Undergraduate

  • 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.
  • The Bible as Literature

    The Bible will be read closely in its own right and as an enduring resource for literature and commentary. The course will cover its forms and genres, including historical narrative, uncanny tales, prophecy, lyric, lament, commandment, sacred biography, and apocalypse; its pageant of weird and extraordinary characters; and its brooding intertextuality. Students will become familiar with a wide variety of biblical interpretations, from the Rabbis to Augustine to Kafka and Kierkegaard. Cinematic commentary will be included--Bible films, from the campy to the sublime.
  • Laughing with the Other: Humor and Alterity in French and Francophone Modern Literature and Culture

    From colonization to civil war, Francophone Africa and the Caribbean are little understood beyond such grave issues of urgency and violence. However, no society, its people or their realities are homogenously desolate. Through the study of novels, graphic novels, films and stand-up, this course explores the place of humor in French literature and culture of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean.
  • The Literature of Environmental Disaster

    The Anthropocene names, paradoxically, the simultaneous advent of human mastery over nature and the epoch of runaway climate change. The challenges posed by our very success, from air pollution and flooding to nuclear fallout and plagues, from agribusiness to petro-imperialism, suggest the urgency of rethinking our relationship to nature beyond mere technical fixes. Literature sheds a unique light on how distinct cultures and individuals live this rapport.
  • Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

    An introduction to the thought of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. Organized thematically rather than chronologically, the course will bring these thinkers into dialogue on six themes: interpretation, history, subjectivity, politics, religion, and art. By concentrating on such pivotal issues, it seeks not only to delineate the origins of much modern thought, but also to develop resources for reflecting on our contemporary moment.
  • 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 I: The Classical Foundations

    An introduction to the literature, art, religion and philosophy of China, Japan and Korea from antiquity to ca. 1400. Readings focus on primary texts in translation and are complemented by museum visits and supplementary materials on the course website. The course aims to allow students to explore the unique aspects of East Asian civilizations and the connections between them through an interactive web-based platform, in which assignments are integrated with the texts and media on the website. No prior knowledge of East Asia or experience working with digital media is required.
  • The Nature of Reality in Medieval Arabic Literature

    This course will look at a variety of canonical texts and genres from the Classical Arabic literary heritage and examine them through the question of "truth" and "representation." In a culture that is often said to frown upon fictional writing, we will explore attitudes towards language as a means of gaining knowledge about the world, on the one hand, and as a way to depict "reality," on the other.
  • Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication

    Translation is at the heart of the humanities, and it arises in every discipline in the social sciences and beyond, but it is not easy to say what it is. This course looks at the role of translation in the past and in the world of today, in fields as varied as anthropology, the media, law, international relations and the circulation and study of literature.
  • Translation, Migration, Culture

    This course will explore the crucial connections between migration, language, and translation. Drawing on texts from a range of genres and disciplines - from memoir and fiction to scholarly work in translation studies, migration studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology - we will focus on how language and translation affect the lives of those who move through and settle in other cultures, and how, in turn, human mobility affects language and modes of belonging.

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