LIT 3033 Toward (A) Moral Fiction

Mary Caponegro

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 305


The novels in this course each grapple with ethical issues through fictive means. In navigating them, we will try to assess the way in which literature can create, complicate, or resolve ethical dilemmasor eschew morality altogether. We will also attend to craft, investigating how these authors concerns are furthered by formal considerations. Students will read one novel per week, occasionally supplemented by theoretical texts. Analytical writing will be the primary mode of response, but a creative option will be given for students to find their own fictive path to a social, ethical or political issue. The syllabus will draw from the following texts: Kleists Michael Kohlhaas, Graham Greenes The Power and the Glory or The Heart of the Matter, Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale, Roberto Bolanos By Night in Chile, Michel Tourniers The Ogre, Elfriede Jelineks Wonderful Wonderful Times, J.M. Coetzees Disgrace, Rikki Docornets Netsuke, J.G. Ballards Crash, Michael Houellebecqs The Possibility of an Island, Kenzaburo Oes Nip the Buds Shoot the Kids, Martin Amiss Times Arrow, and Doris Lessings The Fifth Child. Class size: 15



LIT 3040 Junior Seminar: Romanticism and the Philosophy of Language

Cole Heinowitz

. . W . .

1:30 3:50 pm

OLIN 308


The power of languageto represent and to misrepresent, to reveal and to obscurewas a central preoccupation of Romantic-era poets. Is language entirely subjective, relating to thoughts alone? Is language essentially social, the set of shared signs that allows for mutual understanding? Or does language reflect our connection to nature and the divine? In this course, we will pursue these questions through the poetry and prose of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats, as well as through the writings of the philosophersincluding Locke, Leibniz, Rousseau, and Schellingwho informed their ideas. We will also consider the works of twentieth-century thinkers such as Saussure, Foucault, Heidegger, and Agamben. Class size: 15



LIT 3147 T. S. Eliot and Modernity

Matthew Mutter

M . . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 306


Cross-listed: American Studies This course explores the work of T.S. Eliot in its intellectual, cultural, and political contexts. Eliot described the mind of the poet as a catalyst that converted the elements surrounding it into art; we will approach Eliot as a mind that converted the crises and contradictions of modernity into poetry, drama, and criticism. To that end, the course will examine his engagement with the burgeoning discourses of anthropology, psychology, and sociology; his philosophy of radical skepticism; his critique of Romanticism; his responses to urbanization, cultural fragmentation, and world war; and the controversial religious and political attitudes of his later career. We will investigate Eliots poetic and philosophical influences (Charles Baudelaire, Jules Laforgue, Ezra Pound, F.H. Bradley, Emile Durkheim, James Frazer, and others), and consider the fortunes of his reputation among poets and academics. Fulfills the American Studies Junior Seminar requirement. Class size: 15



LIT 3205 Dante

Joseph Luzzi

. T . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 310


Cross-listed: Italian Studies, Medieval Studies 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, Dantes relationship with the literary ghosts Vergil 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 the story of Dantes poetic apprenticeship the Vita nuova (The New Life). Conducted in English, readings in English translation; option of work in Italian if student wishes. This course counts as pre-1800 offering. Class size: 15



LIT 3219 War of 1812 Bicentennial: Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace"

Marina Kostalevsky

. T . . .

3:10 -5:30 pm



War is not a polite recreation but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to understand that and not play at war. Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace Cross-listed: Russian & Eurasian Studies There is no doubt that the Napoleonic wars are listed among the most important historical events which, once again, reshaped the political landscape of Europe. There is also little doubt that Leo Tolstoy's epic War and Peace, built around this formidable event, reshaped the literary landscape of the European novel. The bicentennial of 1812, the pivotal year in the entire military conflict between European nations, gives us renewed incentive to read Tolstoys masterpiece as a multidisciplinary text that explores the boundaries between artistic, political, military, philosophical, and religious writing. Therefore, the class will be reading other selected writings by Tolstoy on art, history, war, causation, and ethics, as well as ancillary texts by various scholars on the theory of the novel, the history of Napoleonic wars, Leo Tolstoys life, art, and ideas. We will also read major works of literary criticism inspired by the novel, including studies of Russian formalists and contemporary literary scholars. Special attention will be given to Tolstoys use of language and literary devices. Conducted in English. Class size: 15



LIT 331 Translation Workshop

Peter Filkins

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 303


The workshop is intended for students interested in exploring both the process of translation and ways in which meaning is created and shaped through words. Class time will be divided between a consideration of various approaches to the translation of poetry and prose, comparisons of various solutions arrived at by different translators, and the students' own translations into English of poetry and prose from any language or text of their own choosing. Prerequisite: One year of language study or permission of the instructor. Class size: 15



LIT 333 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 101


This seminar is devoted to close readings of novels and collections of short stories by innovative contemporary fiction writers published over the last quarter century, with an eye toward exploring both the great diversity of voices and styles employed in these narratives as well as the cultural, historical, and social issues they chronicle. Particular emphasis will be placed on analysis of fiction by some of the more pioneering practitioners of the form, including Cormac McCarthy, William Gaddis, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Michael Ondaatje, Ian McEwan, Jamaica Kincaid, along with two or three authors who will visit class to discuss their books and read from recent work. Class size: 15



LIT 349 Junior Seminar: Victorian Bodies

Deirdre d'Albertis

. . . Th . . T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm 11:00 - 12:00 pm

OLIN 101 OLIN LC 206


Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies; Science, Technology & Society; Victorian Studies The very term Victorian is synonymous with an outmoded sense of decorum, prudishness, and inhibition. Yet as Foucault memorably asserted, we other Victorians remain profoundly influenced by notions of the body and sexual difference established in the nineteenth century. We will study a series of Victorian textsliterary and non-literaryto explore a range of somatic cultures. We will also consider Victorian bodies in the aggregate. Why did the body come to be used by the Victorians as a figure for the state? How did British imperial discourse purport to classify and study subject bodies? Finally, what properties, sensations, and affective responses did the human body represent for nineteenth-century thinkers? Authors considered may include: Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hughes, Richard Burton, Robert Baden-Powell, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, John Ruskin, Rudyard Kipling, and Lewis Carroll, among others. Upper College standing assumed; enrollment limited to fifteen. This is a writing intensive course. The general goals of the writing component of the course are to improve the development, composition, organization, and revision of analytical prose; the use of evidence to support an argument; strategies of interpretation and analysis of texts; and the mechanics of grammar and documentation. Regular short writing assignments will be required. Class size: 15



LIT 3640 Memorable 19th Century Continental Novels

Justus Rosenberg

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

OLIN 307


This course offers an in-depth examination of continental novels that are part of the literary canon, such as Dostoyevskys Brothers Karamazov, Tolstoys War and Peace, Stendhals The Red and the Black, Flauberts Madame Bovary, Balzacs Cousin Bette and Thomas Manns The Buddenbrooks, which collectively provide a realistic picture of the major artistic, social, political, and philosophical trends and developments in 19th century Europe. We explore these writers portrayals of the rising middle class, the corrosion of religious beliefs and romantic notions, the position of women in society, the birth of radical ideologies, the debate between materialism and idealism as philosophical concepts, and analyze the diversity of their narrative strategies. Our readings are enhanced by selected screen adaptations of some novels. Class size: 15



LIT 3742 Gertrude Stein & John Cage

Joan Retallack

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm



Gertrude Stein and John Cage are arguably the most influential American figures in the experimental arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. In this class well read, view, and listen to selections from their work while noticing key connections to important developments in the fields with which they are most closely associated: literature, visual arts, music, dance, and other performance arts. Though Cage credited Stein as a major early influence on his own work, the two never met.  In this class they will. Well study what they each had to say about their own aesthetics and then put key examples into conversation with one another, ending the semester with an assessment of their contributions to the way we view and practice the arts today. Along the way, well bring the work of a number of important modernists, postmoderns and contemporaries into the mixincluding Picasso and Virgil Thomson (Stein); Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns (Cage). The steady current throughout will be attentive, conversational readings (and performances) of their poetry, poetics, and lecture texts in order to make sense and meaning of their unparalleled inventiveness. Students will compose two portfolios of essays and experiments in Steinian/Cagean poeticsone due at mid-term, the other at the end of the semester. Admission to class by permission of professor. Class size: 15



LIT 405 DD Senior Colloquium: Literature

Deirdre dAlbertis

M . . . .

4:45 -6:30 pm



Literature Majors writing a project are required to enroll in the year-long Senior Colloquium. Senior Colloquium is an integral part of the 8 credits earned for Senior Project. An opportunity to share working methods, knowledge, skills and resources among students, the colloquium explicitly addresses challenges arising from research and writing on this scale, and presentation of works in progress. A pragmatic focus on the nuts and bolts of the project will be complemented with life-after-Bard skills workshops, along with a review of internship and grant-writing opportunities in the discipline. Senior Colloquium is designed to create a productive network of association for student scholars and critics: small working groups foster intellectual community, providing individual writers with a wide range of support throughout this culminating year of undergraduate study in the major. Class size: 25