Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: C. Tsoukalas
This seminar will address some of the political and ideological implications of the recent emergence of “cultural self-determination” as a fundamental human right. Its central object will refer to the increasing tension between hegemonically crystallized collective values emanating from contractually conceived “civic universalism,” on the one hand, and personalized individual values founded on particularist “anthropological” differences (gender, race, culture, language, etc.), on the other. However, the burning issues of alterity and multiculturalism as well as struggles for recognition will not be examined just philosophically. They will be treated as historical “discursive facts” produced together with the advent of globalization and within the context of ongoing radical mutations of traditionally closed, homogenous, and integrated political and ideological spaces.
Readings will include, Agamben, Althusser, Badiou, Balibar, Baumann, Bourdieu, Deleuze/Guattari, Derrida, Foucault, Freud, Girard, Hart/Negri, Levi-Strauss, Rorty, Rosanvallon, Schmitt, Taylor.
Instructor: B. O’Keeffe
Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 18 students. Examination of concepts and assumptions present in contemporary views of literature. Theory of meaning and interpretation (hermeneutics); questions of genre (with discussion of representative examples); a critical analysis of formalist, psychoanalytic, structuralist, post-structuralist, Marxist, and feminist approaches to literature.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). This course examines practices of literary plagiarism, piracy, kidnapping, reproduction, falsification and other disparaged textual activities to consider their implication in the power/knowledge complex of (neo)imperial international relations under current capitalist copyright and intellectual property regimes that constitute the so-called “World Republic of Letters.” In its attention to translinguistic and transnational examples of “copy writing,” this course goes beyond the “Empire Writes Back” version of intertextuality that has characterized so many studies of the postcolonial novel, in which “non-Western” literature is read simply as a derivative response to the European canon. We will study cases that involve “trafficking” in texts across linguistic and national boundaries to analyze historical, cultural, socio-economic, political and theoretical notions of authorship, originality, and (trans-)textuality as they intersect with colonialism and postcolonialism and as they are being negotiated in legal and literary conventions in the contemporary era of cultural-economic globalization. Likely authors: Marcel Bénabou, Tahar ben Jelloun, Calixthe Beyala, Jorge Luis Borges, Peter Carey, Miguel de Cervantes, Bessie Head, Norma Khouri, Wanda Koolmatrie, Camara Laye, Mario Roberto Morales, Yambo Ouologuem, Caryl Phllips, Ricardo Piglia, Alice Randall, Spider Robinson, Ousmane Sembène. Application instructions: E-mail Professor Slaughter (email@example.com) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Plagiarism.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking this course.
Instructor: J. Davidson
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Jenny Davidson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject heading “Comparative European Novel seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.
Instructor: C. Harwood
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or instructor’s permission. An interpretive cultural history of the Czechs from earliest times to the founding of the first Czechoslovak republic in 1918. Emphasis on the origins, decline, and resurgence of Czech national identity as reflected in the visual arts, architecture, music, historiography, and especially the literature of the Czechs.
Instructor: J. Howard
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). This seminar, which will be limited to twelve participants, will study the bulk of Tony Kushner’s published work. This will include a number of his essays; plays such as Bright Room Called Day, Angels In America Parts I and II, Hydriotaphia, The Illusion, Slavs!, Caroline or Change, Homebody/Kabul, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, plus screenplays for the films Munich and Lincoln. We will scour the city for productions of any of the plays and screen the two films. We will try to understand Kushner both as a theatrical innovator and as the inheritor of particular traditions of European and American theater; and we will read his work in relation to political and social events in turn-of-the-century America.
There will be several short written assignments in the course of the semester and a more substantial final paper. No exams.
Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Howard (email@example.com) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Tony Kushner seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.
Instructor: D. Miron
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, and employing the theoretical concepts of Homi Bhabha (liminality, hybridity, third space) and Etienne Balibar (frontiers and the nation), as well as selected readings of Fernand Braudel and others on the Mediterranean world, the course examines the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narratives, using as theoretical frame in three ways:
1) Theory and practice of frames. Frames are not neutral; they can be narrative seductions, guiding and even strongly manipulating how we read the stories that follow; they can be used to reflect the intersections of orality and literacy. In order to understand their enduring power, we also explore the idea of literary frames through some contemporary films.
2) The exploration in their cultural contexts of topics such as the literary figures of the anti-hero and the trickster, precursors to the picaresque, women in the courtroom, the conflict of chance and human agency, monstrous births as political prophecy, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish relations in medieval and early modern Mediterranean cultures, the sexual frankness of the novella form, and gender politics.
3) How are narratives formed? The course traces the development of the short tale/novella from its ancient Asian origins through the seventeenth century, when Cervantes’ literary experiments gave new life to the novella form, and the Spanish writer María de Zayas challenged Cervantes’ views on love and marriage in her own highly regarded collections of novellas; we move to the present with the study of three contemporary films. But before they became complex and entertaining narratives, many of the well known tales had their “bare bones” origins in joke books, laws and legal theories, conduct manuals, collections of aphorisms and other wise and pithy sayings, misogynist non-fiction writings, and Biblical stories.
Although the works are available in English translations, lectures will refer to meanings in both English and the original languages; students who can read the original works in Spanish, Italian, French and/or Latin are encouraged to do so.
Instructor: O. Bentancor
Corequisites: Enrollment limited to 15. 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.