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Fall 2009

Comp. Lit. 71000 - Literature of the Renaissance
GC: W, 4:15-6:15 p.m. 4 cr., Prof. Carroll (96812)
(crosslisted with RSCP 72100)

Comp. Lit. 79800 - Independent Studies (96813)

Comp. Lit. 80100 - Antonioni and Fellini: The Challenges of Italian (Post) Modernist Cinema
GC: T, 6:30-10:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Lombardi (96814)

Comp. Lit. 80900 - Love, Wandering and War Between Romance and Epic, from Ludovico Ariosto to Torquato Tasso
GC: Th, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Calabritto (96815)

Comp. Lit. 84000 - The Emergence of German Romanticism
GC: T, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Rupprecht (96816)

Comp. Lit. 85000 - Phenomenology and Existentialism: Philosophy, Literature, Critique
GC: W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Crapanzano (96817)
(crosslisted with Anthro. 80900)

Comp. Lit. 85000 - Subjects of Desire: From Goethe, Austen, Bronte to Mann & Proust
GC: Th, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Ender (96818)
(crosslisted with WS. 97131)

Comp. Lit. 86000 - Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in Their Comparative Contexts
GC: M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Beaujour (96819)

Comp. Lit. 89000 - Heidegger, Aesthetics and Poetics
GC, W, 6:30-8:30 p.m, 4 cr., Prof. Brenkman (96820)

Comp. Lit. 89000 - Reading Benjamin Reading Baudelaire
GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Wilner (96821)

Comp. Lit. 89100 - History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
GC: T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 4 cr. Prof. Zavala (96822)

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

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

See Also:

Eng. 81000 -Speaking in Tongues: The Ethics and Performativity of the Early Modern Prose Genres
GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 2/4 cr., Prof. Elsky (96650)

Fr. 87400 -Postcolonial Francophone Cinema
GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3 cr., Prof. Jerry Carlson (96880)

NYU Italian Courses

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


CL 80101- Topics in Italian Culture: 100 Years of Futurism (taught in English)
NYU: W, 4:00-6:40 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Ara Merjian (96825)

CL 80102 - Italy in WWII (taught in English)
NYU: M, 3:30-6:10 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Ruth Ben-Ghiat (96826)

CL 80103 - Topics in Italian Literature: Pastoral & Peasants in Italian Culture (taught in English)
NYU: Th, 2:30-5:10 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Jane Tylus (96827)

CL 80104 - Dante: Divina Commedia: Inferno (taught in English)
NYU: T, 3:30-6:10 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. John Freccero (96828)

CL 80105 - Studies in Renaissance Literature: Arte e Letteratura nel Rinasc (taught in Italian)
NYU: W, 1:00-3:30 p.m., 4 cr., Prof. Lina Bolzoni (96829)

Course Descriptions

Comp. Lit. 71000
Literature of the Renaissance
Prof. Carroll

Introduction to Renaissance Studies: Folly and Madness: Our point of departure will be the first chapter of Foucault's Histoire de la folie in which he mediates on the transition from the representation of human error as sin to the folie (folly/madness) of the sixteenth century. The first lecture includes an examination of the visual art that Foucault describes. We will also examine the subsequent critiques of his work, and the biblical, classical, as well as medieval sources of the Renaissance representation of folly. Readings: Erasmus, Encomium Moriae (Praise of Folly); More, Utopia; Ariosto, Orlando Furioso; Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel ; lyric poetry by Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare; Shakespeare, Hamlet, King Lear; and Cervantes, Don Quixote. Seminar requirements: one oral presentation and a paper.

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Comp. Lit. 80100
Antonioni and Fellini: The Challenges of Italian (Post) Modernist Cinema
Prof. Lombardi

This course will juxtapose the rich and complex film production of two Italian auteurs, Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. While Fellini and Antonioni's films differ in style, narrative preference, and political orientation, they evidence a common self-reflexive concern for the relationship of cinematic images, sounds, and stories. Neorealism will serve as a starting point for an analysis of Fellini's postmodern negotiation of autobiographical surrealism as well as Antonioni's peculiar reframing of cinematic modernism. This course will analyze Antonioni and Fellini's most important films, placing their work in (film) historical contexts, and theorizing their interest in the aesthetics of cinematic representation and the politics of storytelling.

Students will be asked to watch 2 movies a week, one in class and one at home, so that by the end of the course they will be familiar with the majority of these filmmakers' work. Films to be screened include: Story of a Love Affair (Antonioni, 1950), The Vanquished (Antonioni, 1953), Love in the City (Antonioni/Fellini, 1953), Le Amiche (Antonioni, 1955), Il Grido (Antonioni, 1957), L'Avventura (Antonioni, 1960), La Notte (Antonioni, 1961), L'Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962), Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964), Blowup (Antonioni, 1966), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970), The Passenger (Antonioni, 1975), Beyond the Clouds (Antonioni, 1995), Eros (Antonioni, 2004), The White Sheik (Fellini, 1952), I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953), La Strada (Fellini, 1954), Il Bidone (Fellini, 1955), Nights of Cabiria (Fellini, 1957), La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960), 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963), Juliet of the Spirits (Fellini, 1965), Satyricon (Fellini, 1969), Roma (Fellini, 1972), Amarcord (Fellini, 1973), Orchestra Rehearsal (Fellini, 1978), And the Ship Sails On (Fellini, 1983), Ginger and Fred (Fellini, 1986).

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Comp. Lit. 80900
Love, Wandering and War Between Romance and Epic, from Ludovico Ariosto to Torquato Tasso
Prof. Calabritto

The third and final edition of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso in forty-six cantos was published in 1532, a year before the author's death. The Orlando Furioso can be defined as a hybrid text, mostly constituted of elements taken from the genres of chivalric romance and epic. It contaminates styles, languages and themes, all of which derive from various sources. Since its second edition (1521), the Orlando Furioso had a great success and soon acquired what Daniel Javitch calls a "canonical status".

Tasso concluded the Gerusalemme liberata in twenty cantos in 1575, which he submitted for several years to a painstaking revision and to the evaluation and comments of several critics chosen by the author himself. While Tasso was confined to the hospital of Sant'Anna in Ferrara, an incomplete version of the text was printed in 1581 without the author's permission. A complete edition was printed in 1582. Tasso intended the Gerusalemme liberata to follow the model of the epic poem rather than that of the chivalric romance. Tasso wrote a poem that showed more structural and thematic unity than Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. He was deeply influenced on the structural level by Aristotle's Poetics, a text of fundamental theoretical importance in the sixteenth century. Unlike Ariosto, Tasso expressed his theoretical view on the epic genre in many letters and in two treatises, Discorsi dell'arte poetica e del poema eroico (1587) and Discorsi del poema eroico (1594). Tasso was also affected by the renewed religious spirit of the Catholic Reformation, which provided him with the themes of the crusade against the infidels and of the conquest of the Holy Land. However, he elaborated within the tight structure of the Gerusalemme liberata episodes centered on love, wandering and magic, typical of the chivalric genre.

The course investigates the nature, structure and main themes--love, war, and wandering--of the two poems in the light of the debate over the genre of epic poetry that started after the publication of the third edition of the Orlando Furioso and continued throughout the sixteenth century. Besides the Orlando Furioso and the Gerusalemme liberata, we will read excerpts from Boiardo's Orlando inamorato, the Cinque Canti that Ariosto composed between 1518 and 1527 that were eliminated from the final edition of the Orlando Furioso, several letters that Tasso wrote between 1575 and 1577 to the critics of his poem and sections from his Discorsi dell'arte poetica e del poema eroico and Discorsi del poema eroico. With the help of several interpretations offered by recent critical studies on the two texts, the course traces the multifaceted nature of the three main themes of love, war, and wandering in the context of the Italian states in the sixteenth century, the literary debate on the notion of epic and chivalric genres, the philosophical discussion on the notion of love, passion and insanity, and the theological debate on faith, miracles and religious militancy.

Reading list:

    Primary sources:

  • Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso e cinque canti, ed. R. Ceserani and Sergio Zatti, volls. 1-2 (Turin: UTET, 2006)
  • Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme Liberata (Milano: Mondadori, 2006)
  • Id., Jerusalem Delivered, tr. Anthony M. Esolen (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000)
  • Id., Lettere poetiche (Milano: Guanda, 2008)
  • I will provide photocopies of other primary sources (such as sections of Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato and Tasso's theoretical treatises) during the semester.

    Secondary sources (partial bibliography, subject to change):

  • Albert Russell Ascoli, Ariosto's Bitter Harmony: Crisis and Evasion in the Italian Renaissance (Princeton UP, 1987)
  • Licia Badesi, Un Mare Turbatissimo: La Vita Di Torquato Tasso Ripercorsa Attraverso Le Lettere (Nuoveparole, 2004)
  • Bruno Basile, Poeta melancholicus. Tradizione classica e follia nell'ultimo Tasso (Pisa: Pacini, 1984)
  • Riccardo Bruscagli, Stagioni della civiltà estense (Pisa: Nistri-Lischi, 1983)
  • Clare Carroll, The Orlando Furioso: A Stoic Comedy (Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997)
  • Michele Catalano, La vita di Ludovico Ariosto 2 vols (Geneva: Olschki, 1930-31)
  • Massimo Ciavolella, "La licantropia d'Orlando," Il Rinascimento. Aspetti e problemi attuali. Atti del X Congresso dell'Associazione Inernazionale per gli studi di lingua e letteratura italiana. Belgrado, 17-21 Aprile 1979, ed. V. Branca, Claudio Griggio et al. (Florence: Olschki, 1982) 311-23
  • Valeria Finucci, ed., Renaissance Transactions: Ariosto and Tasso (Duke UP, 1999)
  • Daniel Javitch, Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of Orlando Furioso (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1991)
  • Stefano Jossa, Rappresentazione e scrittura. La crisi delle forme poetiche rinascimentali (Naples: Vivarium, 1996)
  • Dennis Looney, Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996)
  • Id., and Deanna Shemek, eds., Phaethon's Children: The Este Court and Its Culture in Early Modern Ferrara (Tempe: Arizona State UP, 2005)
  • Lino Marini, Per una storia dello stato estense (I-Dal Quattrocento all'ultimo Cinquecento) (Bologna: Patron, 1973)
  • Walter Moretti and Luigi Pepe, eds, Torquato Tasso e l'università (Firenze: Leo S. Olschki Ed., 1997)
  • David Quint, Epic and Empire (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993) chapters 5 and 6
  • Mary Frances Wack, Lovesickness in the Middle Ages. The Viaticum and Its Commentaries (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990). Selections
  • Elissa B. Weaver, "A Reading of the Interlaced Plot of the Orlando Furioso: The Three Cases of Love Madness," in Ariosto Today. Contemporary perspectives, ed. D. Beecher, M. Ciavolella, and R. Fedi (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003) 126-153
  • Marion Wells, Love-Melancholy and Early Modern Romance (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2007)
  • Sergio Zatti, The Quest for Epic. From Ariosto to Tasso (University of Toronto Press, 2006)
  • Id., Il 'Furioso' fra epos e romanzo (Lucca: Pacini-Fazzi, 1990)
  • Id., L'ombra del Tasso. Epica e romanzo nel Cinquecento (Milan: Mondadori, 1996).
  • Id., Il mondo epico (Bari: Laterza, 2000).

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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. 850000
Phenomenology and Existentialism: Philosophy,Literature, Critique
Prof. Crapanzano

This seminar will be devoted to readings in the philosophy, literature, the human sciences and literary criticism influenced by phenomenology and existentialism. We will consider such questions as intentionality of consciousness, the priority of consciousness over existence or existence over consciousness, other minds, being/Being, nonbeing, bad faith, guilt, freedom, commitment, ethical responsibility, care, and despair. We will relate Existentialism and phenomenology to individualism, nihilism, war, and revolution. Particular attention will be given to the problem of language in phenomenological description and existential hermeneutics. Readings will include selections from Husserl, Heidegger, Binswanger, and Hannah Arendt as well as (but not limited to) works from Blanchot, Sartre, Camus, Richard Wright, Robbe-Grillet and Ionesco. They will also include anthropological writings by Tom Csordas and Michael Jackson. Students will be encouraged to consider the relationship between phenomenology and existentialism and film, social and cultural description, and the early writngs of Post-structuralists by Foucault and Derrida.

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Comp. Lit. 85000
Subjects of Desire: From Goethe, Austen, Bronte to Mann & Proust
Prof. Ender

This new course, cross-listed between Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies, will enable you to study, in the richest and most provocative fashion (because fiction is complex and filled with contradictions), a selection of stories of desire that have had a decisive influence on our modern imagination of love, of sexuality, and of gender roles.
Much of what we know about desire we indeed owe to literature. If this statement seems counterintuitive, consider for example the wave of romantic suicides that followed the publication in Germany of The Sorrows of Young Werther. A similar claim can be made about the importance of literary representations for our understanding of gender and of sexual identities. Just as nowadays film and television reflect as well as mould our identities as desiring subject, from the eighteenth-century onwards the novel reflected as well as shaped our current understanding of gendered subjectivities. Thus, while moralists denounced the novel as a dangerous instrument of seduction, tales of adultery, sexual secrets, and unnamable transgressions filled the readers’ imagination and in the process re-defined the lives of men and of women.
The readings for this seminar (all available in English) will include Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield; Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther; Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Austen, Persuasion; Mann, Death in Venice; Proust, Within a Budding Grove; Sulzer, A Perfect Waiter, as well as selections from Rousseau and from Sade and two tales by Balzac (The Girl with the Golden Eyes, and Sarrasine).

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Comp. Lit. 86000
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in Their Comparative Contexts
Prof. Beaujour

The rapid development of Russian secular prose was a striking and multi-faceted cultural process. Derivative in form and content as late as the end of the 18th century, in less than 150 years, Russian prose became in its turn a formative influence on Western 20th century literature. Although they are often lumped together in the minds of Western readers (whence the inevitable Tolstoyevsky courses), the two greatest 19th century Russian prose writers, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, proceeded from distinct Western literary and philosophical traditions, pose different problems of theory and genre, and, in the 20th century, have influenced Western literatures of quite different types in a variety of countries and contexts. This course will focus on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky as examples of the ways in which different currents of Western literature were assimilated into Russian literature. Although they both "read [primarily although not exclusively] the French," Tolstoy and Dostoevsky did not read the same "French", with the exception of Rousseau, whom they did both read, but read differently. For Tolstoy, the major subtexts are provided by Rousseau, Stendhal, and Joseph de Maistre. For Dostoevsky, the major French writers with whom he interacted creatively were Sand, Balzac and Hugo, as well as some lesser known writers of the "école frénétique." In turn, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky influenced two quite different currents of 20th century Western literature.

Although I myself will be focusing on the French connections in class, students taking this course may do their research and class presentations on the relationships of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to writers in any literature in which they are interested and whose language they know. The Tolstoy and Dostoevsky works considered in class discussions will be read in English, unless of course you can read Russian.

In-class discussion will concentrate on close analysis of one major work for each writer: War and Peace for Tolstoy, and The Brothers Karamazov for Dostoevsky. These are not the obvious choices, which would have been Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment, but the latter books are frequently covered in undergraduate courses. It is expected that, although most class discussion (other than discussion of presentations), will concentrate on War and Peace and the Brothers Karamazov, students will also have read Anna Karenina , Crime and Punishment and Notes from Underground. Most students will already have read these works. If not, they should read them over the summer, as well as War and Peace, which is long and complex, and which we will begin discussing in the second week of classes.

Much has been written about Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment and Notes from Underground and their relationships with Western European literature. Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with some of the scholarship about these novels in their comparative contexts. A recent and highly useful entry point to the scholarship on "subtexts" and "intertexts" for Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment is Priscilla Meyer's new How the Russians Read the French: Lermontov, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. This book may give you ideas for your own research and presentations. The bibliography is recent and focused and will save you a lot of time.

Provided that the class is not too large, each student will give two presentations: one analyzing the textual and/or ideological relationship of a work by Tolstoy and one of a work of Dostoevsky to a non-Russian novelist or thinker. The final paper may be an outgrowth of one of these presentations, if the student so desires. Otherwise, the subject of the final paper should be discussed with the instructor no later than the sixth week of class.

*I would strongly suggest that, if you do not read Russian, you should not use the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace-- unless you also read French. The translation from the Russian is fine, but the translation of the French in War and Peace into English is terrible, and gives the wrong impression of who spoke French in Russia and how they did it in the beginning of the 19th century. For that reason I will be using the Norton edition, even though it does not keep all the French. In compensation, it has useful supplementary material.

    A Starter Bibliography of Background and Criticism

  • *Meyer, Priscilla. How the Russians Read the French: Lermontov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy.
    Madison, WI: Wisconsin, 2008. [Useful Bibliography]
  • *Meyer, Priscilla and Stephen Rudy. Eds. Dostoevsky and Gogol: Texts and Criticism.
    Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1979
  • Simmons, Ernest. Tolstoy (a two volume biography)
  • Eichenbaum, Boris. The Young Tolstoy, Tolstoy in the Sixties, Tolstoy in the Seventies
  • Morson, S.G. Hidden in Plain View [about War and Peace]
  • Morson, S. G. Anna Karenina in Our Time : Seeing More Wisely. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2007.
  • Mandelker, Amy. Framing Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, the Woman Question and the Victorian Novel.
  • Gustavson, Richard. Tolstoy: Resident and Stranger.
  • Frank, Joseph. Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt(1821-49); The Years of Ordeal(1850-59);The Stir of Liberation(1860-65) The Miraculous Years(1865-71); The Mantle of the Prophet (1871-1881)

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Comp. Lit. 89000
Heidegger, Aesthetics and Poetics
Prof. Brenkman

Heidegger's various writings on aesthetics, language, and poetry have had considerable influence on modern criticism, though more indirect than direct. He does not provide a systematic conception of art and poetry and develops no clear method for approaching artworks and poems. This seminar is designed to look closely at five distinct nodes of Heidegger's thought in order to probe their implications for criticism: (1) the analysis of mood (and rhetoric) in Being and Time; (2) the commentary on Nietzsche titled The Will to Power as Art; (3) the essay on "The Origin of the Work of Art"; (4) "What Are Poets For?" and related essays on Hölderlin, Rilke, and language; and (5) the reflections on "dwelling" and the "fourfold." To test out various ways of concretizing Heidegger's reflection in a critical method, we will also look at poems by Shelley, Baudelaire, Wallace Stevens, and Jorie Graham. Participants will also choose one of the following commentators on Heidegger and aesthetics as the basis for a presentation in class: Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Derrida, Gianni Vattimo, Jacques Rancière, Peter Sloterdijk.


  • Heidegger: Being and Time; Nietzsche, Volume One: The Will to Power as Art; Poetry, Language, Thought; On the Way to Language.
  • Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy; The Will to Power (selections).


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Comp. Lit. 89000
Reading Benjamin Reading Baudelaire
Prof. Wilner

The latter phase of Walter Benjamin's critical work seeks to amalgate a highly individual understanding of literary language - itself the heterogeneous product of an esoteric hermeneutics and a concept of criticism derived from early German Romanticism - with a Marxist historical materialism. Central to this project were the writings and figure of Charles Baudelaire, "A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism" in Benjamin's formulation. Benjamin's engagement with Baudelaire begins with his 1923 translation of "Tableaux Parisiens," for which his essay on "The Task of the Translator" was written as a preface, and continues through the unfinished Arcades Project, of which "convolute J" on Baudelaire is by far the largest section.

In this course we will trace the evolution of Benjamin's reading of Baudelaire, beginning with his 1923 translation of Tableaux Parisiens, which his essay on "The Task of the Translator" was written as a preface, and continuing through the unfinished Arcades Project, of which "convolute J" on Baudelaire is by far the largest part. Our aim in doing so will be two-fold: to take Benjamin as a guide to reading Baudelaire, of course, but also to use the work on Baudelaire as a way of studying Benjamin's critical procedures.

Readings in Baudelaire will include all of the poetry and prose poetry, and much of the critical writings. Readings in Benjamin will include the materials collected in The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire, edited my Michael Jennings, and sections of the Arcades Project.

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Comp. Lit. 89100
History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Zavala

This course is a study of the development of thought about literature in the classical, medieval, and early modern periods. We will analyze various ars poetica and discuss the nature of literary representation, mimesis and imitation, truth and beauty, and the cross-disciplinary encounters of literary discourse with that of philosophy, religion and politics. We will read a wide range of texts from Plato, Aristotle and Horace, to Saint Augustine, Dante, Sidney, Schiller, Dryden, Hume, and Kant. We will also consider the influence, relevance and usefulness of these texts in contemporary literary theory and criticism.

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Eng. 81000
Speaking in Tongues: Ethics and Performativity in Early Modern Prose Genre
Prof. Elsky

The post-Derridean persistence of the problem of language reference throws light on the emergence of early modern prose genres as a response to the moral dilemmas of performative language. Historians of philosophy credit early modern pedagogical practice with initiating a shift in habits of reasoning that stressed the relative, circumstantial nature of truth and its expression in language, which thus acquired the character of theatricality. The result was a privileged position for rhetoric and literary language (over philosophy) as a performance of imagined voices. This theatricality led to an ethical crisis for those whose social status depended on skill in expression: is there a line between authentic performance and imposture, dissimulation, and pandering for position. These issues underlie the formation of early modern prose genres, their experiments with new stylistic formulas, and the spaces they imagine as the settings of performed speech (the public and private spaces of the domestic interior, the court, the solitary tower, the council chamber, and the uninhabited outdoors). Genres will include: the Humanist dialogue and the theatricality of counter-balanced voices; the courtesy book and prescriptions for performing effects in spectators for social advancement; the prose romance and the performance of gender; the commonplace book and reading as a meditation on the moral ambiguities of performing praise in verse. We will also look at prose genres that seek a way out of the dilemmas of performance, genres that had an impact far beyond the early modern period: the invention of the personal essay and the return to philosophical prose through fragmented, discontinuous discourse. We will end with an autobiography by a poet-musician who sought to escape the performed life through the printed book. Readings will include More's Utopia, Castiglione's Book of the Courtier, Sidney's Arcadia (Book I), Jonson's Discoveries, Montaigne's Essais, Bacon's New Organon, and Thomas Whythorne's Discourses of [his] Life (an undeservedly under-read book).

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Fr. 87400
Postcolonial Francophone Cinema
Prof. Carlson

The course will survey major issues and artistic trends of the past fifty years of filmmaking from the Francophone world. To do so, we will examine the works of six multilingual directors of Francophone descent: Merzak Allouache (Algeria), Denys Arcand (Canada), Tran Anh Hung (Vietnam), Addellatif Kechiche (Tunisia), Raoul Peck (Haiti), and Ousmane Sembene (Senegal). Each director will be represented by two films. The films may include Cyclo, Lumumba, Black Girl, Bab El-Oued City, The Barbarian Invasions, and The Secret of the Grain, among others. A number of questions will inform the course. How do the films portray France's relations with its former colonies? How do the films distinguish themselves from or ally themselves to tendencies in the French cinema? How do the films define themselves as national, international or transnational? How can the films be read in relation to other postcolonial discourses and artistic forms? Students will write a brief analytic paper and a longer research essay. The course will be taught in English. Readings will be available in English and French.

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