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Comparative Literature



7. First-Year Seminars

Consult special listings

10. What is Comparative Literature?

10W: 10A 10S: 2A 10F: 11 11W: 10A 11S: 10

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.

In 10W, Male Friendship from Aristotle to Almodovar. This course examines representations of male relationships in literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and film. Ranging from classical texts such as the Bible and Cicero’s “De Amicitia,” to the cinema of Almodovar and Truffaut, we will study the rhetorical and social construction of male friendship and its relationship to gender, class and cultural politics. Texts will be drawn from the following literary and critical works: Aristotle, Martial, Montaigne, Balzac, Twain, Whitman, Nietzche, Freud, D.H. Lawrence, Waugh, Ben Jalloun, Alan Bennett, and Derrida. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Kritzman.

In 10S, Narratives of Theft and Theft of Narratives. Both as gifts, as memories, and as things stolen, objects anchor not only people’s lives but also national imaginaries. In this course we will study the work objects do in constituting identities through collections both personal and national. We will analyze how objects drive narratives and in particular, why so many narratives revolve around diverse forms of theft. Texts will include chronicles of the New World, accounts by 18th and 19th century naturalists, the legend of Prometheus, Borges’ stories, Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida, and biographies of some of the US’s main “robber barons.” Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Spitta.

In 10F, Love Stories. Love stories attract two clichéd assessments: “they’re all the same;” “no two are alike.” They thus afford an ideal opportunity to explore fundamental issues in comparative study: how do culture, history, and genre affect representation? Do “universals” exist? How does rhetoric (metaphors and other comparative figures) create feeling? What roles does desire play in reading? Readings include treatises, novels, drama, and poetry; Ovid, Chrétien de Troyes, Shakespeare, Duras, Freud, and others. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Warren.

In 11W, Border Crossings: Exile, Expatriation and Immigration. This course will examine the experiences of exile and immigration through the art, literature and films of men and women who have left their homelands or who were born in exile and immigration. In addition to such authors as Homer, Joyce and Eva Hoffman, we will read Caribbean, Asian-American, Arab-American, Turkish-German, Black British and Afro-French writers. We will address questions of identity and alterity (belonging vs. ‘unbelonging,’ home vs. exile, assimilation vs. hybridization), and we will explore such concepts as diaspora, migrancy, transmigration, displacement, nomadism and home. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Coly.

In 11S, Lying and Truth Telling in Literature. Otter.

18. Literature and Other Media

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

19. Translation: Theory and Practice (Identical to Classical Studies 40)

09F, 11W: 10

Translation is both a basic and highly complicated aspect of our engagement with literature. We often take it for granted; yet the idea of meanings “lost in translation” is commonplace. In this course we work intensively on the craft of translation while exploring its practical, cultural and philosophical implications through readings in theoretical and literary texts. All students will complete a variety of translation exercises, and a substantial final project, in their chosen language. Prerequisite: Good reading knowledge of a foreign language (usually equivalent to fulfilling the Dartmouth language requirement). Students unsure of their linguistic preparation should consult the instructor. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. In 09F Otter and 11W Williamson.


20. The Middle Ages

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

An introduction to the literary cultures of the Middle Ages based on detailed examination of selected works. The texts will vary from year to year, but will normally include classics of drama and poetry, epic and romance. The course will explore medieval dependence on earlier authority while stressing the development of themes, attitudes, and modes of expression that were characteristic of the period.

21. Topics in Medieval Literatures

10F: 2A

This course will focus on a specific topic, theme, or literary genre in the medieval period.

In 10F, Debate and Dialogue in Late Medieval Europe. Discussion – whether adversarial or pleasurable – plays an important role in the literature of the Middle Ages. What is the highest expression of love? What human qualities are most important? Is it style or substance that best sways a listener? These are among the questions examined in debates staged in literature or pursued in court settings and learned circles. Readings may include Jean de Meun, Guillaume de Machaut, Boccaccio, John Gower, Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, and Alain Chartier. Tarnowski.

22. The Renaissance

09F: 11

This period in European history, from the 15th to the 17th centuries, is often considered the founding moment of the modern university, with its emphasis on the liberal arts, modern science and Humanism. It also marks the early phases of European national consolidation and expansion to Africa and the Americas, and thus sets the stage for many modern geopolitical struggles. This course will study the texts and contexts—literary, artistic, historical — of the period from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives.

In 09F, Love, Desire, Faith, and Individual Identity in Renaissance Literature. This class will examine one of the major focal points of the Renaissance in diverse cultural contexts. What constitutes one’s idea of self? To what extent is it a function of religious, political, social, and generic institutions and conventions? How do new philosophical and literary ideas about love, desire, faith, marriage, and power influence the development of public and private perceptions of identity, as well as their representations to others? Texts by Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Rabelais, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Navarre, Castiglione, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Ficino, Valois, Thévet, and others. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. LaGuardia.

23. Topics in Early Modern Literatures

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This course will focus on a specific topic, theme, or literary genre in the period from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries in Western Europe (primarily Italy, France, Spain, Germany, England, and the Netherlands).

25. The Enlightenment

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

The Enlightenment, which stretches from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the French Revolution of 1789, was a truly international movement. A time of great intellectual and artistic ferment, it produced the political, philosophic and literary models that shaped our contemporary ideas of individual freedom and civic responsibility, scientific and economic progress, religious tolerance, gender roles, the life of the body and the mysteries of the soul. This course will be offered periodically with varying content.

26. Romanticism

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Romanticism came into being in Germany, England and France in response to the political and emotional upheaval that culminated in the French Revolution. Many works of literature, music and art reflect the period’s uncertainty and complexity, treating the conflicting issues of utopia and dystopia, excess and economy, nationalist tradition and universalist ethics, the appeal to reason and the eruption of the unconscious. The course will explore these divergent tendencies.

27. Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literatures

10F: 12

This course will concentrate on major nineteenth-century movements and genres in the context of the period’s historical upheavals. Topics covered might be realism, naturalism, symbolism, the fantastic, the notion of Bildung, and the influence of such figures as Marx, Nietzsche or Darwin on literary developments.

In 10F, Dr. Frankenstein to Mr. Hyde. The course centers on popular European monster narratives. These fictions feature frightening supernatural beings that invade the human realm: demons, ghosts, and vampires. We concentrate on the figure of the “mad scientist” as a monster-maker as we examine a particular characteristic of these monster fictions: they both shape social norms and feature spectacular transgressions of conventional morality. Authors may include Shelley, Stevenson, E.T.A. Hoffman, Alessandro Manzoni, and Emilia Pardo-Bazan. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Jewell.

28. Modernism

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Modernism is the term given to the extraordinary renewal and experimentation in all the arts occurring from roughly the turn of the twentieth century to the end of World War II. Concurrent with the writings of psychoanalysis and existentialism, modernism, as it reaches its culmination during the social upheavals of the interwar years, continues to assert, even while questioning, humanity’s artistic and moral potential. Offered periodically with varying content.

29. Postmodernism

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Reacting to the horrors of World War II and the period of decolonization, postmodernism has been questioning the humanistic assumptions of modernism while extending and sometimes transforming the earlier period’s avant-garde techniques through such currents as the new novel, absurdism, minimalism, magic realism, etc. Each offering of this course will study postmodern literature and culture from a specific perspective.


31. Topics in Poetry

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Poetry was the first form of literary expression and is the most enduring. This course will explore the power of poetic expression through such topics as poetry and song, love and nature as poetic themes, theories of poetry, women poets from Sappho to Plath, poetry and graphic art, and political poetry.

33. Modern Drama (Identical to, and described under, Theater 18)

09F, 10F: 2A

Dist: ART or INT; WCult: W. Winograd.

34. Topics in Drama

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This course will study a particular theme, sub-genre or period of dramatic literature.

35. History of Narrative

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Individual offerings of this course might concentrate on the historical development of narrative, oral and written traditions, medieval epic, romance, and the early novel. In each case the relation between narrative forms and history will be foregrounded.

36. The Novel I: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Examining the rise of the novel as genre and its evolution in the context of bourgeois individualism, some of the great social and psychological novels of the 18th and 19th centuries will be studied in relation to conventions such as the picaresque, the confessional, the epistolary, the Bildungsroman, realism and naturalism.

37. The Novel II: The Modern Novel

10W: 10A

Prose writers in the twentieth century set out to create a new kind of novel. Exploding traditional fictional conventions, they created avant-garde forms that drastically challenged our reading habits and expectations. Transformation and experimentation continue to inform the development of the modern novel. Each offering of this course will study the fiction of the twentieth century in a specific manner.

In 10W, Literary Responses to Oppression. The tension between individual desires and inescapable constraints or oppression informs the novels we will read in this course. The authors are not primarily “political writers,” nor are their texts polemical. We will study the way that narrative strategies and the fictional structures employed by the novelists dramatize the effects of war, politics, racism, or sexism on the individual and society. Readings will include authors such as Toni Morrison, Solzhenitysn, Duras, and Primo Levi. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. Kogan.

38. Forms of Short Fiction

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Through the ages, from The Arabian Nights and the Old Testament to Thomas Mann and Alice Walker, short fiction in its many different shapes has been one of the most enduring and most adaptable genres of literary art. This course will be a study of various forms of short fiction such as novella, tale and short story. Offered periodically with varying historical content, the course will correlate literary texts with their social and cultural contexts.

39. Topics in Narrative

10S: 3A

This course will approach the study of narrative from the perspective of a specific technique or theme; it might explore narrative genres such as autobiography, memoir, letters, epistolary fiction, and oral narrative traditions.

In 10S, Inescapable Romance: From Late Antiquity through Early Modernity. Although often regarded with disdain, romances have been written by some of the most gifted and important writers from late antiquity through the present. In this course, we will begin with two brilliant books written in Greek, namely Heliodorus’s Aethiopika and Longus’s Daphnis and Chloe. These prototypical “romances” were actively revived during the 16th and 17th centuries, notably in works by Tasso, Cervantes, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Shakespeare. We will sample these texts, either in English or in English translation. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Crewe.

40. Special Topics: Genres

11W: 12

This course will study texts from a generic perspective, concentrating on a particular genre or subgenre that stands outside the broad categories of poetry, drama and narrative.

In 11W, The History of the Book (Identical to English 60). This course examines the book as a material and cultural object. We’ll consider various practical and theoretical models for understanding the book form and investigating the materials, technologies, institutions, and practices of its production, dissemination, and reception. We’ll focus primarily on the printed book in Western Europe and North America, but we’ll also discuss the emergence of the codex (book), medieval manuscript books, twentieth and twenty-first century artist’s books and the challenges posed by digitality to the book form. The readings for the course will be balanced by frequent use of exemplars drawn from Rauner Library and practical experience setting type in the Book Arts workshop. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Halasz.

41. The Comic Tradition

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This course will study aspects of the comic: satire, parody, comic theater or shorter forms, such as the anecdote, the joke or the caricature. Examples may be literary or pictorial.

42. Topics in Popular Culture

10W: 11 10F: 12

Applying critical literary theories to the study of popular culture, this course will examine how popular culture is produced, disseminated, and consumed.

In 10W, The Cultures of Surveillance. A number of popular film trilogies highlight cultures of surveillance within the context of globalization. We will consider film as genre, global surveillance techniques, intertwined plotlines, geo-political borders, the role of the hero, and the role of viewers. Primary texts: The Matrix trilogy; the Bourne trilogy; and the so-called Iñárritu trilogy (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). Critical/theoretical texts: David Lyon’s Globalizing Surveillance; Julia Thomas’s Reading Images; Benjamin, Sartre, DeLauretis, Barthes, Foucault, Lacan, Zizek, Butler. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Biron.

In 10F, Fashion, Fascism, and Ferris Wheels. World Fairs inspired both the Eiffel Tower and Columbus Day. For millions of visitors, they showcased international technology and art within the nationalist setting of the host city. How do the fairs exhibit social and historical ideas? How are they reimagined in films and novels? Focused on host cities in Britain, France, and the United States, the course includes photography, memoir, non-fiction, and souvenir artifacts, as well as theories of “popular culture” and non-textual representation. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. Warren.


45. The Quest for Utopia

09F: 10

In 09F, Oscar Wilde said it: “A map of the world that did not show the land of Utopia would be leaving out the one country at which we are always landing.” In this course we will try to answer questions like: What is Utopia? What is the relationship between utopia and fantasy, utopia and history, utopia and revolution? What are the utopias of our time and how do they shape our perceptions, our political options, our work, and our daily lives? Materials for discussion will include fiction, travel accounts, maps, city plans, letters, political manifestoes, journalistic articles, and films. Dist: LIT or INT. WCult: W. Pastor.

46. Psychology, Society and Literature: The Family

11S: 3B

This course will explore the intersections of literary and familial structures in social and psychological contexts. It will study ideologies which both support and contest the family’s cultural hegemony. Individual offerings might concentrate on mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, family romances, marriage, family and society. Readings will range from myth and fairy tale to some of the great family novels or dramas. Dist: Varies.

In 11S, Children on the Streets. Abandoned or neglected children living on the streets of major cities like Mumbai and Sao Paulo have been the focus of international attention through films like Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Padilha’s Bus 174. Examining the theme of the street child both historically and cross-culturally, we will analyze and define components of the literary theme of the abandoned child We will explore citizenship, representations of the modern city, race and ethnicity, and theories of trauma. Authors and filmmakers may include: Andersen, Dickens, de Assis, Riis, Amados, Buñuel, and Choukri. Smolin.

47. Myths and Transformations

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Myth has inspired literature from ancient times to the present. This course examines original mythic material and how that material has been transformed in later versions. Possible topics include: the legend of Troy, Odysseus through the ages, the Faust theme, the trickster figure, Antigone and Medea, the legend of Don Juan. Dist: Varies.

49. Special Topics: Themes

10W: 2A 10X: 10A 11S: 3A

In 10W, Law and/as Literature. Ever since the exclusion of poets from Plato’s Republic, literature has often been accused of being dangerous. Law, on the other hand, is considered to work at the behest of the status quo. Although sharing the same medium (the written text), law and literature seem to be worlds apart. This class will probe this relationship, both the representation of the law in literature and how law itself is a kind of literature: law as literature. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Mladek.

In 10X, The Modernist City: New York, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Paris. This course will explore images and representations of cities in Dos Passos’ Manhattan Transfer, Doeblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, Arlt’s The Seven Madmen, Belyi’s Petersburg, and Aragon’s Paris Peasant. Ingenschay.

In 11S, Tourists, Travelers, Migrants. Southern Europe has been the destination of many intellectuals who went on the grand tour to Italy and Greece. This course analyses the writings of “cultural” travelers such as Byron, Shelley, Stendhal, Twain, Hemingway, and women like Fuller, De Stael, etc. Recently, migrations from the South of the world to Southern Europe have engendered film, novels and short stories that talk back to the exotic and orientalist narratives about a European South. This contested space that is Southern Europe is at the center of this course that will use theoretical tools from geography, sociology, and literary studies. Parati.


50. Europe and its Cultural Others

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Literatures of the world cannot be compared without regard for the relations of domination that exist among the cultures that produced them. Colonialism and imperialism constitute important aspects of European history and self-perception from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. This course will focus on the cultural impact of domination on colonizer and colonized. Offered periodically with varying content.

51. African Literatures

10S, 11S: 10A

This course will survey the texts and contexts of literatures, theories and criticisms from the distinctive cultures of East, Central, North, South and West Africa as well as the Caribbean. It will examine the evolution of literary forms as well as shifts of emphasis in issues and consciousness. Offered periodically, it will focus on genres, periods, authors, or geolinguistic categories such as anglophone, francophone, hispanophone, or lusophone.

In 10S, Masterpieces of Literatures from Africa (Identical to African and African American Studies 51 and English 67.11). Providing students with a specific and global view of the diversity of literatures from the African continent, we will read texts in English or translated from French, Portuguese, Arabic and African languages. Through novels, short stories, poetry, and drama, we will explore the colonial encounter, conflict between tradition and modernity, negotiation of African identities, post-independence disillusion, gender issues, apartheid and post-apartheid. Discussing this variety of literatures from a comparative context, we will assess similarities and differences apparent in the cultures and historical contexts from which they emerge. Readings include Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Naguib Mahfouz’s Midaq Alley, Calixthe Beyala’s The Sun Hath Looked Upon Me, Camara Laye’s The African Child, and Luandino Vieira’s Luanda. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: NW. Coly.

52. Latin American Literatures

10S: 10A 10X: 2A

Some of the most fascinating literary works of this century have been written by Latin American authors such as Neruda, García Márquez, Fuentes, Allende, etc. This course will analyze modern Latin American literature, its connection to or rejection of European traditions, the ways in which individual works illuminate third world realities and challenge accepted Western views of the world. Offered periodically with varying content.

In 10S, Beyond Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll: Radical Latinos in the 60s (Identical to Latino Studies, pending faculty approval). The 1960s and 70s were a time of political and creative turmoil in the US in general and for Latinos in particular. Besides the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Vietnam mobilization, Latinos fought for their rights, founding political organizations such as the Raza Unida Party, MeCHA, United Farm Workers, Brown Berets, and the Nuyorican Young Lords party. They were adept at creating and mobilizing artistic symbols, music, and literature to promote a political agenda of social transformation. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Spitta.

In 10X, topic to be announced.

53. Middle Eastern Literature

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This course, offered periodically, will examine texts from the cultures of the Middle East originally in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew. The issue of comparative focus will vary.

54. Jewish Literatures

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

From Biblical times to the present, Jewish literary production has ranged over numerous countries and languages and thus needs to be studied from a comparative perspective. This course will explore Jewish literature from generic, thematic or cultural perspectives.

55. Asian Literatures

10W: 10A

The literatures of Asia are so rich and diverse that they defy the simplistic categorization implied by the notion of national traditions. The forms and conventions of literary works in India, China, or Japan have been shaped over a long period of time by a shared sense that literary culture is continuous and by an awareness of difference inherent to particular cultural epochs. This course will examine Asian literatures within their specific historical contexts in order to illuminate the cultural ground of literary practices and to provide a basis for comparison with the literary traditions of the West.

In 10W, Border Crossings in Modern Korean Literature (Identical to Korean 61). The course will focus on providing an introductory overview of twentieth and twenty-first century Korean literature, aiming to approach Korean texts through the use of broadly applicable critical concepts and in opening up comparisons with other Asian literatures. Topics addressed will include: national literatures, genre, historical trauma and reconciliation, diaspora, and autobiography. No Korean language ability is required; no background knowledge in Korean history or culture is assumed. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Hanscom.

56. Eastern European Literatures

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Courses taught under this rubric offer regional or thematic approaches to the literature of Eastern Europe, its many diverse cultures, traditions, and prospects—from the Baltic to the Balkans, from Islam to Russian Orthodoxy, from the Ottoman Empire to Communism and beyond, from Mikhail Bulgakov to Eugene Ionesco and Vaclav Havel.

57. Special Topics: Culture, Place, and Identity (Identical to International Studies 17)

10W: 10 11S: 2

This course considers the role of culture and identity, migration, evolution of language, gender, race, and class issues, and studies the diverse cultural and artistic productions (literary, cinematic, musical, multi-media) that exemplify the tensions and negotiations between cultures and people.

In 10W, Memories from the Dark Side: Political and Historical Repression in Europe. On a continent where war, exile, extermination, and political and cultural repression have been pervasive over the centuries, new identities of resistance can emerge if Europeans place at their center the unforgivable memories of their shared atrocities. This course will address European integration not only as an economic or political concept but instead as a cultural practice of resistance in the arts, particularly in literature and film. Authors include Semprun, Livi, Amery, Kis, Jelloun, Saramago and films by Resnais, Wajda, von Trotta, and Costa-Gavras. Aguado.

In 11S, Gender and Islam. Green.


60. Literature and Music

11W: 2A

The affinities between literature and music have always held a special fascination for poets, writers, musicians, and critics. By studying the two arts as comparable media of expression, this course will test the legitimacy of interart parallels.

In 11W, an introduction to the major aspects, aesthetic implications, and interpretive methods comparing the two arts. Topics for lectures and discussion will include: musical structures as literary form; verbal music, word music, and program music; word-tone synthesis in the Lied; music and drama in opera; music in fiction; and the writer as music critic. Music-related poetry and prose examples, complemented by musical illustrations and ranging from the German and English Romantics through the French symbolists and the Dadaists to contemporary writing, will be selected from texts by Goethe, Brentano, Hoffmann, DeQuincey, Poe, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Proust, Thomas Mann, Joyce, Eliot, Huxley, Shaw, and Pound. No particular musical background or technical knowledge of music required. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. Kopper.

61. Literature and the Visual Arts

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

Cultural history and criticism has returned repeatedly to the affinities, dissimilarities, and tensions between words and images. This course addresses the fundamental dialogue between these forms of communication and notation.

62. Literature and Film

09F: 10 10S: 10A 10F: W3-6

A study of selected major film traditions from a literary perspective. By examining themes, structures, montage, and other literary and filmic elements, students will become familiar with important concepts in film analysis. Individual offerings of the course may focus on filmmakers, movements, periods, or themes. The goal will be to appreciate the aesthetic and social significance of film as a twentieth-century medium and to explore various intersections of film and literature.

In 09F, Cuisine and Culture in Latin American Cinema (Identical to and described under Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies 30). Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Lirot.

In 10S, Shades of Noir: Film, Fiction, Politics (Identical to Film Studies 41). ‘Film Noir’ evokes memories of stylish, cynical, black-and-white movies from the 1940s and 1950s—melodramas about private eyes, femmes fatales, criminal gangs, and lovers on the run. Noir narratives revolve around questions of racial and national identity; the postwar crisis of masculinity and gender relations; and the experience of alienation and dislocation. The course will also trace the pervasive presence of noir and its continuing appeal for artists and audiences throughout the world. Dist: ART or INT; WCult: W. Gemünden.

In 10F, The Cinematic City. The urban metaphor, the city in its cultural, political, and social complexities, has been either a working political utopia of diversity, freedom, and change or a manifestation of dystopia, commodification, social inequities, and dehumanization since the origins of filmmaking. Beginning with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1926) and ending with Pedro Almodóvar’s All About my Mother (1999), this course will provide a historical overview of the different kinds of political, cultural, and sexual metaphors the cinematic city articulates. Screenings of German, U.S., Italian, Japanese, British, Spanish, French, and Cuban films. Dist: ART; WCult: W. Martín.

63. Literature and Politics

10S: 11

This course will be offered periodically and with varying content. It will explore the rich relations that exist between literature and politics, focusing on literature both as an instrument of political interest and as a product of political contexts.

In 10S, War and Representation in 19th Century Latin American Culture (Identical to and described under Latin American Latino and Caribbean Studies 60). Dist: LIT. Diaz.

64. Literature and History

10S: 10A

The course will explore the relationship between literature and history, focusing both upon the interplay of historiographical and fictional discourses and upon conceptualization and representation of history in some major literary texts. Dist. Varies.

In 10S, Representing the Holocaust: History, Memory, and Survival (Identical to, and described under, Jewish Studies 37.3 and History 6). Dist: INT; WCult: W. Spitzer.

65. Literature and Science

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This course will consider the intertwining of literature, science, and technology. We shall investigate the literary representation of scientific activity and the variety of ways in which literary and scientific modes of thought have diverged or come together.

66. Literature and Psychoanalysis

10F: 2A

This course aims to explore the relationship between literature and the theoretical and clinical writings of psychoanalysis. Through readings representing a range of psychoanalytic and literary traditions, we will examine the connections that can be made between psychic structures and literary structures, between the language of the mind and the emotions and the language of the literary, cultural or cinematic text.

In 10F, What is Psychoanalysis? What is the relationship between “literary” works and the theoretical and clinical writings of psychoanalysis? This large question will be examined through readings of essays and case histories by such analysts and theorists as Freud, Klein, Lacan, Kristeva, Butler, Bersani and Zizek. The course will focus on the theme of the family romance and its relationship to the question of gender in works by authors such as Sophocles, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Kafka, Woolf, Mann, Proust, Duras, Kushner, Almadovar, and Woody Allen. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. Kritzman.

67. Literature and Women’s/Gender Studies

10S: 2A

This course will focus on the cultural construction of gender as it is manifested in various texts and traditions. Topics may include one or more aspects of gendered literary study: writing (male/female authorship), reading, literary form, masculine and feminine subjectivity, representation, or feminist literary and cultural criticism.

In 10S, Colonial and Postcolonial Masculinities (Identical to African and African American Studies 67, Women’s and Gender Studies 52.1, and English 63.1). In this course, we will develop an understanding of masculinity as a construct which varies in time and space, and is constantly (re)shaped by such factors as race, class, and sexuality. The contexts of the colonial encounter and its postcolonial aftermath will set the stage for our examination of the ways in which social, political, economic, and cultural factors foster the production of specific masculinities. Texts include Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Lafferiere’s How to Make Love to a Negro, and additional writings by Irish, Indian, and Australian authors. Our study will be organized around the questions of the production of hegemonic and subaltern masculinities, the representation of the colonial and postcolonial male body, the militarization of masculinity, and the relation between masculinity and nationalism. Theoretical material on masculinities will frame our readings. Dist: LIT. Coly.

70. Special Topics: Literature and Other Disciplines

09F: 2A 11S: 11

In 09F, European Jewish Intellectuals (Identical to Jewish Studies 26). The course will examine the role of the Jewish intellectual in twentieth central Europe. We shall focus on several paradigmatic figures (Arendt, Benjamin, Adorno, Levinas, Derrida) who confront the redefinition of politics and civil society in modern times. Some attempt to deal with these changes through a critical reflection on the concepts of democracy and ethics and on how justice can be practiced either within or outside of the geographical and spiritual boundaries of the modern nation state. We shall examine how Jewish self-consciousness and a deep attachment to biblical tradition enables these intellectuals to reconcile ethical imperative with political realities. Particular attention will be paid to topics such as the challenges of Eurocentric Christian humanism and universalism to Jewish assimilation; the promises of totalitarianism, Marxism and messianism; the politics of biblical exegesis; history and Jewish mysticism; Zionism, anti-Zionism and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Kritzman.

In 11S, Second Skin: Reflections on Capitalism in Literature and Philosophy. Capitalism is our unavoidable economic, cultural and political horizon. The main risk of this current context is the naturalization of some realities that do not correspond to our “human nature,” but rather to a historical logic that is the product of concrete geotemporal circumstances. This course will analyze a group of relevant philosophical and artistic works that have been instrumental in shaping our contemporary perception of capitalism and its cultural dynamics. Authors will include Dickens, Defoe, Locke, Marx, Smith, and Zola. Gomez.

Refer also to Philosophy 20.


71. History of Literary Criticism: The Western Tradition to 1900

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This course will focus on three periods in particular—antiquity, the Renaissance and the Romantic period—and on topics and issues which link these periods, such as theories of representation, the functions of poetry, the relationship of poetry to truth, the privileging of particular genres at different times, the sublime, theories of the self. We will pay particular attention to texts that are still generating debate and critique today, including some from a feminist perspective, and will end with a brief consideration of some of the nineteenth-century thinkers whose work has been influential in this century. Readings may include the following authors: Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Lucian, Horace, Longinus, Jonson, Sidney, Burke, Kant, Wordsworth, J.S. Mill, Coleridge, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud.

For a related course, see English 63.

72. Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory

09F: 12 10F: 10A

Covering some of the major theoretical movements of the second half of the twentieth century, this course focuses on the issues and questions motivating theoretical debate in literary and cultural studies. Movements studied may include New Criticism, structuralism, semiotics, poststructuralism and deconstruction, Marxist criticism, psychoanalysis, narratology, reader-response theory, feminist criticism, African American criticism, film criticism, and the new historicism.

In 09F, Author, Reader, Text. An introduction to literary and critical theory through explorations of the author function, the nature of texts, and the role of readers. Schools of literary theory will be reviewed, but structure the class. Critics to be read include Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Wolfgang Iser, Gayatri Spivak, and Susan Winnett.Creators of literature include: Italo Calvino, Henry James, Jeanette Winterson. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Warren.

In 10F, What is Theory? Since the beginnings of the 20th Century, critical theory has slowly transformed the study of literature. Although most scholars who study literary texts now use theory in one way or another, few would be able to define the discipline. This course will examine some of the major texts in the field, including the roots of contemporary critical practices in philosophy, linguistics, and semiotics, as well as some of the latest, “cutting edge” applications of theory to all kinds of cultural “objects”: texts, films, clothes, bodies, genders, identities, buildings, cities, nations, etc. Works by Saussure, Jakobson, Foucault, Lacan, Benjamin, Derrida, Hegel, Butler, Venturi, Kohlhaas and others. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Washburn.

73. Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory

10W, 11W: 3A

This course will focus on a specific preoccupation of contemporary theory or on a particular theoretical movement.

In 10W and 11W, A User’s Guide to Narrative Theory. This course introduces narratology, the theoretical study of narrative, by exploring the trajectory of narrative theory from the 1960s to the present for the study of literary prose and concluding with uses of narrative theory in the realms of the disciplines. Literary and non-literary texts will be read in tandem with the theory. Students should read or reread the first and final chapters of Joyce’s novel Ulysses (“Telemachus” and “Penelope”) before the term begins. Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. Kacandes.

79. Independent Study

10W, 10S, 11W, 11S: Arrange

A tutorial course designed by the student with the assistance of a member of the Comparative Literature faculty who is willing to supervise it. Offers the student an opportunity to pursue a subject of special interest through a distinctive program of readings and reports. During the term prior to the course, applicants must submit a course outline to the Chair for written approval.

80. Advanced Seminar: Special Topics

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

85. Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology

10W, 11W: Arrange. Spitta.

87. Thesis Tutorial

10S, 11S: Arrange.

Permission of the Chair is required.

100. Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory

09F: 2 10F: 10A

In 09F, What is Theory? Since the beginnings of the 20th Century, critical theory has slowly transformed the study of literature. This course examines some of the major texts in the field, including the roots of contemporary critical practices in philosophy, linguistics, and semiotics, as well as some of the latest, “cutting edge” applications of theory to all kinds of cultural “objects”: texts, films, clothes, bodies, genders, identities, buildings, cities, nations, etc. Works by Saussure, Jakobson, Foucault, Lacan, Benjamin, Derrida, Hegel, Butler, and others. Open to MA candidates only. Williamson (09F), Kritzman (10F).

101. Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory

11W: 3A

See description under Comparative Literature 73. Kacandes.

102. Tutorial

Arrange with advisor. This course is open to M.A. candidates only.

103. Workshop in Critical Writing

10S, 11S: Arrange

Critical thinking and concise, persuasive writing are prerequisites for any professional career. In fact, both go hand in hand. The Workshop in Critical Writing introduces graduate students to advanced research techniques, to the conventions of scholarly discourse, and to the various kinds of writing practiced in literary studies. We will analyze scholarly articles as examples of research methods, argument development, rhetorical technique, and stylistic presentation; we will test a variety of practical approaches to the interpretation of literary texts; and we will explore how we might use theory in critical argument. Students will be asked to prepare and submit a scholarly article using previous written work of their own (senior thesis, independent study project) as a basis. The workshop format of the course will permit students to read and critique each other’s work and to sharpen their editorial skills. Washburn. This course is open to M.A. candidates only. Kopper (10S), Mladek (11S).

105. Graduate Seminar

10W, 11W: Arrange. In 10W Williamson and 11W Verona.

This course is open to M.A. candidates only.

106. Graduate Research

09F, 10W, 10S: Arrange