Comparative Literature

  • Seminar. Types of Ideology and Literary Form: Pornography, Gender and the Rise of the Novel in Europe

    Open to graduate and undergraduate students interested in understanding the origins of the modern novel, this seminar examines the profound historical, theoretical and formal connections between the development of pornography as a distinct category of representation and the development of the novel as a literary genre during the Enlightenment. We will also explore the continuing resonances of those connections today. Readings in current criticism, history and theory of the novel and pornography will accompany primary readings.

  • Radical Poetics, Radical Translation

    This course invites students to consider not just what poems mean but how they mean¿and how that ¿how¿ complicates, challenges, obscures, enlivens, or collides with the task of translation. We will look at forms of poetry that challenge the limits of the translatable, as well as radical translation methods that expand our notion of what translation is. Examples include poems written in made-up languages; unstable texts; homophonic and visual translation; erasure poetics; and multilingual poems.

  • 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.

  • Comparative Literature Graduate Pedagogy Seminar

    Teaching practicum required of departmental PhD students and open only to those concurrently teaching in their first course at Princeton. A wide range of topics is discussed, based primarily upon the needs and experience of participants. These typically include: facilitating discussions, delivering lectures, grading papers, designing course syllabi, teaching with translations, using technology in the classroom, developing a statement of teaching philosophy, and preparing a teaching portfolio. Course leads to partial fulfillment of the McGraw Teaching Transcript.

  • Introduction to Comparative Literature

    This course traces the history of criticism in comparative literature along with recent critical developments such as surface reading, distant reading, affect theory, necropolitics, queer futurity, the new materialism, thing theory, biopolitics, ecocriticism, world literature, theory from the south, critiques of neoliberalism, and so on. The class will not embrace a mastery posture toward theory, but an instrumental one, aiming to assist graduate students in conceptualizing their particular projects within and against current debates.

  • 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.

  • Realism and Symbolism: Realism

    Realism is often rhetorically dismissed as naïve or uninteresting--'mere' realism. It comes accompanied by a list of strange but standard adjectives, from gritty to photographic to bourgeois to kitchen-sink. But realism has a rich and varied history of argument and experiment, above all in the nineteenth century (when the word was coined). Why represent reality, and which reality? What might be the pleasure or the point of it?

  • What is Vernacular Filmmaking?

    We will study films that address global audiences while rooted in particular, local,vernacular sources of artistic creation. In order to understand this aesthetic phenomenon of World Cinema, we will examine theories of World Literature. Especially, we will focus on Auerbach's famous book, Mimesis and his work on the formation of vernacular audiences.

  • The Gothic Tradition

    The purpose of this course is to analyze and understand the cultural meanings of the Gothic mode through a study of its characteristic elements, its historical, aesthetic, and political origins in eighteenth-century English and German culture and thought, its development across Western national traditions, and its persistence in contemporary culture, including film, electronic media, clothing, social behavior, and belief systems, as well as literature. Films, artifacts, web sites and electronic publications will supplement readings.

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