• Introduction to Comparative Literature

    This seminar familiarizes students with some of the fundamental theoretical, philosophical, and interpretive works on the arts and techne of sense-making from which critical, literary, aesthetic, social and media theory continue to derive today. These include: Lessing's Laokoon; Hegel's Aesthetics; Saussure's Course in General Linguistics; Austin's How to Do Things with Words, and important essays Freud, Jakobson, and Spitzer
  • Asian Feminist Epistemologies: Theory and Embodiment

    Fissuring, doubling, and vanishing: The metaphors of feminisms are evocative of the visual, acoustic, and corporeal intensities permeating feminist interventions in political movement, philosophy, historiography, and film and media theory. Rather than a linear history of feminism in Asia, this seminar probes the changing "subject" of feminism(s) that is shaped by the geopolitical imaginaries of Asia and the West in the twentieth century.
  • Seminar in 19th- and 20th-Century French Literature: Money in the 19C Novel

    The great innovation of literary fiction in the nineteenth century is to tell stories about money - how it is made, handled, invested and lost, how it weighs on the lives of rich people, poor people, women in search of husbands and young men in search of a position. These new themes arise just as writers themselves become able to earn money from their work. This course studies the money-plots of a selection of major European novels written between 1830 and 1890 alongside the changing economic status of the writers of novels in the same period.
  • Topics in German Intellectual History: Aesthetics and (Un)Freedom

    Do aesthetic practices harbor radical political potential, or have they been co-opted by the creative economy's imperative of relentless aesthetic innovation? This seminar explores a formative motif of German critical thought: the notion that some feature of art or aesthetics--the plenitude of aesthetic experience, the indeterminacy of aesthetic judgment, or unconstrained artistic form--prefigures political freedom.
  • Topics in Critical Theory: Comparative Literature Writing and Dissertation Colloquium

    The Writing and Dissertation Colloquium is a biweekly forum for graduate students in Comparative Literature to share works in progress with other graduate students. The seminar welcomes drafts of your prospectus, article, dissertation chapter, conference paper, exam statement and grant or fellowship proposal. Work is pre-circulated. The 90 minute sessions, done in conjunction with a rotating COM faculty member, are designed to offer written and oral feedback.
  • Cultures at Play: The History, Aesthetics, and Theory of Games

    This class explores games and the culture of play through a variety of angles, ranging from the aesthetic to the ideological, from the historical to the technological. By doing so, we familiarize ourselves with the increasingly prolific literature on (video) games as well as the longer history of game theory.
  • Early 17th Century: Polyglot Poetics: Transnational Early Modern Literature

    Early modern vernacular writers did not simply imitate classical antiquity, or, if northern Europeans, imitate Italian or French verse as if it were ancient, but traded verse horizontally and multilaterally. Languages faded into one another through proximity, trade and war. We explore this cross-lingual, transnational literary field through the literature of travelers in the period: the poetry of diplomats, colonists, itinerant prophets and pharmacists, and the work of traveling theater companies.


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