Courses in Comparative Literature (DIVISION 354)

240. Introduction to Comparative Literature. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Crises as Crossroads.
In this course, we'll read, think, talk, and write about stories concerning personal crises that generate change, new beginnings, and new action. What is the relationship between crisis and creativity? We'll examine novels, short stories and films from the 18th c. to the present and from around the world, to see how writers and filmmakers have dealt with crises in different times, places, and ways. We will consider a wide range of texts, including some of the following: Goethe, Sorrows of Young Werther, Garciá Márquez, No One Writes to The Colonel, Marx, Communist Manifesto, Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, Kafka, Metamorphosis, Shelley, Frankenstein, and films such as Just Another Girl on the IRT, and Three Women on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Lecture with discussion section. Participation, regular very short written reflections, midterm paper, and final paper. Costs:3 WL:2 (Colás)

434. Comparative Studies in Poetry. Junior standing. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Lyric Poetry, Then and Now.
Lyric poetry has been around for over two and a half thousand years in the West, with comparable kinds of verse as old or older in other cultures. What is this kind of literature, what accounts for its astonishing tradition and intertextuality, and how do they work and change? What are some of lyric poetry's basic forms, fundamental elements, and recurrent themes? These questions will be explored in a seminar (discussion) format through analyses of poems in English, and in other languages with facing translations from ancient Greece to the present, from men and women (Sappho, Dickinson), from North Africa or Asia as well as Europe and North America. No previous study of poetry is presupposed, while previous coursework in literature is expected. Students will be evaluated through in-class tests, an oral presentation, and a term paper. Texts will include an anthology and a course pack. Cost:2 WL:2 (Bahti)

490. Comparative Cultural Studies. Junior standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Representing AIDS.
This course is not an "ABC of HIV," and it doesn't attempt to survey the many issues raised by AIDS. It is a course about representation, using as illustrative material media representations of AIDS in North America and witnessing texts about AIDS as it has been experienced by gay men, here and elsewhere. (One question will be why the responsibility of witnessing has so largely fallen to gay men.) The underlying idea is that representation is a form of social action, a way of producing meanings that have effects (not something whose accuracy can be assessed by reference to a pre-existing, extra-discursive object). Expect to encounter graphic visual and verbal images as we read texts by Paul Monette, Hervé Guibert, David Wojnarowicz, Eric Michaels, watch videos by Marlon Riggs, Tom Joslin and Peter Friedman, Hervé Guibert, and films like Jeffrey, Philadelphia, and Parting Glances. Three writing assignments (including an opportunity to attempt fiction or autobiography). No finals; midterms by interview with the instructor. Cost:3 WL:2 (Chambers)

495. Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature. Senior standing and concentration in Comp. Lit. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Introduction to Theory and Criticism.
As the capstone course for undergraduate study in Comparative Literature, this seminar is designed to provide Senior concentrators with an opportunity to work collaboratively and intensively for a term in a series of discussions and workshops. Sessions will be arranged around a set of texts and topics drawn from recent debates that have informed the theory and practice of Comparative Literature. The course will culminate in a final paper, which in the case of some of the class will form the basis for an Honors Thesis, to be written in the second term continuation (Comparative Literature 496). Cost:2 WL:2 (Prins)

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.

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.

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