Comparative Literature (LITR)

* LITR 001a / AFST 002a, Introduction to African LiteratureHelen Yitah

This is a survey course meant to offer a formal introduction to African Literature in its broadest historical and cultural contexts.  The aim is for each student to gain a close, personal familiarity with selected representative texts of major forms/genres and of the major writers of various periods, including the traditional raconteurs who daily regale communities with their oral arts; Chinua Achebe, considered the ‘father’ of modern African literature; Ama Ata Aidoo, groundbreaking African woman writer; Nawal El Saadawi, physician, activist, and feminist who writes about women in Islam; Keorapetse Kgositsile, award winning poet and South African Poet Laureate; Patricia Jabbeh Wesley whose poetry gives voice to the hundreds of Liberians who were killed during the country’s civil war. We begin with oral genres—the earliest and the predominant forms of African literature—including folktales, myths and legends, and oral poetry. We then look at selected writers and their works from around the continent. The texts are placed in the general socio-political and cultural contexts of their production. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  HU
T 9:25am-11:15am

* LITR 130a / HUMS 130a, Fundamentals of ComparisonAyesha Ramachandran and Marta Figlerowicz

An introduction to the conceptual modes and frameworks for comparative study in the humanities as well as the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural traditions of comparative literature. We investigate how and why cultures come into contact and why we might want to engage in acts of comparison. Topics covered are historical and theoretical in scope involving questions about: historical connections; influence and reception; morphology (similarities, resemblances); circulation and networks; colonialism and its consequences; identity and diaspora; aesthetics; humanisms. Anchored in case studies that help to understand the core challenges of our discipline, we explore the relation of literary study to anthropology, linguistics, religious studies, history, and cognitive science. Texts include: Leo Africanus’s Description of Africa with Natalie Zemon Davis’s Trickster Travels; Goethe's West-östlicher Divan, its source texts and imitations; Shakespeare’s Hamlet alongside Bharadwaj’s Haider and Bohannan's “Shakespeare in the Bush"; Fenollosa, Pound and modernism’s fascination with Chinese poetry; Lu Xun’s engagement with Gogol; Césaire, Glissant and the struggle over créolité; early modern and postcolonial visions of humanism.  HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 140b, How To CompareSamuel Hodgkin

This course is an exploration of literary comparison from methodological as well as historical perspectives. We compare texts within genres, across genres and media, across periods, and between cultures and languages. We consider questions such as whether all comparisons must assume a common ground, and whether there is always an implicit politics to any comparison. Topics range from theories of translation and ekphrasis to exoticism and untranslatability. Readings include classics by critics such as Aristotle, Ibn Sina, and Kristeva, and writers such as Marie de France, Nezami, and Calvino. It also engages with the literature of our own moment: we will read a newly-translated novel by the Chilean writer Nona Fernàndez, and the Iranian poet Kayvan Tahmasebian will visit the class for a conversation. We will also discuss films (Parajanov and Barta) and a new Russian computer game. This course fulfills an introductory requirement for students considering one of the majors in the Comparative Literature department, but all are welcome, and the methodologies and questions discussed in the class are useful for any kind of humanistic inquiry.  HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

LITR 143b / FILM 240b / HUMS 190b, Cinema in the WorldMoira Fradinger

Development of ways to engage films from around the globe productively. Close analysis of a dozen complex films, with historical contextualization of their production and cultural functions. Attention to the development of critical skills. Includes weekly screenings, each followed immediately by discussion.  HU

* LITR 168a or b / ENGL 1029b / ENGL 129a / HUMS 127a or b / THST 129a or b, 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 might include Aristotle's Poetics or Homer's Iliad and plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Hrotsvitha, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Calderon, Racine, Büchner, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Wedekind, Synge, Lorca, Brecht, Beckett, Soyinka, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Lynn Nottage. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.  WR, HU

* LITR 169a or b / ENGL 1030b / ENGL 130a / HUMS 132a or b, 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

LITR 183a / HUMS 180a / ITAL 310a, Dante in TranslationStaff

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.  HUTr0 Course cr
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 195a / ENGL 205a / HUMS 200a / MUSI 462a, Medieval SonglinesArdis Butterfield

Introduction to medieval song in England via modern poetic theory, material culture, affect theory, and sound studies. Song is studied through foregrounding music as well as words, words as well as music.  WR, HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

LITR 198a / EALL 203a / HUMS 284a, The Tale of GenjiKurtis Hanlon

A reading of the central work of prose fiction in the Japanese classical tradition in its entirety (in English translation) along with some examples of predecessors, parodies, and adaptations (the latter include Noh plays and twentieth-century short stories). Topics of discussion include narrative form, poetics, gendered authorship and readership, and the processes and premises that have given The Tale of Genji its place in "world literature." Attention will also be given to the text's special relationship to visual culture. No knowledge of Japanese required. A previous college-level course in the study of literary texts is recommended but not required.  WR, HU
MW 4pm-5:15pm

* LITR 200a / HUMS 128a / NELC 128a, From Gilgamesh to Persepolis: Introduction to Near Eastern LiteraturesKathryn Slanski

This course is an introduction to Near Eastern civilization through its rich and diverse literary cultures. We read and discuss ancient works, such as the Epic of GilgameshGenesis, and “The Song of Songs,” medieval works, such as A Thousand and One Nights, selections from the Qur’an, and Shah-nama: The Book of Kings, and modern works of Israeli, Turkish, and Iranian novelists and Palestianian poets. Students complement classroom studies with visits to the Yale Babylonian Collection and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, as well as with film screenings and guest speakers. Students also learn fundamentals of Near Eastern writing systems, and consider questions of tradition, transmission, and translation. All readings are in translation. Permission from the instructor required.  WR, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 210a / RSEE 313a / RUSS 313a / SLAV 313a / THST 314a, Art and Resistance in Belarus, Russia, and UkraineAndrei Kureichyk

This interdisciplinary seminar is devoted to the study of protest art as part of the struggle of society against authoritarianism and totalitarianism. It focuses on the example of the Soviet and post-Soviet transformation of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The period under discussion begins after the death of Stalin in 1953 and ends with the art of protest against the modern post-Soviet dictatorships of Alexander Lukashenka in Belarus and Vladimir Putin in Russia, the protest art of the Ukrainian Maidan and the anti-war movement of artists against the Russian-Ukrainian war. The course begins by looking at the influence of the “Khrushchev Thaw” on literature and cinema, which opened the way for protest art to a wide Soviet audience. We explore different approaches to protest art in conditions of political unfreedom: "nonconformism," "dissidence," "mimicry," "rebellion." The course investigates the existential conflict of artistic freedom and the political machine of authoritarianism. These themes are explored at different levels through specific examples from the works and biographies of artists. Students immerse themselves in works of different genres: films, songs, performances, plays and literary works.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

LITR 214b / FREN 240b / HUMS 201b, The Modern French NovelAlice Kaplan and Maurice Samuels

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.  HUTr0 Course cr
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 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 221a / PORT 380a, Fernando PessoaKenneth David Jackson

Survey of the main facets of Pessoa's works and consideration of the principal theories and interpretations of his complex literary universe. Reading knowledge of Portuguese is essential, however students may supplement his texts with translations in English, Spanish, French, or Italian.   WR, HU
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* 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
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

LITR 242a / ANTH 237a / GMAN 233a / HUMS 225a / PHIL 219a, Karl Marx's CapitalStaff

A careful reading of Karl Marx's classic critique of capitalism, Capital volume 1, a work of philosophy, political economy, and critical social theory that has had a significant global readership for over 150 years. Selected readings also from Capital volumes 2 and 3.  HU0 Course cr

* LITR 244a / FILM 205a / GMAN 205a / HUMS 160a, The Question of Technology in Continental TheoryStaff

In Greek mythology, Niobe is the queen of Thebes and mother of six daughters and six sons. She rebelled against the gods and was severely punished for it: her children were killed and she herself was petrified in eternal mourning. In Walter Benjamin's much-discussed essay "On the Critique of Violence", Niobe's fate is a memorial to a mythical violence that has never been overcome. According to Benjamin, this violence today is linked to an instrumental approach to technology. In the seminar, we discuss media and technology philosophical approaches by Benjamin, Heidegger, Simondon, Haraway, Chude-Sokei, among others, but also texts by Kant, in order to explore the question of how we should understand the entanglement of melancholy, violence and an instrumental understanding of technology. Furthermore, we discuss how this link between violence, technology and melancholy can be resolved from the perspective of Benjamin's critique of violence.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 251a / EALL 265a / EAST 253a, Japanese Literature after 1970Paul McQuade

This course is an introduction to Japanese literature written in the last fifty years, with a focus on women writers. We read poetry and prose featuring mothers, daughters, and lovers, novels that follow convenience and thrift store workers, and poetry about factory girls. Our reading takes us from the daily grind of contemporary Tokyo to dystopian futures, from 1970s suburbia to surreal dreamscapes. We attend carefully to the ways in which different writers craft their works and, in particular, to their representation of feelings and affects. Whether the dull ache of loneliness, the oppression of boredom or the heavy weight of fatigue, it is often something about the mood of a work–rather than its narrative–that leaves a distinct impression. We develop the tools to analyze and discuss this sense of distinctness, as well as discover ways to stage connections and comparisons between the works we read.   HUTr
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 256a / CPLT 657a / PORT 352a / PORT 652a, Clarice Lispector: The Short StoriesKenneth David Jackson

This course is a seminar on the complete short stories of Clarice Lispector (1920-1977), a master of the genre and one of the major authors of twentieth-century Brazil known for existentialism, mysticism and feminism.  WR, HUTr
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 264b / GMAN 212b / HUMS 159b, The Art of FailureGabrielle Reid and Kirk Wetters

Everyone will fail someday, even Yale students. In this course, we read and critically analyze literature and film that exemplify failure. In today’s culture of positive thinking, dwelling on failure is considered unproductive or even harmful. But particularly in young adulthood, anything from writing a final paper to getting out of bed in the morning can feel Sisyphean. So why aren’t we talking about it? Instead of shying away from defeat, this course argues for the value of facing failure head-on. We ask questions like: What aspects of failure are inevitable parts of the human condition? What kinds of narrative arcs, vocabularies, tones, and other aesthetic choices characterize how we tell stories of failure? We begin to answer these questions with reference to exemplary failures, historical and fictional alike, and their retellings in the works they inspired. From Sisyphus’ endless struggle with the boulder to those cast as failures by society in Linklater’s film Slacker, our sources show that failure is not a mere necessary step on the road to success, nor a mistake to be avoided. Rather, it occasions the production and consumption of great art.  HU

* LITR 295a / AFAM 352a / AMST 438a / ER&M 291a / WGSS 343a, Caribbean Diasporic LiteratureFadila Habchi

An examination of contemporary literature written by Caribbean writers who have migrated to, or who journey between, different countries around the Atlantic rim. Focus on literature written in English in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, both fiction and nonfiction. Writers include Caryl Phillips, Nalo Hopkinson, and Jamaica Kincaid.  HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 300a, Introduction to Theory of LiteratureMartin Hagglund

An examination of the concepts and assumptions in contemporary views of literature, including theories of meaning, interpretation, and representation. A critical analysis of new criticism, formalism, psychoanalysis, reader response, structuralism, poststructuralism, new historicism, Marxism, and postcolonial, feminist, queer, and cultural studies approaches to literature.  HURP
M 7pm-8:50pm

* LITR 301a / FILM 360a / RSEE 380a / RUSS 380a, Putin's Russia and Protest CultureSpencer Small

Survey of Russian literature and culture since the fall of communism. The chaos of the 1990s; the solidification of power in Putin's Russia; the recent rise of protest culture. Sources include literature, film, and performances by art collectives. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Russian.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 303a / EALL 288a / EAST 316a / RSEE 316a / RUSS 316a, Socialist '80s: Aesthetics of Reform in China and the Soviet UnionJinyi Chu

This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of the complex cultural and political paradigms of late socialism from a transnational perspective by focusing on the literature, cinema, and popular culture of the Soviet Union and China in 1980s. How were intellectual and everyday life in the Soviet Union and China distinct from and similar to that of the West of the same era? How do we parse “the cultural logic of late socialism?” What can today’s America learn from it? Examining two major socialist cultures together in a global context, this course queries the ethnographic, ideological, and socio-economic constituents of late socialism. Students analyze cultural materials in the context of Soviet and Chinese history. Along the way, we explore themes of identity, nationalism, globalization, capitalism, and the Cold War. Students with knowledge of Russian and Chinese are encouraged to read in original languages. All readings are available in English.   WR, HUTr
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 305b / ENGL 3415b / HUMS 428b / JDST 343b, Advanced Literary TranslationRobyn Creswell

A sequel to LITR 348 or its equivalent, this course brings together advanced and seriously committed students of literary translation, especially (but not only) those who are doing translation-related senior theses. Students must apply to the class with a specific project in mind, that they have been developing or considering, and that they will present on a regular basis throughout the semester. Discussion of translations-in-progress are supplemented by short readings that include model works from the world of literary translation, among them introductions and pieces of criticism, as well as reflections by practitioners treating all phases of their art. The class is open to undergraduates and graduate students who have taken at least one translation workshop. By permission of the instructor. Formerly ENGL 483. Prerequisite: LITR 348.

* 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
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

LITR 318a / ENGL 191a / HUMS 206a / MMES 215a / NELC 201a, The Arabian Nights, Then and NowRobyn Creswell

The medieval cycle of tales known as The Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights is among the most beloved and influential story collections of world literature. It is an “ocean” of tales that has much to teach us about how stories work, whether they must come to an end, and our apparently bottomless desire to hear them. We will spend the semester in the company of genies and princes, thieves and slaves, mass murderers, detectives, and orientalists. We will also explore the ways in which the stories of the Nights have been adapted by later writers, such as Djebbar, Stevenson, Conan Doyle, and Mahfouz, as well as by filmmakers such Pasolini and—of course—Walt Disney. The course is intended to introduce students to the major tales of the Nights and to the classical Arabic literary tradition more broadly. It also seeks to develop their skills of close reading and analysis, particularly through a consideration of literary and filmic adaptations.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

LITR 338a / FILM 362a / FREN 384a / ITAL 384a / JDST 289a, Representing the HolocaustMaurice Samuels and Millicent Marcus

The Holocaust as it has been depicted in books and films, and as written and recorded by survivors in different languages including French and Italian. Questions of aesthetics and authority, language and its limits, ethical engagement, metaphors and memory, and narrative adequacy to record historical truth. Interactive discussions about films (Life Is Beautiful, Schindler's List, Shoah), novels, memoirs (Primo Levi, Charlotte Delbo, Art Spiegelman), commentaries, theoretical writings, and testimonies from Yale's Fortunoff Video Archive.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 342a / GMAN 202 / JDST 356a / MMES 396, Introduction to Jewish LiteraturesHannan Hever

The course will explore Jewish poetics and identities through literary genres like novels, stories, poems, and legends written in Jewish languages such as Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino, and also, Jewish literatures written in French, German, Arabic, Russian, and Italian. The course emphasizes the literary and political contexts of the "Jewish Question" by reading texts written by Jews in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Israel, and the United States. The course begins with Jeremiah's prophecies, then explores the Mishnaic "Ethics of Our Fathers" and Hebrew poetry written by Medieval Jewish Spanish poets like Judah ha-Levi and Shmuel HaNagid. Among the authors we will discuss are Franz Kafka, Paul Celan, Edmond Jabès, Primo Levi, Philip Roth, and Israeli writers such as S. Y. Agnon, Shimon Ballas, Dalia Ravikovitz, and A.B. Yehoshua. The poetics of Jewish literatures will be studied alongside religion, ethnicity, class differences, diaspora, and family relationships, as well as gender issues, minorities, and nationalism.    HURP
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 344a / ENGL 244a / HUMS 340a, The Detective Story: Solving Mysteries from Oedipus to SherlockPaul Grimstad

The course looks closely at detective stories, novels and films, with attention to the narrative structure of criminal enigma, logical investigation and denouement (whodunit, howdunit), and considers “genre” more broadly. Starting with the proto-detective story Oedipus Rex—in which tragic drama takes the form of a murder mystery—we move on to Edgar Allan Poe’s invention of the genre proper in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Purloined Letter.” From there we go to Poe’s “golden age” inheritors Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy Sayers, as well as the adaptation of Doyle’s tales for the BBC series Sherlock. We also spend time on American “hard boiled” writers (Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon and John Huston’s 1941 film adaptation of the novel; Chester Himes' The Real Cool Killers); fiction which draws upon the conventions of detective stories without being genre fiction (Nabokov, Borges), non-fiction works which have the structure of a detective story (Freud’s “Wolf Man” case study); neo-noir film (Chinatown); works that fuse detective fiction and science-fiction (Minority Report) and recent film homage to “golden age” whodunnits (Knives Out). Students write essays making interpretive claims and using evidence from works on the syllabus, with emphasis on writing clear prose in support of an original argument.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 345a / EVST 228a / HIST 459a / HUMS 228a, Climate Change and the HumanitiesKatja Lindskog

What can the Humanities tell us about climate change? The Humanities help us to better understand the relationship between everyday individual experience, and our rapidly changing natural world. To that end, students read literary, political, historical, and religious texts to better understand how individuals both depend on, and struggle against, the natural environment in order to survive.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 348a or b / ENGL 2415b / ENGL 456a / HUMS 427a or b / JDST 316a or b, The Practice of Literary TranslationStaff

This course combines a seminar on the history and theory of translation (Tuesdays) with a hands-on workshop (Thursdays). The readings lead us through a series of case studies comparing, on the one hand, multiple translations of given literary works and, on the other, classic statements about translation—by translators themselves and prominent theorists. We consider both poetry and prose from the Bible, selections from Chinese, Greek, and Latin verse, classical Arabic and Persian literature, prose by Cervantes, Borges, and others, and modern European poetry (including Pushkin, Baudelaire, and Rilke). Students are expected to prepare short class presentations, participate in a weekly workshop, try their hand at a series of translation exercises, and undertake an intensive, semester-long translation project. Proficiency in a foreign language is required. Previously ENGL 456.  HU

* LITR 351a / FILM 333a / HUMS 422a, Early Film Theory and ModernityFrancesco Casetti

For a long time, early film theory and criticism have been overlooked and underestimated. However, their recent rediscovery has highlighted their crucial role in framing film as a "modern" invention. While discussing what then was a recent invention, early film theory and criticism tackled some of the main characteristic of modern life: speed, excitation, contingency, openness, subjectivity, circulation, etc. By doing so, they underscored the parallel between modern experience and filmic representations. On the screen –they claimed– spectators do not only see the world in which they live, but also the effects of the political, industrial, and social revolutions on this world. At the same time, early film theory and criticism developed an ideal of “modern” art and “modern” language, through a systematic exploration of filmic style and iconography. According to them, film was the epitome of a “new art” for “new times.” The course explores the idea of modernity as it developed in the Western world between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Despite this limitation, we do not meet a uniform landscape; on the contrary, ideological differences and national identities played a major role in defining the perspectives forged by film theorists and critics. While considering texts from France (Delluc, Epstein), Germany (Arnheim, Kracauer), Middle-Europe (Bálazs, Lukács, Tille), Italy (Papini, Thovez), Soviet Union (Eisenstein, Vertov, Pudovkin) and USA (Lindsay, Freeburg, Münsterberg), the course systematically and critically compares them and their traditions. Every week there is a screening with films representative of the time. When possible, we use original prints.  HU
MW 9am-10:15am

* LITR 358b / FILM 425b / GMAN 275b, 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

* LITR 360a / FILM 363a / LAST 360a, Radical Cinemas of Latin AmericaStaff

Introduction to the radical New Latin American Cinema movement that started in the sixties, with an emphasis on manifestos that conceived the relation between art and politics for social change and with a corpus of films produced in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Haiti and Mexico. Examination of films in their historical and aesthetic aspects, and in light of questions concerning national cinema, "militant cinema," "political cinema" and "third cinema." Discussions about the global sixties at large, and about some Latin American texts that were read globally. Conducted in English; knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese helpful but not required.  HU0 Course cr

* 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
T 1:30pm-3:20pm, M 7pm-10pm

* LITR 374a / FILM 325a / GMAN 379a, German Cinema 1918–1933Jan Hagens

The years between 1918 and 1933 are the Golden Age of German film. In its development from Expressionism to Social Realism, this German cinema produced works of great variety, many of them in the international avantgarde. This introductory seminar gives an overview of the silent movies and sound films made during the Weimar Republic and situate them in their artistic, cultural, social, and political context between WWI and WWII, between the Kaiser’s German Empire and the Nazis’ Third Reich. Further objectives include: familiarizing students with basic categories of film studies and film analysis; showing how these films have shaped the history and the language of film; discussing topic-oriented and methodological issues such as: film genres (horror film, film noir, science fiction, street film, documentary film); set design, camera work, acting styles; narration in film; avantgarde cinema; the advent and use of sound in film; Realism versus Expressionism; film and popular mythology; melodrama; representation of women; modern urban life as spectacle; film and politics. Directors studied include: Grune, Lang, Lubitsch, Murnau, Pabst, Richter, Ruttmann, Sagan, von Sternberg, Wiene, et al.
   WR, HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 375b / AMST 307b / ER&M 298b / HIST 117b / MGRK 306b, The Greek Diaspora in the United StatesMaria Kaliambou

The seminar explores the history and culture of the Greek diasporic community in the United States from the end of the 19th century to the present. The Greek American experience is embedded in the larger discussion of ethnic histories that construct modern America. The seminar examines important facets of immigration history, such as community formation, institutions and associations, professional occupations, and civic engagement. It pays attention to the everyday lives of the Greek Americans as demonstrated in religious, educational, and family cultural practices. It concludes by exploring the artistic expressions of Greek immigrants as manifested in literature, music, and film production. The instructor provides a variety of primary sources (archival records, business catalogs, community albums, personal narratives, letters, audiovisual material, etc.). All primary and secondary sources are in English; however, students are encouraged to read available material in the original language.  WR, HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 377a / AFAM 375a / AMST 465a / FREN 365a / HIST 378a, Haiti in the Age of RevolutionsMarlene Daut

The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) was an event of monumental world-historical significance. This class studies the collection of slave revolts and military strikes beginning in August of 1791 that resulted in the eventual abolition of slavery in the French colony of Saint-Domingue and its subsequent independence and rebirth in January of 1804 as Haiti, the first independent and slavery-free nation of the American hemisphere. Considering Haiti's war of independence in the broader context of the Age of Revolutions, we cover topics such as enlightenment thought, natural history, the workings and politics of the printing press, and representations of the Haitian Revolution in art, literature, music, and in various kinds of historical writings and archival documents. Students develop an understanding of the relevant scholarship on the Haitian Revolution as they consider the relationship of this important event to the way it was written about both as it unfolded and in its long wake leading up to the present day.  WR, HU
W 9:25am-11:15am

LITR 378a / HUMS 167a / NELC 135a, Masterpieces of Arabic LiteratureShawkat Toorawa

The Arabic literary tradition spans from the 6th-century through to the modern day. In this course, we focus on the first thousand years (600–1600), and read works, and excerpts from works, regarded as masterpieces of Arabic literature. Our readings include the early poetry of the Arabian peninsula (Imru l-Qays, 'Antarah), the Qur’an, celebrated prose writers, including al-Jahiz, al-Tanukhi, al-Hariri, and al-Tawhidi, and famous poets, including al-Mutanabbi, al-Ma'arri, and Ibn Zaydun. All readings in translation.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 389a / ENGL 289a / HUMS 388a / PHIL 385a / RLST 380a, The Force of LifeNancy Levene and James Wood

The point of departure for this course is a line from James Baldwin in The Fire Next Time: “To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.” We study four authors–Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Baldwin, and Jacques Derrida–in light of the values Baldwin expresses and their challenges. Our work between philosophy and fiction involves striving to read each text according to the ideas it itself advances, as well as reading for connections and cross-pollinations.  WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 395a / ER&M 236a / ITAL 337a / WGSS 364a, Feminism without Women: Modernist and Postcolonial Textual ExperimentsSerena Bassi

Antifeminist critics charge the feminist movement with having forgotten “real women'' in favor of inaccessible theories rejecting the supposedly incontrovertible fact that there are only two sexes and genders. This seminar turns the charge on its head by exploring a theoretical and literary canon that - by questioning the ontological status of the male/female binary - has transformed feminism into a capacious, radically inclusive, revolutionary 21st Century movement. The texts and the theories that we discuss put pressure on the very category of “woman” as they strive to rethink feminism as a non-identitarian world-making project. The class focuses on two movements that employ art and literature to push back against the idea of “women” as the monolithic subject of feminism: Italian vanguard modernism and Italophone literary postcolonialism. We discuss modernist and postcolonial novels, poems, essays, and performative art pieces together with classics of feminist, queer and postcolonial theory. We push our own political imagination further by asking ever more sophisticated questions about gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, and the way these intersecting social formations mediate the way we see, experience, and represent our material and social reality. The course is taught entirely in English. No previous knowledge of Italian language, art, or literature required. Students seeking departmental credit for Italian do their writing and reading in the original language, and attend a discussion session in Italian.  HUTr
W 9:25am-11:15am

* LITR 397a / FREN 241a / GMAN 301a, After the War, Novels after 1945, French and GermanRudiger Campe

How to write, how to narrate after war? In this course we read alternatingly some of the greatest novels and novellas after 1945 (until ca. 1968) from German speaking countries and from France. This can but does not necessarily mean novels about fascism and democracy, aggression and resistance (Sartre, Grass). It also means negotiating radical break and reorientation, politically and ideologically (German “Zero Hour”, the absurd, existentialism in France); and the attempt to reinvent literary writing in general (‘nouveau roman’ in France, Handke and Bernard in Austria). Further authors include Camus, Duras, Robbe-Grillet, Le Clezio, Koeppen, Wolf, Handke, Bachmann.  HU
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 404a / ENGL 341a / EVST 409a / HUMS 377a, Nature Poetry, from the Classics to Climate ChangeJonathan Kramnick

Poetry of the natural world, beginning with classical pastoral and ending with lyric responses to climate change. We consider how poetry attempts to make sense of our interaction with the earth at important moments of change, from pre-industrial agriculture to global capitalism and the Anthropocene.  WR, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 416a / FILM 310a / GMAN 331a / HUMS 281a, Paper: Material and MediumAusten Hinkley

Paper is one of the most ubiquitous and indispensable media of the modern era.  Although we are (still) surrounded by it, paper tends to recede into the background, working best when we do not notice it at all. This course sets out to challenge our understanding of paper as a neutral or passive bearer of inscriptions by foregrounding its material quality. Our focus rests in equal parts on the media history of paper and paper works of art–among them many literary texts–that reflect or take advantage of their medium. Studying materials and histories from the early modern period to the present, we uncover paper’s status as a commodity bound up in a complex web of economic processes, as an instrument of political power, as a gendered and racialized object, and as a material that can be cut, shuffled, and even eaten. Ultimately, we investigate how paper is still central to our lives, even in the age of tablets and PDFs. Readings include Emily Dickinson’s envelope poems, Robert Walser’s “Microscripts,” and M. NourbeSe Philip’s “Zong!” The class makes several visits to the Beinecke Library for hands-on work with paper materials.  WR, HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 441b / GMAN 211b / HUMS 314b / PHIL 412b, Marx, Nietzsche, FreudAusten Hinkley

The course is designed as an introduction to the thought of these three towering figures in the German-language intellectual tradition and to their contributions to our attempts to understand the human mind and society. We read seminal essays as well as (excerpts from) longer works, including Marx’s Capital, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality and Thus Spake Zarathustra, and Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. But we also look at what came before and after these thinkers, considering—among others—Kant, Ludwig Feuerbach, Melanie Klein, Adorno, and Foucault; and we think about the relevance of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud for the understanding of our own times.  HU

* LITR 446b / FREN 247b, Experimental Literature, Theory, and ManifestoesMorgane Cadieu

A survey of the French experimental prose of the 20th and 21st centuries. Corpus includes novels and plays, literary and political manifestoes, and landmark articles on literary theory, structuralism, and poststructuralism. Topics include: inspiration and creativity; the aesthetics of manifestoes and the politics of literature; automatic writing and constrained prose; feminist and queer writings; urban spaces in avant-garde literary movements. Works by: Bataille, Beauvoir, Beckett, Breton, Perec, Sarraute, Wittig. Theoretical excerpts by: Barthes, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Glissant, Malabou.   HUTr
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 448b / GMAN 395b / HUMS 447b / PHIL 313b, Birth of the Political: Early Modern and 20th centuryRudiger Campe

Early modern European works on colonial war, sovereignty, and politics, 16th to 17th centuries (by Sepúlveda, Grotius, Machiavelli, Lipsius (Neo-Stoicism), Hobbes) are read in conjunction with 20th c. debates from the inter-war period to ca. 1968 (by Schmitt, Kantorowicz, Benjamin, Oestreich, Foucault, authors who refer back to the modern early works and have importantly shaped our modern understanding of ‘the political’ (and, with it, the notion of the ‘early modern’)). The course is interested in critically tracing the echoes regarding ‘the political’ between early modernity and our own times.  HU

* LITR 482a / GMAN 288a / HUMS 480a / PHIL 469a, The Mortality of the Soul: From Aristotle to HeideggerMartin Hagglund

This course explores fundamental philosophical questions of the relation between matter and form, life and spirit, necessity and freedom, by proceeding from Aristotle's analysis of the soul in De Anima and his notion of practical agency in the Nicomachean Ethics. We study Aristotle in conjunction with seminal works by contemporary neo-Aristotelian philosophers (Korsgaard, Nussbaum, Brague, and McDowell). We in turn pursue the implications of Aristotle's notion of life by engaging with contemporary philosophical discussions of death that take their point of departure in Epicurus (Nagel, Williams, Scheffler). We conclude by analyzing Heidegger's notion of constitutive mortality, in order to make explicit what is implicit in the form of the soul in Aristotle.   HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 491a, The Senior EssayMoira Fradinger

An independent writing and research project. 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. Dates and deadlines may be found on the department website.

* LITR 492a, 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. December graduates should consult the director of undergraduate studies for required deadlines. The minimum length for a yearlong senior essay is forty pages. Dates and deadline may be found on the department website.