Comparative Literature

  • Introduction to Jewish Cultures

    This introductory course focuses on the cultural syncretism and the global diversity of Jewish experience. It provides a comparative understanding of Jewish culture from antiquity to the present, examining how Jewish culture has emerged through the interaction of Jews and non-Jews, engaging a wide spectrum of cultures throughout the Jewish world, and following representations of key issues such as sexuality or the existence of God in different eras.

  • Masterworks of European Literature

    In this course we will examine the major forms and themes of Western Literature since the Renaissance: the drama, essay, lyric and novel. We shall read major works by British, Spanish, French, German, Russian and American authors, considering the unique contributions of specific nations and languages and the transformations of themes and genres over a span of five hundred years.

  • Spectral Thinking in Modern Chinese Literature and Film

    'Spectral Thinking' examines what may be characterized as supernatural, fantastic, and anomalous in twentieth century and contemporary Chinese film and literature. Through the lens of spectral thinking, this course introduces a modern Chinese history replete with phantoms, dreams, and nightmares of the modern era.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Introduction to Jewish Cultures

    This introductory course focuses on the cultural syncretism and the global diversity of Jewish experience. It provides a comparative understanding of Jewish culture from antiquity to the present, examining how Jewish culture has emerged through the interaction of Jews and non-Jews, engaging a wide spectrum of cultures throughout the Jewish world, and following representations of key issues such as sexuality or the existence of God in different eras.

  • Masterworks of European Literature

    In this course we will examine the major forms and themes of Western Literature since the Renaissance: the drama, essay, lyric and novel. We shall read major works by British, Spanish, French, German, Russian and American authors, considering the unique contributions of specific nations and languages and the transformations of themes and genres over a span of five hundred years.

  • Spectral Thinking in Modern Chinese Literature and Film

    'Spectral Thinking' examines what may be characterized as supernatural, fantastic, and anomalous in twentieth century and contemporary Chinese film and literature. Through the lens of spectral thinking, this course introduces a modern Chinese history replete with phantoms, dreams, and nightmares of the modern era.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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