News and Events
Read stories and articles for and about current and prospective students and faculty in the Comparative Literature Program.
You can also browse an archive of books published by program faculty and scholars.
The Comparative Literature Program hosts numerous events for its students and faculty.
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Jun 14, 2022
Alum Ashna Ali was named Poet of the Week by Brooklyn Poets.
- Alumni News
- GC Stories
Jun 10, 2022
Maria-Cristina Necula was recognized for her review of a Met opera.
- Alumni News
Apr 28, 2022
The distinguished professor is best known for his scholarship on dramatic theory and theater history.
- Faculty News
- GC Stories
Apr 26, 2022
Ryan Milov-Córdoba, a 2022 Fulbright Fellow, will travel to Morocco to talk to artists about the possibilities of a threatened tradition.
- GC Stories
- Student News
Y Tu Mamá También
Y Tu Mamá También (2001), an intelligent and sensual road movie directed by Alfonso Cuarón and co-written by him and his brother Carlos, is both an acclaimed feature by a director who would go on to win Oscars and a box office success abroad and in its native Mexico, where it was the biggest grossing local film of all time. Its teenage protagonists Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna went on to be major stars of global cinema.
Yet on its release the film was vilified by established Mexican critics as a coarse comedy and 'Penthouse fantasy' of youthful lust for an older woman. Paul Julian Smith's lucid study of the film argues that Y Tu Mamá También not only addresses with playful seriousness such major issues as gender, race, class, and space, which are yet more urgent now than they were on its release; but that the film's apparently casual aesthetic masks a sophisticated audiovisual style, one which brings together popular genre film and auteurist experiment.
Smith suggests Y Tu Mamá También remains an example for world cinema of how a very local film can connect with a global audience that is ignorant of such niceties. Combining production and distribution history, based on unexplored material held in Mexico City archives, with close textual analysis, Smith makes an argument for Cuarón's film as an enduring masterpiece that hides in plain sight as an ephemeral teen movie.
Published September 2022
British Film Institute
The Acoustic Self in English Modernism and Beyond
By Zoltan Varga (Ph.D. '13, Comparative Literature)
Drawing on the analogy between musical meaning-making and human subjectivity, this book develops the concept of the acoustic self, exploring the ways in which musical characterization and structure are related to issues of subject-representation in the modernist English novel. The volume is framed around three musical topics—the fugue, absolute music, and Gesamtkunstwerk—arguing that these three modes of musicalization address modernist dilemmas around selfhood and identity. Varga reflects on the manifestations of the acoustic self in examples from the works of E.M. Forster, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf, and such musicians as Bach, Beethoven, Handel, and Wagner. An additional chapter on jazz and electronic music supplements these inquiries, pursuing the acoustic self beyond modernism and thereby inciting further discussion and theorization of musical intermediality, as well as recent sonic practices.
Published February 2022
Reimagining History in Contemporary Spanish Media
This book offers a new perspective via visual culture of the reimagining of history for contemporary Spanish media audiences. It gives close readings of major recent texts in a number of media (theater, cinema, television, and streaming) which have yet to receive scholarly attention and are closely connected to each other. And it stresses the intermediality of the visual by calling attention to connections between those media and others such as painting. From Picasso to the Javis and from the classic serial to Netflix, this book shows how Spanish history is radically reimagined through recent visual culture.
Published December 2021
Modern Humanities Research Association