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Fall 2019

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.

2-4 Credit Grading System
2 credit courses= Pass or Fail option
4 credit courses= Letter grade


CL 79500-Comparative Literature in the Age of Globalization GC:  Tues, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4 credits,  Prof. Sonali Perera (Mandatory for second year students; off limits to first year students)

CL 80100-Cervantes's Don Quixote GC: Thur, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Lía Schwartz. 
 
CL 85000-Architecture and Space in 20th Century German Literature GC:  Wed, 6:30pm- 8:30pm, 2,4  credits, Prof. Caroline Rupprecht
 
CL 88300-Autobiography in Italy GC: Mon, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Chiara Ferrari
 
CL 88400-Machiavelli and the Problem of Evil GC: Tues, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Paul Oppenheimer
 
CL 88500-Bi-Lingual/Polyglot Writers GC: Wed, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Emerita, Elizabeth Beaujour
 
CL 89000-The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel-Adorno GC: Mon, 6:30pm-8:30pm,  2,4 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin
 
CL 89100-History of Literary Theory & Criticism I GC: Wed, 4:15-6:15pm, 4 credits, Prof. Paola Ureni (Mandatory for first year students) 

CL 89800-Independent Studies: Maximal and Minimal I GC: Wed, 4:15-6:15pm, 1 credit, Prof. Mary Ann Caws
 
CTCP 71088: Critical Theory: Foundations and Pratices GC: Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 3 credits, Prof. John Brenkman (Off limits to first year students) 

Cross-listed Courses
 
CL 86500/SPAN 85000-Lorca, Buñuel, Dalì: Theater, Film, Painting GC: Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2, 4 credits, Prof. Paul Julian Smith. (note: the 3 credit version of this course is for the SPAN section only).

CL 80100/FRE 70500-Writing the Self GC: Tues, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Professor Domna Stanton. The CL section of this course is 2,4 credits.

CL 80100/FSCP 81000/African Film History and Theory, 1950-1990 GC: Mon, 4:15pm-8:15pm, Prof. Boukary Sawadogo. The CL section of this course is 2,4 credits and the FSCP 81000 is 3 credits.

See Also
 
SPAN 87000-Contemporary Spanish and Mexican Cinema GC: Wed, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits, Prof. Paul Julian Smith

ANTH 81000-Perspectives on Life History: From Memory through Imagination GC: Thur, 2:00-4:00pm, 3 credits, Prof. Vincent Crapanzano

2-4 Credit Grading System
2 credit courses= Pass or Fail option 
4 credit courses= Letter grade 

Course Descriptions

CL 79500-Comparative Literature in the Age of Globalization GC:  Tues, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4 credits,  Prof. Sonali Perera (Mandatory for second year students; off limits to first year students)

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 a recent 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, Arendt, Auerbach, Said, Cesaire, Moretti, Damrosch, Spivak, Federici, Amin), we will also familiarize ourselves with recent scholarship including works by Casanova, Apter, Melas, Lowe, Ahmed, Robbins, Moten, and WReC. We will ground our discussions by “applying” theory to literary works by Woolf, Manto, 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-Cervantes's Don Quixote GC: Thur, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Lía 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.

CL 85000-Architecture and Space in 20th Century German Literature GC:  Wed, 6:30pm- 8:30pm, 2,4  credits, Prof. Caroline Rupprecht

This seminar introduces German-speaking culture to ask how “history” can be conceived of in terms of “space.” We begin with theoretical writings by Kant, Habermas, and Benjamin, addressing questions of geography, urban environment, and political borders. We then explore subjective literary landscapes by Kafka, Mann, and Musil, including Freud’s topography. And, we examine aggressive fantasies of territorial expansion in National Socialist writings by Goebbels, Schmitt, and Heidegger vis-à-vis Holocaust narratives about concentration camps and exile, reading Celan, Resnais, and Sebald. The semester’s second half is devoted to the postwar period: we will examine the utopian desires of the ‘68er squatters movement, as influenced by anti-Vietnam War protesters in France, looking at Engels, Cohn-Bendit, and Bertolucci. And, we will trace the German Left’s descent into terrorism, with the concomitant return of anti-Semitism, as in Meinhof and Fassbinder. To conclude, we’ll read Özdamar, Tawada, and Ayim to consider how contemporary Germans look at racism and immigration in a European context. The course is taught in English and welcomes students from all disciplines.  A 15-20 pp. research paper and a 15-20 min. presentation are required.

CL 88300-Autobiography in Italy GC: Mon, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Chiara Ferrari

This course examines strategies of self-representation in autobiographies and novels by Italian authors from the late 18th century to the present.  Beginning with a “foreign” but most influential text, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, we will examine the rhetorical configurations and disfigurations of the moment of witnessing and self-fashioning in several autobiographical works, and interrogate those moments in relation to the Rousseauian legacy and to their specific literary and social contexts.   We will pay particular attention to the tensions inherent in self-narration – concealment and disclosure, invention and truth, imagination and memory – and draw comparisons between fictional self-representation in “autobiographical” novels and the desire for authenticity that characterizes the memoir form.  We will also analyze the complex strategies of representing collective memory, of reading past experience though the lenses of gender, and of narrating traumatic experiences that call into question the very possibility of recounting .       
Readings will include works by Rousseau, Casanova, Svevo, Aleramo, Gramsci, P. Levi, Loy, Passerini, Starobinski, de Man, Roth, and others.      

CL 88400-Machiavelli and the Problem of Evil GC: Tues, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Paul Oppenheimer

Niccolò di Machiavelli (1469-1527) is not only recognized as the first modern political scientist, distinguished by his empirical approach to political and historical questions, but as the first and possibly foremost investigator of the role of treachery in politics as well as the problem of evil. This course examines along these lines his ideas about politics, history, Fortuna, destiny and chance, together with his influence on the history of drama (through his Mandragola), considering especially his The Prince, The Discourses, and assorted selections from other works. Machiavelli’s influence on philosophy, fiction, drama, and film will be taken up in terms of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Nietzsche, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will, and Orwell’s Animal Farm. The instructor’s biography, Machiavelli: A Life Beyond Ideology, is recommended but not required, as is his Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior. — One research paper, plus a brief in-class presentation.  

CL 88500-Bi-Lingual/Polyglot Writers GC Wed, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Emerita, 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).

Students will give a class presentation on one of the above writers or on another one with the agreement of the instructor.  The final paper should preferably be on that person but,again with the agreement of the instructor , may be on a different one."

CL 89000-The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel-Adorno GC: Mon, 6:30pm-8:30pm,  2,4 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin

In 1886, Friedrich Engels wrote a perfectly mediocre book, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, which nevertheless managed to raise a fascinating and important question that is still being debated today: how should we go about evaluating the legacy of German Idealism following the mid-nineteenth century breakdown of the Hegelian system? For Engels, the answer was relatively simple: the rightful heir of classical German philosophy was Marx’s doctrine of historical materialism. But, in truth, Engels’ response was merely one of many possible approaches. Nor would it be much of an exaggeration to claim that, in the twentieth-century, there is hardly a philosopher worth reading who has not sought to define him or herself via a confrontation with the legacy of Kant and Hegel.

Our approach to this very rich material will combine a reading of the canonical texts of German Idealism (e.g., Kant and Hegel) with a sustained and complementary focus on major twentieth-century thinkers who have sought to establish their originality via a critical reading of Hegel and his heirs: Alexandre Kojève, Georges Bataille, Jean Hyppolite, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas. But we will also seek acknowledge the importance of the contemporary North American Hegel renaissance, as exemplified by the work of philosophers such as Charles Taylor, Robert Pippin, Michael Forster, Terry Pinkard, and Allen Wood.

In his “Discourse on Language” Foucault warns us appositely that, “Truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge that permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. Thus we have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.” Foucault’s insightful caveat will, in many respects, function as our interpretive watchword as we seek to decode and reconstruct German Idealism and its innovative contemporary legacies.
 
CL 89100-History of Literary Theory & Criticism I GC: Wed, 4:15-6:15pm, 4 credits, Prof. Paola Ureni

A study of the major statements in literary theory during the classical, medieval, and early modern periods, the course will focus on issues related to the nature of literary representation and transmission. As much of the course deals with the absorption of ideas by one culture from another and the migration of texts from one linguistic, geographical and religious center to another, we will introduce translation theory and histoire croissé as methods. Topics will include the various ways the following have traveled from setting to another from period to period: mimesis and imitation; literary truth and beauty; genre and structure; figurative language; affectivity. Classical readings will include Plato, Aristotle, and Horace; medieval readings will include Augustine and Dante; early modern readings will include Valla, Tasso, Sidney, and Milton. Course requirements: oral report and seminar paper.

CL 89800-Independent Studies: Maximal and Minimal I GC: Wed, 4:15-6:15pm, 1 credit, Prof. Mary Ann Caws

Reading/discussing MAXIMAL: Georges Bataile: Visions of Excess, poetry of Charles Olson; MINIMAL: Agnes Martin, Sol Lewitt, Pelleas et Melisande, symbolism, etc. How the major and minor play against each other.

CTCP 71088: Critical Theory: Foundations and Pratices GC: Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 3 credits, Prof. John Brenkman

Starting from the tension between Marx and Weber, the seminar will explore debates and developments that inform contemporary theory, focused around salient conflicts in social theory, philosophy, and aesthetics. (1) How do conflicting paradigms of society as system (Luhmann), as norm-governed institutions (Habermas), as symbolic-institutional habitus and practices (Bourdieu), or as actor-networks (Latour) bear on interdisciplinary research? (2) How does the encounter between philosophy and cultural studies illuminate or obscure the political purport of cultural analysis (Žižek, Sloterdijk, Habermas, Laclau, Butler)? (3) How to conceptualize the artwork (or literary text) in its difference from other objects and practices, its immersion in institutions and social networks, its hermeneutical instability and variability, its relation to prevailing forms of “communication” (Heidegger, Deleuze, Luhmann, Harman, and others)?
 
In the course of addressing these three blocs of critical theory, we will reflect on such fundamental concerns as the “linguistic turn” and the “affective turn”; alternative conceptions of “critique” as normative, utopian, or dialectical as well as rejections of critique as a model; the longstanding difference regarding the task of theory to change the world or to interpret it in various ways; and what is meant by “world” in the age of globalization.
 
Texts: Garth and Mills (eds.), From Max Weber; Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What Is Philosophy?; Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought; Pierre Bourdieu and Roger Chartier, The Sociologist and the Historian; Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj Žižek, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality; Slavoj Žižek, In Defense of Lost Causes; Peter Sloterdijk, In the World Interior of Capital. Excerpts and essays by Marx, Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, Bruno Latour, Seyla Benhabib, Brian Massumi, Graham Harman, and others.

CL 86500/SPAN 85000-Lorca, Buñuel, Dalì: Theater, Film, Painting GC : Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2, 4 credits, Prof. Paul Julian Smith. (note: the 3 credit version of this course is for the SPAN section only).

This course treats the drama of Federico García Lorca, the silent and Spanish-language films of Buñuel, and some fine art works by Dalí. It also involves close reading of literary, cinematic and fine art texts and analysis of the voluminous and contradictory body of criticism on those texts. It also addresses such questions as tradition and modernity; the city and the country; and the biopic in film and television. The question of intermediality, or the relation between different media, will be examined in its historical and theoretical dimensions. The course will graded by final paper (50%), midterm exam (25%), and final presentation, weekly postings to course website and oral contribution to class  (25%).

CL 80100/FRE 70500-Writing the Self GC: Tues, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Professor Domna Stanton. The CL section of this course is 2,4 credits.

How is the self written, constructed? What forms and shapes does this writing take over time, in different genres? what purposes does it serve, what work does it accomplish for the several selves inscribed in the text and for others (including the self) who will read it? This course will begin by tracing self-writing from the Middle Ages to today, in theoretical texts (Derrida, Butler, Lacan, Lejeune), and primary works, beginning with confession (St Augustine, Rousseau); then early- discursive forms of interiority (Gentileschi, Sévigné) that steadily enlarge both the scope of self writing and the figures of the self. We will consider the long passage that women's autogynography and the self-writing of persons of color and other others took to be recognized -- from Kempe, Heloise and Pisan to slave narratives (Equiano, Jacobs, Douglass), to letters, diaries and journals (Woolf, Nin, de Beauvoir). Our readings will culminate with the proliferation of forms in the 20th- and 21st century: from autofiction (Colette, Joyce, Stein, Eggers, Cardinal); Holocaust memorials and trauma narratives (Frank, Levi, Agamben) and testimonials (Manchu) to AIDS memoirs (Arenas, Guibert), transgender texts (Bornstein) and medical blogs (Miller) that highlight transformations, death and rebirth. We will end by considering what the continued obsession with revealing/inscribing the selves might mean in visual forms (Leonard, Bourgeois, Abramovic); and finally, given the untraceable lines between the ‘real’ and ‘the fictive,’ whether all writing is self-writing.
Work for the course: Whether the course is taken for 2, 3, or 4 credits, all students will be responsible for doing the readings closely and for engaging consistently in class discussion.
a Students who take the course for 2 credits will present in class a reading of one primary text, which will also be submitted in writing (c 5-7 pp); these students will also take the final exam.
b Students who take the course for 3 credits, will do all of the above and in addition, they will do a 10-13-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography, an outline and the introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).
c Students who take the course for 4 credits will do all of the above, and will also do a 20-25-page paper on a topic they select, after consultation with the instructor; they will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography, an outline, and an introduction (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).
Please contact Domna Stanton with any questions (dstanton112@yahoo.com).  The syllabus and texts will be posted on Blackboard by August 15, 2019.

CL 80100/FSCP 81000/African Film History and Theory, 1950-1990 GC: Mon, 4:15pm-8:15pm, Prof. Boukary Sawadogo. The CL section of this course is 2,4 credits and the FSCP 81000 is 3 credits.

SPAN 87000-Contemporary Spanish and Mexican Cinema GC: Wed, 6:30-8:30pm, 3 credits, Prof. Paul Julian Smith

This course, which is taught in English and requires no knowledge of Spanish, compares and  contrasts Spanish and Mexican cinema and television of the last three decades. The course will address four topics in film: the replaying of history, nationality and transnationalism, gender and sexuality, and regionalism and urbanism; and will further study aspects of television fiction. Feature films will be viewed in subtitled versions. Methodology will embrace analysis of the audiovisual industry, film form, and theory. The course grade will be made up of final paper and related presentation (50%), class contribution and weekly postings (25%),  and take home exam (25%).