Benjamin Conisbee Baer

  • Introduction to Comparative Literature

    We take Jacques Derrida's "Of Grammatology" as a historical and theoretical primer for the discipline of Comparative Literature. The class reads "OG" in its entirety along with the works read there by Derrida (Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Rousseau, Leroi-Gourhan, Hegel). Topics covered include ethnocentrism, Eurocentrism, globality, theories of the sign, writing and speech, translation, comparison, reading, institutions, ethics and politics of education.
  • Introduction to Comparative Literature

    We take Jacques Derrida's "Of Grammatology" as a historical and theoretical primer for the discipline of Comparative Literature. The class reads "OG" in its entirety along with the works read there by Derrida (Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Rousseau, Leroi-Gourhan, Hegel). Topics covered include ethnocentrism, Eurocentrism, globality, theories of the sign, writing and speech, translation, comparison, reading, institutions, ethics and politics of education.
  • Contemporary Critical Theories: Marx's Capital

    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.
  • Topics in Critical Theory: Comparative Literature Writing and Dissertation Colloquium

    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.
  • Postcolonial Literature/Postcolonial Criticism

    We examine visions of the future produced in areas that underwent processes of decolonization in the 20th century. Focusing on Africa and Asia, we look at how prospects for societies after decolonization were imagined by those struggling against imperialism. What was envisaged for the younger generations? How would alternative states be made? New kinds of international connections? Communities and relations between races, sexes and classes? Themes include Pan-Africanism, Socialism, nationalism, class, caste, gender, and race.

  • Topics in Critical Theory: Comparative Literature Writing and Dissertation Colloquium

    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.

  • Topics in Critical Theory: Comparative Literature Writing and Dissertation Colloquium

    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.

  • Reading Is Not What You Think

    In this class for students considering majoring in Comparative Literature, we ask what happens when we read literature? How do we read? And what are the ethical questions and problems that we rehearse when we read? Is reading all about finding the reflection of myself in the text, or do we find something else? What does it mean to read a culturally different novel or poem? How might it teach us to imagine others not like ourselves?

  • Reading Is Not What You Think

    In this class for students considering majoring in Comparative Literature, we ask what happens when we read literature? How do we read? And what are the ethical questions and problems that we rehearse when we read? Is reading all about finding the reflection of myself in the text, or do we find something else? What does it mean to read a culturally different novel or poem? How might it teach us to imagine others not like ourselves?

  • Topics in Critical Theory: Comparative Literature Writing and Dissertation Colloquium

    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.

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