Courses in Comparative Literature (Division 354)

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

Section 001 PRAXIS AND COMPARATIVE AUTOBIOGRAPHY. One of the distinctive features of the autobiography is that it attempts to renegotiate self from the past. The purpose of the course is to connect the AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT a rewriting of the self bearing catharctic effects with the business of LITERATURE AS A PRAXIS. Where do we encounter the autobiography that fulfills the function of exorcism? In what way is the outcome a praxis? We will examine the textual traditions of the autobiographic narrative with emphasis on transformations it effects on the world around the self. Areas of exploration will include the complex relationship between the community and the individual, the public and the private, the political and the personal aspects of THE SELF BEING REWRITTEN. Critical analyses of poetic utterances and prose narratives will introduce us to comparative autobiography as praxis, a re-naissance, a renegotiation of history, or simply a characterization of discourse. Aime Cesaire, CAHIER; Richard Wright, BLACK BOY; Camara Laye, THE DARK CHILD; Ralph Allison, THE INVISIBLE MAN; Ferdinand Oyono, HOUSEBOY; Mariama Ba, SO LONG A LETTER. Three papers. Cost 1: WL:2 (Some).

430. Comparative Studies in Fiction. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).


"The theoretical debate continues on whether the female bildungsroman as a genre is a revision, a variant, a subgenre, an expansion, or an impossibility."
- Laura Sue Fuderer

Since its genesis in the late eighteenth century, the BILDUNGSROMAN ("novel of development") has been regarded as a characteristically German novel form that depicts the life journey of a young man from adolescence into early adulthood as he finds his place in society. Since the early 1970s, however, critics and theorists have been puzzling about the possibility of a female BILDUNGSROMAN, which many regard as a contradiction in terms. But if female and BILDUNG don't belong together in the same sentence, much less in the same novel, what are we to make of the many nineteenth- and twentieth-century "novels of development" with female protagonists? How does their "development" compare with that of their male counterparts? And why do so many of these women characters die, anyway? To prepare ourselves to wrestle with these questions, we'll begin with a brief excursion into the history of the male tradition by reading a few standard articles (from our course pack) and a relatively short BILDUNGSROMAN: Holderlin's HYPERION. From there, we'll read a series of nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels from Europe and America that have been labeled "female BILDUNGSROMANE" together with critical articles that engage these novels and the larger debate surrounding them. The class will look much like a seminar. Each student (individually or with a partner) will select a novel to present to the class for group discussion, which will be the first step toward a final paper. Our novels will come from the following list: Austen, Jane, EMMA; Shelley, Mary, MATHILDA; Sand, George, INDIANA; Eliot, George, THE MILL ON THE FLOSS; Flaubert, Gustave, MADAME BOVARY; Chopin, Kate, THE AWAKENING; Fontane, Theodor, EFFI BRIEST; Woolf, Virginia, THE VOYAGE OUT; Wolf, Christa, THE QUEST FOR CHRISTA T.; Morrison, Toni, THE BLUEST EYE; Lessing, Doris, THE SUMMER BEFORE THE DARK; Cost:3 WL:4 (Mayfield).

Section 002 FAUST AND THE FAUST LEGEND. See German 442. (Amrine)

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. [Cost:1] [WL:5, Independent study; permission of instructor required; Department office can issue override.]

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, 411 Mason Hall. [Cost:1] [WL:5, Independent Study; permission of instructor required. Go to Comparative Literature Office.]

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