NOTE: Please note that not all topics courses (B223, 209, 321, 325, 326, 340) count toward COML elective requirements. See adviser.
This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.
For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.
For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's master calendar.
|MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS||LOCATION||INSTR(S)|
|COML B110-001||Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema||Semester / 1||Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF||Carpenter Library 25||King,H.|
|Film: 7:10 PM- 9:00 PM SU|
|COML B200-001||Introduction to Comparative Literature||Semester / 1||Lecture: 11:25 AM-12:45 PM TTH||Thomas Hall 116||Higginson,P.|
|COML B216-001||Topics: Introduction to Chinese Literature: Dream of the Red Chamber||Semester / 1||LEC: 1:40 PM- 3:30 PM TH||Thomas Hall 118||Kwa,S., Wang,M.|
|COML B234-001||Postcolonial Literature in English||Semester / 1||Lecture: 11:25 AM-12:45 PM TTH||English House I||Tratner,M.|
|COML B239-001||Classical Traditions & SciFi||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW||Taylor Hall G||Stevens,B.|
|COML B245-001||Interdisciplinary Approaches to German Literature and Culture: Kafka's Prague and Freud's Vienna||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH||Bettws Y Coed 100||Kenosian,D.|
|COML B293-001||The Play of Interpretation||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW||Dalton Hall 212E||Seyhan,A.|
|COML B310-001||Detective Fiction||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH||Thomas Hall 129||Monserrati,M.|
|COML B388-001||Contemporary African Fiction||Semester / 1||Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W||English House I||Beard,L.|
|MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS||LOCATION||INSTR(S)|
|COML B200-001||Introduction to Comparative Literature||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW||Seyhan,A.|
|COML B212-001||Borges y sus lectores||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH||Sacerio-Garí,E.|
|COML B213-001||Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities: Critical Theories||Semester / 1||LEC: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW||Higginson,P.|
|COML B223-001||Topics In German Cultural Studies: Remembered Violence||Semester / 1||LEC: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW||Kenosian,D.|
|Lecture: Date/Time TBA|
|COML B306-001||Film Theory||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM W||King,H.|
|Film: 7:10 PM- 9:00 PM T|
|COML B325-001||Etudes avancées||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM T||Interim,R.|
|COML B375-001||Interpreting Mythology||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH||Edmonds,R.|
|MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS||LOCATION||INSTR(S)|
|COML B110-001||Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema||Semester / 1||Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF||King,H.|
|Film: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM|
|COML B293-001||The Play of Interpretation||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW||Seyhan,A.|
|COML B311-001||The Myth of Venice (1800-2000)||Semester / 1||LEC: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH||Monserrati,M.|
|COML B325-001||Etudes avancées: Ecrire la Grande Guerre||Semester / 1||LEC: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM TH||Mahuzier,B.|
|COML B350-001||Voix médiévales et échos modernes||Semester / 1||Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM W||Armstrong,G.|
|COML B399-001||Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature||Semester / 1||Lecture: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM M||Dept. staff, TBA|
|TITLE||SCHEDULE/UNITS||MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS||LOCATION||INSTRUCTOR(S)|
Tales of Troy
The Western Dramatic Tradition
Rethinking Latin America in Contemporary Narrative
Aurelia Gómez Unamuno
Topics in Middle English: Medieval Performance
|COMLH312B01||Advanced Topics||Semester 2/1||W 1:30pm-4:00pm||Kathryne Corbin|
Literature & Media: From Print Culture to Web 2.0
The Latin American City and its Narratives.
Textual Politics: Marxism, Feminism, and the Deconstruction
200b. Introduction to Comparative Literature
The course offers a comprehensive reconstruction of literature from the Renaissance period to the present, by focusing on a) the changing relationship between literature and religion, b) the construction of identities (class, gender, race), c) the representation of history, and d) models of literary self-referentiality. In addition, the class will introduce a variety of literary and cultural theories necessary for the analysis of (non)fictional texts.
203b. Writing the Jewish Trajectories in Latin American
(Michelotti; cross-listed as Spanish 203b) E
"Jewish Gauchos," "Tropical Synagogues," "Poncho and Talmud," "Matza and Mate." This course will examine the native and diasporic worlds described in the apparent dichotomies that come together in the Latin American Jewish Literature. The class will trace the different trajectories of time, space and gender of the Jewish experience in Latin America, where issues of migration, memory and hybridization come to life through poetry, narrative and drama. Prerequisite: Spanish 102, placement, or consent.
205a 01. Studies in the Spanish American Novel
(cross-listed as Spanish 205a) E
Introduction to selected short 20th-century Spanish-American short stories and novels. .
205a. Legends of Arthur
(McInerney; cross-listed as English 205b) E
An exploration of the Arthurian legend, from its earliest versions to most recent retellings. The tradition of Arthurian tales is complex and various, combining Celtic and Christian mythologies. Sometimes called the "matter of Britain" the Arthurian narrative has been critical in establishing national and ethnic identities ever since the Middle Ages. Medival notions of chivalry and courtly love also raise fascinating questions about the conflict between personal and private morality, and about the construction of both identity and gender.
207b. Fictions of Spanish American History
(Castillo-Sandoval; cross-listed as Spanish 207b) E
The relationship between history and literature in Spanish America through examination and comparison of selected historiographical and literary texts. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which historical and literary genres have interacted and influenced one another from the Discovery and Conquest through the Independence and national formation periods and the 20th century. Prerequisite: Spanish 102, placement, or consent of the instructor.
208a. Museum Anthropology
(Gillette; cross-listed as Anthropology 208a) E
What kinds of uses, values, and meanings do people attribute to objects? Why do museums exist as special sites for housing objects? What do museums do to objects, how, and why? This course is a comparative and historical introduction to museums and objects, and an overview of the kinds of things anthropologists do in and around museums. Students conduct research on museums (museums as the object of research) and museum research (research as museum professionals). Offered occasionally.
210b. Spanish and Spanish-American Film Studies
(Michelotti; cross-listed as Spanish 210b) E
Exploration of films in Spanish from both sides of the Atlantic. The course will discuss approximately one movie per class, from a variety of classic and more recent directors such as Luis Buñuel, Carlos Saura, Pedro Almodóvar, Lucrecia Martel among others. The class will focus on the cinematic discourse as well as the cultural and historic background of each film. The course will also provide advanced language training with particular emphasis in refining oral and writing skills. Prerequisite: Span 102, placement, or consent.
211b. Introduction to Post-Colonial Literature
(Mohan; cross-listed as English 211b) E
An introductory survey of English literature from regions that used to be part of the British Empire, focusing on topics such as the representation of first contact, the influence of western education and the English language, and the effects of colonial violence, displacement, migration, and exile; consideration of specific aesthetic strategies that have come to be associated with this body of literature. Typically offered in alternate years.
212a. The Classical Tradition in Western Literature
(Roberts; cross-listed as Classical Studies 212a) E
An exploration of the uses of Greek and Latin literature in later writers, with attention to particularly influential ancient authors (Homer, Vergil, Ovid, and others), to a range of modern authors, and to the varieties of literary influence and intertextuality. Offered occasionally.
213b 01. Approches critiques
(Higginson; cross-listed as French and French Studies 213b) E/T
This seminar provides exposure to influential 20th-century French thinkers. It will examine three major currents: Postcolonial Theory; Feminist Theory; Post-Structuralist Theory. The primary goal here is to introduce students to exciting and difficult critical thought that will prove useful to their future studies and will begin to develop necessary critical skills. While the materials covered are primarily grounded in French intellectual history the course will also spend time situating these intellectual currents in broader transnational and transdisciplinary contexts. In other words, while "French" and "Francophone" centered, this course is explicitly designed to serve students in the humanities, regardless of field. This is a required course for the French major. Course taught in English and serving the humanities.
213b 02. Tragedy and the Tragic: Suffering, Representation, and Response
(Roberts; cross-listed as Classical Studies 213b) E
This course, an exploration of tragedy and the tragic from ancient Greece to the present, is concerned with tragedy as a kind of drama, with the idea of the tragic as manifested in a variety of cultural contexts and forms, and with critiques of tragedy. Offered occasionally.
214a. Writing the Nation: 19th-Century Literature in Latin America
(Huberman; cross-listed as Spanish 214a) E
An examination of seminal literary texts written in Latin America in the nineteenth century. Novels, essays, travelogues, short stories, miscellaneous texts, and poetry will be analyzed and placed in the context of the process of nation-building that took place after Independence from Spain. A goal of the course will be to establish and define the nexus between the textual and ideological formations of 19th-century writings in Latin America and their counterparts in the 20th-century.
215a. Tales of Troy
(Mulligan; cross-listed as Classical Studies 215a) E
An introduction to the myth of the Trojan War and its role in the history of western literature and culture, focusing on the development and adaptation of the myth in literature, art, music, and film from antiquity to the present day.
220b. The Epic in English
(McInerney; cross-listed as English 220b) E
An exploration of the long narrative poems that shape the epic tradition in anglophone literature. Readings in classical epic and medieval epic, Milton, Romantic epics and the modern aftermath of epic.
222b. Rethinking Latin America in Contemporary Narrative
(Gomez-Unamuno; cross-listed as Spanish 222b) E
This course explores literary texts and films produced after the 80's. These texts address political issues including memory, gender, violence, and border, and destabilize foundational identities and mythic representations found in the Latin American Boom narrative.
223a. Working Through the Holocaust Past in German Drama & Film
(Brust; cross-listed as German 223a) E
This course will provide a historical overview of the Holocaust, its origins, process, and outcomes, and how it has served as a mental map for the construction of contemporary German national identity. In this context, we will explore such topics as notions of memory, collective guilt, trauma, and mourning. In addition, the course will critically engage issues of portrayal and representation of historical memory within the context of Holocaust commemoration by discussing several different plays and films that can be contextualized within the German Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung (working through the past). Lastly, this course will also explore the tragedy and remembrance of the Holocaust as a transnational phenomenon in the contemporary world. The course is taught in English with an extra session in German.
224b. Political Action in Greek and Latin Literature
(La Londe; Cross-listed as Classical Studies 224b) E
An examination of political action in classical literature as an avenue of ancient political thought. The course explores the ever-changing relationship between individual participation and the body politic in Greek and Roman epic, drama, history, and philosophy
228a. The Logos and the Tao
(Wright; cross-listed as Philosophy 228a and East Asian Studies 228a) E
Foucault and Derrida agree with Heidegger that what in Chinese philosophy is called “dao is thoughtlessly translated as ‘reason, mind, raison, meaning, logos.’” However, Foucault and Derrida do not attempt to bridge the difference between logos and dao and thus dao is and remains “the other” of what in the West is called logos. In this course, we will examine how Heidegger instead takes up the task of bridging this difference by calling fundamentally into question what the West has called “thinking” or logos.
229b Topics in Rhetorical Theory: Roland Barthes and the Image
(Muse; cross-listed as ICPR 229b) T
An exploration of the rhetoric of visual culture through an examination of 20th century French critic Roland Barthes' many writings on photography, film, and what he calls the "civilized code of perfect illusions." We will spend the semester reading his texts, charting the trajectory of a career that begins with the euphoria of an ever-expanding semiotic and ends with a meditation on the limits of this very project.
235b. Spanish-American Theater
(Michelotti; cross-listed as Spanish 235) E
An exploration of various plays produced during the 20th Century in different Latin American countries and the US in the context of major theatrical movements and central themes in Latin American culture and history. The readings will include works by female and male playwrights. When possible, there will be a correlation with films, based on the plays discussed in class. The students will also be encouraged to perform in class chosen acts or scenes from one or more of the plays analyzed during the semester.
240b As the World Turned: Milton and Early Modern Revolutions
(Sedley; cross-listed as English 240b) E
A study of John Milton's major poems and prose in their historical contexts, with particular attention to Milton's engagements with aesthetic, scientific, and political inventions of the seventeenth century. Prerequisite: Freshman Writing.
241a. The Anthropology of the Mediterranean Area
(Hart; cross-listed as Anthropology 241a) E
This course focuses on pluralism and cultural interaction in circum-Mediterranean societies. It includes such topics as: orientalism and the problematics and politics of ethnographic production in and on peripheral societies; the use and abuse of concepts of cultural continuity; ethno-religious interaction in rural and urban settings; imperial legacies and nation-state ideologies in 21st century cultural politics; local and transnational economic systems; migration patterns, conflicts, and contemporary social transformations. Typically offered in alternate years.
243b. 18th C. Lit: Trans.-Atlantic Exchanges: Conversion & Revolution in Britain
(Staff; cross-listed as English 243b) E
This course examines religious, domestic and political literature that defined a Trans-Atlantic model of print culture in 18th-century Britain and America. Emphasis on journal/newspaper reviews and comparative notions of literary, sexual, national, and racial identities. Typically offered in alternate years.
247a. Anthropology and Literature: Ethnography of Black African Writing 1888-1988
(Noonan-Ngwane; cross-listed as Anthropology 247a) E
Through analysis of the development of writing in colonial and apartheid South Africa this course examines the "crisis of representation" of the past two decades in literature and anthropology. We will consider debates about the textual status of ethnographic monographs and the more general problems of writing and social power. Specifically, we will look at how such writing contributed to the construction and transformation of black subjectivity. Course material will include 19th and 20th century texts by black South Africans including life narratives, particularly collaborated autobiographies by women in the 1980s. Prerequisite: One course in literature or anthropology. Typically offered in alternate years.
248a The Quran
(Zadeh; cross-listed as Religion 248a) E
Overview of the Qur'an, the scripture of Islam. Major themes include: orality, textuality, sanctity and material culture; revelation, translation, and inimitability; calligraphy, bookmaking and architecture; along with modes of scriptural exegesis as practiced over time by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
250a 01. Introduction à la littérature et au cinéma francophones
(Anyinefa; cross-listed as French and French Studies 250 01) E
A study of representative male and female writers of Africa, the Maghreb, and the Caribbean.
250a 02. Words and Music: Tones, Words, and Images
(Cacioppo; cross-listed as Music 250a) E
This course explores musical, textual, and visual correspondences in art song, opera, ballet, tone poem and film. Principal works for study include Lieder settings on texts from Goethes Wilhelm Meister (Beethoven, Schubert, R. Schumann, et al.); The Magic Flute of Mozart, its influence on Beethovens Fidelio, and its 20th century reworkings (W.H. Auden, John Updike); Liszts Dante-inspired concert pieces; comparative treatments of Maurice Maeterlincks Pelléas et Mélisande (Debussy, Sibelius, and others), and its connection to Bluebeards Castle (Balázs/Bartók, with reference to early symbolist theater & film) and Dukas Ariane et Barbe-bleue; Stravinskys Le sacre du printemps and the original Nijinsky choreography; Kandinskys manifesto Concerning the Spiritual in Art, The Blue Rider, and their relation to music and painting of Schoenberg; more recent electro-acoustic text, tone and movement relations in examples by Paul Lansky, Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, and others. Visual referencing features Palladian design through Pre-Raphaelite and art nouveau images to the contemporary glass sculpture set designs of Dale Chihuly.
250b 01. Quixotic Narratives
(Burshatin; cross-listed as Spanish 250b) E
Study of Cervantes, Don Quixote and of some of the works of fiction, criticism, philosophy, music, art and film which have drawn from Cervantes's novel or address its formal and thematic concerns, including self-reflexivity, nation and narration, and constructions of gender, class, and "race" in narrative. Other authors read include Borges, Foucault, Laurence Sterne, Graham Greene, Vladimir Nabokov, and Kathy Acker. Course taught in English.
250b 02. Words and Music: The Renaissance Text and its Musical Readers
(Freedman; cross-listed as Music 250b) E
255a. Cinéma français/francophone et colonialisme
(Anyinefa; cross-listed as French and French Studies 255a)
A study of films from Africa, France, the Maghreb, and the Caribbean dealing with the colonial and post-colonial experience.
262b. European Film
(Brust; cross-listed as German 262b)
266a. Iberian Orientalism and the Nation
(Burshatin; Cross-listed as Spanish 266 and Latin American and Iberian Studies, and African and Africana Studies) E
This course examines cultural production in the frontier cultures of medieval Iberia and the patterns of collaboration and violence among Islamic, Christian, and Jewish communities. Other topics include Christian "reconquest" and the construction of Spanishness as race and nation; foreign depictions of Spain as Europe's exotic other; internal colonialism and Morisco resistance; and contemporary African migrations. Class conducted in English. Prerequisite: Freshman Writing or Span 102 or consent.
278b. Christian Thought from Modernity to Post- modernity
(Heckart; Cross-listed as Religion 278b) E
Twentieth-century and Twenty-First Century Christian thought in the West. Readings may include Barth, Bultmann, Reinhold Niebuhr, Rahner, von Balthasar, Segundo, Tracey, Frei, McFague, Irigaray, Cone, Lindbeck, Marion, and others.
290a. History of Literary Theory: Plato to Shelley
(Roberts; cross-listed as English and Classical Studies 290a) E/T
In this course we investigate central texts in literary theory from the Greeks to early nineteenth-century Europe, with attention to key critical terms and concepts. Topics of discussion include the nature and origin of literary creation, socio-political ideas about the function of poetry and the poet, mimetic models of literature, the roles of art and nature, literature in relation to its audience, theories of genre, defenses of poetry, allegorical interpretation, the idea of the sublime, definitions of the imagination, poetic language, and the application of critical theory to particular texts. Readings include selections from: Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus, Dante, Augustine, Sidney, Corneille, Dryden, Pope, De Stael, Johnson, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley. Requirements include 5 short papers and a final exam. Not open to first-year students. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. Typically offered in alternate years.
293a. Translation and other Transformations: Theory and Practice
(Roberts; cross-listed as Classical Studies 293a) E/T
An exploration of the theory and practice of translation (both historical and current) and of other forms of rewriting. Theoretical readings include works by Dryden, Schleiermacher, Arnold, Benjamin, Venuti, and others; examples of translation will be drawn from a variety of texts in different languages. Students will have the opportunity to work on translation projects of their own.
301a 01. Sex and Gender in the Middle Ages
(McInerney; cross-listed as English 301a) E
This seminar will examine the construction and representation of sex and gender in the Middle Ages. Medieval ideas about men, women and sexuality are often apparently contradictory. Women may be represented as bride of Christ or virgin mother on the one hand, on the other as temptresses and whores; "courtly love" appears to teach men to idolize women, even as clerical misogyny encouraged men to despise women. The courtly Romance exists side by side with the obscene Fabliau, but both were composed for the same audiences. Religious and devotional texts are full of transvestite saints, castrations threatened and accomplished, attempted rapes both homo- and heterosexual, strange distortions of the body and cases of holy anorexia.
Our focus will be on medieval texts (polemic, drama, lyric, narrative, autobiography), but we will accompany these primary readings with secondary readings in feminist and queer theory and the history of the body, as well a couple of contemporary novels which revise or reread medieval texts and ideas.
301a 02. Topics in the Philosophy of Literature: Jacques Derrida
(Miller; cross-listed as Philosophy 301a) T
302b. Speaking in Tongues: The Poetics of Essay
(McInerney; cross-listed as English 302b) E/T
312a. Advanced Topics in French Literature: Pascal entre les disciplines
(Sedley; cross-listed as French and French Studies 312a) E
Contrary to what one may think, the notion of "interdisciplinarity" has a long history. In this history, the career of Blaise Pascal represents a high point. This course examines the achievements of Pascal as mathematician, physicist, engineer, entrepreneur, theologian, philosopher, and literary genius through his works as well as criticism, theory, and film. This examination will illuminate why transgressing frontiers between disciplines matters so much--and why it has become so difficult to do.
312b. Advanced Topics in French Literature: La revolution haitienne: Historiographie et imaginaire
(Anyinefa; cross-listed as French and French Studies 312b) E
315a. Novísima Literatura Hispanoamerica
(Michelotti; cross-listed as Spanish 315a) E
A selection of recent, representative Latin American fiction, examined in light of the transformations in the narrative discourse after the seminal novels of the Latin American "Boom" of the 60's and 70's. Prerequisite: A 200 level course or consent of instructor.
317a. Novels of the Spanish American "Boom"
(Castillo-Sandoval; cross-listed as Spanish 317a; prerequisite: A 200 level course or consent of instructor) E
320a. Spanish-American Colonial Writings
(Castillo Sandoval; cross-listed as Spanish 320a) E
Representative writings from the textual legacy left by Spanish discovery, conquest, and colonization of the New World. Emphasis will be placed on the transfiguration of historical and literary genres, and the role of Colonial literature in the formation of Latin-American identity. Readings include Columbus, Bernal Díaz, Gómara, Ercilla, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Cabeza de Vaca, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Sigüenza y Góngora. Prerequisite: One 200 level Spanish course or consent.
321a. Literature & Media: Films, texts and theories from print culture to Web 2.0
(Wrage; cross-listed as German and German Studies 320 01) E
“Whatever we know about our society, or indeed about the world in which we live, we know through the mass media” – Niklas Luhmann's famous quote reminds us of the enormous importance that books and newspapers, movies, TV shows and the Internet have for our perception of the world. On the other hand we know enough about media that we do not trust them as objective sources. We know that they are not just mirroring the world but rather select very specific events to become news and that they are subject to political and cultural influences.
Our course will deal with a number of major media theories (Luhmann, McLuhan, Baudrillard, Elsaesser et.al.), that will help us to understand what media are and how they work. Starting with the book as the first and most important storage system of the modern world, we will reconstruct main thresholds where "old" and "new" media compete with each other. We will investigate the synergies and functional differentiations between literature and film and between film and television. Last not least we will take a closer look at some of the latest developments in media history: today’s “digitization” and “hybridization” of culture – from hypertext literature to social networks.
Readings will include texts and films by C.M. Wieland, O. Welles, A. Asquith, F. Lang, B. Brecht, A. Pakula, D. Cronenberg, and G. Ryman.
321b. Literature and New Media: From the Gutenberg Galaxy to Cyberspace
(Wrage; cross-listed as German and German Studies 321b) E
The emergence of new acoustic, visual, and electronic media since the late 19th-century has dramatically changed the status of writing, textuality, and literature. Focusing on modernist as well as contemporary texts, the seminar will reconstruct the changing intermedial relationship between the book and its technologically advanced other from the print-based medium to the latest digital Hypertext novel.
322a. Politics of Memory in Latin America
(Gómez-Unamuno, cross-listed as Spanish 322a) E
Memory and the writing of history in contemporary Latin-American narratives. We will address themes such as the struggle against forgetting, the construction of memory, and the writing of the official history in novels, testimonies and documentaries. Memory and the writing of history in contemporary Latin-American narratives. We will address themes such as the struggle against forgetting, the construction of memory, and the writing of the official history in novels, testimonies and documentaries.
332a. Topics in the Twentieth Century Continental Philosophy (course topic varies)
(Miller; cross-listed as Philosophy 332a; Prerequisite: One 200 level course plus junior standing, or consent of the instructor) T
334b. Gender Dissidence in Hispanic Writing
(Burshatin; cross-listed as Spanish 334b) E
Study of the dissenting voices of gender and sexuality in Spain and Spanish America and U.S. Latino/a writers. Interrogation of "masculine" and "feminine" cultural constructions and "compulsory heterosexuality," as well as exemplary moments of dissent. Texts to be studied include Hispano-Arabic poetry; Fernando de Rojas's Celestina; Tirso de Molina; Don Gil de las calzas verdes; Teresa of Avila; Gloria Anzaldúa; and Reinaldo Arenas. Prerequisite: A 200 level course or consent of the instructor.
350a. Social and Cultural Theory: Writing, Self and Society (course topic varies)
(Noonan-Ngwane; cross-listed as Anthropology 350a) E
351a. Writing and Social Construction of Subjectivity
(Ngwane; cross-listed as Anthropology 351a) T
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of writing as a social institution, personal ritual, cultural artifact and a technology. Beginning with some debates in the social sciences concerning the place of literacy in individual cognitive development and social progress, we will proceed to explore some core assumptions about speech and writing in western thought from Plato to recent French feminist theory. The goal of this course is to offer students a genealogical account of anthropological ways of thinking about the human being as a creative agent and a social subject.
352b. Topics in the Philosophy of Language: Metaphor, Meaning, and the Dialogical Mind
(Gangadean; Cross-listed as Philosophy 352b) E
This course explores the nature of language with special attention to the origin of meaning and metaphor in the dialogical mind. Topics include analogy and imagination, communication & translatability, meditative meaning and the limits of language; ambiguity across diverse language-worlds, the dynamics of dialogue between worldviews. Readings include selections from such diverse thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Sommers, Derrida and Nagarjuna and others. Cross listed with Comparative Literature. Prerequisite: one 200 level Phil course or consent.
353b. Topics in the Philosophy of Language (course topic varies)
(Gangadean; cross-listed as Philosophy 353b) T
357b. Topics in Aesthetics: The Apolline and the Dionysiac Creative Drives
(Wright; cross-listed as Philosophy 357b) T
377b. Problems in Postcolonial Literature
(Mohan; cross-listed as English 377) E
The decisive role that Fanon attributes to violence in the colonial context has had an inexorable afterlife in postcolonial societies. Course texts explore this dialectic of violation and violence, but they present it as a mutating, complex phenomenon, drawing its energies from multiple histories and traditions that are not always centered on the colonial experience.
381a. Textual Politics: Marxism, Feminism, and Deconstruction
(Mohan; cross-listed as English 381a) E/T
385b. Popular Culture, Cultural Identity and the Arts in Latin America
(Castillo-Sandoval; cross-listed as Spanish) E
This course will examine the interaction among mass, elite, traditional, and indigenous art forms and their relationship with the dynamics of national/cultural identity in Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the forms of expression to be studied are oral poetry and narrative, the "folleti" (19th-Century melodramas by installment) to 20th-century "fotonovelas," "radionovelas," and "telenovelas," broadsides, comics, musical and political movements such as "neo-folklore," "New Song" and "Nueva Trova," artistic movements such as Mexican Muralism, popular dance, and the cinema. Prerequisite: A 200 level course or consent of instructor.
385a. Topics in British Literature: Apocalyptic Literature
(McInerney; crossed-listed as English 385a) E
This course questions the connections between mythology and eschatology, vision and violence, prophecy and poetry, memory and millennialism. Centered on readings of John, Langland, Dante and Blake, it will require the reading of images as well as texts, including medieval manuscript illuminations, allegorical paintings, and Blake's Illuminations.
389b. Problems in Poetics: The Interpretation of Lyric
(Benston; cross-listed as English 389b) T
An examination of theoretical issues and presentational strategies in various verse structures from Ovid to Bishop. Close readings of strategically grouped texts explore the interplay of convention and innovation with close attention to rhetorics of desire, external and internal form, and recurrent lyric figures, tropes, and topoi.
398a. Theories and Methods in Comparative Literature
(Burshatin) T This course, required of all senior comparative literature majors in preparation for writing the senior thesis in the spring semester, has a twofold purpose: to review interpretive approaches informed by critical theories that enhance our understanding of literary and cultural texts; and to help students prepare a preliminary outline of their senior theses. Throughout the semester, students research theoretical paradigms that bear on their own comparative thesis topics in order to situate those topics in an appropriate critical context.