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Winter Academic Term 2002 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter Academic Term 2002 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 5:35 PM on Tue, Oct 30, 2001.

Winter Academic Term, 2002 (January 7 April 26)

Open courses in Comparative Literature
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Winter Academic Term '02 Time Schedule for Comparative Literature.

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COMPLIT 140. First-Year Literary Seminar.

Section 001 Whitman & the Americas.

Instructor(s): Justin A Read

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Walt Whitman is largely credited with both the invention of modern free verse and with the invention of a distinctly American voice in literature. In this course, we will read Whitman's poetry in conjunction with a wide variety of twentieth-century poets from throughout the Americas in order to gauge the connection between literature and community. Some of the poets we will read (for example, Carl Sandburg, Allen Ginsberg, and José Martí) clearly model their work upon Whitman's style. Others (such as Marianne Moore, Amiri Baraka, and Ferreira Gullar) clearly diverge from Whitman. But all of the poets in this course share a common desire to capture the collective voice of American communities, whether those communities be defined by ethnicity, nationality, region, or generation.

In readings from Spanish America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the U.S. (including African-American, Jewish-American, European-American, and Latino-American communities), we will examine the possibilities of creating American or "New World" traditions. We will come to terms with how poetry shapes and defines, reflects and refines and ultimately alters our visions of the Americas. Moreover, we will engage many of the debates conflicts, and struggles over identity and culture that have shaped literary studies over the past century.

First and foremost, however, this course has been designed as a primer for poetic reading. One does not read a poem as one would a novel or a newspaper; many of us are therefore thoroughly perplexed or confused by poetry. You may think of this course, then, as training in how to read a poem. No previous knowledge of poetry is required for this course, only the desire to read it. All texts will appear in English (in facing-page translation with the original when available); knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese is helpful, but not necessary.

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

COMPLIT 241. Topics in Comparative Literature.

Section 001 Arrivals. Cross-Cultural Encounters in Literature, Music and Art

Instructor(s): Vanessa Agnew (vagnew@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comp. Lit. 240 recommended. (3). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

You arrive in a new place. What are the new sensations the first smell, taste and sound? Can you understand? How do you know what to do? Are you embarrassed? Are you tested, scrutinized and turned away? Or welcomed, fed and given gifts? Do you stay?

In this course we explore the fundamental question of how society treats its newcomers. Looking at exemplary "arrival scenes' in literature, film and art, we ask what arrival says about greeting and hospitality, the ethics of travel, the meaning of "home", the treatment of migrants and the creation of ethnic, racial, class, religious and sexual difference. We also deal with the question of what happens when arrival fails, when reciprocation is refused and hospitality is not extended or accepted. The course shows that 'arrival practices' have implications for cross-cultural relations. In an age of mass migration and globalization, we find that arrival practices reflect wider social tensions: they reveal deep-seated attitudes to "Otherness", to acculturation, assimilation and a sense of national belonging.

The syllabus includes novels, travelogues, autobiographies, historical and ethnographic accounts, as well as theoretical texts dealing with encounter, gift-giving, colonialism, migration and nation-building. Also covered are media such as film and television, for example, Star Trek, Hogan's Crocodile Dundee, documentaries on Ellis Island and Harris's Kindertransport, and art dealing with "landings". Texts may include: Segher's Transit, Maspero's Roissy Express. A Journey Through the Paris Suburbs, Rushdie's Midnight Children, Naipal's The Enigma of Arrival, Mauss' The Gift, Oezdamar's Mother Tongue, Roth's Call It Sleep and Cahan's The Rise of David Levinsky.

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

COMPLIT 241. Topics in Comparative Literature.

Section 002 20th Century Literature & Human Rights. (Honors).

Instructor(s): Sheila M Skaff

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comp. Lit. 240 recommended. (3). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course we will examine 20C writers' and filmmakers' responses to one question: What are human rights?

Many ways of thinking in the past century have relied on the idea that a common thread unites all humans in the world. Still, almost every ideology, movement, political system, etc. has defined human differently. For some, certain desires, pleasures, fears, emotions, thoughts, and physical features are common to all, while for others they are based on individual or cultural differences. How have artists accounted for the changing values of individuals and groups in their descriptions of humanity? What has it meant to be human in twentieth-century world literature?

Attempts to develop and describe human rights since World War One have first had to define human, and then to define rights. In this course we will examine expressions of various opinions on the structure and function of rights by writers and filmmakers from many parts of the world. When and why have rights been considered natural or universal? How have writers portrayed the connections between national rights and declarations of international human rights in the past century? Studying works by Al Sa'adawi, Baldwin, Brodsky, Duras, Enyedi, Kundera, Nabokov, O'Connor, Paz, Polanski, Singer, Rozewicz and Woolfe, among others, we will consider how portrayals of family life, friendships, migration, criminality, punishment, political ideologies, major events and their aftermaths have demonstrated the significance of the struggle for human rights in the Twentieth Century.

Requirements include weekly readings, two short (3-page) essays, one long (8-page) paper, and a final exam.

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

COMPLIT 260. Europe and Its Others.

Section 001 Colonial SE Asia Through the Novel.

Instructor(s): Jennifer L Gaynor

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Was the colonial period in Southeast Asia a romantic adventure? A mission of good works? Was it all about money and power a tragedy of exploitation, ending triumphantly in revolutions of national liberation? What was "the colonial" anyway?

We will examine this question primarily through the lens of fiction, produced by those who have wielded colonial power, critiqued it, opposed it, apologized for it, borne witness to it, and overthrown it. Particular attention will be paid to how the category "native" is represented, how it intersects with considerations of class, gender, "race" and ethnicity, and how the term's significance has varied with historical context and perspective.

In addition to novels, we will read short complementary pieces including historical and biographical essays, primary historical source material, and cultural and literary criticism. We will also consider how novelistic truths differ from historical ones, and what a work of fiction may bring to our understanding of the past.

Readings will include: Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim; Marguerite Duras, The Lover; George Orwell, Burmese Days; C.S. Godshalk, Kalimantaan; Multatuli, Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company; Jose Rizal, Noli Me Tangere; André Malraux, The Royal Way; Louis Couperus, The Hidden Force; Pramoedya Ananta Toer, This Earth of Mankind; K.S. Maniam, The Return; Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized.

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

COMPLIT 364. Comparative Literary Movements and Periods.

Section 001 Modernism, Magic Realism, and Postmodernism.

Instructor(s): Kader Konuk

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The course is devoted to the study of literary works that are inextricably linked to specific literary movements such as modernism, magic realism, and postmodernism. We will compare novels and short stories across various geographical regions and discuss some of the shifts in the literature of the 20th century. Special attention is paid to Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Màrquez, Latife Tekin, Italo Calvino, John Barth, and Orhan Pamuk.

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

COMPLIT 372. Literature and Identity.

Section 001 Strange Occupation of the Subject.

Instructor(s): Tomoko Masuzawa

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May be elected twice, for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course students will read 20th century works of literary nonfiction by writers with South Asian links who write about a different place than they write from. We will begin by comparing five short accounts of Mumbai/Bombay to see how much narrative personality affects the portrait of a place, then in subsequent weeks develop a critical vocabulary for discussing these rhetorical decisions by pairing travel writing with travel theory. We will consider Santa Rama Rau and George Orwell writing about colonial India, self-identified postcolonials Amitav Ghosh and Amit Chaudhuri writing about "videsh," diasporic writers Meena Alexander, Sara Suleri and Michael Ondaatje describing a return to South Asia, as well as writers like Pico Iyer, V.S. Naipaul and Ruth Prawar Jhabvala whose identities on and off the page are even more complicated. How do their identities impact the way they construct a narrative "I" as their traveling selves and as their writing selves? What do they assume they have in common with their readers and what do they assume their readers won't share with them? What preconceptions of "here" and "there" do they rely on to construct their narrative authority? Students will be expected to make a class presentation on one of the assigned readings and to prepare a reading response for each class session. Instead of an examination, there will be a final paper investigating questions raised in the readings.

Books to be purchased: V.S. Naipaul, An Area of Darkness; Santa Rama Rau, Home to India; Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land; Sara Suleri, Meatless Days; Amit Chaudhuri, Afternoon Raag; Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family.

A course pack will include the following essays and excerpts: Suketu Mehta, "Mumbai"; Octavio Paz, "Bombay"; Pico Iyer, "Bombay: Hobson-Jobson on the Streets"; Ardashir Vakil, from Beach Boy; Sara Suleri, from The Rhetoric of English India; Caren Kaplan, from Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement; Rob Nixon "London Calling: V.S. Naipaul and the License of Exile"; George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant"; Mary Louise Pratt, from Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation; Inderpal Grewal, from Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire, and the Cultures of Travel; James Clifford, from Routes, Travel and Translation; Meena Alexander, from Fault Lines; Ruth Prawar Jhabvala, "Myself in India."

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

COMPLIT 372. Literature and Identity.

Section 002 Ancient Greece and Modern Gay Identity. Meets with English 313.001.

Instructor(s): David Halperin (halperin@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May be elected twice, for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See English 313.001.

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

COMPLIT 382(422). Literature and the Other Arts.

Section 001 Myth and Cinema.

Instructor(s): Vassilios Lambropoulos (vlambrop@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Cinema has often tried to depict the Greek gods, heroines, and lands in the same terms as the ancients talked about them. But it has also often tried to update them and bring them closer to our own reality. What happens when films adapt Greek tales to modern times? When Medea, Antigone, and Electra appear in South Africa, Poland, or Tunisia? When Orpheus, Ulysses, and Oedipus suffer in the American South, Yugoslavia, or Italy? This course will examine the uses of Greek myth in movies that remove the stories from their original setting and take them to different lands and times. Accordingly, readings will include not only ancient material but also modern literature that transforms myths in radically modern terms. The goal of the course is to examine the mutually reinforcing overlap between myth, literature, and cinema. The movies will have neither columns nor monsters but they will show how fate can still turn us all into wandering, questioning Greeks.

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

COMPLIT 410. Major Authors.

Section 001 The Culture of Enlightenment. Meets with English 417.002.

Instructor(s): Richard Feingold

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See English 417.002.

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

COMPLIT 430. Comparative Studies in Fiction.

Section 001 The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Middle Eastern Literature. Meets with AAPTIS 383.001.

Instructor(s): Carol Bardenstein (cbardens@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish, and Islamic Studies 383.001.

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

COMPLIT 490. Comparative Cultural Studies.

Section 001 Reading Homer/Reading Culture.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The Homeric poems, Iliad and Odyssey, have been "required reading" in Western culture from its first beginnings. Although a complete mystery in so many respects (their date and authorship are unknown; they resemble more a tradition than a text; they are blemished with imperfections), their literary influence has been vast, from Sappho and Greek tragedy to James Joyce's, Ulysses and Derek Walcott's Homeros. What are the reasons for this enduring attraction? In this course we will explore the monumentality of these two poems less their quality as great works of literature than their role as cultural icons, as signifiers of value, and as landmarks in the evolving relationship between literature and culture. Both poems will be read selectively by way of background, but our main focus will be on Homer's place the very idea of Homer in the culture wars of early modernity, in the 19th century, and even today. The course will be a study in the intellectual and cultural history of value, and Homer will be our guide.

Readings will sample ancient and modern authors, with selections from critics (Alcidamas, Plato, Aristotle, Swift, De Quincey, Lukacs, Auerbach, Bakhtin) to musicians (Wagner), philosophers (Plato, Vico, Hegel, Nietzsche), educators and politicians (Humboldt, Arnold, Kingsley, Gladstone), scholars (Wood, Lowth, Wolf, Parry), and finally archaeologists of the material past (Schliemann, Morris) and of the modern mind (Freud). Selected secondary readings will help provide background. In the last week we will look at the recent inflammatory pamphlet about the canon and the university, Who Killed Homer? Requirements will include weekly readings, several short process papers, a short oral presentation, and one final essay. A fuller description will be available http://www.umich.edu/~jport/.

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

COMPLIT 490. Comparative Cultural Studies.

Section 002 Politics of Culture in Hebrew Literature: Ethnicity. Meets with HJCS 491.001

Instructor(s): Ruth Tsoffar

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies 491.001.

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

COMPLIT 496. Honors Thesis.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Comp. Lit. 495 and Honors concentration in comparative literature. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In the Honors Thesis course the Honors student typically develops the seminar work done in Comparative Literature 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, 2015 Tisch Hall, 763-2351.

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

COMPLIT 498. Directed Reading.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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, 2015 Tisch.

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

Graduate Course Listings for COMPLIT.


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