HUMA 12050 Greece and Rome: Texts, Traditions, Transformations I

Autumn Quarter examines the epic tradition with a focus on warfare, foundation, and the social order. Readings cover Homer's Iliad, Vergil's Aeneid, and Milton's Paradise Lost, with selections from the lyric poetry of Sappho, Auden, and Wheatley.

2020-2021 Autumn

CRWR 12133 Intro to Genres: Writing and Social Change

In this course, we will explore the embattled, yet perpetually alive relationship between writing and activism by reading canonical and emergent works of fiction, narrative prose, and poetry that not only represent social ills, but seek to address and even to spur social justice in some way. Students will be encouraged to choose an issue that they feel passionate about on which to research and respond for the entire quarter-and will be asked to produce works in a range of genres in relation to that issue. Authors discussed may include Percy Bysshe Shelley, who called poets the "unacknowledged legislators of the world," John Ruskin, William Morris, Virginia Woolf, James Agee and Walker Evans, Antonio Gramsci, James Baldwin, Amelia Rosselli, Rachel Carson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nanni Balestrini, Rebecca Solnit, Claudia Rankine, Mark Nowak, Layli Long Soldier, John Keene, Anne Boyer, and Craig Santos Perez.

2020-2021 Autumn

PORT 12200 Portuguese For Spanish Speakers

(PORT 12200, LACS 12200)

This course is intended for speakers of Spanish to develop competence quickly in spoken and written Portuguese. In this intermediate-level course, students learn ways to apply their Spanish language skills to mastering Portuguese by concentrating on the similarities and differences between the two languages.

2020-2021 Autumn

HUMA 14000 Reading Cultures: Collection, Travel, Exchange I

The Autumn Quarter of Reading Cultures is devoted to the analysis of "collection" as a form of cultural activity. Reading texts such as Ovid's Metamorphoses, The Arabian Nights, and Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men that offer collections of stories in lieu of a single tale, we consider the extent to which culture comes into being through the accumulation, assemblage and transmission of narratives. In other words, students in this quarter learn how to think about narrative and storytelling in terms of the production, organization and control of culture. Who gets to collect and to tell the stories of a culture, we ask, and what difference does their identity make to cultural representation?

Sophia Azeb, Valerie Levan
2020-2021 Autumn

CRWR 17000 Fundamentals in Creative Writing: Literary Empathy

In this fundamentals course, students will investigate the complicated relationship between writers, fictional characters, and readers, toward determining what place literary empathy has in our conversation about contemporary literature. James Baldwin once observed that, "You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." We will use weekly reading assignments including fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction to ask questions about what Virginia Woolf described as the "elimination of the ego" and "perpetual union with another mind" that take place when we read. Students will write critical responses, creative exercises, and a final paper on a topic to be approved by the instructor. Readings include Baldwin, Bishop, Beard, Carson, Walcott, and Woolf.

2020-2021 Autumn

CATA 21100 Llengua, societat i cultura I

This advanced-level course will focus on speaking and writing skills through the study of a wide variety of contemporary texts and audiovisual materials. It will provide students with a better understanding of contemporary Catalan society. Students will review problematic grammatical structures, write a number of essays, and participate in multiple class debates.

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 26003 Introduction à l'autobiographie

(GNSE 26003)

This course traces the history of the autobiographical genre in France from the eighteenth century to the present. The study of key texts will be accompanied by an introduction to some critical perspectives. We will give special emphasis to questions of reference and authenticity, identity and subject formation, and gender and the family. Authors include Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Stendhal, Colette, Perec, and Sarraute.

2020-2021 Autumn

NEHC 20305 Language, Creation, and Translation in Jewish Thought and Literature

Starting with two stories from Genesis - the creation story and the story of the Tower of Babel in chapter 11 – this course considers the intertwined dynamics of language, creation, and translation in Jewish thought and literature. In addition to commentaries on both of these key texts, we will read philosophical and literary texts that illuminate the workings of language as a creative force and the dynamics of multilingualism and translation in the creation of Jewish culture. Through this lens, we will consider topics such as Gender and Sexuality, Jewish national identity, Zionism, the revival of the Hebrew language, Jewish responses to the Holocaust, and contemporary American Jewish culture.

2020-2021 Spring

NEHC 20658 Narrating Conflict in Modern Arabic Literature

(ARAB 20658; ARAB 30658; NEHC 30658)

This course is an exploration of conflict in the Arab world through literature, film and new media. In this course, we will discuss the influence of independence movements, wars, and revolts on Arabic literature: how do writers write about, or film, conflict? How does conflict affect language itself? How do these texts engage with issues of trauma and bearing witness? To answer these questions, we will look at a number of key moments of conflict in the Arab world, including the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the Algerian war of independence, the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the Lebanese and Iraq wars, and the ongoing war in Syria. Rather than follow a historical chronology of these events, we will read these texts thematically, beginning with texts that seek to present themselves as direct, sometimes eye-witness, accounts and then moving on to narratives that complicate the relationship between conflict and its narration.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 21500 Introducción al análisis literario

Through a variety of representative works of Hispanic literature, this course focuses on the discussion and practical application of different approaches to the critical reading of literary texts. We also study basic concepts and problems of literary theory, as well as strategies for research and academic writing in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

CRWR 21502 Advanced Translation Workshop

"All writing is revision, and this holds true for the practice of literary translation as well. We will critique each other’s longer manuscripts-in-progress of prose, poetry, or drama, and examine various revision techniques—from the line-by-line approach of Lydia Davis, to the “driving-in-the-dark” model of Peter Constantine, and several approaches in between. We will consider questions of different reading audiences while preparing manuscripts for submission for publication, along with the contextualization of the work with a translator’s preface or afterword. Our efforts will culminate in not only an advanced-stage manuscript, but also with various strategies in hand to use for future projects. We will also have the opportunity to have conversations via Zoom with the translators of selected works we’ll be reading. Students who wish to take this workshop should have at least an intermediate proficiency in a foreign language and already be working on a longer translation project."

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 21903 Textos hispanoamericanos desde la colonia a la independencia

(CRES 21903; LACS 21903)

This course examines an array of representative texts written in Spanish America from the colonial period to the late nineteenth century, underscoring not only their aesthetic qualities but also the historical conditions that made their production possible. Among authors studied are Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Simón Bolívar, and José Martí.

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 23025 Vidas Infames: Sujetos heterodoxos en el mundo hispánico (1500-1800)

(LACS 23025; LACS 33025; SPAN 33025)

En este curso leeremos y discutiremos las vidas de varias mujeres y hombres comunes perseguidos por la Inquisición hispánica entre 1500 y 1800, aproximadamente, tanto en Europa y el Mediterráneo como en las Américas. La mayoría de estas vidas fueron dichas por los mismos acusados frente a un tribunal eclesiástico. Estas autobiografías orales, producidas en condiciones de máxima dureza y precariedad, revelan la forma en que la vida cotidiana es moldeada e interrumpida por el poder. Leeremos las historias de hombres transgénero, mujeres criptojudías, campesinos moriscos, renegados, profetas y monjas acusadas de sodomía, entre otras; y discutiremos temas como la relación entre poder y subjetividad, heterodoxia y cultura popular, las formas narrativas del yo o la articulación biográfica de la clase, la raza y el género en la primera modernidad. Estas ‘vidas ínfimas’, a pesar de su concreta individualidad, permiten ofrecer un amplio panorama de la historia cultural y social de España y América en la era de la Inquisición.

2020-2021 Spring

FREN 25610 Figures de l’immigré dans la littérature maghrébine d’expression française

La littérature maghrébine d’expression française s’est très tôt intéressée à la question de l’immigration et à la condition de l’immigré maghrébin en France. Associée notamment à la mobilisation des soldats maghrébins lors des deux guerres mondiales, cette immigration commence dès les années 1920 et connaît son apogée pendant les Trente Glorieuses (1946-1975), une période de croissance pendant laquelle l’économie française fait appel à la main d’œuvre maghrébine. L’évolution et les dynamiques du mouvement migratoire maghrébin ont fait l’objet de plusieurs lectures d’ordre historique, politique, économique et socioculturel. Ce cours s’intéresse à l’expérience de l’immigration telle que représentée par les écrivains maghrébins entre le milieu des années 1950 et les années 2000. En étudiant un corpus constitué de romans (Chraïbi, Ben Jelloun, Boudjedra, Mokeddem), de récits (Sebbar, Cherfi) et de théâtre (Kateb), nous nous intéresserons aux figures de l’immigré et à quelques thèmes récurrents tels que l’expérience de l’exil et du déracinement, la misère sociale et psychologique, les questionnements identitaires, les rapports ambivalents aux pays d’origine et d’accueil ainsi que l’expérience des enfants de l’immigration maghrébine. On analysera en particulier les motifs littéraires, les procédés narratifs et les outils esthétiques mis en œuvre par les auteurs maghrébins pour représenter, éclairer ou dénoncer la condition de l’immigré.

2020-2021 Spring

CRWR 10606/30606 Beginning Translation Workshop

This workshop will explore literary translation as a mode of embodied reading and creative writing. Through comparative and iterative readings across multiple translations of both poetry and fiction, we will examine the interpretive decisions that translators routinely encounter when assigning an English to a work of literature first written in another language, as well as the range of creative strategies available to translators when devising a treatment for a literary text in English. Students will complete weekly writing exercises in retranslation and English-to-English translation, building to the retranslation of either a short piece of fiction or selection of poems. No foreign language proficiency is required to participate in this course.

2020-2021 Winter

NEHC 30610 The Task of the Self Translator

(CMLT 30610, NEHC 30610, RLVC 30610)

Walter Benjamin famously wrote that a translation issues from the "afterlife" of the original: "For a translation comes later than the original, and since the important works of world literature never find their chosen translators at the time of their origins, their translation marks their stage of continued life." This graduate seminar focuses on the case of multilingual writers and their self-translations to raise questions concerning the temporality, directionality, and "afterlife" of translated works. The figure of the self-translator challenges models of translation and cross-cultural circulation that assume various cultural and historical gaps between the source and its translation. For one, self-translation calls into question the notions of originality or "the original" and of "fidelity," and requires us to consider the overlap between translation and rewriting. What brought writers to produce the same texts in different languages, at times for similar audiences of multilingual readers? What theories of translation or world literature might be helpful when approaching the case of Jewish self-translation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? We will discuss these issues also in the context of comparative Jewish studies, considering the difference between internal, Hebrew-Yiddish, self-translation, and the translation between Hebrew or Yiddish and a third "non-Jewish" language, whether European or Middle-Eastern.

2020-2021 Autumn

ENGL 34240 Readings in Exile

(CMLT 34240)

This course will read across “subaltern” autobiographical and literary narratives of exile in order to interrogate the condition of exile in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. How is the exile discursively distinguished from the refugee, the migrant, the immigrant? How do the various origins and forms of exile – emergent from colonialism, war, racism, xenophobia, political dissidence, and dispossession – inform our understanding of these broader global machinations? Readings will include works by Edward Said, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Stuart Hall, and Mahmoud Darwish, among others. (20th/21st)

2020-2021 Winter

ENGL 34800 Poetics

(MAPH 34800)

In this course, we will study poetry 'in the abstract'. We will study various efforts on the part of philosophers, literary critics, and poets themselves to formulate theories of poetic discourse. We will examine a range of historical attempts to conceptualize poetry as a particular kind of language practice, from German Romanticism to ecopoetics and beyond. (18th/19th, 20th/21st)

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 28410/38410 Ecrire le « Printemps arabe » au Maghreb : témoignages et perspectives littéraires

Fin 2010, l'immolation de Mohamed Bouazizi, un vendeur ambulant tunisien, déclenche un soulèvement populaire qui s'étend rapidement au reste du monde arabe, entraînant notamment la chute des régimes en Tunisie et en Egypte et une série de reconfigurations d'ordre politique et socio-économique. Si les pays du Maghreb ont vécu ces soulèvements et leurs conséquences de manières différentes, les écrivains maghrébins ont été particulièrement sensibles à l'élan et à la promesse de changement portés par la rue. Ceci étant, et à l'image de l'appellation « Printemps arabe », à la fois utilisée et récusée, les dynamiques et les résultats des protestations ont fait l'objet de nombreux débats. En s'appuyant sur ce contexte historique, ce cours s'intéresse aux différentes modalités d'écriture des soulèvements au Maghreb à travers divers genres littéraires, du témoignage à la fiction, en passant par l'essai, le théâtre ou encore la poésie. En étudiant un corpus de textes francophones issus de la Tunisie (Meddeb, Filali, Bekri), de l'Algérie (Benfodil, Boudjedra, Tamzali, Sebbar) et du Maroc (Ben Jelloun, Elalamy, Terrab), nous nous intéresserons à la représentation de la révolte populaire dans ses dimensions socio-politique et culturelle mais aussi à des questions clés telles que les formes d'engagement des écrivains, leurs approches et choix esthétiques et le rapport entre la dynamique des soulèvements et la construction narrative ou poétique des textes.

2020-2021 Autumn

CMLT 28446/38446 Apocalypse Now: Scripts of Eschatological Imagination

(GRMN 28446/38446; RLST 28446/38446)

Apocalyptic fantasies are alive and well today – in beach reads and blue chip fiction; in comic books and YA novels; in streaming TV shows, Hollywood blockbusters, and ironic arthouse cinema. These apocalyptic fantasies follow well-established scripts that often date back millenia. Apocalypse scripts allow their users to make sense of the current crisis and prepare for an uncertain future. The course will be divided into two parts. The first half will be devoted to texts, art, and movies that dwell on the expectation of the end and narratively measure out the time that remains. We will begin with examining the biblical ur-scripts of an apocalyptic imaginary, the Book of Daniel in the Old and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, as well as Saint Paul’s messianism in the Letter to the Romans; and then move on to medieval apocalyptic fantasies of the Joachim of Fiore and others; and end with the apocalypticism underlying the religious reforms of Girolamo Savonarola and Martin Luther. The second half will focus on life after the apocalypse — the new freedoms, and new forms of political life and sociality that the apocalyptic event affords its survivors. Readings will include the political theory of marronage, capabilities, and neoprimitivism; literary theory of speculative fiction; and post-apocalyptic narratives by Octavia Butler, Jean Hegland, Richard Jefferies, Cormac McCarthy, and Colson Whitehead. Readings and discussions in English.

Mark Payne, Christopher WIld
2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 38810 Empire, Slavery, and Salvation: Writing Difference in the Early Colonial Americas

(LACS 38810)

This course explores portrayals of human difference in literature, travel writing, painting, and autobiography from Spain, England, and the Americas. Students will become versed in debates surrounding the emergence of human distinctions based on religion, race, and ethnicity in the early modern era. Understanding these debates and the history surrounding them is crucial to participating in informed discussion, research, and activism regarding issues of race, empire, and colonialism across time and space.

2020-2021 Autumn

SALC 40104 Research Themes in South Asian Studies: Aesthetic Thought

In this seminar we will attempt to understand what the realm of the ‘aesthetic’ is as a phenomenon and what ‘aesthetics’ is as a field of intellectual inquiry. Our goal will be to understand individually and analyze comparatively material from major traditions of aesthetic thought in South Asia in order to understand how people at various times and places have delineated the concept or phenomenon of aesthetic experience and attempted to explain it. One of the salient questions in the course will be whether any distinction can or should be made between ‘critical’ and ‘creative’ works when speaking of aesthetic discourse. Ultimately, our aim is not simply to understand aesthetic discourse on its own terms, but to understand how it intersects other critical, creative, social, and political discourses, such as poetics, ethics, statecraft, metaphysics, etcetera, and to observe how it functions in spheres beyond ‘art’ proper, such as religion, politics, and human sexuality.

2020-2021 Spring

ARAB 40200 Advanced Readings in Arabic


2020-2021 Autumn

CDIN 42101 Collapse: The End of the Soviet Empire

(CMLT 42101, HIST42102, REES 42101)

This team-taught course invites students to reassess critically the meaning of the Soviet collapse on the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary. Topics to be examined include the neoliberal "shock therapy" economic reforms that ushered in a state of wild capitalism, the dissolution of the Soviet empire and rise of rise of new right nationalisms, and the formation of alternative artistic movements that resisted the economic and political devastation that accompanied the transition. The course pedagogy employs economic, political, historical, and aesthetic analysis to develop a robust understanding across a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches.

Leah Feldman, Faith Hillis
2020-2021 Autumn

ENGL 42103 Hemispheric Studies

(CMLT 42103, LACS 42103, SPAN 42103)

This course examines Hemispheric Studies approaches to the literatures and cultures of the Americas, which combines a commitment to comparatism with attention to the specificities of local contexts ranging from the Southern Cone to the Caribbean to North America. Theories drawn from American Studies, Canadian Studies, Caribbean Studies, Latin American Studies, Poetry and Poetics, Postcolonial Studies, and U.S. Latinx Studies will be explored in relation to literature written primarily but not exclusively in the 20th and 21st centuries by writers residing throughout the Americas. We'll examine recent, innovative studies being published by contemporary scholars working with Hemispheric methods across several fields. We'll also consider the politics of academic field formation, debating the theories and uses of a method that takes the American hemisphere as its primary frame yet does not take the U.S. as the default point of departure; and the conceptual and political limitations of such an approach. No knowledge of Spanish, French, or Portuguese is required. (20th/21st)

2020-2021 Autumn

CRWR 22131/42131 Advanced Fiction Workshop: Migration Stories

In this advanced fiction workshop, students will read and write stories of migration. We will use research and imagination to construct narratives about the ways in which human beings move across time and place, and to work on creating characters who are forged and reforged by their cultural, linguistic, and familial contexts (both familiar and unfamiliar). Historical research will be a key component. Half of each class meeting will be devoted to the careful consideration of student work. Readings include fiction by Edwidge Danticat, Gish Jen, Chang Rae Lee,Jamaica Kincaid, Akhil Sharma, and Gene Luen Yang.

2020-2021 Spring

MAPH 42260 Exploratory Translation

Translation is one of the central mechanisms of literary creativity across the world. This course will offer opportunities to think through both the theory and practice of this art form and means of cultural transmission, focusing on the problems of translation of and by poets in a variety of languages: it will emphasize precisely the genre most easily “lost in translation,” as the truism goes. Topics to be discussed will include semantic and grammatical interference, loss and gain, the production of difference, pidgin, translationese, bilingualism, self-translation, code-switching, translation as metaphor, foreignization vs. nativization, and distinct histories of translation. The workshop will offer students a chance to try their hands at a range of tactics of translation. (20th/21st)

2020-2021 Winter

PORT 42310 World Literatures in Dialogue: Latin American and Francophone Perspectives

(CMLT 42310, FREN 42310, LACS 42310, MAPH 42310, SPAN 42310)

This course aims to explore the major debates that have surrounded the concept of "World literature" in both Latin American and Francophone contexts. Building upon a wide range of critical works (Said, Casanova, Damrosch, Apter, Moretti), it highlights the significance of the concept of "World literature" in two different yet equally instructive and often intersecting contexts. In the French-speaking world, this course will draw on the Manifesto "Toward a World literature in French" (2007) signed by eminent writers from areas as diverse as Sub-Saharan Africa (Mabanckou, Waberi), North Africa (Ben Jelloun, Sansal), Indian Ocean islands (Ananda Devi, Raharimanana), and the Caribbean (Condé, Laferrière). Some of the key questions that will be studied include the critique of "Francophonie", the question of multilingualism and its manifestations, and the relationship between world literature and cosmopolitanism. In a similar vein, the course will explore the expanding corpus of Latin American scholarship on the topic (Kristal, Siskind, Hoyos) in relation to the contributions of Latin American authors (Bolaño, García Márquez, Indiana, Lisboa, Oloixarac). This portion aims to revisit some of the topics and issues present in contemporary scholarship on world literature as they relate to earlier Latin American theory and criticism, and to discuss major contemporary works that directly intervene on world literature debates today.

Khalid Lyamlahy, Saramago Padua
2020-2021 Autumn

CRWR 23130/43130 Advanced Poetry Workshop: Intertext

Might there be a kind of poem that is a parasite latched on to a host body? This poetry workshop invites students to read and write poetry that, either overtly or subtly, engages with other texts. We'll examine ways that poems create these intertextual relationships (e.g. quoting, alluding, echoing, stealing, sampling, imitating, translating…) and test out these methods in our own writing. Students should expect to engage with the basic question of how their work relates to other texts. Expect to read a substantial amount of work by modern and contemporary poets, submit new original poems for workshop, complete intertextual writing exercises, keep a reading journal, write critical responses to the readings and peers' work, and submit a final portfolio. A substantial amount of class time will be spent workshopping student work.

2020-2021 Autumn

CRWR 24016/44016 Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: Other People's Stories

Between the autopsical facts of science writing and the adaptations, novelizations and based-on-true-story stories, lies a very specific type of writing. The creative nonfiction exploration of the recounted lives of others. From Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago," to Brian Doyle's "Thirsty for the Joy," from John Hershey's "Hiroshima" and Art Spiegelman's "Mouse" to Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," the world of nonfiction writing is rife with second, third and four hand stories in which the essayist must learn to negotiate the researched history of people and places, with the imagined mind of these people moving across equally imaginary spaces. How do we believably and respectfully tell others' stories? How do we learn to find them? How do we draw these stories out, jot them down? How do we know when to make them our own and when to leave them in the liminal space of another's inaccessible and inimitable experience? Where is the line between imaginative nonfiction and imaginary tales? This course is designed to tackle these specific questions through workshops of student work, writing prompts and guided discussions of assigned texts that attempt to unravel this very matter through numerous and varied approaches.

2020-2021 Autumn

RLLT 48800 Foreign Language Acquisition, Research and Teaching

This course provides students with a foundation in foreign language acquisition and sociolinguistic research pertinent to foreign language teaching, introduces current teaching methodologies and technologies, and discusses their usefulness in the classroom. Designed primarily with RLL students in mind but open to others.

2020-2021 Spring

CMLT 50106 Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary

(ENGL 50106, KNOW 50106)

Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure.

2020-2021 Autumn