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Fall '00 Course Guide

Courses in Comparative Literature (Division 354)

Fall Term, 2000 (September 6 – December 22)

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

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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

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.

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).

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.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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.

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.

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 Coppola's The Godfather trilogy) as well as Pileggi's Wiseguy (and 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, Gotti, The Last Don, 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 family.

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.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 430. Comparative Studies in Fiction.

Section 002 – Meets with AAPTIS 383.001.

Instructor(s): Carol Bardenstein (cbardens@umich.edu)

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.

See Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish, and Islamic Studies 383.001.

Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

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.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

No Description Provided


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 Levi-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.

Cost: 1 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 496. Honors Thesis.

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

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Comp. Lit. 498. Directed Reading.

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.

Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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