Historical studies in the Comparative, English and American literature traditions are organized into sequences. (Please notify the instructor if you need a sequence course in order to moderate in the fall of 2010.)



LIT 204A   Comparative Literature I

Karen Sullivan

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

Olin 301


Cross-listed: Medieval Studies   When a literary work is composed, who is it who composes it? To what  extent does such a work represent the general culture out of which it  emerged, and to what extent does it reflect an individual  consciousness? While these questions continue to divide literary  critics today, with some emphasizing the social and others the  individual origins of such works, these issues are of particular  interest to readers of medieval and Renaissance literature, as it was  during this time period that the notion of the author, as we conceive  of it today, first developed. In this course, we will be considering  the shift from epic to lyric and romance; from orally-based literature  to written texts; and from anonymous poets to professional writers.  Texts to be read will include The Song of Roland, troubadour lyrics,  Arthurian romances, Dante's Inferno, Petrarch’s sonnets, Boccaccio’s  Decameron, Christine de Pizan's Book of the City of Ladies, and  Francois Villon's Testament.



LIT 204C   Comparative Literature III

Eric Trudel

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

Olin 203


This course examines the peculiar and perplexing Euro-American literary transformation loosely named Romanticism to Modernity. Reading selected texts by a limited number of authors very carefully, we will emphasize the relation between the self and others, as it happens in language: what is it to meet others in words? How do actions and obligations emerge and change out of encounters in language? How does what we think or know get linked with what we do, if it does? And how does language sustain or bear with non-human others: ideas, the dead, memories, and so on? Readings from Apollinaire, Balzac, Baudelaire, Chekhov, Dostoesky, Flaubert, Goethe, Gogol, Hoffmann, Hofmannsthal, James, Kafka, Lautréamont, Mallarmé, Novalis, Rilke, Schlegel, Schiller, Wilde and Woolf.    



LIT 250   English Literature I

Benjamin La Farge

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

Olin 309


An intensive course in Medieval and Renaissance English literature which emphasizes close readings in historical contexts, the development of a critical vocabulary and imagination, and the discovery of some of the classic works which make up English literature from Beowulf and Chaucer to the major Elizabethans. Among the topics we will explore are the construction of the author (from "Anonymous" to Shakespeare), the British "nation"(imagined and partly created by the literature), and the urban, rural, monastic, and theatrical levels of society which literature sought to represent. Authors include the Beowulf poet, the Gawain-poet, Chaucer, Sir Thomas More, Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sydney, Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson, among others. The course is for new and continuing literature majors who want to explore the range and depth of English literature while they fulfill program requirements.   



LIT 251   English Literature II

Terence Dewsnap

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

HEG 200


Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature in England, including metaphysical poetry of John Donne, George Herbert and others, Milton's Paradise Lost, and genre poetry; drama (revenge plays, Restoration, and later, comedies); also the beginnings of the novel.



LIT 252   English Literature III

Cole Heinowitz

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

Olin 205


Cross-listed: Victorian Studies    This course explores developments in British literature from the late eighteenth century to the twentieth century—a period marked by the effects of the French and American Revolutions, rapid industrialization, the rise and decline of empire, two world wars, the development of regional identities within Britain, and growing uncertainty about the meaning of "Britishness" in a global context. Beginning with the "Romantics" and ending with avant garde English poetry of the 1970s and 1980s, we will discuss such issues as the construction of tradition, the imagining of Britain, conservatism versus radicalism, the empire, and the usefulness (or not) of periodization. The centerpiece of the course is close reading—of poetry, prose, essays, and plays. 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.



LIT 259   Literature of the U.S. III

Geoffrey Sanborn

. . W . F

11:50 -1:10 pm

Olin 308


Cross-listed: American Studies  In this course we will track the development of American literature between 1865 and 1930 by working out the relationship between a series of literary movements—realism, regionalism, naturalism, and modernism—and a series of epochal historical events: among them, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the rise of the corporation, the Indian Wars, imperialism, the “New Woman,” new technologies, the birth of modern consumerism, the trauma of World War I, anxiety over immigration, and the various hedonisms of the so-called “Jazz Age.” While writing (and rewriting) this macro-narrative with our left hands, we will be writing a micro-narrative with our right hands, in which we attend not to vast social panoramas but to the moment-to-moment unfolding of each writer’s art. Authors include Twain, Crane, James, Chopin, Chesnutt, Wharton, Cather, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Frost, Williams, Stevens, Millay, and Faulkner. 



LIT 260   Literature of the U. S. IV

Matthew Mutter

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

Olin 305


Cross-listed:  American Studies  This course will look at how post-war writers represent American experience in an era in which the United States has become the dominant military, economic, and cultural power in the world.  We will examine the fate of American ideals (democracy, self-reliance, mobility) in this literature and investigate how it responded to or galvanized key social transformations (civil rights, feminism, new technologies, suburbanization).  The authors under consideration will include Roth, Baldwin, Bishop, Plath, Percy, Morrison, Bellow, DeLillo, and Danticat.