FSEM II AA The Princess de ClŠves

Professor: Andre Aciman

CRN: 12360

Time: Mon Wed 11:00 am - 12:20 pm ASP 302

Madame de LaFayette's The Princess de ClŠves is not only the first modern European novel, it is also the first in a long line of psychological novels. Known for her lucid and shrewd "anatomy of the human heart," Madame de LaFayette presents her reader with an intricate cross-section both of the psyche and of the world of the royal courts, where the politics of love and the love of politics were frequently indistinguishable. This course will assess the nature of psychological fiction, the immediate intellectual and theoretical context of its origins, its followers and imitators, and recent critical readings of Madame de LaFayette's work.


FSEM II LB Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Professor: Leon Botstein

CRN: 12456

Time: Tu Th 5:00 pm - 6:20 pm OLIN 204

A close reading of Nietzsche's most famous work, a philosophical "novel" about the ideas and actions of a Persian prophet. In it Nietzsche introduces such concepts as the Overman, the Will to Power, and the doctine of Eternal Return. We will also pay some attention to u The Gay Science, where Nietzsche first announces the death of God.


FSEM II BC The life and work of Mahatma Gandhi

Professor: Brad Clough

CRN: 12453

Time: Mon Wed 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 309

In this 50th anniversary of independence in India, it seems appropriate to reflect upon the life, ideas and legacy of perhaps the most important single figure in that national freedom movement and surely one of the most remarkable individuals anywhere in this century, Mohandas K. Gandhi. This course will examine some of Gandhi's own works as well as different analyses of Gandhism done by both critics and opponents inside and outside of India. We will begin with two of Gandhi's own writings, the autobiographical Story of my experiments with truth and his seminal treatise on politics and civilization Hind Swaraj. Then we will investigate a variety of interpretive approaches, ranging from the dramatic (Richard Attenborough's academy award-winning film "Gandhi") and the fictional (R.K. Narayan's Waiting for the Mahatma) to the documentarial ("The making of the Mahatma") and the social-scientific (Lloyd and Suzanne Rudolph's Gandhi: the modernity of the tradition). Finally, we will consider aspects of Gandhi's ongoing influence without and within India, such as the impact of his life and teachings on social activists and reformists, like Martin Luther King in American and grass-roots organization workers in India.


FSEM II PC The Dictionary

Professor: Paul Connolly

CRN: 12334

Time: Mon Wed 9:00 am - 10:20 am OLIN 201

The subject of this seminar is words, in English, from 1150 (John Murray's starting point for The Oxford English Dictionary) to neologisms of spring 1998. "The circle of the English language has a well-defined centre," wrote Murray, "but no discernible circumference." The course will form a center around Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (4 eds., 1755-73), Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828), and James Murray's OED (1928; 2nd ed., 1989), and move onward through Ambrose Bierce's Devils' Dictionary, Eric Partridge's Origins, and Juba to Jive: An African-American Slang Dictionary, on to the world of the Web and the Glossary of Molluscan Terminology, Samuel Adams Beer Dictionary, Medspeak: The ER Dictionary, The Bad Words Dictionary, and dictionaries of mountain-bike slang, poker, biochemistry, and (for trekkies) Uqoi. The course will focus on the birth, politics, evolution, and death of words, as recorded in etymological, slang, technical, and other special dictionaries. Writing: in class writing-to-learn; weekly computer conversation; monthly essays; and a personal dictionary.


FSEM II MD The Tempest

Professor: Michele Dominy

CRN: 12459

Time: Tu The 2:50 pm - 4:10 pm OLIN 304

The Tempest, a very late Shakespearean "romance," can be read as an essay in social philosophy. It may be that Shakespeare represents himself in the play's Prospero, the poet/magician, whose imaginative work emphasizes moral and spiritual rebirth through its exploration of a new kind of social order ("a brave new world"), its various portrayals of Nature (in Miranda, Caliban and Ariel), and its dramatic conventions (shipwreck, song, magic, speech, masque, and festivity). After a close reading of the play, we will reconstruct the historical, philosophical, literary, and anthropological contexts out of which Shakespeare developed The Tempest. We will read texts influencing The Tempest, from Virgil to Montaigne, as well as contemporary texts in literature and anthropology examining its relationship to colonialism. Various adaptations of the play will be studied: in poetry (W.H. Auden's "The Mirror and the Sea"); in drama (Aime Cesaire); in the novel (Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea); in film (Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books); in popular music (Loreena McKennitt). There will be frequent in-class presentations and short papers to develop a variety of creatively analytical approaches.


FSEM II TF John Cage and Silence

Professor: Thalia Field

CRN: 12429

Time: Tu The 4:20 pm - 5:40 pm OLIN 309

When no one plays the instrument, is there music? If there's no authorial intention, can there be art? To look at the work of John Cage is to learn to enjoy the haystack and forsake the needle. 4'33" occupies the center, as well as the ever-expanding boundaries, of John Cage's influence on xxth century art and culture. The "ambient cultural silence" which becomes the noisy nothingness of his work combines many disciplines and influences: from chaos theory to eastern religious philosophy, from American pragmatism to micology. In the same way as Duchamp's "readymades" challenged museum culture to consider everyday things "art," so Cage clears the way for what Jung called "synchronicity" in music and poetry: to replace conventional hierarchies with paradox. Thus, though an examination of Cage's most celebrated "composition--the 4'33" which changed the world--we will examine the cultural, aesthetic, political, religious, scientific, historical and philosophical implications of "silence" in an order and format determined by constraints and chance procedures. By structuring the course along indeterminate avenues of inquiry, we as a class will explore the possibilities of alternative intellectual structure and production.


FSEM II PG Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling

Professor: Peter Gadsby

CRN: 12458

Time: Tu Th 6:00 pm - 7:20 pm OLIN 301

Considered by Coleridge to have one of the three great plots of all literature, Fielding's Tom Jones (1749) has long been regarded as one of the first and most influential of English novels. Fielding's hapless but loveable hero careers through the pages of this generous, worldly, supremely comic tale, extending the tradition of the picaro through his travels across eighteenth-century England. We will consider this rich text in relation to the development of the novel, changing social and economic conditions, and the author's ongoing inquiry into the moral life of man.


FSEM II CH The Odyssey

Professor: Carolin Hahnemann

CRN: 12325

Time: Tu Th 9:00 am - 10:20 am ASP 302

In this course we will accompany Odysseus on his ten-year long wanderings from the battlefield at Troy to his home on Ithaca. The voyage will take us to a strange world full of gods and monsters, yet its motivation is familiar to all of us: it is the quest for the place where we belong. As such the story of Odysseus has continued to fascinate readers for three thousand years, and it still lives in the creative imagination today. Supplementary readings for the course will include scholarly as well as literary texts.


FSEM II VH James Joyce's Ulysses

Professor: Vivian Heller

CRN: 12431

Time: Mon Wed 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 304

This course is designed as an introduction to Ulysses. We will approach Ulysses as an odyssey of styles, studying the 18 episodes of Joyce's epic in depth. Selected readings in Homer, the Bible, Shakespeare, Goethe, Yeats and others will enrich our understanding of Joyce's experiment. Selections from Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Finnegans Wake will shed further light on Joyce's narrative practice as a life-long negotiation of the nets of language, nationality and religion.


FSEM II AK Cine-Trance: The Mad Masters

Professor: Alan Klima

CRN: 12452

Time: Tu Th 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 201
Screening: Wed 7:45 pm - 9:45 pm OLIN 201

Founded in "Cine-trance," Jean Rouch's term for a state of possession by the camera, this course will explore state-of-mind as a great work: in a zone where extraordinary experience (trance, spirit possession, meditation) collides with the work of creative representation (anthropology, writing, film). "The Mad Masters" is the core image/text, Rouch's film depicting a Ghanian possession rite in which the spirits of colonial administrators act out their absurd and cruel nature--a representation, through trance film, of white colonial authority. Theories of ethnography, writing, and film, as well as anthropological texts and films, will draw out issues raised by cine-trance and "The Mad Masters," focusing especially on experiences of ecstasy in several cultures, and on the relations of extraordinary, transgressive, and religious phenomena to form in creative work.


FSEM II BLF War and Peace

Professor: Benjamin LaFarge

CRN: 12454

Time: Tu Th 9:00 am - 10:20 am OLIN 309

Among the world's greatest novels, Tolstoy's War and Peace is an unparalleled achievement, as it cannot be reduced to a single genre. It is not a history, although its focus is historical. It is not an epic, though epic in scope; nor is it like any other novel previously written, although its method and its interest in life are novelistic. Yet its importance as a philosophical treatise on the question of chance and agency in warfare and on the interdependence of the public and the private in political affairs is indisputable. In demonstrating the role of the "will of the people" as an historical force, it anticipates later developments in Russian and world history. Perhaps the ultimate source of its power is that it reflects Tolstoy's inner struggle between a rational, positivistic view of history and a spiritual nationalistic view of Russia, but it is the famous characters themselves, ranging from Pierre, Andrew, and Natasha to General Kutuzov and Napoleon, who give this struggle a larger dimension and make it so memorable. We will also read a number of Tolstoy's masterful short stories. Frequent short papers.


FSEM II ML The Deaths of Arthur

Professor: Mark Lambert

CRN: 12434

Time: Mon Wed 10:30 am - 11:50 am LC 208

First, a careful reading of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur, the classic English telling of the stories of Arthur, Guinevere and the knights of the round table. Then a few weeks for consideration of the ways in which nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers have used Malory and his tales. Class reports and frequent papers.


FSEM II SL The Work and Extended Path of Stanley Milgram

Professor: Stuart Levine

CRN: 12457

Time: Mon The 6:00 pm - 7:20 pm OLIN 309

More than thirty years ago a social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, set out to discover the propensity for destructive obedience in our society--that is, in a democratically organized non-authoritarian society. His work and conclusions surprised some, angered others, and motivated many. More than anything else, the work raised more questions than could easily be answered. The format of this seminar is somewhat unusual. After an initial close examination of the study by Milgram, week by week, we will follow the questions that have been raised by social scientists or can be raised by us. Our goal is to see if thoughtful issues have been formulated and/or investigated. In many ways, this semester while about a particular body of work--the text of the original study--is also about the processes of Social Sciences where one finding leads to another and so forth. It is also about finding out facts about our own society that can improve the situation. This seminar is thus an encounter with a social science treatise in several parts and in the form of questions raised and answers sought.


FSEM II EO Thucydides: The Peleponnesian War

Professor: Eric Orlin

CRN: 12428

Time: Tu Th 9:00 am - 10:20 am OLIN 201

"This work has been composed not as a prize essay to win the applause of the moment, but rather as a possession for all time." With these words the Greek historian Thucydides launched into his epic account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta at the end of the fifth-century B.C.E. His work continues to hold our attention today because it defies conventional categorization. Part history, part political science, part tragedy, and part philosophy, it also incorporates sociological, psychological, and medical thinking. In this course we will employ a variety of techniques to understand this complex author, ranging from historiography in examining his methodology to narratology in analyzing his extensive use of rhetoric. To put this text into context, we will read other ancient Greek works: histories, tragedies, comedies, and philosophy. We will also read modern authors who will help us make sense of the intricate interrelationships underlying the text.


FSEM II JR Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus

Professor: Justus Rosenberg

CRN: 12455

Time: Mon 3:40 pm - 5:00 pm OLIN 107
Wed 9:00 am - 10:20 am OLIN 107

A close reading of a novel, published in 1947, two years after the defeat of fascism, in which its Nobel Prize winning author attempts to come totterms with the German cultural tradition that appeared to drive the Teutonic genius towards pacts with the devil We analyse the ways in which the original Faust legend is masterfully blended with the Nazi takeover of Germany as experienced by one of its most fascinating artistic figures, the demon-possessed composer Adrian Lever K hn. The seminar traces the beginning of the Faust legend, examines its earliest literary expression, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, Goethe's monumental drama of the 19th century which goes far beyond the traditional plot whereby a man sells his soul to the devil in exchange for material advantage and becomes a searching philosophical inquiry into human values and human nature, a theme taken up again in a modern context by Thomas Mann. The readings are supplemented by cinematographic and musical renditions of the Faust theme.


FSEM II LS1 The Nag Hammadi Library: Gnostic Philosophy and Myth

Professor: Leonard Schwartz

CRN: 12460

Time: Mon 10:30 am - 11:50 am OLIN 203
Th 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 203

After an Egyptian peasant accidentally dug up a treasure trove of their buried texts at Nag Hammadi in 1945, and after these texts were first translated into modern languages in the 1970's, it became clear that the Gnostics of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries AD were the inventors of the idea of alienation. We will study the poetry, philosophy, myth, and religious doctrine presented in the Nag Hammadi manuscript, as well as read in some of the major studies on Gnosticism: Hans Jonas' The Gnostic Religion, Elaine Pagel's The Gnostic Gospels, and Harold Bloom's proposed Gnostic theory of reading in The Book of J. Attention will also be given to the question of the Gnostic inheritance. Can the modernist notion of alienation, as developed in writers as diverse as Karl Marx and Antonin Artaud, be understood in terms of Gnosticism?


FSEM II LS2 Dionysus

Professor: Leonard Schwartz

CRN: 12461

Time: Mon 1:20 pm - 2:40 pm OLIN 308
Th 2:50 pm - 4:10 pm OLIN 307

In this course we will explore the figure of Dionysus in all its ritual, mythic, and philosophical complexity. The primary text, to which we will return in several different versions and translations, is Euripides' The Bacchae. These include the Arrowsmith and C.K. Williams versions, as well as Woly Soyinska's imaginative The Bacchae: A Communion Rite. Thus readings will be drawn not only from Greek sources but also from modern reconstructions of Dionysus, both derivative and original. Other works to be read include The Homeric Hymns, E.R. Dodds' essential study The Greeks and the Irrational, Nietzsche's monumental philosophical work The Birth of Tragedy, Rene Girard's Violence and the Sacred, Winkler's anthology of essays on Greek tragedy, Nothing To DO With Dionysus?, and selections from the work, both literary and philosophical, of Georges Bataille and Antonin Artaud.


FSEM II CVS Heart of Darkness

Professor: Craig Smith

CRN: 12359

Time: Tu Th 2:50 pm - 4:10 pm OLIN 204

We will (re-)read one of the most privileged of twentieth-century texts, Heart of Darkness. But we will read it within a larger field, from which it draws and to which it contributes. Conrad's novella is both a summation of four centuries of European colonization of Africa and a beginning of a distinctly modern kind of knowledge, of the "primitive." Students should expect, therefore, to pay close attention to: the context of Conrad's work (biography, the history of imperialism, aesthetic and intellectual milieu, colonial discourse); critical approaches to the text (psychoanalytic, archetypal, postcolonial, historical, new critical); and its afterlife (travel narratives, popular journalism, V. S. Naipaul, Apocalypse Now, etc.). Required work will include frequent papers and a journal.


FSEM II MVZ Baudelaire's Parisian Prowler

Professor: Marina Van Zuylen

CRN: 12430

Time: Tu The 10:30 am - 11:50 am OLIN 107

Charles Baudelaire is the poet of Modernity. The Parisian Prowler (Le Spleen de Paris), his collection of prose poems published in 1869, constitutes one of the most dramatic turning points in France's literary history. Heavily indebted to Edgar Allen Poe's art theories, Baudelaire's collection of short vignettes about urban despair, document what Sartre saw as the beginning of Existentialism in France. Baudelaire rejected the idea that literature must thematize heroic gestures and inspire timeless ideals. Rather, his portraits of contemporary life are sketches of melancholy and transgression; among the fallen heroes are garbage collectors turned city-archivists, prostitutes communing with the Ideal, and smokers who convert their cigarettes into symbols of art for art's sake. All of these anti-heroes have discovered a paradoxical wisdom of failure. To do nothing, to vegetate, or to engage in gratuitous acts of good and evil is the lot of the Parisian Prowler. To Baudelaire, this existential boredom is the lot of Modern city-dwellers; having lost their ideals, their aimless wanderings become a way of life. As Baudelaire questions the relationship between art and its public (comparing the artist to prostitute), he inaugurates the Modernist notion that unless it is prepared to shock the reader into a new vision of the world, Art is not worth producing. Many of the poems will be read in conjunction with Baudelaire's The Painter of Modern Life, a collection of art and music criticism. There will be additional readings by Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, and Sartre.


FSEM II WWV The Tale of Genji

Professor: William Weaver

CRN: 12451

Time: Tu The 9:00 am - 10:20 am OLIN 301

Lady Murasaki's rich novel The Tale of Genji, written almost a millenium ago, remains one of the undisputed (but, alas, also unknown) masterpieces of world literature. Around its brilliant and irresistible central character, Prince Genji, a large and varied supporting cast revolves. As no major figure in the story has to work for a living, all have ample time to concentrate on love and on sensuous pleasure. The development of a sensitivity to taste, touch, color, sound is a part of the ideal life at the exquisite Heian court. A reading of the book should sharpen the reader's perceptions in areas beyond literature. The novel is long, but students will be expected to read about half of it and to write frequently about its many aspects. Students will read the Arthur Waley translation--a masterpiece in its own right--though other translations will be discussed; and, indeed, the many questions involved in rendering the story in English will be studied.


FSEM II WW The Sistine Chapel

Professor: William Wilson

CRN: 12251

Time: Mon Th 2:50 pm - 4:10 pm OLIN 101

An examination from ideological, architectural, artistic, political, iconographic, and typological perspectives of the Sistine Chapel, known mainly for the paintings of Michelangelo, but also for those of earlier painters, Perugino and Botticelli among them. A significant part of the course will be visual. Reading will draw from contemporaneous documents, "lives" by Giorgio Vasari and Ascanio Condivi, the Bible, humanist treatises of Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Ficino, Michelangelo's letters and poems, and some contemporary criticism. Writing in response to these materials will be continuous.