Historical studies in the Comparative, English and American literature traditions are organized into sequences. Please notify the instructor if you need a sequence course in order to moderate in the spring of 2016.



LIT 204


Thomas Bartscherer

M W      1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 202


Cross-listed: Classical Studies  In a celebrated passage from Plato’s Republic, Socrates claims that there is “an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry.” In this course, we will consider this and other ways in which ancient authors (or their characters) configured the relationship between poetic production and theoretical inquiry, and therewith gave birth to the practice of literary criticism in the West. We will begin with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, focusing particularly on the understanding of poetry manifest within the world of these poems. Readings from Greek literature will also include lyric poetry (focusing on Sappho and Pindar), and Attic drama (e.g., Aristophane’s Frogs and Clouds, Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, Euripides’ Medea and Bacchae). Readings from the Latin corpus will include epic, lyric, and dramatic poetry (e.g. Vergil, Horace, Catullus, Seneca). Concurrently, we will be examining the ongoing critique of literature from the fragments of early Greek philosophers (e.g. Anaxagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus), through Plato and Aristotle, to Cicero and Horace. Our twofold aim will be to develop an understanding of all these texts in their original context and to consider how they set the stage for subsequent developments in western literature and criticism. All readings in English.  Class size: 22



LIT 204C

 Comparative Literature III

Cole Heinowitz

 T Th    11:50 am-1:10 pm

HEG 201


This course will explore the key aesthetic, philosophical, and political issues that emerge in European, Pan-American, and Middle Eastern poetry and prose from the early nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. Readings will include work by Hölderlin, Keats, Baudelaire, Whitman, Rimbaud, Pound, Pessoa, Vallejo, Kerouac, and Adonis.  Class size: 22



LIT 251

 English Literature II

Lianne Habinek

M W      10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 201


This course explores seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature in England, during a vital transition between a period of dissent, struggle and war to an achieved modernity, a nation of divergent identities in compromise. The seventeenth century's characteristic figure is Satan struggling against God in Milton's Paradise Lost,  but other poets and dramatists like John Donne, Ben Jonson, John Webster, and Andrew Marvell helped to shape the age's passionate interest in the conflict of political, religious, and social ideas and values. After the Civil War and the Puritan rule, monarchy was restored, at least as a reassuring symbol, and writers were free to play up the differences as they did in the witty, bawdy dramatic comedies of the elites and the novels by writers such as Defoe and Fielding which appealed to middle-class readers.  Class size: 22



LIT 252

 English Literature III

Derek Furr

  T  Th 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

 RKC 101


English Literature III is a survey of major works and trends in English literature, beginning with the revolutionary art of the Romantic era and ending in the anti-colonial writings of the mid-twentieth century. We might call this course “Revolution, Reaction, Reform.” For within each period, as well as across the nearly two centuries of literature we’ll read, we’ll experience the push and pull between making it new and honoring tradition in the literary arts, as well as the social and political worlds. Three essential questions will guide our study: Who are some of the major authors and what are the principal features of the literature in each “period”—Romantic, Victorian, Modernist? In what ways did these writers respond to their predecessors and to their own times? What changed (about the literary arts as well as culture), and what remained the same?  Class size: 22




LIT 258

 American Literature II

Matthew Mutter

 T Th    10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 201


Cross-listed: American Studies  This course explores the major American writers of the mid-nineteenth century and seeks to sharpen student capacities for close reading and historical contextualization.  Careful attention to important texts will open onto considerations of a variety of topics: the legacy of Puritanism, the politics of westward expansion and the figurations of wilderness, the slavery crisis, American transformations of Romanticism, and democratic poetics.  Writers include Emerson, Fuller, Thoreau, Whitman, Douglass, Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, and Dickinson.  Class size: 22



LIT 259

 American Literature III

Peter L'Official

 T Th    10:10 am-11:30 am

HEG 102


Cross-listed: American Studies  This course explores American literary production from the late nineteenth century to World War II. In focusing upon this era’s major authors and works, we will closely attend to the formal characteristics of this period’s literary movements (realism, naturalism, regionalism, and modernism) while examining many of the principal historical contexts for understanding the development of American literature and culture (including debates about immigration, citizenship, social movement, inequality, racial discrimination, and the rise of new technologies of communication and mass entertainment). Writers likely to be encountered include: James, Cather, Dreiser, Wharton, Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, Pound, Eliot, Faulkner, and Toomer.  Class size: 22