Courses in Comparative Literature (DIVISION 354)

240. Introduction to Comparative Literature. (3). (HU).

Now is the time for stories. And these are the best stories. They come from afar and from all over the world. The tell about sphinxes and ghost ships, about talking pottery, about women who sleep in the rain, about God's visitations to the earth, robotic fleas, and Nazis, about unpacking your memories from a cardboard box, striptease, and the Eiffel Tower made of puff pastry. These stories are full of wild invention, people familiar and outlandish, bittersweet moments and flights of fancy. Poetry, drama, myth, history, psychopathology, politics, philosophy. Read Isak Dinesen, Balzac, Garcia-Marquez, Tolstoy, Sartre, Nikolai Leskov. 3 short papers. No exams. Free to travel to other lands. Cost:2 WL:2 (Siebers)

434. Comparative Studies in Poetry. Junior standing. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Sappho and the Lyric Tradition.
Sappho of Lesbos, the Greek archaic poet who wrote lyrics around 600 B.C., has inspired writers for many centuries. This course surveys some of the poets who have imitated Sappho in various historical contexts. After a close study of Sappho's fragments (using critical essays and comparing English translations), we will focus on several important moments in the history of her reception: Sappho's reputation in antiquity, Sapphic imitations in the Renaissance and Romanticism, the emergence of "Sapphism" in fin-de-siècle England and France, and the early modernist reconstruction of Sappho as fragment. Finally, we will consider Sappho's association with lesbian poetics in the work of contemporary poets such as Judy Grahn, Olga Broumas, Audre Lorde, and in Monique Wittig's The Lesbian Body. Requirements include a class presentation, three essays, and a creative response to Sappho. Students from other disciplines welcome; knowledge of foreign languages not required. Cost:1 WL:2 (Prins)

490. Comparative Cultural Studies. Junior standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 AIDS: Myths and Countermyths.
When my clock-radio woke me this morning (2/3/95), it announced that the Republican majority in congress was calling for cuts in funding for AIDS research. What unspoken attitudes, understandings, presuppositions underlie the view that research on HIV/AIDS has relatively low priority? The disease is among other things a discursive phenomenon and it's through the discursive "myths" of AIDS (in the media and public discourse) and the "countermyths" that respond to them (mainly in gay activist discourse and the gay writing of witness) that we'll approach the question. (For further details of course content, please ask at G411 Mason.) Reading, viewing, and discussion; two writing assignments in lieu of midterm and final. Cost:2 WL:2 (Chambers)

495. Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature. Senior standing and concentration in Comp. Lit. (3). (Excl).

This seminar is designed as the culmination of the student's undergraduate work in Comparative Literature. As such, it provides an opportunity for the student to synthesize course work and develop a seminar paper, or a substantial part of an Honors thesis. The first part of the course will consist in an overview of the state of current literary theory. Readings will include Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction, and a course pack of selected essays. Student presentations will provide an opportunity for applying theoretical insights to their own areas of interest. Thus, students will share a common body of theoretical materials, but approach these materials from individual standpoints. Students will then develop seminar papers in a tutorial situation with the instructor and regroup again during the last three weeks for class presentation and commentary. Cost:2 WL:4 (Lucente)

496. Honors Thesis. Comp. Lit. 495 and Honors concentration in Comp. Lit. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

In the Honors Thesis course the Honors student typically develops the seminar work done in Comp. Lit. 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. Independent study; permission of instructor required.

498. Directed Reading. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

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, G411 Mason Hall. Independent Study; permission of instructor required.


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