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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
Fall 2012
Updated 9/5/2012

Fall 2012
Graduate Courses

Introduction to Literary Theory—Romanticism  
16:195:501:01; Index 17240; M 4:30 PM - 7:10                                       CML-101; CAC
Instructor: Helfer                    
Cross-listed with 16:470:510:01

Introduction to contemporary literary theory, including formalism, structuralism, poststructuralism, feminism, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and other approaches. Readings of theoretical texts and applications to short literary texts from a variety of literatures. Professor Helfer’s class will focus on the precedents and legacies of Romanticism.


Topics in Comparative Literature – Caribbean Theorizing: Coloniality, Philosophy, and Literature
16:195:516:01; Index 18720; W 4:30 PM  - 7:10  – Maldonado-Torres
CML-101; CAC

This course is an introduction to selected literary works and theoretical essays by four major figures of 20th century and more recent Caribbean letters (Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Edouard Glissant, and Sylvia Wynter). It also seeks to exposed students to contemporary Caribbean theorizing and critical Caribbean Studies. The course will explore the lines of affiliation between a number of figures, and students will be invited to engage multiple major discourses on theory, philosophy, and culture in the twentieth century. These include: Négritude (Césaire), phenomenology, psychoanalysis and radical politics (Fanon), creolization and rhizomatic thinking (Glissant),poststructuralism and decolonial discourse (Wynter), as well as relevant approaches to critical Caribbean studies that involve the philosophical, the literary, the visual, and/or the performative.

Required Texts
Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. Wesleyan UP, ISBN 0819564524
Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism—Monthly Review Press, 2001. ISBN: 1583670254
Aimé Césaire, A Tempest (Theatre Communicattions Group/TGC Translations, 2002)
ISBN: 1559362103
Frantz Fanon. Black Skin, White Masks. Translated by Richard Philcox. Grove Press, Revised
edition, 2008. ISBN: 0802143008
Edouard Glissant. Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays. U. of Virginia Press,
1999. ISBN: 081391373X
Edouard Glissant. Poetics of Relation. U. of Michigan Press, 1997. ISBN: 047206629
Sylvia Wynter. The Hills of Hebron. (1962)—268 pages, kindle edition.
Patricia Mohammed. Imaging the Caribbean: Culture and Visual Translation
Roberto Fernández Retamar. Caliban and Other Essays.
Additional readings on Sakai and through the library’s online portal.


Individual Studies in Comparative Literature
16:195:517:01; Index 05336
By arrangement


Film and Theory – Bollywood
16:195:522:01; Index 18591; TF3 12:00 PM - 1:20                     LSH-B269; LIV     
                                    F45 1:40 PM- 4:40                                       LSH-B269; LIV   
Instructor: Sen  
Cross-listed with 01:195:377:02 and 01:013:365:01                               

Note: This is an undergraduate course with a graduate component. The following is for graduate students only.

Following India’s independence in 1947, Hindi cinema undertook the daunting task of imagining a cohesive nation for a population radically fragmented by caste, class, language, geography and culture. From struggles to adequately concretize the Nehruvian imperative for new citizen subjects of a determinedly reformist nation state to romancing the early 1990s economic liberalization, Hindi cinema is a central form of and for constituting postcolonial imaginaries. Focusing on key genres, filmmakers and texts from the last six decades, we will interrogate the relationship between textual forms, political economy, historical contexts and evolving audiences. What is the relationship between modernity, genre and cinematic address? How and when did the industry come up with the song-dance-melodrama format? What enabled the format to congeal into an enduring, recognizable formula and what is its relationship with older narrative and visual forms in South Asia? How has it responded to the unraveling of older socio-political formations and the emergence of new ones? How does Bollywood situate itself within the economies and ecologies of new media?  Graduate students are expected to write mid-term (8-10 pages) and final papers (15-20 pages) for this course. In addition to regular class readings, they will write book reports on four major theoretical interventions in the field. Students will also meet with the instructor at appointed times for seminar style discussions of readings below.

M. Madhava Prasad: Ideology of the Hindi Film: A Historical Construction
Ravi Vasudevan: The Melodramatic Public: Film Form and Spectatorship in Indian Cinema
Ashish Rajadhyaksha: Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency
Lalitha Gopalan: Cinema of Interruptions: Action Genres in Contemporary Indian Cinema
Sangita Gopal: Conjugations: Marriage and Form in New Bollywood Cinema

Studies in Narrative: Intertextuality: Modernist and Postmodernist Texts and Their Subtexts - CANCELLED
16:195:604:01; Index 18592; W 10:00 AM. – 1:00                                CML-101; CAC
Instructor: Walker, S.         

Generally speaking, all literary texts are made possible by the prior existence of other literary texts. But it is the more limited study of what one text in one language owed to another text in another language that first helped establish the disciplinary boundaries of Comparative Literature. When Comparative Literature distinguishes itself sharply from other disciplines, it is not when it applies theoretical perspectives from a wide variety of sources to the analysis of literary texts, for this is a common feature of all work in literary studies; it is rather when it pays special attention to the phenomenon of intertextual relationships, especially across linguistic and cultural borders.

Tracing the particular path followed in the use of one or several texts in the production of another is at the heart of the study of intertextuality. In this seminar we will take several key texts (such as Nabokov’s Lolita, Fuentes’ Aura, selections from  Joyce’s Ulysses, Proust’s Le Temps retrouvé/Time Regained) and their links with significant subtexts as points of departure for examining the complex nature of intertextual relationships and for establishing methods that can be applied for disengaging the presence of the subtext in the hypertext and, more generally, for determining the value of such a procedure for interpretation in the context of comparative literature as a critical method. Then, as regards other texts selected by the participants of the seminar, we shall consider a variety of intertextual relationships in light of the methodology we will have established.
Our key theoretical texts will be Mary Orr’s Intertextuality: Debates and Contexts and Graham Allen’s Intertextuality.


Advanced Topics in Comparative Literature - Writing Torture in the Southern Cone
16:195:608:01, Index 18747, Th 2:15 PM.-5:15                             CPH-103B; D/C
Instructor: Bishop
Cross-listed with 16:940:659:01

This graduate seminar examines the aesthetic, ethical, and political difficulties of writing torture as evidenced in literary and testimonial works by Argentine and Chilean authors publishing in the long shadow of the dictatorships that took state control in the late twentieth‐century. We will investigate the wider historical and social legacies of torture, the particular use of torture as a method of state repression in the Southern Cone, as well as the intricate ontological machinations of how torture functions in order to more profoundly consider what is at stake in representing torture on the page, what gets sacrificed in narration, and what ethical exigencies might be approximated in the risk of writing torture. The class will also consider to what extent, and to what scholarly end, we might speak of a corpus of Southern Cone torture literature within a larger Latin American literary history. Particular methodological attention will be paid throughout the course to the honing and application of close reading strategies. Please feel free to contact the instructor at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions about the course.

Required texts include:
Hernán Valdés, Tejas verdes: Diario de un campo de concentración en Chile (1974)
Manuel Puig, Beso de la mujer araña (1976)
Raúl Zurita, Purgatorio (1979)
Jacobo Timerman, Preso sin nombre, celda sin número (1983)
Alicia Partnoy, La escuelita (1986)
Alicia Kozameh, Pasos bajo agua (1987)
Griselda Gambaro, Información para extranjeros (1987)
Ariel Dorfman, La muerte y la doncella (1991)
Roberto Bolaño, Estrella distante (1996)
Raúl Zurita, INRI (2003)
Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain (1985)
Marguerite Feitlowitz, A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture
(1998; 2011) selected theoretical and scholarly readings by Jean Améry, Maurice Blanchot, Michel
Foucault, Jean‐François Lyotard, Jean Franco, John Beverley, Diana Taylor, Alicia
Partnoy, Idelber Avelar, and Darius Rejali


Comparative Literature and Other Fields: “Latin American Literature and the Environmental Humanities”
16:195:609:01; Index 18368; T 4:30p.m.-7:30                                           CPH-103B; D/C
Instructor: Marcone                  
Cross-Listed with 16:940:660:01

The goal of this seminar is to introduce the students to the importance of environmentally oriented perspectives that are transforming basic assumptions in the Humanities. How is our understanding of the relationship between text and world is affected by the broad rethinking of human-nature interactions being developed for meeting the environmental challenges of our era? While focusing on a corpus of Latin American literature involving a variety of landscapes, and a diversity of depictions of the interaction of societies and individuals with nature, we will address the following questions: (1) In what ways is the study of literature enriched by contemporary inquiries into the material and symbolic relationships between humans and non-humans, the evolutionary histories of embodied subjectivities embedded into environments, the understanding of politically organized units as collectives of human and non-human actants, and the philosophical and spiritual responses to ecological crises. (2) How do humanistic approaches reshape inquiries about environmental issues in disciplines outside the humanities themselves? That is to say, in what ways do re-visiting Latin American texts contribute to current discussions about ecological crises?  We will contextualize our contemporary reading of the literary tradition within the rise of the social movements known as “environmentalisms of the poor,” and the politics of New Extractivism in the area. Our secondary readings will include texts by Stacy Alaimo, Jane Bennett, Bryan Boyd, Lawrence Buell, Elizabeth Grosz, Ursula Heise, Bruno Latour, Enrique Leff, Timothy Morton, Rob Nixon, and Cary Wolf.

Tentative readings:
•    Alexander von Humboldt. Aspects of Nature (France, 1808).
•    Aira, César. An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter (Argentina, 2006).
•    Hudson, William Henry. Far Away and Long Ago (England, 1918).
•    Horacio Quiroga (Uruguay). Selection from his “Misiones” short stories
(1917 35).
•    Guimarães Rosa, João. Selection of short stories from Sagarana (Brazil, 1946).
•    Carpentier, Alejo. Los pasos perdidos (Cuba, 1953).
•    Neruda, Pablo (Chile). Selection from his late and posthumous poetry: Fin de mundo (1969), Las piedras del cielo (1970), Geografía infructuosa (1972), El mar y las campanas (1973) and Jardín de invierno (1974).
•    Arguedas, José María. El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo (Peru, 1971)
•    Pacheco, José Emilio (Mexico). Selection of poetry from Ciudad de la memoria (1986-89), and Álbum de zoología (1991).


Advanced Topics of Lit Theory – Forbidding Images
16:195:617:01; Index 14692; W 4:30p.m. – 7:10                                          GH-102; CAC
Instructor: Rennie                  
Cross-Listed with 16:470:670:01

The seminar examines the rivalry between text and image in theoretical work from the 18th century to the present. We will read a series of texts that each register the fascination of the visual, yet attempt to defend against its influence in the name of a non-visual principle. Tentative list of key sources for our discussions: G.E. Lessing's Laocöon, Kant's Critique of Judgment, Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy and "Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense," Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and Moses and Monotheism, Walter Benjamin's The Origin of German Tragic Drama, and selections from Adorno's Aesthetic Theory. These readings will be accompanied by discussion of more recent texts by W.J.T. Mitchell, Martin Jay, Lyotard, Danto, Ricoeur and Derrida.  Texts will be available in German and English. Discussion will be held in English.


Research in Comparative Literature

Directed readings and frequent written analyses.

16:195:701:A1; Index 09550 – Alidou                                            
16:195:701:B1; Index 10235 - Bojanowska  
16:195:701:B3; Index 05887 – Bronner                     
16:195:701:B4; Index 02997 – Busia
16:195:701:C1; Index 04561 – Cohen
16:195:701:C2; Index 05888 – Cornell
16:195:701:D1; Index 12594 – Davidson
16:195:701:D2; Index 04566 – Dekoven
16:195:701:D3; Index 03079 – Diamond, E.
16:195:701:D4; Index 04447 – Diamond, J
16:195:701:E1; Index 02996 – Eisenzweig
16:195:701:F1; Index 05890 – Flieger
16:195:701:F2; Index 06907 – Flitterman-Lewis
16:195:701:G1; Index 05455 – Galperin
16:195:701:G2; Index 03511 – Gossy
16:195:701:G3; Index 10236 – Grosz
16:195:701:G4; Index 11100 – Gambarota
16:195:701:H1; Index 10237 – Helfer
16:195:701:J1; Index 12234 – Jehlen
16:195:701:L1; Index 09773 – Levine
16:195:701:L2; Index 11101 – Leake
16:195:701:M1; Index 05891 – Marcone
16:195:701:M2; Index 10239 – Martin-Marquez
16:195:701:M3; Index 10240 – Martinez-San Miguel
16:195:701:M4; Index 05892 – McKeon
16:195:701:M5; Index TBD – Maldonado-Torres
16:195:701:N1; Index 10238 – Naqvi
16:195:701:P1; Index 03145 – Pirog
16:195:701:P2; Index 11102 – Portnoy
16:195:701:P3; Index 19614 – Parker
16:195:701:R1; Index 04448 – Rennie
16:195:701:R2; Index 11103 – Reinert
16:195:701:S1; Index 01207 – Sass
16:195:701:S3; Index 05894 – Schalow
16:195:701:S4; Index 05895 – Schein
16:195:701:S5; Index 05456 – Serrano
16:195:701:S6; Index 10243 – Shen
16:195:701:S7; Index 05896 – Sifuentes-Jauregui
16:195:701:S8; Index 05898 – Speer
16:195:701:S9; Index 10242 – Stevens
16:195:701:SH; Index 11104 – Shandler
16:195:701:SO; Index 11105 – Song
16:195:701:SS; Index 05899 – Swenson
16:195:701:T1; Index 10241 – Tschanz
16:195:701:T2; Index 05897 – Tu
16:195:701:V1; Index 05893 – Vettori
16:195:701:V2; Index 11106 – Van Buskirk
16:195:701:W1; Index 01208 – Walker, J.
16:195:701:W2; Index 01209 – Walker, S.
16:195:701:W3; Index 05900 – Williams
16:195:701:W4; Index 11107 – Walkowitz
16:195:701:Z1; Index 05901 – Zerubavel


Matriculation Continued
16:195:800:01; Index 01210
By arrangement


Graduate Fellowship
16:195:811:01; Index 02998
By arrangement


Full TA Appointment
16:195:877:01; Index 01211
By arrangement


Part TA Appointment
16:195:878:01; Index 18799
By arrangement
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 September 2012 07:17