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Faculty Spotlight

NEWS FLASH: We thank Elin Diamond, Professor of English, for 6 great years of service as Graduate Director/Chair of Comparative Literature and we welcome Michael Levine, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, as new Graduate Director/Chair. We welcome back Professor Jorge Marcone to a second 3-year term as Undergraduate Director

Congratulations to the following faculty:

EDYTA BOJANOWSKA has received the 2013-2014 ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship and will spend the year in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Her work in Comparative Literature was recently featured in the Rutgers article "Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Beyond".                                         MICHAEL G. LEVINE has published a book entitled "A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida and Celan" (Fordham UP, 2013).                                                 SUSAN MARTIN-MÁRQUEZ, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature, has won National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for 2013-2014.
BEN. SIFUENTES-JÁUREGUI, Professor of American Studies and Comparative Literature, has received the Warren I. Susman award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013.

SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS to MARILYN TANKIEWICZ, Administrative Assistant in Comparative Literature, who has won the Graduate School-New Brunswick Staff Excellence Award for 2013. Way to go, Marilyn!!

Graduate Student Spotlight

Comparative Literature congratulates DR. SHIRLI SELA-LEVAVI, who successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Guests in their Own Homes: Homecoming, Memory and Authorship in A Guest for the Night by S.Y. Agnon and the Yash Novels by Jacob Glatstein".

Congratulations also to:

DR. ALESSIO LERRO, who successfully defended his dissertation entitled" From Baroque Allegory to Romantic Sublime: Writing, Images, and Subjectivity in Tesauro, Vico, and Novalis".                    DR. MARIA KAGER, who successfully defended her dissertation entitled "The Bilingual Imagination: Joyce, Beckett, Nabokov and the Making of Modern Fiction". Maria is also the winner of a fellowship from Carolus Magnus Fonds, a division of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds of the Netherlands, and will use the Carolus Magnus fellowship to work on a book proposal and to write two more articles.
winner of an "associateship" in the workshop in Scholarly and Literary Translation from Slavic Languages as well as an Individualized Research Practicum through the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois.

Congratulations to all!


Rutgers Home
Spring 2012


Introduction to World Literature                            
195:101:01; Index 64118; M1 –  Rofheart                                SC-120; CAC
Th1                                                   SC-120; CAC
02; Index 64690; M4 –  Raterman                              HCK-113; C/D
W4                                                     HCK-213; C/D
03; Index 67176; T4 –  Sokowski                               LOR-115; C/D
Th4                                                    LOR-115; C/D
04; Index 64513; T5 –  Sokowski                               HCK-211; C/D
Th5                                                    HCK-211; C/D

Classics of Western and Eastern literature. Readings may include the Odyssey, the Tao Te Ching, Roman poetry, Beowulf, Shakuntala, The Tale of Genji, troubadour poetry, and Dante's Inferno.


Introduction to Short Fiction
195:135:01; Index 77906; MW2 - Mangold                                                   TIL-110; LIV

SAS Core Code: AHp


Introduction to Short Fiction
195:135:02; Index TBD;                                                                 

Why study how to read fiction? Do we need to “learn” how to read literature just as we need to learn mathematics or carpentry? Unlike scientists, producers of literature do not usually write for trained people. No scientist would expect just anyone to be able to master a technical work without any prior training, yet anyone is supposed to walk into a bookstore, pick up any novel and understand (most of) it. Why, then, /study/ how to read? This question is the point of departure for this course. It will be in the back of our minds as we explore the concepts and ideas that we come across in the weekly readings. Over the course of the semester we will read and analyze a wide array of texts (by James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, Frank O’Connor, Zora Neale Hurston, Anton Chechov and a number of other writers). In doing so, we will be learning how to think critically about the various elements that make up each work. We will seek to answer many questions along the way: what is literature? What is short fiction? Do we read short texts differently from longer texts? What techniques does short fiction use? Formal analysis, comparative analysis, and researched analysis are some of the “methods” we will practice. We will read a number of short stories and several short novels, watch some film adaptations, and write two papers and a series of shorter responses intended to develop writing skills and critical thinking.


Introduction to Short Fiction
195:135:03; Index 67579; TTh4 - Kager                                                         HH-A5; CAC



World Mythology
195:150:01; Index 69908; MW4 - Segura                                                       FH-B4; CAC

Story, structure, and meaning in myths of many cultures. Myth as a primary literary phenomenon, with some attention to anthropological and psychological perspectives.


World Mythology
195:150:02; Index 68498; T6 - Uhlirova                                                        SEC-212; BU
Th6                                                                        TIL-207; LIV

This course fulfills Global Awareness and Humanities Requirements. Story, structure, and meaning in myths of many cultures. Myth as a primary literary phenomenon, with some attention to anthropological and psychological perspectives.


World Mythology
195:150:03, Index 63430; TF3 - Rofheart                                                     FH-A2; CAC
(Open to 1st and 2nd year students only)

This course fulfills Global Awareness and Humanities Requirements. Story, structure, and meaning in myths of many cultures. Myth as a primary literary phenomenon, with some attention to anthropological and psychological perspectives


World Mythology
195:150:05; Index 71690; MTh3 - Aloo                                                         HH-B2; CAC

This course fulfills Global Awareness and Humanities Requirements. Story, structure, and meaning in myths of many cultures. Myth as a primary literary phenomenon, with some attention to anthropological and psychological perspectives


World Mythology
195:150:06; Index 71691; MTh3 - Rofheart                                                 RAB-110B; C/D    

This course fulfills Global Awareness and Humanities Requirements. Story, structure, and meaning in myths of many cultures. Myth as a primary literary phenomenon, with some attention to anthropological and psychological perspectives


World Mythology
195:150:07; Index 64514; TF2 - Toymentsev                                               RAB-207; C/D

This course fulfills Global Awareness and Humanities Requirements. Story, structure, and meaning in myths of many cultures. Myth as a primary literary phenomenon, with some attention to anthropological and psychological perspectives


195:150:90; Index 78210
Go to 'New Brunswick On-line' from the dropdown at 'Campus Location' to see details.
Hours by arrangement
Instructor – Gonzagowski

In this course, we will examine the form and content of myths from various countries and eras, with particular emphasis on the mythology surrounding the notion of the hero and heroine.  The works cover a wide variety of genres including: drama, epic poetry, oral tales, the anecdote, the essay, and film. The main focus is on the representation of the hero/heroine, which will be examined through various theoretical lenses including psychoanalysis, sociology, and gender theory.


Literature Across Borders – Being Human
195:201:01; Index 66773; Th2 – Walker, J                                                      MI-100; CAC
M1 – Lee                                                                 SC-202; CAC
02; Index 67767; Th2 – Walker, J                                                       MI-100; CAC
T6 – De Witte                                                         SC-102; CAC
04; Index 75739; Th2 – Walker, J                                                      MI-100; CAC
M5 – Coleman                                                      SC-106; CAC
05; Index 75738; Th2 – Walker, J                                                      MI-100; CAC
M3 – Segura                                                          FH-B6; CAC
06; Index 75736; Th2 – Walker, J                                                      MI-100; CAC
T2 – Anderson                                                       SC-120; CAC
H1; Index 69357; Th2 – Walker, J                                                     MI-100; CAC
M2 – Walker, J                                                      CML-101; CAC

This course is designed as an introduction to the field of Comparative Literature, and is required of all majors and minors. “Literature Across Borders” illustrates the concept and practice of comparative literature across historical periods, cultures, and genres.

For the Spring 2012 semester we will ask the question “What does it mean to be human?”  In the past 30 years, discoveries in the natural sciences have questioned the concept of “being human,” but the humanities themselves (literature, philosophy, art, film) have also challenged earlier definitions of the human, and of humanism. No clear consensus has arisen from this discussion: what it means to “be human” remains full of ambiguity and mystery, an ambiguity and mystery that the course will take on through the reading and discussion of representations of the human over time, and in both Western and non-Western cultures.

Each week a different faculty member of the Program in Comparative Literature will lecture on a reading, film, or performance—drawn from her or his field of specialization—that will challenge us to explore the definition of the human. Course readings will question the boundaries the human being shares with animals, machines, and supernatural beings. They will shed light on the human being in her/his private and public spheres, and on such human practices as dreaming, playing, and surviving.


Masterworks of Western Literature
195:203:01; Index 68549; MTh3 - Swenson                                                MU-115; CAC

“Western Masterworks” presents a chronological series of major works of European literature in a variety of genres.  For majors in Comparative Literature or other national literatures, the course provides a solid basis for future study in either European or non European traditions.  For non-humanities majors, it provides access to a representative sample of the best the European tradition has to offer. 

In following the historical evolution of the European tradition, we will pay particular attention to a linked series of questions: What sort of story does literature tell?  What sort of character can be the hero of such a story? What sort of language is needed to tell that story properly?

Readings include plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Schiller, Büchner, and Chekhov; narrative works by Virgil, Chrétien de Troyes, Cervantes, Austen, Flaubert, and Woolf; and poetry by Dante, Petrarch, Wordsworth, Keats, Baudelaire, and Mallarmé.

There will be three short papers during the course of the semester, each of which will be revised after comments.  Grades will be recorded based on the revised version of the paper.  These papers together constitute 50% of the course grade.  Topics will be distributed at least one week before the paper due date.  There will also be a final paper of 5 pages on a topic of the student’s choice (timing will not allow for revisions of the final paper).  The final paper will constitute 30% of the course grade.  Regular attendance is mandatory and active participation is strongly encouraged.  Attendance and participation will constitute 20% of the course grade.  There will be no mid-term or final examination.


Masterworks of Western Literature
195:203:02; Index 74102; TTh5 - Fleiger                                                  MU-212; CAC
Taught in English
Cross-listed with 01:420:241:01

Comparative study of selected classical texts from the Western literary tradition.


Arabic Classical Literatures
195:237:01; Index 76935; T3 - Serrano                                                    FH-B6; CAC
F3 – Serrano                                                   SC-207; CAC
All works studied in translation
Cross-listed with 01:013:343:01
Credit not given for both this course and 01:013:343:01

In this course we will read literature originally written in Arabic from the sixth to fourteenth centuries, including poetry, prose and the Qur'an.  We will learn to read these works within their historical, cultural and political context, with special effort devoted to understanding these nine centuries of Arab cultural production as dynamic, evolving and challenging.  No knowledge of Arabic is required.

There will be one mid-term, paragraph-long responses to the readings, and a final project.

Required texts:
Irwin, Robert.  Night & Horses & The Desert  978-0385721554
Cleary, Thomas.  The Qur’an. A New Translation  978-1929694440
Additional readings will be placed on Sakai


Introduction to Mythology  
195:244:01; Index 68550; MTh3 - Toymentsev                                           FH-B4; CAC

Myths of various cultures; their structures and functions in social and especially literary contexts.


Introduction to Mythology  
195:244:02; Index 68500; TTh5 - Toymentsev                                           HH-B1; CAC

Myths of various cultures; their structures and functions in social and especially literary contexts.


Introduction to Mythology - THIS IS AN INTERNET COURSE
195:244:90; Index TBD
Go to 'New Brunswick On-line' from the dropdown at 'Campus Location' to see details.
Hours by arrangement
Instructor – Pischner


Textual Transformations - CANCELLED
195:280:01; Index 77964; MTh3 – Raterman                                             CML-101; CAC

Textual Transformations: Narratives in Translation and Adaptation Comparative Literature 280 is intended to introduce students to a broad range of possible textual transformations.  This course focuses on translations and adaptations of narratives and asks how changes in language and form can alter the structure and meaning of stories in several genres.  We will consider narratives in multiple forms, including novels, plays, comics, film, and non-fiction. Using//concepts from recent translation and adaptation theory, we will question notions of originality and derivation and examine the ways artists use form to foreignize, domesticate, subvert, celebrate, or modernize other artists' works.  We will pay attention to the narrative conventions that can make works of art recognizable in new contexts by reading translations and adaptations of narrative genres as well as works that use narrative to confront the difficulties of these processes. 

Key texts include Jane Austen’s /Emma /and its 1990s adaption /Clueless/, Franz Kafka’s /The Metamorphosis /and its graphic novel adaptation by Peter Kruper, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, Amara Lakhous’ /Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio/, Germaine de Staël’s /Corinne/, Virginia Woolf’s /Mrs. Dalloway/, and Michael Cunningham’s /The Hours/.  Students will engage with the texts through weekly short essays as well as a formal paper and will have the opportunity to use their understanding of the relevant formal questions to propose and, perhaps, to implement an adaptation of their own.



Latino and Caribbean Culture Studies
195:295:01; Index 75838; MW5 – Martinez-San Miguel                         LSH-B105; LIV
Cross-Listed with 01:595:295:01, 01:050:201:01, and 01:351:216:01

This course reviews the comparative study of Latino and Caribbean cultural production through aesthetic, historical, sociological and scientific definitions of culture. The class begins with a chronological review of key definitions of culture.  The second part of the course reviews some of the key debates in the study of culture in Caribbean and Latinos studies, such as the links between historical experience, ethnicity, race and culture, the quest for and critique of national and ethnic identities, populism and studies on popular culture, the cultural contacts paradigm and hybridity, the multicultural debate, the Culture Wars of the 1980s, gender and queer studies, the study of cultures in displacement, the ethnic turn in cultural studies, the analysis of visual cultures, and the emergence of pop, media and electronic cultures. Each session will include theoretical readings and cultural texts different disciplinary perspectives.  We will read theoretical works by Ferdinand de Saussurre, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bordieu, Raymond Williams, Franz Boas, José Vasconcelos, Fernando Ortiz, Frantz Fanon, Gloria Anzaldúa, Mary Louise Pratt, Sylvia Wynter, Antonio Cornejo Polar, Néstor García Canclini, Shalini Puri, Hayden White, Terry Eagleton, Robin Kelley, Alicia Arrizón, José David Saldívar, and Juana María Rodríguez among others.  Cultural texts include: the Créolité Collective from Martinique, Culture Clash, Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa, Richard Rodríguez, Pedro Pietri, Lourdes Casal, Ana Lydia Vega, Guillermo Gómez Peña, Josefina López, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Yolanda López, Santa Contreras-Barraza, and Yaoni Sánchez, among others.

Requirements: Spanish reading knowledge strongly recommended.  The class will be conducted in English and all the required readings will be available in English. Credit not given for both this course and Comp. Lit 01:195:295.

Course Structure: Students will read approximately 70-120 pages per week and write brief commentaries on some primary texts.  Even though the course is organized thematically, a chronological and geographical approach will also inform class discussions.  Each primary text will be introduced through a brief lecture, followed by group discussion.

Most readings will be available on Sakai.  The following books are required readings and are available at the Rutgers Library, at and

Tato Laviera.  AmeRícan.  Houston: Arte Público Press, 2003.  ISBN-10: 1558853952, $10.16

Josefina López, Real Women Have Curves.  Woodstock Illinois: Dramatic Pub. Co., 1996.  ISBN-10: 0871297256, $7.50


Class Attendance and Participation                                                   10%
3 ?reflexiones? or 3-4 pages reaction papers                                     30%
Midterm                                                                                         15%
2 essay exams written in class                                                         20%
Pop quizzes                                                                                    10%
Partial Exam on the day of the final exam                                          15%


Genre in Cultural Context – Crimes of Literature - CANCELLED                          MU-213; CAC
195:303:01; Index 77908; MW7 – Mangold

“What happened?” A question poised on the meeting ground of literature, history, natural science, psychology, and sociology, attempting to answer “what happened” shapes the crime story, a mainstay of the cultural imagination.  Taking literature, films, and theories of crime as our objects, this course investigates imaginary and real crimes of the 19th – 21st centuries from various cultural and disciplinary perspectives.  We will track violence and transgression, detection, evidence collection and analysis, and the judicial process through different cultural, literary, and generic contexts keeping the broad question “what happened?” always before us. Other lines of inquiry will include: how does the law produce heroes, anti-heroes, and villains?  How do violence and transgression shape social structures? What is the status of evidence, the confession, the witness narrative, the prosecutor’s rhetoric? How do gender and sexuality relate to the law, crime, and violence?  And finally, how does this genre of literature help us consider the nature of social justice?   


Literatures of Cultural Conquests – Resistance Literature of Africa, Caribbean, South Asia
195:306:01; Index 75839; MW4 - Nerlekar                                                  BE-003; LIV
Cross-listed with: 01:013:301:02
Credit not given for both this course and 01:353:326 and 013:301

This course looks at the literatures of three diverse regions of the global south to understand how the writers in these regions embody the resistance to various colonial and postcolonial forces. The three regions chosen here are places that have had differing colonial encounters and have dealt with their postcolonial social needs in diverse ways. We will explore the writings from these locations in order to note the particularities of each text, how each writer negotiates in unique ways the discourses of nation, language, race, gender in the text and how this relates to the location of writing. The readings will include fiction, poetry and drama from Africa, the West Indies and South Asia, and attempt will be to balance the canonical in postcolonial literature with the lesser known, contemporary texts. Authors will include some or all of the following: Achebe, Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, David Dabydeen, Brathwaite, Naipaul, Nagarkar, Kolatkar.


Politics Literature & Arts – The Ottoman Middle East
01:195:316:01; Index 73078; T23 – Cakmak                                           LSH-A121; LIV    
Cross-Listed with: 01:013:301:04 and 01:685:301:01        

This course offers an introduction to the socio-cultural atmosphere of the Middle East in the late 19th-early 20th century under Ottoman rule, at the brink of the dissolution of the Empire. Our main focus will be on the dissemination of modern/Western-style educational institutions, literacy, and print culture in this broad geography, and its relation to individual and communal aspects of life in the Ottoman territories. Classroom discussions will be supplemented by slide shows from an album that Sultan Abdul Hamid II (ruled from 1876 to 1909) commissioned to document the Empire’s modernization for Western governments. In addition to documenting the Ottoman modernization, this album itself stands in for the changing modes of self-expression in the Middle East during this period, hence demands additional critical attention.

The rise of the modern Middle East is marked by the greatest colonial war of the last century, namely the WWI, and unprecedented tragedies that accompanied it, among them the Armenian Genocide. The first negotiations of a Jewish ‘homeland’ in Palestine were made with Abdul Hamid II while thousands of Jews crossed the borders to make their way to Palestine from across the world, fleeing European anti-Semitisms. Abdul Hamid II was also the first to attempt standardizing Islamic practices in the Ottoman territories in order to redefine politically his Islamic leadership, i.e. the caliphate, the consequences of which survive to this day. The rich archive of the Ottoman literary-cultural production of this era, itself a novelty of the day like Abdul Hamid II’s album, responds to these seismic events that have proved to be decisive moments for our present. We will read narratives, essays, articles, novels, and poetry, written from the point of view of diverse Ottoman subjects, bearing witness to the emergence of the modern Middle East out of Ottoman decline, Western colonial aggression, and national independence movements. Since we will read these texts with an eye on the formations of the institutional settings within which they were produced, students from all fields of the humanities and social sciences, particularly from history and anthropology, are encouraged to join the seminar for comparative analyses.

Authors include: Tevfik Fikret, Halide Edib Adivar, Abdul Hamid II Khan Ghazi, John Buchan, Meir Yoel, Mehmet Zekeriya Sertel, Rifa’a el Tahtawi, Taha Hussein.
Literature includes: Benjamin Fortna, Learning to Read in the Late Ottoman Empire and the Early Turkish Republic (2011); Sean McMeekin, The Berlin-Baghdad Express (2010); Marc D. Baer, The Donme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, Secular Turks (2010); Ela Greenberg, Preparing the Mothers of Tomorrow, Education and Islam in Mandate Palestine (2010); Jens Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital (2005); Marc Nichanian, Writers of the Disaster: Armenian Literature in the 20th Century (2000).    


Politics Literature & Arts - Art and Power: Russian Art of the Soviet Era, 1917–1991
01:195:316:02; Index 74177; MW5 – Rosenfeld                                       ZAM-EDR; CAC

Meets at Zimmerli Museum of Art
No knowledge of Russian necessary
Cross-Listed with: 01:860:320:01 and  01:082:358:01

Russian art of the Soviet era affords a unique vantage point from which to explore the intersection of art and politics, the changing dynamics of Soviet power, and artists’ responses to—and reactions against—the notion of art as an instrument of political propaganda.

Roughly twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the art produced in Russia from 1917 to 1953 is still widely regarded as the paradigm of radical political art. The years surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 witnessed an astonishing array of avant-garde art movements—Suprematism, Constructivism, and Productivism, among others. The mid- to late 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of so-called “Heroic Realism” and the Soviet government’s increasing control over artistic production, culminating in the announcement in 1934 of Socialist Realism as the official style of Soviet art. Art and Power will address the interplay between changing cultural policy and the shifts in the styles, imagery, and messages of Russian/Soviet art during this landmark period.

Following Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953, the monolith of totalitarian culture began to erode—a process that ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Starting in the mid-1950s, artists began exploring alternate forms of self-expression in opposition to Socialist Realism, incorporating subjects and art forms banned during the Stalin era. The course will address the breathtaking range of these alternate forms of artistic expression—which collectively came to be known as “unofficial” or “nonconformist art”—as well as their relationship to official art.

In its exploration of these issues, Art and Power will touch on the broad spectrum of artistic media, including painting, sculpture, posters, children’s book design and illustration, architecture, mass festivals, theater, and film. It will consider issues such as the cult of personality, art-world debates on realism versus abstraction, and cultural isolationism, and developments like Lenin’s Plan for Monumental Propaganda. Emphasis will be placed on the historical, ideological, and aesthetic contexts of the artworks examined.


Literary Approaches to Sacred Texts
195:318:01; Index 70539; MW6 – Walker, S                                                 SC-206; CAC
Cross-listed with: 01:351:322:01
Credit not given for both this course and 01:351:322

Sacred texts are texts that have been given canonical status within particular religious traditions, and so are likely to be interpreted in a purely religious framework. However, by examining these texts from a literary perspective it is possible to tease out new and interesting insights about them that can restore to them some of their originally pre-canonical controversial qualities. We will take several texts of this sort, such as the Book of Job, Exodus, John of Patmos’ Apocalypse and the Bhagavad Gita, and consider how they have been viewed in an unconventional way by Jung (Answer to Job), Freud (Moses and Monotheism) and myself as an unconventional Gita fan. We also will look at how sacred texts have provided subtexts for the modern creative imagination, as in the case of Godard’s film Hail, Mary and D.H. Lawrence’s Apocalypse. This literary approach is meant to enhance and intensify the thoughtful experience of the texts without recourse to any particular faith or set of beliefs.

There will be one course paper of about 15 pages, several short response papers and quizzes, and two examinations.

Grading: attendance and class participation 15% (three unexcused absences without penalty), 2 exams 50%, paper and response papers and quizzes 35%.


20th Century Literature in Global Context – Modern Irish Fiction
195:324:01; Index 77965; TTh6 – Kager                                                     CA-A1; CAC
Cross-listed with 351:345:01

This class surveys Irish fiction from the late nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries—a period of both dramatic political and cultural change, and unparalleled literary production and innovation. Special attention will be paid to Ireland’s colonial history, its struggle for independence from England, the difficult place of the Irish language and the troubles in the North. Emphasis will be placed on literature, but we will also watch movies, and read criticism on issues as postcolonialism, religion and nationalism.

There will be weekly writing assignments, two papers, and a final exam.

This class counts for the Major (any track), and the Minor in Comparative Literature


Women’s Traditions in Literature – Drama by Women
195:327:01;  Index 74175, MW4 – Diamond, E.                                         SC-206; CAC
Cross-listed with 01:351:355:01 and 01:988:352:01

This course will explore the vital, often controversial, art of women dramatists from the late nineteenth to the present. Because writing for public consumption carried the taint of prurience, women playwrights addressed not only their culture’s gender blindness (and the linked issues of sexuality, identity, emotion, and desire), but also the ideological nature of representation itself. In other words, women playwrights, especially during the great fluorescence of theatrical experimentation after the 1960s, were often formally, as well as thematically, innovative. We will investigate their techniques of image production, through staging, sound, and devices like cross-dressing, within changing social and theatrical contexts. Playwrights may include Rachel Crothers, Elizabeth Robins, Angelina Grimke, Susan Glaspell, Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, Caryl Churchill, and Simone Benmussa and performance artists Deb Margolin, Robbie McCauley, and Karen Finley. We will also read key texts that women playwrights were necessarily in dialogue with: Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Herne’s Margaret Fleming.

Writing: 2 papers, a final, and in-class presentations.


Novel of East and West
195:331:01; Index 75840; TTh5 – Walker, J                                                 MU-204; CAC

The novel is a traveling genre or an immigrant genre—a literary form originating in Europe in the seventeenth century that was carried on the currents of imperialism and colonialism, from the mid-nineteenth century, to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The novel that developed in these regions nourished indigenous fictional traditions and at the same time gave writers a powerful vehicle for writing back to Europe on the issue of colonialism. In addition, it provided a forum for discussing crucial issues of individualism, nationhood, and political and social modernity. The novel became a space in which non-Western writers could work out, for themselves and their readers, the difficulties of hybrid identities constructed between East and West. In the course we will read six novels by writers of non-Western origin with the goal of exploring the relationships between East and West that the novel form enabled.

Readings will include: José P. Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere (ISBN# 10:0824819179 Univ. of Hawai’i Press 1997), Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro, (ISBN# 10:0-486-45139-9 Dover), Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World (ISBN# 978-0-14-303141-3 Penguin Books India 2005), Ba Jin’s Family (ISBN# 10:0881333735 Waveland Press 1972), Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind (ISBN# 10:0140256350 Penguin 1996), and Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North (ISBN# 10:014187204 Penguin Classics 2003). A few theoretical essays on the novel, the nation, modernity, and hybridity will also be assigned. The final grade will be based on 1) attendance and participation, including an oral presentation: 15%; 2) two short papers: 45%; and 3) one 8-10-page paper: 40%.

This course fulfills the SAS Global Awareness and Humanities requirements.


The Samurai Tradition in Japanese Literature and Film
195:332:01; Index 73623; M3 – Tamura                                                  HH-B4; CAC
Th3                                                      SC-101; CAC
Cross-listed with: 01:565:320:01
Credit not given for both this course and 01:565:320:01

The samurai warrior as a focus of cultural and political expression in Japanese literature and cinema. Supplementary readings of secondary sources on samurai culture and thought.


Minority Literatures
195:335:01; Index 74039; MW5 - Aloo                                                       HH-A4; CAC
Cross-listed with: 01:013:316:01

Cross-national and comparative studies of literature of one or more ethnic, racial, or cultural groups. Topics vary; consult department announcement.


Literatures of Migration/Immigration– Survey Course Latino Texts 1960’s - 2010
195:336:01; Index 70043; T23 – Gonzalez                                              LSH-A256; LIV
Cross-listed with 01:595:267:01

Description to follow.


Modern Fiction - Kafka, Secularism, Multilingualism, and World Literature
195:356:01; Index 71269; TTh4 – Glazova                                             GH-102; CAC

The course will provide an introduction to Kafka's work and its impact on World literature. Kafka’s texts constitute a new level and quality of literature that has triggered innumerable responses in many languages, media, and discourses. He is generally recognized as an "international" author of a new type of "world literature." While the quality of the work is clear, it nevertheless tends to defy all attempts to approach it by way of traditional means of interpretation. In an effort to forge new ways of addressing the challenges posed by Kafka's work, the course seeks to locate it in a number of related contexts: at the crossroads of European modernity; within debates about Jewish languages, culture, identity, and music in the early twentieth-century and beyond; at the center of current controversies concerning the politically charged notion of "minor literature;" and perhaps most importantly as the source of inspiration for new works of art, literature, film, and music. Among the works to be considered are the silk-screens of Kafka by Andy Warhol, the novels of Philip Roth and Haruki Murakami, the films of Orson Welles and David Cronenberg, and the musical compositions of Philip Glass and Philippe Manoury.


Autobiography – Autobio. Creations in Russian Literature
195:360:01; Index 75841; MW4 – Van Buskirk                                            CA-A1; CAC
All readings and discussion in English
No knowledge of Russian necessary
Cross-listed with: 01:860:348:01

In this course we study the ways in which Russian writers imagine and represent the self in autobiographical works of literature -- retracing the dual process whereby a text and a self-image (or life story) are created. We examine the methods and strategies Russian writers employ as they tackle the basic problems of self-writing.  How do they depict the relationship between personal experience and history, between the present and the past, the individual and the collective?  What narrative techniques do they use?  In what ways do they blur the boundaries between factual and fictional writing, between memoir and documentary prose?  How do they represent a self that has been exposed to extreme, horrific circumstances?  We also approach problems of a literary historical nature, inquiring about the role of autobiography in Russian literature, and the status of Russian literature vis-à-vis the European autobiographical tradition. To understand the history and the boundaries of the genre, we read a diverse sampling of important literary works: a medieval monk's account of his life (Avvakum), two powerful nineteenth-century models (Tolstoy and Herzen, whose depictions of childhood and of the historical dimensions of personal experience, respectively, influenced later autobiographers), and numerous texts that emerged from the explosion of self-writing in the twentieth century (Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Nabokov, Evgeniia Ginzburg, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Lydia Ginzburg, Joseph Brodsky, and others).  Themes of special importance include the construction of childhood, poetic self-creation, experiences of the Gulag and the Leningrad Blockade, and images of the Russian/Soviet intelligentsia. *This course has been submitted for consideration for fulfillment of the Core goals AH.o, p (in the event that it is approved, students will retroactively receive credit for fulfilling these core requirements).*


Women Writers of Africa
195:363:01; Index 75842; TTh5 – Alidou                                                     LSH-B205; LIV
Cross-listed with: 01:013:311:01 and 01:016:363:01

Survey of recent writings by women from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and regional areas of Africa.


Topics in World Cinema – Global Horror
195:377:02; Index 75323; M56                                                    ARH-100; C/D
W78 Film Screening                              ARH-100; C/D
Instructor:  Sen      

The horror genre has found its determined creators, passionate followers and scornful detractors across the globe. Often derided by critics for relying on questionable aesthetics and tasteless sensationalism, horror continues to inspire animated debates. The horror genre is local as well as global: deeply rooted in specific regional myths, folklore, rituals and traditions, it simultaneously regurgitates stock images, predictable narratives and pat conclusions across cinematic traditions. In this sense, the horror genre taps into what Carl Jung famously called the “collective unconscious”—a nightmarish substratum that all of humanity is wired into. In this course we will interrogate precisely this conundrum—how does the horror genre work in each national/cultural context and still resonate with audiences in other parts of the globe? Is fear a culturally determined response, or is there something universal about our deeply emotional response to frightening images/stories? Do audiences respond to horror in the same way everywhere, or is our response mitigated by socio-cultural and political contexts? Our ghosts, spooks, vampires, zombies, headless horsemen and serial killers will come from far-flung regions—USA, Japan, Germany, India, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, among others. We will engage with globally celebrated filmmakers such as Mizoguchi Kenji and Dario Argento to lesser-known horror producers such as the Ramsay brothers from India. The faint of heart and the squeamish be forewarned!


Topics in World Cinema – Spanish and Argentine Film
195:377:03; Index 75322; TF1                                                                    ARH-100; C/D
T78 Film Screening                                             ARH-100; C/D     
Instructor – Martin-Marquez
Cross-listed with 01:940:345:01

Cinema may contribute powerfully to the construction of social identities, and the interaction between films and audiences is oftentimes especially complex during authoritarian regimes and in their aftermath.  In this course we will examine films produced from the 1960s to the present in Spain and Argentina, both of which have experienced periods of dictatorial rule, in order to explore their intervention in processes of identity production (as inflected by national formations, religious belief, class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and dis/ability).  Lectures and class discussions will focus on close textual analysis as well as contextual approaches to the cinema.
Requirements include careful preparation and active participation in class discussion; two essay exams; and a final paper.


Topics in World Cinema – Literature and Cinema in South Asia
195:377:04; Index 75325; W34; Plus evening film screening T78            HSB-106; C/D
Instructor - Sen                            
Cross-listed with 01:013:402:01

Study of a particular region, time period, movement, or theme in world cinema. Specific topic announced at preregistration time. May be taken more than once, if content is different.


01:195:384:01; Index 77966; MW4 – Fanelli                                                HCK-218; C/D

What are the boundaries and borders of language? Of poetry? Of craft? In this course we will examine contemporary works of poetry, prose-poems, and essays in translation by poets from around the world in order to gain a keen understanding of how voices and experiences resonate and/or individuate cross-culturally, and how our own social, political, and cultural locations influence our readings of such texts. We will investigate such themes as violence and war, death, birth, alienation, racism, feminism, and nationhood, and read poems in both free verse and forms, such as ghazal, sestina, haiku, tanka, ballad, and song.  We will also consider the ways in which translation affects both the transliteration of texts and their interpretations by non-native speakers by questioning what is lost and what is gained in the process of linguistic exchange. Finally, we will strive to unravel the myths of poetry and its image as an impenetrable medium and address the unique ways in which poetry can and has healed, revived, and revolutionized the world.


Issues in Comparative Literature – Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud                        
195:395:01; Index 66272; TTH5 – Rennie                                                   SC-203; CAC
Taught in English
Cross-listed with 01:470:388:01 and 730:375:02

Exploration of the work of three German writers who revolutionized modern philosophy, theology, psychology, aesthetics, social and political science, gender studies, historiography, literature and the arts. We will be reading and discussing a selection of key writings by Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, along with a sampling of texts that were important for their work, and writings that later both reflected their influence, and drew their ideas in new directions.

Counts for literature/civilization/film credits toward the German Studies major and minor.
(Be sure to consult in advance with the Undergraduate Director.)


Issues in Comparative Literature – 20th Century Russian Literature                        
195:395:02; Index 70532; MW6 – Van Buskirk                                         CML-101; CAC
Taught in English
All readings in English
Cross-listed with 01:860:328:01

A survey course designed as an introduction to twentieth-century Russian literature. We will sample the artistic movements that preceded and surrounded the Revolution, the subsequent production that was suppressed, muted, or twisted by Stalinist policies, and finally, the literature of the thaw through to perestroika.  We will focus on the ways in which individual experiences were shaped by mass phenomena: revolution, war, terror, the prison camp system, and the construction of the state in various periods, from the "new man" of New Economic Policy (NEP, 1921-1929) to the Stalinist subject, to the dweller of a communal apartment.  We will study the following novels: Andrei Bely's Petersburg, Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Vladimir Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading, Viktor Pelevin's Omon Ra, and Liudmila Petrushevskaia's Time: Night.  We shall read short stories or novellas by Olesha, Shalamov, and Sinyavsky/Tertz. 

In addition, our survey will incorporate several poems, films, and works of visual art (at our own Zimmerli museum). *This course is under consideration for fulfillment of the Core goal AH C.p (in the event that it is approved, students will retroactively receive credit for fulfilling the core requirements).


Issues in Comparative Literature – Russian Literature and Empire                        
195:396:02; Index 75857; TTh5 – Bojanowska                                             SC-115; CAC
Cross-listed with 01:860:334:01
Taught in English
All readings in English

Separate sections focusing on comparative, interdisciplinary topics. Specific titles announced at the time of registration. May be taken more than once.  Content will differ each semester.


Issues in Comparative Literature – Modern Arabic Literature
195:397:01; Index 75837; MW4 – Selim                                                      TIL-105: LIV
Cross-listed with 01:013:342:01

Separate sections focusing on comparative, interdisciplinary topics. Specific titles announced at the time of registration.


Issues in Comparative Literature – Literature, Culture and Gastronomy Italy
195:397:02; Index 77559; TTh5 – White                                                    SC-106; CAC
Taught in English
Cross-listed with 01:560:391:01

Separate sections focusing on comparative, interdisciplinary topics. Specific titles announced at the time of registration.


Issues in Comparative Literature – Modern Yiddish Literature and Culture
01:195:398:01; Index 67862; TTh6 – Shandler                                        CJS-107; CAC
Cross-listed with 01:563:386:01, 01:470:384:01
Taught in English

Separate sections focusing on comparative, interdisciplinary topics. Specific titles announced at the time of registration.  


Special Topics in Comparative Literature – Language, Literature and Postcolonialism
01:195:480:02; Index 73173; TTh6 – Sprachman                                    TIL-209; LIV
Cross-listed with 01:013:402:02

Variable content. Special studies in particular ideas, themes, forms, and historic units in literature. Designed by individual instructor.


Independent Study
01:195:494:R1; Index 60179
Permission of department staff

Independent reading under supervision of a member of the department.


Honors in Comparative Literature
01:195:496:R1; Index 60180
See online schedule for prereqs.
Open only to seniors majoring in Comparative Literature

Independent research on the honors thesis.


Capstone Senior Workshop
01:195:497:R1; Index 71080; Bishop
Open only to seniors majoring in Comparative Literature

Assessment of the undergraduate experience as a major in comparative literature. Debate around the present state of the discipline. Series of workshops intended to explore professional and academic careers, including preparation for graduate school and grant writing.


Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 11:57