Undergraduate Courses

LITR 020: French Literature in Global Context

Introduction to contemporary French fiction in a global perspective. Close readings of prizewinning novels by writers of the former French Empire—in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean—alongside key manifestos and theoretical essays that define or defy the notion of world literature.

 

Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.

Professor: Jill Jarvis
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:35a.m. - 125:50p.m.

LITR 140: How to Compare

Exploration of literary comparison. Study of different literary and aesthetic objects, as well as different means and ends that such comparisons can have. Topics range from theories of translation and ekphrasis to proper use of archives. Readings include works by Borges, Andre Breton, Chen Kaige, Hafiz, Dickinson, Ovid, Durrenmatt, Murasaki Shikubu, Mambety, and Segalen; the paintings of Mantegna, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio; as well as the Pancatantra, Arabian Nights, and the oral epics of the Haida. Junior seminar; preference given to juniors and majors.

Professor: Robyn Creswell, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

LITR 152: Sanskrit Classics in Translation

The chief genres of Sanskrit secular literature set against the background of the cultural history of ancient India. Various literary styles compared with those of other world literary traditions.

Professor: David Brick
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Thursday, 1:30-3:20

LITR 154: The Bible as Literature

Study of the Bible as a literature—a collection of works exhibiting a variety of attitudes toward the conflicting claims of tradition and originality, historicity and literariness.

Pre-1800 with completion of supplementary assignments in the language of the King James Bible. If there is sufficient interest, a second section will be offered.

Professor: Leslie Brisman
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 2:30p.m.-3:45p.m.

LITR 169.01: Epic in the European Literary Tradition

The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and Joyce’s Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 1:00p.m. - 2:15p.m.

LITR 169.02: Epic in the European Literary Tradition

The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and Joyce’s Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Professor: Katja Lindskog
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 2:30p.m.-3:45p.m.

LITR 172: Man and Nature in Chinese Literature

An exploration of man and nature in traditional Chinese literature, with special attention to aesthetic and cultural meanings. Topics include the concept of nature and literature; neo-Taoist self-cultivation; poetry and Zen (Chan) Buddhism; travel in literature; loss, lament, and self-reflection in song lyrics; nature and the supernatural in classical tales; love and allusions to nature; religious pilgrimage and allegory.

All readings in translation; no knowledge of Chinese required. Some Chinese texts provided for students who read Chinese. Formerly CHNS 200

Professor: Kang-I Chang
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

LITR 180: Women in the Middle Ages

Medieval understandings of womanhood examined through analysis of writings by and/or about women, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Introduction to the premodern Western canon and assessment of the role that women played in its construction.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30p.m. - 3:45p.m.

LITR 182: Medieval Romance

A study of some of the principal forms of Arthurian, chivalric, courtly, and parodic romances of medieval French and English tradition.

Professor: R. Howard Bloch, Professor: Ardis Butterfield
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00p.m.-2:15p.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.

LITR 194: The Multicultural Middle Ages

Introduction to medieval English literature and culture in its European and Mediterranean context, before it became monolingual, canonical, or author-bound. Genres include travel writing, epic, dream visions, mysticism, the lyric, and autobiography, from the Crusades to the Hundred Years War, from the troubadours to Dante, from the Chanson de Roland to Chaucer.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 2:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 196: Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain

Introduction to the Golden Age of Hebrew poetry in Muslim Andalusia from the tenth century through the twelfth. Major figures of the period and the cultural and philosophical questions they confronted. The Judeo-Arabic social context in which the poetry emerged; critical issues pertaining to the study and transmission of this literature. Readings from the works of several poets.

Readings in translation. Additional readings in Hebrew available.

Professor: Peter Cole
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 245: Novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

Close reading of major novels by two of Russia’s greatest authors. Focus on the interrelations of theme, form, and literary-cultural context. Readings and discussion in English.

Professor: Molly Brunson
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30p.m. - 3:20p.m.

LITR 251: Japanese Literature after 1970

Study of Japanese literature published between 1970 and the present. Writers may include Murakami Ryu, Maruya Saiichi, Shimada Masahiko, Nakagami Kenji, Yoshimoto Banana, Yamada Eimi, Murakami Haruki, and Medoruma Shun.

Enrollment limited to 20. No knowledge of Japanese required.

Professor: Stephen Poland
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 2:30p.m.-3:45p.m.

LITR 265: China in the World

Recent headlines about China in the world, deciphered in both modern and historical contexts. Interpretation of new events and diverse texts through transnational connections. Topics include China and Africa, Mandarinization, labor and migration, Chinese America, nationalism and humiliation, and art and counterfeit.

Readings and discussion in English.

Professor: Jing Tsu
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 312: The Russian Short Story and Beyond

Examination of the hugely important, but often ignored short story form, primarily in Russia from the early nineteenth-century onward. Reading of important works by major artists of the short story like Karamzin, Turgenev, Pisemsky, Tolstoy, Leskov, Chekhov, Bunin, Zaitsev, Gorky, Babel, Zoshchenko, and Pilnyak, as well as lesser known work, using tools from the digital humanities. Knowledge of Russian useful but not required.

Professor: John MacKay
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 324A: Latin American Political Thought in Comparative Perspective

Historical examination of Latin American political thought through key texts in the history of political theory in the Spanish-American continent and through the lens of comparative political theory.

Professor: Diego von Vacano
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Thursday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 332: Narratives of Blackness in Latino and Latin America

Focus on the cultural and literary treatments of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latina/o subjectivity in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin America and in the United States through the study of literature, historical first-hand accounts, film, and scholarship produced from the 16th century to the present. Themes include slave insurrections, the plantation system, piracy and buccaneering, the black roots of several Latin American musical genres, miscegenation, and the central role of sexuality in race-based social hierarchies.

Professor: Dixa Ramirez
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:30p.m.-3:20p.m.

LITR 334: Zombies, Pirates, Ghosts, and Witches

Study of the literature and history of the Atlantic Caribbean region (including the U.S. Northeast and Deep South) through its most subversive and disturbing icons—zombies, pirates, ghosts, vampires, and witches. Texts include Francis Drake on piracy, Katherine Dunham on zombies, Lauren Derby on vampires (chupacabras), Maryse Condé and Sandra Cisneros on witchcraft, and Toni Morrison and William Faulkner on ghosts. Films include documentaries and several horror classics, including White Zombie (1932), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), The Witch (2015), and Get Out (2017).

Professor: Dixa Ramirez
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:30p.m.-4:20p.m.

LITR 342: Jewish Literary Masterpieces

Exploration of the nature of Jewish identity through a literary prism, focusing on novels, stories, poetry, and homilies. Study of texts written over a three thousand year period by Jews living in the Middle East, Europe, and America, from biblical writings through modern works composed by Franz Kafka, Philip Roth, as well as Israeli Literature. Special attention given to the role of gender, minority identities, and the idea of nationalism. Taught in translation, readings in English.

Professor: Hannan Hever
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2018
Day/Time: Wednesday, 3:30p.m.-5:20p.m.

Pages