A modern play upon Dante, “Devil May Cry” (2015). Faculty Dante expert: Massimo Ciavolella.
Courses (Fall 2018)
Comparative Literature 1E: Social Media and Storytelling: Comparing CulturesInstructor: 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 CenturyInstructor: 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 LargeInstructor: 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 WorksInstructor: 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 TheoryInstructor: 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-LaylaInstructor: 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 AuthorsInstructor: 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 LiteratureInstructor: 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 ContextsInstructor: 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 JusticeInstructor: Tamara Levitz
In this class we will explore the relationship between words and music in operas scheduled this fall at the LA Opera. We will focus primarily on Philip Glass’s Satyagraha—with a libretto by Philip Glass & Constance DeJong. This opera explores Gandhi’s activities in South Africa between 1893 and 1914. In this context, we will explore the history of opera in South Africa, Black opera, and contemporary operas that engage with issues of social justice. Students will learn about operatic history and style, as well as how to analyze the relationship between music and words, and interpret operatic texts (libretti). The highlight of this class will be the field trips to the LA Opera, where students will experience Satyagraha live.