Don Quixote is often called the first novel, for its parodic contrast of chivalric romance with a more "realistic" mode. How curious that most of Quixote's successors have been heroines, as such disqualified from tilting, whether at windmills or giants. After dipping into Cervantes and a few other precursors, we spend time with some of the many "Female Quixotes." What is at stake in their quests? What do they learn as readers, and what can their readers learn? What disciplines of reading and representation are involved in these narratives?
- How does the history of literary criticism have an impact on the practice of criticism today? What are the enduring central questions that critics bring to their work and, indeed, what is the essence of that work? Our seminar immerses us in these issues as we survey the critic's task from Aristotle to the New Critics. The course is designed for graduate students who would like to think deeply about their practice as critics and to explore the history of criticism as a resource for new writing.
- With Augustine's Confessions as our starting point, we will consider confessions in a variety of contexts: religious, rhetorical, formal/aesthetic (lyric and narrative), psychoanalytical, racial, and judicial. The spotlight will be on Romantic-era writers who take the confession beyond its institutional functions, trusting it to convey both the quality of consciousness and narratives of selfhood. At the same time, these writers severely test the authenticity and adequacy of confession. We will then turn to the legacy of Romantic ambivalence toward confession in Freud, Foucault, J.W.
- This course explores representations of the World and History in major bandes dessinées (or graphic novels) published in French from the 1930s to the present, and produced by authors of various backgrounds (French, Belgian, Italian, Jewish, Iranian). Informed by theoretical readings, discussions will address key aesthetical, political, and ethical issues, including Exoticism, Orientalism, (Post)colonialism, national and individual identity, as well as the theory of reception, to critically assess the fluctuations of these visions between fantasy and testimony.
- A study of the thought of the great German pessimist, Arthur Schopenhauer.
- A close reading of Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil", with emphasis on his criticism of Philosophy, his perspectivism, his attack on mortality, and his aestheticism. Other texts of his are also consulted.
- Russia in Color investigates the application, evolution, and perception of color in art in (Soviet) Russia and emigration. This Princeton University Art Museum-based course explores the rich holdings of the museum, with a particular focus on Russian and European objects, as selections of artworks are paired with theoretical and cultural readings (media theory, philosophy, literature, science). The course includes a basic introduction to color terminology, guest lectures on the technologies and science of color printing, and a hands-on practicum in color mixing/pigmentation.
- This seminar traces and examines the network of disparate stories that coalesce around bodies and health from the standpoint of narrative theory and the medical and environmental humanities. While the medical humanities show how authorship and authority over matters of illness, the body and the self are negotiated through a complex layering of narrative voices, ecocriticism reveals the enmeshment of the human body with the environment, value systems, and the distribution of knowledge.
- Teaching practicum required of departmental PhD students; open to those planning to teach in the spring semester, as well as to those concurrently teaching their first course at Princeton. A wide range of topics is discussed, based primarily upon the needs and experience of participants. These typically include: facilitating discussions, delivering lectures, grading papers, designing course syllabi, teaching with translations, using technology in the classroom, developing a statement of teaching philosophy, and preparing a teaching portfolio.
- 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 writings by Marx, Husserl, Derrida, Adorno, Freud, Jakobson, de Man, Spitzer, Auerbach.