Past Courses – (TEST)
This course explores the creation, maintenance, and performance of the dominant rubric in the field of Religious Studies — the concept “world religions.” It also asks about the creation of the “isms” that sustain it: Since when? By whom? How contested?
This course introduces one of the fastest growing fields of Critical Translation Studies. We will examine the conditions of comparative work across the disciplines of literature, anthropology, philosophy, political theory, and information technology and ask how “value” functions with respect to linguistic and economic circulations and why philological investments in translational/transnational exchange matter to social life and geopolitics. Readings in the first half of the semester center on cultural translation, fetishism, colonial encounter, material and symbolic exchange, and we will pay special attention to the insights that non-literary disciplines bring to bear on the episteme of translation within broadly conceived categories of inscription, materiality, temporality and eventfulness. In the second half, we will examine the ways in which theory and technoscience are mutually embedded in literary modernismand consider where translation stands in relation to the growing hegemony of imperial coding machines.Our goal is to remap the conceptual terrains of translation theories through innovative thinking and critical self-reflection. The seminar serves as the starting point for an open-ended discussion of the methods and aims of critical translation theory and its implications for comparative literature as a discipline.
What does the investigation of a dictatorship entail and what are the challenges to such an endeavor? Why (and when) do particular societies turn to an examination of their non-democratic pasts? What does it mean for those who never experienced an authoritarian regime first-hand to remember it through television footage, literature, and popular culture? To what extent do current economic and political crises alter public narratives of dictatorial pasts?
This seminar examines the afterlives of dictatorships and the ways in which they are remembered, discussed, examined, and give rise to conflicting narratives in post-dictatorial environments. The course takes as its point of departure the case of the Greek military regime of 1967-1974, and draws on materials ranging from graphic novels to films, performance art, poetry, and architecture to consider issues such as resistance, complicity, censorship, witnessing, ghosts, and public history. Students will have the opportunity to participate in an international conference organized in conjunction with the class. It can be taken with an extra-credit tutorial for students reading materials in Greek.
What does it mean to be disabled in America? This course will examine disability less as condition affecting individual bodies than as a social, environmental, and historical phenomenon. We will investigate the role of culture in shaping and reflecting on disability in contemporary American culture. How have philosophers, policy makers, authors and artists framed the political and ethical debates surrounding the status of disability? How have imaginative representations in literature, film, and the visual arts contributed to and/or challenged those understandings? Given that nearly every one of us will be disabled at some point in life, these questions could not be more important. This course seeks to address them by considering a broad array of texts, including philosophical debates about morality and ethics, history, and literary, filmic, and visual representations. In addition to our consideration of cultural representations, an experiential learning requirement will also give students the opportunity to work closely with an organization dedicated to serving the needs of people with disabilities.
Instructor: L. Knapp
A close reading of works by Dostoevsky (Netochka Nezvanova; The Idiot; “A Gentle Creature”) and Tolstoy (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth; “Family Happiness”; Anna Karenina; “The Kreutzer Sonata”) in conjunction with related English novels (Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Eliot’s Middlemarch, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway).
No knowledge of Russian is required.
This course will engage with major approaches to performance theory, and theoretical perspectives on making performance, largely in dialogue with the development of modern drama. Questions will include: ideology and performance (realism, Brecht); cognition and character (acting theory, cognitive studies); subjects and subjection; textualities; words and things; cruelty and embodiment; theatrical mediation. Plays by: Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw, Chekhov, Brecht, Pinter, Beckett, Parks.
Frametale narratives, the art of inserting stories within stories, in oral and written forms, originated in East and South Asia centuries ago; tales familiar to Europe, often called novellas, can trace their development from oral tales to transmitted Sanskrit and Pahlavi tales, as well as Arabic and Hebrew stories. Both Muslim Spain and Christian Spain served as the nexus between the East and Europe in the journey of translation and the creation of new works. Through readings and films, the course examines the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narrative from the Arabian Nights to the works of Cervantes.
This course will move across and over the geopolitical landscape of the Tudor and Habsburg Empires in Europe and the New World in order to explore and compare the diverse symbolic and political roles the colonial encounter had in the signification of the relationship between the subject and the landscape.