LIT 204A   Comparative Literature A:

Ancient Quarrels-The Critique of Literature in Greek and Latin Antiquity

Thomas Bartscherer

. T . Th .

1:00 – 2:20 pm

OLIN 304


Cross-listed:  Classical Studies  In a celebrated passage from Plato’s Republic, Socrates claims that there is “an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry.” In this course, we will consider this and other ways in which ancient authors (or their characters) configured the relationship between poetic production and theoretical inquiry, and therewith gave birth to the practice of literary criticism in the West. We will begin with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, focusing particularly on the understanding of poetry manifest within the world of these poems. Readings from Greek literature will also include lyric poetry (focusing on Sappho and Pindar), and Attic drama (e.g., Aristophane’s Frogs and Clouds, Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, Euripides’ Medea and Bacchae). Readings from the Latin corpus will include the epic poetry of Vergil and Ovid, the lyrics of Horace and Catullus, and Roman drama (including Plautus’s Amphitryon and Seneca’s Medea). Concurrently, we will be examining the ongoing critique of literature from the fragments of early Greek philosophers (e.g. Anaxagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus), through Plato and Aristotle, to Cicero, Horace, Longinus, and Plotinus. Our twofold aim will be to develop an understanding of all these texts in their original context and to consider how they set the stage for subsequent developments in western literature and criticism. (fulfills Literature in English distribution)



LIT 204B   Comparative Literature II

Gabriela Carrion

. . W . F

12:00 -1:20 pm



This course will examine literature from the Early Modern Period from the late fourteenth century through to the seventeenth century. Focusing on the intellectual and artistic expressions of the Renaissance and Baroque, we will consider a variety of genres including poetry, autobiography, novel and drama. The emergence of the self as a concept especially fraught with tensions as well as possibilities during this period will serve as a framework in which to address a number of questions. How does the self define itself in a hierarchical society? How are concepts such as nature and civilization, history and literature, hero and anti-hero, believer and heretic defined (and redefined) during this period? We will explore these questions in the literature of the period with attention to the context of such diverse events as the Protestant reformation, the encounter and subsequent colonization of the Americas, and the dissolution of the Hapsburg Empire. Authors will include Boccaccio, Rojas, Cervantes, Calderón, Molière, and Inés de la Cruz.



LIT 204C   Comparative Literature III

Marina van Zuylen

. T . Th .

4:00 -5:20 pm

OLIN 101


Cross-listed:  French Studies, German Studies   Offered as the third installment of the Comparative Literature sequence, this course will explore some of the key issues in nineteenth and early twentieth century poetics. It will organize its readings around two opposing views: should literature carve for itself an autonomous place in the increasingly commercial world of publishing or should it be, as Balzac would have it, the scribbling secretary of the human condition, faithfully mirroring social and economic change? Readings from: Kant, Schlegel, Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Poe, Gogol. Dostoevsky, Balzac, Woolf, Bergson and Proust.  



LIT 251   English Literature II

Lianne Habinek

. T . Th .

1:00 -2:20 pm

OLIN 203


This course explores seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature in England, during a vital transition between a period of dissent, struggle and war to an achieved modernity, a nation of divergent identities in compromise. The seventeenth century's characteristic figure is Satan struggling against God in Milton's Paradise Lost. but other poets and dramatists like John Donne, Ben Jonson, John Webster, and Andrew Marvell helped to shape the age's passionate interest in the conflict of political, religious, and social ideas and values. After the Civil War and the Puritan rule, monarchy was restored, at least as a reassuring symbol, and writers were free to play up the differences as they did in the witty, bawdy dramatic comedies of the elites and the novels by writers such as Defoe and Fielding which appealed to middle-class readers.



LIT 252   English Literature III

Deirdre d'Albertis

. . W . F

10:30 - 11:50 am

OLIN 201


Cross-listed: Victorian Studies   English Literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: from  Austen, Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley through Tennyson, Carlyle and  Ruskin to modernist writings by Joyce, Lawrence, T.S. Eliot and  Virginia Woolf.   



LIT 259   Literature of the U.S. III

Elizabeth Antrim

M . W . .

3:00 -4:20 pm

OLIN 203


Cross-listed:  American Studies  In this course we will track the development of American literature between 1865 and 1930 by working out the relationship between a series of literary movements—realism, regionalism, naturalism, and modernism—and a series of epochal historical events: among them, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the rise of the corporation, the Indian Wars, imperialism, the “New Woman,” new technologies, the birth of modern consumerism, the trauma of World War I, anxiety over immigration, and the various hedonisms of the so-called “Jazz Age.” While writing (and rewriting) this macro-narrative with our left hands, we will be writing a micro-narrative with our right hands, in which we attend not to vast social panoramas but to the moment-to-moment unfolding of each writer’s art. Authors include Twain, Crane, James, Chopin, Cather, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Frost, Williams, Stevens, Larsen, and Faulkner.



LIT 260   Literature of the U. S. IV, 1945 - 2001

Elizabeth Frank

. . W .

. . . Th .

3:00 -4:20 pm

2:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 107


Cross-listed:  American Studies  In this course, we will be looking at the ways in which American literature imagined and represented what it was like to live American lives between August 6, 1945, and September 11, 2001. Readings vary each time the course is given; authors may include but are not confined to Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Roth, Joan Didion, Toni Morrison and others.