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Spring 2010

Comp. Lit. 70100 - Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies
GC: Tues., 2:00-4:00 p.m. 4 cr., Prof. Carroll
(crosslisted with RSCP 82100) (10257)

Comp. Lit. 70300 - Literature and the Ancient World: Latin
GC: Wed., 4:15-6:15 p.m., Prof. Stern
(permission of instructor required)(10258)

Comp. Lit. 79500 - Theory and Practice of Literary Scholarship and Criticism
GC: Tues., 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Lombardi (10259)

Comp. Lit. 79800 - Independent Studies
Variable credit up to 6, Staff

Comp. Lit. 80100 - The Tristan Legend
GC: Thurs., 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Oppenheimer (10261)

Comp. Lit. 84000 - The Emergence of German Romanticism
GC: Mon., 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Rupprecht (10262)

Comp. Lit. 88200 - The Disquieting Muses: Modern and Contemporary Italian Poetry
GC: Wed., 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr. Prof. Tamburri (10263)

Comp. Lit. 88300 - Narratives of Waiting: Traveling, Displacement, Affect
GC: Mon., 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Paulicelli
(crosslisted with WSCP 81000)(10264)

Comp. Lit. 89000 - The Historical Turn and Its Discontents: From Philology to Globalism
GC: Mon., 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Elsky (10265)

Comp. Lit. 89200 - History of Literary Theory and Criticism II
GC: Tues., 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Aciman (10266)

Comp. Lit. 89800 -Independent Studies
Variable credit up to 6, Staff

Comp. Lit. 90000 - Dissertation Supervision
GC: 1 cr, Staff

NYU Italian Courses

(Classes to be given at Casa Italiana at 24 W. 12th St.)


CL 80101- Dante and Medieval Thought (in English)
NYU: Tues., 3:30-6:10 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Maria Luisa Ardizzone

CL 80102 - Court Culture in Renaissance Italy (taught in English)
NYU: Wed., 3:30-6:10 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Virginia Cox

CL 80103 - Topics in Italian Culture: Modernism and Anti-Modernism: The Case of Giorgio De Chirico (taught in English)
NYU: Thurs., 3:30-6:10 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Ara Merjian

CL 80104 - Topics in Italian Literature: The Poetry of Line: Printmaking in Italy 1500-1750 (taught in English)
NYU: Wed., 9:30-12:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Louise Rice


Course Descriptions

Comp. Lit. 71000
Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies
Prof. Carroll

Comp. Lit. 71000 / Renaissance Studies 82100 is designed to help students work on their own research for their dissertations, orals, or research papers in Renaissance Studies. We will study how the material conditions of texts influence their transmission and interpretation. Readings will include articles on the history of the book, as well as on literary and cultural history. We will also closely examine and read primary texts in manuscript and early printed form. Students will receive instruction in topics specifically related to research in the early modern period: codicology, paleography, textual editing and analytical bibliography. The major assignment for the course is an annotated bibliography. Other assignments include exercises in paleography, analytical bibliography, and an oral report related to one of the readings. We will make visits to the Manuscript and Rare Book Collections at the Morgan Library. Reading list (texts from which weekly readings will be selected, and useful reference works): Michelle P. Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts; Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts; A. Cappelli, Dizionario di Abbreviature latine ed italiane; Roger Chartier, Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer; Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe; Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book; Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, The Coming of the Book: the Impact of Printing 1450-1800;D. C. Greetham, Textual Scholarship: An Introduction; David Kastan, Shakespeare and the Book; James A. Knapp, Illustrating the Past in Early Modern England; articles by Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Cyndia Clegg, Robert Darnton, Arthur Marotti, William Sherman, and Peter Stallybrass.

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Comp. Lit. 70300
Literature and the Ancient World: Latin
Prof. Stern

This course will begin with a review of Latin grammar and syntax. We will then read weekly selections from various classical, medieval and renaissance authors; these will be translated and discussed during class meetings. Readings will be chosen from the following: Augustine, Bede, Boccaccio, Catullus, Cicero, Horace, Jerome, Livy, Lucretius, Medieval lyrics, More, Nepos, Ovid, Pliny, Vergil.

This course, if passed with the grade of B+ or better, will satisfy the ancient language requirement for the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. A suitable knowledge of Latin is prerequisite for the course and therefore permission of the instructor is required in order to register.

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Comp. Lit. 79500
Theory and Practice of Literary Scholarship and Criticism
Prof. Lombardi

This course will survey issues in contemporary literary theory, with particular attention to structuralism, reader-response theory, narratology, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, post-colonial and subaltern studies, neo-historicism, feminism, and cultural studies. Readings by Barthes, Gadamer, Eco, Genette, Lacan, Freud, Derrida, De Man, Johnson, Felman, Said, Appiah, Spivak, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray, Cixous, and others.

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Comp. Lit. 80100
The Tristan Legend
Prof. Oppenheimer

For at least a thousand years, torturous human conflicts between passion, or undying, obsessive love, and politics, or public responsibility, as well as between love and art, have found some of their most influential and fascinating representations in versions of the Tristan legend. The legend itself has exerted a profound influence, persisting into the present, on Western cultures, poets, musicians, painters, film-makers, and novelists. Starting with what may be its earliest-known appearance, in the eleventh-century Persian epic Vis and Ramin by Fakhraddin Gorgani (to be read in translation, as will other works, unless students have the languages), the course explores the Tristan story’s extraordinary movement westward into such masterpieces as the medieval Tristan by Béroul , Gottfried von Strassburg’s thirteenth-century Tristan, and the Morte D’Arthur by Malory, plus important modern changes in its characters and situations brought about by Swinburne, Richard Wagner (whose operatic inventions will be considered in detail), Thomas Mann, and F. Scott Fitzgerald: Tender Is the Night will be considered from the point of view that it reflects many of the poisonous, seductive, psychological, and mystical motifs of the original story. Cinematic treatments will be investigated, and where possible, shown. A brief, in-class presentation of a research topic. One research essay.

Texts (addenda to be supplied later):
Fakhraddin Gorgani. Vis and Ramin. Dick Davis trans. Penguin Classics.
Gottfried von Strassburg. Tristan. A. T. Hatto trans. Penguin.
Béroul. The Romance of Tristan: The Tale of Tristan’s Madness. Alan S. Fedrick trans. Penguin Classics.
Malory. Le Morte D’Arthur, etc. Keith Baines trans., Robert Graves intro. Signet Classics.
Richard Wagner (TBA): both opera and libretto.
Charles Algernon Swinburne. Tristram of Lyonesse. Various editions: see also editions of his complete poems.
Thomas Mann. Death in Venice and Seven Other Stories. Lowe-Porter trans. Various editions.
F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tender Is the Night. Various.

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Comp. Lit. 84000
The Emergence of German Romanticism
Prof. Rupprecht

In this seminar, we will discuss aspects of German Romanticism from Enlightenment to Idealism, including possible parallels to British Romanticism. We will focus on relevant theoretical concepts; and we will also read representative poems, novels and plays by selected major authors -- Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Hölderlin, Hegel. Special emphasis will be on more recent views, such as Walter Benjamin's reconstruction of Fr. Schlegel's concept of art as criticism. Requirements include a short presentation and a term paper.

    Projected Readings:

  • Lessing, Hamburg Dramaturgy No. 74-83
  • -----. Emilia Galotti
  • Schiller, Fr. "On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry"
  • -----. Don Carlos
  • Goethe, Tasso
  • -----. Wilhelm Meister (excerpts)
  • Schlegel, Fr. "Athenaeum-Fragment 116"
  • -----. "On Incomprehensibility"
  • -----. Lucinde
  • Hölderlin, Hyperion
  • Hegel, Preface to Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Benjamin, "The Concept of Art Criticism in German Romanticism"
  • De Man, "The Rhetoric of Temporality"
  • Poems by Wordsworth, Keats, and Byron

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Comp. Lit. 882000
The Disquieting Muses: Modern and Contemporary Italian Poetry
Prof. Tamburri

This course will concentrate in large part, though not exclusively, on Italian poetry of the second half of the twentieth century and the subsequent “turn of the century.” In addition to an anthological overview of Italian poetry during the first half of the twentieth century, the work of four poets will be highlighted from this period during the first part of the course: Giuseppe Ungaretti, Salvatore Quasimodo, Antonia Pozzi, and Eugenio Montale. The remainder of the course will be dedicated primarily to a majority of the following poets, though here, too, other poets will be examined:

Elisa Biagini, Maurizio Cucchi, Alfredo de Palchi, Luigi Fontanella, Biancamaria Frabotta, Alfredo Giuliani, Valerio Magrelli, Giuliana Nicolai, Sandro Penna, Antonio Porta, Giovanni Raboni, Silvio Ramat, Amelia Rosselli, Paolo Ruffilli, Edoardo Sanguineti, Vittorio Sereni, Gabriella Sica, Patrizia Valduga, Paolo Valesio, Andrea Zanzotto

Texts will include a major anthology that covers most of the twentieth century, one on poetry of the “secondo novecento,” and individual collections of some of the poets mentioned above. The written work will consist of three papers, each one a minimum of five, ten, and eighteen pages; the final (third) paper may be a revised, significantly expanded version of one of the two previous papers, demonstrating an intimate knowledge of the bibliography dedicated to the author in question. In addition, the student will hand in two typed pages for each week’s reading; this is to be a “first” analytical reading of the works read for that week.
Students will also do a formal presentation of one of the required works and/or poets. This may be the basis of either the second or third paper. There will not be a midterm or final exam. The student’s final grade will depend on written work, oral presentation, and class participation.

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Comp. Lit. 88300
Narratives of Waiting: Traveling, Displacement, Affect
Prof. Paulicelli

In describing narrative cinema, Roberto Rossellini speaks of his poetics thus: “Waiting is essential. Every solution is born from waiting. It is waiting which makes people live, which unchains reality; it is waiting which, after the preparation, gives liberation.”

Often, “waiting” has been associated with the idea of inaction and of feminine passivity in contrast to the assertive quality of action. Waiting, however, is intimately connected to desire and to the act of writing, and to some of the most important discoveries of the psyche, its collective history and memory; waiting establishes an intimacy in the process of knowledge that affects the self and its becoming. Waiting inhabits the space of the in-between and undefined borders.

The seminar aims at examining the diverse poetics of waiting and linking it to one of the most fruitful dimensions of travelling: namely, exploring the unfolding of events in both geographical and emotional space; the unexpected; the unprecedented. The seminar will develop the theoretical implications of this concept and how they are intertwined with different narratives of discovery and selfdiscovery. Authors will include Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino, Gianni Celati, Giorgio Manganelli, Bianca Maria Frabotta, Adriana Cavarero,Toni Maraini, and Rosi Braidotti; as well as Carmine Abate, Amara Lakhous, Salem Salwa and others, whose writings redefine the meanings of waiting and desire, of hybrid forms of identity, language and nation.

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Comp. Lit. 89000
The Historical Turn and Its Discontents: From Philology to Globalism
Prof. Elsky

An examination of the premises of the massive shift to historical thinking about language, literature, and culture, and the reaction against it based on a new set of cultural experiences. We will begin with seminal works that ground language and literature in historical cultures and institutions. We will consider the rise of historical thinking in the early modern period, its appropriation from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries as responses to decisive—even traumatic-- moments of historical, epochal change. Emphasis on the uses of philological historicism in the service of empire, nation, and religious ideology. Readings from Valla, Herder, Hegel, Auerbach, Foucault. We will then turn to the critique of historicism which began in the nineteenth century in counterpoint to historicism and which was later appropriated as effects of total war, transnational identity, and global migration were digested in late twentieth and early twenty-first-century awareness. Readings from Nietzsche, Benjamin, Bhabha, Casanova, and Levinas.

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Comp. Lit. 89200
History of Literary Theory and Criticism II
Prof. Aciman

A study of the development of thought about literature from the 18th century to the present day with readings from Kant, Lessing, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Pater, Wilde, Tolstoy, Shklovsky, Eliot, Lukacs, Barthes, Poulet, and Derrida. This course will not only address issues pertaining to the evolution of modern aesthetics but it will also examine current critical methodology.

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