Courses in Comparative Literature (DIVISION 354)

240. Introduction to Comparative Literature. (3). (HU).

What you always wanted to know about literature but were afraid to ask. What is a sign? Are texts made up of signs, and if so, what are they signs of? What makes a text a narrative? political? sexy? sexist? Read some fiction, some lies, stories, stories about stories, blank pages, sci-fi, Madonna, Calvino, Barthes, Poe, Morrison, Cesaire, Shakespeare, Freud. Find out the answers to these questions and others you never thought you even had. No prerequisites. Three short papers, no exams, no kidding. Cost:3 WL:2 (Clej)

350. The Text and Its Cultural Context. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.

What role does literature play in society? How is it shaped by that society? Does it reflect the values of that society? Does it reflect the values of that society? Can it challenge and change these values? We will examine a continent in crisis Africa - and consider the interplay of word and world, self and society, and art and politics both within Africa as well as in terms of its relations with the west. We will also consider (and compare) the dynamics of these problems within American society. Come prepared to think, talk, and write (2 papers and a final exam). Cost:3 WL:2 (Somé)

430. Comparative Studies in Fiction. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

Storytelling began around an open fire and man's passion for narrative has continued unabated ever since. What is a story and why are they so important for our (and other) cultures? Our focus will be on fictions in prose and verse of the last two centuries and more recent fictions on celluloid (the movies!). Do novels, poems, and films tell stories in the same ways? What tools do they share and how do they differ? Come prepared to discover new works of fiction and new ways of reading, viewing, and discussing them. Three short papers. No final. Cost:3 WL:2 (McDougal)

495. Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature. Senior standing and concentration in Comp. Lit. (3). (Excl).

Criticism, which was more predominantly if not exclusively literary, is now after a quarter century of cultural politics and the entry into the academy of culturally oriented fields of critical practice like feminism, post-colonialism, Lesbian and gay studies, cultural studies more cultural and literary in its concerns; and "literary" theory has accordingly become "critical" theory. What are the implications of this shift for a field such as Comparative Literature which is alone among the disciplines in having defined its object exclusively as literary? In addition to discussing this issue, students will have an opportunity to develop a seminar paper on a critical topic of interest to them, and to begin work toward their Honors thesis. Cost:3 WL:4 (Chambers)

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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