Spring 2017

  • East African Drama in Kiswahili

    This course examines the genre of drama and performance in the literary tradition of the Swahili speaking communities of East Africa. It will focus on modern dramatic texts written in Kiswahili and the theatrical, critical, and socio-political contexts that inform the main trends of contemporary theatre and performance arts in Kiswahili.
  • Sisters' Voices: African Women Writers

    In this class, we study the richness and diversity of poetry, novels, and memoirs written by African women. The course expands students' understanding of the long history of women's writing across Africa and a range of languages. It focuses on their achievements while foregrounding questions of aesthetics and style. As an antidote to misconceptions of African women as silent, students analyze African women's self-representations and how they theorize social relations within and across ethnic groups, generations, classes, and genders.
  • Publishing Articles in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

    In this interdisciplinary class, students of race as well as gender, sexuality, disability, etc. read deeply and broadly in academic journals as a way of learning the debates in their fields and placing their scholarship in relationship to them. Students report each week on the trends in the last five years of any journal of their choice, writing up the articles' arguments and debates, while also revising a paper in relationship to those debates and preparing it for publication.
  • Masterworks of European Literature

    In this course we will examine the major forms and themes of European literature since the Renaissance, concentrating on drama, prose fiction and lyric poetry. Significant works originally written in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish will be read (in English) for their intrinsic interest as well as for what they tell us about what a masterwork might be, and how the concept may change over time.
  • Traditions, Tales, and Tunes: Slavic and East European Folklore

    This course explores oral traditions and oral literary genres (in English translation) of the Slavic and East European world, both past and present, including traditions that draw from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish East European communities. Topics include traditional rituals (life-cycle and seasonal) and folklore associated with them, sung and spoken oral traditional narrative: poetry (epic and ballad) and prose (folktale and legend), and contemporary forms of traditional and popular culture.
  • Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature: Critical and Literary Theory

    A course in the foundational texts of contemporary critical theory. The relationships among literature, philosophy, aesthetics, and linguistics will be investigated as they come to the fore in the intellectual development of the following, among others: modern philology, New Criticism, hermeneutics, structuralism, speech act theory, Marxist and cultural criticism, historical-epistemological aesthetics, rhetorical criticism, and poststructuralism.
  • Gendered Fictions of Translation

    Translation is a marginalized literary activity; the work of female translators, and of international female writers, is underrepresented in the current publishing market. At the same time, fictive representations of translators, and particularly female translators, abound. This course examines the gendered politics of invisibility that informs popular discourse surrounding translation. We will read primarily works of fiction by women, translated by women, and/or about a female translator.
  • Crafting Freedom: Women and Liberation in the Americas (1960s to the present)

    This course explores the question of liberation in writings by women philosophers and poets whose work helped to create cultural and political movements in the U.S. and Latin America. Starting in the 60s, we will study a poetics and politics of liberation, paying special attention to the role played by language and imagination when ideas translate onto social movements related to abolition, education, care, and the commons. Readings include Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldúa, Silvia Federici, Diamela Eltit, Audre Lorde, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Gayatri Spivak, Zapatistas, among others.

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