91115

GER / LIT 199   Kafka: Prague, Politics

and the fin-de siecle

Franz Kempf

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLINLC 118

ELIT

See German section for description.

 

91294

LIT 2015   American Indian Fictions

Geoffrey Sanborn

. . W . F

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 301

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies, Human Rights   By the time that D'Arcy McNickle, the first major American Indian novelist, began publishing his work, Indians--the currently preferred self-description of the people sometimes referred to as "Native Americans"—had been stock literary figures for over three hundred years.  In works ranging from Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative and Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly to the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper and the southwestern novels of Willa Cather, white American writers had collectively generated a simultaneously fixed and ungrounded notion of "Indianness."  On the one hand, Indians could not belong to the nation because they existed outside of time, beyond change.  On the other hand, their Indianness, the imaginary essence of what they were, could be repeatedly sought out, appropriated, and refigured by white people in need of a respite from modernity.  As the critic Philip J. Deloria has written, the figure of the Indian in white American culture "gave the nation a bedrock, for it fully engaged the contradiction most central to a range of American identities--that between an unchanging, essential Americanness and the equally American liberty to make oneself into something new." In this course, we will read the tradition of fiction–about-Indians and Indianness in relation to the tradition of fiction–by-Indians that has sprung up in its wake.  Authors include Rowlandson, Brown, Cooper,  Melville, Helen Hunt Jackson, Cather, Black Elk, McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, and Sherman Alexie.  Class size: 20

 

91212

LIT 202   Metrical Verse

Benjamin La Farge

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 309

ELIT

Students will learn how to read and write metrical verse by writing exercises in the principal meters (Accentual/Syllabic, Accentual, Syllabic, Anglo-Saxon Alliterative , Haiku, etc.) and the principal forms (the ballad, the sonnet, blank verse, nonsense verse, the ode, the dramatic monologue, the villanelle, the sestina, the pantoum) that make poetry in the English language one of the richest traditions in the world.  A particular concern will be the relation between meter and the speaking voice; an additional concern will be the kinds of trope that distinguish classical (figurative) from modernist (elliptical) poetry. Class size: 15

 

91114

LIT 2021   Mark Twain Seminar

Elizabeth Frank

. . W . .

. . . Th .

3:00 -4:20 pm

1:30 -2:50 pm

ASP 302

ELIT

In this course on one of the United States’ wittiest and most renowned literary figures, students will do individual research and make class presentations on Mark Twain’s major works, including, but not restricted to Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson, Letters from the Earth and The Mysterious Stranger. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and one U.S. sequence course or a course in either American Studies or American history.  Class size: 20

 

91270

LIT 2036   Rise of the Black Novel

Charles Walls

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 306

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Africana Studies, American Studies   If we go beyond the pedestrian assumption that early black literature merely provides a forum for the expression of human suffering and for the correction of dehumanizing cultural representations, then we are left with difficult questions about the development of black literary production, which themselves may need reframing: why, for instance, in the mid-nineteenth century did prominent black men and women of letters begin to write novels?  What special qualities make the novel useful for cultural/political interventions?  Tentatively answering these questions, we will place the narratives of both black and white writers in the context of abolitionism, radical theology and moral theory, the Haitian Revolution and slave rebellion, and mid-nineteenth century theories of the imagination.  Our main task is to articulate the special role that the novel plays in the development of a radical black literary tradition and in a nation headed toward civil war.  Likely writers include Stowe, Douglass, Emerson, Melville, Jacobs, Delany, Brown, Wilson, and Webb. Class size: 15

 

91846

LIT 2037   Childhood and Children’s

Literature in Japan

Mika Endo

. T . Th .

1:30 – 2:50 pm

RKC 102

FLLC

Cross-listed:  Asian Studies  This course examines the ubiquity of the child figure in literary and cultural production in modern Japan. By examining key representations of society’s youngest members as well as works intended for children themselves, we will explore 1) ways that the experience of Japanese modernity was articulated through the lens of the child and 2) the critical reception of children’s literature and culture as it developed into an independent field of production. As we revisit major trends of Japan’s twentieth century, we will think about the historical conditions that made it seem possible and necessary to invest material and intellectual resources toward the construction of a culture for children. These issues will be considered through an interdisciplinary examination of a broad range of texts, including short fiction, fairy tales, animated films, manga, and other forms of media such as Japanese kamishibai (paper theater). The major focus of this course is on Japanese cultural production through writers such as Higuchi Ichiyo, Kawabata Yasunari, Oe Kenzaburo, and Yoshimoto Banana, but it will also include some theorists and writers outside Japan. Conducted in English.

 

91633

LAT 207   Latin Literature

Benjamin Stevens

M . W . .

8:30 -9:50 am

OLIN 102

FLLC

See Latin section for description.

 

91259

LIT 2117   Russian Laughter

Marina Kostalevsky

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLINLC 120

ELIT

Cross-listed: Russian & Eurasian Studies  A study of laughter and its manifestation in Russian literary tradition.  Issues to be discussed relate to such concepts and genres as romantic irony, social and political satire, literary parody, carnival, and the absurd.  We will examine how authors as distinct as Dostoevsky and Bulgakov create comic effects and utilize laughter for various artistic purposes.  We will also examine some of the major theories of laughter developed by Hobbs, Bergson, Freud, Bakhtin and others. Required readings  include the works of major Russian writers starting with the late-eighteenth-century satirical play by Denis Fonvisin and ending with Venedict Erofeev's underground cult masterpiece:  a contemplation on the life of a perpetually drunk philosopher in the former Soviet Union. Conducted in English.  Class size: 22

 

91220

LIT 214   Cairo Through its Novels

Dina Ramadan

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 204

FLLC

Cross-listed:  Environmental & Urban Studies, Human Rights; Middle East Studies   Cairo, “the City Victorious,” has long fascinated its writers, captivating their literary imaginations. This course will offer a survey of the modern Egyptian novel, a survey that simultaneously maps the changing cityscape of Egypt’s bulging metropolis, allowing for an examination of the developments and transformations of both during the course of the 20th century. Once considered the center of the Arab world, Cairo has witnessed repeated shifts in its regional and global position and importance over the last century. However, it continues to play a lead role in much of Egyptian literary (and cultural) production. From Naguib Mahfouz’s iconic alley to Sonallah Ibrahim’s apartment building, to Hamdi Abu Golayyel’s multifamily tenement, students will engage with novels that demonstrate a vast range of literary representations by Cairo’s writers, from its shifting centers, to its ever expanding margins. Through close readings of these texts, we will consider the socioeconomic and political conditions that have impacted and radically restructured the city during its recent history, and the ways in which such changes are manifested in its novelists’ stylistic and aesthetic choices. Literary texts will be supplemented by theoretical and historical material. This course will be accompanied by a film series. Taught in English.  Class size: 22

 

91277

LIT 2153  Infernal Paradises:

Literature of Russian Modernism

Olga Voronina

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 303

ELIT

Cross-listed: Russian & Eurasian Studies  Dominated by utopian thinking, the twentieth century witnessed both the creation and deconstruction of many visionary projects, some of which combined political endeavors to change the world with attempts to facilitate, subdue, or subjugate artistic self-expression. In this course, we explore the theme of utopia as an intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual concept with a great capacity for social transformation. Focusing on works by Chekhov, Bely, Blok, Mayakovsky, Tsvetaeva, Zamyatin, Pasternak, Bunin, Nabokov, and Akhmatova, the course aims to demonstrate continuity of the Russian literary tradition while revealing how innovative creative forms and resonant new voices contributed to an unprecedented artistic revival, the one that flourished under the harsh conditions of censorship, totalitarian oppression, and forced isolation between the Russian culture and its western counterpart. Class size: 22

 

91288

LIT 2156   Romantic Literature

Cole Heinowitz

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 201

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 founding of 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 important historical 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. Class size: 22

 

91501

LIT 226   Poetry:Texts, Forms, Experiments

Joan Retallack

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLINLC 210

PART

This course is designed for any students who wish to explore poetic forms, as well as those who are considering (or on their way to) moderating into Written Arts. (Those already moderated are also welcome if there is room.) We will be asking what poets need to know in today’s world, not only about poetry per se, but also about the many models and metaphors from other disciplines (philosophy, science, music, etc.) that have always inflected the poetries of their times. We will explore a broad range—historically and varietally—of  ways to compose with words that have and haven’t been called poetry. (Just what determines whether or not a piece of writing is a poem?) We’ll also pay attention to technologies that are currently expanding the genre, looking at various kinds of digital poetries. This is a hybrid class: part seminar, part workshop. Students will produce a mid-term and a final portfolio of work, as well as present work designed for performance—both individually and collaboratively. There will be readings from a required booklist and handouts throughout the semester. The class is required to attend poetry readings (generally scheduled on Thursday evenings) and other events related to the course during the semester.   Interested students must email Professor Retallack,  mail to: retallack@bard.edu. Class size: 18

 

91251

LIT 230   Innovative Novellas and

Short Stories

Justus Rosenberg

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 201

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. Class size: 18

 

91249

LIT 2331   Classic American Gothic

Donna Grover

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 301

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies   The gothic novel is considered to be the stronghold of ghost stories, family curses and heroines in distress.  Its use of melodrama and the macabre often disguise the psychological, sexual, and emotional issues that are in fact more horrifying than the contents of a haunted house.  The gothic novel in America has often confronted topics pertinent to American identity and history.  In this course we will examine how many American authors used the gothic genre to actually engage with social, political and cultural concerns.   We will read novels and short stories that span the 19th and 20th century by authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe,  Louisa May Alcott, Henry James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman,  Harriet Jacobs, Edith Wharton, William Faulkner, Shirley Jackson and James Baldwin.  Class size: 18

 

91280

LIT 2404   Fantastic Journey and the

Modern World

Jonathan Brent

. . W . .

4:40 -7:00 pm

.

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Russian & Eurasian Studies;  Related interest:  STS   The modern world has been characterized in many ways, as a time of unimaginable freedom, as well as existential angst, exile, loss of the idea of home, loss of the idea of positive heroes; a triumphant embracing of the “new” and the future, as well as the troubling encounter with machines and the menace of totalitarianism.   It was a time when barriers of all sorts began to crumble—barriers between past and present, foreground and background, high and low culture, beauty and ugliness, good and evil.  Artists and writers responded in many different ways across the world. The writers we will read in this class represent the fulcrum of creativity in America, Central or Eastern Europe and Russia.  Each lived at a different axis of modernity—where East met West, where the Russian Revolution provided a vibrant but terrifying image of liberation, where modern technological innovation produced endless possibilities of satirization of both the old world and the new, where ethnic and genocidal violence was developing under the surface of this innovation into the foreseeable European Holocaust. These writers have something powerful and unique to say about the advent of the modern period in the fantastic parallel worlds they created where machines take on lives of their own, grotesque transformations violate the laws of science, and inversions of normality become the norm.  Through their fantastic conceptions a vision of modernity emerges which questions the most basic presumptions of western civilization—in art, morality, politics, the psyche and social life—a vision for which the West still has no satisfying response. All readings are in English. We will read The Marvelous Land of Oz (L. Frank Baum), The Metamorphosis (Kafka), RUR (Capek), War with the Newts (Capek), Street of Crocodiles (Schulz), Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hour Glass (Schulz), Envy (Olesha) The Bedbug (Mayakovsky). There will be 4 short papers for the course & one final paper.  Class size: 15

 

91300

LIT 2483   Urbanization in the 19th Century  Novel: Bright Lights, Big Cities

Stephen Graham

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 201

ELIT

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  The nineteenth century metropolis became too vast for individual comprehension; it became the task of visionary writers to invent the modern city and to discover its distinctive narratives. This course will examine nineteenth-century literary constructions of the urban space, mostly although not exclusively in the form of novels, the major emphasis being on Paris and London. Texts will include Dickens, Our Mutual Friend; Balzac, Lost Illusions; Baudelaire, selected poems; Trollope, The Way We Live Now; Flaubert, Sentimental Education; Mayhew, London Labor and the London Poor; Gissing, New Grub Street; and Thomson, City of Dreadful Night.  Class size: 22

 

91213

LIT 2501   Shakespeare

Benjamin La Farge

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 309

ELIT

A careful reading of nine masterpieces, plus a selection of his sonnets, by the greatest writer of the English language. The plays, representing the full range of his genius in comedy, tragedy, romance, and royal history, will be chosen from among the following: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest. Class size: 15

 

91311

LIT 2505   Early English Literature Reanimated:  The Further Adventures of the Body and Soul

Lianne Habinek /

Maria Cecire

M . . . .

. . W .

11:50 -1:10 pm

11:50 -1:10 pm

RKC 103

OLIN 301/303

ELIT

This course examines literary, historical, and critical accounts of the tension between body and soul in “pre-modern” English literature, and takes up the debate in its modern instantiations. In addition to traditional texts and scholarship, students will have the opportunity to work with pop culture materials and to respond by creating their own cultural products that address this theme. We will cover topics such as the relationship between the spiritual and physical, gender performativity and cross-dressing, racial-religious identity, and the idea of the hero. Early texts include the 14th c. Debate of the Body and Soul and works by Chaucer, Malory, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Swift. This class will meet twice weekly, once with the full class of up to 40 students, and once in sections with either Profs. Habinek or Cecire. Class size: 40

 

91274

LIT 288   Modern Drama in Translation:

Brecht in the Global South

Florian Becker

M . W . .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLINLC 115

ELIT

Cross-listed:  German Studies  This course will examine the global circulation of paradigms of modern Western drama, looking specifically at the case of Bertolt Brecht. From the 1960s to the present, many African and Latin American dramatists and practitioners have reworked Brecht’s plays and techniques to give theatrical shape to the realities of imperialism and decolonization, the impact of Cold War politics and international corporations, the emergence of new ruling classes, and the persistence of political oppression and economic exploitation. What is it about Brecht that these authors have found relevant or useful? How have they—and the local performance practices on which they draw—transformed Brecht’s formal innovations to “re-function” them for their own projects? And what happens to these projects if one no longer believes that a revolution led by the dispossessed multitude is just around the corner? We will focus these questions on radically different adaptations of four of Brecht’s most famous plays—The Threepenny Opera, The Measures Taken, The Good Person of Setzuan and Mother Courage—by authors such as Wole Soyinka from Nigeria, Ngugi wa Thiong’o from Kenya, Athol Fugard, Barney Simon, William Kentridge and The Junction Avenue Theatre Company from South Africa, Daniel Veronese from Argentina, and Teresa Hernández from Puerto Rico. No previous knowledge of African or Latin American history is expected. Students who read German are invited to enroll in a tutorial to study Brecht’s plays in the original. Conducted in English.  Class size: 22