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Comparative Literature



7. First-Year Seminars

Consult special listings

10. What is Comparative Literature?

11F: 2A 12W: 10 12S: 10A 12F: 10 13W: 12

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 11F, 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 12W, The Odyssey and Odyssean Spin-Offs. This course is organized around the subject of traveling and homecoming. We will read the epic attributed to “Homer” in its entirety; a series of poems by Tennyson, Cavafy, Pound, and Seferis; James Joyce’s Ulysses; excerpts from Kazantzakis’s Odyssey: A Modern Sequel; Christa Wolf’s Cassandra; Derek Walcott’s Omeros; and Botho Strauss’s drama Ithaka. Is there such a thing as a universal theme? How might genre, author’s gender, culture, or historical period inflect a similar theme? What criteria have been used in specific periods to label a literary work a “classic”? What criteria are used by our culture and by us individually to evaluate the worth of a piece of literature? Dist: LIT or INT; WCult: W. Kacandes.

In 12F, Characters on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The figure of characters in crisis has been the foundation of literary plots since Antiquity. This course examines cinematic, literary, and philosophical representations of people coming undone while working their ways through crises that threaten their lives. Why has this problem always been so prevalent in narratives of all kinds? Works by Plato, Nietzsche, Nabokov, the Coen brothers, Wallace, Almodóvar, Borges, Shakespeare, Dickinson, and others. La Guardia.

In 13W, Modernism, Primitivism, and Outsider Art. The early twentieth century witnessed a fascination with “the primitive” in ethnography and its relation to artistic modernism. This fascination extended to attention paid to the works of art and writing produced by the mentally ill—from “the primitive” in so-called “primitive” cultures “discovered” by Western explorers and the art they produced to the “primitive” or originary version of the self buried in the unconscious, explored through psychoanalysis and tapped by the process of surrealist automatism. This course will explore these different ideas of the primitive in the first half of the twentieth century in order to see how these overlapping visions help to illuminate the ways in which Western Europeans were envisioning themselves, particularly in relation to a growing number of perceived “outsiders.” Conley.

In 13S, The Cult of Domesticity. This course explores literary, historical, and theoretical constructions of the idea and images of domesticity that begin in Europe in the Renaissance. Domesticity studies will be introduced through a variety of early modern, modern, and postmodern texts that articulate questions about the construction of home in material and symbolic terms. Key concepts include home and polis (Aristotle), surplus and division of labor (Marx), modernity, homelessness and the bourgeois interior (Heidegger, Benjamin), the “un-homely” or uncanny (Freud), habitus (Bourdieu), traffic in women (Rubin), and ritual and cleanness (Douglas). We will study Spanish, Spanish American, Dutch and Italian traditions through conduct manuals for courtiers and for women, short novels, cookbooks, political drama, comic plays, household inventories, burlesque and love poetry, and chronicles of exploration in the New World. Cirnigliaro.

18. Literature and Other Media

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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

12W: 11 13W: 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. Williamson (12W), Otter (13W)


20. The Middle Ages

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

21. Topics in Medieval Literatures

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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

22. The Renaissance

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

23. Topics in Early Modern Literatures

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

25. The Enlightenment

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

26. Romanticism

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

27. Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literatures

Not offered in the period from 11F to 13S

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.

28. Modernism

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

29. Postmodernism

12S: 10A 12X: 2A

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.

In 12S, Tears, Love, Happiness: Feminine Territories, Feminist Readings. (Identical to, and described under, Women’s and Gender Studies 54.1) Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Martin.

In 12X, What is Postmodernism? Fredric Jameson once described postmodernism as "the effort to take the temperature of the age without instruments and in a situation in which we are not even sure there is so coherent a thing as 'age,' or 'zeitgeist' any longer." By way of elucidating the key texts and concepts of modern and postmodern theory (enhanced with some literary and cinematic examples), this seminar aims at understanding the characteristics of the two eras and movements. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Milich


31. Topics in Poetry

12F: 10

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.

In 12F, Poetry and Poetic Theory (Identical to English 60). In addition to reading poetry, we will examine theories of poetry, relying mainly on The Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory and Poetry in Theory, 1900-2000 (Blackwell). These volumes provide a rich, comprehensive overview of poetic theory from Greek antiquity to the present, covering Anglo-American, Continental, and other theorists. We will consider the “philosophy” of poetic composition in different historical periods and contexts, and will examine the continuing interplay between poetic theory and practice. We will study attitudes toward poetry and the sometimes antagonistic interplay between theorizing about poetry and writing it. Crewe, Zeiger.

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

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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

34. Topics in Drama (Identical to, and described under Theater 10)

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: INT or ART. Edmondson.

35. History of Narrative

12W: 2

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.

In 12W, Arabian Nights East and West (Identical to, and described under, Arabic 62). Dist: INT or LIT; WCult: NW. Kadhim.

36. The Novel I: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

37. The Novel II: The Modern Novel

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

38. Forms of Short Fiction

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

39. Topics in Narrative

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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.

40. Special Topics: Genres

12W: 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 12W, 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 10F through 12S

42. Topics in Popular Culture

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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


45. The Quest for Utopia

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

46. Psychology, Society and Literature: The Family

11F: 11 13W: 2A

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 10F, 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. Dist: LIT. Smolin.

In 13W, The Jewish Family (Identical to Jewish Studies 27). This course will explore the various narrative forms-novel, short story, essay, self-portraiture, drama-in which the Jewish family is represented. We will examine how the rhetorical configurations of texts describe the varieties of Jewishness and the significance of Jewish cultural identity in a cross-cultural context. Authors to be studied include Aleichem, Bellow, Finkelkraut, Freud, Ginzburg, Kafka, Kushner, Paley, Perec, Roth, and Singer. Dist: LIT. Kritzman.

47. Myths and Transformations

11F: 10A

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.

In 11F, Don Juan. This course examines configurations of the Don Juan legend in literature, music, and film, from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, through texts by Tirso de Molina and Zorrilla, Moliere, Laclos, Casanova, Mozart, Byron, Hoffmann, Shaw, Frisch, and others. Topics for discussion include: Don Juan and psychoanalysis; feminist perspectives on Don Juan; and the rhetoric of seduction and conquest. Dist: INT or LIT; WCult: W. Swislocki.

49. Special Topics: Themes

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S


50. Europe and its Cultural Others

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

51. African Literatures

13S: 2A

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 11S, Masterpieces of Literatures from Africa (Identical to African and African American Studies 51 and English 61). This course is designed to provide students with a specific and global view of the diversity of literatures from the African continent. We will read texts written in English or translated from French, Portuguese, Arabic and African languages. Through novels, short stories, poetry, and drama, we will explore such topics as the colonial encounter, the conflict between tradition and modernity, the negotiation of African identities, post-independence disillusion, gender issues, apartheid and post-apartheid. In discussing this variety of literatures from a comparative context, we will assess the similarities and the 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

12W: 3B 13W: 10A

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 12WF, Black Brazilian Women Writers (Identical to, and described under, African and African American Studies 80). Dist: LIT. Salgueiro.

In 13W, Latin American Literatures. Pastor

53. Middle Eastern Literature

13W: 2

In 13W, Modern Arabic Literature in Translation (Identical to, and described under, Arabic 61). Dist: LIT; WCult; NW. Kadhim.

54. Jewish Literatures

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

55. Asian Literatures

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

56. Eastern European Literatures

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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

12W: W2-5 12S: 12 12F: 12 13S: 2, 3A

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 12W, US Afro-Latino Literature and Contemporary Thought (Identical to International Studies 17, African and African American Studies 88, and Latino and Caribbean Studies 43, and described under African and African American Studies 88). Dist: LIT. Tillis.

In 12S, The World on Fire: Visions of the Apocalypse (Identical to International Studies 17). Terrorism, urban riots, and large-scale accidental loss of life pervade much of the cultural landscape of our times. By focusing on the fracture of “security,” in its physical (9/11, terrorist attacks in Madrid and London) and symbolic (identity wars in the former Yugoslavia and riots in the suburbs of Paris and other cities) contexts, students will analyze literary responses that counterbalance these apocalyptic imaginings and perceived threats. Aguado.

In 12F Global Medievalism (Identical to International Studies 17). This course explores various “myths” about the Middle Ages by confronting medieval representations of the world (travel narratives, maps, imaginative literature) with representations of the medieval in the current period of globalization. What notions of “planetary culture” shape narratives of the Crusades or Marco Polo’s travels? What roles do the Middle or “Dark” Ages play in post-9/11 discourse? How does the medieval vacillate between prestige and barbarism? How are notions of time and space reconfigured through global medievalism? Warren.

In 13S, Fascist Italy: Fascism in Literature and Film (Identical to International Studies 17 and French and Italian 35). This course focuses on the history of the rise and fall of fascism and on the cultural forces that validated its power. Special attention will be given to literature and film in propaganda. Students will watch films such as Cabiria, Black Shirt, The White Squadron, and A Very Special Day and read novels and short stories by Alberto Moravia, Fausta Cailente, F.T. Marinetti, and Elsa Morante and critical texts by Spackman, Pickering-Iazzi, de Grazia, and Ben-Ghiat. Dist: LIT, WCult: W. Parati.

In 13X, Migration Stories (Identical to International Studies 17 and Film and Media Studies 47). With over 50 million displaced people today, migration is one of the most compelling problems of our time. Filmic and literary representations of migration focus on borders, different types of migrants, and their border crossing experiences. We will study migration from Latin America to the U.S.; from Africa and Eastern Europe to Western Europe; and internal migration within these countries. We will also analyze how Hollywood cinema itself creates images and values that drive migration. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Spitta, Gemünden.


60. Literature and Music (Identical to Music 13).

11S: 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.

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 11F through 13S

62. Literature and Film

12W: 2 12F: 2A 13W: M3-6

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 12S, Film as Poetry: The Avant Garde (Identical to Film and Media Studies 41). The cinematic avant garde is to film what poetry is to prose, a demand to read differently. Topics to be explored include the relation of poetry and film to history, the family, gender and sexuality, visual arts such as painting, photography, and book arts, and different ways to think about formal experimentation. Dist: ART. Lawrence.

In 12F, Arrival City: The Case of Berlin-Kreuzberg (Identical to German 43, pending faculty approval). In this seminar we will investigate patterns of immigration from Turkey to Berlin from the 1960s to the present. Focusing on the legal, economic, and social determinants of labor migration, we will study German-Turkish literature, films, and political writings to understand how the cultural identity and self-representations of Turks in Germany has shifted over the last three generations. This will also include a comparative study of the “arrival cities” Los Angeles and Istanbul. Gemunden.

In 13W, The Cinematic City (Identical to Film and Media Studies 47). 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

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.

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

64. Literature and History

13W: 2

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 13W, The Burden of the Nazi Past: World War, Genocide, Population Transfer, and Firebombing (Identical to Jewish Studies 37.3 and German Studies 45). This course studies the main events of World War Two and the different stages of processing that past post-1945. In an interdisciplinary and comparative fashion we take up selective controversies in order to understand the formation of postwar German identity, e.g., the Nuremberg, Frankfurt, and Eichmann trials, the Berlin Jewish Museum and Holocaust memorial, Neonazism, and the current campaign to remember German civilian casualties. Authors include Weiss, Schlink, Flannery, Singer, Modiano. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI. Kacandes.

65. Literature and Science

11F: 10

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.

In 11F, Literature, Science and Madness. This course will provide an introduction to scientific and literary discourses on madness in 19th and 20th Century Europe. We will discuss literature, films and artwork such as Marquis de Sade’s Crimes of Love, Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse trilogy or the art brut movement, and relate them to scientific and theoretical literature by authors such as Krafft-Ebing, Freud or Foucault. We will further analyze the connections between constructions of madness, criminality, gender and race. Fuechtner.

66. Literature and Psychoanalysis

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

67. Literature and Women’s/Gender Studies

12S: 2A 13S: 2A 12W: W3-6

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 12S, Colonial and Postcolonial Masculinities (Identical to African and African American Studies 67, English 63, and Women’s and Gender Studies 52). 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.

In 12S, Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Brazilian Film This course will explore issue of race, class, gender, and sexuality in contemporary Brazilian film. Film will be viewed as text and analyzed for articulations of national discourses on the four topic areas mentioned above, and will offer students an additional cultural context to examine critically the development of nation and national ideologies such as racial democracy. Class discussions based on critical readings and film screenings will focus on how Brazilins view themselves and the construction and function of social institutions within the contemporary nation. Salgueiro.

70. Special Topics: Literature and Other Disciplines

12W: 2A 12S: 2

In 12W, European Jewish Intellectuals (Identical to Jewish Studies 26). This course examines the role of the Jewish intellectual in twentieth century 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. Topics include 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; and Zionism, antiZionism and the ArabIsraeli conflict. Dist: LIT; WCult: W. Kritzman.

In 12S, Marx-Neitzsche-Freud: Revolution and Its Discontent. Only a few authors have had such an impact on culture, politics and literature as Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. All three thinkers investigate the precarious position of the subject in modern civilization and highlight the domination of bodies through a triangle of ideology, morality and the law. Marx’s specters, Nietzsche’s Overman, and Freud’s death drive resist this insidious triangulation. This introductory course’s readings will focus on the core texts of Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Mladek.

Refer also to Philosophy 20.


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

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

For a related course, see English 63.

72. Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory

11F: 12 12F: 2A

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 11F, Literary Theory: Entering the Conversation. Disparate theories of literature have shared a certain number of fundamental questions since long before the twentieth century: what is a text? what is an author? what is a reader? what is context? How does literature itself imply theoretical concepts? By studying a range of different answers, we will seek to formulate productive questions. How can we use these questions to join critical conversations already under way among established scholars? Warren.

In 12F, 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. Kritzman

73. Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory

11W: 3A 13W: 2A

This course will focus on a specific preoccupation of contemporary theory or on a particular theoretical movement. Prerequisite: Comparative Literature 72.

In 12W, Spectacle and Exhibitionism. This course explores cultural theory (the public sphere; spectacle; display; ideology; collective memory) through examples drawn from the history of World Fairs. Nation-based gatherings of international scope, the fairs (1855-1964) brought millions of visitors to urban settings; organizers sought to both awe and persuade. The fairs support a wide range of theoretical and historical research topics related to race, empire, gender, politics, science, technology, advertising, visual arts, architecture, museums, academic disciplines, literature, film studies, etc. Prerequisite: Comparative Literature 72. Warren.

In 13W, Aesthetics: Modern Discourses on Art, Beauty and Sensual Experience. Is art possible in modernistic capitalist societies? In the discussion of the aesthetic experience, many thinkers have reflected on the relationship between freedom and modernization, and between autonomous creativity and an increasingly mechanical historical time. We will analyze the philosophical texts that have established the parameters of this discussion. We will also read literary pieces that narrate or fictionalize different aesthetic experiences. Authors include Adorno, Burke, Calvino, Goethe, Kant, Nietzsche, Ranciere, Vargas-Llosa, and Wilde. Gomez.

79. Independent Study

12W, 12S, 13W, 13S: 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 11F through 13S

85. Senior Seminar in Research and Methodology

12W, 13W: Arrange. Verona

87. Thesis Tutorial

12S, 13S: Arrange.

Permission of the Chair is required.

100. Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory

11F: W2-5 12F: 11

In 11F, Meaning…. The concept of “meaning” relies on certain assumptions about texts, interpretation, and communities. Attending to the roots of contemporary critical practices in philosophy, linguistics, and semiotics, we will consider some of the latest, “cutting edge” ideas in literary and critical theory as they relate to all kinds of cultural “objects”: written texts, films, bodies, identities, buildings, cities, nations, etc. Works by Hegel, Nietzsche, Saussure, Kristeva, Foucault, Lacan, Benjamin, Derrida, Butler, and others. Open to M.A. candidates only. Biron.

In 13F, Culture and Psychoanalysis. Open to M.A. candidates only. Fuechtner.

101. Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory

12W: 12 13W: 2A

In 12W, see description under Comparative Literature 73. Prerequisite for M.A. candidates: Comparative Literature 100. Warren

In 13W, see description under Comparative Literature 73. Prerequisite for M.A. candidates: Comparative Literature 100. Gomez

102. Tutorial

11F, 12F: Arrange

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

103. Workshop in Critical Writing

11S, 12S: 3A

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. Washburn (11S), Mladek (12S).

105. Graduate Seminar

11W, 12W: Arrange. Williamson (12W), Fuechtner (13W)

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

106. Graduate Research