Spring 2016

  • Problems in Literary Study: Postcolonial Heterotopias

    This course invites rethinking established theories of postcolonial literature outside the national allegory, modern subjectivity, & the politics of identity. Focusing on "minor" works of major postcolonial writers, the course seeks to understand the postcolonial imaginary beyond the utopia of community, the dystopia of postmodern angst, & the romance of individual life.

  • East Asian Humanities II: Traditions and Transformations

    This course begins roughly around the fourteenth century and covers the arts, history, music, literature, popular culture, film and media in transnational China, Japan, and Korea up to the contemporary period. Special focus will be given to the question of modernity in East Asia. Lectures are given by specialists in the departments of East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, Music, and Art and Archaeology. This is the second half of a two-semester sequence introducing the humanities in East Asia.

  • A Gendered History of the Avant-Garde: Bodies, Objects, Emotions, Ideas

    An investigation on modern and post-modern experimentalism focused on gender issues and gendered perspectives. The main object of analysis will be Italy, from futurism to the current revivals of vanguardism, but a variety of trans-national and international voices will substantiate the historical landscape.

  • Granada and the Fall of Spanish Islam, AD 1212-1492/1614

    Thirteenth-century Christian "Reconquista" of almost all of Spain after 1212 - with the significant exception of the sultanate of Granada - subjected huge minorities of Muslims and Jews to Christian overlords and challenged the rising kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Portugal to cope with religious diversity.

  • Marvels and Wonder in Classical Arabic Literature

    This course explores a variety of medieval Arabic texts through the lens of wonder. It is through marveling at the foreign and inexplicable that we position ourselves in the world and separate the Self from the Other. Yet, wonder is also what prompts our curiosity for discovery and provokes our search for explanations. Where was the line drawn between the familiar and the strange in medieval Arabic culture? How was wonder defined? What role did it play? The course is taught in English in its entirety. No prerequisites.

  • Classical Arabic Poetry

    This course introduces students to the major Arabic poets and poems from the pre-Islamic period up to and including the Mamluk period. The goal of the course is twofold: to increase the ease with which students are able to read classical Arabic poetry and to expand their knowledge of the various styles, genres and their development. Besides preparing the assigned poems, students are expected each week to put together a brief biographical sketch of the poets we are reading using primary sources exclusively. (This could be done collaboratively) Advanced knowledge of Arabic required.

  • Studies in Later Persian Literature 1200 - 1800 A.D.

    Course acquaints students with the literature of the second great classical language of Islam and its legacy of epics, chronicles, lyric poems, mystical writings and imaginative tales from the traditional Persian-speaking world - including not only from present-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan but also from Anatolia, Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Continuation of NES 539. Treats the literature from 1200 to 1800.

  • German Philosophy since Kant: Heidegger

    A reading of Heidegger's "Being and Time", and perhaps some other works of his. Secondary sources include Hubert Dreyfus' "Being-In-The-World".

  • Vladimir Nabokov

    In 1919, at the age of twenty, Vladimir Nabokov fled "the bloated octopus of state" of his native Russia and embarked on a dazzling bilingual literary career in emigration. This course focuses on Nabokov's masterly writing, which reflects a modernist preoccupation with narrative, temporality, and memory. The Russian and American novels are at the center of our attention, but readings include also a sampling of his shorter fiction, poetry, essays on literature, and the memoir [Speak, Memory].


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