Fall 2016


For description of graduate seminars, see our dedicated page.

C LIT 30A: European Literature, from the Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages [GE: E, G, EUR, WRT]; T/R 11:00-12:15, CHEM 1179
Instructor: W. Kittler
An introduction to Western literary productions from the beginning of classical antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages, with emphasis on the comparative study of works by genre (heroic epic, romance, drama, and visionary literature).  Lectures will provide an introduction to the cultural background that produced these masterpieces as well as a close reading of the texts, offering students an understanding both of literary themes and techniques, and of religious and political commitments. 1) Students who read the texts will become acquainted with a number of works which are canonical in the sense that they have played a decisive role in the history and culture of Western Europe and which are still worth studying in our global world today. 2) Students who follow the lectures will learn about the material, political, and intellectual conditions under which these works were produced. They will be shown a way to derive general concepts from close readings of selected documents. 3) And they will be given the opportunity to probe their analytical skills by expressing their own ideas in a research paper at the end of the course.

C LIT 30C: Major Works in European Literature: “Writing Wrongs” [GE: E, G, EUR, WRT]; T/R 5:00-6:15, PSYCH 1924
Instructor: S. Braswell
A survey of modern European literature, in this course we’ll consider the ways in which an array of literatures (British, French, and Italian) have engaged questions of social (in)justice, in the modern era. Among the topics considered in this course are those of social and gender exclusion, personal and institutional responsibility, and the place of human experience and agency relative to modernity. Over the course of our readings and discussions we’ll consider, among other questions: the writer’s/artist’s (and the reader’s) role relative to questions of justice and human potential, and the ways in which the book itself becomes a testimony to and site of reflection on some of modernity’s most complex and engaging problems. To place our literary analyses in relation to the context of aesthetic engagement, we shall also integrate consideration of contemporaneous developments in painting into our discussions.

C LIT 31: Asian Literatures [GE: G, NWC, WRT]; T/R 12:30-1:45, PSYCH 1924
Instructor: K. Liu
This course introduces students not only to the philosophical thoughts and religious traditions of Chinese Buddhism and Daoism, but also to their ramifications within classical, modern and diasporic Chinese literature. We investigate how Buddhist and Daoist traditions are revisited in literary works concerning emotion, love, carpe diem, landscape, village life, politics, trauma, diaspora, identity and modernity. Students will: 1) read the seminal texts of Chinese Buddhism and Daoism and comprehend their main concepts and ideas; 2) explore the literary representations and transformations of Buddhism and philosophical/religious Daoism in different historical, socio-political, cultural and philosophical contexts; 3) study how various kinds of experiences in personal life and politics are reconsidered through Buddhism or Daoism in literary texts from different periods and regions; 4) analyze the nuanced meaning of literary texts and demonstrate the ability to organize what they learn and think in a structured paper.

C LIT 33: African Literatures [GE: G, NWC, WRT]; T/R 8:00-9:15, GIRV 1004
Instructor: J. Akudinobi
An introduction to the diverse literary traditions of Africa through an examination of selected works. Regional focus on North, West, East, Central, and South Africa varies. Learning outcomes: 1. Gain competent critical skills, comprehensive knowledge and subtle understanding of canonical texts as well as the eclectic verve of contemporary African writing; 2. Synthesize Africa’s literary histories, traditions, institutions, narrative forms, and thematic tangents in ways that reflect the complexities and specificity of the corpus; 3. Refinement in scholarly analysis, research and writing, with respect to literary texts and their wider historical, social and cultural contexts.

C LIT 100: Introducing Comparative and World Literature [GE: G, WRT]; T/R 12:30-1:45, ARTS 1356
Instructor: M. Grafals
The course introduces comparative literature as an endeavor that promotes modes of inquiry for literature in an era of globalization. Comparative literature draws connections across national and linguistic boundaries when it comes to exploring the genres and themes of literary works. Students will learn how to: 1) analyze the way literary texts reflect and comment upon the historical and social contexts in which they were produced; 2) engage in a comparative mode literary texts with similar content and formal features across diverse historical and social situations; 3) practice literary analysis through interpretations of literary forms and techniques applied to student writing that uses conventions of organization, style, coherence, structure, syntax, and mechanics appropriate to literary argumentation; 4) locate, interpret and use textual evidence from both primary and secondary sources to support literary argumentation, providing proper citation that follows the guidelines of the Modern Language Association.

C LIT 107: Voyages to the Unknown [GE: G, WRT]; T/R 9:30-10:145, GIRV 1115
Instructor: C. Skenazi
This course focuses on the discovery of the New World.  We will discuss some of the central issues addressed by writers of real and imaginary travel narratives:  the encounter with the Other, the questioning of Christian and European values.  We will examine various religious, political, economic, cultural, artistic, medical, scientific consequences of the discovery of the Americas.  Readings will include works by Columbus, Cartier, Vespucci, Las Casas, Léry, More, Rabelais, Montaigne. Some major goals of this course: --improving analytical skills; -giving students a sense of history by reading texts from a distant past in the religious, cultural, artistic, scientific, and political context of the day.; --learning to conduct research; --improving argumentative skills by writing papers; --improving oral skills by giving an oral presentation in class.

C LIT 153: Border Narratives [GE: G, ETH, WRT]; M/W 9:30-10:45, GIRV 2129
Instructor: E. McCracken
Examination of novels, short stories, and films that engage U.S./Mexico border dynamics. Considering the ways diverse, interactive processes are affecting border culture, and inquiring into the ways cultural products critically respond to these processes.

C LIT 154: Science Fiction in Eastern Europe [GE: G, WRT]; M/W 2:00-3:15, GIRV 2115
Instructor: K. McClain
The genre of science fiction and its development in literature and film in the various cultures of Eastern Europe. Topics include utopia, dystopia, technology, the "mad" scientist, etc.

C LIT 162: Sexuality and Globalization; Wed. 5:00-7:50, WEBB 1100
Instructor: P. Amar
Examines the globalizing cultural politics of sexuality. Drawing upon literature from the global south, popular media, subaltern performances, as well as political and press discourse, this course will trace how sexuality and globalization are linked together and critically debated around issues of universalizing LGBTQ identities, "reconciling" Islamic law and sexual rights, militarizing masculinities, affirming transsexual equality, and imagining queer, anti-racist and feminist forms of globalism. Course objectives include: (1) To examine globalizing cultural politics of sexuality through literature, popular media, subaltern performances, and press discourse from Global South;  (2) To engage questions of "universalized" LGBTQ identities, Islamic law and sexual rights, militarized masculinities;  (3) To explore literary and filmic recognitions of transsexualities, and queer, anti-racist and feminist globalisms.

C LIT 186FF: 1940’s Film Noir; Wed. 3:00-5:50, PHELP 5316
Instructor: J. Snyder
Interdisciplinary examination of selected topics, theories, disciplinary issues, and/or methodological questions in the combined study of literature, and other areas of the humanities and humanistic sciences.

C LIT 198H: Senior Honors Seminar; Thurs. 2:00-4:50, PHELP 6206C
Instructor: C. Nesci
This seminar is concurrently offered with CLIT210 (please check the description on our seminar page). It is designed to expand research skills through an investigation of theoretical issues and readings of both literary and critical texts. It involves extensive research, sophisticated analysis, and creative reflection.