100-Level Courses

 

Who is Joaquín Murieta?

 

Course Number: LIT 127

CRN Number: 90299

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Alex Benson

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     10:10 AM11:30 AM Olin 203

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English D+J Difference and Justice

 

Crosslists: American Studies; Human Rights; Latin American/Iberian Studies

This course anchors a wide-ranging discussion of art, labor, land, and state power in a singular text. The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta: The Celebrated California Bandit (1854) is now known primarily as the first novel published by a Native American writer—John Rollin Ridge, a.k.a. Yellow Bird (Cherokee Nation). But Ridge’s pulpy antihero story also opens up a surprising set of questions about indigeneity and race, fiction and history, banditry and borders. Exploring these issues, we will move from the novel to the political histories that inform it, and from there to the afterlives of Ridge’s narrative across other artistic media (an experimental dramatic adaptation by Pablo Neruda, a poem by activist Corky Gonzales, pop-culture vigilantes such as Zorro and Batman). Throughout, our discussion will draw on readings in Native literary criticism and settler colonial studies, introducing students to these fields’ ongoing debates about nationhood and narrative.

 

Women and Leadership

 

Course Number: LIT 131

CRN Number: 90594

Class cap: 20

Credits: 2

 

Professor:

Deirdre d’Albertis, Erin Cannan and Malia Du Mont

 

Schedule/Location:

 Fri    10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Chapel

 

Distributional Area:

D+J Difference and Justice

It is 2022. Why aren't there more women in leadership positions? According to a 2014 Pew Research Center report, the majority of American men and women acknowledge the capacity of women to lead. Yet in certain domains--most notably politics and business--women continue to be under-represented at the top.  Recent elections have galvanized the electorate around constructions of gender in particularly dramatic ways.  If we are living in a post-feminist society (as some claim), why do these questions and conflicts continue to arise? Identity is an urgent conversation in 21st-century politics and everyday life, and this includes awareness of how intersectionality shapes gendered experiences. What are the stories that we tell ourselves and each other about equality, representation, privilege, freedom, authority, and success? How do these inflect real-world outcomes for individuals and societies?  In this two-credit course we will explore some of the stories that circulate in our culture around women and power, both from an academic and from a practical, real-world perspective. What does it mean to lead? How do we use a language of empowerment? Why has the United States embraced certain narratives of gender equity and success as opposed to those being created in other countries and cultures? We will focus on learning from women who are committed to making a difference in the world through their personal and professional choices, hearing their stories, and reading texts that have been particularly important to them in their lives and work. So too, we will engage with stories from the past (archival research),  from across disciplines (the military, higher education, STEM, the arts, tech, media) and from a wide range of perspectives.  As an Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences course, this seminar will provide students with the unique opportunity to bring theory and practice together in a very immediate sense: by the end of the term you will have identified a story only you can tell, whether it is based in political activism, community engagement, or work experience. Drawing on the rich resources here in Annandale as well as through Bard's other campuses we will reach out to groups and organizations with a shared focus on gender. Network building is something we will explicitly address.  This course is open to all first-year students. Upper College students may also participate if selected to serve as course fellows.

 

The Joke as Literature

 

Course Number: LIT 134

CRN Number: 90300

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Adhaar Desai

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    3:30 PM – 4:50 PM Olin Language Center 120

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

Open both to intended Literature students and to others interested in developing skills in close-reading and critical analysis, this course takes jokes as its object of study. Like poems, jokes often rely on the precise use of language’s many features. Like plays, they are meant to be performed, and so depend on context, audience, and actors’ bodies. Like stories, they frequently feature characters, conflicts, and resolutions. Interested in the intersections between jokes and issues pertaining to power, race, sexuality, gender, and class, we will peruse joke books from throughout history alongside essays by Henri Bergson, Sigmund Freud, and Roxane Gay. We will also spend time unpacking the use of jokes in plays by William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Paula Vogel, and study stand-up by Richard Pryor and Phyllis Diller as well as a diverse selection of contemporary comedians. Student writing will be analytical, argumentative, and creative (yes, that last one means we will all try to write at least one joke).

 

Monsters я Us

 

Course Number: LIT 139

CRN Number: 90301

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Cole Heinowitz

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    11:50 AM1:10 PM Aspinwall 302

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English D+J Difference and Justice

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the original meaning of the word “monster” (ca. 1375) is: “a mythical creature which is part animal and part human, or combines elements of two or more animal forms, and is frequently of great size and ferocious appearance.” By the early sixteenth century, “monster” had also come to refer to “a person of repulsively unnatural character, or exhibiting such extreme cruelty or wickedness as to appear inhuman.” These definitions remind us that monstrosity is not the opposite of humanity; on the contrary, what makes monsters monstrous is precisely their resemblance to humans. If monsters are not humanity’s “other” but rather its uncanny double, what stories do they enable us to tell about ourselves? Why does Frankenstein give life to an eight-foot tall creature fashioned from human and nonhuman body parts rather than, say, a human child? Why has the historical Vlad the Impaler been largely forgotten while his undead avatar, Dracula, remains a staple of gothic literature and popular culture? Reading monster narratives from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century (including works by Charles Brockden Brown, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Paul Metcalf,  H.P. Lovecraft, and Ursula Le Guin), this course will explore the influence of race, gender, class, ethnicity, ability, and sexuality on the construction of the “human” as a privileged category.

 

The Art of Letter-Writing

 

Course Number: LIT 163

CRN Number: 90298

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Karen Sullivan

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    10:10 AM11:30 AM Aspinwall 302

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

For thousands of years, students were trained in “the art of letter-writing” (ars dictaminis), which was considered an essential part of their liberal arts education. People wrote letters to parents, friends, and lovers, to dead or imaginary people, and to themselves. They wrote in the expectation that their letter would be read by one person, by a general public, or by no one at all. The letter was a genre both formal and informal, studied and spontaneous, private and public. The first novels in English took the form of collections of letters, which made them seem like found documents. Today, email and other social media have at once replaced and revived this epistolary tradition. Authors to be considered will include Cicero, Ovid, Pliny, Saint Paul, Lu Chi, Abelard and Heloise, Petrarch, Desiderius Erasmus, Madame de Sévigné, Thomas De Quincey, Samuel Richardson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning, Ignatius Sancho, Jean Webster, Franz Kafka, and Octavia Butler. Students will be expected to write critical essays about these authors’ works, but also to produce letters in the style of those being studied. This course is a Pre-1800 Literature course offering


Pre-Moderation Required Course: Narrative / Poetics Representation

 

Narrative/Poetics/Representation

 

Course Number: LIT 201 A

CRN Number: 90302

Class cap: 15

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Stephen Graham

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     3:30 PM4:50 PM Olin 307

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

What does it mean to study literature today? How, precisely, do poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama differ from other forms of expression? How can we read those differences—the small, unexpected ways that works of literature can transform everyday life and everyday language—in connection with larger cultural, political, and aesthetic questions? And how can we use encounters with literary texts to reimagine or remodel our visions of self, community, and our mode of being in the world? Emphasizing the practice of close textual analysis and introducing students to foundational and emerging methods in literary studies, this course lays the groundwork for further investigations across a range of literary forms, national traditions, historical moments, and social identities. This course is a pre-moderation requirement for all prospective Literature and Written Arts majors.

 

Narrative/Poetics/Representation

 

Course Number: LIT 201 B

CRN Number: 90303

Class cap: 15

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Ingrid Becker

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 310

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

What does it mean to study literature today? How, precisely, do poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama differ from other forms of expression? How can we read those differences—the small, unexpected ways that works of literature can transform everyday life and everyday language—in connection with larger cultural, political, and aesthetic questions? And how can we use encounters with literary texts to reimagine or remodel our visions of self, community, and our mode of being in the world? Emphasizing the practice of close textual analysis and introducing students to foundational and emerging methods in literary studies, this course lays the groundwork for further investigations across a range of literary forms, national traditions, historical moments, and social identities. This course is a pre-moderation requirement for all prospective Literature and Written Arts majors.


Literature Sequence Courses: Historical studies in the Comparative, English, and American Literature traditions. One sequence course is required before moderation. Sequence courses have no prerequisites and are open to students at all levels.

 

Comparative Literature I: From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

 

Course Number: LIT 204A

CRN Number: 90304

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Karen Sullivan

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    1:30 PM2:50 PM Aspinwall 302

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: Medieval Studies

This course constitutes a survey of the masterworks of medieval and Renaissance European literature. It was during this time period that the concept of the author, as we now conceive of it, first emerged. When a literary work is composed, who is it who composes it? To what extent does such a work represent the general culture out of which it emerged, and to what extent does it reflect an individual consciousness? How does our assumption of who the author is affect how our reading of the text? We will be keeping these questions in mind as we examine the shift from epic to lyric and romance; from orally-based literature to written texts; and from anonymous poets to professional writers. Texts to be read will include The Song of Roland, troubadour lyrics, Arthurian romances, The Romance of the Rose, Dante’s Inferno, Petrarch’s sonnets, Boccaccio’s Decameron, and Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies.

 

Comparative Literature II: Dreamers and Disruptors: The Birth of Modern European Literature

 

Course Number: LIT 204B

CRN Number: 90305

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Joseph Luzzi

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     10:10 AM11:30 AM Olin 306

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

This course will immerse students in the remarkable literature in Europe from roughly the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. We will cover a wide range of forms (poetry, prose, theater) and movements (Baroque, Neoclassical, Romantic) as we focus on groundbreaking authors like Shakespeare, Cervantes, Voltaire, Goethe, Wordsworth, Austen, Manzoni, and many more. A major concern will be on how the novel eventually became the preeminent literary genre, and how writers of this vast period responded to – and often shaped – the massive sociopolitical and historical issues of their ages. Overall we will see how the very idea of “literature” in our modern, contemporary sense was created during this epoch of astonishing literary achievement.

 

American Literature I: Amazing Grace: The Puritan Legacy in American Literature and Culture

 

Course Number: LIT 257

CRN Number: 90307

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Elizabeth Frank

 

Schedule/Location:

  Wed Thurs    8:30 AM9:50 AM Olin 202

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English D+J Difference and Justice

 

Crosslists: American Studies; Study of Religions

Starting in 1620, Puritans dissenting from the Church of England escaped persecution by setting out for New England accompanied by their strict Calvinist theology and the dream of a Christian “city on a hill.”  But from the beginning, they wrestled with contradictions in their expectations, religious customs and ways of life that have never been resolved and that, to this day, both enrich and bedevil American society.

How can the same religious culture notorious for its theocratic rigidity and persecuting intolerance have also become inadvertently the seedbed for democratic principles, reverence for the individual and the primacy of conscience?  How can those who subscribed to John Winthrop’s lay sermon, A Model of Christian Charity, with its message of loving mutual interdependence, kill Indigenous peoples with impunity and lay arrogant claim to “empty” land to which they felt entitled as God’s chosen people? How could those whose writings gave birth to the rich and labyrinthine interiority of the American “self,” who prized literacy and learning and produced the first generation of American intellectuals, insist on theological and social conformity on pain of criminalizing non-compliance?  How could they persecute Quakers and Anabaptists? How could they hang “witches”?

Central to Puritan practice was the Bible, the constant reading and discussion of which was the cornerstone of every aspect of day-in-day-out Puritan life. So, we will be reading the Bible, both the Old (Hebrew) Testament and the New (Greek) Testament, along with texts from such essential Puritan literary genres as sermons, histories, diaries, spiritual autobiographies and poems, encountering as we do so some of our first major American writers: William Bradford, Thomas Hooker, Anne Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, Samuel Sewall, Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin. We will consider those aspects of Puritanism aligned with Renaissance humanism, with its emphasis on the role of “experience” and proto-scientific “evidence” in the quest for grace, and the Puritan relationship with emerging Enlightenment secularism and American capitalism.

The question of dissent and its costs, in particular the Antinomian heresy, arises with the brilliant Anne Hutchinson, midwife and outspoken thinker, whose trial for daring to take responsibility for her own salvation we will follow in transcript. We will look as well at that tireless gadfly Roger Williams, to whom we owe so much for the concept of the separation of church and state, and for his pioneering work with Native Americans and their languages. We will look as well at the Salem witch trials in 1692 by reading both the formidable and unintentionally bathetic Cotton Mather (The Wonders of the Invisible World) and the twentieth-century intellectual historian Richard Hofstadter’s great essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

In the poems of Anne Bradstreet and the diary of Samuel Sewall, we will find glimpses of daily life, courtship, marriage and the Puritan view of sexuality (it was NOT “Puritanical!). Reading Jonathan Edwards, we will look at the first Great Awakening as the beginning of the end of Puritan orthodoxy and the harbinger of its eventual transformation into American Evangelicalism’s explosive and unstoppable rise, which for us will include the development of the Black church in America, gospel music and readings in James Baldwin and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thus we will try to make sense of the paradoxes in American Puritanism—“the defects of its virtues and the virtues of its defects”–while also working to understand and respect the passionate religious experience for which the Puritans thirsted.  In exploring such concepts as the covenant, original sin, guilt, grace and the elect, we will read fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne that imaginatively reconstructs the Puritan past; we’ll look at the line that goes from Thomas Hooker’s magnificent “A True Sight of Sin” right up to Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe and beyond, to American “noir” in fiction and film. We will further trace the transformation of these concepts as they resurface in what is perhaps the Puritans’ greatest legacy: radical American individualism embedded in the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson—and in the principled and conscience-driven actions of abolitionists John Brown, freedom fighters in the Civil Rights movement, conscientious objectors and antiwar resisters in the 1960s and beyond.

Listed as a Difference and Justice course, and with Hate Studies, our work together will pay very careful attention to the problematic and shameful legacy of Puritan mistreatment (with rare exceptions) of Indigenous peoples in New England and the unquestioned assumptions that made such mistreatment possible. 


200 Level Courses

 

Religion and the Secular in Literary Modernism

 

Course Number: LIT 2035

CRN Number: 90312

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Matthew Mutter

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 107

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: American Studies; Study of Religions

One theorist calls the modern novel “the epic of a world that has been abandoned by God”; another critic says of modernism: “no literature has ever been so intensely spiritual as ours.” This course seeks to make sense of these divergent views by exploring the religious and secular frameworks – both tacit and explicit – that inform twentieth-century Anglo-American and European literature. We will plot the existential, political, and aesthetic coordinates of modern secularity even as we challenge binary views of “religion” and “secularism.” On the one hand, our concerns will include modernism’s relation to paganism and the occult, to ascetic renunciation and self-erasure, and to mystical accounts of language; on the other, we will trace the import of secular commitments to immanence, self-creation, and the body. Authors may include James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Paul Celan, Hilda Doolittle, J.M. Coetzee, Franz Kafka, Zora-Neale Hurston, Salman Rushdie, Jean Toomer, Simone Weil and Virginia Woolf.

 

The Arabic Novel

 

Course Number: LIT 2060

CRN Number: 90313

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Elizabeth Holt

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     10:10 AM11:30 AM Olin 308

 

Distributional Area:

FL Foreign Languages and Lit D+J Difference and Justice

 

Crosslists: Africana Studies; Human Rights; Middle Eastern Studies

In the late nineteenth century, Arabic’s long legacy of poetry and literary prose, not to mention popular storytelling, encountered the novel form. This course will survey a history of modern Arabic literature through the shifting reception and role of prose narrative, from the hopeful early years of the Arab Nahdah (the 19th to 20th century Arab renaissance), through to the 1960s and the crisis of committed literature, to the rants and romances of the contemporary literary scene; authors include Muhammad al-Muwaylihi, Taha Husayn, Mohammed Choukri, Naguib Mahfouz, Ghassan Kanafani, Ibrahim al-Koni, Tayeb Salih, Hanan al-Shaykh, Rajaa Alsanea, and Ahmed Alaidy.

 

Is Anything Funny Any More?

 

Course Number: LIT 2066

CRN Number: 90308

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Francine Prose

 

Schedule/Location:

    Fri   1:30 PM4:30 PM Olin 201

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

Is Anything Funny Any More? In this class we will look at how writers use humor to address serious subjects. Does humor complicate or diminish? What is its relation to anger, discomfort, community, self-protection, and love? Does humor preclude seriousness? Is it innately conservative or subversive? Writers to be closely read will be chosen from among the following: Chaucer, Dickens, Freud, Muriel Spark, Flannery O’Connor, Amos Tutuola, Spalding Gray, Kevin Barry, Danzy Senna, Isaac Babel, ZZ Packer, Roberto Bolano, Denis Johnson, Joy Williams, Mavis Gallant, Hunter Thompson, and others. A 300-word paper is required every week. Students wishing to take the course should email me at prose@bard.edu explaining why.  This course is part of the World Literature Course offering.

 

Mass Culture of Postwar Japan

 

Course Number: LIT 2081

CRN Number: 90314

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Nathan Shockey

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 202

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: Asian Studies; Experimental Humanities

This course explores the literature, history, and media art of Japan since the Second World War. Beginning with the lean years of the American occupation of 1945 to 1952, we will trace through the high growth period of the 1960s and 1970s, the “bubble era” of the 1980s, and up through to the present moment. Along the way, we will examine radio broadcasts, television, popular magazines, manga/comics, film, fiction, theater, folk and pop music, animation, advertising, and contemporary multimedia art. Throughout, the focus will be on works of “low brow” and “middle brow” culture that structure the experience of everyday life, as we think about the transformation of forms of narrative in tandem with different forms of popular media. Among other topics, we will consider mass entertainment, the emperor system, the student movement and its failure, changing dynamics of sex, gender, and family, “Americanization,” the mythos of the middle class and the rise of economic precarity, immigration, and climate disaster.  In addition, we will think about changing images of Japan in American media and the ways in which the mass culture of postwar Japan has shaped global pop cultural currents in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

 

Traditions of African American Literature

 

Course Number: LIT 2134

CRN Number: 90315

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Peter L’Official

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    10:10 AM11:30 AM Albee 106

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: Africana Studies; American Studies

This course understands the African American literary tradition as does James Baldwin: “For while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” This course will introduce students to Black American writers and Black American writing both within and against the shape of American literary, social, and cultural history. We will explore a range of African American literary practices alongside the development of related cultural, aesthetic, and vernacular forms and movements while remaining mindful of broad historical shifts in American life from the 18th century to the present. In tracing these emergent and lasting voices, modes, and styles, we will examine how authors have created, defined, and complicated the traditions of literature within which they participate. Readings will include novels, essays, autobiography, poetry, and drama; writers will likely include Baldwin, Baraka, Douglass, Du Bois, Ellison, Hurston, Lorde, Morrison, Toomer, and Wright. Issues of race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic difference are discussed at length in this course. This course is open both to intended Literature majors and to others interested in developing skills in close-reading and critical analysis.

 

Contemporary Russian Fiction

 

Course Number: LIT 2245

CRN Number: 90317

Class cap: 18

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Marina Kostalevsky

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     3:30 PM4:50 PM Olin Languages Center 115

 

Distributional Area:

FL Foreign Languages and Lit  

 

Crosslists: Russian and Eurasian Studies

In this course, we will examine the diverse and unpredictable world of contemporary Russian literature from the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods to the present. Through the reading of both the underground publications of “samizdat” and officially published texts of the first period; the post-modernist works written at the end of the twentieth century; and the literary texts of the last two decades, we will focus on the issues of narrative strategies adopted by individual writers, reassessment of Russian history, gender and sexuality, religion and spirituality, cultural and national identity. The course will also explore the changing relationship between Russian literature, the state, and society. Readings include: Venedikt Erofeev, Tatiana Tolstaia, Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Viktor Pelevin, Boris Akunin, The Presniakov Brothers, Ludmila Ulitskaia, Vladimir Sorokin, Andrei Volos, Eugene Vodolazkin, and Mikhail Shishkin. Conducted in English.

 

The Ark of Memory: Documentary Russian Prose

 

Course Number: LIT 236

CRN Number: 90309

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Olga Voronina

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     10:10 AM11:30 AM Olin 202

 

Distributional Area:

FL Foreign Languages and Lit  

 

Crosslists: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Russian and Eurasian Studies

Russia’s tragic history precipitated creation of literary works that recorded confrontation between the authoritarian state and its defiant citizens. This course explores the nature of human resistance to cruelty, coercion, deprivation, and political ostracism as documented in 19th – 20th century non-fictional works by Dostoevsky, Herzen, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Mandelstam, Akhmatova, Ginzburg, Shalamov, Solzhenitsyn, Brodsky and Alexievich. Reading their diaries, journals, autobiographies, memoirs, travelogues and essays, we aim to discover connections between one’s remembrance of loss and recovery from trauma or between individual noncompliance and authorial power to repossess and reclaim the past. Such methods as sociological criticism, narratological analysis, and biographical interpretation will be applied. All readings in English.

 

Literary Journalism

 

Course Number: LIT 240

CRN Number: 90540

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Ian Buruma

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     8:30 AM – 9:50 AM Olin 203

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: Human Rights

This course entails reading of famous and less famous examples of literary journalism, stretching back in time to William Hazlitt’s reportage on a boxing match in 1821. We will examine the various genres of literary journalism, from political polemics and war reportage to art criticism. In this way, journalism will offer an opening to discussions of politics and culture in the context of different countries at different times. An interest in history will be encouraged as much as interest in literature. Among the featured readings will be pieces by H.L. Mencken, Susan Sontag, Rebecca West, and James Baldwin. Since much of the material will touch on human rights, the course will be cross-referenced with the HRP.

 

Fantastic Journeys and the Modern World

 

Course Number: LIT 2404

CRN Number: 90318

Class cap: 20

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Jonathan Brent

 

Schedule/Location:

    Fri   3:00 PM – 5:20 PM Olin 202

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: Jewish Studies; Russian and Eurasian Studies

We will  explore the literature of the Fantastic of Eastern Europe and Russia from the early 20th century to the 1960s in writers such as Ansky, Kharms, Kafka, Capek, Schultz, Mayakovsky, Erofeyev, Olesha and others.  Fantastic literature, as Calvino has noted, takes as its subject the problem of “reality.” In this class, we will discuss questions of identity, meaning, consciousness, as well as understanding of the relationship between the individual and society in these writers.     This course is part of the World Literature offering.

 

Social Change and the Arts in Modern China

 

Course Number: LIT 2422

CRN Number: 90627

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Shuangting Xiong

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    1:30 PM – 2:50 PM Olin Languages Center 210

 

Distributional Area:

FL  Foreign Languages and Lit   

 

Crosslists: Art History and Visual Culture; Asian Studies; Human Rights

How can works of art bring about social change? This is the question that haunted and confounded Chinese intellectuals and writers throughout the twentieth century and remains relevant in our present day’s global political situation. This course will explore this question by looking at the various aesthetic debates and experiments undertaken by Chinese writers and artists in the twentieth century, who were in a constant search for ideal aesthetic forms that not only appealed to the masses, but actively sought to transform them and society. We will look at the products of these experiments that include literary, theatrical, and filmic texts. We will consider the complex relationship between the rise of modern aesthetic genres and forms with China’s ordeal of modernity, including the histories of colonialism, war, and internal turmoil. We will explore how aesthetic innovations relate to broader issues of social, cultural, and political importance, including changing notions of selfhood, economic relations, gender and family relations, sexual identity, and the rise of nationalism. The course is conducted in English; no prior knowledge about China or Chinese language is required.

 

A Thousand-Year Old Romance: Reading The Tale of Genji Across the Ages, Media, and Genres

 

Course Number: LIT 2423

CRN Number: 90628

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Phuong Ngo

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    11:50 AM – 1:30 PM Olin 101

 

Distributional Area:

FL  Foreign Languages and Lit   

 

Crosslists: Asian Studies; Medieval Studies

This course presents a synchronous and diachronous exploration of The Tale of Genji, a masterpiece of Japanese literature. During the first half of the course, students will read the entire English translation of the tale, as well as a number of other primary texts from roughly the same time period in order to gain an understanding of the sociohistorical and literary context in which the tale came about, while the second half of the course is devoted to the reception and adaptations of the tale across various media, genres, and time periods, ranging from commentaries, noh plays, traditional paintings and even “fan fiction” to modern novels and manga. The aim of the course is to provide the students with an understanding of The Tale of Genji’s place within the Japanese literary tradition, and the impact it has had and continues to exert on all facets of Japanese culture.

 

The Fictions of James Joyce

 

Course Number: LIT 2485

CRN Number: 90319

Class cap: 18

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Elizabeth Frank

 

Schedule/Location:

  Wed Thurs    10:10 AM11:30 AM Olin 307

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English  

 

Crosslists: Irish and Celtic Studies

Considered by many as the greatest or among the greatest twentieth-century writers, James Joyce, from the age of twenty-two in voluntary exile from his native Dublin, poured his memories, powerful imagination and staggering command of language into fictions of increasing complexity and formal ingenuity.  Starting with Dubliners, the collection of short stories in which Joyce examines what he called the “paralysis” of Irish middleclass life, we will then move to his groundbreaking autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. For the rest of the semester we will immerse ourselves in Ulysses, an infinitely rich work that defines the modernist novel and places extraordinary, exhilarating and sometimes exasperating demands on the reader.  We will look at Joyce’s biography, including his struggles with poverty and neglect, his partnership and later marriage with the remarkable Nora Barnacle, the difficulties he encountered in getting published, and the reception of his works, including censorship and obscenity charges brought against Ulysses. Exploring the works themselves we’ll examine, among countless questions, his use of the “epiphany,” the “stream of consciousness” technique, the representation of time, the parallels between Ulysses and the Odyssey, and the way his books represent relations between women and men, parents and children. Above all we’ll explore the brilliance and inventiveness of his experimental prose.  Joyce’s repudiation of the Roman Catholic Church, Irish parochialism (including the Gaelic revival), as against his deep love of Irish song, storytelling and wit, his immersion in Irish English, and his rejection of bigotry, hatred and violence in all its forms, converge in his fictions, but especially in Ulysses, through his celebration of the quotidian, the city of Dublin, life and death, and the body. In his heroes Stephen Dedalus, a young writer whose aspirations thus far outpace his achievements, Leopold Bloom, a secular Jew who canvases for newspaper ads and suffers the indignities of occasional and not-always casual antisemitism, and in Bloom’s wife, the dazzling and carnal professional singer, adulteress, and nighttime philosopher Molly Bloom, Joyce achieves a vision of humanity as complex and beautiful as any since Shakespeare’s.  This is a World Literature course offering.

 

Arab Future Histories

 

Course Number: LIT 292

CRN Number: 90311

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Dina Ramadan

 

Schedule/Location:

 Tue  Thurs    11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 301

 

Distributional Area:

FL Foreign Languages and Lit  

 

Crosslists: Art Hisory and Visual Culture; Human Rights; Middle Eastern Studies

Borrowing its title from Egyptian novelist, Nael el-Toukhy’s concept of “writing future histories,” this course introduces students to contemporary literary and artistic production from across the Arab world. We will examine a growing body of work—including science, speculative, and dystopian fiction—that engages in an exploration of the (not so distant) future. Whether through the complete disappearance of the Palestinians, the reenactment of the Lebanese Rocket Society, or the resurrection of an Iraqi Frankenstein, cultural producers, faced with an uncertain future, invent themselves anew in uncertainty. Together we will trace some of the historic antecedents to these approaches and question their relationship to the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring. We will also consider the role translation (into European languages) plays in creating or accentuating such movements. All readings and screenings will be in English. This course is part of the World Literature offering.

 

Cross-listed courses:


Augustine, Perfectionism, and the Problem of the Will

 

Course Number: CLAS 202

CRN Number: 90161

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

David Ungvary

 

Schedule/Location:

  Wed  Fri   11:50 AM1:10 PM Reem Kayden Center 115

 

Distributional Area:

MBV  Meaning, Being, Value   

 

Crosslists: Literature; Philosophy; Study of Religions; Theology

 

India in the Classical Age: 2500 BCE to 1200 CE

 

Course Number: HIST 188

CRN Number: 90228

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Rupali Warke

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 202

 

Distributional Area:

HA Historical Analysis  

 

Crosslists: Asian Studies; Literature; Study of Religions

 

Literatures of Human Rights

 

Course Number: HR 275

CRN Number: 90247

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Ingrid Becker

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 203

 

Distributional Area:

LA Literary Analysis in English D+J Difference and Justice

 

Crosslists: Global & International Studies; Literature

 

Transnational Feminism

 

Course Number: HR 276

CRN Number: 90536

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Alys Moody

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     11:50 AM1:10 PM Olin 101

 

Distributional Area:

MBV Meaning, Being and Value D+J Difference and Justice

 

Crosslists: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Global & International Studies; Literature

 

Does Might Make Right?: Ancient Perspectives on an Enduring Dilemma

 

Course Number: HR 277

CRN Number: 90547

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Thomas Bartscherer

 

Schedule/Location:

Mon  Wed     5:10 AM – 6:30 PM Olin 201

 

Distributional Area:

MBV Meaning, Being and Value

Crosslists: Classical Studies; Literature

 

Landscape Studies: The Hudson River Valley

 

Course Number: HUM 234

CRN Number: 90605

Class cap: 22

Credits: 4

 

Professor:

Jana Mader

 

Schedule/Location:

Tue  Thurs       1:30 PM – 2:50 PM Henderson Computer Center 101A

 

Distributional Area:

HA Historical Analysis

Crosslists: Architecture; Environmental and Urban Studies; Literature