Courses

Due to differences in the ways that courses are tagged and cross-listed at Bryn Mawr and Haverford, some courses that fulfill the COML elective requirements may not show up in a BiONiC search. If you need guidance, please check with your major advisor.

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 calendars page.

Fall 2022 COML

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location / Instruction Mode Instr(s)
ARTW B261-001 Writing Poetry I 1Semester / 1 LEC: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH In Person Sheriff,S.
EALC B281-001 Food in Translation: Theory and Practice: Taste 1Semester / 1 LEC: 12:10 PM- 2:00 PM F Old Library 116
In Person
Kwa,S.
ENGL B217-001 Narratives of Latinidad 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW In Person Harford Vargas,J.
FREN B207-001 Ouvrir la voix: Introduction aux études francophones 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM- 2:15 PM TTH Old Library 251
In Person
Crucifix,E.
FREN B302-001 Le printemps de la parole féminine: femmes écrivains des débuts 1Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM- 3:30 PM W Old Library 102
In Person
Armstrong,G.
ITAL B316-001 Mountaineering Heroes: Masculinity and Nation-building 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W In Person Benetollo,C.

Spring 2023 COML

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location / Instruction Mode Instr(s)
COML B399-001 Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 7:10 PM- 9:00 PM T English House I
In Person
Dept. staff, TBA
EALC B200-001 Major Seminar: Methods and Approaches 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM- 2:00 PM T Old Library 118
In Person
Kwa,S.
EALC B355-001 Animals, Vegetables, Minerals in East Asian Literature & Film 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-12:00 PM T Old Library 118
In Person
Kwa,S., Kwa,S.
Film Screening: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM M Old Library 110
In Person
ENGL B213-001 Global Cinema 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW In Person Dabashi,P.
FREN B213-001 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH In Person Crucifix,E.
FREN B312-001 Advanced Topics in Literature 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM T In Person Crucifix,E.
GERM B223-001 Topics in German Cultural Studies: Under Surveillance: From ETA Hoffmann to Christa W 1Semester / 1 LEC: 2:40 PM- 4:00 PM MW In Person Strair,M.
HART B235-001 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Carpenter Library 25
In Person
Feliz,M., Feliz,M., Teaching Assistant,T., Teaching Assistant,T.
LEC: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM SU In Person
ITAL B302-001 Italo Calvino transnational writer 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W In Person Benetollo,C.
RUSS B220-001 Chernobyl 1Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW Russian Center Conference Room
In Person
Vergara,J.

Fall 2023 COML

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2022-23 Catalog Data: COML

COML B200 Introduction to Comparative Literature

Not offered 2022-23

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.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

COML B225 Censorship: Historical Contexts, Local Practices and Global Resonance

Not offered 2022-23

The course is in English. It examines the ban on books, films, and art in a global context through a study of the historical and sociopolitical conditions of censorship practices. This semester our focus will be on Germany and China. The course raises such questions as how censorship is used to fortify political power, how it is practiced locally and globally, who censors, what are the categories of censorship, how censorship succeeds and fails, and how writers and artists write and create against and within censorship. The last question leads to an analysis of rhetorical strategies that writers and artists employ to translate the expression of repression, trauma, and torture into idioms of resistance. Current focus: Censorship in Germany and China. German majors/minors can get German Studies credit. Prerequisite: EMLY B001 or a 100-level intensive writing course.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward East Asian Languages and Cultures

Back to top

COML B242 German Encounters w East Asia: A Transnational Cinema Course

Not offered 2022-23

Due to increased mobility in the age of globalization, the encounter between East and West has shifted from the imaginary to the real. Actual encounters provide the potential for debunking cultural myths and prejudices that an orientalist lens tended to produce. East and West both carry their own traditions, value systems, and distinct cultural identities. This sparks conflicts, but also generates mutual interest. In present-day Germany, the Asian-German connection constitutes a neglected aspect of multicultural discourses and thus deserves more scrutiny. This transnational film course focuses specifically on encounters between German-speaking countries and East Asia. Using film as the main medium, this course touches on prominent issues such as orientalism, race, gender, class, nation, and identity, which have been much studied by literary and cultural critics in recent years.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward East Asian Languages and Cultures

Counts Toward Film Studies

Back to top

COML B293 The Play of Interpretation

Not offered 2022-23

Designated theory course. A study of the methodologies and regimes of interpretation in the arts, humanistic sciences, and media and cultural studies, this course focuses on common problems of text, authorship, reader/spectator, and translation in their historical and formal contexts. Literary, oral, and visual texts from different cultural traditions and histories will be studied through interpretive approaches informed by modern critical theories. Readings in literature, philosophy, popular culture, and film will illustrate how theory enhances our understanding of the complexities of history, memory, identity, and the trials of modernity.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward International Studies

Back to top

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, 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. This is a required for majors and minors.

Back to top

COML B399 Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature

Thesis writing seminar. Research methods.

Back to top

COML B403 Supervised Work

Back to top

ARCH B303 Classical Bodies

Not offered 2022-23

An examination of the conceptions of the human body evidenced in Greek and Roman art and literature, with emphasis on issues that have persisted in the Western tradition. Topics include the fashioning of concepts of male and female standards of beauty and their implications; conventions of visual representation; the nude; clothing and its symbolism; the athletic ideal; physiognomy; medical theory and practice; the visible expression of character and emotions; and the formulation of the "classical ideal" in antiquity and later times.

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Back to top

ARTW B261 Writing Poetry I

Fall 2022

In this course students will learn to "read like a writer," while grappling with the work of accomplished poets, and providing substantive commentary on peers' work. Through diverse readings, students will examine craft strategies at work in both formal and free verse poems, such as diction, metaphor, imagery, lineation, metrical patterns, irony, and syntax. The course will cover shaping forms (such as elegy and pastoral) as well as given forms, such as the sonnet, ghazal, villanelle, etc. Students will discuss strategies for conveying the literal meaning of a poem (e.g., through sensory description and clear, compelling language) and the concealed meaning of a text (e.g., through metaphor, imagery, meter, irony, and shifts in diction and syntax). By the end of the course, students will have generated new material, shaped and revised draft poems, and significantly grown as writers by experimenting with various aspects of craft.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

EALC B200 Major Seminar: Methods and Approaches

Spring 2023

This course is a writing intensive course for EALC majors and minors to introduce some foundational ideas and concepts in the study of East Asia. Beginning with close readings of primary source texts, students are introduced to the philosophy and culture of China, and its subsequent transmission and adaptation across the vast geographical area that is commonly referred to as "East Asia." Students will gain familiarity with methods in this interdisciplinary field and develop skills in the practice of close critical analysis, bibliography, and the formulation of a research topic. Required of EALC majors and minors. Majors should take this course before the senior year. Prerequisite: One year of Chinese or Japanese.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Back to top

EALC B212 Topics: Introduction to Chinese Literature

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Topics may vary.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

EALC B240 Topics in Chinese Film

Section 001 (Spring 2022): Films of Wong Kar-Wai

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Visual Studies

Back to top

EALC B281 Food in Translation: Theory and Practice

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Taste

Fall 2022

This semester we will explore the connections between what we eat and how we define ourselves in the context of global culture. We will proceed from the assumption that food is an object of culture, and that our contemplation of its transformations and translations in production, preparation, consumption, and distribution will inform our notions of personal and group identity. This course takes Chinese food as a case study, and examines the way that Chinese food moves from its host country to diasporic communities all over the world, using theories of translation as our theoretical and empirical foundation. From analyzing menu and ingredient translations to producing a short film based on interviews, we will consider the relationship between food and communication in a multilingual and multicultural world. Readings include theoretical texts on translation (Apter), recipe books and menus, Chinese and Chinese-American literature (Classic of Poetry, Mo Yan, Hong Kingston). Films include Ian Cheney's "Searching for General Tso," Wayne Wang's "Soul of a Banquet" and "Eat a Bowl of Tea," Ang Li's "Eat Drink Man Woman," and Wong Karwai's "In the Mood for Love."

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

EALC B310 Advanced Readings in the Graphic Narrative

Not offered 2022-23

This advanced seminar focuses on critical and theoretical approaches to the graphic novel. In the past several decades, a genre of "auteur comics" has emerged from the medium that are highly literary with a deep engagement between form and meaning. This seminar focuses on weekly close readings of such graphic novels with rigorous analysis of form and content. Primary text readings are supplemented with readings from literary theory, visual studies, and philosophy. Participants are expected to be comfortable with the application of literary critical theory and visual studies theory to texts. There are no prerequisites for the course, but due to the quantity and complexity of the reading material, some background in literary study is necessary. Students interested in taking this course in fulfillment of a major requirement in Comparative Literature or East Asian Languages and Cultures will need to discuss with me prior to enrollment. Preference given to students who have taken EALC B255. This semester (Spring 2021) we will explore theories of narrative in the context of the graphic narrative. Students will read and view primary texts, supplemented by theoretical readings, that engage questions of how subjects develop through unconventional notions of "travel" in time, space, or both. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED AS PART OF A 360

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Counts toward East Asian Languages and Cultures

Counts Toward Counts toward Visual Studies

Back to top

EALC B345 Topics in East Asian Culture

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Course contents vary.

Back to top

EALC B355 Animals, Vegetables, Minerals in East Asian Literature & Film

Spring 2023

This semester, we will explore how artists question, explore, celebrate, and critique the relationships between humans and the environment. Through a topics-focused course, students will examine the ways that narratives about environment have shaped the way that humans have defined themselves. We will be reading novels and short stories and viewing films that contest conventional binaries of man and animal, civilization and nature, tradition and technology, and even truth and fiction. "Animals, Vegetables, Minerals" does not follow chronological or geographical frameworks, but chooses texts that engage the three categories enumerated as the major themes of our course. We will read and discuss animal theory, theories of place and landscape, and theories of modernization or mechanization; and there will be frequent (and intentional) overlap between these categories. We will also be watching films that extend our theoretical questions of thes e themes beyond national, linguistic, and generic borders. You are expected to view this course as a collaborative process in which you share responsibility for leading discussion. There are no prerequisites or language expectations, but students should have some basic knowledge of East Asian, especially Sinophone, history and culture, or be willing to do some additional reading (suggested by the instructor) to achieve an adequate contextual background for exploring these texts.

Counts Toward Counts toward Environmental Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Visual Studies

Back to top

ENGL B213 Global Cinema

Spring 2023

This course introduces students to one possible history of global cinema. We will discuss and analyze a variety of filmmakers and film movements from around the world. Students will be exposed to the discipline of film studies as it is specifically related to the cinema of East Asia, South Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. We will study these works with special emphasis on film language, aesthetics, and politics, as well as film style and genre. Along the way, we will explore a number of key terms and concepts, including colonialism, postcolonialism, form, realism, surrealism, futurism, orientalism, modernity, postmodernity, hegemony, the subaltern, and globalization. Filmmakers will include, among others, Wong Kar-wai, Satyajit Ray, Shirin Neshat, Fernando Mereilles, Agnès Varda, and Werner Herzog.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Film Studies

Back to top

ENGL B217 Narratives of Latinidad

Fall 2022

This course explores how Latina/o writers fashion bicultural and transnational identities and narrate the intertwined histories of the U.S. and Latin America. We will focus on topics of shared concern among Latino groups such as struggles for social justice, the damaging effects of machismo and racial hierarchies, the politics of Spanglish, and the affective experience of migration. By analyzing a range of cultural production, including novels, poetry, testimonial narratives, films, activist art, and essays, we will unpack the complexity of Latinidad in the Americas.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Praxis Program

Back to top

ENGL B236 Latina/o Culture and the Art of Migration

Not offered 2022-23

Gloria Anzaldúa has famously described the U.S.-Mexico border as an open wound and the border culture that arises from this fraught site as a third country. This course will explore how Chicana/os and Latina/os creatively represent different kinds of migrations across geo-political borders and between cultural traditions to forge transnational identities and communities. We will use cultural production as a lens for understanding how citizenship status, class, gender, race, and language shape the experiences of Latin American migrants and their Latina/o children. We will also analyze alternative metaphors and discourses of resistance that challenge anti-immigrant rhetoric and reimagine the place of undocumented migrants and Latina/os in contemporary U.S. society. Over the course of the semester, we will probe the role that literature, art, film, and music can play in the struggle for migrants' rights and minority civil rights, querying how the imagination and aesthetics can contribute to social justice. We will examine a number of different genres, as well as read and apply key theoretical texts on the borderlands and undocumented migration.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

ENGL B237 Cultural Memory and State-Sanctioned Violence in Latinx Literature

Not offered 2022-23

This course examines how Latinx literature grapples with state-sanctioned violence, cultural memory, and struggles for justice in the Americas. Attending to the histories of dictatorship and civil war in Central and South America, we will focus on a range of genres--including novels, memoir, poetry, film, and murals--to explore how memory and the imagination can contest state-sanctioned violence, how torture and disappearances haunt the present, how hetereopatriarchal and white supremacist discourses are embedded in authoritarian regimes, and how U.S. imperialism has impacted undocumented migration. Throughout the course we will analyze the various creative techniques Latinx cultural producers use to resist violence and imagine justice.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

ENGL B279 Introduction to African Literature

Not offered 2022-23

Taking into account the oral, written, aural, and visual forms of African "texts" over several thousand years, this course will explore literary production, intertextuality, translation, and audience/critical reception. Representative works to be studied include oral traditions, the Sundiata and Mwindo epics, the plays of Wole Soyinka and his Burden of History, the Muse of Forgiveness; and the work of Sembène Ousmane, Bessie Head, Ayi Kwei Armah, Mariama Bâ, Naguib Mahfouz, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Yvonne Vera, and others.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Back to top

ENGL B345 Topics in Narrative Theory

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

ENGL B381 Post-Apartheid Literature

Not offered 2022-23

South African texts from several language communities which anticipate a post-apartheid polity and texts by contemporary South African writers which explore the complexities of life in "the new South Africa." Several films emphasize the minefield of post-apartheid reconciliation and accountability.

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Back to top

ENGL B388 Contemporary African Fiction

Not offered 2022-23

Noting that the official colonial independence of most African countries dates back only half a century, this course focuses on the fictive experiments of the most recent decade. A few highly controversial works from the 90's serve as an introduction to very recent work. Most works are in English. To experience depth as well as breadth, there is a small cluster of works from South Africa. With novels and tales from elsewhere on the huge African continent, we will get a glimpse of "living in the present" in history and letters.

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Back to top

FREN B207 Ouvrir la voix: Introduction aux études francophones

Fall 2022

This course provides students with an overview of foundational concepts, methods and texts relevant to Francophone Studies. We will engage with past and present debates relating to identity, diversity, nation and empire in the colonial and postcolonial contexts and explore the specificity of Francophone Studies with regards to the field of postcolonial studies. While focused on literature, the course will also explore other forms of cultural production (movies, graphic novels, political speeches, etc.) from sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb, the Caribbean and Vietnam. The course will train students in literary analysis and develop their ability to speak and write critically in French. Prerequisites: FREN 102 or 105.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

FREN B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

Spring 2023

By bringing together the study of major theoretical currents of the 20th century and the practice of analyzing literary works in the light of theory, this course aims at providing students with skills to use literary theory in their own scholarship. The selection of theoretical readings reflects the history of theory (psychoanalysis, structuralism, narratology), as well as the currents most relevant to the contemporary academic field: Post-structuralism, Post-colonialism, Gender Studies, and Ecocriticism. They are paired with a diverse range of short stories (Poe, Kafka, Camus, Borges, Calvino, Morrison, Djebar, Ngozi Adichie) that we discuss along with our study of theoretical texts. The class will be conducted in English with an additional hour in French for students wishing to take it for French credit.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

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

Fall 2022

This study of selected women authors from Latin CE-Carolingian period through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and 17th century--among them, Perpetua, Hrotswitha, Marie de France, the trobairitz, Christine de Pisan, Louise Labé, Marguerite de Navarre, and Madame de Lafayette--examines the way in which they appropriate and transform the male writing tradition and define themselves as self-conscious artists within or outside it. Particular attention will be paid to identifying recurring concerns and structures in their works, and to assessing their importance to women's writing in general: among them, the poetics of silence, reproduction as a metaphor for artistic creation, and sociopolitical engagement. Prerequisite: two 200-level courses or permission of instructor.

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Back to top

FREN B312 Advanced Topics in Literature

Section 001 (Fall 2021): Réalités et imaginaires du Maghreb

Spring 2023

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisites: two 200-level courses.

Counts Toward Counts toward Middle Eastern/Central Asian/North African Studies

Back to top

FREN B325 Topics: Etudes avancées

Not offered 2022-23

An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilization. This is a topics course. Course content varies. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects: La Révolution française: Histoire, littérature et culture; L'environnement naturel dans la culture française; Mal et valeurs éthiques; Le Cinéma et la politique, 1940-1968; Le Nationalisme en France et dans les pays francophones; Étude socio-culturelle des arts du manger en France du Moyen Age à nos jours; Crimes et criminalité; Ecrire la Grande Guerre: 1914-10; Le "Rentrée Littéraire"; Proust/Baudelaire; L'Humain et l'environnement.

Back to top

FREN B326 Etudes avancées

Section 001 (Spring 2022): La liberté ou la mort
Section 002 (Spring 2022): La France en représentation

Not offered 2022-23

An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilization. This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Back to top

FREN B350 Voix médiévales et échos modernes

Not offered 2022-23

A study of selected 19th- and 20th-century works inspired by medieval subjects, such as the Grail and Arthurian legends and the Tristan and Yseut stories, and by medieval genres, such as the roman, saints' lives, or the miracle play. Among the texts and films studied are works by Bonnefoy, Cocteau, Flaubert, Genevoix, Giono, and Gracq.

Back to top

GERM B223 Topics in German Cultural Studies

Section 001 (Fall 2021): Seeing and Being Seen
Section 001 (Spring 2023): Under Surveillance: From ETA Hoffmann to Christa W

Spring 2023

Section 001 (Fall 2021): Seeing and Being Seen Section 001 (Spring 2023): Under Surveillance: From ETA Hoffmann to Christa W This is a topics course. Course content varies. Recent topics include Remembered Violence, Global Masculinities, and Crime and Detection in German. Current topic description (spring 2023): Taught in English. This course investigates different cultures of hyper-visibility and shifting notions of the power of the gaze and spectatorship as tied to techniques of social observation and control. It explores their connections to different modes of artistic and literary production before and after the rise of modern authoritarian states and technologies of mass surveillance. Starting in the eighteenth century, physiognomy emerges not only as a technique of reading faces, but as a popular pastime whose sinister afterlife becomes a foundation for Nazi racial science. Haunting tales from Romantic and Gothic authors invoke a supernatural surveillance that give rise to compelling genres and allow readers to visualize a modern, uncertain depth of subjectivity and nature of reality. Towards the beginning of the twentieth century, the flaneur's ambulatory gaze mobilizes a new experience of city life as other visual technologies like photography and film become more ubiquitous. Around the same time, the hyper-visibility of hysterical women inspire innovative forms of narration that intertwine exhibitionism, voyeurism, and a gendered critique of the gaze. And finally, the mass surveillance by the state - both real and imagined- prompts us to look more carefully at the powers afforded to visibility and invisibility, and the literary representations of those powers. Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC) Critical Interpretation (CI) Writing Attentive

Current topic description: Taught in English. This course investigates different cultures of hyper-visibility and shifting notions of the power of the gaze and spectatorship as tied to techniques of social observation and control. It explores their connections to different modes of artistic and literary production before and after the rise of modern authoritarian states and technologies of mass surveillance. Starting in the eighteenth century, physiognomy emerges not only as a technique of reading faces, but as a popular pastime whose sinister afterlife becomes a foundation for Nazi racial science. Haunting tales from Romantic and Gothic authors invoke a supernatural surveillance that give rise to compelling genres and allow readers to visualize a modern, uncertain depth of subjectivity and nature of reality. Towards the beginning of the twentieth century, the flaneur's ambulatory gaze mobilizes a new experience of city life as other visual technologies like photography and film become more ubiquitous. Around the same time, the hyper-visibility of hysterical women inspire innovative forms of narration that intertwine exhibitionism, voyeurism, and a gendered critique of the gaze. And finally, the mass surveillance by the state - both real and imagined- prompt us to look more carefully at the powers afforded to visibility and invisibility, and the literary representations of those powers.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

HART B235 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema

Spring 2023

This course is writing intensive. An introduction to the analysis of film and other lensed, time-based media through particular attention to the role of the spectator. Why do moving images compel our fascination? How exactly do spectators relate to the people, objects, and places that appear on the screen? Wherein lies the power of images to move, attract, repel, persuade, or transform their viewers? Students will be introduced to film theory through the rich and complex topic of identification. We will explore how points of view are framed by the camera in still photography, film, television, video games, and other media. Prerequisite: one course in History of Art at the 100-level or permission of the instructor. Enrollment preference given to majors and minors in History of Art and Film Studies. Fulfills Film Studies Introductory or Theory course requirement. This course was formerly numbered HART B110; students who previously completed HART B110 may not repeat this course.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Counts toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Visual Studies

Back to top

ITAL B212 Italy Today

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Course content varies. This bridge class, taught in Italian, is designed to familiarize students with the shifting cultural panorama of present-day Italy (and its metamorphosing language) through a variety of readings by living authors, journalists, comic-book artists, intellectuals, and politicians.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Back to top

ITAL B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

Not offered 2022-23

What is a postcolonial subject, a queer gaze, a feminist manifesto? And how can we use (as readers of texts, art, and films) contemporary studies on animals and cyborgs, object oriented ontology, zombies, storyworlds, neuroaesthetics? In this course we will read some pivotal theoretical texts from different fields, with a focus on race&ethnicity and gender&sexuality. Each theory will be paired with a masterpiece from Italian culture (from Renaissance treatises and paintings to stories written under fascism and postwar movies). We will discuss how to apply theory to the practice of interpretation and of academic writing, and how theoretical ideas shaped what we are reading. Class conducted in English, with an additional hour in Italian for students seeking Italian credit.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Back to top

ITAL B216 Body and Mind

Not offered 2022-23

In this course, we will explore representations of the relationship between body and mind, starting from 19th-century Russian novels that conceptualize love as a physical ailment and ending with the history of Alzheimer's disease. Talking about the relationship between body and mind will allow us to investigate how gender roles and models of womanhood and masculinity shaped the evolution of modern sciences, from psychiatry to obstetrics. Investigating how bodies have been (and continue to be) read, we will discuss systems created to police societies by cataloguing bodies, from Lombroso's phrenology to modern fingerprinting and face recognition softwares. Finally, we will consider how our understanding of the relationship between body and mind has changed over time. Many of the theories we will discuss during the semester are now considered outdated pseudo-science - but how can we conceptualize the difference between science and pseudo-science? As new categories and disease designations appear to substitute the old ones, which are the implications of creating a label for a constellation of existing symptoms? The course will be taught entirely in English. There will be an optional hour in Italian for students of Italian.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Back to top

ITAL B302 Italo Calvino transnational writer

Spring 2023

Italo Calvino is one of the best-known Italian writers in the world - but in addition to being the author of numerous novels and short stories, Calvino was a translator, and editor and - perhaps most importantly - a reader. His activity provides us with a window into the Italian editorial landscape and its connection with foreign literary markets and traditions. Analyzing Calvino's letters to his colleagues at the publishing house Einaudi, his famous risvolti, introductions, and book reviews, we will reflect on the journey of texts from their selection and translation, to their publication, to their promotion and reception. We will discuss books as complex and stratified objects, reflecting on how editorial choices shape the reception and interpretation of a text. In exploring Calvino's engagement with other people's books, we will focus on the international dimension of his work, his personal and professional connections with France - where he lived for several years - with South America, Russia, and the United States. Such an emphasis on Calvino as a transnational reader and writer reflects and illuminates the peculiarity of the Italian editorial and literary ecosystem, in which translation has a central role.

Back to top

ITAL B308 Rome as Palimpsests: from Ruins to Virtual Reality

Not offered 2022-23

From the urban dream that Raphael confessed to pope Leo X in the middle of the Renaissance to the parkour on the top of the Colosseum in the Assassin's Creed videogames, Rome has always been both a memory and a vision: a place of nostalgia and endless potential. In this course we will investigate some crucial places, moments, and ideas in the modern history of this ancient capital of Western culture: XVI century Mannerist painting and the Pop Art of Piazza del Popolo, the early modern re-uses of the Colosseum and its cubic clone designed under fascism, the narrations of Romantic grand-tours and the ones of contemporary postcolonial authors. We will adopt a trans-historical and inter-disciplinary perspective, focusing on the main attempts to revive the glory of the ancient empire. We will try to understand weather Italy's capital is a museum to be preserved, an old laboratory of urban innovations, a cemetery, a sanctuary, or simply an amalgam of past and future, glory and misery, beauty and horror. For Italian majors you will have an additional hour for credit. Prerequisite: One two-hundred level course for students interested in taking the course towards Italian credits.

Counts Toward Counts toward Museum Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Praxis Program

Back to top

ITAL B309 Renaissance Imagology--Tales, Visions & Maps of the Silk Road

Not offered 2022-23

Unlike those of most European nations, Italy's Renaissance was not an age of geographical expansion--as a matter of fact, Italy didn't even exist, as a nation, up until a century and a half ago. And yet, it was in Italian ports and courts that the geographical experiences and fantasies of cartographers, merchants, poets, painters, and narrators gave to Europe the cultural tools to imagine the world beyond the boundaries of its smallest continent. This collective, introvert work of invention and description fueled the defining atrocities of what we call modernity, from colonialism to the slave trade. It also produced fantastical (and yet incredibly detailed) accounts of supposedly transitional places, challenging what we today consider geographical knowledge and establishing a paradigm to experience the world without leaving one's room. In this course, we will try to understand the difference between reading about a place and experiencing it. We will study ports and courts as planetariums, poems as atlases, and maps as works of fiction. A large portion of the course will be devoted to Marco Polo's description of the silk road, to Italo Calvino's postmodern re-writing of Polo's real and fictional journeys, and to Venice as both the starting point and destination of such virtual experiences of the silk road. We will also consult Petrarch's travel guides to places that he only visited as a reader, read the Asian adventures of Ludovico Ariosto's paladins flying on the Hippogriff, and analyze masterpieces of early modern cartography such as the Cantino planisphere and the Fra Mauro globe, which we will see in Italy. Renaissance texts and images will be studied alongside 20th century works that they inspired: metaphysical paintings, avant-garde poems made out of place names, operas, and experimental novels. The last places we will visit are the ports that are considered, today, as parts of the so called "new silk road": Genova and Trieste. For students enrolling in the 360 cluster: No knowledge of Italian is required. For students enrolling only in this class, for Departmental credit: Completion of ITAL102 or instructor's permission.

Course does not meet an Approach

Back to top

ITAL B312 Black, Queer, Jewish Italy

Not offered 2022-23

This seminar approaches the two most studied phases of Italian history, the Renaissance and the 20th century, by placing what we call 'otherness' at the center of the picture rather than at its supposed margins. The main aim is to challenge traditional accounts of Italian culture, and to look at pivotal events and phenomena (the rise of Humanism, the rise of fascism, courtly culture, the two World Wars, 16th century art, futurism) from the point of view of black, queer, and Jewish protagonists, authors, and fictional characters. Our theoretical bedrock will be offered by modern and contemporary thinkers such as Fred Moten, Antonio Gramsci, Edie Segdwick, and Hannah Arendt. Our primary sources will come from cultural epicenters of Renaissance, Baroque, and late Modern Italy, such as Leo X papal court, fascist Ferrara, 17th century Venice, and colonial Libya. In class, we will adopt a trans-historical, intersectional, and interdisciplinary perspective inspired by Fred Moten's work, which will serve as the poetic common ground for our investigations. Themes and issues will be analyzed at the crossing of the two historical phases and of the three topics in exam, and the material will include historical and theoretical analyses, narrative texts, poems, films, and visual art. The course is taught in English. No previous knowledge of Italian is required, as readings will be in English translation. An additional hour in Italian will be offered for departmental credits. Students taking the course for departmental credit will also read part of the readings in the original language, and produce three short response-papers in Italian in lieu of the Midterm.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Counts toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward International Studies

Back to top

ITAL B313 Primo Levi, the Writer

Not offered 2022-23

Today Primo Levi is one of the most widely read Italian writers of post-World War II in Italy and abroad. Even though still known primarily for his contributions to Holocaust testimony and theory, paradoxical as it may seem, the experience of Auschwitz and his need to tell proved to be the initial impulse that drove Levi to continue to write until his death as a critical engagement of the Western classical canon and civilization that in the end created Auschwitz. In addition to being a memoirist, he was a columnist, novelist, writer of short stories and fantasy tales, many of which touch on science fiction, a literary critic, poet, essayist, and he also tried his hand as translator (of Kafka's The Trial) and playwright. He has also been the subject of countless illuminating interviews, many of which have been translated into English. Levi is one of most prolific writers of our time, earning the right to be regarded simply as a well-respected writer, as he himself wished, with no other qualifications added. This course will be taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL B102 or permission of instructor.

Back to top

ITAL B316 Mountaineering Heroes: Masculinity and Nation-building

Fall 2022

Narration is an intrinsic component of the practice of mountaineering: ascents are conducted in isolation and need to be documented in order to be validated. In the 20th century, with the professionalization of this practice, mountaineering narratives became widespread across a broad range of genres and platforms - from the memoirs of illustrious alpinists to novels and short stories, to propaganda material and articles in popular magazines. In this course, we will focus on Italian mountaineering heroes, exploring how their construction and evolution was shaped by models of masculinity and (less frequently) of womanhood, colonialism and nation-building ideals, and by shifting understandings of the relationship between humans and the environment. We will discus the symbolical and political role of alpine ascents in the Italian unification and in the first world war. We will study Fascist alpinists and the legacy of Fascist, individualist and white supremacist rhetoric in today's mountaineering narratives. At the same time, however, we will encounter groups of alpinists and climbers who challenged this rhetoric, seeking to reframe ascents as play, rather than conquest, influenced by youth movements and the novel American alpinism.All readings and class discussion will be in English. Students will have to option of attending an additional hour of class taught in Italian or in Russian

Back to top

ITAL B325 Literature and Film, Literature into Films and Back

Not offered 2022-23

This course is a critical analysis of Modern Italian society through cinematic production and literature, from the Risorgimento to the present. According to Alfred Hitchock's little stories, two goats were eating the reel of a movie taken from a famous novel. "I liked the book better," says one to the other. While at times we too chew on movies taken from books, our main objective will not be to compare books and films, but rather to explore the more complex relation between literature and cinema: how text is put into film, how cultural references operate with respect to issues of style, technique, and perspective. We will discuss how cinema conditions literary imagination, and how literature leaves its imprint on cinema. We will "read" films as "literary images" and "see" novels as "visual stories". Students will become acquainted with literary sources through careful readings; on viewing the corresponding film, students will consider how narrative and descriptive textual elements are transposed into cinematic audio/visual elements. An important concern of this course will be to analyze the particularity of each film/book in relation to a set of themes -gender, death, class, discrimination, history, migration- through close textual analysis. We shall use contemporary Film theory and critical methodology to access these themes.

Counts Toward Counts toward Film Studies

Back to top

RUSS B220 Chernobyl

Spring 2023

This course introduces students to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, its consequences, and its representations across a range of cultures and media through a comparative lens and as a global phenomenon. Culture meets ecology, science, history, and politics. Taught in translation.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Back to top

RUSS B238 Topics: The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945

Not offered 2022-23

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Visual Studies

Back to top

SPAN B211 Borges y sus lectores

Not offered 2022-23

Primary emphasis on Borges and his poetics of reading; other writers are considered to illustrate the semiotics of texts, society, and traditions. Prerequisite: SPAN B120; or another SPAN 200-level course. Critical Interpretation (CI). Counts toward Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

SPAN B252 Compassion, Indignation, and Anxiety in Latin American Film

Not offered 2022-23

Stereotypically, Latin Americans are viewed as "emotional people"--often a euphemism to mean irrational, impulsive, wildly heroic, fickle. This course takes this expression at face value to ask: Are there particular emotions that identify Latin Americans? And, conversely, do these "people" become such because they share certain emotions? Can we find a correlation between emotions and political trajectories? To answer these questions, we will explore three types of films that seem to have, at different times, taken hold of the Latin American imagination and feelings: melodramas (1950s-1960s), documentaries (1970s-1990s), and "low-key" comedies (since 2000s.)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Counts toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

SPAN B260 Ariel/Calibán: colonialismo y neocolonialismo

Not offered 2022-23

A study of the transformations of Ariel/Calibán as images of Latin American and Caribbean cultures. Prerequisite: B120 or another SPAN 200-level course.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

SPAN B311 Crimen y detectives en la narrativa hispánica contemporánea

Not offered 2022-23

An analysis of the rise of the hard-boiled genre in contemporary Hispanic narrative and its contrast to classic detective fiction, as a context for understanding contemporary Spanish and Latin American culture. Discussion of pertinent theoretical implications and the social and political factors that contributed to the genre's evolution and popularity. Prerequisite: at least one SPAN 200-level course.

Back to top

SPAN B317 Poéticas de poder y deseo en el Siglo de Oro español

Not offered 2022-23

The poetry cultivated during the Renaissance and Baroque Spain was not an idle aesthetic practice. We discover in the rich poetic practice of the era preoccupations with historical, social and political themes, including discourses of power and empire, racial difference, and the representation of women as objects of desire. In addition, we will consider the self-fashioning and subjectivity of the lyric voice, theories of parody and imitation, and the feminine appropriation of the male poetic tradition. Although the course will deal primarily with the poetry of Spain, readings will include texts from Italy, France, England, and Mexico. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: at least one 200-level course.

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

SPAN B332 Novelas de las Américas

Not offered 2022-23

What do we gain by reading a Latin American or a US novel as "American" in the continental sense? What do we learn by comparing novels from "this" America to classics of the "other" Americas? Can we find through this Panamericanist perspective common aesthetics, interests, conflicts? In this course we will explore these questions by connecting and comparing major US novels with Latin American classics of the 20th and 21st century. We will read these works in clusters to illuminate aesthetic, political and cultural resonances and affinities. This course is taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: at least one SPAN 200-level course.

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

SPAN B370 Literatura y delincuencia

Not offered 2022-23

A study of the origins, development and transformation of the picaresque genre from its origins in 16th- and 17th-century Spain through the 21st century. Using texts, literature, painting, and film from Spain and Latin America, we will explore topics such as the construction of the fictive self, the poetics and politics of criminality, transgression in gender and class. Among the topics to be discussed: criminalization of poverty, prostitution, and the feminine picaresque. Prerequiste: At least one SPAN 200-level course. Course fulfills pre-1700 requirement and HC's pre-1898 requirement.

Counts Toward Counts toward Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies

Back to top

flowers

Contact Us

Comparative Literature

Old Library 103
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5198
Fax: 610-526-7479

Shiamin Kwa
Co-Chair and Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Co-Director of Comparative Literature
Phone: 610-526-5671
skwa@brynmawr.edu

Maud McInerney, Co-Director and Major Advisor
The Laurie Ann Levin Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English
Woodside Cottage 203, Haverford College
Phone: 610-896-1156
mmcinern@haverford.edu

Oliva Cardona, Program Assistant
Phone: 610-526-5198
ocardona@brynmawr.edu