91254

LIT 2002   Americans Abroad

Donna Grover

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

Olin 305

ELIT

Cross-listed:   Africana Studies   Post World War I was an exciting time for American artists who chose to come of age and discover their own American-ness from other shores. We will read writers of the so-called ‘ Lost Generation’ including Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But in our reexamination of ‘The Lost Generation’ we will also include expatriate writers best known for their participation in the Harlem Renaissance, such as Jean Toomer, Claude McKay and Jessie Fauset. The African-American presence in Europe which included the iconic figure Josephine Baker as well as jazz great Louis Armstrong altered this picture in ways that we are only beginning to appreciate. This course looks at a period in which American culture found roots abroad.

 

91241

LIT 2009   Representing Medicine & Body

Andrew Schonebaum

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

Olin 308

ELIT

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, STS  Doctors and researchers do not hold a monopoly on medical knowledge or beliefs.  While theirs may be more scientific, that does not make them necessarily more relevant to the study of the patient and of the illness.  Both the actualities and the metaphorical possibilities of illness and medicine abound in literature, film and modern culture.  These other “meanings” of disease, illness, organ transplants, genetic engineering and prosthesis have stirred debate about what it means to be an individual or even what it means to be human.  In this course, we will investigate conceptions and representations of the body in world literature and film.  We will begin by discussing such medical beliefs and metaphors, as “invading armies” of cancer, “high-risk groups,” social Darwinism and gendered constructions of illness.  We will use these lexical tools to consider advertisements for hospitals, health organizations and pharmaceuticals as well as media fads such as the Ebola scare.  We next consider traditions of medicine in literature and history to try to get at the origins of some of these ideas and meanings. We will read stories and essays by Kafka, Mann, Proust, Chekov, Lu Xun, Mo Yan, Kenzaburo Oe, Wang Zhenhe, Alphonse Daudet, Kushner, Sontag, Dumas fils, Foucault, Karatani Kojin, Donna Haraway and others. We will watch also view a few films and consider visual representations of illness and the abnormal body.

 

91398

LIT 2026  Introduction to Children’s

and Young Adult Literature

Maria Sachiko Cecire

M . W . .

11:50 – 1:10 pm

Olin 310

ELIT

In this course, students will explore questions about what children can, do, and should read, and be encouraged to think about how the notion of childhood is constructed and reproduced through texts and images. We will ask how we, as adults, can read a book that has been classed as ‘children’s literature’ and how to theorize texts that are written for children by adults. What makes a work of children’s literature a classic? Who are these texts really for? Does children’s literature “colonize” the child? Together we will examine a range of children’s and young adult literature genres including the school story, fairy tale, fantasy, historical fiction, and the teenage novel. We will cover issues such as the child in the book, the pastoral child, crossover fiction, the children’s publishing phenomenon in the years since Harry Potter, and taboo teen realism. Course texts include literature by Kenneth Grahame, Francis Hodgson Burnett, J.M. Barrie, Enid Blyton, Diana Wynne Jones, C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, and Stephenie Myer, among others.

 

91561

LIT 2028   Poe

Geoffrey Sanborn

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

Olin 205

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies   In this course, we will read Edgar Allan Poe’s entire output of tales and poems, along with many of his essays, reviews, and letters. The emphasis will be on the tension between Poe’s aesthetic idealism and his cadaverous materialism, his aspirations toward the absolute Oneness represented by the love-object and his obsession with the way that love-objects tend to “turn,” or go bad, like milk. Related topics: perversity, race, death, mourning, evidence, gradation, angels, and the divine.

 

91341

LIT 2035   Religion & the Secular in American and British Modernism

Matthew Mutter

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

Olin 107

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies, Religion, Theology   This course seeks to understand the intricate relations between religion and literature in modern culture.  We will ask questions such as:  Can literature become a substitute for religion?  Is poetic consciousness connected to religious consciousness?  How does secularism impact the way writers think about the nature of language or the experience of pain?  We will examine how certain modernists looked to paganism as a form of religious feeling tied to the fortunes of the body; how some saw poetic speech as a form of magic; and how others hoped to employ language to attune consciousness to mystical realities.  Lastly, we will explore how certain literary genres foster religious or secular attitudes towards human experience.  Texts will include Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, Jean Toomer’s Cane, stories by Flannery O’Connor and poems by Wallace Stevens and W.B. Yeats.

 

91232

LIT 2101   Myth/Tale/Story

Benjamin La Farge

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

Olin 301

ELIT

As the anthropologist Malinowski has written, myths are "a special class of stories, regarded as sacred...stories [that] live not as fictitious or even as true narratives; but are to the natives a statement of a primeval, greater, and more relevant reality." It is the purpose of this course to demonstrate how myths that once were sacred are secularized when recycled as literary art, and how many of the greatest stories written by modem masters--from Melville to Kafka--have tapped into the great myths of the past. But between those myths and the modem short story lies the vast, unchartered region of the tale--the oral tradition of story-telling. "The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales," wrote Walter Benjamin, who argued that "the fairy tale taught mankind...to meet the forces of the mythical world with cunning and high spirits." We will explore these mysterious waters by first reading The Metamorphoses of Ovid, followed by The Golden Ass of Apuleius, and classic fairy tales by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm et aI., before tracing the residual presence of myth in the work of modem masters, both male and female. Some of the papers assigned will give students an opportunity to write their own tales if they wish.   

 

91333

LIT 2137   African-American Literary Traditions

Charles Walls

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

RKC 101

ELIT/DIFF

Cross-listed:  Africana Studies  What special problems arise when the presentation of ourselves into literary culture contributes to or challenges an already diminished social presence and power?  In what ways would we want to create and imagine ourselves, remember our history, and construct our future? In this course, we will explore African-American literature from the Colonial era to the Harlem Renaissance and examine the various forms and voices that African-Americans have used to achieve literary and, consequently, social authority.  We will interrogate the degree to which this body of literature forms a coherent tradition and complicates notions of race, nation, gender, citizenship, and diaspora.  We will also consider its relationship to traditional literary modes like sentimentalism, realism, naturalism, and modernism.  Readings will include autobiography, essays, novels, poetry, and plays; writers will likely include Wheatly, Douglass, Jacobs, Chesnutt, Du Bois, Hopkins, Toomer, Larsen, Hughes, McKay, and Hurston.

 

91606

LIT 2156  Romantic Literature in English

Cole Heinowitz

 . T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

Olin L. C. 118

ELIT

This course offers a critical introduction to the literature produced in Britain at the time of the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic wars.  The term traditionally used to categorize this literature, “romantic,” is interestingly problematic: throughout the course we will question the assumptions built into this term instead of assuming that we know what it means or taking for granted a series of supposed characteristics of “romantic” literature and art.  We will also explore the extent to which key conflicts in British culture during the “romantic period,” including the foundingof the United States, independence movements in the Americas, the development of free trade ideology, and the debates over slavery and colonialism, are still at issue today. The centerpiece of this course is the close reading of poetry. There will also be a strong emphasis on the historical and social contexts of the works we are reading, and on the specific ways in which historical forces and social changes shape and are at times shaped by the formal features of literary texts. The question of whether “romantic” writing represents an active engagement with or an escapist idealization of the importanthistorical developments in this period will be a continuous focus. Readings include canonical and non-canonical authors: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Helen Maria Williams, Thomas Beddoes, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Robert Southey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, John Clare, and Laetitia Elizabeth Landon.

 

91224

LIT 2172   The Politics and Practice of Cultural Production in the Middle East and North  Africa

Dina Ramadan

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

Olin 309

FLLC

Cross-listed:  Human Rights, Middle Eastern Studies   The politics and practice of cultural production in the Middle East and North Africa can provide for a complicated and multifaceted understanding of the region. This course will draw upon a series of thematic case studies, beginning with European colonialism in the late 19th century to today’s contemporary globalized context that illustrate how cultural production can be read as a form of documentation, resistance, and potential intervention to a range of prevailing narratives. Topics covered include tradition and modernity, the rise (and fall) of nationalism, narrating war, the role of the state, and the performance gender. Interdisciplinary in its approach, this course will ask students to apply the historical and theoretical frameworks provided through the lectures and readings, to a close examination of a range of texts including novels (Sonallah Ibrahim, Assia Djebar), films (Jackie Salloum, Lamia Joreige, Tahani Rached), video artworks (Walid Raad, Wael Shawky), painting (Mahmud Said, Jewad Selim) and blogs (Riverbend) from across the region including Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine/Israel, Algeria, Morocco and Turkey.

 

91260

LIT 2176   The Revenge Tragedy

Lianne Habinek

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

Olin 201

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Human Rights What makes a good revenge tragedy?  Clandestine murders, otherworldly revenants, disguise, madness, and a final scene of brutal bloodshed:  these characterize the revenge tragedy, a form of drama extremely popular in Elizabethan and Jacobean England.  Revenge tragedies function not only as a form of social critique - they also speak to the anxieties and wonder that accompanied new modes of understanding the physical world, human emotion, and individual accountability.   We’ll begin by investigating the early modern revenge tragedy’s antecedent, Senecan tragedy, before moving to consider the emergence of the revenge tragedy in its own context during the late-16th and early-17th centuries.  Finally, we shall examine modern instantiations of the genre.

 

91334

LIT 2177   Afro-Futurism: Race and Technology in African-American Literature and Culture

Charles Walls

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

HEG 200

ELIT/DIFF

Cross-listed:  Africana Studies, American Studies, STS   This interdisciplinary course will examine how African-American and black diasporic communities have used science fiction, magical realism, cosmology, and fantasy to explore the intersections between race, science, and technology.  Drawing on the work of a variety of writers, artists, and musicians, we will consider the development of this theme and its related aesthetic forms to analyze how “Afro-futurism” occupies a provocative but little explored place in the interrogation and challenge to normative historical narratives, class divisions, sexism, and racism.  Figures likely to appear on our syllabus will reflect a broad historical range from the nineteenth- to twenty-first centuries: Pauline Hopkins, George Schuyler, Ralph Ellison, Ishmael Reed, Walter Mosley, Samuel Delaney, Octavia Butler, Melvin Tolson, Colson Whitehead, Nalo Hopkinson, Rene Cox, Jean-Rene Basquiat, Sun Ra, Paul D. Miller, Keith Matthew Thornton, Parliament, and others.

 

91399

LIT 2178   Literary Networks and New Writing out of Africa 2000-2008

Binyavanga Wainaina

M . W . .

10:10 – 11:30 am

Olin 302

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Africana Studies, Human Rights  The movement started in the late 1990s in Cape Town, South Africa, a year after Nelson Mandela's inauguration as president of South Africa.  The possiblity of a new kind of society attracted writers, artists, and thinkers, some local, some recently arrived from exile, others from various African countries and diaspora. After over twenty years of some stasis, an explosion of literary activity began on the continent, led by small independent publishing houses. In 2002, the print magazine Chimurenga was founded in Cape Town by the Cameroonian-born writer and intellectual, Ntone Edjabe. In 2003, Kwani magazine was founded in Kenya, and Farafina in Lagos, Nigeria in 2005.   Over the past 8 years, hundreds of new writers have been published.  This class will look at work produced in this period, mostly short fiction, essays, reportage and creative nonfiction, from these magazines and from novels and literary blogs and other media produced between 2002 and 2009. We will do close readings from selected texts and from case-studies of the three megacities that are becoming literary centers: Lagos, Cape Town and Nairobi.  There will be weekly assignments, and a term project.

 

91529

LIT 2232   Writing the World: Nonfiction Prose

Celia Bland

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

Olin 101

ELIT

This is a course in two skills: learning to make excellent nonfiction prose and learning to see the world around you. When it comes to the art of nonfiction prose, the emphasis nearly always falls on the personal, and especially on essay and memoir. In this course, I want to turn our gaze outward and to think about how we write from direct experience of events. Our models will be drawn from history and from the broad category of nonfiction writing often, and absurdly, called "current events." Our goal will be to become compelling witnesses and makers of acute prose—but our goal will also be art, not journalism. Students will be expected to write 4-5 pages every week. 

 

91400

LIT 225   Strange Books and the Human Condition

Francine Prose

. . . . F

1:30 -3:50 pm

Olin 203

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Human Rights   Every literary masterpiece is unique, but some are more unique than others. This class will involve the close-reading of books so peculiar as to verge on "outsider" literature, by authors ranging from Jane Bowles to Felisberto Hernandez, from Robert Walser to Hans Christian Andersen, novels and stories that have as much to tell us about what it means to be a human being as the most naturalistic or conventional fiction. Admission is by email application (fprose@erols.com) explaining why the student wishes to take the course. Enrollment is not limited to literature or writing majors, and the only prerequisite is that students will be expected to have read enough "not strange" literature to understand why the books on the list are so unusual.

 

91776

LIT / ITAL 225   Dante

Joseph Luzzi

. T  . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

Olin 107

FLLC

This course will introduce students to the world and work of the so- called “founder of all modern poetry,” Dante Alighieri. Our close   reading of the entire Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso)   will consider such issues as the phenomenology of poetic  inspiration,  medieval theories of gender, Dante’s relationship with  the literary  ghosts Virgil and Cavalcanti, the sources and shapes  of the human  soul, and how the weight of love (pondus amoris) can  save this same  soul. We will also read from Dante’s other works, including the story  of his poetic apprenticeship (The New Life) and  his linguistic  treatise (On Eloquence in the Vernacular). Conducted in English, readings in English translation; option of work in Italian for qualified students, if student wishes. Weekly section for Writing Intensive course, time to be determined.

 

91542

LIT 230   Innovative Novellas and Short Stories

Justus Rosenberg

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

Heg 300

ELIT

An in-depth study of the difference between the short story, built on figurative techniques closely allied to those employed in poetry which allows the writer to achieve remarkable intimacy and depth of meaning in the space of a few pages and the novella that demands the economy and exactness of a short work while at the same time allowing a fuller concentration and development of both character and plot.  We explore the range and scale of the artistic accomplishments of such masters in these genres as Voltaire, de Maupassant, Leo Tolstoy, Chekhov, Sholem Aleichem, Thomas Mann, Isaac Babel, Camus, Kafka, Colette, Borges.  In addition to writing several analytical papers, students are asked to present their own short story or draft for a novella by the end of the semester.

 

91440

LIT/ RUS 2317   Duels, Doubles, Dualities: The Nineteenth-Century Russian Classics

Sara Pankenier

. T . Th . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

Olin 307

FLLC

Dramatic duels do play out in the lives and works of many nineteenth-century Russian authors, but this course also will focus on literary and critical
confrontations between writers, their writings, and how they were read. As we discuss the nineteenth-century classics, as well as their reflections in
film, music, and other arts, we consider these works in the light of significant oppositions in Russian culture, history, and politics. We also examine doubling and dualities reflected in the texts themselves to consider their symbolic implications. Major works by Pushkin (Eugene Onegin),  Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time), Gogol (Dead Souls), Pavlova (A Double Life),  Turgenev (Fathers and Sons), Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment), and
Tolstoy (Anna Karenina) will be read. Conducted in English.

 

91488

LIT 2318   Toward the Condition of Music: Poetry and Aesthetics in Victorian England

Stephen Graham

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

Heg 200

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Victorian Studies  John Ruskin announced in Modern Painters (1843) that the greatest art must contain “the greatest number of the greatest ideas.” Fifty years later, Oscar Wilde declared with equal assurance the “All art is quite useless.” What happened in that intervening half-century? Reading major Victorian poets including Tennyson, Browning, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Hardy and William Butler Yeats, as well as criticism by Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater, and Wilde—among the finest prose stylists of the century—this course follows the evolution of poetry and poetic theory, and the accompanying Victorian debate about the status of art and of the artist in relation to society. This latter narrative begins with Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate and cultural institution, and concludes with Oscar Wilde, social pariah and convicted felon, as Victorian poets gradually withdraw from their position in the center of the culture to a stance of defiance, transgression, and martyrdom.

 

91261

LIT 2421   Milton

Lianne Habinek

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

Olin 305

ELIT

Famed encyclopedist Samuel Johnson terms him “an acrimonious and surly republican”; T. S. Eliot laments the fact that he had been “withered by book-learning.”  John Milton, man of letters, Englishman, poet of and for his country.  Milton was an insightful observer of human relationships, and particularly, of man's relationship to God.  In this course, we will examine the history of mid-17th-century England - religious controversies, the Civil Wars, the nature of intellectual debate - alongside Milton's important writings.  The key focus of this course will be on Paradise Lost, though we will also consider Milton’s sonnets, theatrical works, and essays and tracts.  As we do, we shall develop a nuanced and complex picture of one of England's greatest epic poets.

 

91079

LIT 2501   Shakespeare

Nancy Leonard

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

Olin 310

ELIT

Too often Shakespeare is less exclaimed over than dentally drilled: this course promises to remedy that by a close reading of seven great plays, spread over the various kinds of play he wrote: comedy, history, tragedy and romance.  We will find out how characters enact our contemporary concerns with issues like politics, sexuality, gender, and race, but also how they appeared within their own historical framework.  For instance, knowing how limited the prospects of early modern European women were, even aristocrats, creates new admiration for Shakespeare’s bold and quirky comic heroines.  The plays will be supplemented by some theater history, film, and performance, but this is primarily a course in close reading.  Plays to be read include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, 1 Henry IV, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, and The Tempest. Open to all students.

 

91173

HIST/ LIT 255   The Victorians: British History and Literature 1830-1901

Deirdre d'Albertis /

Richard Aldous

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

Olin L. C. 115

HIST

Through interdisciplinary study of culture, politics and society in the British Isles, we will consider the rise and fall of Victorian values with particular attention to nationalism, imperialism, government, and domestic ideology. Consulting a variety of texts – novels, plays, essays, music, poetry and historical works – we will also examine changing (and often conflicting) conceptions of crime, sexuality, race, social class, the position of women, the vote, and the crisis of faith in nineteenth-century Britain.

 

91256

LIT 272   The Irish Renaissance

Terence Dewsnap

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

RKC 200

ELIT

Cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies  The Irish Renaissance of the first few decades of the twentieth century was the creation of those cultural leaders who founded the Abbey Theatre to nourish a specifically Irish (not British, not European) imagination. The revival exploited three sources: the mythical Ireland of Celtic legend where Cuchulain, Maeve, Finn, and Fergus waged epic battles over cows and birthrights with the aid and interference of magic; western Ireland, poetry and story; and a political history that is a persistent record of invasion, oppression, and faction, and of heroic gestures accompanied by a mood of tragic failure. The course begins with a brief history of Ireland, concentrating on three discrete moments: the end of the seventeenth century and the battles of Boyne and Aughrim, the abortive rising of 1798, and the 1890s spirit of nationalistic renewal. Then we consider the Abbey Theatre and its reconstruction of the legends of the past and the use of idioms and characters of the west of Ireland, chiefly in the drama of Yeats and Synge. We will look at the development of these themes in the literature associated with the troubles of 1916‑22 and in later writings, which continue or challenge the themes of the Renaissance, including works by Sean O'Casey, Liam O'Flaherty, Frank O'Connor, Flann O'Brien, and Brendan Behan.