Fall 2019

  • Risorgimento, Opera, Film

    This course will explore the ways in which national identity was imagined and implemented within Italian literature, culture, and cinema before, during, and after the period of Italian unification in the mid-XIX century. Examples are drawn from a wide range of literary, artistic and cultural media.
  • East European Literature and Politics

    This seminar will examine 20th-century Eastern European history through literary works from a number of countries in the region, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to present-day Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Belarus, and the Balkans. Readings will generally consist of one novel per week, but we will also look at a number of other genres, including the short story, poetry, drama, the journal, and reportage.
  • Russia in Color

    Russia in Color investigates the application, evolution, and perception of color in art in (Soviet) Russia and emigration. This Princeton University Art Museum-based course explores the rich holdings of the museum, with a particular focus on Russian and European objects, as selections of artworks are paired with theoretical and cultural readings (media theory, philosophy, literature, science). The course includes a basic introduction to color terminology, guest lectures on the technologies and science of color printing, and a hands-on practicum in color mixing/pigmentation.
  • Topics in Russian Literature or Literary Theory: Authorship of the Body in the Anthropocene

    This seminar traces and examines the network of disparate stories that coalesce around bodies and health from the standpoint of narrative theory and the medical and environmental humanities. While the medical humanities show how authorship and authority over matters of illness, the body and the self are negotiated through a complex layering of narrative voices, ecocriticism reveals the enmeshment of the human body with the environment, value systems, and the distribution of knowledge.
  • Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture: Women in Medieval and Early Modern Spain

    An investigation of the literary, medical and philosophical treatment of women in medieval and early modern Spain. We will consider works by both male and female authors, thus enabling us to compare ways in which women saw themselves with the ways in which they were seen by men. The cult of women as well as misandry and misogyny, and debates centering around such crucial matters as childbirth, witchcraft and the evil eye will be explored.
  • Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication

    What is translation? What is a language? So essential and widespread is translation today that it has become a central analytic term for the contact of cultures, and a paradigm for studying many different aspects of our multilingual world. This course will consider translation as it appeared in the past, but especially as it constructs everyday life in the contemporary world. It will look at issues of anthropology, artificial intelligence, diplomacy, film, law and literature that involve interlingual and intercultural communication.
  • Translation, Migration and Culture

    This course will explore the crucial connections between migration, language, and translation. Drawing on texts from a range of genres and disciplines - from memoir and fiction to scholarly work in translation studies, migration studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology - we will focus on how language and translation affect the lives of those who move through and settle in other cultures, and how, in turn, human mobility affects language and modes of belonging.
  • Studies in the Classical Tradition: Odysseys

    In 2019, is "the news in the Odyssey...still news," as poet Ezra Pound claimed? After reading through Homer's Odyssey in a variety of translations (from G. Chapman to E. Wilson), we will trace its modern and contemporary afterlives - from Joyce's Ulysses to Walcott's Omeros to Atwood's Penelopiad. To what uses has this ancient story been put, and do those uses change over time? Can a work as canonical as the Odyssey offer alternative or subversive cultural narratives?

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