Undergraduate Courses

CPLT 491: The Senior Essay

An independent writing and research project. The senior essay is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) by September 8 (for LITR 491a) or January 19 (for LITR 491b), a three-page prospectus signed by the student’s adviser; (2) by October 13 (for LITR 491a) or March 9 (for LITR 491b), a full rough draft (not notes); (3) by December 1 (for LITR 491a) or April 13 (for LITR 491b), the completed essay. The minimum length for an essay is twenty-five pages. Students are urged to arrange a topic and adviser early in the term before the term in which the essay is to be written.

Professor: Robyn Creswell
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017

LITR 130: How to Read

Introduction to techniques, strategies, and practices of reading through study of lyric poems, narrative texts, plays and performances, films, new and old, from a range of times and places. Emphasis on practical strategies of discerning and making meaning, as well as theories of literature, and contextualizing particular readings. Topics include form and genre, literary voice and the book as a material object, evaluating translations, and how literary strategies can be extended to read film, mass media, and popular culture. Junior seminar; preference given to juniors and majors.

Course multi titled as HUMS130

Professor: Katie Trumpener
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

LITR 168.01: Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition

The genre of tragedy from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome through the European Renaissance to the present day. Themes of justice, religion, free will, family, gender, race, and dramaturgy. Works include Homer’s Iliad and plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, and Soyinka. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Course multi titled as ENGL129

Professor: Ruth Yeazell
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday 11:35a.m.-12:50p.m.

LITR 168.02: Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition

The genre of tragedy from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome through the European Renaissance to the present day. Themes of justice, religion, free will, family, gender, race, and dramaturgy. Works include Homer’s Iliad and plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, and Soyinka. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Course multi titled as ENGL129

Professor: Timothy Robinson
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday 11:35a.m.-12:50p.m.

LITR 174: Women and Literature in Traditional China

A study of major women writers in traditional China, as well as representations of women by male authors. The power of women’s writing; women and material culture; women in exile; courtesans; Taoist and Buddhist nuns; widow poets; cross-dressing women; the female body and its metaphors; footbinding; notions of love and death; the aesthetics of illness; women and revolution; poetry clubs; the function of memory in women’s literature; problems of gender and genre.

All readings in translation; no knowledge of Chinese required. Some Chinese texts provided for students who read Chinese. Formerly CHNS 201.

Course multi titled as EALL211/WGSS405/EALL511

Professor: Kang-I Chang
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

LITR 178: Classics of the Arabic-Islamic World

Survey of the literary tradition of the Arabic-Islamic world (West Asia, North Africa, and Muslim Spain), a textual conversation among diverse authors from late antiquity to the Mamluk period. Prose and poetry from the Qur’an to the Arabian Nights; attention to the interdependence of the works and their cultural setting, the agendas authors pursued, and the characters they portrayed.

Course multi titled as CPLT654/NELC156/NELC556/MMES201

Professor: Shawkat Toorawa
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Wednesday & Friday, 2:30p.m.-3:45p.m.

LITR 181: Japanese Poetry and Poetics

Core concepts and traditions of classical Japanese poetry explored through the medium of translation. Readings from anthologies and treatises of the ninth through early twentieth centuries. Attention to recent critical studies in transcultural poetic theory. Inspection and discussion of related artifacts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Readings and discussion in English. No knowledge of Japanese required. Previous study of literary texts is recommended but not required.

Permission of instructor required

Course multi titled as EALL536/EALL236

Professor: Edward Kamens
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Wednesday & Friday, 9:00a.m.-10:15a.m.

LITR 183: Dante in Translation

A critical reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy and selections from the minor works, with an attempt to place Dante’s work in the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages by relating literature to philosophical, theological, and political concerns.

One discussion section conducted in Italian.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2016
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday 1:30p.m. - 2:20p.m.

A critical reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy and selections from the minor works, with an attempt to place Dante’s work in the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages by relating literature to philosophical, theological, and political concerns.

One discussion section conducted in Italian.

Course multi titled as HUMS180/ITAL310/ITAL530

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

LITR 195: Norse Sagas

Introduction to a wide range of sagas—prose texts similar to novels—written in medieval Iceland, to better understand the customs, ethics, social hierarchies, and values they express as well as their literary style and artistry. Written in a strikingly realistic style, themes encompass exploration and settlement of new lands, blood feud and honor codes, gender roles, and the paranormal.

Course multi titled as HUMS138

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday 9:00a.m.-10:15a.m.

LITR 199: Germanic Heroic Legend

Course multi titled as GMAN305/HUMS137

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

LITR 216: The Theology, Philosophy, Hassidism, and Politics of Martin Buber

An overview of the intellectual contributions of Martin Buber, one of the most influential Jewish thinkers in the 20th century. Study of his writings, including philosophical tractates; political analyses especially of Zionist ideology and the movement’s activities; literary writing and Hassidic tales, collections, and adaptations; his challenging writing on the Israeli-Arab conflict; and many theological innovative, paradigm-changing publications.

Course multi titled as PHIL209/GMAN216/JDST328

Instructor: Hannan Hever, Asaf Angermann

Professor: Hannan Hever
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday, 3:30p.m.-5:20p.m.

LITR 218: The Faust Tradition

The development of the Faust motif through time, from the period of the Renaissance and the Reformation to the twentieth century. Readings from the English adaptation of the original German chapbook and from works by Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Goethe, Wilde, Bulgakov, and Thomas Mann. Screenings of films with a Faustian theme.

Course multi titled as GMAN226

Professor: Jan Hagens
Course Type: Undergraduate
Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday, 2:30p.m.-3:45p.m.

LITR 219: Law and Literature in Kleist, Kafka, and Arendt

Introduction to the field of “law and literature” with a focus on German authors that have played an important role in its constitution. Topics include the depiction of legal topics in literary texts (law in literature), the textuality of legal forms (law as literature), and the structural affinity of law and literature as it is reflected in both literary and legal genres. Texts by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Kleist, Kafka, Benjamin, Arendt, Cover, Foucault, Derrida, Agamben, Posner, Felman, Vismann, Jelinek.

Course multi titled as GMAN359/HUMS331

Instructor: Katrin Trüstedt

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 221: Fernando Pessoa

Course multi titled as PORT380/PORT970

Instructor: K. David Jackson

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 239: Dionysus in Modernity

Modernity’s fascination with the myth of Dionysus. Questions of agency, identity and community, and psychological integrity and the modern constitution of the self. Manifestations of Dionysus in literature, anthropology, and music; the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy; twentieth-century variations of these themes in psychoanalysis, surrealism, and magical realism.

Course multi titled as WGSS209/MGRK216/CLCV216

Professor: George Syrimis
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Friday, 1:30p.m.-3:20pm

LITR 252: Machado de Assis

The place of Machado de Assis in world literature explored through close reading of his nine novels and selected stories in translation. Machado’s hybrid literary world, skeptical critique of empire in Brazil, and narrative constructions.

Readings and discussion in English; reading of texts in Portuguese for Portuguese majors.

Course multi titled as PORT350/PORT964

Instructor: K. David Jackson

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 255: Crime and Detective Fiction in East Asian Literature and Film

Exploration of East Asian literature, film, culture, and history through examination of the genre of “crime” or “detective” fiction. Topics include genre theory, as well as a variety of traveling themes in modernity, such as sexuality, surveillance, colonialism, scientific rationality, perversion, the urban, debt, violence, and transnational cultural flows.

Course multi titled as EALL289

Instructor: Stephen Poland

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 4:00p.m.-5:15p.m.

LITR 280: Caribbean Poetry

Survey of major twentieth-century Caribbean poets such as Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, and Aimé Césaire.

Course multi titled as ENGL335/AFAM338

Instructor: Anthony Reed

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Thursday, 1:30-3:20

LITR 284: Mad Poets of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French (and some German) poetry explored through the lives and works of poets whose ways of behaving, creating, and perceiving the world might be described as insane. Authors include Hölderlin, Nerval, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé, Lautréamont, Apollinaire, Breton, Artaud, and Celan.

Lectures in English; readings available both in original language and in English translation.

Course multi titled as GMAN214/FREN270

Instructor: Thomas Connolly

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Fall 2017
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 11:35a.m.-12:25p.m.

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