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Fall '00 Course Guide

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Courses in Comparative Literature (Division 354)

This page was created at 3:55 PM on Wed, Dec 13, 2000.

Fall Term, 2000 (September 6 – December 22)

Open courses in Comparative Literature

Wolverine Access Subject listing for COMPLIT

Take me to the Fall Term '00 Time Schedule for Comparative Literature.

To see what has been added to or changed in Comparative Literature this week go to What's New This Week.


Comp. Lit. 140. First-Year Literary Seminar.

Section 001 – Women Writers and Classical Myth.

Instructor(s): Yopie Prins

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

First-year seminar, Foriegn Lit

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Why do women writers turn to Greek and Roman mythology for inspiration? How do they rewrite these myths to engender new meanings? In this seminar you will read poetry, fiction, and drama by women writers, in order to analyze and compare different versions of mythical figures such as Cassandra, Medea, Arachne, Daphne and Apollo, Orpheus and Eurydice, Demeter and Persephone (just to name a few). In addition to developing your skills in reading literature and writing critical essays, you will also have an opportunity to write your own creative revision of a Classical myth. Reading assignments will vary widely and include poetry, fiction, and drama. Course writing will include short papers and one creative revision of a Classical myth.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 240. Introduction to Comparative Literature.

Section 001 – Reading to Live.

Instructor(s): Santiago Colás

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Why Read? Why Live? Do the two questions have the same answers? What does reading have to do with living? In this course, we will take these questions as a framework through which to approach comparative literature as something people study and as a way they study it. But wait, there's more! The books you read, the thoughts you think, and the words you hear, speak, and write will slip under your skin with excruciating sweetness. They might make you feel itchy and uncomfortable. It may be difficult to walk and talk normally. You may begin to hear voices and to tell stories. I promise… But only if you do the reading (which will include work by authors such as McCullers, Kafka, Puig, Achebe, Shelley, Cortazar, Freud, Nietzsche, Marx, and Deleuze), writing (weekly short papers, one or two longer essays,) talking, and thinking (constantly).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 2

Comp. Lit. 350. The Text and Its Cultural Context.

Section 001 – The Literature of Travel

Instructor(s): Artemis Leontis (aleontis@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: https://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2000/fall/lsa/complit/350/001.nsf

Travel holds many promises: the thrill of escape, renewal, exploration, acquisition, and self-discovery, as well as the pleasure of conveying these experiences in writing. Indeed, centuries of travel have produced volumes of travel writing, a form that continues to be popular today with a broad reading public. At its best, the literature of travel is exciting and thought provoking, as it conveys both an exterior voyage to foreign lands (detailed information about places, peoples, and things encountered on the way) and an interior voyage of self discovery.

This course aims to introduce students to the varieties of travel literature and the questions it raises about the relations of the traveler to the other worlds encountered. The focus will be on literature about travel to Greece, western Turkey, and the southern Balkans, popular destinations for Europeans and Americans during the past two centuries. The course will offer a wide range of readings from British, French, German, and American authors such as Lady Montagu, Chateaubriand, Lord Byron, Lamartine, Flaubert, Twain, Brandes, Woolf, Freud, Miller, Durrell, Fermor, Storace, and Keeley. Considering Greece as a contact zone between visitors and local residents, the course will also study travel essays by Greek authors, including Kazantzakis, Seferis, Ouranis, Karapanou, and others. Different media used in class, including films, photos, etchings, drawings, and paintings, will give a measure of comparison. Requirements: attendance, participation in discussions, completion of short writing assignments, and a final exam.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 350. The Text and Its Cultural Context.

Section 002 – Shooting the Mob.

Instructor(s): Lauri-Lucente

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Is The Godfather one of your favorite films? Do you enjoy reading crime novels? Have you ever wondered what the Mafia really is? Why is the sinister "narrative" of the Mafia so alluring?

This course treats the rapport between literary and cinematic versions of organized crime in Italy and the United States. We will begin with Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard and Luchino Visconti's cinematic version of the novel. Although The Leopard does not deal with the Mafia as such, it nonetheless contains the most lapidary expression of Sicilian identity in relation to the dominant power. We will then focus on the central core of the course – Mario Puzo's The Godfather (and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy) as well as Nicholas Pileggi's Wiseguy (and Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas). There will also be a course pack with additional reading material including excerpts from novels, short stories, and newspaper articles. Several segments of films, TV documentaries, and interviews that are closely related to or based on the readings will be shown (The Sicilian, Salvatore Giuliano, The Untouchables, Once Upon A Time in America, A Bronx Tale, Donnie Brasco, Excellent Cadavers, and The Flight of the Innocent). These readings and video materials will help trace the historical background, the development, and the current drama of the Mafia as it continues to unfold and wield its undeniable influence in terms of politics, social organization, and economic power. Cultural identities will be examined through three privileged thematic categories: language, religion, and the concept of the family

. Requirements: Biweekly one-page commentary, mid-term, and final 7-page paper.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 424. Literature and Other Disciplines.

Section 001 – Text, Performance, and Politics in Island Southeast Asia. Meets with SSEA 461.001

Instructor(s): Nancy Florida (nflorida@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing and one course in literary studies. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

Foriegn Lit

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See South & Southeast Asia 461.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 424. Literature and Other Disciplines.

Section 002 – Poetry and Politics: International Poetic avant-garde in the post-World War II Period

Instructor(s): Yaseen Noorani

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing and one course in literary studies. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The topic of the course is the emergence of an international poetic avant-garde in the post-World War II period. We will focus on how Third World poets, and particularly Arabic poets, first came to participate in this cosmopolitan literary scene, and investigate the linkages between this new poetic development and the rise of a Third World politics in the 1950's and 60's. Of especial concern to us will be the relationship between avant-garde poetics and a leftist political orientation. The course will begin with a look at the development of transnational literary trends in Europe in the interwar period, focusing on Modernism and Surrealism. We will consider the political implications of some varieties of Modernist poetics, and pay close attention to the political development of Surrealist poetry in the context of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Here we will investigate the emergence of the literary manifesto and the literary journal as crucial sites of cultural politics. With this background, we will consider the appeal of a non-representational, politically engaged poetics to talented non-European poets. In the case of Arabic poetry the following issues stand out: the emergence of modern Arab nations; the perceived inadequacies of traditional poetics; the question of Arab identity in a cosmopolitan framework; the reconciliation of anti-colonialism with adherence to European models; anxieties of modernization, particularly in the context of the seething urban metropolis. In addition to Arabic poets, we will look at some other Third World poets, including Pablo Neruda, Nazim Hikmet, Aime Cesaire and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 430. Comparative Studies in Fiction.

Section 001 – Stories and Their Interpreters.

Instructor(s): Simon Gikandi

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is an invitation to think about the nature of narratives and their force and power in everyday life. We will begin with two critical premises: first, that "Our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative, with the stories that we tell and hear told" (Peter Brooks); second, that "narrative is international, transhistorical, transcultural" (Roland Barthes). Does the power of stories and their ability to provide interpretations of social life, or to function as models of conduct, depend on their inherent nature or the interpretative abilities of their readers? Is there any valid distinction between good and bad stories? And if narratives are universal, what is the relationship between specific texts and cultural contexts? We will examine these questions by reading a cross section of global stories: selections from the Bible, the classical tradition, African epics and oral narratives, and modern fiction from several continents; we will also read non-fictional narratives by influential figures such as Freud and Marx. We will pair each text with selections from a whole range of theorists of narrative: Eric Auerbach, Walter Benjamin, Barbara Johnson, Jacque Derrida, and Ross Chambers. We will end the course with a comparison of narrative modes in the novel and a selection of films.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 430. Comparative Studies in Fiction.

Section 002 – Introduction to Fantastic Literature. Meets with English 415.006.

Instructor(s): Tobin Siebers

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Romanticism was a movement of poetic lyricism, artistic rebellion, and personal idiosyncrasy. Fantastic literature enshrines differences and peculiarities of all kinds, highlighting those aspects of experience that venture beyond the strictly human toward a supernatural realm. In fantastic literature, then, the visionary poetics of the Romantic generation and the superstitious nightmares of common people converge, affirming idiosyncrasy, originality, and irrationality on all fronts. This course will descend into the maelstrom of fantastic violence, irrationality, and rebellion to ask how such apparently marginal phenomena prove to be not only central to the nature of literature itself but remarkably stimulating to the modern mind. Works include the short fiction of Hawthorne, Henry James, Poe, Washington Irving and the European writers, Nikolai Gogol, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Guy de Maupassant.

Requirements include two 10 page papers, a final exam, and class participation.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 490. Comparative Cultural Studies.

Section 001 – Reading Across Cultures

Instructor(s): Aamir Mufti

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Foriegn Lit

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

What is it we do when we try to understand words and gestures from worlds that are not our own? In this course, we will look at various attempts to explore this question in such disciplines as comparative literature, anthropology, and philosophy. Among the writers we will read are Roland Barthes, Erich Auerbach, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Paul Ricoeur. Are we always condemned to approximation when we try to interpret a poem, belief, or ritual that is separated from us by history or culture? Is translation from one language to another an accurate model for all interpretation? Our discussions will be guided by such questions, and we will practice these ideas about culture and interpretation by reading a small number of literary works from different periods and cultures. The requirements for the course consist of periodic response papers, two 6-8 page papers, and a midterm and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 495. Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature.

Section 001 – Literature and Anthropology.

Instructor(s): Alina Clej (aclej@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing and concentration in Comp. Lit. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

What do these two disciplines have in common? How did the new concept of the "primitive" Other that emerged at the turn of the 19th century influence Western ways of representation and expression? Did the development of anthropology help Europeans better understand other cultures, as well as their own? Or was this emerging discipline a mere symptom of the Europeans' own colonialist malaise?

These are some of the general questions that we will explore in this course, by focusing in particular on the developments of Western anthropology in the first half of this century, and on the influence that the "discovery" of non-Western cultural forms had on Western art and literature belonging to Modernism. Readings will include essays by Leo Frobenius, Marcel Griaule, Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and by contemporary anthropologists, such as Clifford Geertz, James Clifford, Michael Taussig, as well as theoretical texts by postcolonial critics, such as E. Said and Homi Bhabha.

Literary illustrations will be drawn from French and Francophone writers (Tristan Tzara, Andre Breton, A. Bataille, M. Leiris, R. Caillois, A. Artaud, Aime Cesaire). Examples from other linguistic and cultural areas (including Latin-American literature) are welcome for discussion.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 1 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 496. Honors Thesis.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comp. Lit. 495 and Honors concentration in comparative literature. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In the Honors Thesis course the Honors student typically develops the seminar work done in Comparative Literature 495 (Senior Seminar) into a longer, more thorough study under the auspices of a faculty thesis director. Students who need help in arranging for a thesis director should contact the Comparative Literature office, 2015 Tisch Hall, 763-2361

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 498. Directed Reading.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is intended for Comparative Literature concentrators. It offers a student the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member associated with Comparative Literature on a comparative topic chosen by the student in consultation with the professor. Together they will develop a reading list; establish goals, meeting times, and credit hours (within the range); and plan papers and projects which the student will execute with the tutorial assistance of the instructor. The student will be required to submit a written proposal of his or her course to the Program office. For further information, contact the Program in Comparative Literature, 2015 Tisch.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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