92473

LIT 131

 Women & Leadership

Deirdre d'Albertis

  F     10:00 am-12:00 pm

RKC 200

 

D+J

2 credits   It is 2016.  Why aren’t there more women in leadership positions?  According to a 2014 Pew Research Center report, the majority of American men and women acknowledge the capacity of women to lead. Yet in certain domains—most notably politics and business—women continue to be under-represented at the top.  This year’s Presidential race will certainly polarize the electorate around constructions of gender in particularly dramatic ways.  If we are living in a post-feminist society (as some claim), why do these questions and conflicts continue to arise? Identity is an urgent conversation in 21st-century politics and everyday life, and this includes awareness of how intersectionality shapes gendered experiences. What are the stories that we tell ourselves and each other about equality, representation, privilege, freedom, authority, and success? How do these inflect real-world outcomes for individuals and societies?  In this two-credit course we will explore some of the stories that circulate in our culture around women and power, both from an academic and from a practical, real-world perspective.  What does it mean to lead?   How do we use a language of empowerment?  Why has the United States embraced certain narratives of gender equity and success as opposed to those being created in other countries and cultures?  We will focus on learning from women who are committed to making a difference in the world through their personal and professional choices, hearing their stories, and reading texts that have been particularly important to them in their lives and work.  So too, we will engage with stories from the past (archival research), from across disciplines (the military, higher education, STEM, the arts, media) and from a wide range of perspectives.  As an Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences course, this seminar will provide students with the unique opportunity to bring theory and practice together in a very immediate sense: by the end of the term you will have identified a story only you can tell, whether it is based in political activism, community engagement, or work experience.  Drawing on the rich resources here in Annandale as well as through Bard’s other campuses, we will reach out to groups and organizations with a shared focus on gender.  Network building is something we will explicitly address.  This course is open to all first-year students, but enrollment is limited.

 

91642

 LIT / CMSC 120

 Technologies of Reading: Human

and machine approaches to literature

Sven Anderson

Collin Jennings

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 100

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Literature  Recent debates in literary studies regarding "close" and "distant" reading methods have emerged alongside rapid innovation in the field of natural language processing (NLP). These concurrent developments have sparked exciting collaborations between literary scholars and computer scientists (as evidenced by this co-taught course). Yet this burgeoning affinity can easily obscure the longer history of scholarly activity combining humanist and computational approaches to literature. In this course, we will chart the contours of this history -- stretching back to the early twentieth century -- and learn the fundamentals of NLP in order to consider new questions regarding changing literary patterns over time. We will read the works of foundational linguists and close-reading theorists (e.g., Victoria, Lady Welby; C. K. Ogden; I. A. Richards; William Empson; and Cleanth Brooks) as well as scholars of emergent critical reading practices (eg., N. Katherine Hayles, Franco Moretti, Sharon Marcus, and Stephen Best).  We will explore these ideas by learning fundamentals of programming and then using them to apply NLP techniques such as parsing, sentence generation, language modeling, and creation of high-dimensional semantic spaces to problems in reading. Pre-requisites: Students must have passed part 1 of the Mathematics diagnostic.  Class size: 18

 

91801

LIT 2002

 Americans Abroad

Donna Grover

M  W       10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 203

LA

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: 18

 

91783

LIT 2062

 Old Arabic Books

Elizabeth Holt

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 306

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; Medieval Studies; Middle Eastern Studies  The Orientalists of France and England shared with Disney and Cervantes a fascination with old Arabic books and the stories they contained.  This course begins with a history of reading, storytelling and book culture in Arabic during the rise of Islam from the seventh through the fourteenth centuries.  We will consider the role of the market, the scholar's libraries, the sultan's court, and notions of edification and culture as they contributed to an Arabic sense of bookishness and narration.  The second half of the course will revisit this legacy as it infamously erupts into the modern, appearing as the founding conceit of Don Quixote, the exotic allure of European fascination with the "Oriental tale" and A Thousand and One Nights, and, as Edward Said would have it, a narrative incitement to empire.  Class size: 18

 

91803

LIT 2134

 Traditions of African American Literature

Peter L'Official

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 202

LA

ELIT

This course will introduce students to the African American literary tradition. We will explore a range of African American literary practices alongside the development of related cultural, aesthetic, and vernacular forms and movements while remaining mindful of broad historical shifts in American life from the 18th century to the present. In tracing these emergent and lasting voices, modes, and styles, we will examine how authors have created, defined, and complicated the traditions of literature within which they participate. Readings will include novels, essays, autobiography, poetry, and drama; writers will likely include Douglass, Jacobs, Du Bois, Toomer, Hurston, Ellison, Baldwin, Lorde, Reed, Morrison, and Whitehead.  Class size: 22

 

92116

LIT 2175

 Medieval Ireland

Michael Staunton

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLINLC 206

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies; Medieval Studies   The medieval Irish believed they were living on the edge of the world, yet the people of this remote island had a remarkable and lasting impact on the world around them. In this course we examine ‘Celtic’ Ireland in myth and history, through origin legends and voyage tales, manuscript illumination and poetry. We look at the successive waves of invaders – the Gaels, the Vikings and the English – who came to shape Irish identity. We discuss how the English colonization of Ireland foreshadowed the European colonization of the Americas, and how Celtic Ireland came to be revived and reshaped in modern literature. Weekly topics include: pagan myths and practices; the Irish ‘discovery of America’; gender in Gaelic Ireland; the Viking invasions; visual arts and poetry; English rule and Irish survival; the Black Death in Ireland; the Celtic revival; medieval Ireland today.  Class size: 22

 

91773

LIT 2227

 Dostoevsky Presently: POETICS, PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS, & PSYCHOLOGY

Marina Kostalevsky

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 305

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Russian Studies Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky remains one of the most widely read authors in the world. He also remains an inspiration for the immensely productive output of scholarship and artistic renditions through different media. In this course we will read and analyze such Dostoevsky texts as his novels The Idiot, Demons, The Brothers Karamazov; his shorter prose works Poor Folk, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, The Meek One, Bobok; and his journalistic pieces from A Writer's Diary (which today might be considered the first blog ever). Also, we will pay special attention to the present state of research on Dostoevsky, starting from the classic studies by Mikhail Bakhtin, Joseph Frank, and some others, to the latest works by Russian, American, European, and Japanese scholars of Dostoevsky.By looking at Dostoevsky through the lenses of poetics, philosophy, politics, and psychology, we will try to understand what makes this 19th century Russian writer our contemporary. Taught in English. Interested students should contact the Professor (kostalev@bard.edu) before registration.   Class size: 20

 

91804

LIT 225

 Strange Books AND THE

Human Condition

Francine Prose

    F         1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 202

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights  Every literary masterpiece is unique, but some are more unique than others. This class will involve the close-reading of books so peculiar as to verge on "outsider" literature, by authors ranging from Jane Bowles to Felisberto Hernandez, from Robert Walser to Hans Christian Andersen, novels and stories that have as much to tell us about what it means to be a human being as the most naturalistic or conventional fiction. Admission is by email application (prose@bard.edu) explaining why the student wishes to take the course. Enrollment is not limited to literature or writing majors, and the only prerequisite is that students will be expected to have read enough "not strange" literature to understand why the books on the list are so unusual.  Class size: 22

 

91800

LIT 2319

 The Art of Translation

Peter Filkins

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 308

LA

ELIT

By comparing multiple translations of literary, religious, and philosophical texts, this course will examine the way in which translation shapes textual meaning and our appreciation of it. We will also read several key theoretical essays that trace differing approaches to translation and what can or cannot be expected from translation. Finally, students will also take on a short translation project of their own in order to explore firsthand what it means to translate. Brief comparative readings will include multiple translations of Homer, Sappho, Plato, the Bible, Nietzsche, Tolstoy, Baudelaire, Proust, Kafka, Babel, Rilke, Neruda, Borges, Basho, Li Po, and Celan. Essays on translation will include those by Dryden, Schleiermacher, Humboldt, Goethe, Benjamin, Valéry, Paz, and Nossack. Students should contact instructor to get permission.   Class size: 15

 

91788

LIT 235

 Introduction to Media

Maria Cecire

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 202

MBV

HUM

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities  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. We will examine how new media interacts with and transforms culture by considering the emergence of digital media and internet culture in relation to prior moments of media change, and discuss how such shifts have continually re-shaped our perceptions of time, space, publicity, knowledge, and identity. The premise of this course is that the new-ness of new media can only be approached against the background of humanistic experimentation and imagination with both old and new media. We will read key media theorists (Walter Benjamin, Donna Haraway, Katherine Hayles, Henry Jenkins, Friedrich Kittler, and Marshall McLuhan), as well as contemporary fiction by authors such as Neal Stephenson and Gary Shteyngart that offer speculative visions of how digital media and human experience might determine one another in the future. 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. This course fulfills a requirement for the Experimental Humanities concentration, and will involve a “practice” component that complements our engagement with media theory.  Class size: 20

 

91774

LIT 236

 THE ARK OF MEMORY: Russian Documentary Prose

Olga Voronina

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 201

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Russian & Eurasian Studies   Russia’s tragic history precipitated creation of literary works that recorded confrontation between the authoritarian state and its defiant citizens. This course explores the nature of human resistance to cruelty, coercion, deprivation, and political ostracism as documented in 19th – 20th century non-fictional works by Dostoevsky, Herzen, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Mandelstam, Akhmatova, Ginzburg, Shalamov, Solzhenitsyn, Brodsky and Alexievich. Reading their diaries, journals, autobiographies, memoirs, travelogues and essays, we aim to discover connections between one’s remembrance of loss and recovery from trauma or between individual noncompliance and authorial power to repossess and reclaim the past. Such methods as sociological criticism, narratological analysis, and biographical interpretation will be applied. All readings in English.   Class size: 22

 

91805

LIT 2401

 The Canterbury Tales

Marisa Libbon

M  W       1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 310

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Medieval Studies What in the world can storytelling accomplish?  This question drives Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and will likewise guide our semester-long exploration of it.  An instant classic after Chaucer’s death in 1400, the Canterbury Tales inspired “fanfiction” almost immediately and has since been enshrined as an essential work within the English literary canon, counting writers from Shakespeare to T.S. Eliot among its later readers and admirers.  At odds with (or perhaps partly responsible for) its current “insider” and canonical status, though, is the fact that the Canterbury Tales remains one of the most radically experimental works written in English. By turns beautiful and dirty, politically risky and calculatedly evasive, poetry and prose, the Tales tests, negotiates, and worries over the ways in which language—written, spoken, read, overheard—constructs reality.  It challenges gender and class norms; queries and queers the relationship between tale and teller; and calls into question institutional authority and social hierarchy.  Following Chaucer’s lead, we’ll grapple with how literature does (and sometimes does not) influence social change; that is, what’s the point of telling stories?  Class size: 18

 

91772

LIT 2404

 Fantastic Journeys  and the 

Modern World

Jonathan Brent

    F         3:00 pm-5:20 pm

OLIN 201

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Russian  We will  explore the literature of the Fantastic of Eastern Europe and Russia from the early 20th century to the 1960s in writers such as Ansky, Kharms, Kafka, Capek, Schultz, Mayakovsky, Erofeyev, Olesha and others.  Fantastic literature, as Calvino has noted, takes as its subject the problem of "reality." In this class, we will discuss questions of identity, meaning, consciousness, as well as understanding of the relationship between the individual and society in these writers.   Class size: 22

 

91806

LIT 2485

 James Joyce's Fiction

Terence Dewsnap

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 310

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies Joyce was an autobiographical writer who wrote about one place, Dublin. And he was an experimental writer and a prominent Modernist in tune with the literary and artistic innovations of the early twentieth century. We will read his short stories in Dubliners and his coming-of-age novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as well as his modern epic Ulysses.  Class size: 18

 

91807

LIT 2509

 Telling Stories about Rights

Nuruddin Farah

M  W       10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 308

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Human Rights  (core course)  What difference can fiction make in struggles for rights and justice? And what can this effort to represent injustice, suffering, or resistance tell us about about fiction and literature? This course will focus on a wide  range of fictions, from a variety of writers with different  backgrounds, that tell unusual stories about the rights of  individuals and communities to justice. We will read novels addressing human migration, injustices committed in the name of the  state against a minority, and the harsh conditions under which some  communities operate as part of their survival strategy, among other  topics. We will look at the ways in which literary forms can allow universalizing claims to be made, exploring how racism, disenfranchisement, poverty, and lack of access to education and  health care, for instance, can affect the dignity of all humans.  Readings may include: Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Garcia Marquez; Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson; Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg; Our Nig by Harriet Wilson; Balzac & the Chinese Seamstress by Sijai Dai; Winter is in the Blood by James Welch ; The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday; Wolves of the Crescent Moon by Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, and Bound to Violence by Yambo Ouleguem. We will also watch a number of films based on the novels (including Chronicles, Smilla's Sense, Balzac, Snow Falling), and The First Grader (2001, on the right to education in Kenya).  

Class size: 18

 

91796

LIT 263

 What is a Character?

Noor Desai

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

ALBEE 106

LA

ELIT

We have a complicated relationship with fictional characters. We are often drawn to them more than anything else in encounters with literature, theater, or film, but we also know, consciously or unconsciously, that they remain exactly what their name implies: circumscribed by typography, scriptedness, and the page or screen. On the one hand, characters may be understood as impressions or archetypes that are patterned on convention and social expectations. As such, they can tell us about the world that produced them, since they are enlisted in the kinds of situations that world promotes and recognizes. On the other hand, characters, according to E. M. Forster, are “engaged in treason against the main scheme" of a text; they feel like agents of resistance and individualism, and they seem to transcend both text and context as they reach out to us. This course studies the history of fictional characters in western literature, starting in classical Greece and Rome, moving through medieval and renaissance texts, and arriving at a discussion of character in the novel and in contemporary media. Texts may include Theophrastus’s Characters, Plautus’s Menaechmi, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, and Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. We will also track changes in discussions about characters by studying critiques ranging from Aristotle to Barthes, Cixous and Derrida. Students will engage in analytical, critical, and creative work throughout the term, and will be encouraged to build their own fictional characters and study their personal favorites.  Class size: 22

 

91797

LIT 267

 The Neuro-novel

Lianne Habinek

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 309

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Mind, Brain, Behavior  A literary genre has materialized in the past fifteen years that, as Marco Roth (with some notoriety) puts it, is marked by “the novel of consciousness or the psychological or confessional novel — the novel, at any rate, about the workings of a mind.”  This category of narrative documents the workings and misfirings of the mind alongside emerging ideas of a new means of accessing and dramatizing interiority.  Works marked as neuro-novels include Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love and Saturday, Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Richard Powers’ The Echo Maker, Rivka Galchen’s Atmospheric Disturbances, and John Wray’s Lowboy. Steven Pinker’s seminal cognitive science text How the Mind Works presents the picture of a currently unmapped but potentially fully knowable brain; what would such a model of the mind do to ideas of agency, selfhood, and even free will?  This course will use the aforementioned texts and others (like William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Haruki Murakami’s Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World), alongside films such as Je T’aime, Je T’aime; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; and Inside Out, to explore how fiction considers what is problematic about a direct identification between mind and brain.  Class size: 18

 

91798

LIT 268

LIFE AND DEATH OF THE Contemporary European Novel

Joseph Luzzi

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

HEG 300

LA

ELIT

What is living—and what is dead—in the contemporary European novel? How do the great European traditions, such as 19th-century realism and the historical novel, influence today’s leading practitioners of the genre? And how do more “obsolete” genres—for example, the philosophical tale, the epistolary novel—also continue to make their presence felt? Does the European novel still play the remarkable social and political role it once did? This course will consider authors including Elena Ferrante (Italy), Karl Ove Knausgård (Norway), Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Patrick Modiano (France), Milan Kundera (Czech Republic, France), and the recently deceased W. G. Sebald (Germany), J. G. Ballard (U.K.), and Thomas Bernhard (Austria), as we explore the state of the European novel in the "present tense."  Class size: 22

 

91799

LIT 269

 Ethics and Aesthetics in

British Modernism

Matthew Mutter

 T  Th     10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 101

LA

ELIT

Does poetry, as W.H. Auden once said, “make nothing happen,” or is “the theory of poetry,” as Wallace Stevens wrote, “the theory of life”?  This course will, through an extensive study of four major British modernists—-D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, W.B. Yeats, and W.H. Auden—-examine the capacity of modern literature to both articulate and realize a comprehensive vision of life in its ethical, aesthetic, and political dimensions. We will be particularly interested in the way in which aesthetic practices, attitudes, and categories (disinterestedness, impersonality, beauty and sublimity, the ordering imagination) map onto ethical and political understandings of hierarchy, equality, otherness, feminism, and interpersonal relations. Related concerns will include: to what extent does this literature struggle to appropriate or even outmaneuver newly ascendant, competing discourses of human nature like psychoanalysis? To what extent can and should it evaluate or aesthetically transfigure major political events and social movements, and how did it intervene in the struggle between liberal democracy and fascism? Is it truly able, as many modernists hoped, to displace the moral agency of religion?  Texts will include Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, The Plumed Serpent, and selections from his poetry and short fiction; Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Waves; and the major poems of Yeats and Auden. Because we are interested in these writers’ ethical visions, we will also consult prose manifestos such as Lawrence’s Fantasia of the Unconscious, Woolf’s Three Guineas, and Auden’s The Prolific and the Devourer.

Class size: 22

 

92433

LIT 273

THE LEGACY OF HUMOR AND THE RISE OF THE NOVEL IN MODERN JAPAN

Junji Yoshida

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLINLC 210

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Asian Studies A popular culture of playfulness has long been the breeding ground of an alternative social imaginary set against structures of power in Japan. "After the advent of modernity," YanagitaKunio noted in 1928, "a literature of humor in Japan has declined so dramatically that foreigners inquire repeatedly whether the Japanese have a sense of humor or not." This course is concerned with the historical shift addressed by Yanagita, while remaining critical of his ethnographic representation of such categories as"Japanese," "literature," and “humor.”  The class will explore such issues as the neo-Confucian bias against the "novel" (shosetsu), the rise of political novels and oratory, naturalism as postcolonial literature, confession, Euro-centric literary reformism, the inverted epistemology of a narrated self under genbun-itch (unified style of writing), the marginality of humor, and the cinematic re-invention of collective laughter. Authors to be read include: JippenshaIkku, Kanagaki Robun, Tsubouchi Shoyo, Futabatei Shimei, Natsume Soseki, Mori Ogai, and Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, as well as theorists Kojin Karatani, Homi Bhabha, P. Stallybrass, A. White, and Benedict Anderson. All readings in English. Conducted in English. Class size: 20

 

91763

LIT / GER 287

 The Ring of the Nibelung

Franz Kempf

 T  Th     10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 203

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: German  Studies; Medieval Studies   A study of Richard Wagner’s cycle of four immense music dramas. A story about “gods, dwarves (Nibelungs), giants and humans, it has been read and performed as a manifesto for socialism, as a plea for a Nazi-like racialism, as a study of the workings of the human psyche, as forecast of the fate of the world and humankind, as a parable about the new industrial society of Wagner’s time.” As we travel down the Rhine and across the rainbow and on through the underworld, our tour-guides will be the Brothers Grimm, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, as well as the anonymous authors of the medieval epic, the Nibelungenlied and of the Old Norse Poetic Edda. Musical expertise neither expected nor provided. Taught in English.

Students with an advanced proficiency in German are expected to read the libretti in the original. 

Since experiencing opera as performance is crucial, only students who commit to the following screenings in Weis Cinema (starting at 12:30 PM) will be permitted to enroll in this course:

F 9/2 and F 11/4 Rhinegold (Met / Bayreuth versions): 163 / 143 minutes

F 9/9 and F 11/11 Valkyrie : 241 / 214 min

F 9/16 and F 11/18 Siegfried : 253 / 226 min

F 9/23 and F 12/2 Twilight of the Gods : 281 / 249 min

Class size: 20

 

Courses cross-listed in Literature:

 

 

91721

CHI 215

 The Chinese Novel: THE STORY OF THE STONE AND GENDER IN LATE IMPERIAL CHINA

Li-Hua Ying

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLINLC 118

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

 

91822

CLAS 130

 Homer FOR BEGINNERS: THE ILIAD

 AND ODYSSEY

Daniel Mendelsohn

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 107

LA

ELIT