|Course no.||LIT 2113|
|Title||Medieval English Drama|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 10:30 am-11:50 am Olin 303|
Cross-listed: Medieval Studies
We usually think of British theatre as beginning with Shakespeare or his immediate predecessors, but England had earlier, highly popular dramatic traditions which have left us works of considerable artistic complexity and great historical interest. In this course we read the most interesting of these English mystery plays and moralities, together with representative pieces from the continental theatre of the middle ages. We will be alert to the dramatic vitality of these works and also pay considerable attention to the placing of medieval theatrical traditions in religious, anthropological and social contexts. There will be frequent in-class reports, and each member of the seminar will be asked to write two short critical essays and a longer research paper.
|Course no.||LIT 2114|
|Title||Renaissance in Italy/Renaissance in England|
|Schedule||Mon Th 10:30 am-11:50 am Aspinw 302|
Cross-listed: Italian Studies
There has long been an affinity between Italian and English cultures; this is particularly evident in the Renaissance. In this seminar individual works in a variety of genres will be paired or grouped, not so much to survey the field or to establish sources, analogues, or influences (although there to be discovered) but to articulate ideas about art, love, religion, and politics more carefully than sometimes otherwise possible--or more particularly to articulate how in the Renaissance these together come to define the human condition. Many combinations are possible; the following are suggestive: Machiavelli's Prince and Sir Thomas More's Utopia; Tasso's Aminta, Shakespeare's As You Like It, and Milton's Comus; sonnets by Petrarch and Michelangelo and sonnets by Wyatt, Shakespeare, and Donne; Pico della Mirandola's Origin on the Dignity of Man and Sidney's Defense of Poesie. Painting and music may also be considered.
|Course no.||LIT 2115|
|Title||Four Long Narrative Poems|
|Schedule||Tue Th 4:00 pm-5:30 pm Preston 127|
Close readings of Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Milton, Paradise Lost, Wordsworth, The Prelude, and Browning, The Ring and the Book. Inevitably questions of "period" will come up, and (at least in the case of one poem)questions of influence, and we'll deal with the troubling issue of how to read the long poem. (Poe suggests that the term is an oxymoron: for him, a poem by definition has to be short enough to grasp all the parts simultaneously.) But for the most part we'll pay attention to the pleasures of each of the poems. Class size limited to 12-15 students.
|Course no.||LIT 2116|
|Title||The Literature of Private Life|
|Professor||Marina Van Zuylen|
|Schedule||Tue Th 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Lang Ctr 118|
Cross-listed: French Studies, Gender Studies
The representation of private life in the nineteenth-century French novel coincided with the advent of Realism. Realism not only described the institutions that shaped private life (i.e., marriage, education, religion), but dwelled also on the discrete dramas occurring backstage--the solitude of the spinster (Flaubert's A Simple Heart), the plight of the child (Vallès' The Child, Renard's Poil de Carotte), the ambiguities of married life (selections from Balzac), the despair of domesticity (Maupassant's A Woman's Life), and the nature of neuroses (Zola, Nana). Using novels, stories, and short selections from journals (Adèle Hugo's, Journal), autobiographies (Sand's,Story of my Life), and correspondences, this course will examine the emergence of writings previously considered too private, too personal to be viewed as literature. Students will also uncover the techniques that help dramatize these highly subjective conflicts (interior monologue, free indirect discourse, early examples of flow of consciousness). Issues of gender, sexuality, and the role of women in defining domesticity will be central. In order to situate these texts within a tradition that rethinks the self, there will be additional readings by Locke, Descartes, Kant, and Shaftesbury. Students will also read excerpts from the recent anthology History of Private Life, an invaluable research tool to examine the connection between literature, philosophy, social history, and anthropology. Taught in English. Students with knowledge of French will read the texts in the original language.
|Course no.||LIT 2117|
|Schedule||Th 10:30 am-12:30 pm Lang Ctr 120|
Cross-listed: Russian and Eurasian Studies
A study of humor in Russian literary tradition. Issues to be discussed relate to such concepts and genres as romantic irony, social and political satire, literary parody, carnival, and the absurd. We will examine how authors as distinct as Dostoevsky and Zoshchenko create comic effects and utilize laughter for various artistic purposes. As a result, our analysis of Russian literature will be substantially different from the traditional survey. Required readings (in translation) include the works of major Russian writers starting with the late-eighteenth-century satirical play by Denis Fonvisin and ending with Benedict Erofeev's underground cult masterpiece: a contemplation on the life of a perpetually drunk philosopher in the former Soviet Union.
|Course no.||LIT 2118|
|Title||Fictions of the Psyche|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Lang Ctr 120|
Cross-listed: French Studies
The emergence of the novel as a dominant literary form coincides with the ability of the novel to accomplish the most intricate and detailed forms of psychological analysis. The psychological novel, which accounts for some of the best novels ever written, is interested in desire, deceit and tangled human dynamics--and it enjoys investigating these dynamics. How does literature portray emotions? What are the devices authors use to penetrate the realm of the psyche? And how can students interested in literary theory and creative writing acquire a vocabulary for understanding fundamental aspects of what is generally known as psychological fiction. Readings include selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Marguerite de Navarre's The Heptameron, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Sterne's A Sentimental Journey, Austen's Emma, Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground, Musil's Three Women, and Svevo's Confessions of Zeno.
|Course no.||LIT 221|
|Title||Writers Workshop: Prose Fiction|
|Schedule||Tue 10:30 am-12:30 pm Aspinw 302|
Practice in imaginative writing. Students will present their own work for group response, analysis, and evaluation. Also reading of selected writers. Permission of the instructor is required; samples of writing must be submitted before registration. Candidates must submit samples of their work before registration with optional cover letter via campus mail to Prof. Sourian by 12:00 noon on Thursday, April 30th.
|Course no.||LIT 222|
|Schedule||Fri 10:30 am-12:30 pm Olin 310|
Students present their own work to the group for analysis and response. Readings in contemporary poets and the problematics of poetics. This course is open to all students who have already completed at least one college-level writing workshop. Candidates must submit samples of their work before registration with optional cover letter via campus mail to Prof. Lauterbach c/o Robert Kelly by 12:00 noon on Thursday, April 30th.
|Course no.||LIT 223|
|Schedule||Wed 10:30 am-12:30 pm Aspinw 302|
For the self-motivated student interested in actively developing journalistic skills relating to cultural reportage, particularly criticism. Stress on regular practice in writing reviews of plays, concerts, films, and TV. Work will often be submitted for group response and evaluation. College productions may be used as resource events. Readings in Shaw's criticism, Cyril Connolly's reviews, Orwell's essays, Agee on film, Edmund Wilson's Classics and Commercials, Susan Sontag, and contemporary working critics. Enrollment limited, and by permission of the instructor, but not restricted to majors.
|Course no.||LIT 246|
|Title||African Women Writers|
|Schedule||Wed 1:20 pm-3:20 pm Olin 101|
Cross-listed: AADS, Gender Studies, MES
of related interest: French Studies
The dramatic emergence of modern African literature midway through the twentieth century was quickly amplified within a decade by the distinct voices of a remarkable band of women writers whose work is now established as a significant part of Africa's revolutionary literature. The course will study novels and short stories by some of the leading practitioners from the 1960s to the present, in English originals or translations from French and Arabic. Among the writers to be considered are Flora Nwapa, Marianna Ba, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Alifa Rifaat, Bessie Head, and Ama Ata Aidoo.
|Course no.||LIT 250|
|Title||English Literature I|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Olin 201|
Cross-listed: Medieval Studies
An exploration of major writers, genres, and issues in the history of English literature from the medieval period through the mid-twentieth century, in a regularly offered sequence of three independent but related units. The authors and particular focus of each unit will be indicated in each semester's list of courses, but in fall of 1998 English 250 will include medieval and sixteenth-century poetry and drama, with some attention to prose; writers include, among others, Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, Sidney, More, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson. In subsequent semesters English 251 includes poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by, for instance, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Wroth, Milton, Congreve, Fielding, Pope, and Swift. English 252 concentrates primarily on the novel and poetry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with some attention also to criticism and drama; among writers studied are Wordsworth, Coleridge, Eliot, Dickens, the Brontës, Hardy, Arnold, Joyce, Shaw, Lawrence and Woolf. The course is especially intended to encourage students to understand the production of literature as an intimately historical process, to read writers together as well as separately, and to begin reading with a greater awareness of genre, convention and form as well as culture or ideology. Any course in the sequence may be taken independently, but all students interested in English literature, especially those considering graduate studies, are encouraged to take two or more parts of the course.
|Course no.||LIT 2501|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 10:30 am-11:50 am Olin 201|
A study of nine or ten plays of William Shakespeare, with emphasis on his developing artistry as poet-playwright for the so-called public theatres of London, c. 1590-1611. Attention to play construction, characterization, theme(s), performance, and to the possibilities of language. Members of the class must be willing to read aloud from the plays. Papers of varying length, a final exam. Reserve reading. The plays: TBA.
|Course no.||LIT 257|
|Title||U.S. Literature I: Cross-Referencing the Puritans|
|Schedule||Th 10:30am-12:30pm Olin 301|
Cross-listed: American Studies
Writings from the first three generations of Puritan settlement in seventeenth-century Massachusetts are closely examined not only in relation to each other but also to later American texts bearing persistent traces of Puritan concerns. We will explore such essential Puritan obsessions as the authority of divinely authored Scripture, original sin, predestination, election, free grace, "the city on a hill," and covenanted relations between mankind and God. Our focus will be the contradictory and problematic features of Puritan culture as they find expression in Puritan literature, with its predilection for the plain style, figurative language, the rhetoric of religious emotion, and the construction of the radically individual self. Authors include notable Puritan divines, poets, historians and citizens, as well as later writers, among them Jonathan Edwards, Washington Irving, Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, and Robert Lowell.
|Course no.||LIT 2605|
|Title||Aspects of Romanticism|
|Schedule||Mon Th 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Olin 101|
Romanticism has many definitions, the least of which has to do with affairs of the heart. The intention of this course is to study a number of individual works of literature, painting, music, aesthetics, even perhaps political and social theory, from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century, each of which is in some way pertinent to the term Romantic. These may include Young's Night Thoughts with Blake's illustrations, Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther, Chateaubriand's Atala, Wordsworth's and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads and the Lucy Poems, Dorothy Wordsworth's journal kept at Grasmere, Wilhelm Mueller's and Franz Schubert's Winterreise as interpreted by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and others, Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Berlioz's Harold en Italie, Delacroix's paintings of wild horses and mid-Eastern harems, Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha and Whitman's Song of Myself, Mill's On Liberty, Emerson's Nature, short stories by Tieck, Hawthorne, and Poe....The list is indicative of the range, not exclusive, but the emphasis will be more on a study of some works closely than on covering the varieties of the rubric or the whole of the period. Participation will entail seminar discussion, essays, reports, individual projects, and perhaps a final examination.
|Course no.||LIT 264|
|Title||The 19th-Century Continental Novel|
|Schedule||Wed 10:30 am-12:30 pm Lang Ctr 208|
of related interest: French, Russian and Eurasian Studies
The aim of this course is to acquaint students with representative examples of novels by distinguished French, Russian, German and Central European authors. Their works are analyzed for style, themes, ideological commitment, and social and political setting. Taken together they should provide an accurate account of the major artistic, philosophical and intellectual trends and developments on the Continent during the 19th century. Readings include Dostoevski's Crime and Punishment, Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Balzac's Cousine Bette, Hamsun's Hunger, T. Mann's Buddenbrooks.
|Course no.||LIT 266B|
|Title||British & Irish Literature 1830-1947|
|Schedule||Tue Th 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Olin 310|
Cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies, Victorian Studies
This course will serve to introduce students to the history and literature of Great Britain from the first Reform Bill to the end of World War II. We will examine the influence of British imperialism upon cultural production in England, Scotland, and Ireland. With the Irish literary renaissance of the 1890, poets and dramatists fashioned a literary nationalism anticipated by nearly a century of artistic experimentation in merging the traditions of Gaelic-and Anglo-Ireland. The crisis of English national identity precipitated by two world wars will also be discussed with reference to modernism and postwar fiction.
|Course no.||LIT 273|
|Title||The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century|
|Schedule||Tue Th 2:50 pm-4:10 pm Aspinw 302|
Cross-listed: French Studies, Medieval Studies
It was in the twelfth century that western Europe, emerging from a long period of economic, political, and cultural stagnation, entered into what has been recognized by many as a "renaissance" whose accomplishments rival those of the Italian quattrocento. During this century, knights sailed off on Crusades in the Holy land, while, back in the castles, their ladies sponsored the development of courtly love as well as the troubadour lyric and Arthurian romance which sang of it. In the towns and cities, romanesque and then Gothic cathedrals arose to dominate the medieval skyline, and clerics founded schools and universities in the shadows of these cathedrals which provided a home to the nascent scholasticism. In the country, monks pursued a new, purer spirituality identified with the Cistercian movement. Everywhere, heresy and other forms of dissent flourished. This course is designed to introduce both beginning and advanced-level students to the field of medieval studies, including the scholarship in the various disciplines which comprise it. A tutorial will be offered for any students interested in reading course materials in the original Old French, Old Provençal, or medieval Latin.
|Course no.||LIT 276|
|Title||The Holocaust and Literature|
|Schedule||Mon 3:30 pm-5:30 pm Olin 202|
Reading and discussion of selected short fiction and novels from the work of such writers as Franz Kafka, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Tadeusz Borowski, Primo Levi, and the latest new "writing about disaster" by Imre Kertesz, Binjamin Wilkomirski, Bernhard Schlink. An examination of these books for their literary values and as a reflection of the genocide, the mass mechanized death, the totalitarian atrocities. The discussion will focus on the relationship of art and human consciousness to cataclysmic history, on literature of extreme situations (the traditional and the more experimental modes of narrative representation). The class will consider questions about the boundaries of art incorporating unprecedented cruelty and despair and the capacity of that art to restore moral value, about the autonomy and primacy of facts and the function of those facts in constraining imagination and creative writing, about symbolic transfiguration, about the attempts of modern fiction to encompass even the most extreme human experiences, about the Holocaust reality. The course will debate the relevance of such catastrophe for today's ethics and aesthetics and will also pay attention to the trivialization of the Holocaust (as a fashionable subject for cheap and simplistic melodramas in the contemporary capitalist mass-media culture or for political-ideological manipulation in former East European socialist culture).
|Course no.||LIT 280|
|Title||The Heroic Age|
|Schedule||Tue Th 10:30 am-11:50 am Olin 307|
Cross-listed: Medieval Studies
In this course we will read the major works of the early Middle Ages, with an emphasis upon those composed in what are nowadays France, Germany, England, and Scandinavia. We will consider the historical events that shaped society during the centuries, such as the Viking invasions, the rise of feudalism, and the spread of Christianity, and will then turn to the literary works that developed within the context of these events. While we will emphasize those works now identified with the "epic," such as the French chansons de geste and the Norse sagas, we will also examine other genres that set the epic in relief. Among the texts we will be reading are Beowulf, The Song of Roland, The Niebelungenlied, and the plays of Hrotswitha of Gandersheim.
|Course no.||LIT 281|
|Title||Slave Memories and the Memory of Slavery|
|Schedule||Wed Fri 10:30 am-11:50 am Olin 205|
Cross-listed: AADS, American Studies, Gender Studies, MES
African American literary traditions grew out of eighteenth-and nineteenth-century autobiographical slave narratives. In the tradition of "call and response," some contemporary African American creative writers have returned to the "scene of the crime," producing a body of texts that might be called neo-slave narratives. Our reading throughout this course puts these two groups of texts together. Using, for example, works by Equiano, Brent, Douglass, and Keckley, we will take feminist and historical approaches to the contours of the original narratives, attempting to understand the ways in which their motifs and representational strategies speak to their immediate engagement with slavery and abolition. In turn, we will read the neo-slave narratives in an effort to understand why in a "post-civil-rights era" have writers such as Morrison, Johnson, Williams, and Butler written back to slavery in order to explore the ongoing meanings of race in America. Requirements: several short papers and group presentations.
|Course no.||LIT 2881|
|Title||Brecht and Schiller|
|Schedule||Tue Th 1:30 pm-2:30 pm Olin 307|
of related interest: German Studies
Recently hailed by The New York Times as the twin "icons" of the German theater, Brecht and Schiller have more in common than their iconicity. Both challenged the theatrical orthodoxy of their time, both explored (in their plays and in their theoretical writings) the relationship between politics and aesthetics, both used drama as a key to unlock the riddles of the historical process. We will read representative samples of their poetry, theoretical prose, and drama in order to investigate the similarities and differences between icon #1--author of monumental historical dramas (The Maid of Orleans, Don Carlos), "precursor of Hegel in aesthetics" (according to Georg Lukacs), and lyric poet whose "Ode to Joy" was immortalized by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony; and icon #2--Marxist; author of Threepenny Opera, Mother Courage, St. Joan of the Stockyards; cultural iconoclast, who might not appreciate either his canonization in The New York Times or his compartmentalization in this course description.
|Course no.||LIT 295|
|Title||Film, Gender, and Culture|
|Schedule||Wed(film) 7:00 pm-10:00 pm Preston
Th (lect) 1:30 pm-3:30 pm Preston
Cross-listed: Film, Gender Studies
The course studies how the art of filmmaking produces or resists the dominant terms of our cultural self-awareness. We will draw on classical narrative films from 1930-1960 by such directors as Sternberg, Welles, Lang, and Wyler, as well as independent filmmakers such as Maya Deren and, more recently, Sheila McLaughlin, Yvonne Rainer, and Peggy Ahwesh. The approaches of semiotics, psychoanalysis and cultural studies in the work of such theorists as Christian Metz, Stephen Heath, Laura Mulvey and Kaja Silverman provide our grounding, and gender and sexuality receive special attention. Topics include spectatorship, the gendering of film narrative, the cinematic apparatus, and the cultural implications of editing and sound. Students should be prepared to study film in its technical aspects as well as in its cultural and theoretical ones. Weekly screenings.