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.

An exploration of literary comparison from methodological as well as historical perspectives. We compare texts within genres (stories and stories), across genres (poems and paintings), across periods (classical and modern), and between cultures and languages. We consider questions such as whether all comparisons must assume a common ground, and whether there is always an implicit politics to any comparison. Topics range from theories of translation and ekphrasis, to exoticism and untranslatibility. Readings include texts by Auerbach, Borges, Andre Breton, Hafiz, Victor Segalen and Edward Said; and films by Chen Kaige and Pasolini.

Professor: Robyn Creswell, Professor: Jing Tsu
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:30pm-4:20pm

LITR 143: World Cinema

Development of ways to engage films from around the globe productively. Close analysis of a dozen complex films, with historical contextualization of their production and cultural functions. Attention to the development of critical skills. Includes weekly screenings, each followed immediately by discussion.

Professor: Dudley Andrew, Professor: Marta Figlerowicz
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 11:35am-12:50pm Screening Monday 6:30pm-9:30pm

LITR 151: The Wisdom of Ancient Egypt

Overview of the different text genres attested in ancient Egypt. Critical analysis of primary sources and their important role in the reconstruction of the history and cultural aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization.

Prerequisite: general introductory class on the Egyptian history and culture, or permission of the instructor.

Professor: Christina Geisen
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm-5:20pm

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 165: The Invention of the Classic

The discourse of classicism from antiquity to modern times. Contemporary debates over the value of the classics in education; the emergence of classics as a discipline; changing definitions of the classic across time; notions commonly associated with the classics such as timelessness, beauty, and canon. Readings from Cicero, Horace, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Winckelmann, Eliot, Gadamer, Foucault, Kermode, Calvino, and Nussbaum.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm-3:20pm

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 169: 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 2019
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 11:35am-12:50pm

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 175: Japan's Classics in Text and Image

An introduction to the Japanese classics (poetry, narrative fiction, drama) in their manifestations in multiple media, especially in the visual and material realm. Special reference to and engagement with a simultaneous Yale University Art Gallery installation of rare books, paintings, and other works of art from Japan.  No knowledge of Japanese required. Formerly JAPN 200.

Professor: Edward Kamens, Professor: Mimi Yiengpruksawan
Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:35am-12:50pm

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.

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 2019
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 1:00pm-2:15pm

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 184: Women and the Supernatural in Medieval Literature

Study of medieval texts from a wide geographic and chronological range, all of which prominently feature female characters that exhibit supernatural features or practice magic. Narratives about fairies, witches, hags, and monstrous women analyzed in order to explore intersections of gender and sexuality, Otherness, ethics, violence, fantasy, and related themes in medieval culture.

Course Type: Undergraduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Monday, 1:30pm-3:20pm

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.