11082

LIT 3035   The Frankfurt School

Florian Becker

. T . . .

4:00 -6:20 pm

OLINLC 118

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Human Rights  This seminar examines the concept of ideology in its relation to literature, art, and the task of their critique. What, if anything, makes a work of literature or art ideological? How, if at all, can a work of art resist or critique ideology? What is ideology? How, and from what vantage point, can one distinguish between ideological and non-ideological forms of consciousness? Should literary criticism and aesthetic theory dispense altogether with the concept of ideology? In attempting to answer these questions, we will follow a central strand in German aesthetic thought that runs from Hegel to the “Frankfurt School.”  Core readings include Marx, Lukács, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Benjamin, Wittgenstein, Habermas, R. Geuss, and B. Williams. Of interest to students in literature, philosophy, art history, and social science.  Prerequisite: Seniors and Juniors only; please see instructor after online pre-registration. A tutorial will be offered for students who wish to read selections from the core texts in the original German. Conducted in English.

 

11502

LIT 3037  A Thousand and One Nights

in Comparative Perspective

Elizabeth Holt

. . . Th .

9:30 – 11:50 am

OLIN 308

FLLC

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies, Middle Eastern Studies Stories within stories, frame tales, and unreliable narratives; fantastic voyages, bawdy escapades, and the ever-looming possibility that Shahrazad will meet her death with each new dawn – these hallmarks of A Thousand and One Nights have captivated narrators and audiences across the globe for centuries.  This course will begin with an examination of the structure and narrative techniques of the Nights, and it will then turn to consider the history of this collection’s transmission, translation and reception.  We will chart the multiple and sometimes conflicting legacies of reading the Nights, from a storyteller’s perch in a Damascus coffee shop to the salons of imperial metropoles such as London and Paris.  The course will close with an exploration of how changing perspectives on this story collection shaped and were in turn shaped by the emergence of the novel form, both in Europe as well as in the Arab world.  All texts in English or English translation. 

 

11441

LIT/ THTR  310B   Survey of Drama:

Euripides and Nietzsche

Thomas Bartscherer

. . W . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

FISHER

ELIT

See Theater section for description.

 

11156

LIT 3135   A Partial History of Dismemberment

Lianne Habinek

. . W . F

12:00 -1:20 pm

OLIN 107

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Human Rights  The curator of an art exhibit (titled Corporal Politics, which incorporated visual representations of body parts) in the early 1990s  argued that the exhibit demonstrated “the result of living in a world  in which violence, oppression, social injustice, and physical and  psychological stress predominate.  We may long for the secure ideals of beauty and wholeness embraced by past generations, but experience tells us that this worldview is obsolete....Wholeness is compromised;  the fragment is all.”  The aim of this course will be both to prove and to disprove this argument,  for while it is true that modern  representations of dismemberment do stem from such stresses, it is  equally true that previous eras did not have so cozy a concept of  “wholeness.”  From vivisectionists in ancient Greece and Orpheus’ unpleasant demise, to Frankenstein’s monster, to fantasies of human-computer hybrids: the body has long fascinated writers as much  for its cohesiveness as for its potential dissolubility.  In this course we will examine the historical literary deconstruction of the body, asking as we do what the idea of dismemberment can teach us about what it means to be whole or human, and if, indeed, such a concept of wholeness truly exists.  We will begin by examining mythology (see, for example, the end of poor Orpheus) before we turn to accounts of medieval veneration of saints’ body parts (a variety of cults of specific body parts existed, none more bizarre, perhaps, than the Cult of the Foreskin).  We will consider accounts of witches’ assemblies in the sixteenth century, as well as numerous popular legends of marvelous monstrosities, both of which deal with dismemberment as a magical, potentially demonic, activity.  In the Renaissance, we will read Shakespeare’s poem The Rape of Lucrece and  Marlowe’s Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.  Frankenstein’s monster will provide us opportunity to question how re-membered dis-membered  parts can form a creature seemingly more human than its creator.  We will finish by looking at the genre of hypertext, specifically, Shelley Jackson’s haunting Patchwork Girl.

 

11345

LIT 3136   Russian Literary Criticism:

from Belinsky to Bakhtin and Beyond

Marina Kostalevsky

. T . Th .

1:00 -2:20 pm

OLIN 305

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Russian Studies  This course is devoted to the study of various trends and specific theories in Russian literary criticism from the early19th century to the present time. The students will examine the key methodological and theoretical concepts of the romantic, realistic, formalist, structuralist, and poststructuralist approach to literature developed by such critics and scholars as Vissarion Belinsky, Nikolai Dobroliubov, Viktor Shklovsky, Boris Eikhenbaum, Iurii Tynianov (the Russian formalists), Iurii Lotman (the Tartu school), Mikhail Bakhtin, and the contemporary Russian literary scholars.  (Conducted in English).

 

11366

LIT 3213   Writing Workshop for

Non-Majors (Creative Non-Fiction)

Susan Rogers

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

RKC 122

PART

A course designed for juniors and seniors, who are not writing majors, but who might wish to see what they can learn about the world through the act of writing. Every craft, science, skill, discipline can be articulated, and anybody who can do real work in science or scholarship or art can learn to write, as they say, “creatively.” This course will give not more than a dozen students the chance to experiment with all kinds of writing, but in particular the creative essay. The creative essay is elastic allowing for meditations and rants, portraits and personal essays. We will read a range of works, then produce our own writings for critique. No portfolio is needed.  (Online registration. )

 

11141

LIT / SPAN 323   The Twentieth-Century Latin-American Novel

Melanie Nicholson

M . . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 107

ELIT

Cross-listed: LAIS  See Spanish section for description.

 

11362

LIT 328   Ideology and Politics

in Modern  Literature

Justus Rosenberg

. T . . .

10:30 - 12:50 pm

OLIN 302

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights   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.

 

11097

LIT 333   New Directions in Contemporary Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 205

ELIT

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 practictioners of the form, including Cormac McCarthy, William Gaddis, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, William Gaddis, 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.

 

11151

LIT 3362   The Essay

Luc Sante

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 204

ELIT

This course will consider the essay form as well as its style, with a particular focus on voice, viewpoint, and rhetorical technique. Intensive study will be devoted to word choice, cadence, and even punctuation, in the belief that even the most minute aspects of writing affect the impact of the whole. The goal is to equip students with a strong but supple command of their instrument, a prerequisite for personal expression. There will be writing and reading (from Macauley to Didion) assignments each week, and exercises and discussion in class.

 

11321

LIT 3365   Modern and Contemporary

Italian Women Writers:  Literature in Translation

Amelia Moser

. . W . .

4:00 -6:20 pm

OLIN 305

FLLC

Cross-listed:  Gender & Sexuality Studies, Italian Studies   “The Beast that speaks” is how Anna Maria Ortese ironically acknowledged her status as an Italian woman writer, noting also that in “antique or dead countries, the woman always remains the woman.  From Sibilla Aleramo’s breakout Feminist novel A Woman (1906) and the Verist-style works of the 1926 Nobel-Prize-winning Grazia Deledda, to the anti-Fascist writer Natalia Ginzburg and the controversial journalist Oriana Fallaci, this course will investigate what it meant to be a woman writing in Italy during the last century.  The intent is to offer students an understanding of the main cultural and literary movements of 20th century Italy through a study of the role that women writers and Feminist theorists held on artistic, political and social levels.  Theoretical works by Simone Weil, Simone De Beauvoir, Hélène Cixous and others will serve to frame the discussion.  Themes addressed will include:  The Fascist vision of motherhood and the Feminist reaction;  Elsa Morante’s History: A Novel (1974) as the literary testimonial of WWII Italian micro-history;  the Modernist writer Paola Masino and the influence of Modernist writers like Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield; the visionary poetry of Amelia Rosselli and the question of living between languages; the appeal of fantastic fiction in Anna Maria Ortese and Paola Capriolo; the politically engaged writings of Dacia Maraini (Woman at War 1975) and the role of theater in the Feminist agenda;  and finally the new multi-ethnic Italian reality demonstrated by the writings of women immigrants during the early 21st century.  Film screenings will be included.  All readings and class discussions in English; qualified students will have the option of doing the coursework in Italian.

 

11084

LIT 349   Victorian Bodies

Deirdre d'Albertis

. T . . .

. . . Th .

1:00 -2:00 pm

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLINLC 206

OLIN 310

ELIT

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 texts—literary and non-literary—in conjunctions with theories of the construction of sexuality from Freud to Foucault, tracing the most recent origins of such “natural” categories of subjectivity as male/female, heterosexual/homosexual, child/adult, and normal/perverse with special attention to the registers of race and class. How do different forms of narrative articulate or confuse these categories?  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?  We will consider these and other questions through our readings of 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.

 

11148

LIT 3500 B  Advanced Fiction: The Novella

Mona Simpson

TBA

TBA

.

PART

The second semester of a yearlong class, intended for advanced and serious writers of fiction, on the "long story" or novella form. Students will read novellas by Henry James, Flaubert, Chekhov, Flannery O'Connor, Allan Gurganus, Amy Hempel, and Philip Roth (and perhaps others) using these primary texts to establish a community of reference. We will discuss technical aspects of fiction writing, such as the use of time, narrative voice, openings, endings, dialogue, circularity, and editing, from the point of view of writers, focusing closely on the student's own work. The students will be expected to write and revise a novella, turning in weekly installments of their own work, and of their responses to the assigned reading.  The course will meet six times over the semester, dates to be announced.

 

11094

LIT 364   Shakespeare Seminar

Nancy Leonard

. T . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 310

ELIT

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  Shakespeare wrote in early modern London, in the early years of the seventeenth century, when the streets were crowded with newcomers in a population that had doubled in less than a hundred years. Country folk wanted to buy the inherited titles of noblemen (the King let them: he needed their money).  Aristocrats, laughing at brand-new “nobles” wearing fur, were often in serious debt for their own tastes. There was jostling, excitement, and luxury, and social changes which challenged who modern Londoners thought they were. Voyages of discovery, for instance, sometimes brought back Indians, who donned English costumes—the “Other” in disguise as the “Self.” Shakespeare in some plays is a very urban dramatist, reflecting the vital life of the city of London. The seminar will read Shakespeare’s, Henry IV, Part I, Much Ado About nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet,  Hamlet, and The Tempest, along with relevant texts, to explore how this burgeoning capitol of Europe registered in urban terms the issues of ethnicity, gender, identity, empire, sexuality, and class difference.

 

11099

LIT 3743   Prose Poetries / Poetic Proses

Joan Retallack

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

HEG 200

PART

It’s been a long time since the 17th century French playwright Molière humorously settled a question of genre with the statement “All that is not prose is poetry; all that is not poetry is prose.” Ironically, this turns out to be a useful enough distinction—one that by-passes a hunt for  “essences” and “universal characteristics” of genres. For every absolute asserted about the difference between prose and poetry there have been fascinating exceptions. The history of literary forms from ancient times on is full of what are today called “hybrid” or “blurred” genres. We will work with a generous range of generic hybridities from pre-Socratic philosophical prose poems to Ovid’s Metamorphoses to poetic essay forms and Anne Carson’s experiments (as translator and prose- poet) with classical literatures. We’ll look at influences of Wittgenstein and Gertrude Stein on the prose poetics of contemporary poets like Rosemary Waldrop and Leslie Scalapino. The ongoing questions throughout will have to do with the consequences of formal choices: what sorts of things can you do with hybrid forms that would not be possible otherwise? This is a practice-based seminar. You will have the opportunity to experiment with the kinds of forms you’re encountering in our reading and to invent your own. The class is required to attend poetry readings (generally scheduled on Thursday evenings) and other events related to the course during the semester. Students who have been working exclusively with either prose or poetry and would like to try other possibilities are encouraged to apply

 

11092

LIT 3801   Indian Fiction

Benjamin La Farge

M . W . .

10:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 309

ELIT

In the days of British colonial rule, the collision of East and West inspired a number of English authors to write some of their best fiction, and since independence several Indian writers have re-imagined that collision from a post-colonial perspective. The contradiction of writing about Indian life in the language of the departed British Raj has created a cultural hybridity which some of these novelists turn to advantage. Indian fiction of the modern period is of three kinds; those written by English authors during the last hundred years of Empire; those written by Indian authors during the first sixty years of Independence; and those written by Indians in the diaspora. From the first we will read Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. From the second we will read R.K. Narayan’s  The Guide, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance, and Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger, plus a selection of stories. From the third we will read V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas. To contextualize these novels, we will chapters from a brief study of Indian history, religion, and culture.

 

11352

LIT 382   Joyce, Beckett, O'Brien

Terence Dewsnap

. T . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

RKC 122

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Irish Studies   We will study Irish experimental writing,  including Joyce’s Ulysses, O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds, and several Beckett stories and plays.

 

11574

LIT 431   Postfantasy, Fabulism,

and the New Gothic

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

10:30 - 12:50 pm

OLIN 101

ELIT

Over the past several decades the critical boundaries between literary and genre fiction have become—as the result of ambitious work by a number of 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.  Postmodern masters such as Angela Carter, William Gaddis, and John Hawkes, while embracing a similarly 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 known as postfantasy or New Wave Fabulism, whose achievement is to have taken the genre of fantasy/horror in a similar revolutionary direction.  While not breaking allegiance with the fundamental spirit that animates their genre counterparts, writers such as Kelly Link, Elizabeth Hand, and Jonathan Lethem are creating a body of serious literary fiction.  Among others we will read are Valerie Martin, Karen Russell, John Crowley, Jonathan Carroll, and  Peter Straub.  One or two authors will attend class to discuss their work.