91296

LIT 140 Introduction to Media

Maria Sachiko Cecire

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 201

HUM

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Science, Technology, & Society This course offers a foundation in media history and theory, with a focus on how to use aspects of traditional humanistic approaches such as close reading and visual literacy to critically engage with both traditional and new media. The work of theorists such as Walter Benjamin, Jean Baudrillard, Katherine Hayles, Henry Jenkins, Friedrich Kittler, and Marshall McLuhan will guide our discussions as we consider how media frame and shape humanistic texts, from medieval manuscripts to the transmediated narratives of the internet age. Topics to be covered include print culture, the rise of the motion picture and electronic media, algorithms and hypermedia, and what Jenkins has called the convergence culture of today. As part of our ongoing examinations of how material conditions shape discourse, we will assess our own positions as users, consumers, and potential producers of media. Class size: 18

 

91700

LIT 145 The Iliad of Homer: An Intensive Reading

Daniel Mendelsohn

. T . . .

1:30 3:50 pm

RKC 103

ELIT

Cross-listed: Classical Studies This course will consist of an intensive reading of Homers Iliad over the course of a single semester. The course, which mimics the design of a graduate seminara single, two-and-a-half-hour meeting each week, focusing on in-depth discussion and textual explication, with a heavy emphasis on how to write critically about a literary textis designed to introduce first-year students to more profound and sophisticated techniques of reading and thinking about texts than they will have thus far encountered. After two prefatory sessions, in which students will be introduced to the large issues particular both to this genre (the archaic Greek world, oral composition, the Homeric Question) and to this particular text (the epic cycle, the heroic code, violence and warfare, the clash of civilizations, East vs. West, the role of the gods in human history), we will read through the epic at a rate of two books per week. Throughout, students will be introduced, by means of excerpts and shorter articles, to the arc of the scholarly tradition, especially with respect to the Homeric Question: from Wolfs Prolegomenon to Homer to M. L. Wests recent argument that the Iliad was, in fact, written down by a single author/poet. Two summary sessions will conclude the semester as we (a) look at the classical heritage of the Iliad (the Aeneid, especially) and then (b) look back at the broad literary and cultural issues raised by this essential document of the Western tradition, and look at some modern adaptations (Logues War Music, for instance; also attempts to dramatize the Iliadand why they so often fail). A premium will be placed on student participation in class discussion, and each student will be asked to present a book of the poem (focusing on structural analysis, interpretative issues, etc.) to the class. At least three papers, midterm, final exam. This course is designed for First-Year Students. Class size: 22

 

91290

LIT 2002 Americans Abroad

Donna Grover

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 203

ELIT

Cross-listed: Africana Studies, American 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. Class size: 22

 

91255

LIT 2031 Ten Plays that Shook the World

Justus Rosenberg

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 301

ELIT

Cross-listed: French Studies, Theater 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 preformed? 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. Class size: 22

 

91679

LIT 2035 Religion and the Secular in Literary Modernism

Matthew Mutter

. T . Th .

11:50 1:10 pm

RKC 101

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 Cathers Death Comes for the Archbishop, Nathanael Wests Miss Lonelyhearts, T.S. Eliots Four Quartets, Jean Toomers Cane, stories by Flannery OConnor and poems by Wallace Stevens and W.B. Yeats. Class size: 18

 

91233

LIT 2037 Childhood and Children's Literature in Japan

Mika Endo

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 201

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 societys 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 childrens literature and culture as it developed into an independent field of production. As we revisit major trends of Japans 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. This course counts as a World Literature offering. Class size: 20

 

91867

LIT 2086 Modern Tragedy

Benjamin La Farge

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 301

ELIT

All tragedies see the human condition as doomed; but in classical Greek tragedy the protagonist's fate, usually signified by an oracle, is externalized as something beyond human control, whereas in modern tragedy, starting with Shakespeare and his contemporaries, fate is more or less internalized as a flaw in the protagonist's character. Since then the modern protagonist has increasingly been seen as a helpless victim of circumstance, a scapegoat. Fate is sometimes externalized as history, war, or society, sometimes internalized, but in either case the protagonist has been reduced in stature, so that 20th century tragedy can only be called ironic--a far cry from the heroic tragedy of ancient Greece. In tracing this complex history, including the disappearance and revival of the chorus, we will examine tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky (his novel Crime and Punishment), Ibsen, Strindberg, O'Neill, Brecht, Sartre, and Miller, all of which will be scrutinized in the light of major theories by Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and others. Class size: 15

 

91241

LIT 209 Major American Poets

Benjamin La Farge

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 301

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies American poetry found its own voice in the first half of the 19th century when Emerson challenged American "scholars" to free themselves from tradition. For the next three generations most of the major poets, from Walt Whitman to Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens, acknowledged Emerson as a crucial inspiration. Emerson himself and two of his contemporaries, Longfellow and Edgar Allan Poe, were the first to achieve international fame, but it was in Whitman's poems that a distinctively American voice was first heard--a voice that was both oracular and plain-spoken. At the same time, the oddly metered, introspective poems of Emily Dickinson, mostly unpublished during her lifetime, spoke in a New England voice that was no less distinctive and no less American. Then, only thirty years after her death, the powerful modern voices of T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, H.D., Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robinson Jeffers, E.E. Cummings, and Hart Crane began to be heard. We will read selective poems by each of these, and we will also give equal time to Frost, the great contrarian poet who was dismissed by some as anti-modern but is now acknowledged as one of the greatest. Class size: 15

 

91253

LIT 216 Victorian Myth, Fantasy and the Art of Detection

Terence Dewsnap

. T . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm

OLIN 310

ELIT

Cross-listed: Victorian Studies Extensive reading in the poets Browning and Tennyson. Fiction by Disraeli, George MacDonald, Wilkie Collins, Morris, Hardy and Arthur Conan Doyle. Class size: 15

 

91349

LIT 218 Free Speech

Thomas Keenan

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

HEG 106

HUM

Cross-listed: Human Rights (Core Course ) An introduction to debates about freedom of expression. The course will examine the ways in which rights, language, and public space have been linked together in ideas about democracy. What is 'freedom of speech'? Is there a right to say anything? We will investigate who has had this right, where it has come from, and what it has had to do in particular with literature. What powers does speech have, who has the power to speak, and for what? In asking about the status of the speaking human subject, we will ask about the ways in which the subject of rights, and indeed the thought of human rights itself, derives from a 'literary' experience. These questions will be examined, if not answered, across a variety of literary, philosophical, legal and political texts, including case studies and readings in contemporary critical and legal theory. Class size: 22

 

91254

LIT 2186 Irish Traditions of Comedy

Terence Dewsnap

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

RKC 122

ELIT

Cross-listed: Irish & Celtic Studies Irish and Anglo-Irish inventions of comedy, from medieval bards with their magical and satiric language to modern writers like Marina Carr and Paul Durcan. Other writers include Swift, Merryman, Edgeworth, Boucicault, Synge, Joyce, OCasey, Behan, Molly Keane and Flann OBrien. Class size: 15

 

91460

LIT 2187 An Introduction to Poetics

Ann Lauterbach

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 107

ELIT

In broad terms, poetics refers to ideas around the making of, and criteria for, artistic form. How is a poem a poem? We will examine how certain linguistic elements, including prosody, syntax, diction, grammar and lineation, affect the writing and reading of poems; we will ask how historical, social and individual contexts might affect a poets formal choices, and examine the ambiguity between subjective and objective theories of poetic creation and critical judgment. We will question the possibility of interpretive validity in a world of continuous informational flow. Class size: 15

 

91710

LIT 2188 New African Writing from the 21st Century:The Contemporary Short Story

Binyavanga Wainaina

. T . Th .

11:50 1:10 pm

HEG 204

ELIT

Cross-listed Africana Studies This class will look at a selection of the most innovative African writers of the short story form in English and in translation. We will focus on writers born after the independence movements in the 1960s, and writers based on the continent and elsewhere. There will be close readings of selected texts by writers like Igoni Barret, Chimamanda Adichie, Waigwa Ndiagui, Iheoma Nwachukwu and others. Students will be expected to do quite a bit of their own background research on each writer, and some understanding of the places they write from or about to give context to the reading of their work. This course is writing intensive. There will be a 15 page term project to submit at the end of term. Class size. 20

91770

LIT 2189 Nineteenth-Century Fictions of American Selfhood

Alex Benson

M . W . .

11:50 - 1:10 pm

OLIN 301

ELIT

In most books, writes Henry David Thoreau in the opening of Walden, the I, or first person, is omitted. But the use of the first-person singular plays a crucial and multifarious role not only in Thoreaus text but across the field of nineteenth-century American literature. In this course well investigate the relationship between first-person discourse and the imagination of identity, reading works of autobiography, slave narrative, fiction, poetry, and philosophy in order to see how they grapple with the problem of invoking a self through the medium of a text. Why does this mode of address become so important to certain intellectual and aesthetic projects? And what are the political and social conditions that allow one (or dont) to express oneself in the first person singular? Authors include Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allan Poe, Thoreau, Harriet Jacobs, Herman Melville, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Class size. 18

 

91374

LIT 219 The Sonnet

Philip Pardi

. . W . F

10:10 - 11:30 am

HEG 300

ELIT

Since its emergence in the 13th century, the sonnet has proven to be a popular, resilient, yet malleable form. In this course well trace the development of the sonnet, in English and in translation. Well consider its formal aspects, as well as the way poets have worked within and against such constraints, and well investigate what role the sonnet might have played in the development of English poetry. Poets will include Petrarch, Wyatt, Shakespeare, Sor Juana, Clare, Barrett Browning, Rilke, Berrigan, Mayer, Hahn, Lerner, and others. This class will focus on close reading, and students should be prepared to write frequently, both in class and out. Class size: 18

 

91712

LIT 2191 Modern Metropolis Tokyo: Literature, Media & Urban Space

Nathan Shockey

M . W . .

1:30 2:50 pm

HEG 201

FLLC

Cross-listed: Asian Studies, Environmental & Urban Studies This class explores representations of the megalopolis of Tokyo, the largest agglomeration of people in the history of human civilization. By working with a variety of literary texts, photographs, films, maps, and other media, we will address the cultural history of modern Tokyo while discussing larger concerns about the relationships between social experience and city space. How do people make sense of the shifting fields of sensation and information that constitute life in the worlds biggest city? How can the experiences and emotions germane to metropolitan life be expressed, communicated, and understood? We will think together about the ways in which people and cities can and do change each other, and how techniques of imagining, creating, and living in modern cities have changed over time. All readings are in English and include works by Nagai Kaf, Tanizaki Junichir, Akutagawa Rynosuke, Abe Kb, Tatsumi Yoshihiro, and other Japanese authors in addition to writings by urban theorists such as Max Weber, Georg Simmel, David Harvey, and Lewis Mumford. Class size: 18

 

91771

LIT 2193 Raised by Wolves: Literary Wild Children and the Limits of the Human

Alex Benson

M . W . .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 305

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights In this course, well track the strange careers of wild children, fugitives, vagabonds, foundlings, and the occasional talking animal. Whats common to this eclectic set of figuresor rather to the narratives well read about themis their way of troubling some of the distinctions often drawn between the human and the nonhuman, civilization and wilderness, culture and nature. Enlightenment philosophy provides a traditional context for thinking abut the significance of the feral child, and well take Jean-Jacques Rousseaus reflections on savagery and the state of nature as a starting point. From there, though, well range broadly. Well attend closely to several works by nineteenth-century American writers; in a period characterized by chattel slavery, westward expansion, and emergent evolutionary thinking, the figure that straddles the human-nonhuman divide takes on a peculiar urgency. And well also consider the appearance of the wild child in several more recent works that tend toward the fantastical, from a 1929 novel about children taken by pirates to a 2006 story about girls raised by wolves. Authors include Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Franz Kafka, Richard Hughes, Edward Gorey, Karen Russell, and Steven Millhauser, among others. Class size: 18

 

91358

LIT 2204 World Literature & the CIA

Elizabeth Holt

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 308

FLLC

Cross-listed: Africana Studies, Human Rights LAIS, Middle Eastern Studies In 1950, the Central Intelligence Agency clandestinely created the Congress for Cultural Freedom, administered from London with its main offices in Paris, in order to foster what it deemed the "Non-Communist Left" through a global network of conferences, concerts, exhibitions, and influential literary magazines. Covertly disseminating a Cold War cultural politics and aesthetics that sought to untether literature from politics, the Congress underwrote a world literary canon that the world literature anthology and classroom inherits and keeps in circulation (including authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Tayyeb Salih, James Baldwin, Pablo Neruda, Yusuf Idris, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, and William Faulkner) .  In this course, we will read selected poetry, short stories, novels, and essays published in the Congress's journals between 1950 and its scandalous collapse in 1967, looking in particular at the London-based Encounter, the Beirut-based Hiwar, the Latin American Mundo Nuevo, Uganda's Transition, as well as histories of the Congress, and reports the Rand Corporation has recently prepared for the United States Department of Defense, as we consider the legacy of this global intelligence plot to use literature in the furtherance of empire. This course counts as a World Literature offering. Class size: 22

 

92184

LIT 2226 A Pan Africa is Possible: Ten Years of Chimurenga Magazines Revolutionary Aesthetic

Binyavanga Wainaina

. T . Th .

3:10 4:30 pm

HEG 308

ELIT

Cross-listed: Africana Studies Pan-Africani sm is a political movement that seeks to unify African people or people living in Africa. In December 2011, The Prince Claus Foundation awarded Chimurenga its grand prize for "challenging established ideas and stimulating pan African culture with an unwavering commitment to intellectual autonomy, diversity and freedom." This class will examine ten years of Chimurenga Magazines revolutionary aesthetic. This class will focus on a close reading of the whole editions and selected extracts from 16 issues of Cape Town based Chimurenga magazine dating back to 2002 when the magazine was founded. We will also examine various Chimurenga and Chinu related media: video, audio, music and blogs used as part of the online magazine. This 200 level course will also serve as an introduction to contemporary African writing since the late 1990s.Through these readings, we will discover the political, social and aesthetic world Chimurenga has proposed for a new generation of cosmopolitan Africans on the continent and around the world. Though set in South Africa, and fully immersed in Cape Town, Chimurengas bold vision has managed present a pungent and dynamic aesthetic that has influenced African artists and intellectuals all over the world.

Class size: 20

 

91281

LIT 2236 Reading Resistance and Revolution in the Arab World

Dina Ramadan

M . W . .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 201

FLLC

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Human Rights, Middle Eastern Studies With the recent uprisings in the Arab world, much attention has been given to the role of writers and artists in political movements. Beginning with anti-colonial resistance movements of the early 20th century, this course will survey the changing understanding and expectations of the literary and cultural production in the region. Iltizam or literary commitment, a translation of Jean Paul Sartres notion of engagement, became a central concept during the decades of postcolonial nation-building when there was a profound confidence in literature and art as tools for representing and transforming socio-political realities. By the 1970s however, there was an increasing mistrust of the traditional narrative structure central to the social realism of previous generations. This political disillusionment was reflected in a range of stylistic and aesthetic shifts in the decades that follow. We will begin by reading some of the foundational committed texts, such as Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawis The Earth, before moving on to more contested and experimental works such as Ghassan Kanafanis All That is Left to You, and Jabra Ibrahim Jabra's In Search of Walid Masoud. We will also focus on the role of poetry, particularly colloquial poetry, in chronicling popular resistance. Finally, we will consider literary and artistic works produced the last few years, thinking about the ways in which they reflect a shift in understandings of writers, artists, resistance, and revolution. All readings will be in English. This course counts as a World Literature offering. Class size: 22

 

91262

LIT 2243 How to Use the Language

Francine Prose

. . . . F

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 301

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights In this course we will examine how language is used (badly and well, and for a wide range of reasons) by great writers and by the daily papers, by advertising and TV. How does language create character, reproduce everyday speech, suggests meaning, describe consciousness, form our social and political views, and change our attitudes and preconceptions? The reading list will include stories, novels and memoirs by writers including the following: Tolstoy, Chekhov, Cheever, Flaubert, Isaac Babel, Katherine Mansfield, Roberto Bolano, Mavis Gallant, Jo Ann Beard, Anne Ernaux, and Jennifer Egan. Two short papers a week will be required. Application is by email to fprose@erols.com explaining the students reason for wanting to take the class. Please dont use my Bard email address. Class size: 15

 

91283

LIT 2261 Blurring the Boundaries: Magical Realism in World Literature

Melanie Nicholson

M . W . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 303

FLLC

Cross-listed: LAIS When the Latin American Boom novel exploded onto the international literary scene in the 1960s, it brought to prominence a narrative mode known as magical realism. Alternately incorporating magical events into quotidian reality and sometimes brutal political and social realities into mythical realms, magical realism presents itselfas some critics have arguedas a particularly apt mode of expression for third-world or postcolonial societies, or for marginalized populations in any locale. In this course we will first consider the Latin American origins of magical realism, then examine its varied manifestations in novels from Africa to India to the United States. We will use narrative theory to disentangle the multiple and sometimes contradictory definitions of magical realist prose. Authors may include Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Gabriel Garca Mrquez, Carlos Fuentes, Isabel Allende, Ben Okri, Salmon Rushdie, Angela Carter, D.M. Thomas, Tahar ben Jelloun, and Toni Morrison. This course counts as a World Literature offering. Class size: 18

 

91284

LIT 2311 St. Petersburg: City, Monument, Text

Olga Voronina

. T . Th .

1:30 -2:50 pm

OLIN 202

FLLC

Cross-listed: Russian & Eurasian Studies, Environmental & Urban Studies Emperors, serfs, merchants, and soldiers built St. Petersburg, but it was the writers who put it on the cultural map of the world. Founded on the outskirts of the empire, the city served as a missing link between enlightened Europe and barbaric Asia, between the turbulent past of the Western civilization and its uncertain future. Considered to be too cold, too formal, too imperial on the outside, St. Petersburg harbored revolutionary ideas and terrorist movements that threatened to explode from within. While its granite quays were erected to withstand the assault of the floods, some of its most famous monuments, including literary works, resisted the onset of new, radical ideologies. In this course, we will study the conflicting nature of the city as reflected in literature and literary criticism. The poems and novels on our reading list will provide a sweeping overview of Russias literary canon in the 19th and 20th centuries, from Pushkin to Dostoevsky and from Gogol to Bely and Nabokov. After exploring Queen of Spades, Crime and Punishment, and Anna Karenina, we will move on to Petersburg and The Defense, thus undertaking a journey through Russias literary tradition and the urban landscape of the north with the authors who either reconstructed St. Petersburg in their memory or re-visited it in their imaginations. Class size: 22

 

91409

LIT 2324 Freudian Psychoanalysis, Language, and Literature

Helena Gibbs

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 302

ELIT

The understanding that language inhabits the human subject is essential to Sigmund Freuds conception of the unconscious. It is Freud who taught us to read slips of the tongue, bungled actions, memory lapses, and dreamswhat he calls formations of the unconsciousas speech in their own right. Throughout his work he demonstrates that speech implicates us at a level far beyond what we typically consider communication. By singling out certain properties of language (e.g., a word signifying a variety of meanings), Freud scrutinizes its ability to structure us as subjects. Selections from Freuds The Interpretation of Dreams, Studies on Hysteria, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life will serve as a point of departure for a broader examination of Freudian psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice. These texts will be complemented with writings by Jacques Lacan and other authors whose works shed further light on the subject of the Freudian unconscious, among them Ferdinand de Saussure, Roman Jakobson, and Claude Lvi-Strauss. A particular focus of the course will be the intersection of Freudian theory with literature and poetry. The authors will include Heinrich von Kleist, Stphane Mallarm, Ren Crevel, W. G. Sebald, Virginia Woolf, Marguerite Duras, and Javier Maras. Class size: 15

 

91725

LIT 2404 Fantastic Journeys and the Modern World

Jonathan Brent

. . W . .

4:40 7:00 pm

OLIN 309

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 crumblebarriers 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 modernitywhere 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 civilizationin art, morality, politics, the psyche and social lifea 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

 

91260

LIT 2501 Shakespeare

Nancy Leonard

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 301

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 Shakespeares bold and quirky comic heroines. Our primary focus is literary, but we will draw on critical readings, theater history, film and performance work. Plays to be read include A Midsummer Nights Dream, Romeo and Juliet, 1 Henry IV, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, and The Tempest. Open to all students. This course counts as pre-1800 offering. Class size: 22

 

91210

LIT 2601 American Literature 1945-2012

Elizabeth Frank

. . W . . . . . Th .

11:50 -1:10 pm 10:10 - 11:30 am

ASP 302 ASP 302

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies In the wake of World War II, the United States emerged as the worlds dominant military, economic, and cultural power. That power, diffused into the lives of individual Americans by technological, political, and social change, simultaneously deepened a sense of powerlessness for some and fulfilled hopes and expectations for others: if you imaginatively identified with the nation and its privileged symbolsfor example, whiteness, masculinity, weaponry, and material plentywould you experience the promised sense of centrality and significance seemingly mandated by our military triumph, our wealth, our extraordinary global prestige, and our historical sense of providential destiny? Or would you experience, or even be aware of, Americas failure to deliver on its promises? In this course, we will be looking at the ways in which American literature imagined and represented what it was like to live American lives between August 6, 1945, and September 11, 2001, the day when American verities and pieties underwent a sudden reckoning. We will begin by asking ourselves and our writers the same question with which R.W. Emerson opens his great essay, "Experience": "Where do we find ourselves?" and go on to examine works by mid-to late twentieth-century and contemporary writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. Moreover we shall do so through explicit reference to traditions and problems bequeathed to us by American writing from the seventeenth-century on. Can we still see ourselves as the "City on a Hill"? What has happened to the democratic faith of Emerson and Whitman? Do we possess a "usable past"? Is ours a society marked by "quiet desperation"? Readings vary each time the course is given; authors may include but are not necessarily confined to Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Roth, Joan Didion, Toni Morrison and others. Class size: 20

 

91223

LIT 2603 Scholasticism vs. Humanism

Karen Sullivan

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

ASP 302

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights, Medieval Studies, Theology Throughout the Middle Ages, intellectual life was dominated by scholastics, who sought to integrate reason and faith, logic and revelation, classical philosophy and the Christian Gospels. For many of these thinkers, the City of Man, in which we now live, should ideally mirror the City of God, in which we hope one day to reside: both are single, unified, exquisitely ordered and hierarchical structures, in which the individual part is harmoniously integrated into the greater whole. During the Renaissance, however, intellectual discourse was taken over by humanists, who stressed empiricism over abstraction, rhetoric over dialectic, and Plato over Aristotle as the means of access to truth. With experience now privileged over logic, the personal, subjective perception expressed in literature became prized over the impersonal, seemingly objective cosmos of philosophy. In this seminar, we will be exploring the tension between scholastic and humanist thought against the background of the rise of the university, the shift from Gothic to Renaissance architecture, the discovery of the New World, and the eruption of the Protestant Reformation, as well as within the context of more recent historical eras. Authors to be read include Augustine, Aquinas, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Erasmus, Rabelais, Montaigne, and Descartes. This course counts as pre-1800 offering. Class size: 22

 

91289

LIT 2670 Women Writing the Caribbean

Donna Grover

. T . Th .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 203

ELIT/DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies, American Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies The creolized culture of the Caribbean has been a hotbed of womens writing from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Claudia Mitchell-Kernan describes creolization as nowhere purely African, but a mosaic of African, European, and indigenous responses to a truly novel reality. This course is concerned with how women, through fiction, interpreted that reality. While confronting the often explosive politics of post-colonial island life and at the same time navigating the presence of French, English, and African influence, women saw their role as deeply conflicted. We will begin with The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, Related by Herself (1831) and Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857). Other writers will include Martha Gelhorn, Jean Rhys, Phyllis Shand Allfrey, Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, and Edwidge Danticat. This course counts as a World Literature offering. Class size: 22