Graduate

  • Seminar in 19th- and 20th-Century French Literature: Writing the People in 19thC France

    What is the people? Much of nineteenth-century literature is an effort to confront this urgent political question after the Revolution, and to give shape and voice to this amorphous new sovereign. At once ubiquitous and intangible, the people is an unsettling power that modern writing seeks to name, express, silence, or shape. This course examines some landmark novels (by Hugo, les Goncourt, Sand, and Zola) and social analysis (by reformers, hygienists, and intellectuals) at the crossroads between politics and aesthetics. Critical texts by Marx, Chevalier, Rancière, Foucault, T.J.
  • The Contemporary

    What does it mean to be contemporary? How does one truly inhabit the present? Through theoretical texts and examples in literature and film, this course explores the ways in which thinkers, writers, and filmmakers have crafted themselves as agents of actualité.
  • Middle High German Literature II: Gender, Sanctity, and Popular Piety in the Middle Ages

    Seminar explores constructions of sanctity in texts and objects from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries. Beginning with saintly Queens, working through mystic writings, and ending with popular material culture surrounding vernacular legends and cults, we ask what constitutes holiness in these situations, as well as the relationship of these ideals to medieval understandings of gender: the multivalence of virginity; the gendering of male clergy; the different valuation of ascetic practices in male versus female holy women; the significance of female cross-dressing in proving female sanctity.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.

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