Courses

Spring 2020

Literary and Cultural Theory: Cartographies of the Image in the 21st Century
If the spectacular explosion of images during the last 20 years is one of the signatures of our contemporary era, one of our most urgent tasks is to understand the role and place of these images in our everyday life, and this without assuming we know what an image is. If we are to understand the innumerable mediums and forms in which images now appear, this course suggests that we must read these mostly digitized, and even post-digitized, appearances of the image through patient, and persistently pre-digital forms of reading that, proleptically, already comprehend digital and even post-digital phenomena avant la lettre.
Instructors: Eduardo Lujan Cadava
Luso-Brazilian Seminar: Clarice Lispector: 100 years
This seminar focuses on Clarice Lispector, arguably one of the most important fictionists of the 20th Century Brazilian Literature. In the year of her centenary, students are asked to respond to Lispector's oeuvre both critically and creatively, inspired by a close reading of her fiction. Taught in English.
Instructors: Marilia Librandi
Luso-Brazilian Seminar: Clarice Lispector: 100 years
This seminar focuses on Clarice Lispector, arguably one of the most important fictionists of the 20th Century Brazilian Literature. In the year of her centenary, students are asked to respond to Lispector's oeuvre both critically and creatively, inspired by a close reading of her fiction. Taught in English.
Instructors: Marilia Librandi
Middle High German Literature II: Gender, Sanctity, and Popular Piety in the Middle Ages
Seminar explores constructions of sanctity in texts and objects from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries. Beginning with saintly Queens, working through mystic writings, and ending with popular material culture surrounding vernacular legends and cults, we ask what constitutes holiness in these situations, as well as the relationship of these ideals to medieval understandings of gender: the multivalence of virginity; the gendering of male clergy; the different valuation of ascetic practices in male versus female holy women; the significance of female cross-dressing in proving female sanctity.
Instructors: Sara S. Poor
Middle High German Literature II: Gender, Sanctity, and Popular Piety in the Middle Ages
Seminar explores constructions of sanctity in texts and objects from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries. Beginning with saintly Queens, working through mystic writings, and ending with popular material culture surrounding vernacular legends and cults, we ask what constitutes holiness in these situations, as well as the relationship of these ideals to medieval understandings of gender: the multivalence of virginity; the gendering of male clergy; the different valuation of ascetic practices in male versus female holy women; the significance of female cross-dressing in proving female sanctity.
Instructors: Sara S. Poor
Music through Fiction
The aphorism that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" frames musical writing as an act of absurdity. Yet write about music we do. Focusing on works of fiction that turn musical experience into literary experience and back again, this course explores music writing as a creative activity. How do we write compellingly about the sides of music that seem most technical, hermetic, or ineffable? Can we consider fictional accounts of "real" music to be works in criticism or analysis? How can reading fiction deepen our musical attention, and how do we analyze music in a way that reflects the imaginative endeavor of listening?
Instructors: Jamie L. Reuland
Music through Fiction
The aphorism that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" frames musical writing as an act of absurdity. Yet write about music we do. Focusing on works of fiction that turn musical experience into literary experience and back again, this course explores music writing as a creative activity. How do we write compellingly about the sides of music that seem most technical, hermetic, or ineffable? Can we consider fictional accounts of "real" music to be works in criticism or analysis? How can reading fiction deepen our musical attention, and how do we analyze music in a way that reflects the imaginative endeavor of listening?
Instructors: Jamie L. Reuland
Myth, History, and Contemporary Experience: Modern Greek Poetry in a Global Context
This is an introduction to Modern Greek poetry in a broad context, with an emphasis on its relation to Anglophone poetry. How is the experience of modernity registered in poetic texts? What traditions do poets draw on, which contemporary experiences do they reflect or critique, and what futures do they envision? How are Greek poets exploring their relation to the ancient Greek past, and also responding to trends and experiments in global modernism as well as to current events? On the flipside, what kind of relationship, if any, to the Greece of the past and of the present do non-Greek poets construct?
Instructors: Katerina Stergiopoulou
Myth, History, and Contemporary Experience: Modern Greek Poetry in a Global Context
This is an introduction to Modern Greek poetry in a broad context, with an emphasis on its relation to Anglophone poetry. How is the experience of modernity registered in poetic texts? What traditions do poets draw on, which contemporary experiences do they reflect or critique, and what futures do they envision? How are Greek poets exploring their relation to the ancient Greek past, and also responding to trends and experiments in global modernism as well as to current events? On the flipside, what kind of relationship, if any, to the Greece of the past and of the present do non-Greek poets construct?
Instructors: Katerina Stergiopoulou
Nature vs. Culture: A European Problem
Where does nature end? Where does culture begin? In this seminar, we will walk the contested borderlands claimed by both, exploring key works of literature, art, and film from the Middle Ages to the present that challenge, represent, perform, condition, and subvert our notions of morality and human conduct. Is nature cruel or edifying? Should human values be informed by botany? How can an earthquake become an act of natural justice? Is the environment a field of scientific study or a human-made reality? Studying these cases of European culture will force us to address ethical issues and moral judgments of lasting fundamental relevance.
Instructors: Florian Fuchs

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