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Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: 8867 23171 (1pts.)

S CONTEMP CRITICAL THOUGHT

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This seminar will focus, each year, on a different topic central to contemporary critical thought. During the 2015-2016 academic year, for instance, the seminar focused on Michel Foucault’s Collège de France lectures and produced the Foucault 13/13 series. During the 2016-2017 academic year, the seminar focused on critical readings of Friedrich Nietzsche and produced the Nietzsche 13/13 series. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the seminar focused on modalities of uprisings and produced the Uprising 13/13 series. Similar topics will be broached in future years. Please see the CCCCT website for more details on future topics. The graduate student seminar will be structured to frame a series of 13 formal seminars at which two or three guests, from different disciplines, will be invited to discuss the readings and present on the themes of the seminar. Each formal seminar will host specialists from across the disciplines from Columbia University and from outside campus. It will also frame and interrelate with a Paris Reading Group that will run alongside the seminar. The graduate student seminar thus will serve as the vehicle to enrich the formal 13/13 seminars and support the intellectual apparatus that will accompany those formal seminars. It will prepare entries for the blog, host the scholars invited to participate, and prepare questions and comments for the formal seminars. This seminar will function as an advanced graduate research seminar. This is a year-long course (Y course). Columbia GSAS students will be required to take both Fall and Spring semesters of this course. No grade will be issued for the Fall semester, the credits are broken up across both semesters, 4 credits total, 1 in Fall and 3 in Spring. This course co-convenes with LAW L8866 001.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS UN3991 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
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SENIOR SEM-COMP LIT & SOCIETY

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Prerequisites: CPLS UN3900 The senior seminar is a capstone course required of all CLS/MLA majors. The seminar provides students the opportunity to discuss selected topics in comparative literature and society and medical humanities in a cross-disciplinary, multilingual, and global perspective. Students undertake individual research projects while participating in directed readings and critical dialogues about theory and research methodologies, which may culminate in the senior thesis. Students review work in progress and share results through weekly oral reports and written reports.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: 3995 13533 (3pts.)

SENIOR THESIS IN COMP LIT/SOC

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Students who decide to write a senior thesis should enroll in this tutorial. They should also identify, during the fall semester, a member of the faculty in a relevant department who will be willing to supervise their work and who is responsible for assigning the final grade. The thesis is a rigorous research work of approximately 40 pages (including a bibliography formatted in MLA style). It may be written in English or in another language relevant to the student’s scholarly interests. The thesis should be turned in on the announced due date as hard copy to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: GU4223 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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SEXUAL SCIENCE? WRIT&EPIS

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Mallarmé saw writing as a “mad game” [“ce jeu insensé d’écrire”]. Following Blanchot following Mallarmé, Foucault equaled literature’s writing again with “madness [folie]” and then both with the enigmatic thought of an “absence of work [absence d’œuvre].”

By bringing together close readings and references to clinical experience, this course hopes to show that writing lies at the heart of psychoanalysis. We will also ask what share of the “mad game” is written into this heart, and how it is linked to the epistemological adventure of psychoanalysis. Is it a science that doesn’t work but still keeps writing?

In Freud we will trace a poetics that secretly informs the careful constructions of his concepts and theoretical compositions. With Schreber we will analyze a drive to find a formula for the mad experience, a drive that does not only inform his own Memoirs of my Nervous Illness but whose transference can be read in founding texts of psychoanalytic writing on psychosis. In Lacan we will comment on his intention to force a reduction of psychoanalytic discourse to such an extent that it may yield the letters of a “writing of the real.”

By elaborating these three moments of writing – (poetic) construction, (mad) formalization, (literal) reduction – we will ask what they have to do with the “sexual” – the word, the concept, the thing, and its metonymies (transference, libido, drive, affect, Eros) – with the “sexual”, this other “heart” of psychoanalysis. How does it pulse beat in the psychoanalytic epistemology?

Fall 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLEN UN3740 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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THE 30S: METROPOLE AND COLONY

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Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission. (Seminar). This course focuses on the tumultuous 1930s, which witnessed the growth of anticolonial movements, the coming to power of totalitarian and fascist regimes, and calls for internationalism and a new world vision, among other developments. Even as fascism laid down its roots in parts of Europe, the struggle for independence from European colonial rule accelerated in Asia and Africa, and former subjects engaged with ideas and images about the shape of their new nations, in essays, fiction, poetry, and theater. Supporters and critics of nationalism existed on both sides of the metropole-colony divide, as calls for internationalism sought to stem the rising tide of ethnocentric thinking and racial particularism in parts of Europe as well as the colonies. We’ll read works from the metropole and the colonies to track the crisscrossing of ideas, beginning with writers who anticipated the convulsive events of the 1930s and beyond (E.M. Forster, H.G. Wells, Gandhi), then moving on to writers who published some of their greatest work in the 1930s (Huxley, Woolf, C.L.R. James, Mulk Raj Anand), and finally concluding with authors who reassessed the 1930s from a later perspective (George Lamming). Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Viswanathan (gv6@columbia.edu) by noon on Wednesday, April 13th, with the subject heading, “The Thirties seminar.” In your message, include basic information: name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CLGM UN3110 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
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THE OTTOMAN PAST IN THE GREEK PRESENT

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Almost a century after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman past lives on in contemporary Greece, often in unexpected sites. In the built environment it appears as mosques, baths, covered markets, and fountains adorned with Arabic inscriptions. It also manifests itself in music, food, and language. Yet Ottoman legacies also shape the European present in less obvious ways and generate vehement debates about identity, nation-building, human rights, and interstate relations. In this course, we will be drawing on history, politics, anthropology, and comparative literature as well as a broad range of primary materials to view the Ottoman past through the lens of the Greek present. What understandings of nation-building emerge as more Ottoman archives became accessible to scholars? How does Islamic Family Law—still in effect in Greece—confront the European legal system? How are Ottoman administrative structures re-assessed in the context of acute socio-economic crisis and migration?

Fall 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLME GU4262 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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THEMES IN THE ARABIC NOVEL

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Instructor: Sarah Bin Tyeer

The focus of this seminar will be novels by Arab writers. The course will explore the history of the Arabic novel: its rise, development, and evolution. We will read and analyze novels belonging to various periods in Arab history and representing diverse points of views, including gender, identities, and different sub-cultures and sub-genres. We will look into the connections therein between the novel and the historical backdrops of colonialism, decolonization, globalization, war, rights and personal independence from several perspectives and writers across the Arab world. We will also consider the modern Arabic novel’s engagement with the global, glocal, and local as well as its nod to the Arabic literary tradition; its engagement with technology, scientific progress, absurdity, loss, trauma, the human condition, as well as dystopic themes. No knowledge of Arabic is required.

Fall 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLEN UN3983 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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WRITING ACROSS MEDIA

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This course is structured as a comparative investigation of innovative modernist and postmodernist strategies for conjoining or counterpoising literature with other media, such as photography, painting, film, music, and dance. We will focus on experimental writing practices that deliberately combine disciplines and genres — mixing political commentary with memoir, philosophy with ethnography, journalism with history — with special attention to the ways that formal innovation lends itself to political critique. The course will be especially concerned with the ways that the friction among media seems to allow new or unexpected expressive possibilities. The syllabus is structured to allow us to consider a variety of edges between literature and other media — spaces where writing is sometimes taken to be merely raw material to be set, or ancillary comment on a work already composed (e.g. libretto, screenplay, gloss, caption, song lyric, voiceover, liner note). Examples may include lecture-performances by Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Spalding Gray, and Anne Carson; talk-dances by Bill T. Jones and Jerome Bel; sound poems by Kurt Schwitters, Langston Hughes, and Amiri Baraka; graphic novels by Art Spiegelman, Joshua Dysart, and Alison Bechdel; language-centered visual art by Vito Acconci, Carl Andre, Martha Rosler, and Jean-Michel Basquiat; texts including photographs or drawings by Wallker Evans and James Agee, Roland Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Aleksandar Hemon, Theresa Cha, John Yau, and John Keene; and hypertext/online compositions by Shelley Jackson, among others. Requirements will include in-class presentations and regular short structured writing assignments, as well as a 10-12 page final research paper.