LIT   3046   

 Woman as Cyborg

Maria Cecire

. T . . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

HDR 101A


Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Gender & Sexuality Studies From the robot Maria in the 1927 film Metropolis to the female-voiced Siri application for iPhone, mechanized creations that perform physical, emotional, and computational labor have been routinely gendered female in both fiction and reality. In this course, we will discuss how gynoids, fembots, and female-identified machinery reflect the roles of women’s work and women’s bodies in technologized society. Why might it matter that the words “typewriter” and “computer” used to refer to women who typed and performed calculations? How are sexualized fembots marked both by their total manipulability and ultimate inaccessibility? What can cyborgism contribute to feminist theory? We will draw upon scholarship by Anne Marie Balsamo, Rita Felski, Donna Haraway, Andreas Huyssen, and others as we explore the relationships between women, modernity, and mechanization in a range of cultural texts. These will include written works from ancient Greece, Karel Capek’s 1923 play R.U.R. (in which the word “robot” first appeared), Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives, and William Gibson’s Neuromancer; examples from film and television such as Blade Runner, Wall-E, the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, and episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; as well as real-world androids and computer programs.  Class size: 15



LIT   3047   

 From Centaurs to Superheroes

Mark Danner

. T . . .

10:10 am- 12:30 pm

BITO 210


We dream of becoming something other than what we are. To be human is to be in love with transformation. That love of becoming something other, of transforming ourselves from one thing into another, infuses our literature since the first artists took up ochre and charcoal to sketch out a half-man, half-beasts on a cave wall. In this seminar we will try to grasp and analyze this urge to transform, metamorphose and transcend, from prehistory to the gaudy metamorphoses of Ovid and Virgil to the elaborate composite creatures of the medieval mind and up through the monsters and superheroes that populate the Victorian mind (Mary Shelley’s New Prometheus, Stevenson's Mr. Hyde and Stoker's Count Dracula, among others) -- and finally to the supermen and batmen, vampires, werewolves and X-men that populate to bursting our teeming contemporary imagination.  Class size: 18



LIT   3150   

 Fiction from the Indian Subcontinent

Nuruddin Farah

. T . . .

10:10 am- 12:30 pm

OLIN 306


In this course, we will read and analyze works of fiction by authors from India and Pakistan in an effort to understand the post-colonial condition. Readings may include the classic short texts Toba Tek Singh by the Pakistan author Hassan Saadat Manto and then more recent works of some of the most fascinating contemporary authors, including Salman Rushdie (Shame), Amitav Ghosh (Circle of Reason), Arundati Roy (God of Small Things), Nadeem Asleem (Blind Man’s Garden), Jerry Pinto (Em and the Big Hoom) and Daniyal Muennuddin (In Other Rooms, Other Wonders), among others. These writers address the changes and social upheavals occurring in the subcontinent, much of which may be traced to the Partition of India in 1947. We will find that not only do these works of fiction confront the political, social and cultural issues and upheavals of the century with exemplary sophistication, but they also conjure up a subcontinent that is real, fantastical and with magical qualities. Other readings may include The Case of the Exploding Mangoes by Mohamed Hanif, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid, and So, Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Das Gupta.  Class size: 15



LIT   3232   

 Palestinian LitERATURE  in Translation

Elizabeth Holt

M . . . .

10:10 am- 12:30 pm

ASP 302


Cross-listed:  Human Rights; Middle Eastern Studies  This course is a survey of Palestinian literature, from the early Arabic press in Palestine to contemporary Palestinian fiction.  We will read short stories, poetry and novels by authors including Ghassan Kanafani, Emile Habiby, Samira 'Azzam, Anton Shammas, Mahmoud Darwish, Sahar Khalifeh, Fedwa Tuqan, and Elias Khoury.  All literary texts will be read in translation.  Class size: 15



LIT   3243   

 “BEFORE DEAR ABBY”: Writing Women in Early LitERATURE

Marisa Libbon

. T . . .

10:10 am- 12:30 pm

OLIN 304


Cross-listed: Gender and Sexualities Studies; Medieval Studies  In 2007, W.W. Norton and Co.  an arbiter of the canon in English – issued a two-volume Anthology of Literature by Women.  Among other things, this publication provokes the knee-jerk question, is there a companion Norton Anthology of Literature by Men?  (There is not.)  The sheer existence of such a collection also throws into relief other, more pressing questions, though: for instance, who is the intended audience and what is their presumed taste in books?  Is literature by women so extricable from its larger contexts, so separable from its various contents that authorial gender suffices as a uniting rubric?  What is women’s writing?  And, for that matter, what is men’s writing?  Do these categories of gender and taste hold for today’s audiences?  Did they ever?  Such questions are especially relevant to our present moment in which categories of gender and identity are being overwritten and expanded both colloquially and legally.  In this course, we’ll consider literary notions of gender and identity that alternatively reflect and distort our world, and we’ll explore how gender is defined, catered to, and productively complicated through readings that will include some of the earliest texts written by women; early examples of the “advice” genre (including texts that offer solicited and unsolicited advice to everyone from female monarchs to anchoresses); and texts in which male authors ventriloquize women, and vice versa.  This course is a Literature Junior Seminar.  Class size: 15



LIT   328   

 Ideology and Politics in Modern Literature

Justus Rosenberg

. T . . .

3:10 pm – 5:30 pm

OLIN 308


Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Political Studies   We examine how political issues and beliefs, be they of the left, right, or center, are dramatically realized in literature.  Works by Dostoyevsky, Ibsen, T.S. Eliot, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Brecht, Sartre, Malraux, Gordimer, Kundera, Neruda, and others are analyzed for their ideological content, depth of conviction, method of presentation, and the artistry with which these writers synthesize politics and literature into a permanent aesthetic experience.  We also try to determine what constitutes the borderline between art and propaganda and address the question of whether it is possible to genuinely enjoy a work of literature whose political thrust and orientation is at odds with our own convictions.  The discussions are supplemented by examples drawn from other art forms such as music, painting, and film.   Class size: 15



LIT   333   

 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLIN 205


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. We will explore both the great diversity of voices, styles, and forms employed in these narratives as well as the cultural, historical, political, and philosophical issues they chronicle.  Particular emphasis will be placed on analysis of fiction by some of the groundbreaking practitioners of the form, including Cormac McCarthy, William Gaddis, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Foster Wallace, Robert Coover, Ian McEwan, and Jamaica Kincaid. One or two authors will visit class to talk with students about their books and writing process, and read from recent work..  Class size: 15



LIT   3522   


Derek Furr

. . W . .

6:00 pm – 8:20 pm

RKC 101


In this course, we will explore how major works in the English literary tradition have inspired and troubled 20th century writers outside of England, and how these writers adapted, revised or deconstructed them. We will examine how the expatriate writer and the writer under colonialism developed a poetics of place that was at once imaginary and true to “home.” While we will focus on how later works relate to earlier, we will also look for connections between a work and its socio-historical context.  Three essential questions will provide points of departure for our explorations:

1.     How have canonical English texts and traditions factored into the writing and thinking of 20th century Anglophone and expatriate writers?

2.     What is the relationship among language, power, and literary forms?

3.     How does place—real and idealized—shape the style and aesthetic of a writer? 

We will read works by such authors as Kamau Brathwaite, Salman Rushdie, Jean Rhys, Daniel Defoe, Gayatri Spivak, Chinua Achebe, Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney. Assignments will include three papers that respond to the essential questions and, for MAT students, an annotated bibliography of critical sources and a review of curriculum materials.



LIT   358   

 Exile & Estrangement Fiction

Norman Manea

M . . . .

3:10 pm -5:30 pm

OLIN 107


Cross-listed: Human Rights   Reading and discussion of selected fiction by such writers as Mann, Kafka, Nabokov, Camus, Singer, Kundera, Naipaul, etc. examining the work for its literary value and as a reflection of the issue of exile – estrangement as a fact of biography and a way of life. The complex topics of foreignness and identity, (ethnic, political, sexual) of rejection and loss, of estrangement and challenge, and also of protean mutability, are discussed in connection to relevant social-historical situations  (war, expulsion, migration) and as major literary themes. Preference given to students moderated in Language and Literature.  Class size: 15



LIT   405   

 Senior Colloquium:  Literature

Deirdre d'Albertis

M . . . .

4:45 pm -6:00 pm

RKC 103


0 credits  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: 35



LIT   431   

 Post-FANTASY, Fabulism,  AND THE New Gothic

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

10:10 am- 12:30 pm

OLIN 101


Over the past several decades the critical boundaries between literary novels and genre fiction have become—as the result of ambitious work by various innovative, pioneering writers—increasingly ambiguous. The earliest gothicists framed their tales within the metaphoric scapes of ruined abbeys and diabolic grottoes, chthonic settings populated by protagonists whose inverted psyches led them to test the edges of propriety and sanity. Masters such as Angela Carter, William Gaddis, and Cormac McCarthy, while embracing this same fundamentally dark artistic vision, have radically reinvented and contemporized tropes, settings, and narrative arcs to create a new phase in this historic tradition. This movement, identified as the New Gothic, appears to have risen in tandem with a parallel literary phenomenon, which for the purposes of this course is termed New Wave Fabulism, whose achievement is to have taken the genre of fantasy/horror in a similar literary direction. While not breaking allegiance with the fundamental spirit that animates its genre counterparts, writers such as John Crowley, Kelly Link, and Elizabeth Hand are creating a body of serious literary fiction that deserves critical examination. Among others we will read are Robert Coover, Brian Evenson, Karen Russell, and Peter Straub.  One or two authors will join us in class to discuss their work with students and give a reading.  Class size: 15