LIT 3028

 Sound in American Literature

Alexandre Benson

 T          3:10 pm-5:30 pm

OLIN 309


Cross-listed: American Studies; Experimental Humanities  We often describe literary form in sonic terms—voice, tone, echo—even as we set the silent, graphic medium of writing in opposition to the noisy, melodious stuff of speech and song. This paradox generates some knotty questions of aesthetics, sensation, and media. Put them in the context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, and more arise. In what ways, for instance, does the representation of sound participate in the construction of race, region, and gender? And how do individual artists' approaches to writing sound respond to the development of new recording technologies? This seminar will explore these questions through works of scholarship in literary theory and sound studies; through adaptations that bring texts into other sonic media (phonograph, radio, film); and above all through written works whose expressive contours are shaped by the phenomenon of sound. Readings will likely include texts by Mikhail Bakhtin, Gwendolyn Brooks, George Washington Cable, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, William Faulkner, Lisa Gitelman, Zora Neale Hurston, Tim Ingold, Helen Keller, Friedrich Kittler, Fred Moten, and Susan Stewart. Coursework will include essays in both textual and audio formats.  Class size: 15



LIT 3206


Thomas Keenan

M          1:30 pm-3:50 pm



Cross-listed: Human Rights  What can literature and the arts teach us about evidence? Evidence would seem to be a matter of facts, far from literary or artistic invention. But, whether fact or fiction, we are regularly confronted by all sorts of signs, and we need to learn how to read the traces of things left behind at this or that scene, of a crime for instance. Matters of interpretation, presentation, even rhetoric arise immediately. Evidence, at a minimum, is presented for our deliberation and calls for us to make decisions, form conclusions, or reach judgments. Hence its legal meanings. On the basis of the traces of what has happened —whether in the form of statistics, objects, images, or testimony—we have to decide. This holds even or especially when the evidence seems least equivocal, as in the case of forensics.  Sometimes what we see and read seems to compel action, while at other times it appears to immobilize us.  As more and more of our world is exposed to view, what becomes of the would-be foundational character of evidence? What is it to ignore evidence? This seminar will explore the theory and practice of evidence, with special attention paid to the different forms evidence can take and the disputes to which it can give rise, especially when violations of, and claims for, human rights are at stake. Readings  from Weschler, Felman, Krog, Ondatjie, Latour, Tamen, Azoulay, Didi-Huberman, Morrison, along with a lot of visual material.  Class size: 16



LIT 330

 Innovative Novellas & Short Stories

Justus Rosenberg

M          10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 305


An in-depth study of the difference between the short story, built on figurative techniques closely allied to those employed in poetry which allows the writer to achieve remarkable intimacy and depth of meaning in the space of a few pages, and the novella that demands the economy and exactness of a short work while at the same time allowing a fuller concentration and development of both character and plot. We explore the range and scale of the artistic accomplishments of such masters in these genres as Voltaire, de Maupassant, Leo Tolstoy, Chekhov, Sholem Aleichem, Thomas Mann, Isaac Babel, A. France, Camus, Kafka, Colette, Borges. In addition to writing several analytical papers, students are asked to present a short story or novella of their own by the end of the semester. Class size: 15



LIT 331

 Translation Workshop

Peter Filkins

 Th       1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 310


The workshop is intended for students interested in exploring both the process of translation and ways in which meaning is created and shaped through words. Class time will be divided between a consideration of various approaches to the translation of poetry and prose, comparisons of various solutions arrived at by different translators, and the students' own translations into English of poetry and prose from any language or text of their own choosing. Prerequisite: One year of language study or permission of the instructor.   Class size: 12



LIT 333

 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction

Bradford Morrow

M          1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 205


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 Noy Holland, Cormac McCarthy, William Gaddis, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Foster Wallace, Robert Coover, Ian McEwan, and Jamaica Kincaid. Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub, and Brian Evenson will visit class to talk with students about their books and writing process, and read from recent work.  Class size: 15



LIT 405

 Senior Colloquium: Literature

Deirdre d'Albertis

M          4:40 pm-6:00 pm

RKC 103


1 credit   Literature Majors writing a project are required to enroll in the year-long Senior Colloquium.   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: 50



See primary section for description.


CLAS 316

 Epic in European Literature

Daniel Mendelsohn

 T          1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 301




FREN 321

 Vocabularies of Contempt

Marina van Zuylen

 Th       1:30 pm-3:50 pm





SPAN 301

 Intro to Spanish Literature

Patricia Lopez-Gay

M W Th   3:10 pm-4:30 pm





SPAN 325

 Archive Fever: Lit and Film

Patricia Lopez-Gay

 T          1:30 pm-3:50 pm





PHIL 238

 Philosophy and Literature

Ruth Zisman

 T Th    11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 202




PS 132

 Political and Literary Imaginations of Subjectivity after 1945

Jana Schmidt

M W      1:30 pm-2:50 pm

HEG 300