LIT 320

 (un)making the canon: Texts and Contexts in English Literature

Marisa Libbon

 T        1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 309



Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Medieval Studies  Why are some texts deemed canonical and others not?  How and when does this process occur and under what (or whose) auspices?  In the case of early English texts, did their contemporary readers hold them in the high regard we do? Or in branding these texts unquestionable literary and cultural masterpieces are we ignoring their meanings and uses to earlier readers and times? Could better or different choices have been made about our literary inheritance?  These questions will guide our work as we take a fresh and multifaceted look at what we have been told are the "must reads" of early English literature, including the Old English epic Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  We will devote extensive time to each of these texts as close and critical readers of literature, but we will also examine them within their original historical, cultural, and manuscript contexts, and trace their movements from their original composition through time to determine how, when, and why they became for us essential touchstones of the past and signifiers of good taste and modern high culture.  To get a sense of the rich textual field from which our canonical texts have been plucked, we will also read a variety of texts from Anglo-Saxon and medieval England that were clearly popular in their own time, but have since fallen out of fashion and into obscurity: why are these alternative texts not part of our canon?   This is a pre-1800 course offering.  Class size: 15



LIT 3244

 Major Currents in American Thought

Matthew Mutter

 T        4:40 pm-7:00 pm

OLIN 101



Cross-listed: American Studies  This course focuses on the trajectory of three strains in American thought and culture: Emersonianism, the Protestant tradition, and the conceptualization of American pluralism.  We will begin by identifying impulses in Emerson's writing (individualism, self-creation, pragmatism, languages of movement and becoming, aesthetic religion) and examine their development in thinkers like William James, John Dewey, F.S. Fitzgerald, Richard Rorty, and Stanley Cavell, as well as critiques from George Santayana, Joan Scott, and others.  Jonathan Edwards will be the point of departure for the Protestant tradition, and we will trace its concerns (original sin and the tragic sense, the transcendence of justice, the imperatives of ethical reform) through the writings of Jane Addams, William Faulkner, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  We will consider the criticism of this tradition in writers like H.L. Menken, and examine the transference of moral and emotional authority from American Protestantism to the domains of psychoanalysis and social science (Philip Rieff, Norman O. Brown, Margaret Mead).  Finally, beginning with Walt Whitman, we will investigate conceptualizations and critiques of American pluralism and egalitarianism as they develop through the writings of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Randolph Bourne, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Harold Cruse, Betty Friedan, Nancy Chodorow, and others. Class size: 15



LIT 331

 Translation Workshop

Peter Filkins

   Th    1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 303



The workshop is intended for students interested in exploring both the process of translation and ways in which meaning is created and shaped through words. Class time will be divided between a consideration of various approaches to the translation of poetry and prose, comparisons of various solutions arrived at by different translators, and the students' own translations into English of poetry and prose from any language or text of their own choosing. Prerequisite: One year of language study or permission of the instructor.   Class size: 12



LIT 333

 Innovative ContempORARY Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M        1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 305



In this course students will have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with several leading contemporary writers who will join us in class to discuss their work, answer questions about the art of fiction, and then give a public reading from a recent book.  We will also devote much time to close readings of key novels and short story collections by innovative fiction writers of the past couple of generations, with an eye toward exploring the great diversity of voices and styles employed in these narratives as well as the cultural issues they chronicle.  Particular emphasis will be placed on reading and analyzing books by some of fiction's most pioneering practitioners, including Richard Powers, Cormac McCarthy, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, William Gaddis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Lydia Davis, Michael Ondaatje, Ian McEwan, Jamaica Kincaid, Karan Mahajan, and others whose work has revitalized and revolutionized our understanding of narrative forms. Class size: 15



LIT 405

 Senior Colloquium: Literature

Cole Heinowitz

M        4:40 pm-6:00 pm




1 credit  Literature Majors writing a project are required to enroll in the year-long Senior Colloquium.   Senior Colloquium is an integral part of the Senior Project.  An opportunity to share working methods, knowledge, skills and resources among students, the colloquium explicitly addresses challenges arising from research and writing on this scale, and presentation of works in progress.  A pragmatic focus on the nuts and bolts of the project will be complemented with life-after-Bard skills workshops, along with a review of internship and grant-writing opportunities in the discipline. Senior Colloquium is designed to create a productive network of association for student scholars and critics: small working groups foster intellectual community, providing individual writers with a wide range of support throughout this culminating year of undergraduate study in the major.  Class size: 40



Cross-listed courses:



CHI 311

 Theater/Perf:Chinese World

Wah Guan Lim

 T        4:40 pm-7:00 pm




Cross-listed: Asian Studies; Literature; Theater and Performance



HIST 2551

 Ulysses, Modernity, Nationalis

Gregory Moynahan

 T  Th      10:10 am-11:30 am

HEG 201




Cross-listed: Literature



HR 227

dissent, ethics & politics

Helena Gibbs

 M  W 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 304




Cross-listed:  Literature; Russian Studies 



SPAN 301

 Intro to Spanish Literature

Javier Rodriguez Fernandez

 T  Th 11:50 am-1:10 pm




Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Latin American Studies; Literature