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Fall 2018

*Please note that this schedule is subject to change. Course descriptions are forthcoming, and there is a possibility that more cross-listed courses will be added.

CL 79500-Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism: Comparative Literature in the Age of Globalization-GC: Tuesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 4 credits, Prof. Sonali Perera.
 
CL 80100-Existentialism/Phenomenology: Philosophy, Literature and Critique-GC: Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Vincent Crapanzano.
 
CL 80100-The Faust Legend-GC: Thursday, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Paul Oppenheimer.
 
CL 80900-Clues, Evidence and Conjectural Paradigm: A Comparative Investigation of Early Modern Narratives-GC: Wednesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Monica Calabritto.

CL 80900-The Art of Fiction in Cervantes. From the Exemplary Novels to Quijote-GC: Thursday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Lia Schwartz.
 
CL 88500-Italian Fascism-GC: Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli.
 
CL 89100-History of Literary Theory and Criticism I-GC: Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 4 credits, Prof. André Aciman.

Cross-Listed Courses

CL 80900-Introduction to Renaissance Studies: Comparative Lyric Poetry-GC: Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Prof. Steve Monte. *This course is cross-listed with RSCP 72100-Introduction to Renaissance Studies.

FRE 87200 / CL80100-Critical Refugee Studies: Crises in History and Law, Narrative, Poetry and Film-GC: Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton.

Hist. 72400 / CL80100- Authoritarian National Populism and the Crisis of Democracy-GC: Monday, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 3 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin.

Course Descriptions

CL 79500-Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism: Comparative Literature in the Age of Globalization-GC: Tuesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 4 credits, Prof. Sonali Perera.

As a range of comparatist scholars have noticed, Marx observes in the manifesto (of all unlikely places) that world literature “arises” as the by-product of exploitative, even imperialist, designs. Where world literature is defined narrowly as literature of global circulation, its market driven, cosmopolitan character might be deemed to be the happy accident of capital movement guided by its cultural and economic custodians. But what happens when we expand and complicate our frame of reference? What of other methods and models for conceiving/reconceiving world literature as literary internationalism? What concepts and ideologies of comparison derive from a theory of value in a global and unequal world? And how do we understand the relationship between comparative literature and world literature—as antagonistic or supplementary?
Since Marx’s thoughts on the subject, in recent years, literary theory scholars find themselves returning to consider the problems and possibilities of world literature. The past two decades have seen a surge of publications agitating for and against both a revitalized Weltliteratur and a newly re-tooled comparative literature. WReC (The Warwick Research Collective) proposes a new world-systems theory approach which conceives of world-literature (with a hyphen) as a “re-making of comparative literature after the multicultural debates and the disciplinary critique of Eurocentricism.” In the latest issue of the PMLA journal devoted to “Literature in the World,” Simon Gikandi keeps the question alive: “But if world literature takes us everywhere and nowhere, are we better off with comparative literature, a disciplinary formation driven by the idea that literatures can be studied in their distinctive languages, across national and linguistic boundaries, without abandoning the languages and grounds that gave rise to them?” And yet, if in minimal terms, the study of comparative literature is distinguished from that of world literature on the grounds that the former requires specialized knowledge of multiple languages whereas world literature is merely literature in translation and generally studied in English, do we agree with how this academic sub-division of labor is coded and institutionalized? What is at stake in constructing the difference between world literary approaches and comparative literature in this way? Is it the case, as has been argued, that the turn to world literature has prompted a new strain of scholarship in comparative literature?
In our class, we will engage with some of these questions, as we take the measure of the state of the field debates. Throughout our course, you are encouraged to consider how these debates might shape the way that we think of research and writing in literary studies today.
Simply put, then, this course offers us a chance to study the resurgence of world literature as an interpretive paradigm against and through the perspective of new scholarship on the theory and practice of comparative literature. While we will study touchstone texts (by Goethe, Marx, Heidegger, Auerbach, Said, Jameson, Ahmad, Wallerstein, Moretti, Damrosch, Spivak, Saussy, Amin), we will also familiarize ourselves with recent scholarship including works by Casanova, Apter, Melas, Mufti, Robbins, Cheah, WReC. We will ground our discussions by “applying” theory to literary works by Woolf, Manto, Pamuk, Devi, Coetzee, and Salih. If time permits, alongside selections from theory and literature, we may also read excerpts from one or two of the ACLA’s emblematic state of the discipline reports.
Course requirements: 1.) A 20 minute presentation on one or two of the weekly readings. 2.)  A 2 page prospectus for the final paper. 3) A 15-20 page final paper. 4.) Engaged class participation.

CL 80100-Existentialism/Phenomenology: Philosophy, Literature and Critique-GC: Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Vincent Crapanzano.

This seminar will be devoted to readings in the philosophy, literature, 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. Particular attention will be given to the problem of language in phenomenological description and existential hermeneutics.  Readings will include selections from Husserl, Sartre, Heidegger, Binswanger, and Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, and Poulet as well as (but not limited to) novels by Blanchot, Sartre, Sarraute, Camus, and Robbe-Grillet.” Students will be encouraged to consider the relationship between phenomenology,  existentialism and social and cultural description.

CL 80100-The Faust Legend-GC: Thursday, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Paul Oppenheimer.

Few figures in Western literature have attracted as much continuous interest from as many important writers, artists, composers and film-makers as that of Doctor Faustus, the mysterious sixteenth-century physician and necromancer whose legendary pact with the devil granted him superhuman powers. Starting with the earliest published version of the story, the famous Faust Book dating from 1587 in Frankfurt (also available in translation), the course will explore strikingly different treatments of Faust’s career by Christopher Marlowe, Goethe, and Thomas Mann, and the conflicting views of humanity’s relations to nature and the divine implied by their masterpieces. Also investigated will be the influence of the Faust story on writers as diverse as Byron, Carlyle, Dostoyevski, Pushkin, Hawthorne, Paul Valéry, and Lawrence Durrell. Films such as Mephisto, Hanusen, and Bedazzled, which approach the story and its motif of the devil pact in modern ways, will be considered and, where possible, shown; operatic and other musical treatments will also be considered, along with the Faust legend’s impact on painting.--One brief in-class presentation. One research paper.

CL 80900-Clues, Evidence and Conjectural Paradigm: A Comparative Investigation of Early Modern Narratives-GC: Wednesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Monica Calabritto.

The term “conjectural paradigm” is inspired by an essay entitled “Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm” (It., 1970) authored by Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg, in which he argues that physicians, detectives and historians have in common a way of investigating their subjects that is based on clue and traces, the gathering of which develops into a conjectural knowledge.
 
Taking its cue from this definition, the seminar will discuss narratives constructed in early modern Italy and Europe, emerging not only from literary works, but also and mostly from medical and legal documents/artifacts—medical reports on cases of insanity and poisoning, and trials of witches, murderers and grafters. Through and along with the reading of these narratives, we will discuss theoretical and methodological issues such as the notions of conjecture, paradigm and evidence applied to the legal and the scientific sphere; the relationship between macro- and micro history; the tension between narrative and social dimension in micro historical accounts; the investigation of people on the margins, like women, drifters, sexual deviants, mad people, workers; the relationship between historical account and historical fiction; the relevance of micro history in the age of global history, individual and collective agency.
 
All students who take the course are required to attend all the sessions of the seminar. Students who take the seminar for 4 credits are required to write a 18-page term paper to be submitted the last day of class; 2-page weekly reflections on the readings and on class discussion; a 15-minute oral presentation. Students who take this course for 2 credits can either give a 15-minute oral presentation + written report, or write the weekly reflections.
 
What follows is a provisional list of the texts we are going to discuss during the seminar:
 
Archival manuscript documents of sixteenth- and seventeenth century criminal trials held in Bologna on criminal insanity, homicide, stalking
G. Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence
Thomas V. Cohen, Love and Death in Renaissance Italy (Chicago: Chicago UP, 2004)
Natalie Zemon Davis, Fictions in the Archive  (Stanford University Press, 1990)
Id., Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives (Belknap Press, 1997) (sections)
Michel de Certeau, The Possession at Loudon (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1996)
Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms; The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller tr. J and A. Tedeschi (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1992)
Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed (sections)
Thomas Robisheaux, The Last Witch of Langerburg. Murder in a German Village (New York & London: WW Norton & Company, 2009)
Stendhal, Italian Chronicles
Francesca Trivellato, The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (Yale University Press, 2012)
 
On theoretical and methodological issues (also provisional):
 
Roland Barthes, “L'Effet de Réel”, Communications, n. 11, Mars 1968, Pp. 84-89
Roger Chartier,  “History, Time, and Space,” Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 2, no. 2 (June 1, 2011): http://rofl.stanford.edu/node/100
Carlo Ginzburg, Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method, tr. J and A. Tedeschi (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989) (selections)
Id., Threads and Traces. True False Fictive, tr. J and A. Tedeschi ( Berkeley: U of California Press, 2012) (selections)
Siegfried Kracauer and Paul Oskar Kristeller, History-The Last Things Before the Last (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2013)
Thomas Kuehn, “Review: Reading Microhistory: The Example of Giovanni and Lusanna,” The Journal of Modern History, vol 61, n. 3 (Sept. 1989) 512-34
Dominick LaCapra, History and Criticism (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1985)
Jill Lepore, “Historians Who Love Too Much: Reflections on Microhistory and Biography,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 88, No. 1 (Jun., 2001), pp. 129-144
Sigurđur Gylfy Magnússon and István M. Szijártó, What is Microhistory? Theory and Practice (New York: Routledge, 2013)
Matti Peltonen, “Clues, Margins, and Monads: The Micro-Macro Link in Historical Research,” History and Theory, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Oct., 2001), pp. 347-359
Andrew I Port, “History from Below, the History of Everyday Life, and Microhistory”, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Volume 11 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.62156-6, pp. 108-113
Lawrence Stone “The Revival of Narrative: Reflections on a New Old History,” Past & Present, No. 85 (Nov., 1979), pp. 3-24
Francesca Trivellato, “Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?” California Italian Studies, 2(1), 2011

CL 80900-The Art of Fiction in Cervantes. From the Exemplary Novels to Quijote-GC: Thursday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Lia Schwartz.

Cervantes started his career as a writer with a pastoral novel, La Galatea, a literary genre  which was in fashion in the second half of the sixteenth-century. At  the same time, or soon thereafter, he began composing short-fiction, following the model of Boccaccio’snovelle, which he would recreate and  transform in his twelve Novelas ejemplares, some of which are based upon other Italian sources. In the years between the publication of the first (1605) and the second part (1615) of Don Quijote, Cervantes was also obviously working on his last work of fiction, Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, published posthumously in 1617. The purpose of this course will be to study Cervantes’s fiction from the perspective of early modern poetics and rhetoric, while focussing on a selection of literary and historical topics and themes that he privileged.  Our reading or re-reading of Cervantes’s works will also allow us to follow the process of transformation of narrative fiction since his times, when it followed the Aristotelian principle of verisimilitude until the development of realism in the nineteenth-century. 

CL 88500-Italian Fascism-GC: Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli.

Fascism is a term that has often come back in conversation in different historical epochs and political and cultural contexts. But how historically accurate is it to talk about fascism in this manner? When and how did fascism come to the fore in its earliest incarnation in Italy? How did the political, social and cultural terrain in Italy before 1922--the year in which fascism first came to power—foster the coming to power of fascism? What are the implications of what Umberto Eco has identified as “ur-fascism” or Susan Sontag as “fascinating fascism.”
The course will focus on:  the period before fascism came to power (the nationalist movement, futurism, WWI and its aftermath, the March on Rome); the period in which the regime was in power (its policies, the consolidation of the regime in the 1930s up to its fall in 1943). Attention is paid to both the modernizing and traditional faces of fascism, its nationalism and its attempt to construct a new Italian national identity through culture, war, media and empire. The role of women, gender and race will also be closely considered. Another section of the course will be dedicated to study how fascist groups in the US were organized and visit archives held at the New York Public Library.  In the last part of the course, opposition by the workers’ movement and intellectuals to Mussolini’s regime will be considered. Readings are drawn from primary and secondary sources, including literary texts, political documents, manifestos, film and newsreels. Some of the secondary sources will include historians and critics such as Umberto Eco, Susan Sontag, Emilio Gentile, Victoria de Grazia, Ruth Ben Ghiat, Charles Burdett, Medina Lasansky and others.

CL 89100-History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
-GC: Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 4 credits, Prof. André Aciman.

With readings from Plato, Aristotle, and Longinus to Dante, Sidney, Boileau, Dryden, and Lessing, this course will examine the history and evolution of literary theory in the classical, medieval, and early modern periods. It will also examine such fundamental terms as truth, beauty, nature, and artifact with which pre-Romantic Western critics have attempted to understand literary works of art. This course will also explore the legacy and limitations of these and other terms and their impact on criticism today.

FRE 87200 / CL80100-Critical Refugee Studies: Crises in History and Law, Narrative, Poetry and Film
-GC: Tuesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton.

Why are we in the midst of an unparalleled refugee crisis that involves 65 million people? Such dislocations and displacements have occurred since the late 17th century, when the term was first coined; and they have proliferated over the past century, notably since 1915. Who is a refugee? Who qualifies for asylum, why and why not? What about unaccompanied minors; victims of forced migrations? What is the status of economic migrants; of internally displaced persons? How should we classify those fleeing climate catastrophes? Are these others viewed as human?
This course in critical refugee studies will begin with history (and histories), then focus on the development, successes –and failures--of the human rights regime, humanitarian law and regional instruments, such as those of the European Union. We will examine transnational North-South disparities as drivers of migration, and lastly, the current ideological and nationalist trends that have led to securitization, the closing of borders, and authoritarianism in the post 9/11 world.
We will consider particular cases: the Armenian genocide; the Holocaust; the aftermath of the Vietnam war; the intractable Palestinian problem; persecutions in Darfur and South Sudan; the flight from dictatorships, gangs and failing economies in the Americas (including Haiti); the European Union’s integrity. We will end with the present crisis catalyzed by the Syrian war.
Our approach will be interdisciplinary: critical studies in history, theory and law will combine with close readings of novels, including graphic texts, poetry, memoirs/testimonials, and documentaries that represent/construct figures of refugees as well as themes of longing, remembering and return in refugee art.
Authors/film makers include Abdelrazaq, Agamben, Ai Wei Wei, Arendt, Balibar, Bauman, Butler, Dandicat, Darwish, Derrida, Dummett, Eggers, Erpenbeck, Hisham, Lanzmann, Said, Viet Than Nguyen
Work for the course will involve, beyond close readings of assignments, a class presentation (and write-up) of a case study with other members of a team; a 20 page paper on a topic developed in consultation with the instructor; and a final exam. Course materials will be uploaded to Blackboard cAugust 15, 2018.
Please direct all questions about the course to Domna Stanton (dstanton112@yahoo.com).