92156

LIT 131

 Women and Leadership

Deirdre d'Albertis

    F        10:00 am-12:00 pm

BARD CHAPEL

D+J

 

2 credits   It is 2017.  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.  Last year's Presidential race polarized the electorar 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. Class size: 20

 

91848

LIT 2035

 Religion and the Secular in literary ModErnIsm

Matthew Mutter

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 308

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies; Religion  In this course we will explore the relations among religion, secularism, and literature in modernist Anglo-American contexts and beyond. We will ask what it means to live in a secular age while simultaneously working to complicate our understanding of the “religious” and the “secular.” We will examine how a number of writers, some secular and some religious, have framed the relationship between religion and modern literature; our concerns will include the modernist attraction to paganism and the occult, on the one hand, and to mystical and ascetic attitudes and methods of renunciation, self-erasure, and apophasis, on the other. We also will seek to understand how secular dedications to immanence, self-creation, the everyday, and the body are dramatized in this literature. The course will likely include writing from Charles Taylor, Talal Asad, James Baldwin, Willa Cather, J.M. Coetzee, Paul Celan, Hilda Doolittle, T.S. Eliot, Mohsin Hamid, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Flannery O’Connor, Salman Rushdie, Wallace Stevens, Jean Toomer, Simone Weil, Nathanael West, Virginia Woolf, and others. Class size: 18

 

91944

LIT 2081

 Mass Culture of Postwar Japan

Nathan Shockey

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 304

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Asian Studies; Experimental Humanities This course explores the literature, history, and media art of Japan since World War 2.  Beginning with the lean years of the American occupation of 1945 to 1952, we will trace through the high growth period of the 1960s and 1970s, the “bubble era” of the 1980s, and up through to the present moment. Along the way, we will examine radio drama, television, popular magazines, manga/comics, film, fiction, theater, folk and pop music, animation, advertising, and contemporary multimedia art. Throughout, the focus will be on works of “low brow” and “middle brow” culture that structure the experience of everyday life. Among other topics, we will consider mass entertainment, the emperor system, the student movement and its failure, the birth of environmental awareness, changing dynamics of sex, gender, and family, “Americanization,” the mythos of the middle class, and the historical roots of contemporary Japanese society. In addition, we will think about changing images of Japan in American popular media and the ways in which the mass culture of postwar Japan has shaped global cultural currents in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  Taught in English.  Class size: 18

 

92158

LIT 211

 Future Black

Peter L'Official

 T  Th     4:40 pm-6:00 pm

OLIN 202

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies  How do we imagine the future of blackness? How have we done so in the past, and how might these visions be useful in our present? This course will examine how African American and black diasporic communities use and have used science fiction, fantasy, cosmology, and mythology as arenas in which to conjure long-lost pasts, alternate realities, and worlds yet to come. Afrofuturism, otherwise known as the black speculative arts movement, generally explores intersections between race, technology, and science; our explorations will extend and interrogate the movement’s more familiar realms to address questions regarding class, gender, sexuality, and the built environment not merely as conjectures for an imagined futurity, but as readable reflections of a more recent—and relevant—past and present. As such, our focus will be interdisciplinary, and we will respect the Afrofuturist canon as much as we depart from it. Texts will include novels, essays, films, music, visual art, and graphic novels; authors and artists may include: Octavia Butler, George Clinton, Samuel Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kiese Laymon, Audre Lorde, Sun Ra, Ishmael Reed, Tracy K. Smith, and others. Class size: 22

 

92612

LIT 213

 Literary Responses  to Totalitarianism

Francine Prose

    F        1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 101

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights  In this class we will read novels, stories, memoirs, poems and plays that describe the experience of human beings suffering--or thriving--under totalitarian regimes. Among the writers we will study are Roberto Bolaño, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Peter Handke, Gitta Sereny, Primo Levi, Philip Roth, Norman Manea, Zbygniew Herbert, Wallace Shawn, Nuruddin Farah, and Jung Chang. We will focus on narrative structure and literary style as well as historical and political content. Students wishing to take the course should email Prof. Prose at prose@bard.edu, explaining their reasons. Students should know that several of the texts are very long. Admitted students will receive a list of the longer books to begin reading over the summer.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 15

 

92162

LIT 2140

 Domesticity and Power

Donna Grover

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 303

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies  Many American women writers of the 19th and 20th centuries used the domestic novel to make insightful critiques of American society and politics. These women who wrote of the home and  of marriage and detailed the chatter of the drawing room were not merely recording the trivial events of what was deemed to be their “place.” The course begins with Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s handbook of housekeeping, The American Woman’s Home (1869). We will also read the novels and short stories of Harriet Jacobs, Frances E. W. Harper, Kate Chopin, Nella Larsen, Jessie Fausett, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and others.  Class size: 18

 

91929

LIT 220

 Madness

Jason Kavett

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

FISHER ANNEX

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: German  Studies What are the stakes of representing madness? Can we grasp madness in a rational manner? Does a certain kind of exploration of madness offer a way to think about the mass appeal of nationalism or fascism? In what ways does madness pose a challenge or offer particular inspiration to artistic creativity? As we consider these and similar questions, authors whose works will spur discussion include Kafka (The Judgment and Diaries), Goethe (Faust I), Freud (The Wolf-Man), Breton (Nadja), Hölderlin (selected poems), Rimbaud (The Drunken Boat), Kleist (St. Cecilia, or the Power of Music), Foucault (History of Madness), Beckett (Murphy), Celan (selected poems and prose writings), and Sebald (The Emigrants); films we will study include those by Visconti and Herzog. Students will become familiar with key texts from the German and also English and French traditions from around 1800 to the late 20th century, while honing their interpretive skills as readers and critics. We will consider the concept of madness from formal, philosophical, political, and ethical perspectives. All readings and discussions in English.  Class size: 22

 

92132

LIT 2206

 Sex and Gender in Japanese Literature and Culture

Mika Endo

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 205

FL

D+J

FLLC

DIFF

Cross-listed: Asian Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies  This course explores the historical construction of gender and sexuality by examining works of literature and culture from Japan’s eleventh century to the present. As we move through readings that range from the classical era (The Tale of Genji) to the present (selections of gender-bending manga), we will interrogate how the shifting dynamics of sex and gender were shaped by the social and political forces of their time. In the process, we will read a variety of genres including fiction, diaries, poetry, drama, folk tales, film, and manga, and will seek to situate these varied modes of creative expression alongside a study of the lived experiences of gender and sexuality in their historical moment. Topics include the classical canon and women’s courtly writings, Buddhist conceptions of women, Confucian teachings on gender and the body, Edo-period male-male cultures, modernization and the nuclear family, representations of the ‘modern girl’ of the 1920s, gender in revolutionary cultures, and feminist discourse from the 1960s. All readings will be in English.   Class size: 22

 

92165

LIT 2213

 Building Stories

Peter L'Official

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

HEG 308

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies  Cities and their surrounds have long been fertile grounds for the construction of narrative. This course examines relationships between narratives and their settings by employing conceptual frameworks borrowed from architectural studies and histories of the built environment. Weekly discussions of a wide range of texts—literary and otherwise—will be structured around building typologies and common tropes of urban planning: the row-house brownstone, the apartment building, the skyscraper, the suburban or rural house, and the arteries of linkage between them. We will read each set of texts as narratives of place, space, and architecture to discover what, if any, architectures of narrative may undergird or influence them. We will consider to what extent geography and landscape shape culture and identity; we’ll chart relationships between race, class, gender, and the environment as articulated by the city and related regions; and we will explore notions of public and private space and our ever-mutable understandings of what it means to be “urban.” Texts will include novels, essays, films, visual art, and graphic novels; authors may include: Paul Beatty, Alison Bechdel, Don DeLillo, Junot Diaz, Ben Lerner, Paule Marshall, Tao Lin, Zadie Smith, D.J. Waldie, Colson Whitehead. Class size: 22

 

92135

LIT 2404

 Fantastic Journeys in the Modern World

Jonathan Brent

    F        3:00 pm-5:20 pm

OLIN 202

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.    This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 25

 

92133

LIT 2245

 Contemporary Russian Fiction

Marina Kostalevsky

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLINLC 120

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Russian  In this course, we will examine the diverse and unpredictable world of contemporary Russian literature from the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods to the present. Through the reading of both the underground publications of "samizdat" and officially published texts of the first period; the post-modernist works written at the end of the twentieth century; and the literary texts of the last two decades, we will focus on the issues of narrative strategies adopted by individual writers, reassessment of Russian history, gender and sexuality, religion and spirituality, cultural and national identity. The course will also explore the changing relationship between Russian literature, the state, and society. Readings include: Venedikt Erofeev, Tatiana Tolstaia, Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Viktor Pelevin, Boris Akunin, The Presniakov Brothers, Ludmila Ulitskaia, Vladimir Sorokin, Andrei Volos, Eugene Vodolazkin, and Mikhail Shishkin. Conducted in English.  Class size: 20

 

92220

LIT 227

 labor and migration in arabic literature

Dina Ramadan

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

HEG 308

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Human Rights, Middle Eastern Studies   Questions of migration, exile, and displacement have been central to the development of the (post)colonial Arabic literary tradition. Tayeb Salih’s Seasons of Migration to the North, widely considered the most important Arabic novel of the last century, charts Mustafa Said’s journey taking him further and further from Sudan, and the frustrations and impossibility of homecoming. While the effects of the expulsions of the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) and the further displacement of the 1967 Naksa (setback) on the evolution of Arabic prose and poetry are widely recognized, questions surrounding labor, its precarity, and migrations are largely understudied. How for example, does the intersection of a booming oil economy with a displaced and transient workforce, reshape the cultural map of the region? Rather than treat the questions of labor and (forced) migration as separate, in this course we will look at them as intertwined and interdependent. By focusing on Arabic literary production from the second half of the 20th century, we will ask how such works produce a language and aesthetic of displacement and estrangement, one that is able to challenge the hegemony of national boundaries. Finally, we will consider how these literary texts, as well as their authors, travel and migrate to speak to different audiences and from new and shifting centers. Literary texts will be supplemented by theoretical and historical material and will be accompanied by mandatory film screenings. All readings will be in English.  This course is part of the Liberal Arts Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement and Education initiative. Class size: 22

92134

LIT 2311

 St. Petersburg: City, Monument, Text

Olga Voronina

M  W       10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 304

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Russian  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 Russia’s 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 Russia’s 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: 18

 

92166

LIT 2319

 The Art of Translation

Peter Filkins

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 307

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

 

92167

LIT 2331

 Classic American Gothic

Donna Grover

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 308

LA

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

 

92159

LIT 235

 Introduction to Media

Thomas Keenan

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

RKC 102

MBV

HUM

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities  This course offers an introduction to media history and theory, tracking a series of events and concepts with the aim of understanding media not simply as a scholarly object but as a force in our lives. We will look at old and new media alike, from writing to photography to the contemporary digital landscape, and explore how media have regularly re-shaped our perceptions of time, space, knowledge, and identity. The premise of the course is that the new-ness of new media can only be approached against the background of humanistic experimentation and imagination, even as it transforms our lives and experiences. We will examine a range of meanings of the word “media,” from journalism and news to entertainment to the Internet and social media. We will read key media theorists (Walter Benjamin, Donna Haraway, Friedrich Kittler, Ariella Azoulay, and Marshall McLuhan), and examine a range of critical, literary, and artistic reflections on our mediated universe. We will also spend some hands-on time working with -- and not just on -- media, in order to assess our own positions not just as as users and consumers but also as producers of media. Class size: 22

 

92172

LIT 2421

 Milton

Lianne Habinek

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

HEG 106

LA

ELIT

Famed encyclopedist Samuel Johnson terms him “an acrimonious and surly republican”; T. S. Eliot laments the fact that he had been “withered by book-learning.”  John Milton, man of letters, Englishman, poet of and for his country.  Milton was an insightful observer of human relationships, and particularly, of man's relationship to God.  In this course, we will examine the history of mid-17th-century England - religious controversies, the Civil Wars, the nature of intellectual debate - alongside Milton's important writings.  The key focus of this course will be on Paradise Lost, though we will also consider Milton’s sonnets, theatrical works, and essays and tracts.  As we do, we shall develop a nuanced and complex picture of one of England's greatest epic poets.  Class size: 18

 

92152

LIT 2509

 Telling Stories about Rights

Nuruddin Farah

M  W       10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 306

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Human Rights (HR 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 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

 

92161

LIT 2607

 Intro to Literary Theory

Elizabeth Holt

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 308

LA

ELIT

DIFF

This course focuses on key theoretical works from the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. If literary theory rigorously questions things we take to be common sense -- what precisely do we mean when we talk about “authors” and “texts,” for instance? -- it also provides a space for the critical, creative linking of the literary to the social. How has colonialism shaped our ideas of the novel? What is the relationship between theories of intention and the performance of gender? And how do questions of racial difference intersect with models of narrative voice? We will read works that tackle these issues (and more) by theorists including Walter Benjamin, John Crowe Ransom, Judith Butler, Edward Said, Roland Barthes, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Gayatri Spivak, Aamir Mufti, and Raymond Williams. Class size: 18

 

91701

LIT 276B

 Chosen Voices: Jewish Authors

Elizabeth Frank

  W Th    1:30 pm-2:50 pm

ASP 302

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Russian  In this course we will read major nineteenth and twentieth-century Jewish authors who, in their attempts sometimes to preserve Jewish tradition and just as often to break with it (or to do a little of both), managed to make a major contribution to secular Jewish culture. The struggle to create an imaginative literature by and about Jews is thus examined with respect to often conflicted literary approaches to questions of Jewish identity and history (including persistent anti-Semitism in the countries of the Diaspora and the catastrophe of the Holocaust). In the process we will discuss such notions as Jewish identity and stereotypes, questions of "apartness" and "insideness," and explore literary genres such as the novel, the tale, the fable, the folktale and the joke in relation to traditional forms of Jewish storytelling, interpretation and prophecy. We will look as well at what it is that makes "Jewish humor" both Jewish and funny and consider the consequences of a particular author's decision to write in either Hebrew or Yiddish, or in a language such as Russian, German or English. We will discuss as well Jewish participation in literary modernism. Authors include Rabbi Nachman of Bratzslav, Isaac Leib Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Primo Levi, Isaac  Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, Grace Paley, Aharon Appelfeld, Leslie Epstein, and Angel Wagenstein."  This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 22

 

92160

LIT 280

 The Heroic Age

Karen Sullivan

 T  Th     3:10 pm – 4:30 pm

OLIN 305

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Medieval Studies  In this course, we will be reading the great epics and sagas of the early Middle Ages, concentrating upon northern Europe. Through these texts, we will explore the tensions between paganism and Christianity, individual glory and kingly authority, and heroism and monstrosity. Texts to be read include the Old English Beowulf; the Old Irish Táin Cúailnge; the Old Norse Eddas, Saga of the Volsungs, and Egil’s Saga; the Old French Song of Roland; and the Middle High German Nibelungenlied.  Class size: 18

 

 

91911

CHI 230

 Modern Chinese Fiction

Li-Hua Ying

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLINLC 118

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Asian Studies; Literature Class size: 18

 

92123

REL 239

 Midrashic Imagination

Samuel Secunda

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 101

MBV

HUM

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Literature Class size: 22