All classes below are taught in English. GE areas are indicated within brackets. Learning outcomes are included in the course description in italics. For graduate seminars, visit the page on the left menu.
C LIT 30B. The Human Animal. Major Works of European Literature [GE: area E or G, Writing Requirement, European Traditions Requirement] Instructor: J. Holland
T-TH, 8:00am-9:15 am, Music Building, Lotte Lehman Concert Hall The literature of the 16th through 18th centuries was a testing ground for radical new ideas that have come to shape our basic understanding of what it means to be a thinking, speaking and perhaps even autonomous human being. The question of what – if anything – makes us different from animals was debated from numerous points of view: including talking dogs, philosophizing women, bestial men, humanlike beasts, and other creatures that defied the conventions of the time. This course revisits some of the key literary texts that shaped this debate and pays careful attention to their cultural environments. Through close collaboration between lecture and sections, the professor and teaching assistants will help students acquire the skills necessary in order to read and interpret Early Modern literature and to develop their own ideas about what it means to be human (and animal). Students may be surprised to see that some of today’s most controversial subjects—such as animal rights and the rationalization of human violence—are already topics of concern.
Committed students will 1) receive a thorough introduction to the literary trends of the 16th-18th centuries; 2) gain a new appreciation for how this time period plays a fundamental role in the Western/European cultural heritage; 3) develop practical skills, both in terms of how to read and interpret texts and in terms of how to communicate their own original ideas. Readings include works by Cervantes, Calderón, Shakespeare, Cavendish, and Swift.
C LIT 35: Making of the Modern World [GE: area E, Culture; and Writing Requirement] Instructor: K. Liu
M-W 5:00pm-6:15pm, ARTS 1353
Nationalism, Evolutionism, Capitalism and Socialism in Long-Nineteenth-Century Europe: History, Socio-Political Thought and Literature
This interdisciplinary course studies long-nineteenth-century history, thought and culture that played constructive roles in the making of modern Europe. We will approach the questions of (1) nationalism, (2) evolutionism, (3) capitalism, and (4) socialism as well as their intersections from the disciplinary perspectives of history, social thought, political philosophy and contemporary theory. We will also investigate how literary works responded and contributed to the shaping of modern thoughts and history. In addition to the above-mentioned broad categories, the discussion of course materials includes the topics of biological science, the animal-human relation, technology, industrialization, urbanism, bourgeois aesthetics, the role of government and Utopia/Dystopia. After taking this course, students will be able to: 1) investigate a historical phenomenon on different levels through the approaches of multiple disciplines; 2) understand the historical background of modern Europe with a focus on nationalism, evolutionism, capitalism and socialism; 3) grasp the main ideas and thoughts in modern socio-political thoughts; 4) examine how literary works reflect or propel the intellectual and historical developments of modern Europe; 5) analyze the nuanced literary or philosophical meaning of texts and demonstrate the ability to organize what they learn and think in a structured paper. While this course concentrates on modern Europe, students can earn extra credits if they want to write an extra short research paper on the problems of nationalism, evolutionism, capitalism or socialism in modern China.
CLIT36: Global Humanities [GE: Writing Requirement, World Culture Requirement] Instructor: Elisabeth Weber M-W, 8:00am-9:15am, in South Hall 1431
What do literature, philosophy, and critical theory contribute to the practice of and reflection on human rights and to the analysis of their violation? Do such textual practices have the ability to reframe the debate on human rights? Can fiction serve as a social force? This class will address the fundamentally literary structure of testimony by exploring works of fiction that treat various human rights violations. The literary texts will be accompanied by historical and philosophical reflections. The course will focus on human rights violations that have a direct connection to US history (slavery, genocide of Native peoples), and/or have a direct connection to US domestic or foreign politics (immigration; “war on terror,” use of torture).
Students will 1) acquire a basic understanding of the literary structure of testimony; 2) practice a variety of methods and theories for the interpretation of literary texts; 3) articulate subtle literary scholarship, critical thinking, analytical skills and sensitivity to cultural diversity; 4) learn about different cultural experiences outside of the dominant European-American tradition; 5) reflect critically on their own cultures through an understanding of the cultural experiences of others; 6) improve skills for writing analytical essays on literatures.
CL 100. Introduction to Comparative Literature [GE: area G, Writing] Instructor: A. Magearu
M-W, 5:00pm-6:15pm, in Girvetz 2128 This course will investigate the manner in which world literature has addressed some of the most important existential questions related to what it means to be human, subjectivity, social alienation, pain and survival by exploring different literary forms including novels, novellas, plays and poetry, in addition to autobiographical non-fiction, philosophical references and essays. As part of our understanding of the extent of the discipline of comparative literature, we will address the manner in which different literary traditions are constituted by particular intellectual and philosophical debates, forms of transnational cultural exchange, as well as by histories of violence and discrimination. We will evaluate and compare different examples of literary texts from various literary traditions, including from Russia, France, Ireland, Algeria, Palestine, Zimbabwe and the United States, and we will ask what constitutes a genre, a style and a literary thematic. Students will: Students will: 1) Acquire a good familiarity with comparative literature, including questions connected to translational practices and postcolonial re-writing; 2) Learn how to draw parallels, connections, and comparisons amongst the different aims of our literary texts; 3) Practice literary analysis and critical reading, while also engaging in comparative analyses of text and historical context; 4) Improve our skills for writing analytical essays, employing a cohesive structure, an in-depth critical analysis as well as citational and stylistic conventions.
C LIT 126. Comparative Black Literature [GE: G, WRT, WC] Instructor: J. Akudinobi, T-R, 8:00 am-9:15 am, in HSSB 1174 Using a social constructionist approach to race, this course examines the multiple ways in which racial discourses operate in global literary cultures. It emphasizes that blackness need not be a homogeneous concept in order to continue to be a powerful agent in the postmodern world. In this course, students will: 1. Demonstrate knowledge of formal elements like plot, characterization, theme, language, symbol, structure, point-of-view, allegory, and myth in selected and relevant works, in class discussions and assignments; 2. Establish astute connections between certain historical, social, political, cultural contexts, literary traditions, genres, and the creative dynamics as well as thematic trajectories they engender; 3. Articulate subtle literary scholarship, critical thinking, analytical skills, writing proficiency, and sensitivity to cultural diversity through designated and relevant literary works from across the Black diaspora.
CLIT 170, The Art of Translation [GE: Area G, literature, & Writing]
Instructor: J. Levine
T-R, 12:30pm-1:45pm, in HSSB 2202 The course aims to develop skills in terminology and technologies of translation; it also examines the practical and theoretical issues pertaining to translation as an artistic, cultural, and ethical process. Focus on literary translation as creative research and practice.
The learning outcomes of our Translation Practice are to: 1) promote the acquisition of language skills, the improvement of writing skills as well as the comprehension of translation as an art; 2) and provide a model for the study of literature, in both national and comparative (or world) contexts.
C LIT 179C, Mediatechnology [GE: area G, Writing] Instructor: W. Kittler
T-R, 2:00pm - 3:15pm, in PSYCH1924 Telegraph, telephone, phonograph, and film are techniques that have engendered new forms of representation, communication, and thinking. Course studies the impact of these transformations in literature and on literature.
C LIT 186PP, Poetry & Community Practice Instructor: R. Benjamin
T-R, 11:00am-12:15pm, in HSSB 6056 Poetry & Community Practice honors a connection between poetry and citizenship, assuming that poetry is a wisdom medium or vehicle toward more enlightened thinking and public practice. Poetry is an ideal medium for extending our study and practice beyond UCSB, and students will conduct workshops in schools, community centers, and assisted living facilities as part of their work for the course. Students will extend their own learning through teaching—a natural stretch—while also being of benefit elsewhere.
C LIT 188: Narrative Studies [GE: area G] Intructor: R. Hecht
M-W, 11:00-12:15, in PHELPS 2524 This course explores the dynamics of Victor Hugo’s narrative in Les Misérables through the development of the novel’s main characters, and some minor characters as well. Through these Hugo weaves a dense and complex narrative, bringing together the worlds of crime, violence, and exploitation, vengeance, compassion and justice in which every moment, event and place fits perfectly into a complex architectonic structure no less complex than a Gothic cathedral. Hugo uses a variety of narrative positions in the novel, sometimes speaking in the voice of his characters, or the omniscient and unnamed narrator, and third, Hugo himself who at critical moments in the novel enters the narrative line almost as a “tourist” in the landscapes of the novel or an expert on some aspect of the novel. We will attempt to understand the power of the novel and these narrative positions through Bakhtin’s literary chronotope.
C LIT 191, Fantasy and the Fantastic [GE: area G] Instructor: R. Powers
T-R, 5:00pm - 6:15pm, in CHEM 1171
Thanks to revolutionary changes taking place in science, technology, politics, and religion, the post-Enlightenment period in Europe was supposed to mark the triumph of reason over superstition, physics over metaphysics, and reality over fantasy. But did it? Dissatisfied with the bourgeois, prosaic world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, writers of fantastic literature turned to parallel realities of mental disorder, madness, dreams, and drug-induced perceptions. Readers followed them there. In this course, students will discover a range of fictions classified as "fantastic" and will gain a better understanding of the function of this intermediate space of the unexplained and unexplainable. In English. Learning outcomes: 1) Understand the way fantastic texts reflect, comment upon, and shape the societies from which they emerge; 2) Be able to evaluate and interpret these texts as part of a larger European literary tradition; 3) Recognize and apply standard conventions of literary analysis; 4) Gain a better understanding of the cultural, social, political, economic, and technological realities of 19th and 20th century Europe (and North America, to some extent).
C LIT 198H, Senior Honors Seminar
This seminar is concurrently offered with our graduate seminar CLIT 200 this quarter. 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. You need to have honors standing, whether in Comparative Literature, or in the College of Letters and Science’s Honors Program, or both. Please contact the instructor if you are interested, so she can assess your qualifications and preparations for the honors seminar. If you are a Comparative Literature major, this seminar counts as the equivalent of your capstone seminar, so you will not need to take CLIT 198.
CLIT 198H-CLIT200: Formalism, Semiotics, Bakhtin (taught in English, with potential Russian enhancement sessions).
Instructor: S. Weld
W, 2:00pm - 4:50pm, in PHELPS 6206C
This seminar examines three fundamental movements in literary theory arising in Russia and Eastern Europe in the twentieth century. These include Russian Formalism, often credited with inventing literary theory as a scholarly discipline; Bakhtin and his circle of philosopher critics; and the Moscow-Tartu School of Cultural Semiotics. We examine formalist texts by Shklovsky, Tynianov, Jakobson, and Eikhenbaum, key works by Mikhail Bakhtin, and semiotic analysis by Lotman and Uspensky. We consider theoretical works in relation to major works of Russian or world literature and also reflect on the historical significance and legacy of these theoretical movements today. Students also will have the opportunity to apply these approaches to their own areas of interest. Through the successful completion of this course, students will: learn about fundamental movements in the history of literary theory; historicize and contextualize major movements in literary theory; consider the shortcomings of theoretical movements and contemporary critiques; engage in original theoretically informed literary research.
Have a wonderful quarter!