Fall 2019

  • The Novel and Romance

    Don Quixote is often called the first novel, for its parodic contrast of chivalric romance with a more "realistic" mode. How curious that most of Quixote's successors have been heroines, as such disqualified from tilting, whether at windmills or giants. After dipping into Cervantes and a few other precursors, we spend time with some of the many "Female Quixotes." What is at stake in their quests? What do they learn as readers, and what can their readers learn? What disciplines of reading and representation are involved in these narratives?
  • Along the Edge: Leonora Carrington

    This interdisciplinary seminar will focus on Leonora Carrington. Students will be asked to respond to Carrington's oeuvre both critically and creatively, writing essays, responses, and imaginative texts inspired by a close reading of Carrington's idiosyncratic fiction and by studying her prints, drawings and paintings, which are part of the Princeton Art Museum's permanent collection.
  • Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation)

    Advanced practice in the translation of literary works from another language into English supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Criticism by professionals and talented peers encourages the student's growth as both creator and reader of literature. Students MUST be fluent in their chosen language.
  • Chinese Cinemas

    This course is an introduction to contemporary Chinese cinemas in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. From postwar musicals and pan-Asian blockbusters, to new wave avant-garde films and experimental documentaries, the diversity of Chinese cinemas reflects cinema's relations to global capitalism, Asia's democratization movements, financial crises, and the arrival of (post)socialism. Creating urban nomads, songstresses, daydreamers, travelers, and terrorists, Chinese cinemas put on full display the forces of globalization in shaping the aesthetics and politics of film.
  • Modern Drama I

    A study of major plays by Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekov, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett and others. Artists who revolutionized the stage by transforming it into a venue for avant-garde social, political, psychological, artistic and metaphysical thought, creating the theatre we know today.
  • Criticism and Theory: The Criticism Co-Op

    How does the history of literary criticism have an impact on the practice of criticism today? What are the enduring central questions that critics bring to their work and, indeed, what is the essence of that work? Our seminar immerses us in these issues as we survey the critic's task from Aristotle to the New Critics. The course is designed for graduate students who would like to think deeply about their practice as critics and to explore the history of criticism as a resource for new writing.
  • Problems in Literary Study: Confessions

    With Augustine's Confessions as our starting point, we will consider confessions in a variety of contexts: religious, rhetorical, formal/aesthetic (lyric and narrative), psychoanalytical, racial, and judicial. The spotlight will be on Romantic-era writers who take the confession beyond its institutional functions, trusting it to convey both the quality of consciousness and narratives of selfhood. At the same time, these writers severely test the authenticity and adequacy of confession. We will then turn to the legacy of Romantic ambivalence toward confession in Freud, Foucault, J.W.
  • Le Monde par la bande

    This course explores representations of the World and History in major bandes dessinées (or graphic novels) published in French from the 1930s to the present, and produced by authors of various backgrounds (French, Belgian, Italian, Jewish, Iranian). Informed by theoretical readings, discussions will address key aesthetical, political, and ethical issues, including Exoticism, Orientalism, (Post)colonialism, national and individual identity, as well as the theory of reception, to critically assess the fluctuations of these visions between fantasy and testimony.
  • German Intellectual History: Labyrinths of Literature

    In literature and art, dance and architecture the labyrinth delineates a path which has been interpreted in various ways, as a figuration of the polarity of chaos and order, for example, or as a trajectory of initiation symbolizing the experience of separation, disorientation and rebirth. On the basis of selected pictorial material as well as selected readings of the myths of Theseus and Dedalus, the seminar will focus on the relation between the structure of the maze and narrative structures in 20th century German literature.
  • East Asian Humanities I: The Classical Foundations

    An introduction to the literature, art, religion and philosophy of China, Japan and Korea from antiquity to ca. 1400. Readings focus on primary texts in translation and are complemented by museum visits and supplementary materials on the course website. The course aims to allow students to explore the unique aspects of East Asian civilizations and the connections between them through an interactive web-based platform, in which assignments are integrated with the texts and media on the website. No prior knowledge of East Asia or experience working with digital media is required.

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