Past Courses – (TEST)
The class initiates what I hope will be a collective research and discussion about what could be a “new” critique of political economy (as a theory and activity) in the post-Marxian age. It will, understandably, involve a great deal of reading or revisiting of crucial passages in Marx’s work (essentially taken in the four volumes of Das Kapital), but also comparisons with later Marxist and Non-Marxist writings. It will try to identify essential conceptual connections and their possibilities of variations, as well as limits and “points of stress” (in the terminology of David Harvey) which call for a reformulation, if not a new foundation.
This year is devoted to discussing the correlative functions that the categories of “labour” and “labour-power” receive in Marx’s understanding of the critique. Special attention will be paid to the problematic distinction of “productive” and “unproductive” labour, the postulates of the “reproduction” of the labour-force as a “commodity”, and the intervention of class-antagonism into the contradiction of the “essential relationship” (wage-labour).
This course examines various literary, artistic, and cultural traditions that respond to some of the most recognizable Greek motifs in myth, theater, and politics, with the aim of understanding both what these motifs might be offering specifically to these traditions in particular social-historical contexts and, at the same time, what these traditions in turn bring to our conventional understanding of these motifs, how they reconceptualize them and how they alter them. The overall impetus is framed by a prismatic inquiry of how conditions of modernity, postcoloniality, and globality fashion themselves in engagement with certain persistent imaginaries of antiquity. Texts include various renditions of Antigone in African, Caribbean, Asian or Latin American traditions, poetry by Walcott, Cavafy, and Césaire, essays by Fanon, Soyinka, Senghor, and CL.R. James. This course fulfills the global core requirement. It can be taken with an extra-credit tutorial for students reading materials in Greek.
By examining Cavafy’s work in all its permutations (as criticism, translation, adaptation), this course introduces students to a wide range of critical approaches used in World Literature, Gender Studies, and Translation Studies. The Cavafy case becomes an experimental ground for different kinds of comparative literature methods, those that engage social-historical issues such as sexuality, diaspora, postcoloniality as well as linguistic issues such as multilingualism, media and translation. How does this poet “at a slight angle to the universe” challenge contemporary theories of gender and literature as national institution? How can studying a canonical author open up our theories and practices of translation?
Among the materials considered are translations by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, James Merrill, and Marguerite Yourcenar, commentary by E.M. Forster, C.M. Bowra, and Roman Jakobson, poems by W.H. Auden, Lawrence Durrell, and Joseph Brodsky, and visual art by David Hockney and Duane Michals. Though this course presupposes no knowledge of Greek, students wanting to read Cavafy in the original are encouraged to take the 1-credit directed reading tutorial offered simultaneously.
Instructor: P. Connor
Prerequisites: CPLT BC 3110 Introduction to Translation Studies is a recommended prerequisite. A deep immersion in the theory and practice of translation with a focus on translating into English. The first half of the course is devoted to discussing readings in the history of translation theory while translating brief practical exercises; in the second half, translation projects are submitted to the class for critical discussion. The foreign texts for these projects, chosen in consultation with the instructor, will be humanistic, not only literature as conventionally defined (prose fiction and poetry, memoir and travel writing), but also the gamut of text types in the human sciences, including philosophy, history, and ethnography. The aim is not just to translate, but to think deeply about translating, to develop writing practices by drawing on the resources of theory, past and present, and by examining translations written by professionals. Enrollment in this workshop is limited to 12 students. Admission into the class is by permission of the instructor. CPLT BC 3011 “Introduction to Translation Studies” is a recommended prerequisite, plus, normally, two advanced courses beyond the language requirement in the language from which you intend to translate. Preference will be given to seniors and to comparative literature majors. Please submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 November 2013 with the following information: your name, year of graduation, and major; a list of courses you have taken in the language from which you intend to translate; any other pertinent courses you have taken; any further relevant information relating to your language ability; a brief (max 300 word) explanation of why you wish to take this workshop. You will be notified of admission by 18 December. N.B. This course cannot be substituted for the required Senior Seminar CPLS BC3997
This lecture course works with an expanded notion of the Frankfurt School. The central figures treated are Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno, but readings also include György Lukács, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, and some others. It focuses on aesthetic and political issues in high and mass culture debates in Europe, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. in the inter-war period and post-1945. All readings will be contextualized in relationship to modernism and modernization, Marxism and National Socialism in the first half of the past century. Metropolitan modernism, realism, the historical avant-garde, and mass media culture will be recurring themes throughout the semester, which ends with a coda on the culture of the Cold War.
Study of the aesthetic theories of the Frankfurt School and related critics in their historical context. Works by Benjamin, Adorno, Bloch, Brecht, Lukács, Krakauer, and Habermas.
This course offers an introduction to 1,000 years of Yiddish culture represented in Yiddish language, literature, history, theater, film, music, food, jokes and more. We will travel Yiddishland, a land without borders spanning across the globe, and study the Yiddish cultural places in comparison with their non-Yiddish counterparts. We will also venture outside the classroom to explore one of the most Yiddish cities in the world – New York – through exciting field trips aimed at mapping Yiddish New York. No knowledge of Yiddish required.
This interdisciplinary team-taught seminar deals with the rich culture of Iberia (present-day Spain and Portugal) during the period when it was an Islamic, mostly Arabic-speaking territory—from the eighth to the fifteenth century. This theme course is significant in its approach to the study of Andalusia for a number of reasons: it grounds the study of Muslim Spain in the larger context of the history of Islam and of Arabic culture outside of Spain; it embraces many aspects of the hybrid Andalusian legacy: history, language, literature, philosophy, music, art, architecture, and sciences, among others; and, while the course includes materials from Christian writers, the textual materials focus more on Arabic writings and the viewpoint of Muslim Spaniards. The course closely examines the cultural symbiosis between Arab Muslims and Christian Europeans during the eight centuries of their coexistence in Andalusia. Through a critical reading of an appropriately chosen set of texts translated into English from Arabic, Latin, Spanish and other Iberian dialects, students will study the historical, literary, linguistic, religious, artistic, architectural, and technological products that were created by the remarkable symbiosis that took place in Andalusia. With its multiethnic and multilingual forms the Andalusian legacy bears direct resemblance to our contemporary multicultural world and provides students with a rare opportunity to integrate knowledge of different sources and viewpoints. In the first and final weeks, we compare how two contemporary historical novels, by Arab writer Radwa Ashour and Tariq Ali (of Pakistani extraction), treat the fall of Granada in 1492. Class discussion and readings in English.