WORLD LITERATURE courses explore the interrelations among literary cultures throughout the world. They pay special attention to such topics as translation, cultural difference, the emergence of diverse literary systems, and the relations between global sociopolitical issues and literary form.



LIT  2031   

 Ten Plays that Shook the World

Justus Rosenberg

M . W . .

10:10am- 11:30am

OLIN 303


Cross-listed: French Studies, Theater  A close reading and textual analysis of plays  considered milestones in the history of the theater.  In this course we isolate and examine the artistic, social and psychological components that made these works become part of the literary canon.   Have they lasted because they conjure up fantasies of escape, or make its readers and viewers face dilemmas inherent in certain social conditions or archetypical conflicts?   What was it exactly that made them so shocking when first preformed?  The language, theme, style, staging?  We also explore the theatre as a literary genre that goes beyond the writing.  For a meaningful and effective performance, all aspects of the play, directing, acting, staging, lighting will be considered.  This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 18



LIT  2159   

 INTO THE WHIRLWIND: Literary Greatness and Gambles

Jonathan Brent

. . . . F


OLIN 202


Cross-listed: Russian and Eurasian Studies   This course will examine the fate of the literary imagination in Russia from the time of the Revolution to the stagnation of the Brezhnev period.  We will look at the majestic, triumphant imaginative liberation in writers such as Isaac Babel, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mandelstam and Mikhail Bulgakov; the struggle with ideology and the Terror of the 1930s in Yuri Olesha, Anna Akhmatova, Lidia Chukovskaya, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Varlam Shalamov, Boris Pilnyak and Yuri Tynyanov; the hesitant Thaw as reflected in Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago; and the course will conclude by reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and  Moscow to the End of the Line, by Venedikt Erofeev. Readings of literary works will be supplemented with political and historical documents to provide a sense of the larger political-social-historical context in which they were written. After the violent, imaginative ebullience of the Revolutionary period, how did literature stay alive during the darkest period of mass repression, censorship and terror when millions of Soviet citizens were either imprisoned or shot?  What formal/aesthetic choices did these writers make in negotiating the demands of official ideology and Party discipline, on the one hand, and authentic literary expression, on the other?  What image of history and of man did these “Engineers of human souls” produce?  These are some of the questions we will ask and seek to answer.  All readings will be in English.  This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 20



LIT  3045   

 Irish Writing and the Nationality of Literature

Joseph O'Neill

M . . . .


ASP 302


Cross-listed: Irish & Celtic Studies  In this course, students will read so-called Irish writing as a means of investigating the general notion that literary texts may possess the attribute of nationality. How is 'Irishness' to be located in a text? What is the function of the term 'Irish' when applied to a piece of writing? In what ways does the idea of 'nationality' (or 'ethnicity,' or 'community') connect the literary, juridical, and political realms? What does artistic discourse have to do with political ethics? What might a post-national literature involve?  Students will read artistic work by (inter alia) Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth,  J.M. Synge, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce,  Flann O'Brien, Samuel Beckett, and Bram Stoker, Elizabeth Bowen, Brian Friel. Theoretical work by (inter alia) Rudolf Rocker, John Rawls, Noam Chomsky, and Benedict Anderson will be touched on.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.   Class size: 15