Exile by definition entails a wrenching relocation in space, but exile also can disarrange, by fracturing, the sense of time. This course examines the double time of exilic life, what Nabokov calls physical time and spiritual time. Physical time accentuates the pangs of exile--inhabiting a present so radically different from the familiar but quickly receding the past. Spiritual time, in which memory seek refuge, is more mobile and more creative; it can recall a vanished world and even project a future return.
- 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. I invite Jameson to teleconference into our seminar at least once, and I welcome interested students to do some advanced reading to acquaint themselves with his ideas.
- The seminar examines major theoretical works representative of phenomenological, structuralist, and post-structuralist approaches to reading. Wherever possible, these works are paired with literary texts in order to see whether they facilitate or frustrate mutual translation. The ultimate ambition of the course is not only to familiarize students with important moments in twentieth-century intellectual history but to foster a practical capacity for the recognition and critique of theoretical frameworks.
- Plato's argument against 'art' in the "Republic" is not about 'art' at all. The course begins with Plato, examines how the philosophy of art has tried to respond to him anyway, and applies our conclusion to the contemporary situation of the arts and their relation to the rest of life.
- A seminar on the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Maurice Blanchot, following the development, from a common origin in German phenomenology, of the ethics and the aethetics for which they are respectively well known.
- The expansion of race theory from the Americas into the global scene invites a cross-cultural approach to the fluidity of identity. This seminar investigates fiction and film from the African American, Jewish American, LGBTQ, and Israeli-Palestinian contexts to broadly explore how society constructs and deconstructs race, ethnicity, and gender. It focuses on representations of passing and reverse passing as well as doubled/split identities for a wide-ranging, comparative discussion of the political and the psychological dynamics of identity and selfhood.
- Close reading of Marx's Capital vol. 1. Attention paid to questions of translation. Knowledge of German not necessary, but be prepared to engage with the German text. Secondary readings discussed as necessary.
- 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.
- Science fiction (SF) writing may seem a definitively modern phenomenon, but it has a rich and varied history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In this course, we examine early modern SF not only a vehicle for popularizing the new philosophy of the "scientific revolution," but as a space for the interrogation of competing beliefs about the relationships between humankind and the cosmos, knowledge and belief, or public and private living.
- This course aims to explore different forms that the question of liberation has taken in writings by women philosophers and poets whose work helped to create cultural and political movements in the U.S. and Latin America. Starting in the 1960s, the course touches upon different philosophical concepts and poetic figures that have shaped the language of women's struggles (intersectionality, black and third world feminism, subalternity and feminist epistemologies, capitalist accumulation and "witch"-hunting, (re)transmission of knowledge).