Graduate Courses

From the recent Andalusian play, “Clytemnestra. Una mujer.” Faculty expert, Kathleen L. Komar. Banner image: John Locke. Faculty expert, Kirstie McClure.

Winter 2020

Comparative Literature 200B: Methodology of Comparative Literature

Instructor: Aamir R. Mufti

Study of methodology of comparative literature, with emphasis on its history.

Comparative Literature 290 (Seminar 1): Contemporary Theories of Criticism: Literary Networks

Instructor: Stephanie Bosch Santana

Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches.

From “street literature” to international prizewinners, how do the networks via which texts travel influence their form, language, politics, and aesthetics? This course explores the oral, print, and digital networks and institutions of African literary production and consumption from the precolonial to decolonial period, including colonial-era publishing bureaus, literary competitions, publishing series, books clubs, and Facebook groups. Authors likely to be studied include Chimamanda Adichie, NoViolet Bulawayo, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Achille Mbembe. Students will have the opportunity to compare examples from various African contexts to their own areas of expertise.

Comparative Literature 290 (Seminar 2): Contemporary Theories of Criticism: Media of Memory

Instructor: Michael Rothberg

Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches.

This seminar will provide both a quick introduction to the interdisciplinary field of memory studies and a more sustained exploration of the various ways memories are mediated and remediated. We will read a few contemporary theorists of media and remediation (such as John Guillory, Jay David Bolter/Richard Grusin, and Alan Liu) as well as numerous theorists of cultural memory (including Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nora, Aleida Assmann, Ann Rigney, Astrid Erll, Alison Landsberg, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and others). Each week we will focus on a different “medium” of memory: the brain and body, the group, the archive, the text, the monument, the photograph, the film, the museum, and the internet. Active participation, an in-class presentation, and a seminar paper will be among the requirements. In writing their seminar papers, students will have the opportunity to focus on a mnemonic medium of their choice.

Comparative Literature 290 (Seminar 3): Contemporary Theories of Criticism: Experimental Critical Theory: Truth and Knowledge

Instructor: Kenneth Reinhard

Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches.

The two quarter (winter and spring) core seminar of the graduate certificate program in Experimental Critical Theory; students in all Ph.D. and MFA programs at UCLA are invited to apply.  The topic of this year’s seminar is “Truth and Knowledge,” and it will involve ideas, texts, and objects from antiquity to today.  Issues examined will include topics in philosophy, historiography, the history of science, the concept of the disciplines, literary and cultural studies, rhetoric and sophistry, pragmatism, relativism, nihilism, and denialism.

Fall 2019

Comparative Literature 200A: Theory of Comparative Literature

Instructor: Kirstie McClure

Study of theory of literature, with emphasis on genealogy of theoretical problems.

Comparative Literature C253: Post-Symbolist Poetry and Poetics

Instructor: Kathleen L. Komar, Ross Shideler

Study of specific poets and poetics related to them during first half of 20th century. Texts may include poets such as W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Paul Valéry, R.M. Rilke, Gunnar Ekelöf, and Wallace Stevens. May be concurrently scheduled with course C153. Graduate students may meet as group one additional hour each week.

Comparative Literature 290: Contemporary Theories of Criticism

Instructor: Tamara Levitz

Requisite: course 200A. Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches.

Spring 2020

Comparative Literature C263: Crisis of Consciousness in Modern Literature

Instructor: Kathleen L. Komar

Preparation: reading knowledge of one appropriate foreign language. Study of modern European and American works that are concerned both in subject matter and artistic methods with growing self-consciousness of human beings and their society, with focus on works of Kafka, Rilke, Woolf, Sartre, and Stevens. May be concurrently scheduled with course C163. Graduate students required to prepare papers based on texts read in original languages and to meet as group one additional hour each week.

Comparative Literature M274: Theorizing Third World

Instructor: Shu-mei Shih

(Same as Asian American Studies M261.). Investigation of politics of power, gender, and race in complex relationships between so-called First World and Third World, using both theoretical and textual approaches.

Comparative Literature 290: Contemporary Theories of Criticism: Arendt, Modernism, and the Essay in Theory

Instructor: Kirstie McClure

Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches.

This problem-oriented seminar explores a range of Hannah Arendt’s works on politics, literature, and culture in relation, on the one hand, to literary ‘modernism’ and, on the other hand, to the essay-form as a vehicle for political and theoretical reflection.

Comparative Literature 290: Contemporary Theories of Criticism: The Humanities in Ruins

Instructor: Aamir R. Mufti

Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches. S/U or letter grading.

This graduate seminar will be concerned with the history of the idea of the humanities in the modern university. In particular its focus will be on the discourse of crisis that has accompanied the rise of the humanistic disciplines and seems to be integral to them. We will examine the works of a range of philosophical and critical writers, from Kant and Schiller to Derrida, Reading, and Said.