11314

LIT 3018 Junior Seminar: Medievalisms

Maria Cecire

. T . . .

3:10 pm -5:30 pm

OLIN 309

ELIT

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities, Medieval Studies Medievalism has been described as "the continuing process of creating the Middle Ages." Such reconstructions of the past can reveal much about a contemporary moment, and this course explores the ways in which images of the Middle Ages have been deployed in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Anglophone culture. In this Junior Seminar we will consider how medievalisms contribute to establishing national, ethnic, and gendered identities across a range of genres and media, with a special focus on recurrent figures such as King Arthur and Robin Hood. Nineteenth-century texts will include Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Scott's Ivanhoe, Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and the fiction of William Morris; twentieth-century works will include fiction by T.H. White, the 1938 film The Adventures of Robin Hood, selections from the Disney oeuvre, and new media texts from gaming culture to the web. We will read critics and theorists such as Norman Cantor, Carolyn Dinshaw, Umberto Eco, and Leslie Workman as students develop research papers about the present's relationship to idea of the medieval past. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to use Omeka, an open-source platform for scholarly collections and exhibitions, as part of this process. Prerequisite: another medieval literature, history, or art history course. Class size: 15

 

11347

LIT 3019 Junior Seminar: Nabokov's Shorts: The Art of Conclusive Writing

Olga Voronina

. T . Th .

1:30 pm -2:50 pm

OLIN 107

ELIT

Cross-listed: Russian & Eurasian Studies This course will focus on Vladimir Nabokov's short stories as well as his memoir Conclusive Evidence and the novel Pnin, both of which first appeared in story-length installments in The New Yorker. We will read "Details of a Sunset," "Christmas," "A Guide to Berlin," "A Nursery Tale," "The Visit to the Museum," "The Circle," "Spring in Fialta," "Cloud, Castle, Lake," "Ultima Thule," "Solus Rex," "Signs and Symbols," and "The Vane Sisters." Keeping our eyes open for the elusive, but meaningful, textual details and discussing the writer's narrative strategies, we will also trace the metaphysical streak that runs through the entire Nabokov oeuvre. A discussion of all matters editorial will be our priority. We will study Nabokov's correspondence with Katherine White and William Maxwell, his editors at The New Yorker, and look at the drafts of his stories, now part of the Berg Collection in the NYPL. Our endeavor to understand the Nabokovian process of composition and revision will go hand-in-hand with the work on our own writing. Class size: 15

 

11684

LIT 3041 The New York School: Poetry, Art, Collaboration & Criticism

Ann Lauterbach

. . . Th .

3:10 pm -5:30 pm

OLIN 309

ELIT

Cross-listed: Art History Following the Second World War, there was a great upsurge of cultural activity in and around New York City, as America began to assert its power on the world stage. Drawn from diverse strands of Modernism, poets and visual artists joined with critics and arts institutions to form what came to be called the New York School, creating a new aesthetic vocabulary. Poets include Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler and Barbara Guest; artists include Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Phillip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Larry Rivers, sculptor David Smith and photographer/filmmaker Rudy Burkhardt. Readings will include contemporaneous critical responses by such influential figures as Clement Greenberg, Dore Ashton and Edwin Denby. Class size: 15

 

11757

LIT 3042 Nobel Laureates

Norman Manea

. T . . .

3:10 pm -5:30 pm

HEG 201

ELIT

The class will discuss some important books of modern and contemporary literature by authors who received the Nobel Prize for Literature (Albert Camus, Th. Mann, J.P. Sartre, Saul Bellow, Mario Vargas Llosa, Orhan Pamuk, Elfriede Jelinek, Czeslaw Milosz, Imre Kertesz, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Boris Pasternak), for their topic and vision, for their innovative way of writing. We'll take in account some special cases (J.P. Sartre, Soljenitsin, Pasternak, Jelinek) for their political and/or moral impact in the public arena. The class will also examine the procedure and value of granting prizes, big and small, deserved and not well deserved, in a time when even the cultural field is dominated by the market. We will also debate the absence in the Nobel list of some great literary names (Tolstoi, Dostoievski, Joyce, Kafka, Borges etc). Class size: 15

 

11755

LIT 3072 Writing the Modern City

Teju Cole

M . W . .

11:50 am -1:10 pm

OLIN 301

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

 

11693

LIT 3082 Romanticism Disfigured

Cole Heinowitz

. T . . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLIN 310

ELIT

According to traditional literary history, Euro-American Romanticism is a nineteenth-century phenomenon distinguished for its emphasis on the transcendent powers of the individual, the natural world, and the imagination. But Romanticism is equally a construct of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, a construct standing variously for self-indulgence and escapism, for revolutionary utopianism, and for radical cultural critique. The core of this seminar is the close study of Romantic poetry and prose, including the works of Schlegel, Nerval, Wordsworth, Rousseau, Shelley, Hölderlin, Emerson, and Melville. We will also place this work in dialogue with Modern and Post-modern writers and critics such as Pound, Artaud, Celan, Olson, Paz, Heidegger, and Blanchot in order to interrogate the troubled and troubling presence of Romanticism from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Class size: 15

 

11752

LIT 3146 T. S. Eliot & Wallace Stevens

Matthew Mutter

. . W . .

10:10am -12:30 pm

HEG 300

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies An in-depth study of two major American writers whose aesthetic visions represent divergent trajectories for modernist poetics. Attention will be given to their relation to Romanticism, their understanding of lyric subjectivity, their juxtapositions of literature and religion, their philosophies of abstraction and the image, and their engagement with social and cultural crises. This course fills the American Studies Junior Seminar requirement. Class size: 15

 

11687

LIT 3148 Writing Cultures: Ethnographic Literature in US

Alexandre Benson

. . W . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLIN 310

ELIT

Cross-listed: American Studies, Anthropology This course explores the ethnographic impulse in American literature from the 1830s to the 1930s, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Zora Neale Hurston. We will track the transformations of the two concepts in the course title, writing and culture, as they influence each other over time, considering how modes of literary representation (e.g., romance, realism, travel narrative, folklore, literary dialect) respond to and influence ideas of cultural difference, particularly as those ideas undergo radical revision around the turn of the 20th century. In addition to our primary literary and ethnographic texts -- by authors including Melville, Jewett, Harris, Boas, Sapir, La Flesche, Oskison, Cushing, Chesnutt, Cable, Chopin, Anderson, Wharton, and Williams -- we will read supplementary material on the interface of anthropology and literary studies, on the history of the culture concept, and on the politics of multiculturalism. Class size: 15

 

11453

LIT 3217 The Tragic Heroine in the Western Imagination: From Euripides to Tennessee Williams

Daniel Mendelsohn

. . . . F

10:10am-12:30 pm

OLIN 301

ELIT

Cross-listed: Gender & Sexuality Studies The figure of the tragic heroine—suffering, abject, grandiose, vengeful, self-sacrificing, murderous, noble, alluring—has gripped the Western imagination for nearly thirty centuries, from the Homeric epics to 20th century theater, and raises a question that remains a compelling one today: Why do male authors focus so consistently on the representation of suffering females—often for the benefit of male audiences? Through a series of close readings of representative texts (classical, medieval, Renaissance, Neo-Classical, Enlightenment, 19th and 20th century) in a number of genres (epic, tragedy, lyric, fiction, opera), this course will seek to explore the aesthetic nature and ideological roots of this cultural preoccupation. Close readings of texts will be accompanied by readings in theoretical materials and secondary scholarship; weekly showing of films will also be considered required material. Class size: 15

 

11742

LIT 3218 Hobbyism & Professionalism

Joseph O'Neill

M . . . .

11:50 am -2:10 pm

OLIN 303

ELIT

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

 

11481

LIT 3224 Investigative Poetics

Joan Retallack

. . . Th .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLINLC 210

ELIT

This  is a practice-based seminar in which we will study and create extended poetic projects designed to explore a range of forms, media, questions, and logics while addressing our situation in today’s world by means of poetry. Underlying assumptions are a) there are things one can know only in the form of poetry, b) a complex world must be engaged, at least some of the time, with complex forms of art. Though some of the projects for this course can involve visual and electronic media, as well as performance dimensions, the emphasis throughout will be on working with language. To bring students into a high level of consciousness about the forms and questions we are examining, there will be in-class writing and performative study of texts (four book-length investigative poetic projects and periodic handouts) as well as short essays. You will complete three extended poetic projects of your own. We will read (or experience online) work by some of the following poets: T.S. Eliot, John Ashbery, Leslie Scalapino, Alice Notley, John Cayley, Rosmarie Waldrop, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Raul Zurita. Admission by permission of professor. Email: Prof. Retallack – retallack@bard.edu

 

11498

LIT / PHIL 325 Socrates: Man, Myth, Monster

Thomas Bartscherer

. T . . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLIN 304

HUM

Cross-listed: Classical Studies, Philosophy In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates claims to lack self-knowledge, suggesting that he does not know whether he is "a monster more complicated and savage than Typhon or a tamer and simpler creature, with a share in a divine and gentle nature." The identity and character of Socrates, which Plato here suggests is a mystery to the man himself, has been a persistent puzzle. The earliest portraits we have of Socrates are strikingly incompatible and have inspired widely divergent interpretations of the man, his philosophy, and his significance through to the present day. In this course, we will study primary ancient sources on which our knowledge of Socrates is based—including Aristophanes' Clouds, Xenophon's Socratic texts, several Platonic dialogues, and selections from Aristotle— as well as a number of exemplary texts from the modern and contemporary reception and interpretation of Socrates (including Nietzsche, Vlastos, Kofman, Nehamas, Hadot and others). Our investigation will aim to give due consideration to the philosophical, literary and historical questions that together constitute the enigma that is Socrates. All readings will be in English. Class size: 15

 

11691

LIT 328 Ideology and Politics in Modern Literature

Justus Rosenberg

M . . . .

4:40pm - 7:00pm

OLIN 101

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

 

11374

LIT / RUS 330   Dramatic Difference: Russia

and Its Theater

Marina Kostalevsky

. T . Th .

1:30 pm -2:50 pm

OLINLC 118

FLLC

Cross-listed:  Literature, Theater  This course will examine the evolution of Russian dramaturgy in connection with parallel developments in both literature and theater. It will offer students an opportunity to explore various aspects of Russian culture by discussing the specifics of Russian Drama. Special attention with be given to issues of genre and style, tradition and innovation, criticism and theory. Readings include plays by Fonvizin, Griboedov, Gogol, Pushkin, Ostrovsky, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Mayakovsky, Erdman, and Petrushevskaia, as well as theoretical texts by Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, and Mikhail Chekhov. Also, the students will have a chance to see some productions of Russian plays on screen and on stage. Conducted in English.  Class size: 15

 

11580

LIT 333 New Directions in

Contemporary Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

1:30 pm -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

 

11736

LIT 341 The Book Before Print

Marisa Libbon

. . W . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

HEG 300

ELIT

Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Medieval Studies It has been said that we live in a post-book and post-print culture—an "Internet Age"—the social and experiential impact of which has, in fact, been likened to the innovation of print. Yet, it could be argued that the ephemeral network of online anonymous and untraceable voices—voices that increasingly comprise our cultural production and shape our day-to-day reading experiences—is much more proximate to pre-print culture. In this course we will interrogate the foundations of medieval textual production, transmission, and consumption, considering how and for what purpose(s) manuscripts—books written and bound by hand—were made before the invention of print, let alone the founding of the Internet. This semester-long inquiry will be grounded in our examination of the Auchinleck Manuscript, a book produced in early fourteenth-century London, written entirely in English, and recently made fully and freely available online. The Auchinleck Manuscript is a major medieval anthology whose contents range from politically charged crusading romances to fantastical histories of England, from coded social complaints to gory saints' lives. In addition to provoking questions about the development of literary culture and mass media, Auchinleck's form and content raise issues of emerging nationalisms, post-colonialism, the relationship between text and image (for many of its illuminated images survive), nostalgia, and the assertion of a self-consciously English culture. The main "text" for this course will be the freely available online transcription and facsimile of the Auchinleck Manuscript at http://auchinleck.nls.uk. Although texts will be read in Middle English, no previous experience with Middle English is necessary; this course will also provide a working introduction to reading scribal handwriting (paleography) and engaging a manuscript's physical make-up or composition (codicology). Class size: 15

 

11756

LIT 358 Exile & Estrangement Fiction

Norman Manea

M . . . .

3:10 pm -5:30 pm

OLIN 303

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights Reading and discussion of selected fiction by such writers as Mann, Kafka, Nabokov, Camus, Singer, Kundera, Naipaul, etc. examining the work for its literary value and as a reflection of the issue of exile – estrangement as a fact of biography and a way of life. The complex topics of foreignness and identity, (ethnic, political, sexual) of rejection and loss, of estrangement and challenge, and also of protean mutability, are discussed in connection to relevant social-historical situations (war, expulsion, migration) and as major literary themes. Preference given to students moderated in Language and Literature. Class size: 15

 

11304

LIT 390 Contemporary Critical Theory

Nancy Leonard

M . . . .

1:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLIN 310

HUM

During the last century major changes in the ways works of art and culture were conceived took place under the influence of modernism and poststructuralism. This course engages key texts, both classic and contemporary, in this transformation of our knowledge of language and representation. Reading full-length studies or significant excerpts of major theorists, the seminar will introduce students to the aesthetics and ethics of modernist and postmodern debates about representation, and about the links between ethics, politics and language. Perspectives to be introduced include historicism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, gender and sexuality study, affect studies, and media theory. Students will be working collaboratively as theorists, independently as writers, and collectively as members of the whole seminar. Theorists to be read include Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Zizek, and Judith Butler. Upper College standing is assumed. A college course in philosophy, literary, cultural, political or arts theory is ordinarily a prerequisite. Class size: 15

 

11579

LIT 431 Post-Genre Fabulism and the

New Gothic

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .

10:10am - 12:30pm

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

 

11908

LIT 405 CH  Senior Colloquium: Literature

Cole Heinowitz

M . . . .

4:45pm -6:30 pm

OLIN LC 115

N/A

0 credits. Literature Majors writing a project are required to enroll in the year-long Senior Colloquium.   Senior Colloquium is an integral part of the 8 credits earned for Senior Project.  An opportunity to share working methods, knowledge, skills and resources among students, the colloquium explicitly addresses challenges arising from research and writing on this scale, and presentation of works in progress.  A pragmatic focus on the nuts and bolts of the project will be complemented with life-after-Bard skills workshops, along with a review of internship and grant-writing opportunities in the discipline. Senior Colloquium is designed to create a productive network of association for student scholars and critics: small working groups foster intellectual community, providing individual writers with a wide range of support throughout this culminating year of undergraduate study in the major.  Class size: 25