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Spring 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.
 
CL 85000-Authors, Critics, and Editors-GC: Prof. André Aciman, Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits.
 
CL 85000-Television Without Borders-GC: Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-10:00pm, 2-4 credits, Cross listed with FSCP 81000.
 
CL 85000-The Rake’s Progress: Libertinism in Italy/France/England-GC: Prof. Paolo Fasoli, Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits.
 
.CL 85000-Novel Markets: The Rise of Popular Literature, 1800-1900-GC: Prof. Bettina Lerner, Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits.
 
CL 85500-The Global South and Cinemas of the Americas-GC: Prof. Jerry Carlson, Mondays, 2:00pm-6:00pm, Cross listed with FSCP 81000.
 
CL 89000-An Instance of the Fingerpost: Early Modern Evidence in Comparative Perspective-GC: Prof. Monica Calabritto, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits, Cross listed with RSCP 83100.
 
CL 89200-History of Literary Theory & Criticism II-GC: Prof. John Brenkman, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 4 credits.

CTCP 71088-Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices-GC: Prof. Vincent Crapanzano, Wednesdays: 2:00pm-4:00pm, 3 credits.

CL 89800-Independent Study: Surrealism 2-GC Prof. Mary Ann Caws. Meeting in the French thesis room on Wednesdays from 4:15-6 on January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27. *A one-credit, five week seminar with class discussions and individual projects

Cross-Listed Courses

FRENCH 73000 / CL 80100-Orientalisms in Early Modern France-GC: Prof. Domna Stanton, Tuesdays: 2:00pm-4:00pm. *Both sections of this course are available to take only for 2 / 4 credits.

HIST 72400 / CL 80100-Adventures in Marxism-GC: Prof. Richard Wolin, Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits

See Also

MALS 71300-Film, Fashion, Cities and Cultural Heritage-GC: Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli, Thursdays: 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Course Descriptions



CL 85000-Authors, Critics, and Editors-GC: Prof. André Aciman, Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits.

Unlike any course offered at the Graduate Center, this course invites fourteen writers to teach a novel or novella they consider not only important in its own right but also formative to their careers as writers. The schedule will be as follows:

February 5:    André Aciman: Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
 
February 8 (Friday Class):    David Nasaw: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
 
February 19:  Colm Tóibín: Juan Goytisolo, The Blind Rider
 
February 26:  Jay Parini: Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
 
March 5:        Jane Kramer: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
 
March 12:      Sam Tanenhaus: John Updike, Of the Farm
 
March 19:      Vivian Gornick: Natalia Ginzburg, The Little Virtues

March 26:      Judith Thurman: Colette, The Pure and the Impure
 
April 2:           A. O. Scott: Mary McCarthy, The Groves of Academe
 
April 9:            Francine Prose: Heinrich von Kleist, The Marquise von O.
 
April 19 (Friday Class): Daphne Merkin:  Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
 
April 30:          John Guare: Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro; and Gustave Flaubert, A Simple Heart

May    7:         Parul Sehgal: Muriel Spark. The Girls of Slender Means
 
May  10 (Friday Class): Dani Shapiro, Elizabeth Hardwick: Sleepless Nights


CL 85000-Television Without Borders-GC: Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-10:00pm, 2-4 credits, Cross listed with FSCP 81000.

Television has enjoyed a creative resurgence in the US, virtually depleting and replacing the once thriving independent film industry. At the same time, the advent of digital platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime has facilitated the local distribution of foreign serial drama, granting access to productions that were once imagined as strictly bound to a national target of viewers. In Europe, the merger of BSkyB, Sky Italia, and Sky Deutschland has led to the restructuring of a media conglomerate that promoted the simultaneous airing of prestige European serial drama across several countries, including the US. The global launch of Netflix has not only led to increasing worldwide distribution of American serial drama, but also to the company’s growing investment in the creation of local original series, to be distributed simultaneously all over the world.
 
This course proposes a comparative approach to television drama, through the specific study of prestige serial drama, namely TV series usually connoted by high production values, naturalistic performance style, narrative complexity, stylistic integrity, and committed viewer engagement.  Our investigation will be guided by the narratological concerns raised by Jason Mittell in Complex Television, and inflected by the application of theoretical tenets until now largely associated with the study of comparative literature. While maintaining its firm footing in the specific critical tools associated to the study of television, this course grafts onto the study of television questions raised in Pascale Casanova’s World Republic of Letters, investigating serial drama in its global positioning and in its nationalistic investments, identifying its national aesthetics and its political dependencies, its loci of assimilation and its forms of rebellion against dominant paradigms dictated by Hollywood. Pierre Bourdieu’s understanding of power and capital in his study of sites of force(s) and struggle(s) in the field of cultural production, Benedict Anderson’s definition of imagined communities, and Arjun Appadurai’s investigation of imagination as social force in identity creation will all contribute to our reading of a diverse group of television series, analyzed through questions of genre, themes, and format. For the purpose of limiting what is already an incredibly vast field of inquiry, comedies will not be taken into consideration.
 
Series discussed in this course will include Cleverman (Australia), 13 Commandments and Public Enemy (Belgium),  Pure (Canada), 1864, The Rain, and Ride Upon the Storm (Denmark), Les Revenants and Churchmen (France), Dark (Germany), Srugim and Fauda (Israel), Gomorra, Suburra, The Thirteenth Apostle, and The Miracle (Italy), The Young Pope (Italy-US), Top of the Lake (New Zealand), Mammon (Norway), Night and Day (Spain), Jördskott (Sweden), Broken, Fortitude, and The State (UK), The Handmaid’s Tale, True Detective, The Sinner, Westworld, American Gods, Preacher, The Path, The Leftovers (US)

CL 85000-The Rake’s Progress: Libertinism in Italy/France/England-GC: Prof. Paolo Fasoli, Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits.

If in common parlance the word “Libertinism” conveys a sense of socially disapproved rakishness, “erudite libertinage” or philosophical free-thinking, instead,  is a definition that applies to a variety of 17th and 18th thinkers, usually connected through academic circles, who challenged the core cultural, political, and religious institutions of ancien régime Europe. These heterodox philosophers, novelists, and satirists were fierce critics of post-Reformation Catholicism and of then-popular political doctrines (reason of state, absolutism) and, in some cases, of sexual normativity and even of the new epistemological discourses emerging in early modern Europe. The authors studied in this course will include Ferrante Pallavicino, Lorenzo da Ponte, Pierre Gassendi, Giulio Cesare Vanini, Gabriel Naudé, Cyrano de Bergerac, Donatien Alphonse De Sade, John Wilmot, Aphra Behn, and others based on students’ preference and interest.

CL 85000-Novel Markets: The Rise of Popular Literature, 1800-1900-GC: Prof. Bettina Lerner, Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2-4 credits.

This course examines the narrative structures and mediatic forms that gained dominance in nineteenth-century France, England and America and which continue to inform contemporary cultural production. Taking romance, the dime novel and the roman feuilleton as our primary foci, we will situate these texts alongside other cultural forms that developed in tandem with them and on which they often drew, including the mass press, staged spectacles and, eventually, photography and cinema as well. As we make our way through texts by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charles Dickens, Paul de Kock, Alexandre Dumas fils, George Lippard, Pierre Souvestre, and Eugène Sue, among others, we will trace the rise of specific reading publics and counter-publics while examining the tensions between sentimentality and sensationalism, leisure and social protest, containment and resistance that these narratives exploit. We will also attend to how critics contemporary to these novelists helped to transform the popular into an equivocal category of cultural analysis while also examining how these hierarchies have been questioned and reimagined in recent literary and cultural theory. Requirements will include a short presentation and a final paper. Taught in English. Reading knowledge of French recommended.

CL 85500-The Global South and Cinemas of the Americas-GC: Prof. Jerry Carlson, Mondays, 2:00pm-6:00pm, Cross listed with FSCP 81000.

In recent decades cultural theorists have embraced the concept of the Global South as a way of exploring the many uneven relations of resources, development, and governance that exist between the wealthy industrial nations and their clients, external and internal. Since World War II a considerable body of narrative film has been created that explores these conditions while issuing from the Global South itself.
 
This course maps and explores the many cinemas of the Global South that have been created in the Americas. Close readings of films will be combined with historical, cultural, and theoretical texts
 
The first half of the course will emphasize foundational works from the 1960s and 1970s: Cuban revolutionary cinema (i.e. Memories of Underdevelopment); Brazilian Cine Novo (i.e. How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman); independent African-American films (i.e. Killer of Sheep); and others.
 
The second half of the course will emphasize the emergent cinemas of recent decades. This may include such films as Guarani (Argentina/Paraguay), City of Men (Brazil), Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), Sand Dollars (Dominican Republic), Ixcanul (Guatemala), Daughters of the Dust (USA) and Smoke Signals (USA) and Sugar (USA / Dominican Republic). 
 
Critical texts may include writings by filmmakers such as Julio Garcia Espinosa, Glauber Rocha, and Julie Dash as well as theory by Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Epistemologies of the South), Walter Mignolo (Local Histories / Global Designs), Robert Stam & Ella Shohat (Unthinking Eurocentrism), and Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari (Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature), among others.

CL 89000-An Instance of the Fingerpost: Early Modern Evidence in Comparative Perspective-GC: Prof. Monica Calabritto, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits, Cross listed with RSCP 83100.

Many scholars from fields as varied as history of science and medicine, philosophy, legal history and history have reflected on the notion of evidence and its affiliated terms—proof, sign, fact. They have investigated these terms in light of the tectonic changes that occurred in the early modern period vis-à-vis the approach that men of science, jurists, and historians took towards the concept of experience.
Early modern evidence was at the center of a web of connections among multiple disciplines, including literature, at a moment in which a new method of experimentation and truth finding was taking shape in Europe.​ Francis Bacon used the expression “instance of the fingerpost” in the Novum Organum​ (book 2, "Aphorisms", Section XXXVI), to illustrate evidence that would direct, as a signpost, to the truth. In order to explore how the concepts of experience, evidence and proof changed in radical ways between the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century, we will read sections from Bacon’s Novum Organum, Montaigne’s Essays, Vesalius’ The Fabric of the Human Body, and Galileo’s Assayer_ and Sidereal Messenger. We will also read excerpts from early modern legal treatises defining the terms of evidence and proof, and the way these new definitions of old terms were transposed in historical and literary narratives.

CL 89200-History of Literary Theory & Criticism II-GC: Prof. John Brenkman, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 4 credits.

This course is a study of the thought about literature from the late 18th century to the present, with an emphasis on the evolution of modern aesthetics as well as current critical methods. The primary texts of aesthetic theory will be Kant’s Analytic of the Beautiful and Analytic of the Sublime in the Critique of Judgment, Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, and Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art.” We will look at a range of critics who wrote major essays on Baudelaire in order to discuss the methodological and ideological antagonisms that animate modern criticism: Benjamin, Auerbach, Sartre, Poulet, Blanchot, Jakobson and Lévi-Strauss, de Man, Jauss, Kristeva. We will read reflections on tragedy and the tragic by Frye, Szondi, Girard, and Steiner. And instances of the philosopher as critic: Derrida on Mallarmé, Deleuze on Michel Tournier, Nussbaum on Henry James, and Cavell on Shakespeare.

CTCP 71088-Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices-GC: Prof. Vincent Crapanzano, Wednesdays: 2:00pm-4:00pm.

The focus of this seminar will be on the relationship between various conceptions of and attitudes toward language and recent theories of interpretation and hermeneutical practices in the human sciences and literary study.  We will consider the effect of the stress on reference over other language functions – the pragmatic, poetic -- on notions of text, genre, and rhetoric. How does this stress configure meta-critical understanding? How does it foster the often promiscuous play of divergent, at times analytically incompatible, approaches to interpretation so characteristic of contemporary theory? Readings will include works by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, de Saussure, Lévi-Strauss and/or Gennette, Foucault, Michael Silverstein and his school, Bakhtin, Lacan and Deleuze.             

CL 89800-Independent Study : Surrealism 2-GC Prof. Mary Ann Caws. Meeting in the French thesis room on Wednesdays from 4:15-6 on January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27. *A one-credit, five week seminar with class discussions and individual projects

Starting with André Breton’s return to France after his stay in the US, essays in his Surrealism and Painting (1965), and the reach of surrealism to Belgium, the UK, and the Americas.  

FRENCH 73000 / CL 80100-Orientalisms in Early Modern France-GC: Prof. Domna Stanton, Tuesdays: 2:00pm-4:00pm. *Both sections of this course are available to take only for 2 / 4 credits.

This course will focus on Orientalisms in France's relations with the Ottoman  empire. Beginning with 16th-century orientalists such as Postel (long before Said's Orientalism begins to track these figures), we will examine theories of Orientalisms as well as a number of discourses, including cartographic representations, travel narratives and letters; commercial relations (and the European desire for oriental luxury items); pilgrimages; conversion narratives from Christian to Muslim to Christian; and phantasms of oriental harems and baths, and the gendering of the Orient itself as feminine and effeminate, despite the coincident stereotype of Turks as militaristic, violent, and cruel. We will consider closely theatrical works produced in France (Paris and the port city of Rouen) in the period 1600-1680 (e.g. Manfray,  La rhodienne (1621), Scudéry, L'amant libéral (1638), Desfontaines, Perside (1644), when openness and "tolerance" of alterity seem to decline during the reign of Louis XIV (e.g. Molière, Le bourgeois gentilhomme; Racine, Bajazet), just when the Ottoman threat to Europe is temporarily ended by the European victory at Vienna in (1683).  We will analyze the nature of the perceived threat of and desire for Oriental despotism during the long reign of Louis XIV.
The course will be conducted in English. A reading knowledge of early-modern French is important. In addition to close readings of primary as well as historical and theoretical texts, work for the course will include an in-class presentation of one primary reading and a final exam. After consultation with the instructor, those taking the course for four credits will submit a 25-page research paper; those taking it for three credits, will produce a 10-13-page research paper. Those who wish to take the course for two credits will write up their class presentation (5-7-pages) and take the final exam.
The research papers can deal with sites other than France, including states bordering the Mediterranean, England  or Northern  Europe.
The syllabus for the course will be posted on line by January 15, 2019. Readings for the course will appear on Blackboard before the first class.
Please address any questions to Domna Stanton at dstanton112@yahoo.com

HIST 72400 / CL 80100-Adventures in Marxism-GC: Prof. Richard Wolin, Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2-4 credits.

                                                                                         Je ne suis pas Marxiste!”
 
                                                                    Karl Marx, cited by Engels, 1882
 
In his “Theses on Feuerbach” (1846) Marx, seeking to free himself from Hegel’s tutelage, famously declared that, “Heretofore, philosophers have only interpreted the world; however, the point is to change it!” At the time, little did Marx realize the immense historical influence his ideas and doctrines would have. For decades to come, Marx’s theories would inspire intellectuals and political activists in Europe, Latin America, and Asia – although, often in ways that would have undoubtedly astonished Marx himself. After all, the first “successful” communist revolution occurred not in a highly industrialized society, as Marx had prophesied, but instead in Tsarist Russia: a nation that had only recently freed its serfs and that was still largely agrarian. Although as late as 1956, Jean-Paul Sartre could still refer to Marxism optimistically as, “The unsurpassable philosophy of our time,” following World War II, with the rising tide of decolonization, the torch of World Revolution had clearly passed (in the words of Franz Fanon) to the “wretched of the earth” – to the denizens of the so-called “Third World.” To add to this litany of well-known paradoxes: in contemporary China, one of the few remaining communist nations, Marxism has paradoxically become the reigning ideology of a society that is unabashedly oriented toward exponential economic growth and conspicuous consumption. (Or, as Deng Xiaoping proclaimed during the early 1980s: “To get rich is glorious!”) Looking back from 1989 – the watershed year in which the Marxist regimes of Eastern Europe unraveled with breathtaking rapidity – intellectuals and pundits openly wondered whether the time had finally come to write Marxism’s epitaph. However, in light of the rise of neo-liberalism and the prodigious rise of social inequality, forecasts concerning Marxism’s demise would seem premature.
 
Our primary focus will be the legacy of Marxist thought. As such, we will begin by examining the way in which Marx’s youthful confrontation with Hegel prepared the ground for the development of his notion of “historical materialism.” But very quickly, under the tutelage of the later Engels and the Second International, this conception congealed into a dogmatic body of received truths, precipitating what some have called the “crisis of Marxism.” At the time, one of the main responses to Marxism-in-crisis was “Leninism”: the idea that, since the European proletariat seemed increasingly lethargic, a vanguard party was required in order to focus its attention on the long-term goal of world revolution.
 
Under the guise of a “return to Hegel,” and as an antidote to Soviet Marxism, the interwar period witnessed an efflorescence of philosophical Marxism. Among the highlights of this movement were Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness as well as the work of Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School – a renewal of Marxist thought that has been largely responsible for the postwar renaissance of “critical Marxism.” More recently, in books such as Revolution at the Gates, Slavoj Zizek has encouraged a “return to Lenin.” Similarly, the French Maoist, Alain Badiou, in part inspired by Sartre, has sought to resurrect Marx’s theory of the “subject.” Insisting that, as a critique of capitalism, Marxism has lost none of its historical relevance, Badiou claims that, by learning from its past defeats, Marxism can be resurrected.

MALS 71300-Film, Fashion, Cities and Cultural Heritage-GC: Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli, Thursdays: 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Fashion and Film share a highly interactive quality. As two of the most well=-known and widespread commercial industries to grow out of modernity, cinema and fashion have always had a synergetic relationship insofar as both use the technology of the camera and that of the body and performance. Costume is integral both to the actor’s performance and to the cinematic rendition of visual narratives and experience. Since the birth of cinema in the late nineteenth century, the film scene has constituted a virtual shopping window for clothes, exhibiting and making desirable the newest fashions and goods available at department stores. Film costumes have not just borrowed from fashion and haute couture, but have also inspired the production of the newest fashion. Costumes in cinema have been used as narrative tools for telling stories on screen that emphasize character identity and development while also attracting a larger audience. More recently, the digital genre of “fashion film” has become a widespread advertising and storytelling tool for fashion luxury brands such as Ferragamo, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, among others. The course will be structured in four sections that will explore in depth the historical context of the interaction of film/fashion/costume from the silent era up to the present. Some rare American, Italian, and French films will be shown from the 1920s. The course will also include   Hollywood films from the 1930s; films from the 1950s and 1960s; and contemporary production in film, fashion, music video and screen media.  The role of women as audience, actors, characters and designers as well as gender representation will be studied as will race, queer and ethnic identities. Many actors, and performers, for instance, were immigrants from Europe and established a high profile in the Hollywood industry from the beginning of the 20th century. Fashion and film are multibillion industries that are nourished by immaterial narratives and emotions and as such play a pivotal role in attracting tourism, business and culture. This is particularly crucial in a global city such as NYC where the creative industries thrive. The course will include guest speakers and visits in NY based sites of studio and costume archives and a “Practice Lab” with a NY based designer.