Undergraduate

  • Holocaust Testimony

    This course focuses on major issues raised by but also extending beyond Holocaust survivor testimony, including genres of witnessing, the communication of trauma, the ethical implications of artistic representation, conflicts between history and memory, the fate of individuality in collective upheaval, the condition of survival itself, and the crucial role played by reception in enabling and transmitting survivors' speech.
  • Worlds Made with Words: Select Old English Literature

    This course concentrates on a constitutive problem in OE literature: the theme of "making" and "makers". What powers does a text assume when it makes an inanimate object speak? What temporal and spatial fantasies about English origins and ambitions do OE texts build? What ideas of identity? We'll scrutinize authorship, too, asking how one learned and shaped the poet's role, and how OE texts represented literary composition and understood the tools of singing and writing.
  • Tales of Hospitality: France, North Africa, and the Mediterranean

    Since the Revolution, France has declared itself a haven for refugees from all countries. Yet, a series of laws and often fierce debates have recently marred this benevolence with sometimes dramatic limitations. Keeping in mind different models of hospitality in the Western, Mediterranean, and Arab traditions, we will examine the 'case study' of France and North Africa by comparing ethical and political, individual and collective models of hospitality. We will address issues such as immigration, nationality, and cultural identity and reflect on what it means to welcome a stranger.
  • German Intellectual History: Margins of Enlightenment

    What mechanisms of exclusion accompanied the constitution of modern reason in the eighteenth century? Are the universalist ideals of the Enlightenment inherently flawed, or can they be recuperated by a more inclusive universalism? This course interrogates Enlightenment universalism by reading canonical eighteenth-century works together with texts that highlight the occult, gendered, and racialized undersides of Enlightened reason.
  • Topics in Hindi-Urdu: Art and Practice of Translation

    The course will focus on topics and issues related to literary translation, from Urdu into Hindi, Hindi into Urdu, as well as the translation of Hindi/Urdu literary works into English and from English into Hindi/Urdu. Readings will address issues of theory and practice, as well as selected literary works and their translations. Includes student translation workshops.
  • East Asian Humanities II: Traditions and Transformations

    This course explores East Asia in the global context of imperialism, colonialism, the Cold War, and neoliberalism. We will traverse a wide range of materials (literature, film, photography, installation art) to understand how they are connected by historical forces. Open to anyone interested in a critical understanding of modern East Asian cultures, this course offers an interdisciplinary introduction that draws upon methods from film and media studies, art history, literary studies, and critical race studies.
  • South Asian American Literature and Film

    This course examines literature and film by South Asians in North America. Students will gain perspective on the experiences of immigration and diaspora through the themes of identity, memory, solidarity, and resistance. From early Sikh migration to the American West Coast, to Muslim identity in a post 9/11 world, how can South Asian American stories be read as symbolic of the American experience of gender, class, religion, and ethnicity more broadly? Students will hone their skills in reading primary materials, analyzing them within context, writing persuasively, and speaking clearly.
  • Roma (Gypsies) in Eastern Europe: The Dynamics of Culture

    "Roma (Gypsies) in Eastern Europe" treats Romani history, cultural identity, folklore, music, religion, and representations in literature and film. Roma have been enslaved, targeted for annihilation, and persecuted for centuries. Yet they have repeatedly adapted and adjusted to the circumstances surrounding them, persisting as distinctive ethnic communities while simultaneously contributing to and forming part of the dominant worlds in which they live. This course offers novel perspectives on ethnic minorities and the dynamics of culture in Slavic and East European society.
  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace: Writing as Fighting

    We start with Tolstoy's artistic stimuli and narrative strategies, explore the author's provocative visions of war, gender, sex, art, social institutions, death, and religion. The emphasis is placed here on the role of a written word in Tolstoy's search for truth and power. The main part is a close reading of his masterwork The War and Peace (1863-68) - a quintessence of both his artistic method and philosophical insights. Each student will be assigned to keep a "hero's diary" and speak on behalf of one or two major heroes of the epic (including the Spirit of History).
  • Cervantes' Don Quijote and Beyond

    This course, open to both undergraduate and graduate students, explores Cervantes' highly experimental fiction. Known as the author of the immensely innovative 'Don Quijote', Cervantes is credited with writing the first modern European novel, with a daring exploration of human madness, a satire of New World conquistadors, the Inquisition and more. Yet he is equally bold and experimental in his daring short stories, the `Novelas ejemplares', and the work that he was certain would be his legacy, the 'Persiles'.

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