Claudia Joan Brodsky

  • 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.

  • Conceptions of the Sensory

    In-depth discussion and analysis of conceptions of the sensory in writings by philosophers, poets, art critics and theorists, and artists, from the early modern to contemporary periods. We will investigate the ways in which the sensory is understood as the necessary basis for conceptual thinking of diverse kinds, including systematic and dialectical philosophy (Kant and Hegel), sign theory (Saussure), imaginative and figural writing, and theory and practice of the plastic arts (Rilke, Mallarmé, Adorno, Greenberg, Serra, Stella, Scully, Buchloh, Warhol, among others).

  • Lyric Form and Language II: The Modern Period

    This course is the continuation of a 2-semester sequence for undergraduates and graduate students, but may be taken independently of the fall semester course (COM 421). We will focus on reading major poets of the modern period in English, French, German and Spanish with additional readings in the theoretical reflections on 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, among others. Secondary readings will include essays by major theorists and critics.

  • Lyric Language and Form I: Renaissance to Romantic

    Lyric poetry has the uncanny capacity to surprise, and so inscribe itself in the mental life of its reader. This course aims at rendering that inscription indelible by uncovering some of the sources of surprise in the language and form of Renaissance through Romantic lyric works. First of a 2-semester sequence. Second semester on Modern Lyric. Either semester may be taken separately.

  • Lyric Language and Form I: Renaissance to Romantic

    Lyric poetry has the uncanny capacity to surprise, and so inscribe itself in the mental life of its reader. This course aims at rendering that inscription indelible by uncovering some of the sources of surprise in the language and form of Renaissance through Romantic lyric works. First of a 2-semester sequence. Second semester on Modern Lyric. Either semester may be taken separately.

  • Topics in Literature and Philosophy: The Commodity and the Concept

    This course explores major theoretical derivations of our working concepts of the commodity and the concept, before investigating the dynamic relation between them, including: the dependence of the former on the latter, the "transformation" of the latter into the former, the asymmetry of their mutual productivity, and the production of history from their relation. Readings in economic and conceptual philosophy and literary works in which these processes are narrated.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Topics in Literature and Philosophy: The Commodity and the Concept

    This course explores major theoretical derivations of our working concepts of the commodity and the concept, before investigating the dynamic relation between them, including: the dependence of the former on the latter, the "transformation" of the latter into the former, the asymmetry of their mutual productivity, and the production of history from their relation. Readings in economic and conceptual philosophy and literary works in which these processes are narrated.

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