Comparative Literature (LITR)

* LITR 020a / FREN 012a, World Literature After EmpireJill Jarvis

An introduction to contemporary French fiction in a global perspective that will transform the way you think about the relationship between literature and politics. Together we read prizewinning novels by writers of the former French Empire—in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean—alongside key manifestos and theoretical essays that define or defy the notion of world literature. Keeping our focus on questions of race, gender, imperialism, and translation, we ask: has literature gone global? What does that mean? What can we learn from writers whose texts cross and confound linguistic and national borders? Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. No previous knowledge of French is required.  WR, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 028a or b / HUMS 029a or b, Medicine and the Humanities: Certainty and UnknowingMatthew Morrison

Sherwin Nuland often referred to medicine as “the Uncertain Art.” In this course, we address the role of uncertainty in medicine, and the role that narrative plays in capturing that uncertainty. We focus our efforts on major authors and texts that define the modern medical humanities, with primary readings by Mikhail Bulgakov, Henry Marsh, Atul Gawande, and Lisa Sanders. Other topics include the philosophy of science (with a focus on Karl Popper), rationalism and romanticism (William James), and epistemology and scientism (Wittgenstein). Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU

* LITR 029a / CLCV 051a / HUMS 061a / MUSI 054a / THST 051a, Performing AntiquityPauline LeVen

This seminar introduces students to some of the most influential texts of Greco-Roman Antiquity and investigates the meaning of their “performance” in different ways: 1) how they were musically and dramatically performed in their original context in Antiquity (what were the rhythms, the harmonies, the dance-steps, the props used, etc.); 2) what the performance meant, in socio-cultural and political terms, for the people involved in performing or watching it, and how performance takes place beyond the stage; 3) how these texts are performed in modern times (what it means for us to translate and stage ancient plays with masks, a chorus, etc.; to reenact some ancient institutions; to reconstruct ancient instruments or compose “new ancient music”); 4) in what ways modern poems, plays, songs, ballets constitute forms of interpretation, appropriation, or contestation of ancient texts; 5) in what ways creative and embodied practice can be a form of scholarship. Besides reading ancient Greek and Latin texts in translation, students read and watch performances of modern works of reception: poems, drama, ballet, and instrumental music. A few sessions are devoted to practical activities (reenactment of a symposium, composition of ancient music, etc.). Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 037a / HUMS 037a, The Limits of the HumanSteven Shoemaker

As we navigate the demands of the 21st century, an onslaught of new technologies, from artificial intelligence to genetic engineering, has pushed us to question the boundaries between the human and the nonhuman. At the same time, scientific findings about animal, and even plant intelligence, have troubled these boundaries in similar fashion. In this course, we examine works of literature and film that can help us imagine our way into these “limit cases'' and explore what happens as we approach the limits of our own imaginative and empathetic capacities. We read works of literature by Mary Shelley, Kazuo Ishiguro, Richard Powers, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, and Jennifer Egan, and watch the movies Blade Runner, Ex Machina, Arrival, Avatar, and Her. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 130a / GMAN 200a / HUMS 130a, How to ReadRudiger Campe and Hannan Hever

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
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* 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 154a / ENGL 395a / HUMS 380a, 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.  WR, HURP
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 161a / HUMS 394a, Imagining Global LyricAyesha Ramachandran

What is lyric? And what might a multi-dimensional, expansive study of the lyric across cultures, languages, and media look like? This course investigates the possibility of studying lyric poetry in cross-cultural and transmedial ways by combining traditional humanistic approaches with new methods opened by the digital humanities. We begin by examining the lyric poem’s privileged position within a Western literary canon and exploring other conceptions of “lyric” in non-Western literary traditions. We then take an anthropological approach and trace the pervasiveness of lyric poetry in the world by focusing on four key questions: (a) what is lyric and how is it related to various literary genres? (b) what is the relationship between lyric and the visual image; (c) can lyric be translated across forms and languages? (d) how does lyric uniquely articulate our relationship to the natural world? Participants engage with primary texts in Yale’s special collections and contribute to a digital project to compile an exhibit of lyric poetry across the world—a project that highlights the importance and challenges of defining just what a lyric poem is. This is a Franke Seminar in the Humanities.  HUTr
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 168a or b / ENGL 129a or b / 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 130a 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

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

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. Formerly ENGL 189.  WR, HU0 Course cr

* 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 2:30pm-3:45pm

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

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
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 204b / ENGL 269b / HUMS 262b, Modernism and DomesticityKatie Trumpener

Exploration of turn-of-the-century European attempts to craft modernist lives: how new ideas of women’s roles, childhood, and the family shaped modernist literature and art—even as modernist designers tried to change people’s experience of daily surroundings. Topics include a range of New Woman novels, modernist design, fashion, and stage sets, exemplary artists’ houses (Carl and Karen Larson, Vanessa and Duncan Grant), reform fashions, portraits and family portraits, experimental fiction, memoirs (Andrej Bely, Walter Benjamin, Joyce, Woolf), and children’s books as designs for living. Students will have the opportunity to research in modernist periodicals or contribute to the upcoming Beinecke Text/Textile exhibit.  WR, HU

* LITR 205a / RSEE 257a / RUSS 267a, Memory and Memoir in Russian CultureJinyi Chu

How do we remember and forget? How does memory transform into narrative? Why do we read and write memoirs and autobiography? What can they tell us about the past? How do we analyze the roles of the narrator, the author, and the protagonist? How should we understand the ideological tensions between official histography and personal reminiscences, especially in 20th-century Russia? This course aims to answer these questions through close readings of a few cultural celebrities’ memoirs and autobiographical writings that are also widely acknowledged as the best representatives of 20th-century Russian prose. Along the way, we read literary texts in dialogue with theories of memory, historiography, and narratology. Students acquire the theoretical apparatus that enables them to analyze the complex ideas, e.g. cultural memory and trauma, historicity and narrativity, and fiction and non-fiction. Students finish the course with an in-depth knowledge of the major themes of 20th-century Russian history, e.g. empire, revolution, war, Stalinism, and exilic experience, as well as increased skills in the analysis of literary texts. Students with knowledge of Russian are encouraged to read in the original language. All readings are available in English.   WR, HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 210a / RSEE 313a / RUSS 313a / SLAV 313a and SLAV 613a / 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
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

LITR 214b / FREN 240b / HUMS 201b, The Modern French NovelStaff

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 224b / FREN 403b / HUMS 409b, Proust Interpretations: Reading Remembrance of Things PastPierre Saint-Amand and R Howard Bloch

A close reading (in English) of Marcel Proust’s masterpiece, Remembrance of Things Past, with emphasis upon major themes: time and memory, desire and jealousy, social life and artistic experience, sexual identity and personal authenticity, class and nation. Portions from Swann’s Way, Within a Budding Grove, Cities of the Plain, Time Regained considered from biographical, psychological/psychoanalytic, gender, sociological, historical, and philosophical perspectives.  WR, HUTr
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 232a / FREN 340a / GMAN 232a / HUMS 429a / JDST 286a, Paul CelanThomas Connolly

An undergraduate seminar in English exploring the life and work of Paul Celan (1920-1970), survivor of the Shoah, and one of the foremost European poets of the second half of the twentieth century. We will read from his early poems in both Romanian and German, and his published collections including Der Sand aus den Urnen, Mohn und Gedächtnis, Von Schelle zu Schelle, Sprachgitter, Die Niemandsrose, Atemwende, Fadensonnen, Lichtzwang, and Schneepart. We will also read from his rare pieces in prose and his correspondence with family, friends, and other intellectuals and poets including Bachmann, Sachs, Heidegger, Char, du Bouchet, Michaux, Ungaretti. A special focus on his poetic translations from French, but also Russian, English, American, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, and Hebrew. Critical readings draw from Szondi, Adorno, Derrida, Agamben, and others. Readings in English translation or in the original languages, as the student desires. Discussions in English. None.  WR, HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 234b / FREN 355b, Camus and the Postwar EraAlice Kaplan

The literary and political career of French-Algerian writer Albert Camus (1913–60). His major novels and essays read both from a stylistic point of view and in the context of World War II, the Algerian War, and debates over terrorism, the death penalty, and humanitarianism.  HUTr
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 235b / JDST 329b, Modern Jewish PoetsPeter Cole

This course introduces students to a diverse group of modern Jewish poets—from Gertrude Stein, Moyshe Leyb-Halpern, and Adrienne Rich to Muriel Rukeyser, Yehuda Amichai, Paul Celan, Edmond Jabès, Leonard Cohen, and others. Writing in English, Yiddish, German, Hebrew, and French, these poets gave seminal expression to Jewish life in a variety of modes and permutations, and in the process produced poems of lasting and universal value. The class explores work as art and considers pressing questions of cultural, historical, and political context. All readings are in English.   HUTr
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 238b / EALL 230b / EAST 242b / HUMS 269b, Poetry and Ethics Amidst Imperial CollapseLucas Bender

Du Fu has for the last millennium been considered China’s greatest poet. Close study of nearly one-sixth of his complete works, contextualized by selections from the tradition that defined the art in his age. Exploration of the roles literature plays in interpreting human lives and the ways different traditional forms shape different ethical orientation. Poetry as a vehicle for moral reflection. All readings are in English.  WR, HU
M 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
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 251b / EALL 265b / EAST 253b, Japanese Literature after 1970Rosa van Hensbergen

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
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LITR 261b / ENGL 290b, The Canon in the Colony: How Literature Made the British EmpirePriyasha Mukhopadhyay

Exploration of the life of English literature in the colonial and postcolonial world, from the nineteenth century to the present. Close reading of literary texts, publishing statistics, school textbooks, film, and postcolonial theory. Topics include canon formation, education reform, colonial publishing, gender and education, global Shakespeare.  WR, HUTr
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 290a / PORT 353a, Machado de Assis: Major NovelsKenneth David Jackson

A study of the last five novels of Machado de Assis, featuring the author's world and stage of Rio de Janeiro, along with his irony and skepticism, satire, wit, narrative concision, social critiques, and encyclopedic assimilation of world literature.  WR, HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 294a / LAST 394a / PORT 394a, World Cities and NarrativesKenneth 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 Lusophone cities. Conducted in English.  WR, HUTr
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* 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
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* 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
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* 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
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* 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 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 347a / HUMS 191a / ITAL 340a / WGSS 362a, Dangerous Women: Sirens, Singers, Poets and Singers from Sappho to Elena FerranteJane Tylus

Was Sappho a feminist? This course tries to answer that question by analyzing how women’s voices have been appropriated by the literary and cultural canon of the west–and how in turn women writers and readers have reappropriated those voices. Students read a generous amount of literary (and in some cases, musical) works, along with a variety of contemporary theoretical approaches so as to engage in conversation about authorship, classical reception, and materiality. Following an introduction to Greek and Roman texts key for problematic female figures such as sirens and sibyls, we turn to two later historical moments to explore how women artists have both broken out of and used the western canon, redefining genre, content, and style in literary creation writ large. How did Renaissance women such as Laura Cereta, Gaspara Stampa, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz fashion themselves as authors in light of the classical sources they had at hand? And once we arrive in the 20th and 21st centuries, how do Sibilla Aleramo, Elsa Morante, Anna Maria Ortese, and Elena Ferrante forge a new, feminist writing via classical, queer and/or animal viewpoints?  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 348b / ENGL 456b / HUMS 427b / JDST 316b, The Practice of Literary TranslationPeter Cole

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.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LITR 351b / FILM 333b, Early Film Theory and ModernityFrancesco Casetti

For a long time, early film theories have been overlooked and underestimated. Their recent rediscovery has, however, highlighted their crucial role in framing film as a "modern" invention. The main point of interest in early film theories is based on their capacity of highlight and focus some of the characteristic of modern life: speed, economy, contingency, excitation, etc. By prioritizing the filmic experience, they focalized attention on the spectator. But the idea of a “modern” art, as well as the research for a “modern” language, were also an important issue. On the background of this interest in modernity, early film theories were not uniform. Ideological differences and national identities played a major role in defining the perspective of theoretical research. In this respect, it is useful to compare the debate in the USA and in Europe and to acknowledge the very different traditions which they represented. The seminar accordingly takes into account theories in France (Delluc, Epstein), Germany (Arnhein, Kracauer), Middle-Europe (Bálazs, Lukács, Tille), Italy (Papini, Thovez), Soviet Union (Eisenstein, Vertov, Pudovkin) and USA (Lindsay, Freeburg, Münsterberg). Every week there is a screening with films representative of the time.  HU

* 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 359b / FILM 457b / ITAL 303b, Italian Film from Postwar to PostmodernMillicent Marcus

A study of important Italian films from World War II to the present. Consideration of works that typify major directors and trends. Topics include neorealism, self-reflexivity and metacinema, fascism and war, and postmodernism. Films by Fellini, Antonioni, Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Wertmuller, Tornatore, and Moretti. Films in Italian with English subtitles.  WR, HU
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

LITR 361a / FILM 305a, Animation: Disney and BeyondStaff

Survey of the history of animation, considering both its aesthetics and its social potentials. The focus is on Disney and its many alternatives, with examples from around the world, from various traditions, and from different periods.  HU0 Course cr

* 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 379a / FILM 321a / HUMS 435a / LAST 359a, Radical Cinemas in the Global SixtiesMoira Fradinger and Lorenz Hegel

“1968” has become a cipher for a moment of global turmoil, social transformation and cultural revolution. This class explores the “long global sixties” through cinema produced across continents. At the height of the Cold War between two blocks in the “East” and the “West,” the “Third World” emerged as a radical political project alternative to a world order shaped by centuries of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, and capitalist exploitation. Liberation, emancipation, independence, anticolonialism, decolonization, and revolution became key words in the global political discourse. Leaders from Africa, Asia, and Latin America created a new international platform, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that challenged the Cold War bi-polarity. Radical filmmakers who belong in this period experimented with strategies of storytelling and of capturing reality, calling into question rigid distinctions between “documentary” and “fiction” and “art and politics.” The goal was not to “show” reality, but to change it. We study a world-wide range of examples that involve filmmakers’ collaborations across The Americas, Western Europe, North Africa, South and South-East Asia. Taught in English; films aresubtitled but knowledge of other languages may be useful.  HU
M 7pm-10pm, W 7pm-8:50pm

* LITR 393a / GMAN 366a / HUMS 419a / PHIL 346a, The Short Spring of German Theory

Reconsideration of the intellectual microclimate of German academia 1945-1968. A German prelude to the internationalization effected by French theory, often in dialogue with German sources. Following Philipp Felsch's The Summer of Theory (English 2022): Theory as hybrid and successor to philosophy and sociology. Theory as the genre of the philosophy of history and grand narratives (e.g. "secularization"). Theory as the basis of academic interdisciplinarity and cultural-political practice. The canonization and aging of theoretical classics. Critical reflection on academia now and then. Legacies of the inter-War period and the Nazi past: M. Weber, Heidegger, Husserl, Benjamin, Kracauer, Adorno, Jaspers. New voices of the 1950s and 1960s: Arendt, Blumenberg, Gadamer, Habermas, Jauss, Koselleck, Szondi, Taubes.  German reading and some prior familiarity with European intellectual history is helpful but not essential.  HU
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LITR 399a / HSAR 350a / HUMS 425a / RLST 431a, Reality and the RealisticNoreen Khawaja and Joanna Fiduccia

A multidisciplinary exploration of the concept of reality in Euro-American culture. What do we mean when we say something is "real" or "realistic?" From what is it being differentiated−the imaginary, the surreal, the speculative? Can we approach a meaningful concept of the unreal? This course wagers that representational norms do not simply reflect existing notions of reality; they also shape our idea of reality itself. We study the dynamics of realism and its counterparts across a range of examples from modern art, literature, philosophy, and religion. Readings may include: Aimé Cesaire, Mircea Eliade, Karen Barad, Gustave Flaubert, Sigmund Freud, Renee Gladman, Saidiya Hartman, Arthur Schopenhauer. Our goal is to understand how practices of representation reveal something about our understanding of reality, shedding light on the ways we use this most basic, yet most elusive concept.   HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 410a / FREN 423a / HUMS 403a, Interpretations: Simone WeilGreg Ellermann

Intensive study of the life and work of Simone Weil, one of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers. We read the iconic works that shaped Weil’s posthumous reputation as “the patron saint of all outsiders,” including the mystical aphorisms Gravity and Grace and the utopian program for a new Europe The Need for Roots. But we also examine in detail the lesser-known writings Weil published in her lifetime–writings that powerfully intervene in some of the most pressing debates of her day. Reading Weil alongside contemporaries such as Trotsky, Heidegger, Arendt, Levinas, and Césaire, we see how her thought engages key philosophical, ethical, and aesthetic problems of the twentieth century: the relation between dictatorship and democracy; empire and the critique of colonialism; the ethics of attention and affliction; modern science, technology, and the human point of view; the responsibility of the writer in times of war; beauty and the possibility of transcendence; the practice of philosophy as a way of life.  HU
W 9:25am-11:15am

* LITR 423a / MMES 237a, Politics and Literature in Modern Iran and AfghanistanBezhan Pazhohan

This course traces the emergence of modern Persian literature in Iran and Afghanistan, introducing the contemporary poets and writers of fiction who created this new literary tradition in spite of political, social, state, and religious constraints. Our readings include Iranian novelists working under censorship, Afghan memoirists describing their experience in a warzone, and even contemporary writers living in exile in the US or Europe. Major writers include Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, Sadegh Hedayat, Simin Behbahani, Forugh Farrokhzad, Homeira Qaderi (who will visit the class), and Khaled Hosseini.  HU
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

LITR 428a / HUMS 138a / MMES 138a / NELC 131a / RLST 165a, The QuranTravis Zadeh

Introduction to the study of the Quran. Topics include: the literary, historical, and theological reception of the Quran; its collection and redaction; the scriptural milieu of late antiquity; education and religious authority; ritual performance and calligraphic expression; the diversity of Muslim exegesis.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:25pm

* LITR 432a / FILM 432a / GMAN 432 / HUMS 348a, World War II: Homefront Literature and FilmKatie Trumpener

Taking a pan-European perspective, this course examines quotidian, civilian experiences of war, during a conflict of unusual scope and duration. Considering key works of wartime and postwar fiction and film alongside verbal and visual diaries, memoirs, documentaries, and video testimonies, we will explore the kinds of literary and filmic reflection war occasioned, how civilians experienced the relationship between history and everyday life (both during and after the war), women’s and children's experience of war, and the ways that home front, occupation and Holocaust memories shaped postwar avant-garde aesthetics.  HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LITR 434b / SPAN 385b, Cervantes & Don QuijoteNicholas Jones

This course dedicates an entire semester to a close reading of the two parts of Miguel de Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote de la Mancha. Announcing itself as a “true history,” yet, whose fictional devices clearly shine through, Don Quixote occupies the privileged space of first modern novel where, within its literary fabric(ations), a theory of the novel is devised. Our readings of Don Quixote examine how the classic novel inserts, parodies, and transforms all previous literary and non-literary discourses to ingeniously invent a new narrative form. To contextualize Cervantes and his literary-historic tradition, this seminar also explores questions of erotic and literary desire, the role of madness and mental health, empire and the circulation of material culture and material wealth, the Edenic narrative and ecologies of the natural world, censorship and the Inquisition, the status of representation and performance, translation, as well as the constructions of class, gender, race, and nation. We also study the legacy of Don Quixote and its quixotic narratives through contemporary art, essays, films, novels, science fiction, and television.  This course is taught in Spanish.  L5, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* LITR 450b / ENGL 363b / FILM 445b, Film and Fiction in InteractionDudley Andrew

Beyond adaptations of complex fiction (Henry James, James Joyce) literature may underlie “original” film masterpieces (Rules of the Game, Voyage to Italy). What about the reverse? Famous novelists moonlighted in the film world (Scott Fitzgerald, Graham Greene). Others developed styles in contact with cinema (Marguerite Duras, Eileen Chang, Kazuo Ishiguro). Today are these art forms evolving in parallel and in parity under new cultural conditions?  HU

* LITR 463b / ENGL 268b / HUMS 254b / PHIL 227b, Literature and Philosophy, Revolution to RomanticismJonathan Kramnick

This is a course on the interrelations between philosophical and literary writing beginning with the English Revolution and ending with the beginnings of Romanticism. We read major works in empiricism, political philosophy, and ethics alongside poetry and fiction in several genres. Topics include the mind/body problem, political ideology, subjectivity and gender, and aesthetic experience as they take philosophical and literary form during a long moment of historical change.  WR, HUTr

* 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 EssaySamuel Hodgkin

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 EssaySamuel Hodgkin

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.