Past Courses – (TEST)
The phrase “the art of the novel,” a reminder that the ascension of the genre to the status of “high art” rather than merely popular entertainment is still relatively recent, comes from Henry James, himself both a novelist and an influential critic of the novel. The premise of this co-taught seminar is that it is intellectually productive to bring together the perspectives of the novelist and the critic, looking both at their differences and at their common questions and concerns. In addition to fiction and criticism by Orhan Pamuk, students will read novels by Stendhal, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy.
Instructor: M. Al-Musawi
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar) In the tenth anniversary of Edward Said’s death, the implications of his thought are more relevant than ever. This is a course that attempts to chart the multifarious parameter’s of Said’s thought with an eye toward examining his particular mode of knowledge. Said would not approve the word ” epistemology” in the same way that he objected to systematic, canonical, or dogmatic thinking. However, close attention to the trajectory of his writing — in all its forms: literary and cultural criticism, political journalism, musical writings, memoirs, interviews, belles lettres essays — as well as the enormous linguistic and geographical range of his interests, does in fact produce an image of heterogeneous but consistent, even if not systematic, mode of thinking. Said was expressly aware of the politics of knowledge, as well as committed to the broad pedagogical importance of this politics, so to chart the epistemological stakes of his thinking in retrospect is an essential way of assessing his relevance in the contemporary world. The readings in this course will consist entirely of Said’s writings. No secondary literature. The pedagogical imperative is for students to encounter the work on its own terms — the work is rich and complex and deserves close attention. In their writings they will be invited to bring in work by other authors and commentators. The assignments will consist of an oral presentation and one term paper. No incompletes will be allowed, except for on account of medical emergencies.
(Seminar) This course explores how different kinds of feeling or affective response — like wonder, mourning, longing or boredom — are identified in the Middle Ages as a means for shaping and remedying individual or collective engagement with the world. Studies of medieval education have often focused on rote responses involved in the learning of grammar, liturfy, or music; this course will look at how literature functions as a central means for educating individuals in the sensory world through less tangible forms of affective, linguistic, and cognitive response. Drawing on contemporary theories of the political and social nature of aesthetics, and affect, and literature, we will explore how medieval literature speaks to these contemporary terms, shaping diverse communities of readers. Starting with late antique treatments of the relation between pride (Augustine), humility (Gregory), boredom and wonder (Boethius), and philosophical and meditations on affect (Aristotle), we will then turn to medieval literature to examine how each work models specific verbal, cognitive, moral, affective, bodily, and interpretive responses to more than just the text itself, extending the effects of a work to a specific way of envisioning and engaging with the surrounding world.
An advanced graduate seminar on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and its multiple reincarnations, transformations, and distortions. The course offers a comprehensive panorama of Nabokov’s literary practices through the lens of a single novel by bringing together varied aspects of his cultural legacy under the unified theoretical concern with reproduction and authencity.
Instructor: V. Izmirlieva
A graduate seminar on major literary and cinematic narratives from Southeastern Europe that thematize Muslim-Christian encounters in the context of the complex political and and cultural history of the Balkans. The reading list includes works by Ivo Andrić, Ismail Kadare, Nikos Kazandzakis, Emir Kusturica, Milcho Mancheveski, Orhan Pamuk, Milorad Pavić, Me�a Selimović, and Yordan Yovkov.
Instructor: A. MacAdam
The novella, older than the novel, painstakingly crafted, links the worlds of ideas and fiction. The readings present the novella as a genre, tracing its progress from the 17th century to the 20th. Each text read in the comparative milieu, grants the reader access to the intellectual concerns of an era.
Instructor: C. Philliou
How does the world respond to the Greeks? This course introduces students to interdisciplinary study by examining the kind of analytical frame a particular area (Greece, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Europe, Greek-America) provides for interdisciplinary work. The focus is on how literature as a discipline works comparatively and how it borrows and differs from other disciplines in its forms of comparativism. Readings foreground moments when Greece’s position at the crossroads (between East and West, Byzantine and Ottoman, Ancient and Modern, the Balkans and Europe, Greece and America) become comparatively productive to particular fields (Comparative Literature, History, Sociology, Film, Architecture, Anthropology, Ethnic, Gender, and Translation Studies). The course can be taken with an extra-credit tutorial for students reading materials in the original and fulfills the Global core requirement. For information about the course contact: email@example.com and about the Program, visit: www.columbia.edu/cu/hellenicstudies/