Course Description: An exploration of some experiences and experiments of 20th century literature, art and theory, with focus on movements like Cubism, expressionism, dadaism and surrealism, some shorter works of different genres: essays, short stories, novellas, lyrical dramas, letters, art criticism, manifests. There will be specific discussions e.g. on the relationship of women and modernism(s), the relations between visual and verbal modernism(s), and the (dis)juncture of modernism/postmodernism. In this first course of a sequence of two the focus is on the turn of the 10th/20th century and the early 20th century. The second course, following in spring, discusses movements and works after WWI.
Course Description: In the last decade increased attention has been directed toward cultural practice that crosses and re-crosses cultural borderlands. Interest in such writing derives in part from the current climate of geographical mobility and instability. But it also derives from debates around identity politics and the privileging of ‘authentic’ voices. Tales of exile and migration offer the opportunity to think differently about culture, memory, language, and nation. They cultivate an appreciation for the translatability of languages and cultures as well as for the untranslatability of certain forms of cultural specificity. They also imagine forms of communities not bound by conventional commonalities, those of territory, history, language and religion. The class takes its departure from the literal meaning of translatio, “change from one place, position or condition to another.” It examines contemporary art and literature that crosses cultures with focus on the representation of the complex dynamics of cross-cultural exchanges and interactions, of language and communication, and culture and human rights. What kind of translation takes place under the specific conditions of exile and migration ? What forms of immersion, conversion or other possibilities emerge? How does the reader of cross-cultural creative production experience ‘culture’? How does crosscultural work resist normative reading ideologies?
Course Description: This course will address critical theories of race and sexuality, with an eye toward their intersections with each other and with class, coloniality, gender, and ethnicity. A central question will be how theorists have thought about the study of culture in relation to the construction of race and sexuality. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on models of thinking about race and sexuality in resistance to historical and continuing structures of oppression.
Course Description: The seminar will begin with a focus on the production of imperial, capitalist space and its relation to the spatial locatedness of the production of unfreedom. The process of abstraction is ocular centric and requires the neglect and repression of those sensual knowledges that are auditory, tactile and olfactory (Mary Pat Brady). We will turn against the spatiality of unfreedom through concreteness and embodiment, in the sensual recreations of space. Place-lugar-has been a name for the subjectivity of spatiality, whether individually or collectively inhabited, named, traversed. Liberatory places are most often produced, interpreted, conceived inside embodied collectivities. The seminar will also investigate the many forms of displacement that have marked histories of oppression, of survival, of liberation. Importantly we will consider how the third world has functioned as a metaphorical margin for European oppositional strategies, an imaginary space, rather than a location of theoretical production itself.(Kaplan critiquing Deleuze and Guattari.) "This kind of othering in theory repeats the anthropological gesture of erasing the subject position of the theorist and perpetuates a kind of colonial discourse in the name of progressive politics. The production of sites of escape or decolonization for the colonizer signals a kind of theoretical tourism." (Kaplan) Displacement-whether forced or voluntary (the voluntariness always itself forced)--has also been a crucial "location" for metamorphosing from within unfreedom.
Professor Gaddis Rose
Course Description: James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) has survived controversy, censorship, even translation. Virginia Woolf thought it should not have been published; T.S. Eliot thought it changed the English-language novel forever. This seminar will study Ulysses in juxtaposition with Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927) and Eliot's "The Waste Land" (1922), all as early monuments of Modernism.
Professor Gaddis Rose
Course Description: The works of Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), isolated and lonely, sometimes psychotic, albeit a part of a close-knit support group, can be read both in isolation or in counterpointing her heady environment. This seminar will use Woolf’s novels and essays as a focal points of the Bloomsbury luminaries in the intellectual and artistic life from 1914 to 1941, especially in England but also in the U.S. and on the continent. Familiarity with Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse is the assumed.
Course Description: This seminar addresses literary, historical, and theoretical problems raised by the novels of Machado de Assis (Brazil, 1839-1908). Harold Bloom admires Machado as a literary genius; Woody Allen also counts among his enthusiastic readers. Clearly, this novelist deserves a closer look. In Brazil, Machado’s novels have been scrutinized since they were first published. This scholarship offers a helpful approach to concerns central to the Brazil’s intellectual life. While Roberto Schwarz’s classical interpretation of his novels assumes that Brazil is a space defined by dependent capitalism (an argument developed by social scientists), historian Sidney Chaloub relies (indirectly) on Foucault to read in his dialogues strategies of resistance against paternalistic power. Taken together, Schwarz and Chaloub indicate the theoretical complexity of the issues we will explore.
Course Description: Nationalism, nations, nationality – this cluster of words evokes a range of problems that has increasingly engaged literary scholars. At the same time as these issues are explored in diverse literary traditions, the interest in nationalism cuts across several disciplines. Social scientists and historians seem to join literary scholars in emphasizing the creative power of the imagination: “imagined communities” or “invented traditions” would seem to have much in common with “foundational fictions.” This apparent convergence provides the starting point for this seminar. We will explore the rich theoretical literature on nationalism and seek to bring to light the assumptions of scholars working in different disciplines. Our main concern will be to examine the ways in which these assumptions help formulate the problems before the researcher and affect the construction of their arguments. Students working with issues of nation and representation in different areas of the world are encouraged to participate.
Course Description: The seminar will discuss the main contemporary trends in translation training and attempt to address questions such as these: What kind of relationships do such trends establish between theory and practice, between the specialist and the translator, and, also, between the original and the translation? Which (implicit or explicit) representations of translation and of the translator do they work with?
Course Description: Focuses on the asymmetrical power relations that have always determined the practice of translation at the same time that they have underestimated the translator's role in the formation of cultures and the constitution of identities. Special attention devoted to the interfaces between translation and colonialism, as well as translation and gender issues.
Course Description: This course will explore the relation of cyberspace, as it emerges out of the history of technology or techne (Greek for “art” or “handicraft”), and literature: Is virtual reality another unfolding of the thing formerly known as “fiction” and, if so, has technology, particularly domains such as the Internet, replaced literature (as cast by modernism) as potential carrier of capitalism’s limit or outside? Is magical realism a form that may permit us to test these ideas? Texts to be read include: Steigler, Techniques and Time; Kittler, Grammaphone…; Freud, “Dreams and Telepathy”; Derrida, “Telepathy”; Virilio, Speed and Politics, Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology; Baudrillard, Simulations; fiction by Borges, Cortazar, Garcia Marquez, Fuentes, Piglia, Garro, Carpentier.
Course Description: Via the works of Jorge Luis Borges, course examines three intersections: between literature and philosophy, between Western and peripheral cultures, and between post-colonial studies and deconstruction. Also addresses the direction of Latin American literature/studies. Many texts are taken from the comparative literature MA and PhD reading lists, but one need not be a graduate student nor a student in comparative literature to take the class. For majors and non-majors.
Course Description: Patient reading of A THOUSAND PLATEAUS by Deleuze and Guattari. Reading is governed by three questions: 1) What, in "control societies," can thinking do?; 2) Is there an experience of thinking that exceeds the concept of thinking, an experience that would be something other than reflection?; and 3) Are we thinking yet? Although sessions concentrate almost entirely on this book, students are encouraged to read widely in collateral texts -- by Deleuze and Guattari, of course, but also Stengers, Negri, De Acosta, Massumi, Nietzsche, De Landa, Lucretius, Read, Spinoza, etc.
Course Description: The monster is the figure of that which necessarily and essentially exceeds the intelligible, the figure of unintelligibility itself. Course investigates seven of modernity's monsters: the criminal monster of the law (Genet), humanism's monster of perversity (de Sade), the lesbian monster of psychoanalysis (Freud's Dora), philosophy's monstrous sublime (Burke and Kant) and two monsters of political modernity: the "naked and monstrous state" and the "terrorist," the figure of a violence that exceeds rational instrumentality.
Course Description: Manifestations of irony in works from different literary periods, as well as some discussion of irony in visual arts. Tragic and comic irony; irony of fate; irony as a philosophical tool; as a didactic device; classical and romantic irony; soluble and insoluble irony; open and closed, overt and covert irony. Sarcasm, humility, ridicule. Allegory and irony, parody and irony. Irony and religion; irony and ethics. Epistemology of irony.
Course Description: This course will deal with various kinds of modern myth interpretation. The authors studied will be: Bachofen, Harrison, Malinowski, Freud, Jung, Frye, Rank, Cassirer, Eliade, Levi-Strauss, Girard, and Ricoeur. The main frame of reference will be classical Greek, but members of the class are encouraged to make use of other mythologies. Before enrolling, a student should have read Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus' Oresteia, Sophocles' Oedipus the King, and Euripides' Bacchae Copies of the critical texts will be ordered for purchase or placed on reserve. Format: Oral reports; discussion; some informal lecturing. One term paper, based on oral report.
Course Description: Seminar explores the works of Franz Kafka and the discourses surrounding his life, writing, and reception. We will examine both Kafka’s major works and the manner in which criticism has pursued Kafka as figure and influence. How has ‘Kafka’ infiltrated historiography, literary criticism, theories of fiction and narrativity, cinema, psychoanalysis, and popular culture? Readings include works by Kafka as well as a selection of texts by Kundera, Derrida, Freud, Brod, Blanchot, Sebald, Benjamin, Deleuze and Guattari.
Course Description: Explores Austrian literature (in English translation) and culture through themes of nation, identity and memory that emerged in major works of the 20th century. The history of Austria -- marked by the violent transformation of the unwieldy Habsburg Empire to the Alpine Republic to Austrofascism, followed then by the 1938 annexation to the Third Reich that ended with the founding of a post-World War II democratic and neutral state -- offers an opportunity examine the relationships between literary texts and historical, social and intellectual contexts. Students registered for GER 380B who wish to count this course toward a German major or minor will also meet outside of class to read and discuss some of the texts in the original German.
Course Description: This course has two basic objectives. One, it seeks to understand the logic and nature of autobiographical statements. Why do people write autobiographies: Is there anything in their lives or experiences they honestly think other people may learn from? Are they trying to justify their lives and defend its course? Is the autobiographical statement an unqualified truth, or an embellishment of truth at varying degrees? Two, the course takes a careful look at the peculiar circumstances of autobiographies produced in black societies with histories of domination, racial and otherwise. What do they have in common with standard Western autobiographies, and what are the noticeable differences between them? We begin by examining a few theoretical positions on the subject of autobiography, then concentrate on a selection of such statements: personal and family accounts from the African oral tradition, testimonies of enslavement and emancipation, and more recent life histories. Besides a couple of films that will be shown, this course will be based largely on group presentations of focused texts and open class discussion. Undergraduates will write two papers (one midterm and one final, both take-home), while graduate students will develop one research paper from a list of optional topics.
Course Description: This course will examine the major critical writing of the late Edward W. Said: BEGINNINGS, THE WORLD, THE TEXT, AND THE CRITIC, ORIENTALISM, THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, AND COVERING ISLAM, AND CULTURE AND IMPERIALISM. Taking our point of departure from his notion of "contrapuntal reading," we will attempt to work out what he means by Orientalism, "The exilic consciousness," secular criticism," "postcolonialism," "the migrant," "structures of attitude and reference," all terms that have become crucial to contemporary theory and literary criticism. Inevitably, we will also confront his controversial views on Palestine and Islam. In addition to these texts, we will read a couple of novels about which he has written, possibly, Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK, Rudyard Kipling's KIM, and a couple that pertain to the question of imperialism, possibly E. M. Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA, and Conrad's NOSTROMO. The critical orientation we will take will be broadly poststructuralist, since Said, despite his reservations, was deeply influenced by such thinkers as Foucault, Derrida, and Foucault.
Last Updated: 9/13/12