Graduate Courses

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

Fall 2018

Comparative Literature 1E: Social Media and Storytelling: Comparing Cultures

Instructor: David MacFadyen

Study of social media as platform for storytelling, with core focus on three distinct cultures: U.S., China, and Russia. History, form, and various functions of social media. Examination of how we tell stories about ourselves and how we interpret digital narratives we see, hear, or read from organizations near and far. Analysis of networked narratives encountered online.

Comparative Literature 2CW: Survey of Literature: Age of Enlightenment to 20th Century

Instructor: Kathleen L. Komar

Study of selected texts from Age of Enlightenment to 20th century, with emphasis on literary analysis and expository writing. Texts may include works by authors such as Swift, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Goethe, Flaubert, Ibsen, Strindberg, M. Shelley, Dostoevsky, Kafka, James Joyce, Garcia Marquez, and Jamaica Kincaid. Satisfies Writing II requirement.

Comparative Literature 4DW: Literature and Writing: Great Books from World at Large

Instructor: David MacFadyen, Safoora Arbab

Study and discussion of major literary texts usually overlooked in courses that focus only on canon of Western literature, with emphasis on literary analysis and expository writing. Texts from at least three of following areas read in any given term: African, Caribbean, East Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern literature. Texts may include works by authors such as Ngugi, Desai, Kincaid, Emecheta, El Saadawi, Achebe, Pak, Can Xue, Neruda, and Rushdie. Satisfies Writing II requirement.

Comparative Literature 19 (Fiat Lux Seminar): Short Works of Franz Kafka, or How Modern World Works

Instructor: Kathleen L. Komar

Examination of short works of one of world’s most famous and puzzling authors, Franz Kafka. Kafka has been labeled everything from existentialist to realist, from mystic to comic. Examination of implications that Kafka’s unique perspective has for our own times. Students write three questions based on readings to shape each class discussion. Readings of several Kafka short fiction pieces including The Metamorphosis, The Country Doctor, An Old Manuscript, In the Penal Colony, Report to an Academy, A Hunger Artist, and The Judgment. These pieces help students understand why Kafka remains so timely.

Comparative Literature 100: Introduction to Literary and Critical Theory

Instructor: Nouri Gana

Seminar-style introduction to discipline of comparative literature presented through series of texts illustrative of its formation and practice.

Comparative Literature M110: Thousand and One Nights/Alf Layla Wa-Layla

Instructor: Susan E. Slyomovics

(Same as Arabic M110.) Knowledge of Arabic not required. Since its appearance in Europe in 1704, “Thousand and One Nights” is most well-known work of Arabic literature in West. Examination of cycle of tales more commonly known as “Arabian Nights,” including history of its translation, contemporary oral performances of tales in Arabic-speaking world, literary emergence of vernacular language in relation to classical Arabic, and Western appropriations of tales in music, film, and novels (Ravel, Rimsky-Korsakov, Barth, Poe, and Walt Disney).

Comparative Literature 169: Continental African Authors

Instructor: Stephanie Bosch Santana

Introduction to new set of African authors and attempt to discern similarities or differences they may have with major authors such as Achebe, Ngugi, Armath, Soyinka, etc.

Comparative Literature 191: Variable Topics in Comparative Literature

Instructor: Aamir R. Mufti

Study and discussion of limited periods and specialized issues and approaches in literary theory, especially in relation to other modes of discourse such as history, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, anthropology. Development of culminating project required. Consult “Schedule of Classes” for topics to be offered in specific term.

Comparative Literature 191 (Seminar 1): Films of Peter Weir in Their Literary and Cultural Contexts

Instructor: Romy Sutherland

Examination of Peter Weir’s oeuvre invites consideration of national and transnational cinema, and art house film and Hollywood genres. Starting with Weir’s filmic exploration of incongruous European presence in Australian Aboriginal space, study uses comparatist approach throughout. Consideration of his filmic work in relation to other art forms such as literature, Western and Aboriginal painting, and music and sound; and to directors from other national traditions, such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Nicolas Roeg. Exploration of ways in which comparing motifs, cultural assumptions, and cinematic traits across Weir’s own oeuvre enhances appreciation of his individual films.

Comparative Literature 191 (Seminar 2): LA Opera Live: Opera and Social Justice

Instructor: Tamara Levitz

Comparative Literature 200A: Theory of Comparative Literature

Instructor: Kirstie McClure

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

Comparative Literature 220: Topics in Medieval Studies: Theory, History, and Literature

Instructor: Zrinka Stahuljak

Students read medieval texts, and choose from influential texts from theory and historiography of field. Topics include history and literature; history, religion, and literature; culture and literature; anthropology and literature; text and image; music and literature; and performance, performativity, and literature.

Comparative Literature 284: Theories of Translation

Instructor: Efrain Kristal

Seminar, three hours. Examination of various approaches to concept of translation and to its significance for literary studies. Readings include authors such as Matthew Arnold, Walter Benjamin, George Steiner, and Susan Bassnett. S/U or letter grading.

Comparative Literature 290: Contemporary Theories of Criticism

Instructor: Tamara Levitz

Seminar, three hours. Requisite: course 200A. Advanced course in theory of literature focusing on structuralist, psychoanalytic, and Marxist approaches. S/U or letter grading.

Comparative Literature 290 (Seminar 1): Queer/Race Studies

Instructor: Anjali Arondekar

Exploration of interrelated, epistemological frameworks of critical race studies and queer studies. Through study of range of philosophical, scientific, literary and anthropological texts, students rigorously historicize and theorize efforts to simultaneously link and separate theories of race and sexuality. Continued discussion of difference concept and its connections to productions of race and sexuality is central to understanding. Interdisciplinary study in which interstices between factual and fictional materials on sexuality and race are constantly exploded and expanded upon.

Comparative Literature 290 (Seminar 2): Frantz Fanon and Theories of Decoloniality

Instructor: Tamara Levitz

Comparative Literature 290 (Seminar 4): Arendt, Modernism, and Essay in Theory

Instructor: Kirstie McClure

Whether charged with nostalgia for polis or defended for their reluctant modernism, Hannah Arendt’s writings continue to perplex and fascinate contemporary readers. Exploration of selections from Arendt’s literary and cultural criticism, and The Human Condition, in light of Hayden White’s notion of modernist historicism and Adorno’s account of experimental and expressive aspects of essay form. Within that frame, study is collaborative; that is, participants select common readings from range of possibilities in accordance, so far as possible, with their backgrounds and research interests.