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Comparative Literature

Students may complete a major or minor in Comparative Literature.

Directors

Elizabeth C. Allen (semester I)
Azade Seyhan (semester II)
Israel Burshatin, at Haverford College

Faculty

Sooyong Kim, Visiting Assistant Professor

Advisory Committee at Bryn Mawr

Elizabeth C. Allen
Francis Higginson
Maria Cristina Quintero
Roberta Ricci
Azade Seyhan

Advisory Committee at Haverford

Israel Burshatin
Maud McInerney
Jerry Miller
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: COML 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; COML 398: Theories and Methods in Comparative Literature 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: COML 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

(Kim, Division III; cross-listed as GNST B155 and HIST 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. (Higginson, Division III)

COML B209 Introduction to Literary Analysis: Philosophical Approach to Criticism

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B209 and PHIL B209)

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) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B215 “Memoria Negra”: la literatura afro-hispánica

(Lima, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B215) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B222 Aesthetics: The Nature and Experience of Art

(Krausz, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B222) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B223 Topics in German Cultural Studies

(staff, Division I or III; cross-listed as GERM B223 and HART B223) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B226 Cine y sociedad en la España contemporanea

(Arribas, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B226) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B231 Cultural Profiles in Modern Exile

(Seyhan, Division III; cross-listed as ANTH B231 and GERM B231) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B234 Postcolonial Literature in English

(Tratner, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B234) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B236 The Ancient Novel

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as CSTS B236) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B245 Interdisciplinary Approaches to German Literature and Culture: Sexuality and Gender in German Literature and Film

(Meyer, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B245)

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 Frankenstein, A Hero of Our Time, The Red and the Black, The Sorrows of Young Werther and Wuthering Heights, 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 2007-08.

COML B252 The Art of Athletics: Modern Sport in 20th-Century Culture

This course, drawing upon a range of artistic media — literature, painting and cinema — from the United States, Western Europe and Russia , explores how artists throughout the 20th century celebrated the beauty and vigorous spirit of athletics. Course discussion will focus on artists' use of sports to probe issues of gender, race, class and ideology. (Harte, Division III)

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 2007-08.

COML B260 Ariel/Caliban y el discurso americano

(Sacerio-Garí, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B260) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B266 Travel and Transgression

(Taylor, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B266)

COML B269 Ecologies of Theater: Performance, Play and Landscape

(Lord, Division III; cross-listed as ARTT B270) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B277 Topics in Islamic Literatures

(Kim, Division III; cross-listed as GNST B277) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B278 Reading the Middle East

This course examines major themes in modern Middle Eastern literatures through selected prose works by prominent modern writers in translation from Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish. Topics include tradition versus modernity, gender and the family, the individual and the state, and the impact of regional conflict. (Kim, Division III)

COML B279 Introduction to African Literature

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

COML B299 Cultural Diversity and Its Representations

(Seyhan, Werlen, Division III; cross-listed as GERM B299 and HART B298) Not offered in 2007-08.

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

(Armstrong, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B302) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B305 Modern German Drama-Faust: Legend in Literature, Drama and Film

(Seyhan; cross-listed as GERM B305)

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) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B312 Crimen y detectives en la narrativa hispánica contemporánea

(Song, Division III; cross-listed as SPAN B311) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B319 A Sense of Place

(Briggs, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B319) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B320 Topics in German Literature

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B320, GERM B320 and HART B320) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B321 Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies

(Meyer, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B319, GERM B321 and HART B348) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B323 Culture and Interpretation

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

COML B325 Etudes avancées de civilisation

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

COML B326 Etudes avancées

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B326)

COML B340 Topics in Baroque Art

(McKim-Smith, Division III; cross-listed as HART B340)

COML B350 Voix médiévales et échos modernes

(Armstrong, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B350) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B351 Medieval Encounters in Contemporary Fiction

Muslim, Christian and Jewish relations, particularly in the medieval period, have occupied a number of recent works of fiction in English and other languages. Why that subject has so captured the literary imagination and how individual authors treat it are the central issues the course aims to address. Selected works of fiction will serve as entry points into questions of how different religious communities interacted with and perceived one another before modern times. Another goal of the course is to make students think about how works of historical fiction serve to shape as well as to challenge current religious sensibilities. (Kim, Division III)

COML B354 Topics in Art Criticism

(Levine, Division III; cross-listed as HART B354) Not offered in 2007-08.

COML B364 Political Philosophy: Irony and Inquiry

(Salkever, Elkins, Division III; cross-listed as PHIL B364 and POLS B364) Not offered in 2007-08.

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. (staff)

COML B399 Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

(Allen, Roberts)

COML B403 Supervised Work

(staff)

Haverford College currently offers the following courses in Comparative Literature:

COML H200 Introduction to Comparative Literature
COML H209 Classical Mythology
COML H210 Spanish and Spanish American Film Studies
COML H220 The Epic in English
COML H250 Quixotic Narratives
COML H262 The Male Body in Contemporary Cinema
COML H289 Children's Literature
COML H290 History of Literary Theory: Plato to Shelley
COML H301 Topics in Medieval English Literature
COML H312 Classiques africains
COML H320 Spanish American Colonial Writings
COML H321 Literature and New Media
COML H332 Jacques Derrida
COML H334 Gender Dissidence in Hispanic Writing
COML H352 Evita and Her Sisters
COML H377 Problems in Postcolonial Literature
COML H395 Theories of Barbarism

 

 
     
 
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