Spring 2019

  • Introduction to Critical Theory: Dialectic and Difference

    Through a comparative focus on the concepts of dialectics and difference, we read some of the formative theoretical, critical and philosophical works which continue to ground interdisciplinary critical theory today. Focal works by Lukacs, Freud, Heidegger, Adorno, Derrida, de Man, Arendt, and Benjamin are included among the texts we read.
  • Creative Writing (Literary Translation)

    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.
  • Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation)

    Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. We will address the challenges of revising, with the goal of arriving at a 25-30 page sample of the author's work. Weekly readings will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations and also on some translation theory.
  • 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.
  • Imagining Sounds of China: Encounters and Fantasies

    Chinese culture and history contain an abundance of sounds with distinctive timbres. They have been experienced, imagined and theorized locally and in cross-cultural dialogues. People from different times and cultures often experience them in mediated forms such as literary and graphic descriptions. This course offers an introduction to these sonic phenomena. Comparative and transmedia approaches are used to tackle their multicultural repercussions while giving equal attention to their socio-historic contexts.
  • Cultural Systems: Proust, Freud, Borges

    An overview of three of the most influential writers in the twentieth century, focusing on selected masterpieces. All three were fascinated by similar topics: dreams and memory; sexuality; Judaism. All three lived during traumatic historical periods. Proust during WWI; Freud during WWII; and Borges during Peronismo. Seminar will explore the relationship between literature modernism, politics, and religion.
  • Literature and Photography

    Since its advent in the 19th century, photography has been a privileged figure in literature's efforts to reflect upon its own modes of representation. This seminar will trace the history of the rapport between literature and photography by looking closely at a number of literary and theoretical texts that differently address questions central to both literature and photography: questions about the nature of representation, reproduction, memory and forgetting, history, images, perception, and knowledge.
  • Holocaust Testimony

    This course focuses on major issues raised by but also extending beyond Holocaust survivor testimony, including genres of witnessing, the communication of trauma, the ethical implications of artistic representation, conflicts between history and memory, the fate of individuality in collective upheaval, the condition of survival itself, and the crucial role played by reception in enabling and transmitting survivors' speech.
  • Worlds Made with Words: Select Old English Literature

    This course concentrates on a constitutive problem in OE literature: the theme of "making" and "makers". What powers does a text assume when it makes an inanimate object speak? What temporal and spatial fantasies about English origins and ambitions do OE texts build? What ideas of identity? We'll scrutinize authorship, too, asking how one learned and shaped the poet's role, and how OE texts represented literary composition and understood the tools of singing and writing.
  • Criticism and Theory: Fredric Jameson

    Fredric Jameson is perhaps the most important theorist of our age with a global readership across all disciplines in the humanities for decades on end. In this graduate course, we discuss his entire body of work, appreciating the range and depth of his thought. Jameson has agreed to teleconference into our seminar at least once, and I welcome interested students to do some advanced reading to acquaint themselves with his ideas.

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