12519

LIT 3029   Sentimental Politics of American  Culture

Charles Walls

M . . . .

3:10 -5:30 pm

OLIN 304

ELIT

Cross-listed:  American Studies  In this course we will examine “sentimentalism” as a literary and philosophical concept that is less about welling tears and fickle emotions than about the role emotion plays in how we organize our political, economic, and cultural lives. Drawing on literature, philosophy, film, and art, we will explore the intersections of gender, race, class, urbanism, nationalism and internationalism to explore the key concept underlying sentimentalism: sympathy.  Ultimately we will ask: What are the limits of sympathy as a basis for moral behavior?  In what ways do visual and literary cultures attempt to shape the sympathetic responses of their audiences?  What types of sentimental interventions in American politics have occurred and what have been their strengths and weakness? Likely works include those by Adam Smith, David Hume, William Hill Brown, Mary Rowlandson, Stowe, Douglass, Twain, Chesnutt, Crane, Kara Walker, Agee, Wright, Morrison, Sontag, Spielberg, and John M. Stahl. We will also engage theories that elaborate the “politics of affect,” as well as secondary works that situate our readings both historically and in terms of current literary scholarship.  Class size: 15

 

12137

LIT 3035   The Frankfurt School

Florian Becker

M . . . .

4:40 -7:00 pm

ASP 302

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.  Class size: 15

 

12191

LIT 304   20th Century Long Poems
& The Invention Of Narrative Structures

Ann Lauterbach

. . W . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 101

ELIT

Despite Edgar Allen Poe's 1846 injunction, “I hold that a long poem does not exist,” many modern and contemporary poets have undertaken to contradict him. We will examine the necessity to invent structures of narrative form that would at once accommodate a new sense of the fractured nature of history, the need for clarity, and an increasingly vexed relation of the poet's “I” to the linguistic event. We will look at some early moderns (Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Williams, H.D.) but focus primarily on writers of the postwar era, including Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, George Oppen, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Susan Howe, Anne Carson, Derek Walcott, Leslie Scalapino and Harryette Mullen.   Application letter required to annotate@aol.com    Class size: 15

 

12535

LIT 3072   Writing the Modern City

Teju Cole

. T . Th .

3:10 -4:30 pm

OLIN 303

ELIT

This course centers on aspects of contemporary urban reportage, through a close-reading of five recent works of creative non-fiction: Haruki Murakami’s Underground, Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul, Ivan Vladisavić’s Portrait with Keys, Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts’s Harlem is Nowhere. Topics include alienation, crowds, nostalgia, infrastructure, the role of the observer, and literary technique.  Class size: 15

 

12193

LIT / THTR 310 A  Survey of Drama:

The Birth of Tragedy and The Death

of Tragedy

Thomas Bartscherer

. . W . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

FISHER PAC

AART

Cross-listed: Classical Studies, Theater  Two pivotal works in the history of the interpretation of tragic drama—The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche and The Death of Tragedy by George Steiner—will set the agenda for our inquiry into the origins of western theater in the dramas of classical antiquity and the fate of tragedy as an art form in the modern world. In addition to assiduous study of Nietzsche and Steiner, we shall be reading a broad selection of the tragedies these authors discuss, including plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Racine, Büchner, and Beckett. We shall also watch film adaptations of selected tragedies and, schedule permitting, attend a staged performance. The course will integrate close reading, literary and philosophical analysis, and practical scene work. All readings will be in English.  Class size: 15

 

12161

LIT 3218   Hobbyism & Professionalism

Joseph O'Neill

M . . . .

11:50 -2:10 pm

OLIN 305

PART

This course investigates the hobbyistic impulse in writing—the impulse to write for private pleasure—and considers the importance of unprofitable conscientiousness, idiosyncrasy, and self-regulation in the making of fiction and nonfiction.  Writing directed by obsessions and internal priorities will be contrasted with writing pressured, in part, by professional demands.  Our reading will include unclassifiable work by Michel de Montaigne, Hubert Butler, David Foster Wallace, Charles Fort, Fernando Pessoa, Nicholson Baker; sermons by John Donne; fiction by Franz Kafka, C.S. Lewis; the diaries of Victor Klemperer, Facebook pages, and other ostensibly commodified and uncommodified texts.   Class size: 15

 

12473

LIT 3262   Culture and Breeding, and the

Rise of the English Novel

Lianne Habinek

. . . Th .

1:30 -3:50 pm

HEG 300

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Science, Technology and Society  What is culture?  This is the first question we will ask in this course – and the one we will strive to answer throughout as we make our way through some of the seminal literary and philosophical texts of the eighteenth century. We will consider, as we do, what the notion of breeding had to do with culture, and how the idea of culture involved proto-biology, exploration, education, and even discrimination.  As such, this course seeks to intertwine philosophical and scientific work with its contemporary literature; thus, alongside each main text we will consider eighteenth-century theoretical research.  We begin with David Garrick's remarkably “altered” version of The Winter's Tale, turning then to Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, a selection of Rousseau, Tristram Shandy, and The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, ending with Emma.  Class size: 15

 

12525

LIT 328   Politics & Ideology in Modern Literature

Justus Rosenberg

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

ALBEE 106

ELIT

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Political Studies   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 synthetize 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.  Class size: 15

 

12077

LIT 3308   Reading and Writing the Hudson

Susan Rogers

. T . . .

10:10 - 11:30 am

OLIN 201

ELIT

 

 

 

. . . Th .

8:30 - 11:30 am

Field Station

 

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  To those who know it, the Hudson River is the most beautiful, messed up, productive, ignored, and surprising piece of water on the face of the earth,” writes Robert Boyle in The Hudson:  A Natural and Unnatural History.  In this course students will get to know the Hudson in all of its complexity through reading a range of works and through writing personal essays of place.  Readings will range from history to natural history, literature to environmental policy.  In addition, each student will be required to undertake independent research into some aspect of the river from the brick or whaling industry to gardens or villas of the valley.  This research, combined with personal experience of the valley, will be used to develop extended creative nonfiction essays.  These personal essays will be read and critiqued in a workshop format.  This course is open to all students interested in creative nonfiction writing from a researched, inter-disciplinary perspective. Students will be required to take a swim test and a canoe course in order to participate in the canoe/kayak outings.  Class size: 15

 

12032

LIT 3313   The San Francisco Renaissance

Cole Heinowitz

. T . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

OLIN 310

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies  The end of World War II saw the migration of a diverse group of poets to the San Francisco Bay Area. Although their aesthetics and politics often differed wildly, these writers were united by a resistance to a poetic mainstream they felt had abandoned the experimental inheritances of prewar writing and by the desire to recreate a radical literary bohemia that seemed to have been lost. In their search, they drew inspiration from everything from the western landscape itself, to Romanticism, Modernism, Surrealism, and Eastern religions and literature. This course will chart the development of these writers and their communities, closely examining the works of (among others) Kenneth Rexroth, Helen Adam, Jack Spicer, Michael McClure, Diane DiPrima, Jack Kerouac, Joanne Kyger, and Philip Whalen. Class size: 15

 

12186

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 practitioners of the form, including Cormac McCarthy, William Gaddis, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Don DeLillo, 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. Class size: 15

 

12122

LIT 3691   Junior Seminar: the Brontes

Deirdre d'Albertis

               Writing Lab:

. . . Th .

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

2:00 -3:00 pm

OLIN 306

OLIN 306

ELIT

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies, Victorian Studies  For better or worse, the inhabitants of Haworth parsonage have long been considered as a single entity known as "The Brontes."  Devoted to study of the most famous family of women writers in nineteenth-century England, this seminar will examine selected writings of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Bronte. Our aim will be to connect close reading practices to contextual analysis. Reception of the Brontes has varied enormously over the years; we will discuss the impact of shifts in canon formation on the status of texts such as Wuthering Heights (1847), Jane Eyre (1847), and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), as well as the influence of theoretical, historical, and biographical accounts (for instance, Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Bronte) in shaping Brontean "myths of power" and desire.  Film makers from Luis Bunuel to Cary Fukunaga have imagined these novels anew: how does cinematic adaptation inform our understanding of the original texts?  Junior Seminars are designed especially for Juniors who are preparing to write a Senior Project in the Literature program.  In this writing-intensive course, research methods and the process of revision are foregrounded to produce a 20-25 page critical argument by the end of term.  Class size: 15

 

12510

LIT 382   Joyce and Beckett

Terence Dewsnap

M . . . .

1:30 -3:50 pm

RKC 200

ELIT

Cross-listed:  Irish Studies   We will study Irish experimental writing,  including Joyce’s Ulysses,  and several Beckett stories and plays.  Class size: 15

 

12185

LIT 431   Post-Genre Fabulism and the

New Gothic

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

10:10 - 12:30 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. Class size: 15