Literature

Directors of undergraduate studies: Moira Fradinger [F]; Ayesha Ramachandran [S]; 451 College Street, 432-4751; registrar: Mary Jane Stevens; complit.yale.edu/literature-major

The Literature and Comparative Cultures Major and the Comparative Literature Major allow students to address fundamental questions about the nature, function, and value of literature in a broadly comparative context. Students read and write about a wide variety of literary works across periods, genres, and national traditions. They investigate ancient and contemporary approaches to literary study, theories and methods of comparison, and the relationship of literature to film and other media. Majors have the freedom to construct a program of study that reflects their intellectual goals. All prospective majors should register with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS), who will work with them to develop a coherent sequence of courses suited to their individual interests.

The majors offer a number of their own courses, which constitute the core of the programs. Other courses are normally chosen from different language and literature programs, many of which offer courses on literature and film in translation. Among these programs are African American Studies, Classics, East Asian Languages and Literatures, English Language and Literature, Film and Media Studies, French, German Studies, Italian, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Portuguese, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish. Students with a particular interest in film or literary translation may wish to elect the film track or translation track within the majors, as described below.

Prospective majors are strongly encouraged to begin the study of a foreign language as early as possible in their academic careers and to continue such study throughout their time at Yale. Students interested in graduate study in comparative literature should be aware that many programs require reading knowledge of two or three foreign languages.

Requirements of the Literature and Comparative Cultures Major

This standard literature major requires twelve term courses, including the senior requirement. Prospective majors must take two junior seminars; LITR 130 and one of LITR 140143, or 348. Students in the film track must take LITR 143 and students in the translation track must take LITR 348 (or equivalent approved by DUS). Beyond the two required courses and the senior essay, the major requires nine term courses. These include three courses in a foreign literature (see below), three courses that fulfill the period requirement (see below), and three elective courses. One of the electives must involve a significant element of literary or cultural theory. All three elective courses may be taken in any literature department and may include two courses in a related discipline that has direct bearing on the student's program of study in literature, such as history of art, philosophy, anthropology, music, or theater studies. One of the elective courses may be in creative writing or directed studies.

Foreign literature requirement All majors are required to take at least three courses, one of which may award the language distributional requirement (L5), in an ancient or modern foreign literature, in which the literature is read in the original language. Two courses can be taken at a basic literature level (normally equivalent to the third year of language study), but at least one course must be taken at an advanced level (normally equivalent to the fourth year of language study or higher).

A literature course in English translation is sometimes suitable as a foreign literature course. In such cases, majors are expected to request additional assignments from their instructors that demonstrate they have engaged with the texts in the original language. They should submit the appropriate form, signed by the instructor, attesting to their intent to do so. This form is available in the department office in Rm. 102, 451 College St.; students should submit it to the DUS along with their course schedule.

Non-native speakers of English who are granted permission by Yale College to complete the foreign language distributional requirement by taking ENGL 114115120121, or 450 may take three additional English literature courses to fulfill the foreign literature requirement of the Literature and Comparative Cultures Major, or they may fulfill the major requirements in a third language.

Period requirement Students are required to take at least one course in three of five historical periods: (1) Antiquity; (2) the Middle Ages; (3) the Renaissance; (4) 17th–18th centuries; and (5) the Modern period (1800–present). Courses taken from other departments (excluding Directed Studies) may fulfill the period requirement with DUS permission.

Theory requirement All students must take one elective course that involves a significant component of literary or cultural theory. Students who wish to know if a particular course, particularly those offered in other departments, may count toward this requirement should consult the DUS.

Film track Students in the film track must take LITR 143, and they must take two foreign literature courses rather than three (neither course may be substituted with an advanced language course). In addition, students in the film track must take one course in film theory and must choose their three electives from courses in film and media studies.

Translation track Students in the translation track must take LITR 348 and must also choose two of their three electives from courses that engage with some aspect of translation studies; the office of the DUS maintains a list of qualifying courses.

Credit/D/Fail A maximum of two courses taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major, with permission of the DUS. None of the specific required courses may be taken Credit/D/Fail. 

Senior Requirement

In the senior essay, required of all majors, students develop a research topic of their choice and work closely with a faculty adviser, preferably from the department. Normally, the essay makes use of texts in the language of their original composition. Any exceptions must be approved by the DUS. Deadlines for the prospectus, the rough draft, and the completed essay are listed in the course descriptions of the senior essay course (LITR 491492493).

The senior essay may be written over one term (LITR 491) or over two terms (LITR 492493). Students with an especially well-developed project may petition to write a yearlong senior essay. Interested juniors must apply to the DUS by the last day of classes in the spring term. Students may count the second term of the essay as one elective course toward the total number of courses required for the major. Students expecting to graduate in May enroll in LITR 492 during the fall term and complete their essays in 493 in the spring term. December graduates enroll in 492 in the spring term and complete their essays in 493 during the following fall term. Students planning to begin their essay in the spring term should notify the DUS by the last day of classes in the fall term.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE LITERATURE AND COMPARATIVE CULTURES MAJOR

Prerequisites None

Number of courses 12 term courses (incl senior req)

Specific courses required LITR 130; one of LITR 140, 143, or 348; Film trackLITR 143; Translation trackLITR 348 or equivalent 

Distribution of courses Standard major—3 period courses, as specified; 3 courses in 1 foreign lit, as specified; 3 electives, as specified; Film track—3 period courses, 2 courses in 1 foreign lit, as specified; 1 course in film theory; 3 electives in film & media studies; Translation track—3 period courses, 3 courses in 1 foreign lit, as specified; 2 of 3 electives in translation studies

Substitution permitted Standard and translation tracks—1 lit course in English translation for 1 of 3 req lit courses, with DUS permission 

Senior requirement One-term senior essay (LITR 491); or two-term senior essay (LITR 492 and LITR 493) 

Requirements of The Comparative Literature major 

This intensive literature major is similar to the standard major, with more specific foreign literature requirements; however, unlike the standard major, Comparative Literature majors must take LITR 130 and 140 and the latter may not be substituted for by taking LITR 143 or 348. The major requires twelve term courses, including two required junior seminars, LITR 130 and 140, the senior essay, and nine term courses, which include three courses that fulfill the period requirement, one elective that involves a significant element of literary or cultural theory, three courses in one foreign literature (one of which may be an L5 course) and two courses in a second foreign literature (one of which may be an L5 course). In all five of the foreign literature courses, the literature must be read in the original language.

Period requirement Students are required to take at least one course in three of five historical periods: 1) Antiquity; 2) the Middle Ages; 3) the Renaissance; (4) 17th–18th centuries; and (5) the Modern period (1800–present). Courses taken from other departments (excluding Directed Studies) may fulfill the period requirement with DUS permission.

Theory requirement All students must take one elective course that involves a significant component of literary or cultural theory. Students who wish to know if a particular course, particularly those offered in other departments, may count toward this requirement should consult the DUS.

Credit/D/Fail A maximum of two courses taken Credit/D/Fail may count toward the major, with permission of the DUS. None of the specific required courses may be taken Credit/D/Fail. 

Senior Requirement

In the senior essay, required of all majors, students develop a research topic of their choice and work closely with a faculty adviser, preferably from the department. Normally, the essay makes use of texts in the language of their original composition. Any exceptions must be approved by the DUS. Deadlines for the prospectus, the rough draft, and the completed essay are listed in the course descriptions of the senior essay course (LITR 491492493).

The senior essay may be written over one term (LITR 491) or over two terms (LITR 492493). Students with an especially well-developed project may petition to write a yearlong senior essay. Interested juniors must apply to the DUS by the last day of classes in the spring term. Students may count the second term of the essay as one elective course toward the total number of courses required for the major. Students expecting to graduate in May enroll in LITR 492 during the fall term and complete their essays in 493 in the spring term. December graduates enroll in 492 in the spring term and complete their essays in 493 during the following fall term. Students planning to begin their essay in the spring term should notify the DUS by the last day of classes in the fall term.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE COMPARATIVE LITERATURE MAJOR

Prerequisites None

Number of courses 12 term courses (incl senior essay)

Specific courses required LITR 130, 140

Distribution of courses 3 period courses, as specified; 1 elective with literary or cultural theory element, as specified; 3 courses in one foreign litr, as specified; 2 courses in a second foreign litr, as specified

Senior requirement One-term senior essay (LITR 491); or two-term senior essay (LITR 492 and LITR 493)

Study Abroad for both majors

Literature majors are encouraged to consider spending a summer, a term, or a year abroad. One course taken through international programs may, with permission of the DUS, be applied to the foreign literature requirement.

Unique to both Majors

The following table lists languages in which advanced literature instruction is available at Yale, specifying courses that fulfill the basic and advanced literature requirements for the majors. Courses with numbers higher than those listed also normally fulfill the requirement, providing that they focus on literature (rather than language) and that the literature is read in the original language.

Other ancient and modern languages, including those from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, may be suitable for either major if a qualified faculty adviser is available to supervise the student.

Language Basic Literature Course Advanced Literature Course
Arabic ARBC 150, 151 ARBC 161 or 165
Chinese CHNS 150, 151 CHNS 170 or 171
French FREN 170 Courses in French numbered 200 or higher
German Courses in German numbered 170 or higher Courses in German numbered 200 or higher
Ancient Greek GREK 131 or 141 Ancient Greek courses numbered 400 or higher
Modern Hebrew By arrangement with instructor By arrangement with instructor
Italian Courses in Italian numbered 200 or higher Courses in Italian numbered 200 or higher
Japanese JAPN 150, 151 JAPN 170 or 171
Korean KREN 150, 151 EALL 470 or 471
Latin LATN 131 or 141 Latin courses numbered 400 or higher
Persian PERS 150 PERS 150
Portuguese By arrangement with instructor By arrangement with instructor
Russian RUSS 150, 151 Courses in Russian numbered 170 or higher
Spanish SPAN 261, 262, 266, or 267 Courses in Spanish numbered 300 or higher

The Literature program is designed for students interested in literary studies who do not want to limit their programs to a single national literature. The major allows students to develop knowledge of multiple languages and cultures, and can be the foundation of an international education.

First-year students with a broad interest in the humanities might consider the Literature major, because it allows the study of literature to be combined with work in history, philosophy, art, film, and other fields. Students may also pursue particular thematic interests such as gender issues, literature’s historical context, or religious and political dimensions of literature. There are two Literature majors: the standard major, Literature and Comparative Cultures, which offers a standard track, a film track, and a translation track; and the intensive major, Comparative Literature.

Prospective majors should begin or continue language study during the first year. Interested students are also encouraged to take one or two courses that include some major texts of the Western literary tradition and count toward the major. These courses include:

  • DRST 001, Directed Studies: Literature
  • DRST 002, Directed Studies: Literature
  • ENGL 129, Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition

Students interested in the Literature major should consult the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) and review the department website.

FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

Professors Dudley Andrew, Peter Brooks (Emeritus), Rüdiger Campe, Katerina Clark, Roberto González Echevarría, Martin Hägglund, Hannan Hever, Carol Jacobs (Emeritus), Pericles Lewis, Rainer Nägele (Emeritus), David Quint, Katie Trumpener, Jing Tsu, Jane Tylus

Associate Professors Moira Fradinger, Ayesha Ramachandran

Assistant Professors Robyn Creswell, Marta Figlerowicz

Senior Lecturer Peter Cole

Lecturers Jan Hagens, George Syrimis

Senior Lector Candace Skorupa

Affiliated Faculty Rolena Adorno (Spanish & Portuguese), R. Howard Bloch (French), Francesco Casetti (Film & Media Studies), Kang-i Sun Chang (East Asian Languages & Literatures), Michael Denning (American Studies), Wai Chee Dimock (English), Paul Fry (English), Alice Kaplan (French), Tina Lu (East Asian Languages & Literatures), John MacKay (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Giuseppe Mazzotta (Italian), Christopher L. Miller (French), Joseph Roach (English), Maurice Samuels (French), Ruth Yeazell (English)

First-Year Seminar

* LITR 022a, Music and LiteratureCandace Skorupa

This seminar explores the rivalry between music and literature, the attraction and repulsion between these two art forms, and the dialogue between writers and composers. In select fiction and poetry spanning a variety of cultures and times, we look at the aesthetic challenges of conveying music in words; in select music from the same periods, we study the use of literary themes and narrative. How does music inhabit literature, and literature influence music? We read fiction describing music and borrowing musical forms; we study symphonies and opera inspired by literature; we look at films that bring together these two arts. Students examine theoretical approaches and learn comparative methods useful for literature and culture courses. Though not required, musical experience and/or interest is welcomed for the seminar, which may be taken simultaneously with gateway courses in the humanities. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 023a / ENGL 025a / SAST 059a, Modern South Asian Literature, 1857-2017Priyasha Mukhopadhyay

Exploration of literary texts from South Asia, 1857 to the present. Close reading of literary texts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, alongside political speeches, autobiographies, and oral narratives. Topics include colonialism, history writing, migration, language, caste, gender and desire, translation, politics and the novel. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration is required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
MW 9am-10:15am

* LITR 024b / GMAN 051b, Game of Thrones and the Theory of SovereigntyKirk Wetters

Introduction to the classical and modern theory of sovereignty in the context of G.R.R. Martin’s popular Game of Thrones series (primarily the books, which are formally more complex and narratively more sophisticated than the television series). Although The Game of Thrones is obviously not a work of German literature, it addresses theoretical and literary-historical discourses that are prominently represented in the German context. Emphasis on strategies of literary and theoretical analysis; literature as a testing ground for theoretical models; theory as an analytic framework for evaluating literary and cultural depictions. Questioning the basis of the contemporary relevance and popularity of this material in light of questions of tragedy, individual agency, myth (vs. history), realism (vs. fantasy), environmental catastrophe and geopolitics. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.   WR
TTh 9am-10:15am

Prerequisites and Required Courses

* LITR 130a / HUMS 130a, How to ReadAyesha Ramachandran

Introduction to techniques, strategies, and practices of reading through study of lyric poems, narrative texts, plays and performances, films, new and old, from a range of times and places. Emphasis on practical strategies of discerning and making meaning, as well as theories of literature, and contextualizing particular readings. Topics include form and genre, literary voice and the book as a material object, evaluating translations, and how literary strategies can be extended to read film, mass media, and popular culture. Junior seminar; preference given to juniors and majors.   HU
HTBA

The Ancient World

* LITR 154a / ENGL 395a, The Bible as a LiteratureLeslie Brisman

Study of the Bible as a literature—a collection of works exhibiting a variety of attitudes toward the conflicting claims of tradition and originality, historicity and literariness. The course should not be taken concurrently with RLST 145 and is not open to first-year students; but it is open to non-majors who have taken a prior WR course or others who are eager to profit from the progress possible from one to another of the five writing assignments.  WR, HURP
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 168a / ENGL 129a, Tragedy in the European Literary TraditionStaff

The genre of tragedy from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome through the European Renaissance to the present day. Themes of justice, religion, free will, family, gender, race, and dramaturgy. Works include Homer's Iliad and plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, and Soyinka. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.  WR, HU
HTBA

* LITR 169b / ENGL 130b, Epic in the European Literary TraditionStaff

The epic tradition traced from its foundations in ancient Greece and Rome to the modern novel. The creation of cultural values and identities; exile and homecoming; the heroic in times of war and of peace; the role of the individual within society; memory and history; politics of gender, race, and religion. Works include Homer's Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, Cervantes's Don Quixote, and Joyce's Ulysses. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.  WR, HU
HTBA

Medieval and Early Modern Literature to 1800

LITR 174a / EALL 211a / EAST 241a / WGSS 405a, Women and Literature in Traditional ChinaKang-i Sun Chang

A study of major women writers in traditional China, as well as representations of women by male authors. The power of women's writing; women and material culture; women in exile; courtesans; Taoist and Buddhist nuns; widow poets; cross-dressing women; the female body and its metaphors; footbinding; notions of love and death; the aesthetics of illness; women and revolution; poetry clubs; the function of memory in women's literature; problems of gender and genre. All readings in translation; no knowledge of Chinese required. Some Chinese texts provided for students who read Chinese. Formerly CHNS 201.   HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

LITR 183a / HUMS 180a / ITAL 310a, Dante in TranslationChristiana Purdy Moudarres

A critical reading of Dante's Divine Comedy and selections from the minor works, with an attempt to place Dante's work in the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages by relating literature to philosophical, theological, and political concerns. No knowledge of Italian required. Course conducted in English.  HUTr
MW 1pm-2:15pm

LITR 194a / ENGL 154a / FREN 216a / HUMS 134a, The Multicultural Middle AgesArdis Butterfield

Introduction to medieval English literature and culture in its European and Mediterranean context, before it became monolingual, canonical, or author-bound. Genres include travel writing, epic, dream visions, mysticism, the lyric, and autobiography, from the Crusades to the Hundred Years War, from the troubadours to Dante, from the Chanson de Roland to Chaucer.  HU
MW 9:25am-10:15am

European Literature since 1800

* LITR 201b / GMAN 247b, Goethe's Wilhelm MeisterKirk Wetters

A detailed study of Goethe’s 1795/96 Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship – the first novel of the nineteenth century and the prototypical novel of education (Bildungsroman); engagement with critical and scholarly reception starting with Schiller and Schlegel, theories of the novel and transformations of modern society. Readings and discussion in English.  HUTr
HTBA

LITR 202b / RUSS 260b, Nabokov and World LiteratureMarijeta Bozovic

Vladimir Nabokov's writings explored in the context of his life story and of the structures and institutions of literary life in Russian émigré circles. Themes of exile, memory, and nostalgia; hybrid cultural identities and cosmopolitan elites; language and bilingualism; the aims and aesthetics of émigré and diasporic modernism in novels and other media. Additional readings from works of world literature inspired and influenced by Nabokov. Readings and discussion in English.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:20pm

LITR 214b / FREN 240b / HUMS 201b, The Modern French NovelMaurice Samuels and Alice Kaplan

A survey of major French novels, considering style and story, literary and intellectual movements, and historical contexts. Writers include Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, Camus, and Sartre. Readings in translation. One section conducted in French.  HUTr
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm

* LITR 218a / GMAN 226a, The Faust TraditionJan Hagens

The development of the Faust motif through time, from the period of the Renaissance and the Reformation to the twentieth century. Readings from the English adaptation of the original German chapbook and from works by Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Goethe, Wilde, Bulgakov, and Thomas Mann. Screenings of films with a Faustian theme.  HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 220b / CZEC 301b / RSEE 300b, Milan Kundera: The Czech Novelist and French ThinkerKaren von Kunes

Close reading of Kundera's novels, with analysis of his aesthetics and artistic development. Relationships to French, German, and Spanish literatures and to history, philosophy, music, and art. Topics include paradoxes of public and private life, the irrational in erotic behavior, the duality of body and soul, the interplay of imagination and reality, the function of literary metaphor, and the art of composition. Readings and discussion in English.  HUTr
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 239a / CLCV 216a / MGRK 216a / WGSS 209a, Dionysus in ModernityGeorge Syrimis

Modernity's fascination with the myth of Dionysus. Questions of agency, identity and community, and psychological integrity and the modern constitution of the self. Manifestations of Dionysus in literature, anthropology, and music; the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy; twentieth-century variations of these themes in psychoanalysis, surrealism, and magical realism.  HUTr
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

LITR 245a / RSEE 254a / RUSS 254a, Tolstoy and DostoevskyMolly Brunson

Close reading of major novels by two of Russia's greatest authors. Focus on the interrelations of theme, form, and literary-cultural context. Readings and discussion in English.  HU
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm

* LITR 302b / FREN 307b, France by Rail: Trains in French Literature, Film, and HistoryMorgane Cadieu

Exploration of the aesthetics of trains in French and Francophone literature and culture, from the end of the nineteenth-century and the first locomotives, to the automatically driven subway in twenty-first century Paris. Focus on the role of trains in industrialization, colonization, deportation, decolonization, and immigration. Corpus includes novels, poems, plays, films, paintings, graphic novels, as well as theoretical excerpts on urban spaces and public transportation. Activities include: building a train at the CEID and visiting the Beinecke collections and the Art Gallery. May not be taken after FREN 306.  WR, HU
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

Non-European Literature since 1800

* LITR 252a / PORT 350a, Machado de AssisK. David Jackson

The place of Machado de Assis in world literature explored through close reading of his nine novels and selected stories in translation. Machado's hybrid literary world, skeptical critique of empire in Brazil, and narrative constructions. Readings and discussion in English; reading of texts in Portuguese for Portuguese majors.  WR, HUTr
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 285a / EALL 286a / EAST 261a / HUMS 290a / PORT 360a, The Modern Novel in Brazil and JapanSeth Jacobowitz

Brazilian and Japanese novels from the late nineteenth century to the present. Representative texts from major authors are read in pairs to explore their commonalities and divergences. Topics include nineteenth-century realism and naturalism, the rise of mass culture and the avant-garde, and existentialism and postmodernism. No knowledge of Portuguese or Japanese required.  HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 294a / LAST 394a / PORT 394a, World Cities and NarrativesK. David Jackson

Study of world cities and selected narratives that describe, belong to, or represent them. Topics range from the rise of the urban novel in European capitals to the postcolonial fictional worlds of major Portuguese, Brazilian, and Spanish American cities. Conducted in English.  WR, HUTr
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

Literary Theory and Special Topics

* LITR 179a / ENGL 219a / HUMS 149a / ITAL 309a / WGSS 179a, Gender and Genre in Renaissance Love PoetryAyesha Ramachandran

Introduction to the poetic genres of lyric, epic, and pastoral in the European Renaissance. Focus on questions of desire, love, and gendered subjectivity. The historical contexts and political uses of discourses of eroticism and pleasure in Italy, Spain, France, and England. Written exercises include poetic imitations of Renaissance texts.  HU
HTBA

* LITR 306a / FILM 409a / RSEE 327a / RUSS 327a, The Danube in Literature and FilmMarijeta Bozovic

The Danube River in the film, art, and literature of various Danubian cultural traditions, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Geography and history of the region that includes the river's shores and watershed; physical, historical, and metaphoric uses of the Danube; the region as a contested multilingual, multicultural, and multinational space, and as a quintessential site of cross-cultural engagement. Readings and discussion in English.  WR, HUTr
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 317a / JDST 326a, Marxist Theory of LiteratureHannan Hever

The role of Marxist thought in understanding literary institutions and texts in the twentieth century. Marx's theory of ideology; Lukacs's theory of literature as the basis for development of Marxist literary theory; the Frankfurt and materialistic schools. Readings include works by Raymond Williams, Catherine Belsey, Walter Benjamin, Pierre Macherey, and Frederic Jameson.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

LITR 318a / ENGL 191a / NELC 201a, The Arabian Nights, Then and NowShawkat Toorawa

Exploration of Arabian Nights, a classic of world literature. Topics include antecedents, themes and later prose, and graphic and film adaptations.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 324b / HUMS 320 / THST 330b, Representations of the UnderworldToni Dorfman

What is the underworld? What questions have different ideas about the underworld posed about mortality, freedom, and goodness? Topics include dreams, hell, ghosts, the unconscious, and string theory. Sophomore standing required.  HU
M 9:25am-11:15am

* LITR 327a / ITAL 367a, Saying Goodbye: Meditations on Art, Death and Afterlives, the Bible through Shakespeare and Sor JuanJane Tylus

How do we take leave of the people, places, and work that we love? Our course objectives are to strive to understand the important role that leavetakings play in life and artistic expression, especially between 1300-1700; to probe the differences between religious faiths of early modernity with respect to rituals of saying goodbye and the afterlife; to sharpen our skills as readers, spectators, and listeners of works that engage with complex questions regarding the meaning of life and one’s lifework; and to contextualize our readings within more contemporary conversations by theologians and theorists about dying, grief, and letting go. We also examines rites of passage and departure, even as our main focus is figures such as Dante, Michelangelo, Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, whose differing faiths during a period of religious crisis produced various kinds of finished—and unfinished—works. Our class is held in the Beinecke library, where we regularly consult first editions and in some cases (Donne’s letters and poems) autograph copies, as well as evaluate the material evidence for ways that manuscripts and books reveal how authors parted with their works (dedications, envois), and how readers comment on their own encounters with leavetakings.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

LITR 329a / AFAM 180a / LAST 398a / SPAN 398a, Caribbean Baseball: A Cultural HistoryRoberto González Echevarría

A study of the origins and evolution of baseball in the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) in the context of the region's political and cultural history and its relationship with the United States. The course begins with a consideration of the nature of games and the development and dissemination of sports by imperial powers since the nineteenth century: soccer, rugby, and tennis by the UK and basketball and baseball by the U.S. Topics to be considered: nationalism, the role of race, popular culture, the development of the media, the rise of stars and famous teams, the importance of the Negro Leagues, access of Caribbean players to the Major Leagues, the situation in the present.  WR, HUTr
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 330a / GMAN 227a / HUMS 330a / PHIL 402a, Heidegger's Being and TimeMartin Hägglund

Systematic, chapter by chapter study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, arguably the most important work of philosophy in the twentieth-century. All major themes addressed in detail, with particular emphasis on care, time, death, and the meaning of being.  HU
HTBA

LITR 339b / ENGL 159 / HUMS 213, Global Shakespeares: Race, Gender, and the Idea of the HumanAyesha Ramachandran

Shakespeare today is a global phenomenon: over five hundred years after his death, the playwright’s legacy continues to flourish with new performances, reworkings, appropriations, and adaptations continuously produced across the world in a range of languages and across various media. Once exported along with the ideologies and practices of empire, Shakespeare’s works have now become an index for the complex histories of colonialism and postcolonialism as well as a crucial site for studying processes of racialization and the universalizing idea of “the human.” How did Shakespeare become global? Was the cultural imagination of his plays always already global, written at a time with the very notion of the modern world as we know was being shaped? This course explores the political afterlives of “Shakespeare” as a cultural icon and aesthetic touchstone for the Western tradition through a close reading of four plays alongside their adaptations: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra. We look at films, novels, manga comics, memoirs, stand-up comic routines, along with classic stagings of the plays to elucidate the themes that have made Shakespeare global—in particular, questions of race, gender, sexuality, generational conflict, and political intrigue. Authors and directors include  Akiro Kurosawa, Vishal Bharadwaj,  Janet Suzman, Iqbal Khan, James Baldwin, Sulayman Al-Bassam, Tayeb Salih, Preti Taneja,  and Derek Walcott.  HU
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

* LITR 342b / JDST 356b, Jewish Literary MasterpiecesHannan Hever

Exploration of the nature of Jewish identity through a literary prism, focusing on novels, stories, poetry, and homilies. Study of texts written over a three thousand year period by Jews living in the Middle East, Europe, and America, from biblical writings through modern works composed by Franz Kafka, Philip Roth, as well as Israeli Literature. Special attention given to the role of gender, minority identities, and the idea of nationalism. Taught in translation, readings in English.  HURP
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 348b / ENGL 456b / HUMS 427b, The Practice of Literary TranslationPeter Cole

Intensive readings in the history and theory of translation paired with practice in translating. Case studies from ancient languages (the Bible, Greek and Latin classics), medieval languages (classical Arabic literature), and modern languages (poetic texts).  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

Film

* LITR 358a, East German Literature and FilmKatie Trumpener

The German Democratic Republic (1949-1989) was a political and aesthetic experiment that failed, buffeted by external pressures, and eroded by internal contradictions. For forty years, in fact, its most ambitious literary texts and films (some suppressed, others widely popular) explored such contradictions, often in a vigilant, Brechtian spirit of irony and dialectics. This course examines key texts both as aesthetic experiments and as critiques of the country’s emerging cultural institutions and state censorship, recurrent political debates and pressing social issues. Texts by Brecht, Uwe Johnson, Heiner Müller, Christa Wolf, Johannes Bobrowski, Franz Fühmann, Wolf Biermann, Thomas Brasch, Christoph Hein; films by Slatan Dudow, Kurt Maetzig, Konrad Wolf, Heiner Carow, Frank Beyer, Jürgen Böttcher, Volker Koepp.   Knowledge of German desirable but not crucial; all texts available in English.  WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 360a / FILM 363a, Radical Cinemas of Latin AmericaMoira Fradinger

Introduction to Latin American cinema, with an emphasis on post–World War II films produced in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Examination of each film in its historical and aesthetic aspects, and in light of questions concerning national cinema and "third cinema." Examples from both pre-1945 and contemporary films. Conducted in English; knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese helpful but not required.  HU
W 7pm-8:50pm

* LITR 361a / FILM 305a, Animation, Disney and BeyondAaron Gerow

Survey of the history and theory of animation. Examples from around the world, from various traditions, and from different periods.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm, T 7pm-10pm

* LITR 364a / ENGL 384a / FILM 461a / THST 416a, British CinemaKatie Trumpener

Survey of the British film tradition, emphasizing overlap with literature, drama, and art; visual modernism; documentary's role in defining national identity; "heritage" filmmaking and alternative approaches to tradition; and auteur and actors' cinema.  HURP
M 1:30pm-3:20pm, U 7pm-10pm

* LITR 366b / FILM 416b / FREN 394b, French Cinema through the New WaveDudley Andrew

The history of French cinema c. 1930 to 1970, from the onset of sound through the New Wave movement. The New Wave "idea of cinema"; the relation of cinema to national self-perception and state policy in France.  HURP
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 368a / FILM 319a / GMAN 273a, The Third Reich in Postwar German Film, 1945-2007Jan Hagens

Close study of the intersection of aesthetics and ethics with regard to how German films, since 1945, have dealt with Nazi history. Through the study of German-language films (with subtitles), produced in postwar East, West, and unified Germany through 2007, students consider and challenge perspectives on the Third Reich and postwar Germany, while learning basic categories of film studies.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 380b / FILM 411b, The Films of Alfred HitchcockBrigitte Peucker

An examination of Hitchcock's career as a filmmaker from Blackmail to Frenzy, with close attention to the wide variety of critical and theoretical approaches to his work. Topics include the status of the image; the representation of the feminine and of the body; spectatorship; painterliness and theatricality; generic and psychoanalytic issues.  HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 398a / ENGL 308a / FILM 242a / HUMS 454a, Interpreting Film MasterpiecesDavid Bromwich and Dudley Andrew

Exploration of seven auteurs from Europe and Hollywood, 1937–1967. Assessment of methods that deepen appreciation of the films and the medium.  WR, HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Advanced Seminars

Two seminars are required for Literature majors; nonmajors may be admitted with permission of the instructor.

* LITR 403b / FILM 442b / RUSS 403b, The City in Literature and FilmKaterina Clark

Consideration of the architecture, town planning, and symbolic functions of various cities in Europe, Latin America, the United States, and East Asia. Discussion of the representation of these cities in literature and film. Works include older Soviet and Chinese films about Shanghai and contemporary films about Hong Kong and Beijing.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 406b / ER&M 416b / GMAN 411b / HUMS 342b / JDST 327b, World LiteratureHannan Hever

The concept of world literature, from its origins in eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism represented by Herder and Goethe up to contemporary critical debates (Apter, Casanova, Cheah, Damrosch, Dharwadker, I. Hesse, Moretti, Mufti, Pollock, Said, Spivak). World literature in relation to national literature, German-language, and Jewish literature; translation, untranslatability, the effect of markets, diaspora, politics. Literary critical readings supplemented by exemplary literary texts in multiple genres. Student contributions based on individual linguistic backgrounds.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

LITR 445b / SPAN 302b, El Quijote en españolRoberto González Echevarría

A detailed and contextualized reading of Cervantes's masterpiece conducted entirely in Spanish. The study of this iconic text familiarizes students with its literary and cultural values and Cervantes' language. Prerequisites: SPAN 140, 142, 145, or equivalent.   L5, HUTr
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 450b / FILM 445b, Film and Fiction in InteractionDudley Andrew

The dynamic exchange or relay between fiction and film, recognized by theorists just after WWII, while obvious in adaptations, also exists in the evolution of the styles and topics of both forms of cultural production. The French term "ecriture, " applied to films after 1948, is newly relevant in today's open cultural field where writers make films and where many adaptations begin as interpretations. Advanced course in literary or film studies.  HURP
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* LITR 459b / SPAN 329b, Golden Age TheaterRoberto González Echevarría

The development and apogee of the Spanish comedia, as well as contemporary minor subgenres such as the auto sacramental and the entremés. Exploration of how the theater synthesizes post-Garcilaso lyric, the commedia dell’arte, renaissance epic, the romancero, Spanish history, and the European renaissance literary tradition. Works by Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Guillén de Castro, Mira de Amescua, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Luis Quiñones de Benavente, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Comparison with English and French theater is encouraged.  SPAN 140, 142, 145, or equivalent.  L5, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 460b / GMAN 365b, The Contemporary German Novel, 1945-2019Rüdiger Campe

This course discusses exemplary novels in German language after 1945 from West and East Germany, Germany after Reunification, from Austria, and from Switzerland. Part I, "Zero Hour—or Not," covers political critique of Nazi Germany and the attempt of aesthetic clean break (e.g., Gunther Grass, Wolfgang Koeppen, Ingeborg Bachmann, Max Frisch); Part II "1968: Revolution or New Interiority," covers social protest versus aesthetic internationalism (e.g., Peter Handke, Christa Wolf, Hubert Fichte, Thomas Bernhard); and Part III, "The Attempt of Being Contemporary," covers German and German speaking societies in the global world (e.g., Elfriede Jelinek, Daniel Kehlmann, Yoko Tawada, Rainald Goetz). While "contemporaneity" is the particular mark of the last section, all works desire to critically intervene in their moment and their place in time. Giving an account of this desire is the goal of the course. Contextualization as needed; close reading of selected passages as the mode of work; all works are provided in English translation and German.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 488a, Directed Reading and/or Individual ResearchMoira Fradinger

Special projects in an area of the student's particular interest set up with the help of a faculty adviser and the director of undergraduate studies. Projects must cover material not otherwise offered by the department, must terminate in at least a term paper or its equivalent, and must have the approval of the director of undergraduate studies. Enrollment limited to Literature majors.
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Senior Courses

* LITR 491a, The Senior EssayMoira Fradinger

An independent writing and research project. The senior essay is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) by September 6 (for LITR 491a) or January 17 (for LITR 491b), a three-page prospectus signed by the student's adviser; (2) by October 11 (for LITR 491a) or March 6 (for LITR 491b), a full rough draft (not notes); (3) by November 29 (for LITR 491a) or April 9 (for LITR 491b), the completed essay. The minimum length for an essay is twenty-five pages. Students are urged to arrange a topic and adviser early in the term before the term in which the essay is to be written.
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* LITR 492a and LITR 493a, The Yearlong Senior EssayMoira Fradinger

An extended research project. Students must petition the curriculum committee for permission to enroll by the last day of classes in the term preceding enrollment in LITR 492. For students expecting to graduate in May, the senior essay is due in the office of the director of undergraduate studies according to the following schedule: (1) by September 6, a three-page prospectus signed by the student's adviser; (2) by February 14, a full rough draft (not notes); (3) by April 9, the completed essay. December graduates should consult the director of undergraduate studies for required deadlines. The minimum length for a yearlong senior essay is forty pages.
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