Courses in Comparative Literature (DIVISION 354)

241. Topics in Comparative Literature. Comp. Lit. 240 recommended. (3). (HU).
One of the distinctive features of the autobiography is that it attempts to retrieve the self from the past and to reaffirm it in the present. The purpose of the course is to connect the autobiographical account with writing as a process of crisis resolution in which the problematized subject is empowered by the creation of a language of the self. We will examine the textual traditions of the autobiographic narrative with emphasis on what kind of empowerment it provides to the writer. Areas of exploration will include the relationship between the community and the individual, the public and the private, the political and the personal aspects of the self being thus rewritten. We will read and discuss a broad menu of autobiographical narratives comparatively and contrastively toward an understanding of these aspects of self writing. The work load will include two papers and an autobiographical account. Cost:3 WL:1 (Somé)

422. Literature and the Other Arts. Junior or senior standing. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001: Fantasies of Power, Literature, Art & Politics Between the Wars (1919-1939).
How do art and politics influence and contaminate each other? To what extent is power an aesthetic phenomenon? What is the relationship between eroticism, death, and fascism? How can we assess the impact of political forces on our very way of interpreting artforms and texts? This course is designed to address these questions, and the larger issue of what links aesthetics and ideology, through an interdisciplinary, multimedia approach to the study of European culture between the two world wars (1919-1939). We will focus in particular on the "fantasies of power" that characterize the aesthetic and political practices of the time, taking as examples Surrealism (Breton, Crevel), German culture during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich (Freud, Benjamin, Th. Mann), and the College of Sociology (Bataille, Leiris, Caillois). The materials will be examined through lectures, slideshows, film, and discussions. Students from all disciplines are welcome. Cost:3 WL:1 (Clej)

Section 002: Lyric Poetry of the Renaissance: Michelangelo as Poet, Sculptor, Artist, and Architect. This course will concentrate on Michelangelo's artistic production (his art, sculpture, and in particular his poetry) with an eye to both the poetic tradition preceding him (Dante and Petrarch) and the poetic artistic ramifications extending from his work. We will start with St. Augustine for the religious background and Dante for the poetic background before moving on to Michelangelo's vast poetic corpus of well over three hundred lyric poems. By the end of the term, we will begin to examine the mystic poetry of the Mediterranean countries as well as the poetry of the Protestant north, especially the works of John Donne. Knowledge of Italian is helpful but not required (though knowledge of Latin or one of the Romance languages is necessary). Cost:2 WL:1 (Lucente)

424. Literature and Other Disciplines. Upperclass standing and one course in literary studies. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of nine credits.
Section 001: Literature and Ideology, A Cultural Perspective.
We will examine works by five writers (Uwe Johnson, Jean Rhys, Toni Morrison, Derek Walcott, and Kathy Acker), in order to consider the question, "What is ideology?" from the perspective of cultural identity and cultural difference. What, in other words, are cultural ideologies, and how does literature repeat and displace them? How fixed are their registers ("high," "low," "popular")? What is the lure, or the inevitability, or identification and especially complicity in the formation of cultural subjects? What forms can the contestation of value successfully take? By way of background, we will also glimpse at recent theories of ideology, especially where these intersect with problems of narrative, of the reader's vulnerable position, and of the polyphony of cultural signs. Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil) will give a point of departure, and an example. Short selections from R. Williams, Stuart Hall, Zizek, and Hebidge will also be read. No prerequisites. One paper (15 pp.) due at the end of term, plus one in-class presentation, to be developed in "tutorials" with the instructor. Cost:3 WL:1 (Porter)

430. Comparative Studies in Fiction. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.
Section 001. Faust and Faust Legend in English Translation.
For Winter Term 1992, this course is jointly offered with 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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