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Spring 2014

Comp. Lit. 70700 - Medicine/Medieval Intellectual Debates:  a Scientific Thread in XIII Century Italian Literature
GC:   T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Ureni   
 
Comp. Lit. 75100 - Psychoanalysis as Literature:  Scene of Childhood in Modernity       
GC:   W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Ender    
 
Comp. Lit.  78200 - Life, Histories, Self & Other       
GC:   W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Crapanzano (crosslisted with ANT 81000)
 
Comp. Lit. 79500 - Theory and Practice of Literary Scholarship and Criticism
GC:   T, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Lombardi
 
Comp. Lit.  80900 - Cervantes and the Crises in European Fiction
GC:   T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Schwartz
 
Comp. Lit. 85000 - Bi-Lingual/Polyglot Writers
GC:   M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Beaujour
 
Comp. Lit.  88000 - The Story of French & Italian:  Their Structure, Evolution and Contemporary Uses
GC:   TH, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Haller   
 
Comp. Lit. 89200 - History of Literary Theory and Criticism II     
GC:   T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Aciman

Comp. Lit. 80900 - Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies
GC: W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Carroll (crosslisted with RSCP  82100)
 
See Also: 
 
English 71100 - Early Modern Poetry and Poetics
GC:  TH, 4:15pm-6:15pm., Profs. Richard McCoy and Steven Monte
 
RSCP.  82100 - Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies
GC:  W, 2:00pm-4:00pm., 4 cr.  Prof. Carroll
 
Sociology 80700 - George Lukacs & Frankfurt School
GC:  TH, 4:15-6:15pm., 4 cr. Prof. Aronowitz

FREN. 77200 - Symbolism-Surrealism and After 
GC:   W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Caws (crosslisted with ART 70050)


Course Descriptions 
 
Comp. Lit.  70700 - Medicine/Medieval Intellectual      
Prof. Paola Ureni
Medical thought deeply contributes to medieval intellectual debates about the definition of the human soul and its happiness and specifically about the relationship between intellectual activity and the individual soul. The presence of medical thought in Dante’s writings (as well as other medieval literary texts) raises questions that pertain to both philosophical and theological fields. The scientific nature of medical investigation prompts to question the interaction between corporeal and intellective dimensions, and more specifically the nature of human intellection, its location, and its eventual limits. This course will explore the impact of medicine on philosophical and theological debates, as well as the literary response to such discussion. More specifically, we will focus on the resurgence of Galenic tradition and the renewed interest in Galenic texts which significantly characterize, for instance, medical teaching in Bologna during the 13th century, and particularly within the circle of Taddeo Alderotti. We will highlight how this rise of Galenism in medieval medicine went together with the rediscovery of Aristotelian natural science: based on their mutual scientific approaches and demonstrative methodologies the renewed diffusion of both Aristotelian and Galenic texts in the 13th century proceeds along parallel lines that sometimes intersect. We will consider Galenic and Aristotelian trends through the medical works of Taddeo Alderotti, Bartolomeo da Varignana, Avicenna, Averroes, and Albert the Great. Besides its dialogue with Aristotelianism, we will consider medicine in relation to the broader philosophical and theological discussion through the analysis of literary texts as well; among others, we will focus on authors such as Guido Cavalcanti, Dante Alighieri, and Cecco d’Ascoli. Through the focus on the literary level, we will address the question of whether the rhetorical level of medieval poetry allows the simultaneous presence of a plurivocal knowledge, which includes intellectual, mystical, and medical discourses. We will finally hint at the possible legacy of this medical discourse even in later authors – such as Boccaccio – and in the later philosophical discussion that involves both Aristotelian and Neoplatonic trends.

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Comp. Lit.  75100 - Psychoanalysis as Literature        
Prof. Evelyne Ender
Cultural history shows that childhood became a defining category of experience in the nineteenth-century, culminating in the advent of the new “science” of psychoanalysis. This course will follow a double thread and analyze literary representations in the light of psychoanalytical theory, in an attempt to grasp how and why childhood is so central to the paradigm of modern subjectivity. Our focus on the literary act of cognitive empathy and imagination that gives rise to the image of the child will lead us to explore a number of founding concepts of psychoanalysis (in Freud, Klein, Winnicott, and Lacan) as well such questions as the pleasures and trials of remembrance, the relations between mother-tongue and father tongue, and the constitution and deconstruction of identities (especially around gender).

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Comp. Lit.  78200 - Life, Histories, Self & Other      
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano
This seminar will focus on the expression of self and other in life-historical texts and oral accounts. We will read exemplary life histories, ranging from Saint Augustine’s Confessions  to Milarepa, The Biography of a Tibetan Yogi  by way of Montaigne, Kierkegaard, Woolf, Blanchot, and Barthes.  Particular attention will be given to how the other figures in these narratives: the way it constitutes the self, the subject, and subjectivity. Is it opaque, transparent, friendly, inimical, seductive, internalized, frozen, or dead? How does it figure in the intimate surround of the self-narrator? Attention will be given to modes of self-reflection and objectification, to bad faith, the unsayable and the unsaid, to solipsism, exceptionalism, and the moral challenge self-narratives pose, including those generated by the  ethnographic interview. Theoretical readings will include, Hegel, Freud, Sartre, Bataille, Lacan , and  Foucault.

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Comp. Lit. 79500- Theory and Practice of Literary Scholarship and Criticism
Prof. Giancarlo 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, Gadmer, Eco, Genette, Lacan, Freud, Derrida, De Man, Johnson, Felman, Said, Appiah, Spivak, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray, Cixous, and others.

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Comp. Lit.  80900- Cervantes and the Crisis in European Fiction
Prof. Lia Schwartz
This course will focus on the study of Cervantes’s Don Quijote (1605-1615) as a text that recreates early modern literary forms, while questioning the writing of fiction, from the perspective of Aristotle’s Poetics and related Italian theories of the novel. Cervantes’s work will be also analyzed in relation to its literary models - romances of chivalry, pastoral, picaresque and Moorish novels, Boccaccio’s Decameron and other stories of adventures – and their philosophical contexts. The function of madness as a fictional device will be also examined in connection with Erasmus’s The Praise of Folly. Other aspects of this complex narrative to be considered include its rhetorical and ethical background, as well as the treatment of popular discourses and of classical adages. Among the works to be read, in addition to Don Quijote, are Sannazaro’s Arcadia, Lazarillo de Tormes, The Praise of Folly, and some novelle of the Decameron.

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Comp. Lit. 85000- Bilingual/Polyglot Writers
Prof.  Elizabeth Beaujour
This course will concentrate on modern writers who are bilingual as writers in the strict sense:  Ariel Dorfman (Spanish/English), Nabokov (Russian/English),  Beckett( English/French), Brodsky (Russian/English), and Nancy Huston (English/French) and possibly Kundera (Czech/French), but we will also read short texts by some who have written only in one language, which is not their first (Hoffman, Polish/English), Rodriguez (Spanish/English), etc.) as well as examine the recent phenomenal rise of a group of first generation Russian/American writers.  We will look briefly at one of two writers who have decided to write books in mixed or macaronic language, as well as writers who have decided to forge a new language out of their ethnic linguistic practice (e.g. Anzaldua, (Spanglish), and those who deliberately combine several languages in the same work (e.g.: Federman (French/English).

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Comp. Lit.  88000 - The Story of French & Italian - Their Linguistic Structure, History, and Contemporary Uses
Prof. Hermann Haller     
In this course we will trace the story of two major Romance languages, French and Italian. Following some typological considerations of Romance languages and dialects we will study the popular Latin origins and the evolution to genetically “progressive” French and more “conservative” Italian. Literary and non-literary texts and treatises spanning from Old French, Old Provencal, and Old Italian to modern Italian and French will serve to document significant differences in the external histories of French and Italian.  The gradual rise of national languages and their codification by academies and through grammars and dictionaries will be given particular attention, through readings from treatises by Du Bellay, Bembo, Castiglione, Vaugelas, Rivarol, Manzoni, and others. We will also discuss the different fates of dialects and regional languages in modern France and Italy, as well as the evolving role of the two languages in the age of globalization both in the European and extra-European contexts.

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Comp. Lit. 89200-History of Literary Theory and Criticism II
Prof. André Aciman
A studty of the development of thought about literature from the 18th century to the present day with readings from Kant, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Pater, Widle, Woolf, Tolstoy, Shklovsky, Eliot, Lukacs, Bathes, Poulet, Iser 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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See Also:
 
RSCP 82100: Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies
Prof. Clare Carroll
The course is designed to help students work on their own research for their dissertations, orals, or research papers in Renaissance Studies or in early modern studies more broadly defined as 1450-1700. Students are not required to be members of the Renaissance Certificate Program to take the class.
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 study the representation of books and printing in early modern texts, including Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Milton’s Areopagitica.  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. There will also be a attention to the history of reading—marginalia, descriptions of reading, and of reading practices. 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.

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ENG. 71100:  Early Modern Poetry and Poetics.
Profs. Richard McCoy and Steven Monte
This course will explore the explosion of poetic productivity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and its justification as an essential activity. Sir Philip Sidney contends in his exuberant Apology for Poetry that the poet ³lifted up with the vigor of his own invention² can make a world ³better than nature bringeth forth.²
Similarly, Edmund Spenser creates an idealized alternative world in The Faerie Queene and John Milton aspires in Paradise Lost to achieve ³things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme² in Paradise Lost and to  comprehend God¹s ³eternal providence.² Among many other works, the readings will include poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, George Gascoigne, Lady Mary Wroth, John Donne, and George Herbert; special attention will be paid to the poetry and poetics of Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton. To highlight issues of translation, intertextual appropriation, and competition, some consideration will be given to Italian and French poets such as Petrarch, Pierre Ronsard, and Louise Labé.  Other topics we might address include: 1) Ambivalent attitudes throughout the Renaissance and Reformation towards imagination and fantasy. 2) A comparison of early modern theories and defenses of  poetry ­ Sidney¹s Apology, Puttenham¹s Art of English Poetry, Daniel¹s Musophilus -- with contemporary critical works such as John Hollander, Mark Edmundson, Marjorie Perloff, and Rita Felski, 3) The relationship of verse to its context in poetic miscellanies and commonplace books, prose satires like Gascoigne¹s Master F. J. and Nashe¹s Unfortunate Traveler, prose romances like Sidney¹s Arcadia or Wroth¹s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, and plays with a wide variety of verse patterns such as Midsummer Night¹s Dream. 4) The formation of circles, coteries, and other literary networks and the negotiation of manuscript circulation and authorized and supposedly unauthorized publication. 5) The establishment of the poet as an exalted cultural authority and the emergence of the author as a brand and cultural agent.

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Soc. 80700-George Lukacs & Frankfurt School
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz
Georg Lukacs is undoubtedly a major influence in the emergence of critical social and cultural theory and a key inspiration for what has been termed Western Marxism. This course will explore his contributions in both literary and social theory and his influence on the Frankfurt School, especially Herbert Marcuse Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno.  These were all trans-disciplinary writers who spanned the humanities and social studies. The term Œcritical¹ connotes their rejection of positivism and other scientistic methodologies The pedagogic style will combine lectures, close textual readings and class presentations by students. 

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FREN 77200Symbolism-Surrealism and After 
Prof. Mary Ann Caws
The view we want to take here is directed toward the dynamic interference of genres: text and image, poetic and theoretical, critical and lyrical. We will look at some symbolists (Baudelaire, Laforgue, Mallarmé, Claudel) and the artists associated with them, some cubists (Max Jacob, Reverdy, Juan Gris), some Dadas and surrealists (Tzara, Duchamp, Breton, Eluard, Desnos, Miro, Masson, Dali), and some interchanges that seem to us now especially vitalizing, for example Rilke on Cézanne, Artaud on Van Gogh, Bachelard on how we imagine.  We might be, at one point, comparing Derrida and Bonnefoy on Mallarmé, or René Char and T.J. Clark on Picasso: in short an intermesh of writing and perceiving, in the vein we think of as modernist and in the style we mean to be informal. Discussions in English, reading knowledge of French, written work in French or English.

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