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Comparative Literature

Students may complete a major or minor in Comparative Literature.

Directors

Elizabeth C. Allen
Israel Burshatin, at Haverford College

Faculty

Sooyong Kim, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Culture

Advisory Committee at Bryn Mawr

Elizabeth C. Allen
Francis Higginson
Maria Cristina Quintero
Bethany Schneider
Azade Seyhan

Advisory Committee at Haverford

Israel Burshatin
Maud McInerney
Deborah Roberts
Roberto Castillo Sandoval
Ulrich Schoenherr
David Sedley

The study of comparative literature situates literature in an international perspective; examines connections among literary history, literary criticism, critical theory and poetics; and works toward an understanding of the sociocultural functions of literature. Interpretive methods from other disciplines that interrogate cultural discourses also play a role in the comparative study of literature; among these are anthropology, philosophy, history, religion, classical studies, Africana studies, gender studies and cultural studies, as well as other arts.

Comparative literature students are required to have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language adequate to the advanced study of literature in that language. Some comparative literature courses may require reading knowledge of a foreign language as a prerequisite for admission. Students considering graduate work in comparative literature should also study a second foreign language.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the comparative literature major are: Comparative Literature 200: Introduction to Comparative Literature (normally taken in the sophomore year); six literature courses at the 200 level or above, balanced between two literature departments (of which English may be one) — at least two of these (one in each national literature) must be at the 300 level or above, or its equivalent as approved in advance by the adviser; one course in critical theory; two electives; Comparative Literature 398 and 399: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature.

Honors

Students who, in the judgment of the advisory committee, have done distinguished work in their courses and in the senior seminar will be considered for departmental honors.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for the minor are: Comparative Literature 200 and 398, plus four additional courses — two each in the literature of two languages. At least one of these four courses must be at the 300 level. Students who minor in comparative literature are encouraged to choose their national literature courses from those with a comparative component.

Both majors and minors are encouraged to work closely with the chairs and members of the advisory committee in shaping their programs.

COML B155 Islamic Civilization, A Literary Introduction

This course surveys major political, social, religious and cultural developments in the Islamic world, from Spain to India, as represented in the works of Arabic, Persian and Turkish literature in translation, with some attention to art and architecture. We cover the period from the rise of Islam to early modern times (roughly 600 to 1500). (Kim, Division III; cross-listed as GNST B155)

COML B200 Introduction to Comparative Literature

This course explores a variety of approaches to the comparative or transnational study of literature through readings of several kinds: texts from different cultural traditions that raise questions about the nature and function of storytelling and literature; texts that comment on, respond to and rewrite other texts from different historical periods and nations; translations; and readings in critical theory. (Quintero, Sedley, Seyhan, Division III)

COML B202 Culture and Interpretation

(Krausz, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B202)

COML B209 Introduction to Literary Analysis: Philosophical Approaches to Criticism

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B209 and PHIL B209) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B211 Primo Levi, the Holocaust and Its Aftermath

(Patruno, Division III; cross-listed as HEBR B211 and ITAL B211)

COML B212 Borges y sus lectores

(Sacerio-Garí, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B211)

COML B213 Approches critiques et théoriques

(Mahuzier, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B213)

COML B215 "Memoria negra": la literatura afro-hispánica en África y las Américas

(Lima, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B215)

COML B220 Writing the Self

(Conybeare, Division III; cross-listed as CSTS B220) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B222 Aesthetics: The Nature and Experience of Art

(Krausz, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B222)

COML B226 Cine y sociedad en la Espana contemporanea

(Arribas, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B226) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B229 Movies and Mass Politics

(Tratner, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B229) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B230 Poetics of Desire in the Lyric Poetry of Renaissance Italy and Spain

(Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as ITAL B230 and SPAN B230) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B231 Cultural Profiles Modern Exile

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as ANTH B231 and GERM B231)

COML B234 Postcolonial literature in English

(Tratner, Division III, cross-listed as ENGL B234) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B236 The Ancient Novel

(Walker; cross-listed as CSTS B236)

COML B245 Women's Narratives on Modern Migrancy, Exile, and Diasporas

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as ANTH B246, GERM B245 and CITY B246) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B251 Romantic Prose Fiction

This seminar studies representative works of Romantic poetry's "poor relation" - prose fiction. Readings include novels from England, France, Germany and Russia, such as The Sorrows of Young Werther, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, A Hero of Our Time and The Red and the Black, as well as short stories. Discussions include such topics as national varieties of Romanticism, the Romantic ideals of nature, love and the self, and the impact of the revolutionary era on art. Illustrative examples of Romantic painting and music are also considered. All readings and discussions in English. (Allen, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B257 The Realist Novel Revisited

This seminar undertakes the study of a deceptively simple cultural and literary historical concept - realism - by closely reading well-known 19th-century novels by George Eliot, Gustave Flaubert, Theodor Fontane, Henry James, Stendhal, Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev, all of which have traditionally been placed within realism's parameters. Critical essays exploring the nature of realism, either in general or in a particular author's works, are also discussed. The ethical implications of the realist enterprise and, more broadly, the possible relations between art and life receive special scrutiny. (Allen, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B260 Ariel/Caliban y el discurso americano

(Sacerio-Garí, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B260) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B265 The Islamic Literary Tradition

This course focuses on the major poetic genres and figures in Islamic literature. Selected works from Arabic, Persian, and Turkish are read in translation, and each is situated in its historical, social, and cultural context. We will not engage in extensive comparisons among the three literatures, but questions of continuities and ruptures will inform the course. (Kim, Division III; cross-listed as GNST B265)

COML B267 Poets of Cinema

(Mazaj, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B267 and HART B267)

COML B270 Classical Heroes and Heroines

(Gaisser, Division III; cross-listed as CSTS B270) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B271 Litertura y delincuencia: explorando la novela picaresca

(Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B270) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B275 Interpreting Mythology

(Edmonds, Division III; cross-listed as CSTS B275) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B279 Introduction to African Literature

(Beard, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B279)

COML B285 Contemporary International Films

(Mazaj, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B285 and HART B285)

COML B299 Cultural Diversity and Its Representations

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B299 and HART B298)

COML B302 Le printemps de la parole féminine: femmes écrivains des débuts

(Armstrong, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B302) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B306 Film Theory

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B306 and HART B306)

COML B308 El teatro del Siglo de Oro

(Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B308)

COML B319 A Sense of Place: Classical, European, American

(Briggs, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B319)

COML B320 Topics in German Literature

(Meyer, Schönherr, Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B320) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B323 Culture and Interpretation

(Krausz, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B323)

COML B325 Symptoms of the Imagination: Illness and Genius in 19th-Century France

(Marcus, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B325)

COML B326 Etudes avancées de civilisation

(Lee, Mahuzier, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B326) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B340 Topics in Baroque Art

(McKim-Smith, Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as HART B340 and SPAN B340) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B350 Voix médiévales et échos modernes

(Armstrong, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B350)

COML B348 Cinema and Popular Memory

(Mazaj, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B348 and HART B346)

COML B354 Topics in Art Criticism

(Levine, Division III; cross-listed as HART B354) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B359 Sacrifice, Identity and Law

(Elkins, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B359 and POLS B359) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B364 Irony and Inquiry: Plato and Nietzsche

(Elkins, Salkever, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B364 and POLS B364) Not offered in 2005-06.

COML B370 Psychoanalytic Theory

(Forbes, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B370)

COML B398 Theories and Methods in Comparative Literature

This course, required of all senior comparative literature majors in preparation for writing the senior thesis in the spring semester, explores both theoretical and applied, or practical, literary criticism, in which literary theories are put to work, often in combination, to elucidate particular texts. Throughout the semester, students collect and review theoretical and applied critical materials bearing on their own comparative thesis topics in order to situate those topics in an appropriate critical context. (Allen, Seyhan)

COML B403 Supervised Work

(staff)

Haverford College currently offers the following courses in Comparative Literature:

COML H105B Anthropology and Creativity
COML H200B Introduction to Comparative Literature
COML H203A Writing the Jewish Trajectories in Latin America
COML H208B Mythology
COML H210B Spanish and Spanish American Film Studies
COML H211A Introduction to Postcolonial Literature
COML H220B The English Epic
COML H243B 18th Century Literature: Trans-Atlantic Exchanges
COML H250B Music in the Literary Imagination, 1800-1949
COML H258A Vienna at the Turns of Centuries: Art, Politics and Culture
COML H263A The Middle East Love Lyric
COML H290A History of Literary Theory
COML H301A Sex and Gender in the Middle Ages
COML H303A Seminar in Religion, Literature and Representation
COML H315A Novísima literatura hispanoamericana
COML H317B Novels of the Spanish American
COML H320A Spanish American Colonial Writings
COML H332A Topics in 20th Century Continental Philosophy
COML H359B Hearing-Writing-Silence: Music, Politics, and Gender in German Literature (1800-2000)
COML H382A On the Sublime
COML H389B Problems in Poetics: The Interpretation of Lyric
COML H399B Senior Seminar

 
     
 
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