Courses in Comparative Literature (Division 354)

241. Topics in Comparative Literature. Comp. Lit. 240 recommended. (3). (HU).

DOING THINGS WITH STORIES. Story telling is a relational matter and people do different things with stories. A fairytale has a different impact when told by a parent to a sleepy child or by a professor to an alert class of critically minded students. We will look at narrative partly as a "way of thinking" (a widespread discursive form that imposes its rules and conventions on us) and partly as a "way of relating" (one of the key SITUATIONS through which the workings of social interaction can be studied). We will ask what stories do and also do things with stories ourselves, considering literary narrative but also the role of narrative in shaping our knowledge and the ways storytelling works in "real life" situations (the latter perhaps involving some field-work on the part of students). Readings will include a COURSE PACK containing short essays about aspects of storytelling and narratives of different kinds and from different cultures; we will read also Chaucer's CANTERBURY TALES and a modern novel that is also centered on "Cambry," Russell Hoban's RIDDLEY WALKER. Three sessions per week: one lecture and two discussion periods. Three short papers; no midterm or final. (Chambers)

424. Literature and Other Disciplines. Junior or senior standing. (3). (HU). May be elected for a total of nine credits.

PHILOSOPHY AND LITERARY REFLECTION. This course will examine major works and major problems that spread across both kinds of discourse. Augustine's CONFESSIONS inaugurates the genre of literary autobiography and is also a founding philosophic text for Western conceptions of human value and human time. Boethius' CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY is a highly mixed literary work - including poems and autobiography but was also for seven centuries the most important philosophic work presenting Aristotelian philosophy to medieval Europe. Dante's COMEDY is our culture's greatest "philosophic poem," combining unmatched heights of literary artistry with a systematic philosophic view of mankind and the universe. Hegel's PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND integrates ambitious philosophic arguments with a story or biography of consciousness. The central focus of the course will be on REFLECTION as a function and concept of philosophy as well as a highly varied literary device and strategy. Its larger concern will be with the shared verbal, conceptual and argumentative operations of philosophy and literature. (Bahti)

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 an Associate Faculty member of 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, 411 Mason Hall.


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