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Spring 2018

C L. 80100-Theory and History of Translation-GC: Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. Bettina Lerner
 
C L. 85000 – Marcel Proust:  In Search of Lost Time-GC: Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. André Aciman
 
C L. 85500- From Guestworkers to Transnationals: Turkish Immigrants in German Literature and Film-GC: Mondays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. Anna Akasoy
 
C L. 88000-Plurilingual Italy: Sociolinguistic Variation in Contemporary Italy and Across the Globe (in Italian) -GC: Th, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2/4cr., Prof. Hermann Haller
 
C L. 88100-Dante’s Web: Charting Connections between the Commedia and his other Works-GC: Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. Paola Ureni
  
C L. 89000-Nietzsche Lévinas Blanchot-GC: Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 cr., Prof. John Brenkman
 
C.L. 89200-History of Literary Criticism II-GC: Tuesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4. Cr., Prof. Charity Scribner

Cross-Listed Courses

C L. 80100 / HIST 72400-Existentialism: from Dostoevsky to Sartre-GC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 3cr., Prof. Richard Wolin

C L. 80900 / RSCP 82100-Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies-GC: Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4cr., Prof. Clare Carroll,

Course Descriptions

C L. 80100-Theory and History of Translation-GC: Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. Bettina Lerner

This seminar explores the history and theory of translation in the West. We will read and discuss major theoretical texts that have shaped the field of translation studies from Cicero and St. Jerome to Du Bellay, Dolet, Schlegel, Schleiermacher, Goethe, Benjamin, Jakobson, Borges, Venuti, Derrida, Berman, Spivak, Kilito and Apter among others in order to work our way through the various aesthetic, ethical and political questions raised by the practice of translation. Alongside these theoretical essays, we will examine key translations of literary and other texts as case studies that test the limits of these theories. At the end of the term, each student will redact a discussion of a specific translation theory or set of theories, an analysis of a specific translation or an original translation accompanied by a critical introduction. The class will be taught in English, but participants should have working knowledge of at least one language other than English, preferably French, German or Spanish.

C L. 85000-Marcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time-GC: Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. André Aciman

Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time tells of an elaborate, internal journey, at the end of which the narrator joyfully discovers the unifying pattern of his life both as writer and human being. Famed for its style and its distinctive view of love, art, and memory, Proust's epic remains a dominant and innovative voice in the literature of intimacy and introspection. This seminar, designed for students who wish to understand the complex relationship between memory and the modern novel, will examine how Proust's epic has challenged and redefined not just the art of writing, but the art of reading as well. The course will be taught in translation, but students able to read French are encouraged to read Proust in the original.

C L. 85500- From Guestworkers to Transnationals: Turkish Immigrants in German Literature and Film-GC: Mondays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. Anna Akasoy

West Germany’s labor recruitment agreement with the Republic of Turkey in 1961 marked the beginning of large-scale migration from Turkey to Germany. What was initially intended as temporary labor immigration led to a profound transformation of German society and culture. Individuals with Turkish roots constitute the largest ethnic minority in Germany with estimates ranging from three to seven million people. Since the 1960s, Turkish immigration has been the subject of German literature and notably film. In this course, we will survey some of the most prominent examples and analyze them against the backdrop of German, Turkish and global cultural, social and political developments.
We will begin with a short introduction to the history of migration from Turkey to Germany since 1960 and concomitant political, social and cultural transformations and debates. The bulk of the course will be devoted to examples of literature and film which reflect the transition from temporary labor immigration in post-war west Germany to the post-unification Berlin Republic. Taking into account more general developments in German literature and film (e.g. New German Cinema, the Berlin School), we will discuss different constructions of Turkish-German identity (hyphenated identities, ethno-cultural minorities as a third space, transnationalism) and important variables in identify-formation and -construction (citizenship, religion, gender, language, ethnicity, racism).
We will also explore to what extent these expressions, attributions and representations of identity are modelled after other constructions of hybrid, hyphenated, transnational or subaltern identity in countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States. Particular attention will be paid to the significance of Berlin as a symbolic, social and political space for German historical transformation and German-Turkish culture as well as to the significance of generational change. While most of the class will be devoted to high-profile authors and filmmakers of Turkish origin and descent (Fatih Akın, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Feridun Zaimoğlu, Zafer Şenocak), we will also consider literature and film about Turkish immigrants in Germany by non-Turkish authors and filmmakers (such as Jakob Arjouni’s Kayankaya detective novels and the TV crime series Tatort which features a detective of Turkish origin played by Mehmet Kurtuluş) as well as representations of labor immigrants from countries other than Turkey (such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali. Fear Eats the Soul). We will also take into account less-widely studied examples such as a German-Turkish cultural journal or oral history projects.
All required material will be made available in English translation. Additional material will be available for students with knowledge of German.

C L. 88000-Plurilingual Italy: Sociolinguistic Variation in Contemporary Italy and Across the Globe (in Italian) -GC: Th, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2/4cr., Prof. Hermann Haller

The course will introduce the students to the sociolinguistic varieties of Italian found in contemporary Italy, and to the historical alloglot idioms, thus highlighting a profoundly plurilingual landscape, enhanced even more today by numerous immigrant languages and English as an international lingua franca. We will study the linguistic features of diatopic and diastratic varieties in the Italian / dialect continuum, among them Standard, regional and popular Italian, gergo, the speech of young people, and the language of the mass media. Attention will be paid to the great transformation in the course of the past century from a dialect speaking society to one of bilingual and increasingly monolingual speakers. The sociolinguistic varieties will be analyzed in both literary and non-literary texts, as well as in the language in contact situations outside of Italy, with a focus on Italian as a community language in the United States. The course will be taught in Italian, however, students with a good passive proficiency may do their work in English.
Texts: Alberto A. Sobrero, Introduzione all’italiano contemporaneo. La varietà e gli usi (Roma-Bari, Laterza) (text to be purchased); Lorenzo Coveri et al., Le varietà dell’italiano. Manuale di sociolinguistica italiana (Roma, Bonacci); Mari D’Agostino, Sociolinguistica dell’Italia contemporanea (Bologna, Il Mulino); Hermann W. Haller, Una lingua perduta e ritrovata. L’italiano degli italo-americani (Firenze, La Nuova Italia); Manlio Cortelazzo, Carla Marcato et al., I dialetti italiani. Storia, struttura, uso (Torino, UTET); Massimo Vedovelli, Storia linguistica dell’emigrazione italiana nel mondo (Roma, Carocci).

C L. 88100-Dante’s Web: Charting Connections between the Commedia and his other Works-GC: Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2/4 cr., Prof. Paola Ureni

This course will highlight the connections between Dante’s works, identifying and following thematic, philosophical, and lexical threads that link the Commedia, Convivio, Monarchia, De Vulgari Eloquentia, Vita Nuova, and Rime. Even though the consideration of the temporal sequence of Dante’s writings will be important, our readings will be organized according to thematic – rather than chronological – criteria. Scholars have often discussed the relations and reciprocal influences in Dante’s oeuvre, particularly, for instance, in the Commedia and the Convivio. On the basis of the philosophical and political dimension, studies and critical editions of the Monarchia have considered its relationship to the Convivio. More recently, for example, the political dimension has been highlighted as relevant to the linguistic theory of the De Vulgari Eloquentia. Besides investigating the connections discussed by Dante criticism, we will explore and identify references to structures of thought shared by the different aspects of medieval intellectual discussions, and mirroring Dante’s intellectual iter. This will allow for a study of the poet’s syncretic consideration of the political, philosophical, musical, and scientific discourses, as well as of the relationship between classical authors and material, and contemporary theological tenets.

C L. 89000-Nietzsche Lévinas Blanchot-GC: Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 cr., Prof. John Brenkman

The friendship between Maurice Blanchot and Emmanuel Lévinas has fascinated, and often baffled, commentators on these major literary and philosophical thinkers of the 20th century. This seminar will explore the relation between Blanchot’s thought and Lévinas’s through the lens of their respective relation to a set of themes inaugurated by Nietzsche’s writings, in particular: the symbolic-affective connections of morality and power, the multiple facets of nihilism in the modern age, and the philosophical status of the human and otherness. 
Primary texts: Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals; The Will to Power; Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Lévinas, The Levinas Reader; Otherwise than Being; Proper Names. Blanchot, The Space of Literature; The Infinite Conversation.

C.L. 89200-History of Literary Criticism II-GC: Tuesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4. Cr., Prof. Charity Scribner

This course is a study of the thought about literature as it has developed from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Readings range from Kant to Horkheimer and Adorno. This course will examine the evolution of modern aesthetics as well as current critical methodology. Conducted in English. Students may choose to read assigned texts in their original languages or in translation.

Cross-Listed Courses

C L. 80100 / HIST 72400-Existentialism: from Dostoevsky to Sartre
-
GC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 3cr., Prof. Richard Wolin

Existentialism revolutionized twentieth-century thought and culture. Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943) established the movement’s contours and tenets, although Karl Jaspers and Simone de Beauvoir also made essential contributions.
Existentialism challenged Western metaphysics by rejecting the notion of “essence” as a conceptual straitjacket that restricted the notion of human possibility. Its watchword may be succinctly summarized as: existence is prior to essence. As an intellectual current, existentialism followed in the wake of Nietzsche’s critique of European nihilism: since traditional Western values had lost their cogency and meaning, a “transvaluation of values” was required.
Nineteenth-century developments provided the backdrop for existentialism’s emergence. Both Schelling and Kierkegaard lamented traditional philosophy’s trafficking in lifeless abstractions and lack of concern with “lived experience.” Theories of “alienation” in the work of Marx, Durkheim, and Simmel provided existentialism with a grounding in contemporary social theory and critique.
Existentialism also derived inspiration from major works of literature: Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground,” Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary became indispensable points of reference. According to one witness, Heidegger’s constant companions while composing Being and Time were Dostoevsky’s novels and a recent edition of van Gogh’s letters. Sartre’s novels and plays, Nausea and No Exit, are often treated as exemplars of literary existentialism.
Finally, existentialism has often been criticized from the left for glorifying alienation and (bourgeois) decadence. During the late 1940s, the Frankfurt School philosopher and ex-Heidegger student, Herbert Marcuse, wrote a landmark critique of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. During the 1960s, Theodor Adorno accused Heidegger’s approach of smoothing over the tensions of late capitalism by offering a “pseudo-concreteness” in place of a critical social theory.
Booklist:
Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
Kierkegaard, A Kierkegaard Anthology
Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
Nietzsche, The Will to Power
Simmel, “Metropolis and Mental Life” + “The Tragedy of Culture”
Lukács, Soul and Form
Kafka, “Before the Law,” “An Imperial Messenger”
Heidegger, Being and Time
Wolin, ed., The Heidegger Controversy
Sartre, Nausea
Sartre, Being and Nothingness
Sartre, “Existentialism is a Humanism”
Adorno, “Understanding Endgame”

C L. 80900 / RSCP 82100-Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies-GC: Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4cr., Prof. Clare Carroll,

The course is designed to help students work on their own research—on the dissertation, the orals, or on a research paper in Renaissance or Early Modern Studies, broadly defined as 1350-1700. 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. Students will receive instruction in topics specifically related to research in the early modern period: codicology, paleography, textual editing and analytical bibliography. There will study 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 visit the Manuscript and Rare Book Collections at the Morgan Library.  On March 30, the seminar will be devoted to a day-long symposium on how to do research in archives in Rome, Paris, Madrid, London, Dublin, and Mexico City.
Reading list (texts from which weekly readings will be selected):
Roger Chartier, Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer
Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Study
Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe
Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book
James A. Knapp, Illustrating the Past in Early Modern England
Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance
Armando Petrucci, Writers and Readers in Medieval Italy
Brian Richardson, Manuscript Culture in Renaissance Italy
Bill Sherman, Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England
Articles by Robert Darnton, Anthony Grafton, Lisa Jardine, Arthur Marotti, and Peter Stallybrass.