For all registration dates and deadlines, see the GC academic calendar.

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.

Students can also view courses via CUNY's Dynamic Course Schedule.

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

Fall 2022

C L. 79500– Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism, GC:  Thurs, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 4 credits, Prof. Bettina Lerner

CL 80100-Reflections on Psychoanalysis, GC: Wed, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4credits, Prof. Vincent Crapanzano/ cross listed with Anthro 81000, 3 credits

CL 80100- Intro to Global Early Modern Studies:  The Atlantic World, GC: Mondays, 2, 4 credits, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Clare Carroll/ cross listed with GEMS 72100, 3 credits

CL 80100 - Queer Auteurs?: Almodóvar, Ozon, Ozpetek, GC: Wed, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Hybrid, Prof. Paul Smith

CL 80900/FRE 72000- Montaigne and Intertextuality, GC: Thurs, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Erec Koch

CL 85000- Understanding the Radical Right, GC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Richard Wolin/ cross listed with HIST 72100, 3 credits

CL 85500-Intro to Literary Translation Studies, cross listed with MALS 78500 Introduction to Literary Translation Studies, GC: Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Esther Allen

CL 85500- Middle Eastern Explorers: Time, Space and Travel Literature, GC: Thurs, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy/cross listed with MES 78500, 3 credits

CL 86500- Beyond Adaptation: Transmediality, Narrative Ecosystems and Spreadable Media, GC: Tues, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi / cross listed with FSCP 81000, 3 credits

CL 88500- Italian Fascism: History and Interpretations, GC: Tues, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli/ cross listed with WSCP 81000, 3 credits

CL 89000- On Passions, Emotions, Affects: in Theory, History, Texts, GC: Tues, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 2,4 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton/ cross listed with FRE 87000

CL 89100- History of Literary Theory & Criticism I, GC: Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 4 credits, Prof. Julie Van Peteghem

CL 79500
4 credits

Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism
Thursday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Bettina Lerner

Over the last three decades, the field of Comparative Literature has gone through a period of rapid and radical expansion. What we study as comparatists is commonly (if problematically) held to be world literature, but now also includes a wide array of non-traditional media and new forms of self-expression. At the same time, how we study and interpret these texts has moved away from a well-established hermeneutics of suspicion toward distant, surface, reparative and other forms of reading, while increasingly embracing affects, objects and ecologies that exert significant pressure on discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. What defines the work that comparatists do and how might we continue to think about relationality when faced with modes of storytelling that seem unrelatable, untranslatable or illegible? This course considers what it means to read and write critically as comparatists today by engaging with current debates about the state of the discipline, the fate of the humanities in our universities, and the place and purpose of criticism and interpretation in our social and political landscapes as a whole. Through its written assignments and oral presentations, it also provides a space from within which to practice some of the key rhetorical exercises that have become, for better or worse, the benchmarks of professionalization including abstracts, conference presentations, project proposals, and a 20-25 page paper.

CL 80100/ANTH 81000
Reflections of Psychoanalysis
2,4 credits
Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Vincent Crapanzano

This seminar attempts to gain a critical perspective on psychoanalysis as both a therapeutic practice and a theory of interpretation that reflects prevailing notions of the psyche. Through close readings of texts by Freud, Winicott, and Lacan. Emphasis will be placed on the underlying epistemological assumptions of psychoanalytic hermeneutics, on the discursive transactions that it presumes and figures in terms of transference and counter-transference, and on its notions of time, truth, and revelation. Special attention will be given to the rhetoric of the unconscious, to trauma (as a mode of psychic punctuation), and on the application of psychoanalytic interpretation to literary texts, rituals, and other cultural phenomena. Readings will inlcude Freud’s interpretation of dreams, several of his case histories, and various metapsychological essays (e.g “the unconscious,” beyond the pleasure principle, “the uncanny,” and civilization and its discontents; Winnicott’s playing and reality and holding and interpretation: a fragment of analysis; and selections from Lacan’s Ecrits and seminars (notably  “The function and field of speech and language in psychoanalysis,” four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, and the ethics of psychoanalysis). As a starting point we will read several chapters of Foucault’s “Wrong-doing/truth-telling: the function of avowal in justice”.

CL 80100/GEMS 72100: Introduction to Global Early Modern Studies, GC: Mondays, 4:15pm ONLINE, 2,3,4 credits, Prof. Clare Carroll. Cross listed with MALS 74600. 

Transculturation in the Atlantic world will be the focus of our study of encounters between Europeans and Africans, peoples of the Caribbean, and the Americas in texts from Portuguese, Spanish, Nahuatl, French and English authors. Topics to be discussed include political versus economic interpretations of the encounter, slavery, and colonization; the geography of empire; visual narration in Meso-American codices; the intersection of gender, class and race in the creation of mestizo cultures; monsters and cannibals in maps and ethnographic writing; the construction of race before race (the pseudo-science of the 18th and 19th centuries). All texts can be read in the original language and in English. Readings will be available on Blackboard.

Readings will be from: The Asia of João de Barros; Columbus, Diario; We People Here: Nahuatl Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico; Hernán Cortés, The Second Letter; Las Casas, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies; Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas; Sor Juana Inés de a Cruz, Response to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz; Montaigne, ‘On Cannibals,’ ‘On Coaches,’ Jean de Léry, History of a

CL 80100
Queer Auteurs? Almodóvar, Ozon, Ozpetek
Wednesday, 4:15pm-6:15pm
2,4 credits
Paul Julian Smith

This course, which is taught in English and requires no reading knowledge of other languages, examines three European filmmakers from, respectively, Spain, France, and Italy, each raising different but related questions of gender, sexuality, and nationality. The course begins with a consideration of the much debated but still key question of auteurism, attempting to go beyond the consideration of individual aesthetics into institutional questions of production processes and industrial contexts. It also asks how these themes intersect with the fragile and provisional position of queer content in the cultural field, frequently at odds with the established prestige of the auteur. The course goes on to examine three feature films by each of its chosen directors. Films will include Almodóvar’s Bad Education (‘La mala educación’, 2004), Ozon’s Water Drops on Burning Rocks (‘Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brulantes’, 2000), and Ozpetek’s Ignorant Fairies (‘Le fate ignoranti’, 2001; remade by the director as a TV series in 2022). Reference will also be made to specimen secondary literature on the three filmmakers. The course will be graded by final paper (50%), midterm exam (25%), and final presentation, weekly posting to course website, and oral contribution to class (25%). The midterm exam and final paper may be written in English, Spanish, French, or Italian.

CL 80900/FRENCH 72000
Montaigne and Intertextuality
2,4 credits

Professor Erec R. Koch
Thursday, 6:30PM-8:30PM
In-Person
Taught in English
 
Michel de Montaigne’s Essais invite the exploration of intertextuality through both textual performance and content. In those texts, Montaigne establishes the mutual imbrication of reading and writing; he makes copious use of citations of authors drawn from his library or inscribed in the beams of his tower; he adds continuously to the texts up to his death in 1592. Intertextuality defines the very genre that he created and shaped in that the essai is open-ended and invites citation and response. Intertextuality determines the literary heritage of the essai in the succession of essayists over the centuries. Every subsequent example of the genre has been overtly or covertly a reference Montaigne’s text: Pierre Charron, Jean-Pierre Camus, Blaise Pascal, and Pierre Nicole, to name only a few, graft Montaigne’s text into their own in responding to the Essais. In this course, we will use intertextual theory as a way to inform Montaigne’s Essais, but we will also examine the ways in which the Essais inform theories of intertextuality. Principal readings in intertextual theory will include: Gérard Genette on palimpsests, Antoine Compagnon on citation, Julia Kristeva on the semiotics of re-writing, Mikhail Bakhtin on dialogism, Harold Bloom on the “anxiety of influence,” Michael Riffaterre on intertextual signification, and Jacques Derrida on citation and textual grafts. Finally, we will examine new digital humanities methods of exploring intertextuality, particularly on the ARTFL website (TextPair and TopoLogic), and assess how those methods may re-shape our understanding of intertextuality. Readings will be in French; class discussion, in English.

CL 85000/HIST 72100
Understanding the Radical Right
2,3,4 credits
Monday, 6:30-8:30 (Fully in-person)
Richard Wolin

Vladimir Putin in Russia, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Marine Le Pen in France, Matteo Salvini in Italy, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and so forth: the world is awash in authoritarian populism. In order to better understand the origins and efficacity of these “soft dictatorships” or “illiberal democracies” (Orbán), we will pursue a twofold approach. First, we will review the leading theories of dictatorship and the authoritarian state as outlined by luminaries such as Carl Schmitt (The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy; 1923)), Horkheimer and Adorno (Dialectic of Enlightenment; 1947), and Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism; 1951). Second, we will investigate the leading ideologues of fascism and the “total state,” thinkers who have recently experienced an enthusiastic revival among conservatives and reactionaries worldwide: Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt (again), Julius Evola, and the American paleocon Samuel Francis (1947-2005). In conclusion, we will examine the origins of “population replacement” ideology (Renaud Camus, Generation Identity, the Alt-Right) among representatives of the European “New Right”: Alain de Benoist and disciples such as Vladimir Putin-advisor and Steve Bannon-intimate, Alexander Dugin. 

(The course is intended for PhD students; master’s students must receive permission of the instructor)

CL 85500- Middle Eastern Explorers: Time, Space and Travel Literature
2,4 credits

Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Anna Akasoy

Since the early days of Islamic history, Muslims traveled for a number of reasons, including trade, education and the pilgrimage. Some traveled on diplomatic missions. While most remained within territories under Muslim rule, others such as Ibn Fadlan or Ibn Battuta ventured well beyond these boundaries into the African, European and Asian continents. Like a small number of other medieval and early modern travelers of the Middle East, they left behind accounts of their journeys which provide important insights into the ways these authors experienced the world and their underlying geographical and ethnographic taxonomies. In some cases, these travel accounts have become critical sources for the regions the authors described (e.g., Ibn Fadlan for human sacrifice among the Vikings, or Ibn Battuta for the early history of Islam in the Maldives).

In this course, we will be reading samples of medieval and early modern Arabic, Persian and Turkish travel literature in English translation. While most of these accounts were written by Muslim travelers, we will be including Jewish and Christian authors from the Middle East as well. We will discuss these texts against the backdrop of biographical, political and religious contexts, but also compare them with contemporaneous geographical and ethnographic literature and cartographic sources as well as travel accounts which can be described as more mythological or fantastical in nature. In order to identify and analyze the distinctive features of these texts, we will also be reading more recent accounts by western travelers such as Richard Francis Burton describing the same regions. We will be discussing the extent to which concepts such as imperialism or Orientalism can be applied to diverse historical and literary contexts. Medieval and early modern travelers have sometimes become iconic in their own right and inspired a literary afterlife – to explore this, we will be considering Naguib Mahfouz’ The Journey of Ibn Fattouma (on Ibn Battuta) alongside Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (on Marco Polo).

In addition to introducing participants to the historical context and literary features of this body of travel literature, this course will offer an opportunity to consider travel as a mode of exploration in a more general sense. We will be considering journeys as sites and facilitators of plots (e.g., in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express or the travel account of Hanna Diab, the ‘author’ of Aladdin). Taking our cue from L.P. Hartley’s description of the past as a foreign country, we will be discussing ways in which explorations of both past and future times constitute forms of travel in which unknown worlds are constituted and described to a variety of ends (e.g., nostalgia or utopia). Premodern Middle Eastern accounts of travel in history will be read alongside modern Middle Eastern literature about time travel and examples of Middle Eastern-themed sci-fi literature. Here, otherness and wonder are a function of difference in historical time rather than geographical distance.

This course will be using principles of collaborative syllabus design in order to reflect the interests of course participants. Students with an interest in the course are welcome and encouraged to contact the instructor at any time before the beginning of the fall semester in order to discuss their interests and expectations.

CL 86500/FSCP 81000 Beyond Adaptation: Transmediality, Narrative Ecosystems, and Spreadable Media. [FSCP 3 credits; CL 2/4 credits], Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm.
Giancarlo Lombardi
Fully In person. 

This course will focus on the theoretical and practical study of narrative storyworlds depicted across different media and platforms. It will be divided in three modules. In the theoretical module, we will depart from Linda Hutcheon’s seminal study of adaptation to discuss Henry Jenkins’s theorization of transmedia storytelling and spreadable media as well as Guglielmo Pescatore and Veronica Innocenti’s definition of narrative ecosystems.

In the second module, our theoretical understanding of transmedia storytelling will be applied to two case studies, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels and Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah, which will be analyzed in great depth through their ability to engage readers and viewers through compelling narratives that morph across media and platforms in ways which will be gradually teased out and interrogated. Sharing the same location, the city of Naples defined by Walter Benjamin as ‘porous’ for its theatrical architecture and for its ‘inexhaustible law of life’, the transmedia storyworlds originated by Ferrante and Saviano will be investigated for their diverse ability to establish setting not merely as background but as actual protagonist.     

In the final module, students will conduct their own independent analysis of transmedia ‘chains’ of their choice, across a wide variety of ‘texts’. Examples include the cinematic, operatic, and televisual adaptations of Henry James’s Turn of the Screw; the many revisitations across time and visual arts of Marcel Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin and Allain and Souvestre’s Fantomas; the retelling of Aldo Moro’s kidnapping in theatre, cinema, tv, and fiction; the fictional portrayal of the Banda della Magliana in Giancarlo De Cataldo’s Romanzo criminale and its many adaptations;  the MarvelStar Wars, Walking Dead, and Star Trek universes; the complex multimedia diegetic worlds of Lost24 and, more recently, Game of Thrones; the many multimedia ‘origin stories’ reinventing the birth of western society via popular historical novels, films and television series.

CL 88500/WSCP 81000
Italian Fascism: History and Interpretations

2,3,4 credits
Tuesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Eugenia Paulicelli

On October 28, 1922, fascist squads headed by Benito Mussolini organized “the march on Rome.” One hundred years later (but also in the last two decades), debate on fascism has again taken center stage. Fascism is a term that often comes back in conversation in several historical epochs and political and cultural contexts. Questions have been asked about its origin and its different declinations throughout the years and in various countries.

But how historically accurate is it to talk about fascism as a recurring political and cultural phenomenon? 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 came to power—foster the advent of the regime? What are the implications of Umberto Eco’s notion of “ur-fascism” and of Susan Sontag’s “fascinating fascism”?

Starting from the questions emerging from this intense historiographic debate, the course will focus on how Italy was changed by fascism, a regime that took its distance from and drew on the past to realize its ambitions to transform Italy’s institutions and the Italian people. How successful was the regime in achieving totalitarism? How was antifascism organized and what forms did it take (political, armed, existential etc.)?

The course focuses on specific themes such as violence, empire, gender, race, war, culture and the arts, antifascisms, propaganda and the impact of fascism abroad.

These are today crucial topics in the history and interpretations of fascism. It is in this light that we will investigate the resurgence of neo-fascist groups, nationalism and threats to democracy.

The last part of the course will be dedicated to cinematic and interpretations of fascism in films such as “Allarm siam fascisti!” (To Arms, we are fascist!)” (Cecilia Mangini, Lino Miccichè); “A Special Day” (Ettore Scola); “The Night of the Shooting Stars” (The Taviani Brothers); “Salò and 120 days of Sodoma” (Pier Paolo Pasolini).

CL 89100
History of Literary Theory & Criticism I
4 credits
Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm
Julie Van Peteghem

This course will examine the history of literary theory and criticism in the classical, medieval, and early modern periods, with readings from Plato, Augustine, Dante, Sidney, and Dryden, among others. We will explore fundamental notions such as genre, imitation, nature, and art, as well as the dynamic relationship between form and content. This course will also explore the legacy and limitations of these topics and their effect and influence on criticism today.

CL 89000/FRENCH 87000
On Passions, Emotions, Affects: in Theory, History, Texts
2,4 credits
Professor Domna Stanton
Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 pm
In-Person
Taught in English

How are passions and emotions different from affects? How do bodies perform passions, sensibility, feelings, emotions and affects? What do affects do and how do they do it? How are they shaped by their contexts?  What is the meaning and significance of the “affective turn”?  Does it mark a rejection of the idea(l) of rational self-control? How is this turn connected to studies of women (and the feminine) and to work on gender and racial embodiments and sexualities?

This course will be structured around three areas: first, theories of affect and in tandem, a study of the cultural politics and ethics of specific affects, including anger, disgust, shame, compassion and happiness. Which emotions mobilize spectators/readers into collectives/communities. Are passions both a source and an obstacle to struggles for freedom and justice? How do they include and exclude? Among the theorists: Ahmed, Artaud, Berlant, Clough,  Cvetkovich, Deleuze and Guattari, Ghandi, M. Hardt, A. Lorde, Massumi, Scheer, Sedgwick, Stewart, M. Warner. Second, we will grapple with the treatment of passions and emotions through history, especially in philosophy: from Aristotle and Cicero, Descartes, Pascal, Lebrun, Spinoza, and Kant to Darwin, W. James, Freud, Klein, and R. Williams. And third, in conjunction with this philosophical and historical work, we will read texts (verbal, visual and musical) to see how they inscribe emotional content and how they generate affective responses from readers even when their semantics and narratives do not depict strong emotions. Is feeling as a response to cultural forms different from a human emotion? We will consider the cultural politics of emotion in the work of  Margerie of Kempe, Montaigne,  Gentileschi (Portraits of Judith) , Racine (Phèdre),  Goethe (Sorrows of Young Werther), Wagner (“Leibestod”) , H. Jacobs (Life of a Slave Girl), H. James (Beast in the Jungle),  Woolf  (Mrs. Dalloway) , A. Nin (“Incest” Diary),  Lanzman (Shoah),  Beckett (Happy Days), C. Churchill  (Far Away) , Irigaray (“When our Lips Speak Together”), Morrison (Beloved),  Darwish (Poems),  Labaki (Capernaum), Moore (Watchman, 2019).

Past Semesters

Course Listings

CL 80100 (2, 4 credits)/SPAN 82100 (3 credits): Cervantes and Don Quixote: Reading, Rereading, Visualizing, Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Paul Smith, (ONLINE)
 
CL 80100 (2, 4 credits)/FRE 85000 (2-4 credits): Sentiment, Affect, Sensation: Forms of Desire in the Nineteenth-Century French Novel, Mondays, 4:15-6:15pm, Prof. Bettina Lerner
 
CL 85000 (2-4 credits) MALS 77100 (3 credits)//FSCP 81000 (3 credits): Television Aesthetics: A Comparative Approach to Television Drama, Tuesdays6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi
 
CL 85500 (2, 4 credits): Banned Books in Russia and Beyond: Writing, Reading, and Publishing as a Transgression”, Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, Prof. Yasha Klots
 
CL 88100 (2, 4 credits) /MSCP 80500(3 credits): Dante’s Purgatorio, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Paola Ureni
 
CL 89000 (2, 4 credits): Memory and Temporality: Erich Auerbach and, Walter Benjamin, and their Legacy in Fiction, Mondays, 2:00pm-4:00pm (ONLINE), Prof. Martin Elsky

CL 89200: History of Literary Theory & Criticism II, Tuesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4 credits, Prof. Charity Scribner
 
CTCP 71088: Critical Theory:  Foundations and Practices, Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 3 credits, Prof. Vincent Crapanzano

Course Descriptions

CL 80100 (2, 4 credits)/SPAN 82100 (3 credits): Cervantes and Don Quixote: Reading, Rereading, Visualizing, Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Paul Smith, (ONLINE)

This course involves three aspects to be treated each week: first, a close collective reading of the text of Cervantes’s masterpiece; second, an analysis of the rereading of Don Quixote by later authors from Proust and Nabokov to Lukacs, Primo Levi, and García Márquez; and, finally, an introduction to the varied audiovisual versions of Cervantes’ original text, from different periods and countries. The course will be graded by final paper (50%), midterm exam (25%), and final presentation, weekly postings to course website, and oral contribution to class (25%).​

CL 80100 (2, 4 credits)/FRE 85000 (2-4 credits): Sentiment, Affect, Sensation: Forms of Desire in the Nineteenth-Century French Novel, Mondays, 4:15-6:15pm, Prof. Bettina Lerner

This course construes desire as constitutive of modern narrative and of the nineteenth-century French novel in particular. We will examine how sentimental, realist, and decadent novels configure desire differently through character and plot. We’ll also see how these configurations are challenged by a range of affects that emerge, often within the same texts, to reveal the mediated and constructed dimensions of attraction and longing. The course also asks us to consider not just the forms of erotic desire that are developed in these novels but, in a period marked by revolution and social change, we will pay close attention to texts that explicitly tie desire to political aspiration. These explorations may ultimately help us address the question of the century’s desire for the novel and the sensations it provokes over and above all other literary forms. Novels and novellas will likely include Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le noir; Claire de Duras’s Ourika; Honoré de Balzac’s La Fille aux yeux d’or; Gustave Flaubert’s L’Éducation sentimentale; Jules Vallès’s L’Enfant; and Rachilde’s Monsieur Vénus. Our definitions of desire will be informed and challenged by theorists and critics including Roland Barthes, Leo Bersani, Peter Brooks, Georges Bataille, Gilles Deleuze, René Girard, and Raymond Williams and will engage with recent debates associated with the work of Lauren Berlant and Joan Copjec among others.

CL 85000 (2-4 credits) MALS 77100 (3 credits)//FSCP 81000 (3 credits): Television Aesthetics: A Comparative Approach to Television Drama, Tuesdays6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi

This course seeks to understand television drama as an aesthetic object, through a deep analysis of its formal structures tightly informed by several critical methodologies ranging from semiotics and psychoanalysis to cultural studies and deconstruction. We will set out to understand how television makes meaning through the consideration of its aural and visual components as aesthetic objects and will do so in a comparative context that will place American television drama in conversation with similar productions from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Each week, students will be asked to watch a full season of a television series and will be asked to analyze it at home and during class discussion. Series will include Scenes from a Marriage, Mare of Eastwood, Succession, The Affair (US) as well as Squid Game (Korea), Bad Banks (Germany), Borgen (Denmark), The Paper (Croatia), Beforeigners (Norway), Lupin (France), Money Heist (Spain), 3% (Brazil), and various productions of In Treatment from all over the world. Among its chief learning goals, the course will foster (1) knowledge of primary methods and theoretical frameworks of television analysis; (2) application of such methods and frameworks through textual close reading of the television text; (3) written production of competent television criticism informed by such methods and frameworks

CL 85500 (2, 4 credits): Banned Books in Russia and Beyond: Writing, Reading, and Publishing as a Transgression”, Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm, Prof. Yasha Klots

The course explores works that were banned, censored, or never submitted for publication at home but often smuggled out of the country and published extraterritorially. While most case studies will be drawn from the twentieth-century Russian and East-European geo-political and cultural contexts, we will address comparable examples from other parts of the world. The readings will include both historical and theoretical sources on book history, censorship and repression, archives and library science, which we will incorporate into our analysis of the primary texts on their way from the drawer to the reader abroad or in the underground domestically.    

CL 88100 (2, 4 credits) /MSCP 80500(3 credits): Dante’s Purgatorio, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Paola Ureni

This course intends to read Dante’s Purgatorio in relation to medieval intellectual debates, and with constant reference to the Inferno and anticipation of the Paradiso. The intermediate condition expressed by the second canticle involves both formal and content levels, and will be investigated according to both. The Purgatorio’s significance of rebirth and freedom from Inferno’s hopeless sinful state mirrors a sense of recovered harmony, which involves individual and non-individual dimensions, as it encompasses theological, cosmological, philosophical, and scientific discussions on different forms of harmony and balance. We will consider the intersections among these different fields of medieval knowledge. Through the study of Dante’s conception of poetic creation in the Purgatorio, we will highlight how thirteenth-century Italian poetry shares its roots and its creative moment – as well as a lexicon – with scientific investigations and philosophical discussions that range from the Aristotelian tradition to the Augustinian trend. The inclusion of a scientific approach to Dante’s text, far from lessening theological and philosophical dimensions, will allow investigating them through a particular lens. Through our reading of the Purgatorio we will explore the impact of science – even, more specifically, of medicine – on philosophical and theological debates, as well as the literary response to such discussion. Following a scientific thread intertwined with philosophy and theology, we will identify more specific themes, such as synderesis and free will, and we will investigate the role of faculties such as imagination and memory. We will explore the intersection between medicine and theology through the reading of physical and mental conditions during natural sleep, dreaming, somnolentia, as well as states of mind assimilable to different degrees of astonishments or even ecstatic states, which mark the pilgrim’s ascent of the mountain of Purgatory. Finally, besides the necessary allusions to the other two canticle of the poem, our reading of the Purgatorio will include references to other Dantean works such as the Convivio and the Vita Nova.

CL 89000 (2, 4 credits): Memory and Temporality: Erich Auerbach and, Walter Benjamin, and their Legacy in Fiction, Mondays, 2:00pm-4:00pm (ONLINE), Prof. Martin Elsky

The conceptual starting point of this course is the intellectual exchange and friendship between Erich Auerbach and Walter Benjamin that began in the Staatsbibliothek of Berlin in the 1920s. The course brings their widely influential work into focus in relation to contemporary memory studies, on the one hand, and twenty-first century memory (auto-)fiction, on the other. We will examine the idea of multi-layered temporalities of memory and trauma in personally and culturally disruptive historical moments, as in the work of Jan Assmann, Yifat Gutman, and Andreas Huyssen.  We will explore how these notions appear in the seminal literary-historical work of Auerbach and Benjamin: we will consider how Auerbach conceives of overlapping and displacing temporalities at junctures of historical change from Jewish, Christian, and secular eras, and we will consider the various ways the past uncannily disrupts the present in Benjamin’s messianically inflected thinking. Finally, we will look at how these trends influenced a new genre of fiction begun by W. G. Sebald and  in two writers who share his legacy -- Jenny Erpenbeck and Teju Cole.

CL 89200: History of Literary Theory & Criticism II, Tuesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 4 credits, 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.

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

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.

Course Listings

CL 79500: Approaches to Comparative Literature, GC, Wednesdays, from 4:15pm-6:15pm, Caroline Rupprecht, 4 credits. Online

CL 89100: History of Literary Theory & Criticism I, GC, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Monica Calabritto, 4 credits. Room 3207. In person.

CL 80100/ANTHRO 81000: Life Histories: Articulation of Self (and Other), GC, Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Vincent Crapanzano, 2/4 credits. Online.

CL 86500: Lorca, Buñuel, Dalí,  GC, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Professor Paul Julian Smith, 2/4 credits. Online.

CL 89400/MALS 78500/SPAN 78200: Problems in TranslationGC, Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Prof. Esther Allen, CL section is 2,4 credits. Room 6417. Hybrid.

CL 88500: Race, Writing, and Comparison, GC, Tuesdays, 2:00pm- 4:00pm, Sonali Perera, 2/4 credits. Hybrid.

CL 87000: Recitar cantando: Opera Librettos from Origins to the Early Classical Period, GC, Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Paolo Fasoli, 2/4 credits. Room 3309. In person.

CL 80100: The Qur’an: Literary Perspectives, GC, Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Anna Akasoy, 2/4 credits. Online.                                                    
CL 80100/FREN 70500: Writing the Self: From Augustine to Covidity, GC, Tuesdays, 4:15pm- 6:15pm, Domna Stanton, 2/4 credits. Room 6495. In person.

CTCP 71088: Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices, GC, Mondays, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM, Sorin Radu Cucu, 3 credits (Permission of Program Coordinator Required; Not open to 1st year students). Online.

Course Descriptions

CL 79500: Approaches to Comparative Literature, GC, Wednesdays, from 4:15pm-6:15pm, Caroline Rupprecht, 4 credits. Online.  

This proseminar introduces students to the discipline and methods of Comparative Literature. We will read and discuss a range of essays from Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, and Postcolonial Studies. We will address basic questions, such as: How does one decide what should be the focus of a comparative inquiry? What is the relationship between a close reading and its theoretical frame? What is the role of context, as derived from the study of national literatures? How can historical approaches help or hinder comparisons aimed to be grounded in differentiation?

The class is taught online via zoom. It is not a lecture class, your participation will be required. We will use breakout rooms and the discussion board on Blackboard. Formal requirements include at least one presentation and several short papers, based on the readings on the syllabus. Registration is for PhD students only (MA students must ask for instructor’s permission).
 
Reading List:
Adorno, Theodor W. “Cultural Criticism and Society,” Prisms (1951)
Apter, Emily. Introduction, Against World Literature (2013)
Bachner, Andrea. “Found in Translation,” Shu-mei Shih, ed. Sinophone Studies (2013)
Baer, Elizabeth. Introduction, The Genocidal Gaze (2017)
Bhabha, Homi. “The Other Question,” The Location of Culture (1994)
Butler, Judith. “Violence, Mourning, Politics,” Precarious Lives (2004)
Chen, Mel. “Lead’s Racial Matters,” Animacies (2012)
Glissant, Edouard. “The Road to Rowan Oak,” Faulkner, Mississippi (1994)
Hayles, Katherine. ”Speculative Aesthetics,” Speculations V (2014)
Hartman, Saidiya, “So Many Dungeons,” Lose your Mother (2008)
Herling, Bradley. “Either a Hermeneutical or a Critical Consciousness,” Comparatist 34 (2010)
Heschel, Susannah. “German Jewish Scholarship on Islam,” New German Critique 117 (2012)
Huyssen, Andreas. “Rewritings and New Beginnings: W.G. Sebald,” Present Pasts (2004)
Jullien, Francois. “On Human Rights,” On the Universal (2017)
Latour, Bruno. “Agency at the time of the Anthropocene,” New Literary History 45 (2014)
Leys, Ruth. “The Turn to Affect: A Critique,” Critical Inquiry 37 (2011)
Liu, Lydia. “Shadows of Universalism,” Critical Inquiry 40:4 (2014)
Love, Heather. “Emotional Rescue,” Feeling Backward (2007)
Moten, Fred. “The Case of Blackness,” Criticism 50:2 (2008)
Pang-White, Ann. “Nature, Interthing Intersubjectivity, and the Environment,” Dao (2009)
Sedgwick, Eve. “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading,” Touching Feeling (2002)
Silverman, Kaja. “Photography by Other Means,” Flesh of my Flesh (2009)
Tobin, Robert. “Thomas Mann’s Queer Schiller,” Lorey, Pews, eds. Queering the Canon (1998)
Wang, Ban. “Aesthetic Humanity and the Great World Community,” ACLA (2015).

CL 89100: History of Literary Theory & Criticism I, GC, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Monica Calabritto, 4 credits. In person.

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.

CL 80100/ANTHRO 81000: Life Histories: Articulation of Self (and Other), GC, Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Vincent Crapanzano, 2/4 credits. Online.

This seminar will focus on the expression of self and other in life-historical texts and oral accounts. We will read exemplary life histories, ranging from Saint Augustine’s Confessions to Milarepa, The Biography of a Tibetan Yogi by way of Montaigne, Kierkegaard, Rilke, Blanchot...Particular attention will be given to how the other figures in these narratives: the way it constitutes the self, the subject, and subjectivity. Is it opaque, transparent, friendly, inimical, seductive, internalized, frozen, or dead? How does it figure in the intimate surround of the self-narrator? Attention will be given to modes of self-reflection and objectification, to bad faith, the unsayable and the unsaid, to solipsism, exceptionalism, and the moral challenge self-narratives pose, including those generated through the ethnographic interview. Theoretical readings will include, Schiller (on Bildung), Freud, Sartre, Bataille, Lacan, and Foucault.

CL 86500: Lorca, Buñuel, Dalí,  GC, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Professor Paul Julian Smith, 2/4 credits. Online.

This course, which is taught in English, treats the drama of Federico García Lorca, selected films of Buñuel, and some fine art works by Dalí. It 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 89400/MALS 78500/SPAN 78200: Problems in TranslationGC, Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Prof. Esther Allen, CL section is 2,4 credits. Hybrid.

In lieu of a welcome video, you’re invited to explore the 2020 online conference “Translating the Future”: https://www.centerforthehumanities.org/programming/translating-the-future
 
Literature is unimaginable without translation. Yet translation is a disturbing, even paranormal practice, mysteriously conferring xenoglossy upon unwitting or suspicious readers. The literary cultures of English, in particular, have often been resistant to, even contemptuous of translation, or have used it as a tool of colonialism. The problem may lie with prevailing concepts of the original, but translation has often taken the blame. Among the aesthetic, ethical, and political questions it raises — questions increasingly crucial to practitioners of literature worldwide— are: Who translates? Who is translated? What is translated? And—yes—how? And also: what does it mean to think of literature prismatically rather than nationally? What constitutes an anti-colonial translation?
 
In this seminar, we’ll discuss theoretical and literary readings and engage with the contemporary translation sphere, both in the digital realm and in New York City. We’ll also welcome the perspectives of some notable guest speakers. Students will work towards and workshop a final project, either: 1) a discussion of a specific translation theory or set of theories; 2) an analysis of a specific translation, or comparison of multiple translations, or 3) an original translation into English (of a previously untranslated work) accompanied by a critical introduction and annotation. The class is taught in English, but students should have working knowledge of at least one other language.

CL 88500: Race, Writing, and Comparison, GC, Tuesdays, 2:00pm- 4:00pm, Sonali Perera, 2/4 credits. Hybrid.

Writing in 1986, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces the pathbreaking compilation, ‘Race,’ Writing, and Difference by observing that its publication “augurs well for scholars who wish to see the academic institution of literature and its criticism become truly a comparative and decolonized endeavor.” But how have we come to understand such articulations (“comparative and decolonized”) in the intervening years? In a 2008 PMLA special issue on Comparative Racialization Shu-Mei Shih commemorates the critical legacy of the Gates volume, even as she considers ideological blind spots that persist despite (or perhaps because of) the institutionalization of certain academic fields within the US academy. As she puts it in her introduction, “intellectual tokenism abounds as do equivalences between phenotypes and fields of study…[and yet as she reminds us,] it is not at all certain that the relation between race and critical theory, so central to the Gates volume, is settled.” More recently, Souleymane Bachir Diagne in dialogue with his co-author, Jean-Loup Amselle, revisits old and new discussions of race, class, and universalism in In Search of Africa(s): Universalism and Decolonial Thought (2020).

Keeping in mind these three key academic interventions, but drawing from a constellation of literary, cultural, activist, mixed-genre, and critical theory texts published before their arrival on the scene, we will consider anew the relationship between theories of race and methods and meanings of value-making and comparison. Our examples will be drawn from anti-colonial, Marxist, feminist, Black Internationalist, and Black Radical traditions. Over the course of the semester, we will also aim to familiarize ourselves with recurring keywords, concepts, and concept metaphors (including race, class, colonization , intimacies, relationality, difference, value, incommensurability, inequality, checkpoints, shibboleths, borders.)

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.

Specific texts studied may include selections from works by Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, C.L.R. James, Chinua Achebe, Ngûgî Wa Thiongo, Edward Said, Michel Foucault, Achille Mbembe, Giorgio Agamben, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Robin Kelly, Edouard Glissant, W.E.B Du Bois, Hortense Spillers, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Angela Davis, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Fred Moten, Brent Hayes Edwards, Natalie Melas, Marc Redfield, Nicholas Brown, Gary Wilder, Vivek Bald, Edlie Wong, and Lisa Lowe.

Alongside works of critical theory, we will read literary and mixed genre texts including Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Toni Morrison’s Paradise and “Recitatif,” J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace, Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Bessie Head’s A Question of Power.

Course Requirements:

1.) A 10 minute oral presentation on one or two of the weekly readings (in combination with a 3 page presentation paper)*
2.)  A 2 page prospectus for the final paper.
3.) A 15-20 page final paper.
4.) Engaged class participation.
 
**Serving as a respondent to a presenter:
In addition to signing up for your own presentation, you must also select a date where you will serve as respondent to a presenter. Having read the pre-circulated “presentation paper,” respondents should come prepared with a few questions and/or comments for the presenter.

Not for Credit:
For those interested in teaching comparative literature courses at some point—I will help you to design a course syllabus that conceptualizes interdisciplinary connections between critical theory (studied in this course) and your specific area of inquiry. Thus this “assignment” requires that you put together a provisional syllabus for a special topics undergraduate class. The syllabus must be fully annotated and you must submit a justification for the class (as though to a curriculum committee). As noted above, this project is not for credit, but if you decide to follow through with it, the syllabus will be due on the last day of class.

CL 87000: Recitar cantando: Opera Librettos from Origins to the Early Classical Period, GC, Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Paolo Fasoli, 2/4 credits. In person. 

Opera was born in Florence at the end of the 16th century as an attempt to revive Greek classical theater, or what at the time Greek drama was thought to have been. It was the product of a collaboration and a compromise between poets and composers. Poets would abandon the then prevailing style that called for the use of endless conceits for one that favored linear understandability, while composers renounced to the extensive use of polyphony and counterpoint, adopting a monodic style and resorting to recitatives and later, increasingly, to arias. In this course, we will study the literary aspect of this still flourishing endeavor, in a historical period that stretches from the invention of opera, to Gluck’s post-Baroque “reform.” Librettos will include some of those centered on opera’s mythical numen, Orpheus (set to music by Caccini, Peri, Monteverdi, Lully, Gluck), and others adapted from early modern narrative masterpieces such as Ariosto’s Orlando furioso and Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata.  Librettos based on Ariosto’s poem will include texts written for composers like Lully (Roland), Vivaldi (Orlando furiosoOrlando finto pazzo), Handel (Ariodante, one of his three Ariostean operas), while those inspired by Tasso will be limited, for practical and historical reasons, to librettos used by Lully (Armide, a text later set to music by Gluck), Vivaldi (Armida al campo d’Egitto), and Jommelli (Armida abbandonata). We will also devote particular attention to librettos that, while ostensibly narrating ancient historical events (Monteverdi’s Incoronazione di Poppea, Haendel’s Agrippina) actually tackled contemporary political controversies. The relationship between opera production and the discourse on power at the time the works  were conceived will be an essential element of discussion. The course will feature guest speakers (musicologists, librettists, composers) and will address, among others, issues of gender, theory and practice of dramatic adaptation, and history of operatic performance

CL 80100: The Qur’an: Literary Perspectives, GC, Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Anna Akasoy, 2/4 credits. Online.                           
As the scope of Comparative Literature departments is being diversified and globalized, the Qur’an is frequently included as a canonical text of world literature. There is no doubt that the Qur’an is a text of great, even singular importance in the Islamic tradition, but what does it mean to treat the Qur’an in the context of literature, especially comparative literature? Is a text which is considered inimitable in the Islamic tradition also incomparable?

This course aims at bridging the gap between two different fields, one the study of the Qur’an in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, the other the study of literature. The course will provide students with an introduction to perspectives on the Qur’an in recent scholarship, but we will be primarily exploring the Qur’an and its literary dimensions in conversation with select examples of Middle Eastern, European and world literature.
The course will focus on three topics:

  1. Prophecy as a mode of literary production. We will be discussing theories of prophecy in medieval Islamic philosophy and for comparative purposes material from the Arabian Nights as well as Mario Vargas Llosa’s The War at the End of the World.

  2. The Qur’an and poetry. The Qur’an itself states that Muhammad was not a poet, but his historical milieu was very much defined as a literary space in which poetry loomed large. In addition to samples of pre-Islamic and classical Arabic poetry, we will be exploring Rumi’s Masnavi, a key text of Sufism which is sometimes referred to as the Qur’an in Persian. We will also be discussing western European responses to Middle Eastern poetry (e.g., Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan).

  3. The Qur’an and storytelling. This section will focus mostly on stories of prophets, notably Joseph. We will be discussing other forms of storytelling in medieval Islamic literature (the ‘stories of the prophets’) as well as Biblical storytelling and examples from modern Middle Eastern (e.g., Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz) and European literature (e.g., Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers).

This course does not require any previous knowledge of the Qur’an, Arabic literature or Islamic history.

CL 80100/FREN 70500: Writing the Self: From Augustine to Covidity, GC, Tuesdays, 4:15pm- 6:15pm, Domna Stanton, 2/4 credits. In person.   

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-modern 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 centuries 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), and 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, Stein, Eggers) and pictorial modes (Leonard, Bourgeois, Abramovic); Holocaust memorials, trauma narratives (Frank, Levi, Agamben) and testimonials (Manchu); to AIDS memoirs (Arenas, Guibert), the matter of black lives (Cullors, Kendi and Blain), and the global pandemic that engender terror and dying along with possible transformation and rebirth. Finally, given the untraceable lines between the ‘real’ and ‘the fictive,’ we will end by debating whether all writing is self-writing.

CTCP 71088: Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices, GC, Mondays, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM, Sorin Radu Cucu, 3 credits (Permission of Program Coordinator Required; Not open to 1st year students). Online.

Do we really live in a post-truth world, the age when unreason and magical thinking seem to have returned with a vengeance?

This course addresses this question and the urgency it poses not only because critical theory has been accused as being complicit in the ‘attack’ against facts and science but primarily because we need to reflect critically on the often-confusing relation of reality to fiction in a variety of media and genres. Furthermore, this course will draw on the interdisciplinary approaches of both social sciences and the humanities to as whether digital algorithms are transforming our sense of shared reality and threaten the fragility of modern democratic institutions and practices. What does it means to think of reality as a complex network of discourses and practices rather than as a unitary concept? The underlying question of the interplay reality-irreality will be explored at the outset with reading together but against each other a few foundational figures: Husserl (on the crisis of the European sciences), Freud (on dream interpretation), Weber (on ‘ideal type’) and Arendt (on truth and lying).
 
We will examine a range of possibly irreconcilable theoretical approaches, as we re-read Kant’s “conflict of the faculties” in order to frame our conversations along the lines of distinct research approaches and terminologies rather than simply from the viewpoint of a conflict of interpretations. We will discuss how philosophical anthropology (Blumenberg), sociology of systems (Esposito, Luhmann), narratology/semiotics (Barthes, Genette, Patron), aesthetics (Eco, Krauss, Rancière), and media philosophy (Debray, Groys, Engel)  deal with the tension between universality and particularism, connect to everyday reality by a variety of rhetorical devices, and conceptually navigate aesthetic as well as religious experiences of reality.
 
Texts: Kant, The Conflict of the Faculties (Nebraska), Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Northwestern), Hans Blumenberg, History, Metaphors, Fables: A Hans Blumenberg Reader (Cornell), Niklas Luhmann, Trust and Power (Polity)
 
Excerpts and essays by Elena Esposito, Roland Barthes, Sylvie Patron, Rosalind Krauss, Boris Groys,  others will be provided via Google Classroom.

Course Listings


CL 80100- Nietzsche for Fun and Prophet, GC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Richard Wolin, 2 or 4 credits (also HIST 7240; PSC 8064) (M.A. students will need permission to enroll from Instructor)
 
CL 80900- Topics in Material HistoryThe Early Modern Atlantic World- GC: Mondays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Clare Carroll, 2 or 4 credits (also GEMS 82100; MALS 74700)
 
CL 80900- Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature, GC: Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Gerry Milligan, 2 or 4 credits
 
CL 84000-Beyond the Mishmash of Witches and Ghosts: Conformities and Challenges of European Gothic, GC: Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Morena Corradi, 2 or 4 credits
 
CL 85000- Marcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time, GC: Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, André Aciman, 2 or 4 credits
 
CL 85500-Francophone Literature from the Mashreq and the Maghreb, GC: Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Amr Kamal, 2 or 4 credits (also FRE 79140)
 
CL 89000- Philosophy of Literature, GC: Tuesdays, 11:45am-1:45pm, Noel Carroll, 2-4 credits (also PHIL 77600)
 
CL 89200- History of Literary Theory & Criticism II- GC: Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, John Brenkman,  4 credits (required course for 1st year doctoral students)
 
CL 89800: Surrealism I, GC: Tuesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm, Mary Ann Caws, 1 credit or no credit, (also French 87500 and English 81000)

CTCP 71088- Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices- GC: Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Vincent Crapanzano, 3 credits  (Not open to 1st year students)
 
 
 

Course Descriptions


 
CL 80100-Nietzsche: For Fun and Prophet
Professor Richard Wolin
Monday, 6:30-8:30
2-4 credits
In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche – never paralyzed by excessive self-modesty – exulted, “I am no man, I am dynamite.” He described his books as “assassination attempts,” rather than literary works, and he felicitously characterized his intellectual method as “philosophizing with a hammer.” Nietzsche joyfully prophesied the advent of “Great Politics,” which, in his eyes, meant “upheavals, a convulsion of earthquakes, a moving of mountains and valleys . . . as well as wars the like of which have never yet been seen on Earth.”
Nietzsche was, unaccountably, the “court philosopher” of the Third Reich as well as the intellectual progenitor of French poststructuralism (Foucault, Derrida, etc.). In interrogating Nietzsche’s legacy, our central question will be: how did it come to pass that generations of intellectuals felt obligated to define themselves and to plot their course forward through a confrontation with Nietzsche’s work?
In order to better understand Nietzsche and his titanic philosophical influence, our seminar will be divided into two parts. In the first half of the course, we will read and assess major texts by Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy, the Will to Power, Twilight of the idols, and the Antichrist. In the second half, we will focus on the major stages in the European and American reception of Nietzsche’s work: the political reception of Nietzsche in Germany, the deconstructionist reading of Nietzsche (Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault), the aesthetic interpretation of Nietzsche, and finally, recent Anglo-American studies reassessing Nietzsche’s attitude toward Darwinism.
 
CL 80900- Topics in Material History: The Early Modern Atlantic World
Mondays: 4:15pm-6:15pm
Professor Clare Carroll
2-4 credits
Transculturation in the Atlantic world will be the focus of our study of encounters between Europeans and Africans, peoples of the Caribbean, and the Americas in texts from Portuguese, Spanish, Nahuatl, French and English authors. Topics to be discussed include political versus economic interpretations of the encounter, slavery, and colonization; the geography of empire; visual narration in Meso-American codices; the intersection of gender, class and race in the creation of mestizo cultures; monsters and cannibals in maps and ethnographic writing; the construction of race before race (the pseudo-science of the 18th and 19th centuries). With each text we will examine digitized versions of originals in order to study how their material properties condition their meaning.Readings will be from: The Asia of João de Barros; Gomes Eanes de Zurara, The Chronicle and Discovery of Guinea; Columbus, Diario; We People Here: Nahuatl Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico; Hernán Cortés, The Second Letter; Las Casas, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies; Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas; Sor Juana Inés de a Cruz, Response to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz; Montaigne, ‘On Cannibals,’ ‘On Coaches,’ Jean de Léry, History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil; Hakluyt, Voyages and Discoveries; Shakespeare, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra. Theoretical and contextual frameworks include: Fernando Ortiz, Cuban Counterpoint; Herman Bennett, African Kings and Black Slaves; Nicolás Wey Gόmez, The Tropics of Empire; Diana Magaloni Kerpel, The Colors of the New World: Artists, Materials, and the Creation of the Florentine Codex; Barbara Fuchs, Mimesis and Empire; Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind; Alessandra Russo, The Untranslatable Image; Surekha Davies, Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human; Kim Hall, Things of Darkness.
Links to early modern manuscripts, and printed books in digitized form will be available; excerpts from English translations, and secondary readings will be posted as pdfs on Blackboard. Students taking the course for 2 credits will give an oral report and a brief written account of it, as will those taking the course for 4 credits, who will also write a longer research paper.
 
CL 80900- Moral Combat: Women, Gender, and War In Italian Renaissance Literature
Thursday 4:15-6:15
Professor Gerry Milligan
2-4 credits
The Renaissance was a time of significant political and social unrest. These disorders are reflected in the writings of the period’s major authors, who often coded these struggles in gendered terms. The objectives of this course are to familiarize ourselves with these works, and in particular with the lively debate that questioned women’s ability to fight in wars, especially in the Italian sixteenth century; to sharpen our skills as readers of works that feature heroic female warriors and so-called “effeminate” male knights; and to explore and perhaps demystify the universal gendering of war. The course will consider Classical and Renaissance philosophical literature, epic poems penned by men and women, as well as short biographies of women in combat. Authors to be studied will include, Plato, Aristotle, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Tasso, Fonte, Shakespeare, and Marinella.  All texts are available in English translation.
 
CL 84000-Beyond the mismash of witches and ghost: conformities and challenges of European Gothic,
Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Professor Morena Corradi
2-4 credits
Through the reading of seminal texts by Walpole, Gautier, Merimeé, Hoffmann, Poe, Bram Stoker and the discussion of the main theoretical approches to the genre, the course will investigate the traits of the Gothic which never cease to engage the social, cultural, and psychological frameworks in which it is created. The course will address in particular the significance of the genre within the context of post-unification Italy where gothic as well as fantastic tales (which we will read in translation) appear for the first time, often to reveal anxieties and to challenge political and cultural institutions of the newly-formed state.
 
 CL 85000- Marcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time
Tuesdays; 4:15pm-6:15pm
Professor André Aciman
2-4 credits
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 had 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.
 
CL 85500- Francophone Literature from the Mashreq and the Maghreb
Thursdays: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Professor Amr Kamal
2-4 credits
This class examines the works of modern and contemporary Francophone writers from the Arab World, or of Arab descent. We seek to look at how these authors approach the task of writing between many languages and cultures as they experience the limitation and liberating aspects of bilingualism and explore the questions of national and cultural belonging, dominant narratives of history, migration and exile. The reading list includes works from the Mashreq (Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria), such as Albert Cossery, Amin Maalouf, and Joyce Mansour, the Maghreb, (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco), such Jacques Derrida, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Assia Djebar, and Tahar ben Jelloun.
The class will be taught in English.
 
CL 89000-Philosophy of Literature
Tuesdays: 11:45am-1:45pm
Prof. Noel Carroll
2-4 credits
In this course, we will canvass major topics in the philosophy of literature including the ontology of literature, the nature of narrative and that of fiction, philosophical ideas regarding the novel (and possibly lyric poetry), the relation of literature to cognition, to emotion, to morality, to society and politics, and issues of the interpretation and evaluation of literature.
 
There are no prerequisites for this course. Grading will be based on class participation and a final term paper.
 

CL 89200-History of Literary Theory & Criticism II
Wednesdays: 4:15pm-6:15pm
Prof. John Brenkman
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 “What Are Poet’s For?” Two units will allow us to examine the methodological and ideological antagonisms that animate modern criticism and theory. (1) Baudelaire and Criticism: Benjamin, Auerbach, Poulet, Blanchot, Jakobson and Lévi-Strauss, de Man, Jameson, Jauss, Kristeva. (2) Antigone and Theory: Hegel, Heidegger, Szondi, Steiner, Lacan, Zizek, Butler, Honing.
Texts: Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, ed. Paul Guyer and trans. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews (Cambridge); Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner, trans. Walter Kaufmann (Vintage); Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language,Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter (HarperPerennial); Peter Szondi, An Essay on the Tragic, trans. Paul Fleming (Stanford); Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal, trans. Richard Howard (David R. Godine); Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays, trans. Robert Fagles (Penguin); Sophocles I, ed. and trans. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago); Judith Butler, Antigone’s Claim (Columbia); Bonnie Honig, Antigone Interrupted (Cambridge).
 
CL 89800: Surrealism I, GC: Tuesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm, Mary Ann Caws, 1 credit or no credit, (also French 87500 and English 81000)

Given the interest in surrealism at the moment, in its many guises, many of us are working with other kinds of perspective on the historical movement as well as the ongoing discussions relating to its current state. We would begin with various outlooks on it and how we find them important or less so. So this initial offering opens the topic, comparing former points of view and this one. Individual topics are open for presentation in the last week, and the readings are meant to be relevant to the participants.

Since in the spring of 2021, the reading group/ mini-seminar runs in the first five weeks of the semester it will start on the first Tuesday February 2, and continue until March 2. 

Please contact Mary Ann Caws if you would like to join the Reading Group /Mini-Seminar to be held on Tuesdays from 2-15-4 for the first five weeks of the spring semester:
maryanncaws@gmail.com
macaws@gc.cuny.edu

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

3 credits

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 b Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, de Saussure, Lévi-Strauss and/or Gennette, Foucault, Michael Silverstein and his school, Bakhtin, Lacan and Deleuze.    

Course Listings


CL 79500: Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism, GC; Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Bettina Lerner, 4 credits

CL 80900: The Past Viewed through the Binocular of the Present: 20th and 21st Century Narrative Perspectives of Early Modern Italy, GC; Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Monica Calabritto, 2/4 credits

CL 85000: Writers Behind Bars: Prison Narratives in Russia and beyond, GC, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Yasha Klots, 2/4 credits

CL 85500: Caribbean Fiction and Film Since 1945, GC, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Jerry Carlson, 2/4 credits/cross-listed with FSCP 81000 (please note FSCP 81000 section of this course is 3 credits)

CL 88000: Italy’s Dialect Through Time, Space and Society, GC; Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Hermann Haller, 2 credits

CL 89100: History of Literary Theory & Criticism I, GC; Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Andre Aciman, 4 credits
 
CTCP 71088: Critical Theory:  Foundations and Practices, GC,Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Prof. Leo Coleman, 3 credits. This course is not open to first year students and requires permission from Prof. Brenkman

Cross listed courses
FSCP 81000/CL 85500: Carribean Fiction and Film Since 1945, Prof. Jerry Carlson, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, (Film studies section, 3cr./Comp Lit section, 2/4 credits)

HIST 72800/CL 80100: Neofascism: from the New Right to the Alt-Right, Prof. Richard Wolin, Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, (History section, 3cr./Comp Lit section, 2/4 credits, M.A students will need permission to enroll from the Instructor.)

SPAN 85000​/CL 86500: The City in Contemporary Spanish Literature, Cinema and Visual Arts, Prof. Paul Julian Smith, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, (CL version of this course, 2/4 credits, SPAN version of this course, 3 credits)

FREN 83000/CL 80100: The Nation and Its Others: France and Frenchness in The Age of Louis XIV, Prof. Domna C. Stanton, Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., (CL version of this course, 2/4 credits, FREN version of this course, 3 credits)

ENGL 81000/FREN 87500/CL 89800: Independent Study: Translation/Interpretation/Omission/Obsession, GC; Mondays, 4:30pm-6:00pm, Prof. Mary Ann Caws, 1 credit. (The course will meet every 2 weeks for five weeks in the late afternoon)

Codes for Registering on Record/WIU
Registered on Record: 52905
Weight Instructional Unit 1: 52906
Weight Instructional Unit 2: 52908
Weight Instructional Unit 3: 52909
Weight Instructional Unit 4: 52910
Weight Instructional Unit 5: 52913
Weight Instructional Unit 6: 52914
Weight Instructional Unit 7: 52915


Course Descriptions

 

CL 79500: Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism, GC; Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Bettina Lerner, 4 credits


Over the last three decades, the field of Comparative Literature has gone through a period of rapid and radical expansion. What we study as comparatists is commonly (if problematically) held to be world literature, but now also includes a wide array of non-traditional media and new forms of self-expression. At the same time, how we study and interpret these texts has moved away from a well-established hermeneutics of suspicion toward distant, surface, reparative and other forms of reading, while increasingly embracing affects, objects and ecologies that exert significant pressure on discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. What defines the work that comparatists do and how might we continue to think about relationality when faced with modes of storytelling that seem unrelatable, untranslatable or illegible? This course considers what it means to read and write critically as comparatists today by engaging with current debates about the state of the discipline, the fate of the humanities in our universities, and the place and purpose of criticism and interpretation in our social and political landscapes as a whole. Through its written assignments and oral presentations, it also provides a space from within which to practice some of the key rhetorical exercises that have become, for better or worse, the benchmarks of professionalization including abstracts, conference presentations, project proposals, and a 20-25 page paper.


CL 80900: The Past Viewed through the Binocular of the Present: 20th and 21st Century Narrative Perspectives of Early Modern Italy, GC; Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Monica Calabritto, 2/4 credits


Many twentieth-century Italian authors have written novels, short stories, and theatrical plays inspired by and taking place in the past. This choice allows writers to explore bygone eras and, at the same time, to express implicitly their ideas and opinions on the period in which they live. The events narrated in the texts we will read during this seminar happen more or less over a century, between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century in Italy. These are accounts of well known historical figures, such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Vincenzo Gonzaga, and Isabella D’ Este, and fictional figures, like Antonia, accused of witchcraft, whose life develops in the accurately detailed historical context of late sixteenth-century Novara.
We will start our exploration of historical fiction by reading sections of Manzoni’s I promessi sposi, to which many of the authors whose texts are featured in the seminar allude. While exploring and interpreting in these texts the relationship that the present entertains with the past and with history, we will also investigate issues of gender and identity related to the events narrated in these works and to the authors’ lives, since Anna Banti and Maria Bellonci, who wrote three of the texts we will read, created compelling female protagonists. 
Some questions addressed in this course will be: Why write a literary work that takes place in a remote past? How accurately can a writer reproduce the past that she/he is recounting in her/his text? In which way does the author insert her/his presence, the atmosphere, and mode of the present in her/his text?​
 

CL 85000: Writers Behind Bars: Prison Narratives in Russia and beyond, GC, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Yasha Klots, 2/4 credits


For as long as modern Russian literature has existed, incarceration has been one of its central themes. In the nineteenth century, Dostoevsky described the prison world he got to know first-hand as “a world apart, unlike everything else, with laws of its own, its own dress, its own manners and customs” (The House of the Dead). Yet it was not until the period of high Stalinism that political imprisonment was so firmly engraved onto these dark pages of Russian history that it formed a separate genre: Gulag narratives. This course explores representations of prison and hard-labor camp experience across different artistic media, languages, and cultures. By looking at different aspects of life behind bars through the lens of both documentary and fictional accounts, we will compare the legacy of the Gulag to other historical and geographical contexts from around the world, thinking more broadly about prison as a semiotic space, and incarceration as an existential experience. Readings will be drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including Fedor Dostoevsky, Varlam Shalamov, Primo Levi, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Michel Foucault, and others. Throughout the course, we will address the function of art as a means of survival and analyze what permutations our life’s key concepts undergo in a world behind bars. All reading and discussions are in English.

 

CL 85500: Caribbean Fiction and Film Since 1945, GC, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Jerry Carlson, 2/4 credits/cross-listed with FSCP 81000 (please note FSCP 81000 section of this course is 3 credits)
 


An Archipelago of Stories: Caribbean Fiction and Film Since 1945
For the Caribbean the period since 1945 has been the most joyous, turbulent, and traumatic since the “discovery” by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Recent historical events include independence, decolonization, revolution, civil war, invasion, rapid modernization, and massive emigration to Europe and North America. It has also been 75 years of robust artistic activity in response to the region’s social, cultural, and political history. Our course will investigate how novels and feature films have contributed to that artistic wealth. We will study works from the three imperial language groups: English, French, Spanish. Our scope will consider the greater Caribbean that includes continental territories (for example, Cartagena. Colombia) and cities of diasporic concentration (most obviously, New York). We will examine how Caribbean storytelling has rendered three chapters common to all the territories: plantation economies supported by slavery; agrarian post-abolition colonial societies; and urban cultures in the region and its diaspora. What makes these works Caribbean? We will not be looking for the one true story of origin. Eschewing essentialism, we will try to describe the many entangled aspects that exist as a dynamic system of relations. Prose fiction may include works by, among others, Alejo Carpentier, Patrick Chamoiseau, Jean Rhys, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Maryse Conde, V. S. Naipaul, and Leonardo Padura. Films may include, among others, The Other Francisco (Cuba), Sugar Cane Alley (Martinique), The Harder They Come (Jamaica), Strawberry and Chocolate (Cuba) and Cocoté (Dominican Republic). Critical writings will be drawn from theorists such as Paul Gilroy, Edouard Glissant, Sylvia Winter, and Antonio Benitez Rojo.
 

CL 88000: Italy’s Dialect Through Time, Space and Society, GC; Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Prof. Hermann Haller, 2 credits

In the Western European context Italy offers one of the most stratified linguistic and cultural landscapes, with a great number of dialects that have been used across geographical and social space through time side by side with the Tuscan-based standard. These regional languages are present also in a pervasive literary tradition that parallels and interacts with the classical literature in Tuscan, reflecting Italy’s historically significant tension between unity and disunity. Following a linguistic description and illustration of major dialect areas, the course will focus on the spoken uses of Italian language and dialects in contemporary society and their presence outside of Italy. The literary dialects will be sampled and discussed through the nineteenth-century poetry of the Milanese Carlo Porta and the Roman Giuseppe Gioachino Belli. The tension and interplay between standard Italian and dialects will be studied also in 20th-century theatrical productions and cinema, as well as in contemporary prose In Italian. 7 meetings, from October 21 through December 9. 2 cr.

 

CL 89100: History of Literary Theory & Criticism I, GC; Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Prof. Andre Aciman, 4 credits 


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.

 

CTCP 71088: Critical Theory:  Foundations and Practices, GC,Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Prof. Leo Coleman, 3 credits. This course is not open to first year students and requires permission from Prof. Brenkman


Every interpretive act requires a set of interpretive standards and assumptions.  To say that an artifact is beautiful, to offer but one example, implies that there is such a thing as beauty, that the critic knows what it is and can identify its constitutive elements in a way that is defensible. “Theory” names the critical sophistication that comes of making the interpretive act knowledgeable and reflexive: carefully to select the lens through which we view a text, to know the clarifying and distorting properties of that lens, and to grind it into a fit for the frames of our own critical and intellectual aims.
 
The critical enterprise is especially fraught, and so especially fascinating, when it contemplates that genre placing interpretation, choice, and misapprehension at the center of its concerns: tragedy. Throughout the European tradition, tragedy emerges time and again as the most compelling object of philosophically-inflected inquiry into literature.  We shall mirror that focus in this course by looking at philosophical takes on tragedy, and the various critical movements with which they might be associated, ranging from Aristotle, to Hegel, to Nietzsche, to Walter Benjamin, to Julia Kristeva.  The course will end with The Incident at Antioch, a tragedy composed by the most important living philosopher, Alain Badiou.
Students will be responsible for a conference-style presentation, which will give rise to a formal paper and final research paper of approximately sixteen pages.

 

Cross-listed Courses

 

FSCP 81000/CL 85500: Caribbean Fiction and Film Since 1945, Prof. Jerry Carlson, Wednesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, (Film studies section, 3cr./Comp Lit section, 2/4 credits)


An Archipelago of Stories: Caribbean Fiction and Film Since 1945
For the Caribbean the period since 1945 has been the most joyous, turbulent, and traumatic since the “discovery” by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Recent historical events include independence, decolonization, revolution, civil war, invasion, rapid modernization, and massive emigration to Europe and North America. It has also been 75 years of robust artistic activity in response to the region’s social, cultural, and political history. Our course will investigate how novels and feature films have contributed to that artistic wealth. We will study works from the three imperial language groups: English, French, Spanish. Our scope will consider the greater Caribbean that includes continental territories (for example, Cartagena. Colombia) and cities of diasporic concentration (most obviously, New York). We will examine how Caribbean storytelling has rendered three chapters common to all the territories: plantation economies supported by slavery; agrarian post-abolition colonial societies; and urban cultures in the region and its diaspora. What makes these works Caribbean? We will not be looking for the one true story of origin. Eschewing essentialism, we will try to describe the many entangled aspects that exist as a dynamic system of relations. Prose fiction may include works by, among others, Alejo Carpentier, Patrick Chamoiseau, Jean Rhys, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Maryse Conde, V. S. Naipaul, and Leonardo Padura. Films may include, among others, The Other Francisco (Cuba), Sugar Cane Alley (Martinique), The Harder They Come (Jamaica), Strawberry and Chocolate (Cuba) and Cocoté (Dominican Republic). Critical writings will be drawn from theorists such as Paul Gilroy, Edouard Glissant, Sylvia Winter, and Antonio Benitez Rojo.

 

HIST 72800/CL 80100: Neofascism: from the New Right to the Alt-Right, Prof. Richard Wolin, Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, (History section, 3cr./Comp Lit section, 2/4 credits, M.A students will need permission to enroll from the Instructor.)


How did the far-right reestablish political legitimacy after its crushing defeat in 1945? How did it recertify the discredited ideas of race, hierarchy, anti-parliamentarism, autocracy, and patriarchy after seemingly hitting rock bottom? To what extent – and by what methods –   have its efforts to counteract the intellectual hegemony of left-wing thought by popularizing a “Gramscism of the right” been successful? To what extent have New Right ideas influenced the political self-understanding of the leading authoritarian populist parties, whose proliferation has been one of the hallmarks of twenty-first century global politics? Finally, to what extent have the depredations of “neo-liberalism” prepared the terrain for the New Right’s success?
Here, it is important to note that the slogan, the “Great Replacement,” which was invoked by the mass murderers in Utoya, Norway, Christ Church, NZ, El Paso, and Pittsburgh, was originally a New Right slogan.
 
One explanation for the New Right’s success pertains to its successful rehabilitation of German conservative revolutionary thought from the 1920s: the political doctrines of Carl Schmitt, Martin Heidegger, Oswald Spengler, etc., while cleansing their work of its ties to interwar fascism.
 
Finally, at what point in time did the New Right worldview cross the Atlantic to provide ideological support for the Alt-Right? In what ways do the New Right and the Alt-Right differ from the traditional right?  Did the Alt-Right contribute to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election? Is the Alt-Right still a force in contemporary American politics, or was it merely a passing political fad?
 
Readings:
 
C. Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy
M. Heidegger, Nature, History, and State
A. de Benoist, View from the Right
A. Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory
T. Bar-On, Where Have All the Fascists Gone?
Y. Camus and N. Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe
Woods, Germany’s New Right as Culture and as Politics
K. Belew, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement
T. Mann, The Rise of the Alt-Right
Boggs, Fascism: Old and New
 

SPAN 85000​/CL 86500: The City in Contemporary Spanish Literature, Cinema and Visual Arts, Prof. Paul Julian Smith, Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, (CL version of this course, 2/4 credits, SPAN version of this course, 3 credits)


This course, which is taught in Spanish, examines the modern Spanish city. It addresses the media of novel (Martín Santos, Laforet, Goytisolo), visual art (painter Antonio López, web artist Marisa González), and, especially film (Almodóvar, Amenábar, Alex de la Iglesia, Montxo Armendáriz, Ventura Pons) and television (TVE’s classic serials Fortunata y Jacinta and La Regenta, El Deseo's urban dramedy Mujeres, Antena 3's sitcom Aquí no hay quien viva).
Each class examines an urban theorist (e.g. Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, Manuel Castells), a work of criticism by a scholar of Spanish urbanism, and one or more creative works.
The learning goals of the course are thus to familiarize students to the representation of the Spanish city in visual media; to train them in textual and formal analysis; and to integrate urban theory into media studies.
Grading is by written exam (25%), student oral participation, weekly web posting, and presentation (25%) and final paper (50%).

FRE 83000/CL 80100: The Nation and Its Others: France and Frenchness in The Age of Louis XIV, Prof. Domna C. Stanton, Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., (CL version of this course, 2/4 credits, FREN version of this course, 3 credits)
Course taught in English; Readings in English

This course will begin by questioning the view that the nation is born after l789. We will consider a set of criteria for nationhood and examine the efforts of Louis XIV and his ministers to transform France into a nation state with one monarch, one law and one faith; a centralized political and cultural structure; physical boundaries/borders, and a dominating linguistic idiom.

However, our principal focus will be the idea that a nation forges an inside by creating an outside, that is, by excluding a set of groups or people. To be sure, that enterprise is doomed to fail since the outside (the other) invariably mixes with or constitutes the necessary supplement to the inside, contrary to proclaimed ideology.  Moreover, in late 17th-century France, even insiders, such as members of the  noblesse d’épée, felt marginalized in an absolutistic monarchy, and invoked the idea of the nation over and against tyrannical Louis XIV.

The seminar will be devoted to considering five different others: the others within – a religious other (Jews); the gendered other (women); a sexual other (the sodomite) in a nation of reputedly virile Franks. The two others outside we will study are the oriental/Ottoman Turk; and the African slave transported to the French Caribbean.
Readings will include work on the nation by Anderson, Foucault and Balibar; on the early modern nation by Hampton, Bell, Sahlins and Yardeni;  historical documents, such as Salic Law and the Black Code; and primary readings by Corneille, Molière, Louis XIV, Perrault, Picard, Racine, Saint Simon;  Prideaux, Baudier and Tavernier on the Ottomans; Dufour, du Tertre, and Labat on slaves; and relevant critical texts.

Over and beyond readings and class participation, work for the course will include a presentation in class on a primary text. Those taking the course for 4 credits will also produce a 25-page research paper on some aspect of early-modern nationhood and othering to be determined in consultation with the instructor. For those taking the course for 3 credits, the paper will be no longer than 10-13 pp. Those taking the course for two credits will prepare a written version of the presentation they do in class (5-7 pp.). All students will take the final exam.
For any questions, please contact Domna Stanton (dstanton112@yahoo.com)

ENGL 81000/FREN 87500/CL 89800: Independent Study: Translation/Interpretation/Omission/Obsession, GC; Meeting Day and Time TBA, Prof. Mary Ann Caws, 1 credit.

This course will run via Zoom. The course will meet every 2 weeks for five weeks in the late afternoon. In the fall and spring we will be meeting as an independent study and small reading group. As independent study and discussing the general topics of translation/interpretation and also omission/obsession. Let me know at maryanncaws@gmail.com. If you would like to participate as enrolled or just joining in a reading group about whatever we are reading or composing or looking at or just absorbing.