Claudia Joan Brodsky

  • Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature: Critical and Literary Theory

    A course in the foundational texts of contemporary critical theory. The relationships among literature, philosophy, aesthetics, and linguistics will be investigated as they come to the fore in the intellectual development of the following, among others: modern philology, New Criticism, hermeneutics, structuralism, speech act theory, Marxist and cultural criticism, historical-epistemological aesthetics, rhetorical criticism, and poststructuralism.
  • Introduction to Critical Theory: Dialectic and Difference

    Through a comparative focus on the concepts of dialectics and difference, we read some of the formative theoretical, critical and philosophical works which continue to ground interdisciplinary critical theory today. Focal works by Lukacs, Freud, Heidegger, Adorno, Derrida, de Man, Arendt, and Benjamin are included among the texts we read.
  • Agency, Persons, Aesthetics. Epistemologies of the Polis

    This class explores why social and political theory requires theory of knowledge. Prefiguring Hegel and Marx the authors we read remain seminal to both history and "the permanence of the aesthetic" (Marcuse) because they conceive "thinking" itself as "self-determination" in which any "self " first "becomes" "itself" in relation to others "outside" it (Kant), just as any "subject" is "predicated" not by choice but definition (Rousseau).
  • "Modern" Poetry and Poetics: Baudelaire to the "Present"

    Designed for both undergraduates and graduate students, this course will focus on reading major "modern" poets and writings on poetics, in French, German, English and Spanish, with additional readings in theory of modernity, poetry, and the arts written by several of the poets we read. These include: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rilke, Celan, Garcia Lorca, Pax, Borges, Stevens, Bishop and Ashbery. Secondary readings will include essays by major theorists and critics who consider the larger questions of representation, temporality, visuality, and language underlying poetic practice.
  • Agency, Persons, Aesthetics. Epistemologies of the Polis

    This class explores why social and political theory requires theory of knowledge. Prefiguring Hegel and Marx the authors we read remain seminal to both history and "the permanence of the aesthetic" (Marcuse) because they conceive "thinking" itself as "self-determination" in which any "self " first "becomes" "itself" in relation to others "outside" it (Kant), just as any "subject" is "predicated" not by choice but definition (Rousseau).
  • "Modern" Poetry and Poetics: Baudelaire to the "Present"

    Designed for both undergraduates and graduate students, this course will focus on reading major "modern" poets and writings on poetics, in French, German, English and Spanish, with additional readings in theory of modernity, poetry, and the arts written by several of the poets we read. These include: Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rilke, Celan, Garcia Lorca, Pax, Borges, Stevens, Bishop and Ashbery. Secondary readings will include essays by major theorists and critics who consider the larger questions of representation, temporality, visuality, and language underlying poetic practice.
  • Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature: Critical and Literary Theory

    A course in the foundational texts of contemporary critical theory. The relationships among literature, philosophy, aesthetics, and linguistics will be investigated as they come to the fore in the intellectual development of the following, among others: modern philology, New Criticism, hermeneutics, structuralism, speech act theory, Marxist and cultural criticism, historical-epistemological aesthetics, rhetorical criticism, and poststructuralism.
  • Romanticism and the Real: What is Representation?

    Historicization often proceeds by shorthand, assigning names to periods, movements, styles, even "content," and the points of view these are assumed to represent. No two such ascriptions are more frequently invoked than "romanticism" and "realism," whose conventional opposition defines to a large extent our own view of "modern" literary and aesthetic history across traditions. In this seminar we take a critical look at that opposition as it influences not only our view of literary and intellectual history in general but of literary representation itself.
  • How does History Appear? Critical Aesthetics, Lessing through Benjamin

    Beginning with Lessing's identification of the ambiguity of the "image," this course examines the ways in which materialist aesthetic and literary theory coincide with theories of experience and history. We focus in depth on four authors - Lessing, Diderot, Baudelaire, and Benjamin - whose critical and literary work alike departs from the proposition that aesthetic and historical experience do not transcend or subsume but rather depend upon and preserve encounters with the material.

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