Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: A. Nersessian
*See English Department website for application instructions
“The sun gives without receiving.” With global warming, this pronouncement by Georges Bataille in The Accursed Share acquires an ironic twist. This seminar explores the philosophical and sensuous role of the sun: in Judge Schreber’s Memoirs of My Mental Illness; in Delueze and Guattari, Anti Oedipus; in Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra; and in Bataille’s essays on the sun in Documents and The Accursed Share, vol 1..
The age of Russian Romanticism (1810s-40s) viewed in its contemporary European context. Literary works by Zhukovsky, Batiushkov, Pushkin, Iazykov, Baratynsky, Lermontov, Odoevsky, Gogol; popular literature of the time (Tumansky, Benediktov, and others); major events in romantic literary criticism and philosophy (Kireevsky, Belinsky, Chaadaev); and the development of romantic cultural and personal mythology.
Instructor: V. Moberg
A review and analysis of outstanding Scandinavian contributions to drama and film, from the beginnings of the Danish theatre in the 1700s, through Ibsen and Strindberg in the 19th century, up to recent cinematic works.
Instructor: H. Pico Larson
This course introduces students to the Scandinavian crime novel and its key themes and debates going back to 1965. It also trains students to develop critical approaches to analysis of the crime novel-and other forms of popular culture. The course divides into four sections. First, we acquire methods of analysis that help us identify the “parts” of the crime novel and their history. Subsequent sections of the course focus on the way in which authors modify and repurpose these parts to engage in debate. We will focus on the criminal (Who is the criminal? Why him or her?); the identity of the investigator (Who is the investigator? Does it matter?); the setting the crime story (How does it matter?).
This seminar will undertake close readings of works by three masters of the contemporary novel. Their narrative engagements with the watershed events of the Twentieth Century will draw our attention to matters of collective and national memory, dislocation, migrancy, bare life, human rights, dignity, the human and post-human, loss, reconciliation, forgiveness. The narrative innovations introduced by these authors re-calibrate interiority and advance an ethics of reading.
Required of all comparative literature and society majors. Intensive research in selected areas of comparative literature and society.
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.
Instructor: A. Simpson
This course examines the relationship between colonialism, settlement and anthropology and the specific ways in which these processes have been engaged in the broader literature and locally in North America. We aim to understand colonialism as a theory of political legitimacy, as a set of governmental practices and as a subject of inquiry. Thus we will re-imagine North America in light of the colonial project and its “technologies of rule” such as education, law and policy that worked to transform Indigenous notions of gender, property and territory. Our case studies will dwell in several specific areas of inquiry, among them: the Indian Act in Canada and its transformations of gender relations, governance and property; the residential and boarding school systems in the US and Canada, the murdered and missing women in Juarez and Canada and the politics of allotment in the US. Although this course will be comparative in scope, it will be grounded heavily within the literature from Native North America. Enrollment limit is 15. Priority is given to graduate & advanced undergraduate students. Instructor permission required via email.
This seminar will explore the conditions of possibility for historicizing thought, and apprehending forms of life that are proximate to, yet incommensurable with normative categories of social analysis predicated on assumptions of liberal modernity. Our inquiry is inspired by two sets of critical interventions that challenge us, together and separately, to think about a truly global history of social thought. The first draws on political philosopher Jacques Ranciere’s long-standing work on “intellectual emancipation,” especially his emphasis on separating “orders of thought” from “social order” as a way of challenging foreclosures in the history of social thought. The second engages historian Dipesh Chakrabarty’s injunction to “provincialize Europe.” Does provincializing Europe require, instead, that we universalize other forms of life? What kinds of pressure do terms like “bare life,” “Dalit,” “Negro,” “subaltern,” “lumpen,” or “woman” place on concept-formation?
Readings for the seminar will include a mix of classic texts of social theory and intellectual history, as well as monographs in history and anthropology that seek to engage and redirect the energies of social thought toward non-Western accounts of concept formation, translation, commensuration, and alterity.