College of LS&A

Fall '00 Graduate Course Guide

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Courses in Comparative Literature (Division 354)

This page was created at 7:52 AM on Fri, Oct 20, 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 graduate courses have been added to or changed in Comparative Literature this week go to What's New This Week.


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).May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

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).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).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.

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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).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. 600. Topics in Theory.

Section 001 INTRODUCTION TO INTERPRETATION

Instructor(s): Vassilios Lambropoulos (vlambrop@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

References to interpretation abound in contemporary theory. Critics, assuming that their readers are familiar with the meaning of this cardinal term, often refer to the politics, erotics, ethics, pragmatics, or metaphysics of interpretation. This graduate course will study interpretation itself, introducing students to its modern evolution and practices. We shall take a single text with a tremendous critical history, Sophocles' Antigone, and trace its interpretive fate over the last two centuries. By focusing on this exemplary test case, a "classic" piece of writing, we will be able to examine a great variety of approaches that have been applied to literature since the Romantic period. Readings will include interpretive writings by Hegel, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, S. Weil, Lacan, Derrida, Fr. Zeitlin, Castoriadis, and J. Butler. These readings will be supplemented with excerpts from artistic interpretations of the Antigone in theatrical performance, modern adaptation, dance, opera, and film. Students must read the play in Jebb's translation (available in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, Bantam paperback) before taking the course. The main writing requirement is a research paper (presented first orally, then in written form) which interprets in a systematic and concise fashion one of the numerous Antigones created after Sophocles.

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Comp. Lit. 698. Directed Reading in Comparative Literature.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing. (1-4). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

No Description Provided

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Comp. Lit. 760. Seminar in Literature and the Other Arts.

Section 001 Taste and Beauty. Meets with English 644.001.

Instructor(s): David Porter (dporter@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The "return of the aesthetic" so often heralded in recent years as an antidote to the supposed excesses of "political" criticism has rekindled long-standing debates on the historical origins and social implications of those complex configurations of pleasure and value attached to literary and artistic works. What does it mean, exactly, to speak of an experience of beauty? Can there be any viable basis for those forms of aesthetic judgement entailed by the concept of taste? Is there an ethical dimension to the appreciation of art? This seminar will provide participants with an opportunity to grapple seriously with such questions within the context of both early modern and contemporary cultural debates. Our discussions will be framed by the foundational texts of eighteenth- century aesthetics, including selections from Addison, Hume, Reynolds, and Kant, and by "literary" works by writers from Mary Montagu to Wordsworth that will help to illuminate the stakes and shifting terms of the debate in this period. We will situate the rise of a discourse of taste and beauty within the context of a newly emergent consumer culture and the rampant class anxieties and impassioned polemics on gender, fashion, and luxury that it entailed. Finally, we will bring these historical perspectives to bear in considering recent theoretical work on the ideology of the aesthetic and its implications for the interpretation of popular culture and the postmodern.

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

Comp. Lit. 770. Seminar: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature.

Section 001 Trauma, Memory, & Cultural Analysis. Meets with German 822.001

Instructor(s): Julia Hell (hell@umich.edu), Jim Porter

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing. (3).

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

Course Homepage: https://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2000/fall/lsa/complit/770/001.nsf

This team-taught seminar will be a collaborative exploration of the dynamics of trauma, memory, cultural identity, and cultural analysis. Conceived less as an introduction to the burgeoning new field of trauma studies than as an instance of that trend, the course will take an independent look at some of the problems involved, from a historical and contemporary perspective. At the root of these is the problem of cultural formation, which we will be addressing through questions of cultural memory and identity, fantasies of collective belonging, re-imaginings of the past, fabricated memory, and so on. To what extent are such identities and imaginings formed around historical traumas, and to what extent are they reflections of traumatic elements in contemporary social and cultural formations? To what extent, in other words, is trauma inherited as a memory and to what extent is it a constitutive element in the contested (and sutured) nature of social formations generally?

Case studies will be drawn from texts in different genres, film, painting, photography, and architecture, focussing first on classical antiquity and then on post-Holocaust and post-communist Europe, in five segments:

  1. Theoretical Introduction
  2. The Void of "Classical" Greece: Longinus, Pausanias, Humboldt, Peter Weiss, Heiner Müller
  3. Returning to the Camps: Alain Resnai's film, Night and Fog; P. Weiss, "Meine Ortschaft"/ "My Place"; B. Wilkomirski, Fragments; paintings and photographs by Anselm Kiefer and Dirk Reinartz
  4. Berlin: Void and Ruins: Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum; Daniel Eisenberg's film, Persistence; H. Müller, Germania Death in Berlin;
  5. After the Collapse of Communism: Ceaucescu's Palace; Laura Mulvey's film, Disgraced Monuments, K. Verdery, The Political Lives of Dead Bodies.

Psychoanalysis and post-Marxist theory provide one set of tools for approaching the problems, and we will be building on these (Freud, Lacan, Laclau and Mouffe, Zizek, Baudrillard, B. Anderson, J. Young, C. Caruth, J. Assmann, LaCapra, Salecl, Santner).

Requirements: graduate standing; no language prerequisites. Work load: weekly reaction papers (posted to the web), one in-class presentation, and a final research paper (20 pp.). Although our focus will be largely European, the problems are not so restricted, and students of other national and methodological disciplines are encouraged to participate. Inquiries may be directed to hell@umich.edu or jport@umich.edu.

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

Comp. Lit. 780. Seminar: Studies in Form and Genre.

Section 001 Words & Things in Late Modern Poetry

Instructor(s): Timothy Bahti (timbahti@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The complex relations between things and words have been a preoccupation in Western verse at least from Lucretius' De rerum natura to the lyrics of Rainer Maria Rilke and William Carlos Williams. And they have been thematized in various modern poetics from Mallarmé and Jakobson to phenomenology and deconstruction. In what respects are words like things and things like words, and what aspects of word-things are most like the elemental structures and features of literature? We shall treat these questions, among others, through a close reading of works by Francis Ponge, Elizabeth Bishop, and Paul Celan, as well as selected criticism and theory. Students will also be encouraged to work-write and present-on poets of their choice from different languages and traditions. Bilingual editions or translations will be used as necessary.

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Comp. Lit. 790. Seminar in Literary Theory.

Section 001 Russian Literary and Cultural Theory and the West. Meets with Russian 861.001 and Russian 476.001

Instructor(s): Andreas Schönle (aschonle@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See Russian 861.001.

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

Comp. Lit. 990. Dissertation/Precandidate.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate. Graduate standing. (1-8). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-8; 1-4 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of instructor

Comp. Lit. 995. Dissertation/Candidate.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. Graduate standing. (8). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (8; 4 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. N.B. The defense of the dissertation (the final oral examination) must be held under a full term Candidacy enrollment period.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of instructor

This page was created at 7:52 AM on Fri, Oct 20, 2000.


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