LIT 110

 Intro to World Literature

Joseph Luzzi

 T  Th 10:10am-11:30am

ASP 302



This course will emphasize the global nature of literary production and explore the interrelations among literary cultures throughout the world. We will 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. Subjects include the relation between eastern and western epic; the cross-cultural definitions of “lyric” and other literary genres; the emergence of the novel and its relation to the emergence of modern capitalism; the idea of “autobiography” across the continents and the centuries; theories of “world literature” from Goethe to Casanova and Moretti; and the struggle today between “close” and “distant” reading. Readings and course work in English. This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 22



LIT 2301

 Voices of Modern Ireland

Michael Staunton

 T  Th 3:10pm-4:30pm

OLIN 202



Cross-listed: Irish and Celtic Studies  In this course we read the words and listen to the voices of Irish people from the last 100 years. We will read the works of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Edna O’Brien and other famous writers, but we will also pay attention to less familiar individuals who have written or spoken of the modern Irish experience. Through novels, poetry, diaries, music, film and journalism, we will encounter a variety of men and women, including artists, politicians, immigrants and emigrants, and ‘ordinary people’. Themes include the individual and the nation, religion and secularity, isolation and globalization, conflict in the North, and what it means to be a part of modern Ireland. This course is part of the World Literature offering.

Class size: 22



LIT 253

 Isaac Babel & THE AESTHETICS OF Revolution

Jonathan Brent

    F      3:00pm-5:20pm

OLIN 202



Cross-listed: Human Rights; Jewish Studies; Russian & Eurasian Studies  Isaac Babel (1894-1940) was one of the most perplexing geniuses of twentieth century Russian and European literature.  Babel enlisted as a Jew in the famously anti-Semitic Cossack division of the Red Cavalry in 1920 and soon thereafter became one of the most famous writers in Soviet Russia; he escaped the fury of the Great Terror of 1937-38 only to be arrested in the spring of 1939 and shot as a traitor in 1940.  The sum total of his writings was meager in comparison with that of most of his contemporaries; his political ambiguities are frequently infuriating; his defiant ironies often without clear target; his captivating literary style a puzzle of images and absences. He spoke of himself as “the master of the genre of silence.”  In this class, we will attempt to unravel some of his many paradoxes through close readings of his masterpiece Red Cavalry, the 1920 Diary and The Odessa Stories. Background critical and historical texts, such as writings by Leon Trotsky, A. K. Voronsky, Vladimir Mayakovsky and pronouncements and documents of the Soviet government will provide a framework for understanding Babel’s struggle as both Jew and Russian, as both a writer deeply imbued with the spirit of western humanism and one committed to the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution, and as both an incessant prankster and reflective spiritual vagabond.  This class will examine his many attempts at finding a literary center that resolves the radical contradictions between his relation to tradition and to the growing nightmare of Soviet reality. This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 22



LIT 278

 Contemporary Arabic Writing

Dina Ramadan

M  W    3:10pm-4:30pm

RKC 200



Cross-listed: Human Rights; Middle Eastern Studies  In the years following the 2011 Uprisings, much attention has been given to Arab youth as the fastest growing and therefore most crucial component of the region’s populations. Within the literary sphere, there has been publishing explosion of writings by jil al-shabab (or the youth generation), paralleled by increased international interest and enthusiastic translation projects. This course will introduce students to recent writings in Arabic literature, paying particular attention how these authors and their texts challenge and transcend literary norms and traditions. We will consider how questions of genre and linguistic registers are complicated, and how recent literary works are in conversations that blur boundaries and expand across media. Readings will include short stories, novels, poetry, blogs and comic books as well as recent critical reflections.  All readings will be in English. This course is part of the World Literature offering.   Class size: 22



LIT 375

 Cultural Cold War AND THE Third World

Elizabeth Holt

   Th     1:30pm-3:50pm

OLIN 306





Cross-listed: Africana Studies; Human Rights; Latin American & Iberian Studies; Middle Eastern Studies  This seminar considers how culture in the third world became a theater for Cold War, focusing on the 1950s-1970s.  The course begins with the 1955 Bandung Conference and its call for Afro-Asian solidarity and non-alignment in the face of the either/or logic of Cold War.  Aiming to curate a global “non-Communist Left” in its fight against Soviet cultural initiatives, the covertly CIA-founded and –funded Congress for Cultural Freedom extended its efforts well beyond Europe after Bandung, beginning highly influential literary magazines, including Quest in India, Black Orpheus in Nigeria, Transition in Uganda, Hiwar in Lebanon, and several Latin American magazines, including the seminal Mundo Nuevo.  The Soviets in turn built support for the Afro-Asian Writers Association, publishing their tri-lingual review of “Afro-Asian writings” – Lotus – from Cairo.  In this course we will study the history of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Afro-Asian Writers Association after Bandung, reading selections from their Indian, Arab, African, and Latin American magazines, alongside theories of political commitment, decolonization, empire, liberalism, and Communism.  Finally, the course will consider the context of cultural Cold War in the Caribbean, and the resurgent relevance of the Cold War to our own times, through a reading of Marlon James’s recent novel A Brief History of Seven Killings.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 15



CLAS 275

 Poetry and Athletics

William Mullen

M  W    11:50am-1:10pm

OLIN 201



Cross-listed: Literature  The meanings to be seen in athletics have stirred the meditations and praises of poets in many different cultures and genres.  Poetry itself, particularly when joined with music and dance by competing choruses, has established itself as its own kind of competitive event.  This course will study the strange intersections of the physical, the social and the sacred we still recognize in sports.  We will allot equal time to three different sets of readings: 1) case studies of the wedding of poetry to athletics in still thriving Oceanic cultures, from the Hawaiians to the Maori; 2) victory odes for the ancient Greek games, principally those of Pindar, praising victors in boxing, wrestling, running, pentathlon, pancratium (a.k.a Ultimate Fighting), chariot, and dithyramb; 3) sports poetry in Europe and the Americas, ranging from bullfighting and capoeira to ball games both in Classic Mesoamerica (Mayan and Aztec) and baseball poems in the 100 years. In all three parts we will not only study the poems themselves but also some scholarship by sports historians on the particular athletic events they reflect, and will view some video clips of the sports and poetry in action.  All readings will be in English. This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 22