Winter '99 Course Guide

Courses in Comparative Literature (Division 354)

Winter Term, 1999 (January 6-April 29, 1999)

Take me to the Winter Term '99 Time Schedule for Comparative Literature.


Comp. Lit. 241. Topics in Comparative Literature.

Section 001 A Mystery to Me: The Puzzle, Desire, and Truth

Instructor(s): Catherine Brown

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

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The stories we will read in this course are woven of mysteries and enigmas. They want very much to answer questions of life and death (what went wrong? who done it? why?), but often pose more questions than they answer. Some of our questions, then: What makes a detective? What does she or he want? What does it mean to solve a problem? How do we know when it's completely solved? We will explore these questions, working under the hypothesis that asking questions is as important as answering them. Readings will be drawn across genres, time, and cultures, from ancient Greece to the present.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Comp. Lit. 422. Literature and the Other Arts.

Section 001 Representations of the Holocaust. Meets with History of Art 471.001

Instructor(s): Ernst Van Alphen

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.umich.edu/~hartspc/histart/winter99/471-001.html

See History of Art 471.001.

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

Comp. Lit. 434. Comparative Studies in Poetry.

Section 001 Sappho and the Lyric Tradition

Instructor(s): Yopie Prins

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

Upper-Level Writing Foriegn Lit Theme Semester

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Sappho of Lesbos, the Greek archaic poet who wrote lyrics sometime around the seventh century B.C., has inspired writers throughout following centuries despite, and indeed because of, the fact that her work survives only in fragments. This course surveys some of the poets who have translated, imitated, and otherwise aligned themselves with Sappho in various languages and historical contexts. We will begin with a close study of Sappho's poetry, referring to the original Greek whenever possible, reading recent critical essays on Greek lyric, and comparing twentieth-century translations into English. Next we will consider several moments in the history of Sappho's reception: her reputation in antiquity, Sapphic imitations in the Renaissance and in Romanticism, the emergence of "Sapphism" in fin-de-siècle England and France, and the early modernist reconstruction of Sappho as fragment. Finally, we will consider Sappho's association with lesbian poetics in the work of contemporary poets such as Judy Grahn, Olga Broumas, Audre Lorde, and in The Lesbian Body by Monique Wittig. Throughout the term we will develop some theoretical questions about the function of "tradition," the definition of lyric poetry as a genre, the construction of female subjectivity, and the formulation of lesbian studies through the figure of Sappho. Requirements will include regular attendance and active participation in class discussion, three papers, and an oral presentation. The course will also offer an opportunity for creative response to Sappho, in the form of translating one of her poems and presenting a final project (in writing, performance, or any other medium) to the class at the end of the term. Students from other disciplines are welcome. Knowledge of a foreign language is helpful, but not required.

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

Comp. Lit. 490. Comparative Cultural Studies.

Section 001 Culture Talking

Instructor(s): Jim Porter

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

Theme Semester

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In this course we will explore the phenomenon of culture viewed as a symptom, as an expressive formation, a form of talking out loud (rather than communicating), and a kind of gesticulating. Hysteria and other pathologies, racism (esp. anti-Semitism), degeneration, anxieties over power, talking cures these are cultural markers and symptoms of a deeper unrest. The German tradition of the 19th century, an especially "vocal" one in all of these respects, will be emphasized, although instances will be drawn from other European and non-metropolitan cultures as well, depending on student interest. Readings will include classic defining texts by Herder, Marx, Nietzsche, Arnold, Nordau, Freud and Weininger, as well as selections from more contemporary studies by Arendt, Butler, Gilman, Zizek, Elias, Lepenies, Foucault, and R. Williams. The overall aim will be to convey a bit of cultural history and to provide students with tools for coming to grips with the complexities of the voices of culture.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 2

Comp. Lit. 490. Comparative Cultural Studies.

Section 002 Reading Across Culture

Instructor(s): Aamir Mufti

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

Upper-Level Writing Foriegn Lit

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

What is it we do when we try to understand words and gestures from worlds that are not our own? In this course, we will look at various attempts to explore this question in such disciplines as comparative literature, anthropology, and philosophy. Among the writers we will read are Roland Barthes, Erich Auerbach, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Paul Ricoeur. Are we always condemned to approximation when we try to interpret a poem, belief, or ritual that is separated from us by history or culture? Is translation from one language to another an accurate model for all interpretation? Our discussions will be guided by such questions, and we will practice these ideas about culture and interpretation by reading a small number of literary works from different periods and cultures. The requirements for the course consist of periodic response papers, two 6-8 page papers, and a midterm and a final.

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

Comp. Lit. 492. Comparative Literary Theory.

Section 001 Postcolonial Theory and the Idea of Literature

Instructor(s): Susie Tharu

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The cultural theorist Roland Barthes once wrote: "The teaching of literature is for me almost tautological. Literature is what is taught, that is all. It is an object of teaching." It is one of the better kept secrets of English literary studies that before English literature was introduced into university curricula in England, it was taught in Indian universities as part of an education designed for a colonial people. In this course we will draw on important contemporary texts that address the question What is Literature? (for example Michel Foucault, "What is an author?" Jacques Derrida "This strange institution called literature," Ranajit Guha "Peasant Rebellion in a Liberal Mirror") to try and rethink the question and consider possible answers. Among the issues we will address are: Was there literature before colonialism? How is race/gender/nation implicated in the idea of literature? Who is the subject of literature? What comes after that subject? What is the relationship between literature, Colonialism and the language arts in postcolonial context?

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

Comp. Lit. 496. Honors Thesis.

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, 763-2361

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

Comp. Lit. 498. Directed Reading.

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: No Data Given.

lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

Copyright © 1999 The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.

This page was created at 11:27 AM on Fri, Feb 5, 1999.