• Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Culture and Ethics

    What is the relationship between culture and ethics in conflict zones? Can culture be a force for conflict resolution or social change? This course examines these questions in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. How does the conflict permeate everyday life, and how do Palestinian and Israeli artists, writers and filmmakers respond? How have they pushed aesthetic and ethical limits in representing extreme violence and loss? How does the cultural imagination transgress borders?
  • The Literature of Medieval Europe

    A seminar on medieval arts of love and the new forms of poetry and prose that are their expression. Our main focus will be literary works that present themselves as amorous inventions, from the Arabic and Hebrew poems of Islamic Spain to Juan Ruiz's Book of Good Love, from the troubadours and Minnesinger to the French, German and English romances of Lancelot, Tristan and Isolde, and Gawain. Yet we will also study medieval theoretical works by such authors as Ibn Hazm, Andreas Capellanus and Richard de Fournival.
  • Political Novel and Cinema

    Societal and political themes - such as class struggle, race/race relations, national/cultural identity, the rights of workers, gender and sexuality - are inextricable from the novel, as the form that seeks to encapsulate the experience of life in the modern world. But although every novel is political, some novels are deliberately so. This seminar will discuss notable novels that engage with political themes as well as the political implications of the novel as a genre.
  • Great Books from Little Languages

    For historical reasons most books that come into English are translated from just a few languages, creating a misleading impression of the spread of literature itself. This course provides an opportunity to discover literary works from languages with small reading populations which rarely attract academic attention in the USA.
  • Crafting Freedom: Women and Liberation in the Americas (1960s to the present)

    This course explores questions and practices of liberation 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 60s, we will study a poetics and politics of liberation, paying special attention to the role played by language and imagination when ideas translate onto social movements related to social justice, structural violence, education, care, and the commons.
  • Saying 'I': First Person Point of View in Literature and Philosophy

    What does it mean to say (or think) "I"? What accounts for the unified character of our experience? What disruptions and gaps in experience can be made perceptible through philosophical scrutiny and daring literary experimentation? This interdisciplinary course for undergraduates as well as graduate students explores central problems of point of view and consciousness by focusing on first-person representation.
  • Ethics and Politics of Pedagogy

    Theory and philosophy of formal educational practice with specific attention to ethical questions and political implications. How have ideals and practices of education changed over time, especially with the unprecedented emergence of common or universal public education in the last two centuries? How is learning braided with power and desire; with nations and subjectivities; with class, race and gender; with colonial structures; with the reproduction of norms, and challenges to them?
  • Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation)

    Advanced practice in the translation of literary works from another language into English supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Criticism by professionals and talented peers encourages the student's growth as both creator and reader of literature. Students MUST be fluent in their chosen language.
  • Chinese Cinemas

    This course is an introduction to contemporary Chinese cinemas in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. From postwar musicals and pan-Asian blockbusters, to new wave avant-garde films and experimental documentaries, the diversity of Chinese cinemas reflects cinema's relations to global capitalism, Asia's democratization movements, financial crises, and the arrival of (post)socialism. Creating urban nomads, songstresses, daydreamers, travelers, and terrorists, Chinese cinemas put on full display the forces of globalization in shaping the aesthetics and politics of film.
  • Strange Korean Families

    Using family as a lens and a theme that brings together an array of vastly different literary, filmic, and theoretical works, this class will examine key moments in the history of Korea from 2019 to old times. We will look into disenchanted families, violent families, cyborg families, mixed race families, immigrant families, South and North Korean families, royal families, and more. Maintaining the longue-durée historical perspective, we will ponder on the ethical and aesthetic premises of kinship and family as modes of configuring human reciprocity and ways to imagine and live life.


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