Courses

Spring 2021

Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation)
Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 20-25 page sample of the author's work. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. Weekly readings will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations as well as commentaries on the art and practice of literary translation.
Instructors: Jhumpa Lahiri
Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation)
Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 20-25 page sample of the author's work. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. Weekly readings will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations as well as commentaries on the art and practice of literary translation.
Instructors: Jhumpa Lahiri
Chinese Poetry
In this seminar we closely study ancient and medieval Chinese poetry, with emphasis on the formative stages of the Chinese textual tradition. While all texts will be read in translation, we also explore the ways in which the classical Chinese language shaped this poetry in its unique characteristics and possibilities of expression. In addition, we discuss in depth key texts of Chinese literary thought in their aesthetic, philosophical, social, and historical dimensions. Knowledge of the Chinese language is neither required nor expected.
Instructors: Martin Kern
Chinese Poetry
In this seminar we closely study ancient and medieval Chinese poetry, with emphasis on the formative stages of the Chinese textual tradition. While all texts will be read in translation, we also explore the ways in which the classical Chinese language shaped this poetry in its unique characteristics and possibilities of expression. In addition, we discuss in depth key texts of Chinese literary thought in their aesthetic, philosophical, social, and historical dimensions. Knowledge of the Chinese language is neither required nor expected.
Instructors: Martin Kern
Cinema in Times of Pandemic: Research Film Studio
In cooperation with the Sundance and the Berlin Film Festivals, our workshop will investigate the crisis of film production, distribution and canonization made acute by the Pandemic as well as divisive culture wars. We will uncover how the formation of film canons is informed by the ebb and flow of the civil rights movement. Our focus will be on stories of injustice filmed by women and Afro-American artists. The seminar work will consist of making short digital presentations and scholarly film-montage essays. The class will record Zoom interviews with critically acclaimed filmmakers, film festival directors and leaders of the film industry.
Instructors: Erika Anita Kiss
Cinema in Times of Pandemic: Research Film Studio
In cooperation with the Sundance and the Berlin Film Festivals, our workshop will investigate the crisis of film production, distribution and canonization made acute by the Pandemic as well as divisive culture wars. We will uncover how the formation of film canons is informed by the ebb and flow of the civil rights movement. Our focus will be on stories of injustice filmed by women and Afro-American artists. The seminar work will consist of making short digital presentations and scholarly film-montage essays. The class will record Zoom interviews with critically acclaimed filmmakers, film festival directors and leaders of the film industry.
Instructors: Erika Anita Kiss
Classics of Japanese Cinema
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Japanese films held the attention of large international audiences, seeming to parallel the emergence of Japan from the disasters of the Pacific War and its aftermath. Recognition in film competitions drove directors such as Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi to international stardom, and reflected back upon the domestic box office. This course will engage with several of these major films to learn how they interrogated the ethical and moral complexity of postwar Japan and its broader international significance. Comparisons with Hollywood, French and Italian films of the era.
Instructors: Thomas William Hare
Classics of Japanese Cinema
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Japanese films held the attention of large international audiences, seeming to parallel the emergence of Japan from the disasters of the Pacific War and its aftermath. Recognition in film competitions drove directors such as Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi to international stardom, and reflected back upon the domestic box office. This course will engage with several of these major films to learn how they interrogated the ethical and moral complexity of postwar Japan and its broader international significance. Comparisons with Hollywood, French and Italian films of the era.
Instructors: Thomas William Hare
Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia
Communism is long gone but its legacy continues to reverberate. And not only because of Cuba, China or North Korea. Inspired by utopian ideas of equality and universal brotherhood, communism was originally conceived as an ideological, socio-political, economic and cultural alternative to capitalism's crises. The attempt to build a new utopian world was costly and brutal: equality was quickly transformed into uniformity; brotherhood evolved into the Big Brother. The course provides an in-depth review of these contradictions between utopian motivations and oppressive practices in the Soviet Union.
Instructors: Serguei Alex. Oushakine
Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia
Communism is long gone but its legacy continues to reverberate. And not only because of Cuba, China or North Korea. Inspired by utopian ideas of equality and universal brotherhood, communism was originally conceived as an ideological, socio-political, economic and cultural alternative to capitalism's crises. The attempt to build a new utopian world was costly and brutal: equality was quickly transformed into uniformity; brotherhood evolved into the Big Brother. The course provides an in-depth review of these contradictions between utopian motivations and oppressive practices in the Soviet Union.
Instructors: Serguei Alex. Oushakine

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