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COLT 10: What is Comparative Literature?

Particular offerings of this course seek to introduce the student to the aims, assumptions and methodologies of reading and the study of literature. This course is designed as an introductory course to the Comparative Literature major and other literature and humanities majors. It is recommended that students complete English/Writing 5 before enrolling in Comparative Literature 10.

Spring 2014: Gemenden (10A)

Exile

"Exile is strangely compelling to think about but tetTible to experience," writes critic Edward Said. Banishment has existed since antiquity, but in the 2olh century, forced displacement has assumed unprecedented propmtions. In this course we will read classic and contemporary authors from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean in order to study how they have reacted to the experience of exile in their poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, letters, and journals. While this experience stands to a large degree for loss of culture, language and home, it has also mobilized productive forces. Exilic writings thus attest as much to what is gained (Salman Rushdie) as to what is lost in translation (Eva Hoffman). Our course will study the resilience of the political exile, the adventurousness of the voluntmy expatriate, the adaptability of the emigre, and the restlessness of the nomad. Because of its wide-ranging historical, geographic, and political concems, writings by exiles provide a privileged entry into the comparative study of literature. Authors will include, among others, Jamaica Kincaid, Christoph Ransmayr, Tayeb Salih, Eva Hoffman, Ernest Hemingway, Theodor W. Adorno, and Gilles Deleuze. (LIT/INT/W)

Last Updated: 1/3/14