College of LS&A

Winter Academic Term 2003 Graduate Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter 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 Romance Language Teaching Methods


This page was created at 8:40 AM on Thu, Feb 6, 2003.

Winter Academic Term, 2003 (January 6 - April 25)

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ROMLANG 680. Perspectives on Contemporary Literary Theory.

Section 001 – Loved Philology. Meets with SPANISH 650.001.

Instructor(s): Catherine Brown (mcbrown@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/winter/romlang/680/001.nsf

Philology is a both scholarly discipline and a practice of reading and making knowledge. In European studies since the 19th century, it's been associated especially with Classics, Medieval, and Early Modern studies, with the patient labor of reading, collating and editing manuscripts and early printed books, and the establishment of texts. Philology was literature's scientific pass into the university curriculum; practitioners or not, we are its institutional children.

Philology has also been associated with a positivist resistance to more overtly philosophical or aesthetic ways of working with texts. It does not have to be so, this class will argue. Etymologically, of course, the word's meaning is simple: the love of words, reason, discourse.

In this class, we'll study, think about, and practice philology. We'll study its history and the history of the academic institutionalization of literature; we'll study its traditional tenets and practices; we'll think about what we have to learn from philology, in both its disciplinary and etymological senses.

What does putting the love of words into practice–in the study, in the classroom, in the library, among friends–demand of us intellectually and creatively? Writing from the center of US deconstruction (many folks' idea of a non-philological undertaking), Barbara Johnson gave one answer:

the question is not whether to be or not to be philological but how to read in such a way as to break through preconceived notions of meaning in order to encounter unexpected otherness–in order to learn something one doesn't already know– in order to encounter the other.

The course will be taught in English. Graduate students in all fields are welcome.. Readings will be mostly from the Spanish, French, and Anglophone traditions, with a little Nietzsche here and there.

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

ROMLANG 682. Topics in Literary Theory.

Section 001 – Theory for the Twenty-first Century. Meets with French 680.001.

Instructor(s): William R Paulson (wpaulson@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Beneath this title's claim of up-to-dateness lies a modestly practical historicism: the next century is likely to be a very different kind of world than most of the last, one that will both need and produce new kinds of literary and cultural theory. Much of the new century's difference may come from technological, economic, and ecological changes: in other words, from parts of the real that the humanities have tended to neglect or treat as a distant outside. The new century is likely to see ever more weaving together of entities that seemed to constitute distinct fields through much of the last two centuries: biology and culture, the natural and the social, technology and art, machines and humans, politics and entertainment, "modern" and "traditional" societies... the pairings proliferate. The goal of this seminar will be to look at possibilities for stepping outside the recently dominant discourses of literary cultural theory and to discuss theoretical work and perspectives, much though not all of it from what has come to be known as "science studies," that may be useful for literary and cultural criticism in light of current and emerging conditions. The seminar might also be called "theory out of bounds" or "theory out of time" since one of the objectives will be to encourage reflection on, and searches for, works that do theoretical work without belonging to the theoretical genre, or that speak to the present without being necessarily recent.

Among the central concerns of the seminar will be the status of language in cultural theory, a questioning of the concepts of modernity and postmodernity and their use, and a rethinking of the aims of literary and cultural study. We will also attempt to keep in mind the issue of what constitutes effective scholarly communication, and to think together about the still emerging implications of 9/11 and its aftermath for intellectual work.

Students will be encouraged to choose relevant work/examples from their own fields, relating them to the themes of the seminar and its readings.

Reading list (tentative):

Harpham, Geoffrey Galt. Language Alone: The Critical Fetish of Modernity. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Latour, Bruno. Pandora's Hope: Essay on the Reality of Science Studies. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Latour, Bruno. War of the Worlds: What about Peace? Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2002.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1


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