Spring 2020

  • Myth, History, and Contemporary Experience: Modern Greek Poetry in a Global Context

    This is an introduction to Modern Greek poetry in a broad context, with an emphasis on its relation to Anglophone poetry. How is the experience of modernity registered in poetic texts? What traditions do poets draw on, which contemporary experiences do they reflect or critique, and what futures do they envision? How are Greek poets exploring their relation to the ancient Greek past, and also responding to trends and experiments in global modernism as well as to current events?
  • East Asian Humanities II: Traditions and Transformations

    This course explores East Asia in the global context of imperialism, colonialism, the Cold War, and neoliberalism. We will traverse a wide range of materials (literature, film, photography, installation art) to understand how they are connected by historical forces. Open to anyone interested in a critical understanding of modern East Asian cultures, this course offers an interdisciplinary introduction that draws upon methods from film and media studies, art history, literary studies, and critical race studies. The course includes trips to the Princeton
  • Interpretation: The Problem of Context

    The need to think "contextually" is a basic premise shared by many scholarly practices of interpretation, including cross-cultural comparison and translation in anthropology, comparative literature, and beyond. But what exactly does context mean in these practices, how does it work, and where does it end? How does context help us frame particularity and generality, periphery and center, past and present? How does it support normative positions of relativism or universalism?
  • Music through Fiction

    The aphorism that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" frames musical writing as an act of absurdity. Yet write about music we do. Focusing on works of fiction that turn musical experience into literary experience and back again, this course explores music writing as a creative activity. How do we write compellingly about the sides of music that seem most technical, hermetic, or ineffable? Can we consider fictional accounts of "real" music to be works in criticism or analysis?
  • Luso-Brazilian Seminar: Clarice Lispector: 100 years

    This seminar focuses on Clarice Lispector, arguably one of the most important fictionists of the 20th Century Brazilian Literature. In the year of her centenary, students are asked to respond to Lispector's oeuvre both critically and creatively, inspired by a close reading of her fiction. Taught in English.
  • South Asian American Literature and Film

    This course examines literature and film by South Asians in North America. Students will gain perspective on the experiences of immigration and diaspora through the themes of identity, memory, solidarity, and resistance. From early Sikh migration to the American West Coast, to Muslim identity in a post 9/11 world, how can South Asian American stories be read as symbolic of the American experience of gender, class, religion, and ethnicity more broadly? Students will hone their skills in reading primary materials, analyzing them within context, writing persuasively, and speaking clearly.
  • Language & Subjectivity: Theories of Formation

    The purpose of the course is to examine key texts of the twentieth century that established the fundamental connection between language structures and practices on the one hand, and the formation of selfhood and subjectivity, on the other. In particular, the course focuses on theories that emphasize the role of formal elements in producing meaningful discursive and social effects. Works of Russian formalists and French (post)-structuralists are discussed in connection with psychoanalytic and anthropological theories of formation.
  • Practicing Translation

    Academic work in disciplines across the humanities and humanistic social sciences are fueled in part by practices of translation, and many disciplines are moving toward a consideration of translation as scholarship in its own right. Yet few graduate students are trained practices of translation, either within their discipline or as an interdisciplinary node of intellectual engagement.
  • Early Modern Amsterdam: Tolerant Eminence and the Arts

    Inter-disciplinary class on early modern Amsterdam (1550-1720) when the city was at the center of the global economy and leading cultural center; home of Rembrandt and Spinoza (Descartes was nearby) and original figures like playwrights Bredero and Vondel, the ethicist engraver Coornhert, the political economist de la Court brothers and English traveling theater. We go from art to poetry, drama, philosophy and medicine. Spring Break is in Amsterdam with museum visits, guest talks and participation in recreation of traveling theater from the period.
  • Writing Istanbul: City of Doubles

    Istanbul is haunted by its doppelgängers. Poised between Europe and Asia, the city straddles both the Greco-Roman and the Ottoman-Islamic legacies that shape our world today. This course will walk students through Istanbul's streets and neighborhoods as they've been written by the living voices of those legacies: the city's natives (primarily Greeks and Turks) as well as the internal migrants, refugees, and exiles who've found their way there over the past century.


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