LITR 304: Books, Displays, and Systems Theory
A status report on the book as a medium in an age of cybernetic technology and virtual reality. The contentious no-man’s land between books and contemporary systems.
Course multi titled as FILM357/GMAN602/GMAN408/CPLT621
LITR 307: Walter Benjamin and the Modernization of the Nineteenth-Century Paris
The radical modernization of Paris under the Second Empire (1851–70) as seen through the eyes of Walter Benjamin. Focus on Benjamin’s Arcades Project, a compendium that charted developments such as Parisian mass transit and streamlined traffic, the construction of apartment houses, and the dissemination of mass media. Readings from other literary texts on the same events include works by Balzac, Zola, and Aragon.
Course multi titled as GMAN645/CPLT589/GMAN374
LITR 310: Love in the Western World
Consideration and definition of the varieties of love by which we still live and which came into being in late Antiquity and the High Middle Ages.
Course multi titled as FREN227/HUMS257
LITR 314: Imperial and Anti-Imperial Writing
Examination of different modes of fiction developed across the twentieth century by writers from several continents as they engaged with immediate actualities and long aftermaths of European and American imperial involvements in Ireland, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Focus on modernist, realist, romance, epic, and historical narrative forms and on their cross-fertilization and critical possibilities. Authors may include Joseph Conrad, Thomas Mann, James Joyce, C. L. R. James, Doris Lessing, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Marguerite Duras, Monique Truong, Joseph O’Neill, and Ronan Bennett.
Course multi titled as ENGL319
Instructor: Joseph Cleary
LITR 315: Conversations between Ancient Greece, Africa, and the Black Diaspora
Investigation of the ways that black diasporic artists have engaged with, revised, and re-imagined Greco-Roman Classics, in order to both expose and critique discourses of racism, imperialism, and colonialism, and as a fertile source of mythological material. Students engage with a diverse array of materials, including collage, graphic novels, novels, oral literature, poetry, and film.
Course multi titled as CLCV239/AFST239/AFAM230
Instructors: Emily Greenwood, Sarah Derbew
LITR 319: Selfhood, Race, Class, and Gender
Examination of the fundamental notion of “the self” through categories of race, class, and gender as dimensions for understanding personhood. Introduction to major philosophical frameworks for thinking about “the self” from antiquity to the present; case studies from across the world and in different media, placing contemporary debates about these issues in historical perspective.
Course multi titled as WGSS269/ENGL230/ER&M225/HUMS402
LITR 320: Culture of Cold War in Europe
European culture during and after the Cold War. Focus on the relation of politics and dominant ideologies to their correlative literary and cinematic aesthetics models and to popular culture. Themes include totalitarianism, Eurocommunism, decolonization, espionage, state surveillance, the nuclear threat, sports, and propaganda.
Course multi titled as HIST275J/FILM368/MGRK233
LITR 330: Heidegger's Being and Time
Systematic, chapter by chapter study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, arguably the most important work of philosophy in the twentieth-century. All major themes addressed in detail, with particular emphasis on care, time, death, and the meaning of being.
Course multi titled as CPLT699
LITR 335: Cultural Encounters
Course multi titled as PORT341/ER&M441
Instructor: K. David Jackson
LITR 344: The Literature of Sprorts
Writers on sport examine ideas of beauty and human divinity; virtuosic performance; group identity; questions of race, class, and gender; global realities of migration; and the ubiquity of spectacle. Topics include origins and essence of play; and case studies in the literature of sports, including the Olympic games of classical Greece, bull fighting, Muhammad Ali, cricket and colonialism, and the globalization of soccer. Readings by Pindar, Hemingway, Huizinga, CLR James, Mailer, Delillo, Foster-Wallace, and Ben Fountain.
LITR 355: The Films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Haneke
Examination of representative films by three major German language auteurs. Topics include cinema’s investment in painting and theatricality, its relation to gendered, imaginary, and abject bodies and to the specificities of time and place; the fictions of the self that these auteurs construct; and how questions of identity intersect with ideology and the political.
Films subtitled; all readings and discussion in English.
Course multi titled as GMAN354/GMAN592/FILM459/FILM765
Instructor: Brigitte Peucker
LITR 359: Italian Film from Postwar to Postmodern
A study of important Italian films from World War II to the present. Consideration of works that typify major directors and trends. Topics include neorealism, self-reflexivity and metacinema, fascism and war, and postmodernism. Films by Fellini, Antonioni, Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Wertmuller, Tornatore, and Moretti.
Most films in Italian with English subtitles.
Course multi titled a ITAL303/FILM457
LITR 360: Radical Cinemas of Latin America
An introductory overview of Latin American cinema, with an emphasis on post-World War II films produced in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Examination of each film in its historical and aesthetic aspects, and in light of questions concerning national cinema and “third cinema.” Examples from both pre-1945 and contemporary films. Conducted in English; knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese helpful but not required.
LITR 368: Third Reich in Postwar German Film, 1945-2007
Close study of the intersection of aesthetics and ethics with regard to how German films, since 1945, have dealt with Nazi history. Through the study of German-language films (with subtitles), produced in postwar East, West, and unified Germany through 2007, students consider and challenge perspectives on the Third Reich and postwar Germany, while learning basic categories of film studies.
Course multi titled as GMAN273/FILM319
LITR 403: The City in Literature and Film
Consideration of the architecture, town planning, and symbolic functions of various cities in Europe, Latin America, the United States, and East Asia. Discussion of the representation of these cities in literature and film. Works include older Soviet and Chinese films about Shanghai and contemporary films about Hong Kong and Beijing.
Course multi titled as RUSS403/FILM442
LITR 406: World Literature
The concept of world literature, from its origins in eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism represented by Herder and Goethe up to contemporary critical debates (Apter, Casanova, Cheah, Damrosch, Dharwadker, I. Hesse, Moretti, Mufti, Pollock, Said, Spivak). World literature in relation to national literature, German-language, and Jewish literature; translation, untranslatability, the effect of markets, diaspora, politics. Literary critical readings supplemented by exemplary literary texts in multiple genres. Student contributions based on individual linguistic backgrounds.
Course multi titled as GMAN713/JDST679/JDST327/GMAN411/CPLT587/HUMS342
LITR 426: Feminist and Queer Theory
Historical survey of feminist and queer theory from the Enlightenment to the present, with readings from key British, French, and American works. Focus on the foundations and development of contemporary theory. Shared intellectual origins and concepts, as well as divergences and conflicts, among different ways of approaching gender and sexuality.
Course multi titled as WGSS340/ENGL357
Instructor: Jill Richards
LITR 441: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
The revolutionary ways in which Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud redefined the ends of freedom. Key works of the three authors on agency in politics, economics, epistemology, social life, and sexuality. Agency as individual or collective, as autonomous or heteronomous, and as a case of liberation or subversion. Additional readings from Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Weber.
Course multi titled as HUMS314/GMAN211/PHIL412
LITR 488: Directed Reading and/or Individual Research
Special projects in an area of the student’s particular interest set up with the help of a faculty adviser and the director of undergraduate studies. Projects must cover material not otherwise offered by the department, must terminate in at least a term paper or its equivalent, and must have the approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
Enrollment limited to Literature majors.
LITR 492: The Yearlong Senior Essay
An extended research project. Students must petition the curriculum committee for permission to enroll by the last day of classes in the term preceding enrollment in LITR 492. For students expecting to graduate in May, the senior essay is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) by September 8, a three-page prospectus signed by the student’s adviser; (2) by February 16, a full rough draft (not notes); (3) by April 13, the completed essay. December graduates should consult the director of undergraduate studies for required deadlines. The minimum length for a yearlong senior essay is forty pages.