this traditionally masculine genre: who can be a hero? Where can heroes go, what do they receive when they arrive, and what happens when they come home? Who lives where in the spaces that such fiction explores? What characterizes the landscape of adventure fiction? Who can cross significant boundaries and who cannot? What gender and class demarcations do these fictions enforce? The course starts by reading two "boys' books" (Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth) and then examines the structures of the adventure genre in a series of fictions with girl and women heroes.
CLT 150 The Art of Translation: Poetics, Politics, Practice
Carolyn Shread, M 7:00-9:00 p.m.
We hear and read translations all the time: on television news, in radio interviews, in movie subtitles, in international bestsellers. But translations don't shift texts transparently from one language to another. Rather, they revise, censor and rewrite original works, to challenge the past and to speak to new readers. We'll explore translation in a range of contexts by hearing lectures by experts in the history, theory and practice of translation. Knowledge of a foreign language useful but not required. Graded S/U only. Can be taken concurrently with FRN 295 for 4 credits.
CLT 203 Western Classics in Translation, from Chrétien de Troyes to Tolstoy
Robert Hosmer, M/W 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Maria Banerjee, T/Th 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain; Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra; Cervantes' Don Quixote; Lafayette's The Princesse of Clèves; Goethe's Faust; Tolstoy's War and Peace. Lecture and discussion.
Some classes are open to students at all levels. Others are open to first-year students by permission of the instructor.
CLT 206 Empathy, Rage and Outrage
Katwiwa Mule, T,Th 10:30-11:50 a.m.
An examination of the representations, politics, controversies surrounding female genital excision through a variety of media in Africa and the Diaspora. Using an array of texts— literature, films, cartoons, posters, essays, reports, and legal documents—we will especially focus on the following questions: what are the parameters of the discourse of female genital excision? What is the appropriate way to name and combat the practice? Who speaks or is authorized to speak on behalf of African women? Why has Western feminist insurgency failed to register any meaningful success in promoting change? What are the most effective strategies to effect change? Is there any relationship between imperialism and the discourse of female genital excision as some scholars have asserted?
ENG 207 The Technology of Reading and Writing
Charles Eric Reeves, M/W 2:40-4:00 p.m.
Same as HSC 207. An introductory exploration of the physicalforms that knowledge and communication have taken in the West, from ancient oral cultures to modern print-literate culture. Our main interest will be in discovering how what is said and thought in a culture reflects its available kinds of literacy and media of communication. Topics to include poetry and memory in oral cultures; the invention of writing; the invention of prose; literature and science in a script culture; the coming of printing; changing concepts of publication, authorship, and originality; movements toward standardization in language; the fundamentally transformativeeffects of electronic communication.
GER 231 Topics in German Cinema
Topic: Weimar Film
Joel Westerdale,T/Th 9:00-10:20 a.m.,Film W 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Topic: Weimar Film.
During the brief period between the fall of the Kaiser and the rise of the Nazis, Germany was a hotbed of artistic and intellectual innovation, giving rise to an internationally celebrated film industry. With an eye to industrial, political and cultural forces, this course explores the aesthetic experience of modernity and modernization through formal, narrative and stylistic analyses of feature films from the "Golden Age" of German cinema. Films by Wiene, Lang, Murnau, Pabst, Ruttmann, Sternberg, Sagan, Riefenstahl. Conducted in English.
CLT/EAL 232 Modern Chinese Literature
Sabina Knight, T/Th 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Can literature inspire personal and social transformation? How have modern Chinese writers pursued freedom, fulfillment, memory, and social justice? From short stories and novels to drama and film, we'll explore class, gender, and the diversity of the cultures of China, Taiwan, Tibet, and overseas Chinese communities. Readings are in English translation and no background in China or Chinese is required. Open to students at all levels.
CLS 240 Sweet Revenge
Carrie Mowbray, T/Th 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Revenge can be irresistible, as anyone who has been wronged can attest. Ancient Greek and Roman texts often portray revenge as an act of justice. But rather than merely balancing the scales, payback outdoes the original injury, prompting a chain of (often quite creative) retributive actions. What drives an individual to exact vengeance, and can satisfying alternatives to revenge exist? This semester we examine ancient perspectives on revenge in Greek and Roman epic, history, philosophy, and (especially) tragedy. Then we trace the tradition of ancient revenge in post-classical works: Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, opera, and Hollywood and independent film. Relevant theoretical works and scholarship supplement our study of revenge.
CLT/ENG 255 What Makes a Tale Worth Telling: Rereading the 19th Century Story
Michael Gorra, M/W 1:10-2:30 p.m.
How did the modern short story emerge—why, where, when? What is its relation to other forms of short fiction—the Italian novella or the German novella or the fairy tale? Why are they often so elaborately framed, with their kernel presented as a kind of oral performance; a story told by one Character to another? Why do they so often rely on the fantastic and the unlikely—and how, by the end of the century, did the story come to concentrate instead on the mundane and the ordinary? What, in short, makes a tale worth telling? Readings in Goethe, Hoffman, Hawthorne, Gogol, Turgenev, Maupassant, Verga, Kipling, Chekhov, Jewett and others.
PHI 255 Philosophy and Literature
Susan Levin, T/Th 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Of late there has been talk of philosophy's being at an end or at least in need of transformation. In order to provide a measure of renewal, people are considering whether approaches taken and insights expressed in literature might enrich the study of philosophy. We will explore this issue through an examination of philosophical and literary treatments of friendship from different periods in the Western tradition, and of literary and philosophical refelctions on human flourishing in the twentieth century. We will also consider work by contemporary philosophers on the topic of what literature might have to contribute to the philosophical enterprise. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
CLT 266 Studies in South African Literature and Film
Topic: South African Literature and Film Since 1948
Katwiwa Mule, T/Th 3:00-4:50
A study of South African literature and film since 1948 in their historical, social, and political contexts. How do writers and film makers of different racial and political backgrounds remember and represent the past? How do race, class, gender, and ethnicity shape the ways in which they use literature and cinema to confront and resist the racist apartheid state? How do literature, film, and other texts such as testimonies from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission function as complex cultural and political sites for understanding the interconnections among apartheid taxonomies, various forms of nationalisms, and the often hollow post-apartheid discourse of non-racial "New South Africa"? Texts include testimonies from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, novels such as Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country, Mazisi Kunene's Mandela's Ego, Njabulo Ndebele's The Cry of Winnie Mandela, Nadine Gordimer's July's People, J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, Athol Fugard's Tsotsi and Zoe Wicomb's You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town. We will also analyze films such as Cry the Beloved Country, Sarafina!, Tsotsi, Cry Freedom, and South Africa Belongs to Us.
ENG 268 Lyric Genres: Lyric Poetry
Naomi Miller, T/Th 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Stanley Kunitz has said, “Poetry is language surprised in the act of changing into meaning." In this course, we will examine poetry in action. This class is designed for those who would like to explore poems from countries, cultures, and centuries that they have not studied before; for those who would like to study reading strategies appropriate for poetry; for those planning to teach poetry on any educational level; for those who like literature but have "poetry anxiety"; and for anyone who likes poetry and wants greater immersion. We will study a range of strategies for interpreting poetry as a means to better appreciating individual poems and poetic voices.
CLT 271 Writing in Translation: Bilingualism in the Postcolonial Novel
Dawn Fulton, T/Th 9:00-10:20 a.m.
A study of bilingualism as a legacy of colonialism, as an expression of exile, and as a means of political and artistic transformation in recent texts from Africa and the Americas. We will consider how such writers as Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya), Assia Djebar (Algeria), Patrick Chamoiseau (Martinique), and Edwidge Danticat (Haiti/U.S.) assess the personal and political consequences of writing in the language of a former colonial power, and how they attempt to capture the esthetic and cultural tensions of bilingualism in their work.
POR 280 Portuguese and Brazilian Voices in Translation
Topic: Literature on the Margins of Modernity
Malcolm McNee, M/W 2:40-4:00 p.m.
This course introduces a short-list of celebrated writers from the Portuguese-speaking world, specifically from Brazil, Lusophone Africa, and Portugal. Though these writers have achieved significant degrees of international acclaim and circulation, the relative location of their writing on the periphery of global modernity is considered as key to understanding not only dimensions of the aesthetic, thematic, and ideological force of their work but also certain frameworks for its reception in translation. While privileging close-readings of a selection of short stories and novels, we will discuss the place of these writers in their respective national literatures, a transnational Portuguese-language literature, and World Literature today. Students will also be encouraged to consider these writers in other comparative literary frameworks with which they are familiar, whether African, European, Iberian, or Latin American.
Pre-requisite: A 200-level course in literature or permission of the instructor.
CLT/ENG 306 Foundations of Celtic Europe: Old European, Indo-European, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman
Craig Davis, T 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Celts are the only Indo-European-speaking people to adopt the Old European cult of the great mother as their dominant divinity, creating the La Tène complex in the fourth century BC. This tradition was replicated in Britain and Ireland for centuries into the first millennium AD, ultimately yielding such manuscript treasures as the Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels, as well as vernacular poems and sagas of two parallel universes, this world and Annwn 'the Unworld', neither home to the gods nor unambiguously land of the dead, but rather a preternatural realm whose inhabitants interact in love or hostility with humans.
GER 360 Advanced Topics in German Studies
Topic: Evil and the German Imaginary
Joel Westerdale, T 3:00-4:50 p.m.
For some, German culture had a shadowy international profile even before the Nazis came to power. This seminar examines the works of the imagination that contributed to this dark image, including the Faust legend, the works of horror once called "German tales," and the haunted screen of Weimar cinema. We will also consider the transformed understanding of such works in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Literary works from Goethe, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Edgar Allen Poe, and Guy de Maupassant; theoretical writings from Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno; films from Wiene, Murnau, Spielberg. Conducted in German. Prerequisites: GER 161 and GER 300 (or above); or permission of instructor.
CLT/SPN 366 Art and Revolution: Poetry, Fiction and Visual Culture of the Spanish Civil War
Reyes Lazaro, M/W 2:40-4:00 p.m.
The Spanish Revolution and Civil War (1936-39) is a crucial moment of the 20th century, and a privileged site to study the connection between culture, art and politics. An immense amount of poetry, novels, posters, paintings (such as Picasso's Gernika), music and films were inspired by it. Many artists came together with a common purpose from all over the world. In this class we study: how people expressed and acted on their dreams of an ideal society; why many international avant-garde artists were so heavily invested in the project and how they challenged established conceptions of literature and other arts as elitist and individualistic ; how this "internationalist" legacy, and its suppression as a result of military defeat, are remembered in contemporary films and novels. In English, with an optional 1 credit reading course in Spanish. Enrollment limited to 14.
Critical Theory & Method
CLT 340 Problems in Literary Theory
Topic: Comparative Literature in the Age of Cosmopolitanisms
Anna Botta, T 3:00-4:50 p.m.
The concept of cosmopolitanism has recently gone through a process of democratization. Dismissing the singular "cosmopolitanism" as a form of Eurocentric universalism, critics today study a plurality of cosmopolitanisms, focusing on transnational experiences, both elite and subaltern, Western and non-Western. How can we study comparative literature within this new framework? If the Western canon is no longer setting the standards, what are the new aesthetic values? How can we avoid the pitfalls of both cultural relativism and Orientalism, i.e. reading unfamiliar literatures through an exotic lens? Does "World Literature" promote reading in translation at the expense of original languages? Authors may include Appiah, Apter, Casanova, Chakrabarty, Damrosch, Moretti, Nussbaum, Robbins, Said, Coetzee, Maalouf, Naipaul, Pamuk and Zadie Smith. The seminar is required of senior majors. Prerequisites: CLT 300 or permission of the instructor.