College of LS&A

Fall Academic Term 2003 Graduate Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Fall Academic Term 2003 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Comparative Literature


This page was created at 6:25 PM on Tue, Sep 23, 2003.

Fall Academic Term 2003 (September 2 - December 19)


COMPLIT 492. Comparative Literary Theory.

Section 001 — Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism.

Instructor(s): Anton Shammas (antons@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Junior standing. (3). May be repeated for credit for a maximum of 6 credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is designed to introduce the students to some critical terms used in contemporary literary theory and criticism that are of importance to the comparative study of literature. Lentricchia & McLaughlin's anthology, Critical Terms for Literary Study (2nd ed.), will serve as our basic, companion book, for the discussion of critical key-terms, such as "Representation," "Discourse," "Narrative," "Author," "Ideology," "Gender," "Desire," etc. In addition, we will watch some movies, read some literary texts, and discuss a selection of twentieth century theoretical texts that compliments and illuminates the sections chosen from Critical Terms. These selections might be assigned on an ad hoc basis, depending on the needs of class discussions, and on the individual research plans, toward the writing of a final, substantive paper.

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

COMPLIT 600. Topics in Theory.

Section 001 — Value and Evaluation.

Instructor(s): James I Porter (jport@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The first part of a two-part introductory sequence to Comparative Literature, this course will explore the intersection of literature, aesthetics, and the discourse of value in the sphere of culture. Conceived as providing a foundation for future study in any number of disciplines both within and beyond comparative literature, the seminar is intended for anyone interested in any one or all three of these elements.

Problem areas to be discussed will include beauty, the sublime, literary value, moral value, political economy, classical values and classicism, canonicity, the anthropology of value, and the emergence of criticism (evaluation) as a cultural and professional category.

Readings will be drawn from various places, including Aristophanes, Aristotle, Longinus, Winckelmann, Adam Smith, Kant, Marx, Arnold, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Mukarovsky, T.S. Eliot, Wittgenstein, Adorno, Althusser, Barbar Herrnstein Smith, Bourdieu, Eagleton, Nancy Munn, Scarry, Nehamas, and Guillory.

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

COMPLIT 698. Directed Reading in Comparative Literature.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Permission of instructor required. (1-4). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Designed for individual students who have an interest in a specific topic (usually that has stemmed from a previous course). An individual instructor must agree to direct such a reading, and the requirements are specified when approval is granted.

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

COMPLIT 750. Seminar: Topics in Comparative Literature.

Section 001 — Critical Mass in the Metropole: The Afro-Caribbean Diaspora.

Instructor(s): Seanna Oakley

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

If "Blackness" and "race" primarily constitute who belongs to the African diaspora, it is far less clear who belongs to the Caribbean diaspora. In light of the transnational citizenship of most of the writers featured on this syllabus, heritage is a contested site with high political stakes. The issues of a diasporic author's birthplace and the location from which s/he writes have recently become contentious. With regard to Caribbean writers located in the metropole, Edward Brathwaite, one of the most renown Caribbean writers of the twentieth century, asserts: "they nevertheless are faced with/and respond to their new environment — home...We hear in them — despite the 'global village' — a different and sometimes...alien accent." Rejecting this view, Maryse Condé provocatively challenges, "Brooklyn-Haitians, Puerto-Ricans from Spanish Harlem, black British from Shepherds Bush...are we going to exclude them from the field of their national literatures? Are we going to consider as genuine the sole production of writers fortunate enough to live at home?" Given that the writers below share an interest in the cultural dynamics of location as well as a Caribbean diasporic heritage, with what aesthetic and social methodologies do we examine these texts? To what extent does Caribbean ancestry haunt the articulation of these texts? Do we examine the texts primarily through the lens of ethnic/cultural difference, conceding Stuart Hall's premise that "marginality has become a productive space and that fact is itself worth pondering, exploring and investigating"? Do we approach these writers as more greatly influenced by the contingencies of their metropolitan milieus, in other words, "centrally located"? Or do we consider the minority creative artist as free as her white counterpart to innovate, as a recent statement Black British poet Bernardine Evaristo implies: "hybriditycosmpolitanismculturaltransformationdiscursiveconstructednessauthenticatingidentitybestowingfunctions — will not be at the back of my mind when writing a poem." In this course, we will explore the politics of identity, location, culture, and aesthetics in texts written mostly by first generation Caribbean immigrants who have resided in North America and the United Kingdom for a substantial period of time.

  • Dionne Brand, In Another Place, Not Here (2000)
  • Jean 'Binta' Breeze, The Arrival of Brighteye (2000)
  • Austin Clarke, Question (1999)
  • Maryse Condé, The Last of the African Kings (1997)
  • Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of Bones (1999)
  • Kwame Dawes, Midland (2001)
  • Jamaica Kincaid, My Brother (1998)
  • Dany Laferriere, How to Make Love to a Negro (1989)
  • Pamela Mordecai, Certifiable (2001)
  • Caryl Phillips, European Tribe (2000)
  • Claudia Rankine, The End of the Alphabet (1998)
  • Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)

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

COMPLIT 751. Topics in Comparative Literature.

Section 001 — High Culture & Addiction.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Far from being a marginal phenomenon, addiction is a widespread cultural and social practice during our modern era, with important consequences for the constitution of modern (and modernist) forms of subjectivity. Intoxication, whether in its strict medical sense or in its less technical meaning (‘strong excitement,' 'trance,' 'ecstasy'), is in fact central to the ways in which modernity, and literary modernity in particular, functions and defines itself. We will explore this phenomenon by examining some of the following issues: the relation between drug consumption in the West and colonial or Third World politics; the ways in which, as a 'scientific object,' addiction was construed as a deviant, and ultimately gendered practice (especially, feminine or effeminate); the relation between drug experiments and aesthetic explorations.

Literary readings, visual and musical representations, as well as philosophical and sociological texts, will provide the materials for the analysis and discussion of addiction as a social practice. Students will also be encouraged to look at more recent understandings of addiction in their application to sex, consumption, gambling. Readings will include texts by De Quincey, Baudelaire, and fin-de-siècle European writers, as well as by 20th-century practitioners, such as Breton, Cocteau, Artaud, Michaux, Burroughs, and the members of the Beat movement. Theoretical readings will include texts by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Benjamin, Derrida, and Guattari. Evaluation will be based on an expose, class participation, and a final essay. Students from other disciplines are welcome. All texts will be available in English translation, as well as in the original.

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

COMPLIT 790. Seminar in Literary Theory.

Section 001 — Theory and Cultural Capital.

Instructor(s): Tomoko Masuzawa (masuzawa@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Theory appears to be a flag under which many a ship with undeclared cargo sails across the disciplines. Often suspected of being a foreign import of dubious origin and questionable value, whatever passes as "theory" seems at once desirable and superfluous, at once a vital stimulus for robust scholarly production and a dire threat to the domestic economy of empirical scholarship. Is "theory" really any of these things?

This is a reading-oriented seminar covering very recent intellectual history — roughly, from the onset of "poststructuralism" in the 1960s to the sedimentation of "cultural studies" and "postcolonial criticism" in the 1990s. We will examine some of the authors and texts that became — for whatever reason — cornerstones of this history. The principal objective, however, is not a historiography of the recent but rather a critical assessment of the complex interrelation among several prominent sites of theory production/consumption — in particular, literary studies, anthropology, and history.

Reading may include:

Derek Attridge, Geoff Bennington and Robert Young, eds., Post-Structuralism and the Question of History (1987)
Pierre Bourdieu, Algeria 1960 (1979)
Teresa de Lauretis, selected essays from Alice Doesn't: feminism, semiotics, cinema (1984) and Technologies of Gender: essays on theory, film, and fiction (1987)
Jacques Derrida, selected essays from Writing and Difference (1967/1978)
and Margins of Philosophy (1972/1982)
Paul de Man, selected essays from Allegories of Reading (1979) and The Resistance to Theory (1986)
Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: a history of insanity in the age of reason (1961/1965)
Michel Foucault, selected essays from Language, Counter-Memory, Practice (1977)
Jane Gallop, selected essays from The Daughter's Seduction: feminism and psychoanalysis (1982) and Reading Lacan (1985)
John Guillory, Cultural Capital: the problem of literary canon formation (1993)
Christopher Herbert, Culture and Anomie: ethnographic imagination in the 19th century (1990)
Richard Macksey & Eugenio Donato, eds., The Structuralist Controversy: the languages of criticism and the sciences of man (1970)
Timothy Mitchell, Colonising Egypt (1988)
Robert Young, White Mythologies: Writing History and the West (1990)
Other authors may include: Dipesh Chakrabarty, Tom Cohen, Peggy Kamuf, Jacques Lacan, Nancy Miller, William Pietz, Gayle Rubin, Gayatri Spivak, Michael Taussig, Samuel Weber.

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

COMPLIT 790. Seminar in Literary Theory.

Section 002 — Postcolonial Studies - Course on Concepts of Hybridity, Mimicry, Transculturation...

Instructor(s): Kader Konuk (konuk@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Postcolonial studies has emerged as a productive theoretical response to the complex relationship between colonial discourse and the social, political, and cultural formation of colonial and formerly colonial societies. This seminar asks, what is 'post' and what is 'colonial' in postcolonial studies? Taking Said's Orientalism as a point of departure, the seminar examines Said's contribution to postcolonial studies and goes on to look at critical responses and possible shortcomings of the field.

In so doing, the seminar deals with various forms of imperial practice by examining British, German and Ottoman historical contexts. Further, we inquire into the construction of the colonial subject, racializing concepts imbedded in colonial power and intersections of class, gender and colonialism. Discussing concepts of mimicry, performativity and 'ethnomasquerade', we will analyze the function of miming the Other within the (post)colonial framework. Seminar readings will include texts which exemplify the 'hybrid' character of postcolonial societies and their abiding forms of racial, ethnic and cultural Otherness. Hence, exploring the connection between travel writing, the literary imagination and colonial discourse will be one of our main aims.

In addition to a range of historical, literary and visual sources, we will deal with interdisciplinary theoretical work by Bhabha, Dening, Hall, McClintock, Pratt, Said, Spivak, Thomas, Trinh, Young and Zantop. Students will be required to submit a research paper at the end of the semester and to give an oral presentation based on the weekly readings.

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

COMPLIT 990. Dissertation/Precandidate.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: 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 department required.

COMPLIT 995. Dissertation/Candidate.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: 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 department required.


Undergraduate Course Listings for COMPLIT.


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