18313

LIT 2159

 Into the Whirlwind: Literary Greatness and Gambles

Jonathan Brent

    F       3:00 pm-5:20 pm

OLIN 201

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Russian Studies   This course will examine the fate of the literary imagination in Russia from the time of the Revolution to the stagnation of the Brezhnev period.  We will look at the majestic, triumphant imaginative liberation in writers such as Isaac Babel, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mandelstam and Mikhail Bulgakov; the struggle with ideology and the Terror of the 1930s in Yuri Olesha, Anna Akhmatova, Lidia Chukovskaya, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Varlam Shalamov, Boris Pilnyak and Yuri Tynyanov; the hesitant Thaw as reflected in Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago; and the course will conclude by reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and  Moscow to the End of the Line, by Venedikt Erofeev. Readings of literary works will be supplemented with political and historical documents to provide a sense of the larger political-social-historical context in which they were written. After the violent, imaginative ebullience of the Revolutionary period, how did literature stay alive during the darkest period of mass repression, censorship and terror when millions of Soviet citizens were either imprisoned or shot?  What formal/aesthetic choices did these writers make in negotiating the demands of official ideology and Party discipline, on the one hand, and authentic literary expression, on the other?  What image of history and of man did these “Engineers of human souls” produce?  These are some of the questions we will ask and seek to answer.  All readings will be in English. This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 22

 

18314

LIT 2203

 Balkan Voices:Writing from SouthEastern Europe

Elizabeth Frank

  W Th 1:30 pm-2:50 pm

ASP 302

FL

D+J

FLLC

DIFF

Cross-listed: Human Rights; Russian ): “The Balkans,” writes journalist Robert D. Kaplan, “are a region of pure memory: a Bosch-like tapestry of interlocking ethnic rivalries where medieval and modern history thread into each other.” Indeed, the countries of the  Balkan Peninsula are often seen as especially “savage,” “primitive,” “dark” and “violent” in comparison with the more “civilized” West. In this course, relying on Maria Todorova’s Imagining the Balkans and Vesna Goldsworthy’s Inventing Ruritania to frame questions and provoke discussion, we will read fiction, nonfiction and poetry from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia that explores past and present as represented by Balkan writers themselves.  During the first half of the course we will concentrate on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the struggle for liberation from the five-hundred year “Turkish Yoke” led in turn to the lasting enmities of the Balkan Wars and varied Balkan participation in World War II. For the second half we will examine writing since the fall beginning in 1989 of Balkan communist regimes and the wars provoked by the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.  Authors include but are not limited to Ismail Kadare (Albania),Ivo Andric, Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia), Ivan Vazov, Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria), Miroslav Krleža, Dubravka Ugreŝić (Croatia), C.P. Cavafy (Greece), Tashko Georgievski (Macedonia), Danilo Kiš (Serbia), Gregor von Rezzori, Herta Muller (Romania). There will be supplementary readings from such Western writers as Rebecca West, Robert D. Kaplan, and Misha Glenny.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 22

 

18140

LIT 228

 The Arab Renaissance, or Nahdah as empire

Elizabeth Holt

 T  Th   8:30 am-9:50 am

OLIN 201

FL

D+J

FLLC

DIFF

Cross-listed: Middle Eastern Studies  As the Ottoman empire waned, and the French and British extended their imperial presence into the Middle East and North Africa, private Arabic newspapers and journals began to publish a wide range of texts invoking a felt-sense of nahdah, of rise, renaissance, and awakening. In this course, we will read short stories, novels, anecdotes, and essays translated from the Arabic, alongside critical and historical work from the growing field some have come to call "Nahdah Studies," encompassing debates on the reading public, gender, capitalism, colonialism, Islam, and the rise of the Arabic novel.  In the end, we will consider how the Nahdah's hopeful, sometimes even Edenic vision of the future itself served as an agent of European empire in the region.  Authors to be studied include Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, Muhammad al-Muwaylihi, Adelaide Bustani, Jurji Zaydan, Mayy Ziyadah, and many others.  (You do not need to read Arabic.)  This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 22

 

18319

LIT 393

 Ten Plays that Shook the World

Justus Rosenberg

 T          10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 302

LA

ELIT

A close reading and textual analysis of plays considered milestones in the history of the theater.  In this course we isolate and examine the artistic, social and psychological components that made these works become part of the literary canon.   Have they lasted because they conjure up fantasies of escape, or make its readers and viewers face dilemmas inherent in certain social conditions or archetypical conflicts?   What was it exactly that made them so shocking when first performed?  The language, theme, style, staging?  We also explore the theatre as a literary genre that goes beyond the writing.  For a meaningful and effective performance, all aspects of the play, directing, acting, staging, lighting will be considered.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 15