LIT  3048   

 EXTRAORDINARY BODIES: Disability in american Fiction AND CULTURE

Jaime Alves

. . . . F


OLIN 301


Cross-listed American Studies, Human Rights  In this course, we will examine American fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama to understand how writers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries represent the “normal” body, as well as a constellation of bodies presented as extraordinary: bodies disfigured at birth or by illness or war; bodies paraded as “freaks”; bodies that don’t fit into established categories. We begin in the early nineteenth century, when popular Enlightenment ideology suggested Americans could control their own destinies, making and remaking their characters, and even their bodies, at will. What ideas emerged here about the kind of self one should make, and the kinds of bodies that should be discarded? How were those ideas proffered in and shaped by literary imaginings? How have they persisted and changed over time, especially in relation to ideas about American identity? Our reading list takes us into the present day, and includes an introduction to the major questions and scholarly perspectives under debate in the emerging field of Disability Studies. Possible readings include short fiction by Poe, Hawthorne, Steinbeck, O’Connor, and Morrison; novels by Howe (The Hermaphrodite), Phelps (The Silent Partner), Davis (Life in the Iron Mills), and Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time); memoirs by Keller, Mairs, Fries, and Kuusisto; drama by Nussbaum (Mishuganismo); and poetry by Whitman and Barnes, and from the groundbreaking recent anthology, Beauty is a Verb. Class size: 15



THTR  310   

 Survey of Drama: the birth of tragedy, the death of tragedy

Thomas Bartscherer

M . . . .




Cross-listed: Classical Studies, Experimental Humanities, Literature, Philosophy  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



LIT 3149


Joseph Luzzi


1:30pm -3:50pm

OLIN 303


Cross-listed: Italian Studies How did the small Tuscan city of Florence become the birthplace of the European Renaissance? How did it produce geniuses on the level of Dante, Botticelli, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Rossini, to name a few? And how did Florentine culture nurture groundbreaking innovation in the history of art, literature, and music? This new interdisciplinary course will explore the extraordinary impact of Florence in the arts and sciences. We will read the great authors associated with the city—from famous native sons Dante and Machiavelli to illustrious literary pilgrims Leopardi and Montale—and study the incredible ferment in painting and sculpture that made the city a center for aesthetic innovation. Topics include Florence’s role in the history of music, especially its role in the invention of opera; the emergence of Florence as birthplace of the Italian language; representation of the city on screen by Roberto Rossellini and other filmmakers; Florence’s presence in Futurist and avant-garde aesthetics; and such epochal Florentine historical events as the civil war between Dante’s Guelphs and rival Ghibellines, the French siege of the city in 1494, Florence’s time as capital of the recently unified Italy in the 1860s, and the disastrous Flood of 1966 that threatened to destroy some of the city’s most precious works and buildings. We will also examine how the city is reshaping its storied past to ensure its ongoing relevance in the new multicultural Italy. All readings and course work in English.  Class size: 15



THTR  317   

 20th Century Avant Garde Performance

Miriam Felton-Dansky

M . . . .




Cross-listed: Art History, Experimental Humanities, Literature  "Set fire to the library shelves!" wrote the Italian Futurists in their first manifesto of 1909. With their revolutionary politics, audience provocations, and enthusiastic embrace of the new, the Futurists inaugurated a century of avant-garde performance. This course will investigate that century, tracing the European and American theatrical avant-gardes from 1909 to 1995, including movements and artists such as Expressionism, Surrealism and Dada; John Cage, Allan Kaprow, and Happenings; utopian collectives of the 1960s; Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, the Wooster Group and Reza Abdoh. We will explore questions including: the implications of assuming the mantle of the "avant-garde"; the contested status of the dramatic text in avant-garde performance; the relationship between performance and emerging media forms; and avant-garde artists’ efforts to create radical fusions of art and life. This course will require a research paper, reading responses, and a presentation. Class size: 15



LIT  3315   

 THE ART OF MisbehAvIng IN Renaissance England

Noor Desai

. T . . .


OLIN 307


New English Renaissance drama is filled with audacious overreachers, defiant women, impertinent clowns, and deceptive tricksters—not to mention an expansive collection of rogues, spies, murderers, and thieves. This course explores what depictions of rule-breakers and outlaws on stage can tell us about the organization of political and cultural power in the period, and also how these plays can help us interrogate our own position with respect to codes governing behavior. By reading works by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, and others alongside both modern works of social theory and fascinating primary documents such as etiquette guides and political manifestos, we will investigate the ideological foundations of good behavior. More importantly, we will consider what can be gained by breaking some rules! Our units will focus on specific categories such as the braggart, the tomboy, the outcast, and the rebel as we analyze misbehavior in order to reevaluate confining categories such as class, gender, sexuality, and race.This course counts as pre-1800 offering. Class size: 15



LIT  333   

 New Directions in

Contemporary Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M . . . .


OLIN 101


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. We will explore both the great diversity of voices, styles, and forms employed in these narratives as well as the cultural, historical, political, and philosophical issues they chronicle.  Particular emphasis will be placed on analysis of fiction by some of the groundbreaking practitioners of the form, including Cormac McCarthy, William Gaddis, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Foster Wallace, Robert Coover, Ian McEwan, and Jamaica Kincaid. One or two authors will visit class to talk with students about their books and writing process, and read from recent work. Class size: 15



LIT / THTR  336   


Parks, Churchill, Jelinek

Jean Wagner

. T . . .




See Theater section for description.



LIT  405   

 Senior COLLOQUIUM: Literature

Deirdre d'Albertis

M . . . .


RKC 103


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: 40