Courses for Fall 2022
|Title||Instructors||Location||Time||Description||Cross listings||Fulfills||Registration notes||Syllabus||Syllabus URL|
|COML 0004-401||India's Literature: Love, War, Wisdom and Humor||Shaashi Ahlawat
|DRLB 2C6||TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM||This course introduces students to the extraordinary quality of literary production during the past four millennia of South Asian civilization. We will read texts in translation from all parts of South Asia up to the sixteenth century. We will read selections from hymns, lyric poems, epics, wisdom literature, plays, political works, and religious texts.||SAST0004401, SAST0004401||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 0015-401||Writing the Self: Life-Writing, Fiction, Representation||Liz Rose||BENN 112||R 10:15 AM-1:14 PM||This course investigates how people try to understand who they are by writing about their lives. It will cover a broad range of forms, including memoirs, novels, essay films, and even celebrity autobiographies. The course will be international and in focus and will ask how the notion of self may shift, not only according to the demands of different genres, but in different literary, linguistic, and social contexts. Questions probed will include the following: How does a writer's language--or languages--shape how they think of themselves? To what extent is a sense of self and identity shaped by exclusion and othering? Is self-writing a form of translation and performance, especially in multilingual contexts? What can memoir teach us about the ways writers navigate global literary institutions that shape our knowledge of World Literature? How do various forms of life-writing enable people on the margins, whether sexual, gendered, or racial, to craft narratives that encapsulate their experience? Can telling one's own story bring joy, affirmation, and greater transcultural or even global understanding? In sum, this course proposes to illuminate the many ways in which writing becomes meaningful for those who take it up. The format of the seminar will require students to offer oral presentations on the readings and invite them to craft their own experiences and memories in inventive narrative forms.||ENGL1745401, ENGL1745401, GSWS0051401, GSWS0051401|
|COML 0021-401||From the Uncanny to Horror: Film and Psychoanalysis||Jean-Michel Rabate||BENN 401||TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||From the Uncanny to Horror: Films and Psychoanalysis.
This class will introduce students to the links between psychoanalysis and film by focusing on two themes, the Uncanny and Horror. Psychoanalysis and film were invented and developed at the same time and one can observe a reciprocal influence. Taking Sigmund Freud’s Unconscious as a point of departure, Julia Kristeva’s analysis of Horror and Slavoj Zizek’s post-Lacanian readings as theoretical tools, we will study a number of films displaying the features of Horror and the Uncanny. We will verify the points of insertion of psychoanalytical concepts such as hysteria, paranoia, abjection, castration, Oedipal desire, the Uncanny and the “Thing” in about twenty-one films. Why do we enjoy being afraid when we watch horror movies? What is fascinating in tales of madness and haunting? Why do we believe unconsciously that the dead can return? A psychoanalytic approach to our anxious enjoyment of terror in filmic works will provide original methods of interpretation. The films we will discus include Doctor Caligari (Wiene), Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds (Hitchcock), Pet Sematary (Lambert & Kölsch and Wildmeyer), Dogtooth (Lanthimos), A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1 - 4 (Craven), The Babadook (Kent), Goodnight Mommy (Fiala and Franz), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper), Deep Red and Opera (Argento), Cannibal Holocaust (Deodato), Insidious (Wan), It (Muschietti), Martyrs (Laugier), It Follows (Mitchell), and Split (Night Shyamalan). Bibliography: Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny (PEPweb), Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on abjection, (Columbia U.P., 1982, online) and Slavoj Zizek, Looking Awry (MIT, 1991). Requirements: 7 short film journals (3 pages each) and one final research paper (10 pages).
|CIMS0021401, CIMS0021401, ENGL0021401, ENGL0021401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 0022-401||Pirates: Real and Imagined||Suvir Kaul||LRSM 112B||MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM||Pirates: Real and Imagined
This course will examine the vital presence of pirates in maritime, particularly Atlantic, history and in English literature, including the travelogues some of them produced. We will begin with Elizabethan forms of state-sponsored piracy, “adventuring,” and exploration, and then follow pirates into the eighteenth century. We will think about their shifting profiles as they abetted and disrupted colonial and commercial practices and ask how they could be both national heroes and hostis humanis generis (enemies of all mankind). We will examine the history of impressment and of labor, including indenture and slavery, that played a role in the making of pirate lives and the codes of conduct they developed for their operations. We will learn to see pirates as contributors to political theory and practice, trade and commerce, as well as to natural history and sea-borne discovery. We will read about the occasional women pirates who infiltrated and functioned within this very male world. In general, we will also be tracking the reasons why some pirates became legends, and why they continue to fascinate readers and movie-goers. One short essay, one final research paper, bi-weekly discussion posts
|ENGL0022401, ENGL0022401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 0030-401||Introduction to Sexuality Studies and Queer Theory||Matilda Kate Hemming||BENN 345||TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||This course will introduce students to the historical and intellectual forces that led to the emergence of queer theory as a distinct field, as well as to recent and ongoing debates about gender, sexuality, embodiment, race, privacy, global power, and social norms. We will begin by tracing queer theory's conceptual heritage and prehistory in psychoanalysis, deconstruction and poststructuralism, the history of sexuality, gay and lesbian studies, woman-of-color feminism, the feminist sex wars, and the AIDS crisis. We will then study the key terms and concepts of the foundational queer work of the 1990s and early 2000s. Finally, we will turn to the new questions and issues that queer theory has addressed in roughly the past decade. Students will write several short papers.||ENGL2303401, GSWS0003401, GSWS0003401||Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.|
|COML 0052-401||Lit. and Society: Intro to Psychoanalysis: History, Theory, Practice||Susan C Adelman
Max C Cavitch
|DRLB A6||MW 5:15 PM-6:44 PM||History, Theory, Practice--
Psychoanalysis is not only a powerful therapeutic modality for numerous psychological stresses and disorders, it’s also a comprehensive way of looking at the world: a way of understanding 1) the roles that emotions play in all aspects of our lives; 2) the enormous influence of childhood experiences and early development on our later friendships, romantic relationships, sexual experiences, and other personal, familial, cultural, and professional bonds; and 3) the rich and complex meanings of our social and aesthetic experiences (e.g., going to college, playing a sport, reading a book, taking a vacation, having a baby or a dog, creating a company or a garden, etc.). The theory and practice of psychoanalysis, from Sigmund Freud to the present day, is based fundamentally on the importance of unconscious processes and the complex ways in which those processes affect our lived experience: in childhood development and family relationships; in our wishes, dreams, and fantasies; in our experiences of work, play, love, sex, trauma, and loss; and in our creative, spiritual, and political strivings. Because the course aims to link the academic and the clinical, it will be team-taught by an academic faculty member and a practicing psychoanalyst. The course will introduce students to the broad and ever-expanding spectrum of psychoanalytic ideas and techniques, through reading and discussion of major works by some of its most influential figures, such as Freud, Sándor Ferenczi, Melanie Klein, Heinz Kohut, Erik Erikson, D. W. Winnicott, Jacques Lacan, Wilfred Bion, John Bowlby, Stephen Mitchell, Jessica Benjamin, Nancy Chodorow, and Christopher Bollas. We will also read some literary, historical, philosophical, and anthropological works that have special relevance to the psychoanalytic exploration of the human condition. Indeed, the course will demonstrate how effective psychoanalytic ideas are in bridging a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences—including recent developments in neuropsychoanalysis. No prior knowledge of psychoanalysis is required, and interested students from all disciplines are warmly welcomed. The reading assignment for the second class meeting will be Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?, if you want to get a head-start over Summer Break. Please note: in addition to the other requirements it satisfies, this course may also be counted toward completion of the Psychoanalytic Studies minor (http://web.sas.upenn.edu/psys/). three short essays, regular quizzes, weekly in-class group exercises (NO midterm or final exam).
|COML 0090-401||The Fantastic Voyage from Homer to Science Fiction||Scott M Francis||WILL 214||TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||Tales of voyages to strange lands with strange inhabitants and even stranger customs have been a part of the Western literary tradition from its inception. What connects these tales is that their voyages are not only voyages of discovery, but voyages of self-discovery. By describing the effects these voyages have on the characters who undertake them, and by hinting at comparisons between the lands described in the story and their own society, authors use fantastic voyages as vehicles for incisive commentary on literary, social, political, and scientific issues.
In this course, we will see how voyage narratives as seemingly distant as Homer’s Odyssey and Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes fit into a bigger tradition of speculative fiction. We will determine what the common stylistic elements of speculative fiction are, such as the frame narrative, or story-within-a-story, and what purpose they serve in conveying the tale’s messages. We will see how voyagers attempt to understand and interact with the lands and peoples they encounter, and what these attempts tell us about both the voyagers and their newly discovered counterparts. Finally, we will ask ourselves what real-world issues are commented upon by these narratives, what lessons the narratives have to teach about them, and how they impart these lessons to the reader.
Readings for this course, all of which are in English or English translation, range from classics like the Odyssey and Gulliver’s Travels to predecessors of modern science fiction like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells to seminal works of modern science fiction like Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes, Karel Čapek’s War with the Newts, and Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris. We will also look at how films like Planet of the Apes (1968) and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) or television shows like Star Trek and Futurama draw upon literary or cinematic models for their own purposes. Students will also have the opportunity to examine and present on pieces from the Mark B. Adams Science Fiction Collection at Penn’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, which comprises over 2,000 volumes of science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy.
This course is meant not only for SF fans who would like to become better acquainted with the precursors and classics of the genre, but for all those who wish to learn how great works of fiction, far from being intended solely for entertainment and escapism, attempt to improve upon the real world through the effect they have on the reader.
This course fulfills Sector III (Arts and Letters) and the Cross-Cultural Analysis foundational approach for the general education requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences.
|FREN0090401, FREN0090401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 0320-401||Modern Hebrew Literature and Culture in Translation: Literary Giants Pre & Post 1948||Nili R Gold||COLL 318||W 10:15 AM-1:14 PM||Please see the syllabus for the title, description and readings for the fall 2022 course.
|CIMS0320401, CIMS0320401, CIMS0320401, JWST0320401, JWST0320401, JWST0320401, NELC0320401, NELC0320401, NELC0320401||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 0502-401||BFS--Med/Red Dante in English: Creative Responses to the Divine Comedy||David Wallace||VANP 627||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||Dante's Divine Comedy has long been acclaimed as the greatest poem ever written, in any language. It is certainly among the most inclusive, covering every conceivable realm of human experience-- past, present, and future. In his Vita nuova ('New Life'), Dante tells of his growing love for a woman who first induces in him paralysis of feeling, then later free-flowing poetic creativity-- but then, suddenly, she dies. The Commedia, as it is known in Italian, proposes that death may not be the end; that lovers may meet again, and that their love forms part of the greater energy of the universe. This journey towards understanding comes in stages, or steps. First, led by the great Roman poet Vergil, Dante travels downwards through a lightless realm (Inferno) where people remain fixed in a single, inflexible attitude: Hell for Dante is another word for inability to change. Next, Dante and Vergil emerge into the light and climb the mountain of Purgatory. With first-hand knowledge of the worst of human nature behind them, they travel hopefully upwards and finally recover the first site of simple human happiness: the Earthly Paradise. Here, through much effort and much help from artists and poets, human beings can change, leaving destructive impulses behind. Finally, freed from worldly anxieties, Dante travels further beyond time to experience ultimate truths with his first beloved, Beatrice: Paradiso.
The first English poet to be seriously inspired by Dante was Geoffrey Chaucer (died 1400). Chaucer's encounter with Dante's text and Dante's disciples (he travelled to Italy twice) led first to artistic crisis and then to his revolutionizing of English poetry. Many poets and writers since have seen revolutionary potential (Irish Dante, black Dante), across Europe and beyond. Students in this class will sample a wide range of this creativity while formulating their own, unique research project (plus one shorter, tune-up essay). This can take the form of a traditionally-footnoted final long essay, or be given a more creative spin.
We will read substantial sections of the Commedia, using parallel Italian-English texts, but never more than five cantos (about 600 lines) per class. No prior knowledge of Italian needed. We'll read more of Inferno than Paradiso, but not neglect Purgatorio or the Vita nuova. It's not crucial that we all employ the same edition, since the Commedia's text is designedly stable (tamperproof). There are many excellent recent translations to choose from (plus some duds and eccentricities). For a first pass through the poem I recommend the translation of Allan Mandelbaum, that I'll likely use myself, because i) he stages a real poet's struggle with the Italian; ii) his notes are helpful, but not overpowering; iii) very cheap (Bantam classics).
Anglophone writers who have been inspired by Dante, and who we might read in class, include: Geoffrey Chaucer; John Milton; Percy Bysshe Shelley; John Keats; William Blake; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other pre-Rapahelites; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Fanny Appleton; H. Cordelia Ray; Ezra Pound; T.S. Eliot; James Joyce; Samuel Beckett; Seamus Heaney; Osip Mandelstam; Amiri Baraka; Derek Walcott; Eternal Kool Project; film and video makers (since 1907); Caroline Bergvall.
|ENGL0502401, ENGL0502401, ITAL3335401, ITAL3335401||Arts & Letters Sector|
|COML 0615-401||Modern Arabic Literature: Palestine and its Diaspora in Film and Literature||Ahmad Almallah||MEYH B4||TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM||This course is a study of modern Arabic literary forms in the context of the major political and social changes which shaped Arab history in the first half of the twentieth century. The aim of the course is to introduce students to key samples of modern Arabic literature which trace major social and political developments in Arab society. Each time the class will be offered with a focus on one of the literary genres which emerged or flourished in the twentieth century: the free verse poem, the prose-poem, drama, the novel, and the short story. We will study each of these emergent genres against the socio-political backdrop which informed it. All readings will be in English translations. The class will also draw attention to the politics of translation as a reading and representational lens.||NELC0615401, NELC0615401, NELC0615401, NELC6505401, NELC6505401, NELC6505401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 1000-401||Introduction to Literary Study: Global Novel||Rita Barnard||BENN 201||MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||THE GLOBAL NOVEL: This course has three broad aims: first, it will introduce students to a selection of compelling contemporary narratives; second, it will provide prospective students of literature and film, as well as interested students headed for other majors, with fundamental skills in literary, visual, and cultural analysis; and, third, it will encourage a meditation on the function of literature and culture in our world, where commodities, people, and ideas have been constantly in motion. Questions for discussion will therefore include: the meaning of terms like "globalization," "translation," and "world literature"; the transnational reach and circulation of texts; migration and engagement with "others"; violence, trauma, and memory; terrorism and the state; and the ethic of cosmopolitanism. Our collective endeavor will be to think about narrative forms as modes of mediating and engaging with the vast and complex world we inhabit today. See COML website for current semester's description at https://complit.sas.upenn.edu/course-list/2019A||ENGL1409401, ENGL1409401||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 1011-401||World Film History to 1945||Chenshu Zhou||BENN 401||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||This course surveys the history of world film from cinema's precursors to 1945. We will develop methods for analyzing film while examining the growth of film as an art, an industry, a technology, and a political instrument. Topics include the emergence of film technology and early film audiences, the rise of narrative film and birth of Hollywood, national film industries and movements, African-American independent film, the emergence of the genre film (the western, film noir, and romantic comedies), ethnographic and documentary film, animated films, censorship, the MPPDA and Hays Code, and the introduction of sound. We will conclude with the transformation of several film industries into propaganda tools during World War II (including the Nazi, Soviet, and US film industries). In addition to contemporary theories that investigate the development of cinema and visual culture during the first half of the 20th century, we will read key texts that contributed to the emergence of film theory. There are no prerequisites. Students are required to attend screenings or watch films on their own.||ARTH1080401, ARTH1080401, ARTH1080401, CIMS1010401, CIMS1010401, CIMS1010401, ENGL1900401, ENGL1900401, ENGL1900401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 1011-402||World Film History to 1945||Joseph M Coppola||BENN 401||TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM||This course surveys the history of world film from cinema's precursors to 1945. We will develop methods for analyzing film while examining the growth of film as an art, an industry, a technology, and a political instrument. Topics include the emergence of film technology and early film audiences, the rise of narrative film and birth of Hollywood, national film industries and movements, African-American independent film, the emergence of the genre film (the western, film noir, and romantic comedies), ethnographic and documentary film, animated films, censorship, the MPPDA and Hays Code, and the introduction of sound. We will conclude with the transformation of several film industries into propaganda tools during World War II (including the Nazi, Soviet, and US film industries). In addition to contemporary theories that investigate the development of cinema and visual culture during the first half of the 20th century, we will read key texts that contributed to the emergence of film theory. There are no prerequisites. Students are required to attend screenings or watch films on their own.||ARTH1080402, ARTH1080402, CIMS1010402, CIMS1010402, ENGL1900402, ENGL1900402||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 1015-401||Sagas and Skalds: Old Norse Literature in Translation||Caroline Batten||JAFF 113||TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||This course introduces students to the powerful and influential corpus of Old Norse literature and to the cultural and historical landscape of Viking and medieval Scandinavia. Students will explore mythological and heroic verse, court poetry, law codes, runic inscriptions, and the famed Icelandic sagas to develop a deeper understanding of one of the most significant literary traditions in high medieval Europe, and to myth-bust popular misconceptions about who 'the Vikings' were and how they lived.||ENGL1015401, ENGL1015401|
|COML 1022-401||World Film History 1945-Present||Meta Mazaj||BENN 401||TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM||Focusing on movies made after 1945, this course allows students to learn and to sharpen methods, terminologies, and tools needed for the critical analysis of film. Beginning with the cinematic revolution signaled by the Italian Neo-Realism (of Rossellini and De Sica), we will follow the evolution of postwar cinema through the French New Wave (of Godard, Resnais, and Varda), American movies of the 1950s and 1960s (including the New Hollywood cinema of Coppola and Scorsese), and the various other new wave movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (such as the New German Cinema). We will then selectively examine some of the most important films of the last two decades, including those of U.S. independent film movement and movies from Iran, China, and elsewhere in an expanding global cinema culture. There will be precise attention paid to formal and stylistic techniques in editing, mise-en-scene, and sound, as well as to the narrative, non-narrative, and generic organizations of film. At the same time, those formal features will be closely linked to historical and cultural distinctions and changes, ranging from the Paramount Decision of 1948 to the digital convergences that are defining screen culture today. There are no perquisites. Requirements will include readings in film history and film analysis, an analytical essay, a research paper, a final exam, and active participation.||ARTH1090401, ARTH1090401, ARTH1090401, CIMS1020401, CIMS1020401, CIMS1020401, ENGL1901401, ENGL1901401, ENGL1901401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 1022-402||World Film History 1945-Present||Filippo Trentin||BENN 401||TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||Focusing on movies made after 1945, this course allows students to learn and to sharpen methods, terminologies, and tools needed for the critical analysis of film. Beginning with the cinematic revolution signaled by the Italian Neo-Realism (of Rossellini and De Sica), we will follow the evolution of postwar cinema through the French New Wave (of Godard, Resnais, and Varda), American movies of the 1950s and 1960s (including the New Hollywood cinema of Coppola and Scorsese), and the various other new wave movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (such as the New German Cinema). We will then selectively examine some of the most important films of the last two decades, including those of U.S. independent film movement and movies from Iran, China, and elsewhere in an expanding global cinema culture. There will be precise attention paid to formal and stylistic techniques in editing, mise-en-scene, and sound, as well as to the narrative, non-narrative, and generic organizations of film. At the same time, those formal features will be closely linked to historical and cultural distinctions and changes, ranging from the Paramount Decision of 1948 to the digital convergences that are defining screen culture today. There are no perquisites. Requirements will include readings in film history and film analysis, an analytical essay, a research paper, a final exam, and active participation.||ARTH1090402, ARTH1090402, ARTH1090402, CIMS1020402, CIMS1020402, CIMS1020402, ENGL1901402, ENGL1901402, ENGL1901402||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 1025-401||Narrative Across Cultures||Ania Loomba||BENN 322||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||The purpose of this course is to present a variety of narrative genres and to discuss and illustrate the modes whereby they can be analyzed. We will be looking at shorter types of narrative: short stories, novellas, and fables, and also some extracts from longer works such as autobiographies. While some works will come from the Anglo-American tradition, a larger number will be selected from European and non-Western cultural traditions and from earlier time-periods. The course will thus offer ample opportunity for the exploration of the translation of cultural values in a comparative perspective.||ENGL0039401, ENGL0039401, NELC1960401, NELC1960401, SAST1124401, SAST1124401, THAR1025401, THAR1025401||Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 1031-401||Television and New Media||Peter Decherney||BENN 401||MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM||How and when do media become digital? What does digitization afford and what is lost as television and cinema become digitized? As lots of things around us turn digital, have we started telling stories, sharing experiences, and replaying memories differently? What has happened to television and life after New Media ? How have television audiences been transformed by algorithmic cultures of Netflix and Hulu? How have (social) media transformed socialities as ephemeral snaps and swiped intimacies become part of the "new" digital/phone cultures? This is an introductory survey course and we discuss a wide variety of media technologies and phenomena that include: cloud computing, Internet of Things, trolls, distribution platforms, optical fiber cables, surveillance tactics, social media, and race in cyberspace. We also examine emerging mobile phone cultures in the Global South and the environmental impact of digitization. Course activities include Tumblr blog posts and Instagram curations. The final project could take the form of either a critical essay (of 2000 words) or a media project.||ARTH1070401, ARTH1070401, ARTH1070401, CIMS1030401, CIMS1030401, CIMS1030401, ENGL1950401, ENGL1950401, ENGL1950401|
|COML 1031-601||Television and New Media||CANCELED||How and when do media become digital? What does digitization afford and what is lost as television and cinema become digitized? As lots of things around us turn digital, have we started telling stories, sharing experiences, and replaying memories differently? What has happened to television and life after New Media ? How have television audiences been transformed by algorithmic cultures of Netflix and Hulu? How have (social) media transformed socialities as ephemeral snaps and swiped intimacies become part of the "new" digital/phone cultures? This is an introductory survey course and we discuss a wide variety of media technologies and phenomena that include: cloud computing, Internet of Things, trolls, distribution platforms, optical fiber cables, surveillance tactics, social media, and race in cyberspace. We also examine emerging mobile phone cultures in the Global South and the environmental impact of digitization. Course activities include Tumblr blog posts and Instagram curations. The final project could take the form of either a critical essay (of 2000 words) or a media project.||ARTH1070601, ARTH1070601, CIMS1030601, CIMS1030601, ENGL1950601, ENGL1950601|
|COML 1050-401||War and Representation||Oded Even Or
|BENN 141||MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||This class will explore complications of representing war in the 20th and 21st centuries. War poses problems of perception, knowledge, and language. The notional "fog of war" describes a disturbing discrepancy between agents and actions of war; the extreme nature of the violence of warfare tests the limits of cognition, emotion, and memory; war's traditional dependence on declaration is often warped by language games--"police action," "military intervention," "nation-building," or palpably unnamed and unacknowledged state violence. Faced with the radical uncertainty that forms of war bring, modern and contemporary authors have experimented in historically, geographically, experientially and artistically particular ways, forcing us to reconsider even seemingly basic definitions of what a war story can be. Where does a war narrative happen? On the battlefield, in the internment camp, in the suburbs, in the ocean, in the ruins of cities, in the bloodstream? Who narrates war? Soldiers, refugees, gossips, economists, witnesses, bureaucrats, survivors, children, journalists, descendants and inheritors of trauma, historians, those who were never there? How does literature respond to the rise of terrorist or ideology war, the philosophical and material consequences of biological and cyber wars, the role of the nuclear state? How does the problem of war and representation disturb the difference between fiction and non-fiction? How do utilitarian practices of representation--propaganda, nationalist messaging, memorialization, xenophobic depiction--affect the approaches we use to study art? Finally, is it possible to read a narrative barely touched or merely contextualized by war and attend to the question of war's shaping influence? The class will concentrate on literary objects--short stories, and graphic novels--as well as film and television. Students of every level and major are welcome in and encouraged to join this class, regardless of literary experience.||ENGL1449401, ENGL1449401, REES1179401, REES1179401||Humanties & Social Science Sector|
|COML 1060-401||The Fantastic and Uncanny in Literature: Ghosts, Spirits & Machines||Liliane Weissberg||WILL 1||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||Do we still believe in spirits and ghosts? Do they have any place in an age of science of technology? Can they perhaps help us to define what a human being is and what it can do? We will venture on a journey through literary texts from the late eighteenth century to the present to explore the uncanny and fantastic in literature and life. Our discussions will be based on a reading of Sigmund Freud's essay on the uncanny, and extraordinary Romantic narratives by Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel 125wthorne, Prosper Merimee, Villiers de Isle-Adam, and others.
Section 401 is the lecture. Students must registration for Recitation section 402 or 403.
|GRMN1060401, GRMN1060401, GSWS1060401, GSWS1060401||Arts & Letters Sector|
|COML 1060-402||The Fantastic and Uncanny in Literature: Ghosts, Spirits & Machines||BENN 322||F 10:15 AM-11:14 AM||Do we still believe in spirits and ghosts? Do they have any place in an age of science of technology? Can they perhaps help us to define what a human being is and what it can do? We will venture on a journey through literary texts from the late eighteenth century to the present to explore the uncanny and fantastic in literature and life. Our discussions will be based on a reading of Sigmund Freud's essay on the uncanny, and extraordinary Romantic narratives by Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel 125wthorne, Prosper Merimee, Villiers de Isle-Adam, and others.||GRMN1060402, GRMN1060402, GSWS1060402, GSWS1060402||Arts & Letters Sector|
|COML 1060-403||The Fantastic and Uncanny in Literature: Ghosts, Spirits & Machines||WILL 202||F 12:00 PM-12:59 PM||Do we still believe in spirits and ghosts? Do they have any place in an age of science of technology? Can they perhaps help us to define what a human being is and what it can do? We will venture on a journey through literary texts from the late eighteenth century to the present to explore the uncanny and fantastic in literature and life. Our discussions will be based on a reading of Sigmund Freud's essay on the uncanny, and extraordinary Romantic narratives by Ludwig Tieck, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel 125wthorne, Prosper Merimee, Villiers de Isle-Adam, and others.||GRMN1060403, GRMN1060403, GSWS1060403, GSWS1060403||Arts & Letters Sector|
|COML 1080-401||German Cinema||Ian Fleishman||WILL 1||MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM||An introduction to the momentous history of German film, from its beginnings before World War One to developments following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification in 1990. With an eye to film's place in its historical and political context, the course will explore the "Golden Age" of German cinema in the Weimar Republic, when Berlin vied with Hollywood; the complex relationship between Nazi ideology and entertainment during the Third Reich; the fate of German film-makers in exile during the Hitler years; post-war film production in both West and East Germany; the call for an alternative to "Papa's Kino" and the rise of New German Cinema in the 1960s.||CIMS1080401, CIMS1080401, GRMN1080401, GRMN1080401||Arts & Letters Sector|
|COML 1097-401||Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture||Molly Peeney||WILL 203||TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||Is "insanity" today the same thing as "madness" of old? Who gets to define what it means to be "sane," and why? Are the causes of madness biological or social? In this course, we will grapple with these and similar questions while exploring Russia's fascinating history of madness as a means to maintain, critique, or subvert the status quo. We will consider the concept of madness in Russian culture beginning with its earliest folkloric roots and trace its depiction and function in the figure of the Russian "holy fool," in classical literature, and in contemporary film. Readings will include works by many Russian greats, such as Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Bulgakov and Nabokov.||REES0172401, REES0172401, REES6172401, REES6172401||Cross Cultural Analysis
Humanties & Social Science Sector
|COML 1121-401||Community, Freedom, Violence: Writing the South Asian City||Gregory Goulding||BENN 24||TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||The South Asian city—as space, symbol, and memory—is the subject of this course. Through a range of readings in English and in translation, we will gain a sense for the history of the city and the ways in which it is a setting for protest and nostalgia, social transformation and solitary wandering. We will see reflections of the city in the detective novels sold in its train stations, the stories scribbled in its cafes, and films produced in its backlots. Readings will attempt to address urban spaces across South Asia through a range of works, which we will examine in the context of secondary readings, including histories and ethnological works that take up life in the modern city. Students will finish this course prepared to pursue projects dealing with the urban from multiple disciplinary perspectives. This course is suitable for anyone interested in the culture, society, or literature of South Asia, and assumes no background in South Asian languages.||ENGL1191401, ENGL1191401, SAST1120401, SAST1120401, URBS1120401, URBS1120401||Cross Cultural Analysis|
|COML 1160-401||Sustainability & Utopianism||Bethany Wiggin||MEYH B4||TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||This seminar explores how the humanities can contribute to discussions of sustainability. We begin by investigating the contested term itself, paying close attention to critics and activists who deplore the very idea that we should try to sustain our, in their eyes, dystopian present, one marked by environmental catastrophe as well as by an assault on the educational ideals long embodied in the humanities. We then turn to classic humanist texts on utopia, beginning with More's fictive island of 1517. The "origins of environmentalism" lie in such depictions of island edens (Richard Grove), and our course proceeds to analyze classic utopian tests from American, English, and German literatures. Readings extend to utopian visions from Europe and America of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as literary and visual texts that deal with contemporary nuclear and flood catastrophes. Authors include: Bill McKibben, Jill Kerr Conway, Christopher Newfield, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Karl Marx, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Owens, William Morris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ayn Rand, Christa Wolf, and others.||ENGL1579401, ENGL1579401, ENVS1050401, ENVS1050401, GRMN1160401, GRMN1160401, STSC1160401, STSC1160401||Humanties & Social Science Sector|
|COML 1200-401||Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece and Rome||Emily Wilson||CANCELED||What is being a man, being a woman, being masculine, being feminine, being neither, being both? Is sex about pleasure, domination, identity, reproduction, or something else? Are sexual orientation and gender identity innate? How can words, myths and stories inform cultural assumptions about sex and gender? Did people in ancient times have a concept of sexuality? How do gendered English terms (like "girly", "effeminate", or "feisty") compare to gendered ancient Greek and Latin terms, like virtus, which connotes both "virtue" and "masculinity"? Why did the Roman and English speaking worlds have to borrow the word "clitoris" from the ancient Greeks? How did people in antiquity understand consent? Can we ever get access to the perspectives of ancient women? In this introductory undergraduate course, we will learn about sex and gender in ancient Greece and Rome. We will discuss similarities and differences between ancient and modern attitudes, and we will consider how ancient texts, ancient art, ancient ideas and ancient history have informed modern western discussions, assumptions and legislation. Our main readings will be of ancient texts, all in English translation; authors studied will include Ovid, Aristophanes, Plato, Euripides, and Sappho. Class requirements will include participation in discussion as well as quizzes, reading responses, and a final exam.||CLST1200401, CLST1200401, GSWS1200401, GSWS1200401||Cross Cultural Analysis|
|COML 1201-401||Foundations of European Thought: from Rome to the Renaissance||Hannah Phoebe Leclair
Ann Elizabeth Moyer
|COLL 318||TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||This course offers an introduction to the world of thought and learning at the heart of European culture, from the Romans through the Renaissance. We begin with the ancient Mediterranean and the formation of Christianity and trace its transformation into European society. Along the way we will examine the rise of universities and institutions for learning, and follow the humanist movement in rediscovering and redefining the ancients in the modern world.||HIST1200401, HIST1200401||History & Tradition Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
|COML 1231-402||Perspectives in French Literature: Love and Passion||Gerald J Prince||WILL 516||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||This basic course in literature provides an overview of French literature and acquaints students with major literary trends through the study of representative works from each period. Students are expected to take an active part in class discussion in French. French 1231 has as its theme the presentation of love and passion in French literature. This course was previously offered as French 221.||FREN1231402, FREN1231402||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 1231-403||Perspectives in French Literature: Love and Passion||Scott M Francis||WILL 216||TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||This basic course in literature provides an overview of French literature and acquaints students with major literary trends through the study of representative works from each period. Students are expected to take an active part in class discussion in French. French 1231 has as its theme the presentation of love and passion in French literature. This course was previously offered as French 221.||FREN1231403, FREN1231403||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 1260-401||Intro to Latinx Literature and Culture||Jennifer Lyn Sternad Ponce De Leon||BENN 244||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||This course offers a broad introduction to the study of U.S. Latina/o/x history and culture. We will read poetry, short stories, novels, plays, and essays; watch films; and examine visual art from across a wide range of mediums and traditions, including poster art, performance art, murals, graffiti, conceptual art, and guerrilla urban interventions. In each instance, we will study this work within its historical context and with close attention to the ways it illuminates class formation, racialization, and ideologies of gender and sexuality as they shape Latino/a/xs’ experience. Topics addressed in the course will include: the history of U.S. imperialism in Latin America, transnational migration and the function of borders, revolutionary nationalisms, Latina feminisms, queer Latinx experience, ideology and racialization, identity formation, and the study of literature and art created within social movements. While we will address key texts, historical events, and intellectual currents from the late 19th century and early 20th century, the course will focus primarily on the period from the 1960s to the present. All texts will be in English. As part of the course, students will have the opportunity to develop and present their own artistic project. Weekly discussion posts, midterm paper, final research paper, creative project and artist statement.
||ARTH2679401, ARTH2679401, ENGL1260401, ENGL1260401, GSWS1260401, GSWS1260401, LALS1260401, LALS1260401||Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.||https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=ENGL1260401|
|COML 1261-401||Radical Arts in the Americas||Jennifer Lyn Sternad Ponce De Leon||BENN 231||MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM||This course examines intersections of artistic production and radical politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. It addresses art from across a wide array of media: street art, film, theater, poetry, performance art, fiction, graphic arts, digital media, and urban interventions. We will examine artistic movements and artists from across the Americas, including revolutionary Latin American theater, film, and literature; the art of Black Liberation in the U.S.; the Chicano art movement and its queer dissidents; street performance and protest produced in the context of dictatorship; anticolonial performance art and alternative reality gaming; and activist art, political theater, and cinema from the 21st century. Through its focus on the relationship between art and politics, this course also introduces students to foundational concepts related to the relationship between culture and power more broadly. As part of the course, students will have the opportunity to develop and present their own artistic project. Weekly discussion posts, midterm paper, final research paper, creative project and artist statement.
||ARTH2990401, ARTH2990401, CIMS1261401, CIMS1261401, ENGL1261401, ENGL1261401, LALS1261401, LALS1261401, THAR1261401, THAR1261401||Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.||https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=ENGL1261401|
|COML 1310-401||21st Century Women Poets: "The Poethical Wager"||Simone White||BENN 231||W 12:00 PM-2:59 PM||This course will focus on questions of gender difference and of sexual desire in a range of literary works, paying special attention to works by women and treatments of same-sex desire. More fundamentally, the course will introduce students to questions about the relation between identity and representation. We will attend in particular to intersections between gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation, and will choose from a rich vein of authors. See the English Department's website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.||ENGL1310401, ENGL1310401, GSWS1310401, GSWS1310401||Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.|
|COML 1311-401||Introduction to Modern Hebrew Literature: Short Story Reinvented||Nili R Gold||WILL 705||W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM||Taught in Hebrew. Texts and discussions in Hebrew.
The art of the short story is fertile ground for non-mainstream genres like horror and mystery, and its economy lends itself to the electronic era. For Hebrew writers, the short story has been a favorite since the renaissance of Hebrew literature and the revival of the language at the end of the 19th century; now it is vibrant in Israel, where Hebrew is the dynamic language of everyday life. At the center of this course are contemporary works by both male and female authors, ranging from traditional to post-modernist. Their diction is simple, sometimes colloquial, but they reflect a rich inner world and a tumultuous outer reality. Authors include: S.Y. Agnon, Orly Castel-Bloom, Alex Epstein, Amir Gutfreund, Esty G. Hayim, and Yoel Hoffman.
|JWST1310401, JWST1310401, NELC1310401, NELC1310401, NELC5400401, NELC5400401||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 1400-401||Introduction to Literary Theory||David L Eng||CANCELED||This seminar will provide an introduction to literary theory by focusing on ideology. We will explore how ideology becomes a name for investigating various social, political, and economic processes underwriting cultural production. Throughout the semester we will read texts that help to establish a genealogy of ideology. At the same time, we will examine a number of critical theories—including (post)structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and environmental studies—that offer frameworks for analyzing the complex relationships among language, representation, and power in literature, popular culture, and public discourse. Finally, we will place these theories in conversation with a number of contemporary political debates, including feminist challenges to pornography, legal disputes over hate speech, social controversies over affirmative action, state rhetoric regarding the “war on terror,” and scientific deliberations on climate change.
||ENGL1400401, ENGL1400401, GRMN1303401, GRMN1303401|
|COML 1650-401||Introduction to Digital Humanities||Cassandra Hradil
Whitney A Trettien
|BENN 231||MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||Artificial intelligence, big data, and the internet of things are rapidly changing every aspect of our lives. The methods and questions of the humanities are critical to understanding these shifts. Run like a workshop, this course will explore various sites at Penn and around Philadelphia where humanists and artists are collaborating with scientists and engineers to solve the big problems facing our planet and our species. We’ll visit museums and special collections in search of the future of past. We’ll learn how scholars of race and gender are combating algorithmic bias in our search engines. And we’ll meet librarians who are helping climate scientists save their data from politics. Students will gain hands-on experience with writing grants, collaborating across disciplines, and developing research questions in digital humanities. They will also acquire basic facility and literacy with key digital tools like GitHub, XML/HTML, and online publishing platforms like WordPress and Scalar. Together, we will gain a critical, historical framework for understanding technology’s impact on our lives. Absolutely no prior coding experience is required. Coursework will involve regular in-class exercises, short response papers, and one mid-sized digital project.
||ENGL1650401, ENGL1650401, HIST0870401, HIST0870401|
|COML 1890-401||Masterpieces-Italian Literature||Eva Del Soldato||CANCELED||This course surveys the history of Italian literature through its major masterpieces. Beginning with Dante's Divine Comedy, Petrarca's love poems, and Boccaccio's Decameron, we will follow the development of Italian literary tradition through the Renaissance (Machiavelli's political theory and Ariosto's epic poem), and then through Romanticism (Leopardi's lyric poetry and Manzoni's historical novel), up to the 20th century (from D'annunzio's sensual poetry to Calvino's post-modern short stories). The course will provide students with the tools needed for analyzing the texts in terms of both form and content, and for framing them in their historical, cultural, and socio-political context. Classes and readings will be in Italian. ITAL 1890 is mandatory for Majors in Italian Literature and Minors in Italian Literature. If necessary, ITAL 1000 can be taken at the same time as ITAL 1890. Prerequisite: Open to students who have completed ITAL 1000 or equivalent.||ITAL1890401, ITAL1890401||Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
|COML 2000-401||Topics In Classicism and Literature: Epic Tradition||Rita Copeland||BENN 138||MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM||Ancient epic and mythology had a curious and rich afterlife in the Middle Ages. Virgil and Ovid were taught in medieval schools, read for their moral content, and revered as fiction that concealed great philosophical value. Their influence also gave rise to the great literary form of the Middle Ages, romance: narratives that place a premium on erotic love, individual quests, the unpredictability of adventure, and imaginary or exotic settings. Yet despite what may appear to be merely gratifying entertainment, medieval romance and medieval receptions of classical myth did tremendous cultural work, enabling profound explorations of history, political values, gender and sexual identity, and social power. We will spend some weeks reading Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Heroides and Metamorphoses. Then we will turn to medieval reimaginings of classical myth and metamorphosis, including poetry by Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, and Chaucer, and anonymous works such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The course requirements will be: one very short oral presentation on a research topic of your choice related to the reading, together with a short write-up of your research; one short critical paper; and one longer research paper (which can develop the subject of your oral presentation).
||CLST3708401, CLST3708401, ENGL2000401, ENGL2000401, GSWS2000401, GSWS2000401|
|COML 2004-401||Tolstoy||D. Brian Kim||WILL 320||TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM||Leo Tolstoy is a figure who arguably needs little introduction, if only as an effigy for the kind of author who writes books like "War and Peace" — prime examples of what Henry James called the “large, loose, baggy monsters” of nineteenth-century Russian literature, the sprawling novels with several parallel plot lines and hundreds of characters who inhabit page numbers in the quadruple digits. In this seminar, we will grapple together with the intricacies of "War and Peace," learn about the social, cultural, and historical contexts not only of its depiction and genesis, but also of its wide-ranging reception, and consider the big questions that preoccupied Tolstoy throughout his lifetime. Working with a range of his texts including a wide spread of his shorter fiction and also a number of Tolstoy’s non-literary writings on topics such as aesthetics, religion, education, and social and political problems, we will work toward understanding Tolstoy’s work, how he became who he was, and the reverberations of his thought throughout the rest of the world.||REES0481401, REES0481401||Arts & Letters Sector|
|COML 2017-401||Modern Iran and the West Through the Lens of Fiction||Fatemeh Shams Esmaeili||COLL 311A||M 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||This undergraduate level course explores key tropes and themes of Iranian modernity through a close reading of Persian novel, short story, travelogue, and memoir. Various literary genres from social realism, to surrealism, magic realism, naturalism, and absurd literature will be introduced with specific reference to Iran's literature and in light of literary theory of novel. This course does not require any prior knowledge of Persian language and literature. Throughout the course, we will be particularly concerned with the relationship between Persian fiction and the West. We will investigate this curious relationship through themes of gender, religion, politics, and war.||GSWS2130401, GSWS2130401, NELC1710401, NELC1710401||Cross Cultural Analysis|
|COML 2031-401||18th-Century Seminar: China in the English Imagination||Chi-Ming Yang||CANCELED||This course explores the china-mania that spread across England and Europe in the eighteenth century, from chinoiserie vogues in fashion, tea, porcelain, and luxury objects, to the idealization of Confucius by Enlightenment philosophers. How was Asia was imagined and understood by Europeans during a period of increased trade between East and West? The course will consist primarily of British and French literature and art of the 18th century. Texts range from Oriental tales, novels, plays, and poetry, to newspaper essays and economic, scientific, and philosophical tracts. The course is designed to provide historical background to contemporary problems of Orientalism, Sinophilia, and Sinophobia. Short discussion responses, one class presentation + annotated bibliography and a choice of either two short essays (5 pages each) or one longer essay (15 pages).
||ASAM2310401, ASAM2310401, EALC1321401, EALC1321401, ENGL2031401, ENGL2031401||Cross Cultural Analysis|
|COML 2071-401||Modernism Seminar: When was Modernism?||Jean-Michel Rabate||BENN 222||TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM||When was Modernism:
This class will provide a survey of international modernism by historicizing it. Most critics agree that 1922 was the main year of modernism, giving birth to masterpieces associated with the concept, those canonical texts by Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Rainer Maria Rilke, Katherine Mansfield, E.E. Cummings, Gertrude Stein and T. S. Eliot. We will read selections from these « monuments » before wondering when modernism began. This will take us back to the pre-war years, and we will examine earlier texts by Joyce, Rilke, T. S. Eliot, and Apollinaire. Finally, we will look for a possible closure by reading passages from texts like Cane (1923), As I Lay Dying (1930), Nausea (1938), The Day of the Locust (1939), and pages from Finnegans Wake (1939). A comparison between those « slices » of global cultural history offers a clear view of important trends and movements in the arts and literature. The years that produced modern masterpieces also saw the emergence of a “modern classicism,” a development ushering in the mixture of the new and tradition that has become the hallmark of modernism, thus turning it into a contemporary classicism. We will study passages from In Search of Lost Time, Ulysses, The Castle, The Enormous Room, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, The Duino Elegies, Geography and Plays, Jacob’s Room, The Garden Party, The Waste Land, As I Lay Dying, Nausea, The Day of the Locust and Finnegans Wake. All texts available online. Requirements: one oral presentation and two papers of 8 pages each.
|ARTH3850401, ARTH3850401, ENGL2071401, ENGL2071401, GRMN1304401, GRMN1304401|
|COML 2190-401||Colonial and Postcolonial Literature||Rita Barnard||BENN 222||TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM||Colonial and Postcolonial Literature:
In this lecture-discussion class we will study a series of thematically connected novels by some of the twentieth-century’s most important writers from Britain and the global south. This version of the course will also include some novels and films by Caribbean and Native American writers. Class discussions will critically examine the following oppositions: “Englishness” (or “Frenchness”) and otherness, civilization and barbarism, power and knowledge, the metropolis and the periphery, and writing and orality. The course will appeal to students with an interest in questions of race and gender and the relationship between literature and politics, as well as students who simply want to read a set of compelling books and expand their literary horizons. Books are likely to include: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; E.M. Forster, Passage to India; Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Graham Greene, The Quiet American; Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart or Arrow of God; Sembene Ousmane, God’s Bits of Wood; Michelle Cliff, No Telephone to Heaven, Louise Erdrich, Tracks, and J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians. Films may include: Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Black and White in Color, Sugar Cane Alley, The Battle of Algiers, Even the Rain, The Constant Gardener, and/or the film version of Waiting for the Barbarians. Students will also be encouraged to see the film versions of the novels included in the course. Writing requirements: a mid-term and final paper of around 8-10 pages in length.
|ENGL2190401, ENGL2190401||Cross Cultural Analysis|
|COML 2191-401||The Dictator Novel as Global Form||Joshua D Esty||DRLB 2N36||W 3:30 PM-6:29 PM||In this seminar, we will explore the ways in which twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers across the globe have responded to tyrants and tyrannical regimes. Our focus will be a set of outstanding contemporary novels from Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. We will begin with the Latin American boom writers of the 1960s and 1970s (represented on the syllabus by Manuel Puig and Gabriel García-Márquez) before moving on to two recent Nobel prize winners, Herta Müller (2009) and Mario Vargas Llosa (2010). In addition to these four writers, we will also consider the works of Graham Greene, V.S. Naipaul, Chinua Achebe, Jessica Hagedorn, Nuruddin Farah, Julia Alvarez, Junot Díaz, and Mohammed Hanif. Primary texts include both Anglophone and translated novels as well as poems, plays, scripted films, and documentaries that represent or describe totalitarian regimes.
Two central questions will guide our readings: 1) What are the connections between oppressive regimes and literary expression -- between violence and aesthetics? 2) What formal strategies do writers in these situations use to manage the complex and sometimes dangerous political content of their works? Graded requirements include several short response papers, a bibliographic project, and a long-form research paper (3000 words).
|ENGL2191401, ENGL2191401||Cross Cultural Analysis|
|COML 2231-401||The Sanskrit Epics||Deven Patel||Ancient India's two epic poems, originally composed in Sanskrit and received in dozens of languages over the span of two thousand years, continue to shape the psychic, social, religious, and emotional worlds of millions of people around the world. The epic Mahabharata, which roughly translates to The Great Story of the Descendants of the Legendary King Bharata, is the longest single poem in the world (approximately 200,000 lines of Sanskrit verse in the 1966 Critical Edition) and tells the mythic history of dynastic power struggles in ancient India. An apocalyptic meditation on time, death, and the utter devastation brought upon the individual and the family unit through social disintegration, the epic also serves as sourcebook for social and political mores and contains one of the great religious works of the world, The Bhagavad Gita (translation: The Song of God), in the middle of its sprawling narrative. The other great epic, The Ramayana (Rama’s Journey), though essentially tragic and about the struggles for power in ancient India, offers a relatively brighter narrative in foregrounding King Rāma, an avatar of the supreme divinity Viṣṇu, who serves as an ideal for how human beings might successfully negotiate the challenges of worldly life. Perhaps the most important work of ancient Asia, the Rāṃāyaṇa also provides a model of human social order that contrasts with dystopic polities governed by animals and demons. Our course will engage in close reading of selections from both of these epic poems (in English translation) and scholarship on the epic from the past century. We will explore the Sanskrit epic genre, its oral and textual forms in South Asia, and the numerous modes for interpreting it over the centuries. We will also look at the reception of these ancient works in modern forms of media, such as the novel, television, theater, cinema and the comic book/anime.||COML6631401, COML6631401, SAST2231401, SAST2231401, SAST6631401, SAST6631401|
|COML 2800-401||Poetry and Poetics: The Person in the Poem||Max C Cavitch||BENN 222||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||
The Person in the Poem:
Through the study of a wide variety of poems from the Renaissance to the present, students in this seminar will expand their familiarity with the sweep of modern English-language poetry and will develop a thorough understanding of fundamental poetic concepts—especially those concepts related to the question of “the person in the poem”: “author,” “voice,” “persona,” “address,” “personification,” “representation,” and “referentiality.” These are all concepts essential to the advanced study of poetry and of literature more comprehensively. We’ll sharpen our understanding of these concepts in our close readings and discussions of major poems by authors including W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Alexander Pope, Claudia Rankine, Adrienne Rich, William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and William Wordsworth. These poetic works will be complemented by our study of some essential works of modern poetic theory. Course requirements will include several short essays and a variety of in-class exercises, including recitation, memorization, and imitation as well as active participation in seminar discussion. (No mid-term or final exams.)
|COML 2840-401||Groundbreaking Poets and Traditional Forms||Taije Jalaya Silverman||BENN 224||TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM||Groundbreaking Poets and Traditional Forms:
Learn about sonnets, sestinas, villanelles, and other standards of the established canon as they are revitalized by the most celebrated poets working today. As we read and write in various meters and forms, we will also explore United States history. Phillis Wheatley Peters' address to George Washington will teach us iambic pentameter, as Terrance Hayes' broken villanelle will describe the pre-Civil War raid on Harper's Ferry, and Emma Lazarus's sonnet in the voice of the Statue of Liberty will reveal American immigration policy. Split between discussions and workshops so we can practice the prosody we study, the course will move between early and contemporary events that shape American identity: Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan's terzanelle about Japanese internment camps, Yusef Komenyakaa's ghazal about the Ferguson protests, Patricia Smith's sestinas about Hurricane Katrina, and Reginald Dwayne Betts's sonnets about mass incarceration. We will research sources of these older forms, and look at how they influence newer ones like the bop, the Golden Shovel, and the duplex. Poets we will read in depth include: Gwendolyn Brooks, Natasha Trethewey, Natalie Diaz, Jericho Brown, Agha Shahid Ali, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Marilyn Nelson, and June Jordan. Assignments will include occasional short essays and more playful exercises on how to follow--and break--the shifting rules of meter and form.
|ENGL2840401, ENGL2840401||Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.|
|COML 3252-401||Marx, Nietzsche, Freud: Masters of Suspicion||Warren G Breckman||WILL 633||R 12:00 PM-2:59 PM||In his influential book Freud & Philosophy, the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur identified three master thinkers whose influence on the twentieth century was inestimable. What these figures shared was what Ricoeur called a “hermeneutics of suspicion”; that is, in their different ways, each developed a style of interpretation aimed at unmasking, demystifying, and exposing the real from the apparent. “Three masters, seemingly mutually exclusive, dominate the school of suspicion: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud.” Taking its inspiration from Ricoeur, this seminar will explore some of the key writings of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. We will encounter the hermeneutics of suspicion above all in these authors’ attempts to unmask religion and reveal its true origin and function. And we shall also pursue the hermeneutics of suspicion in the specific concerns that form the core of each thinker’s work: Marx’s critique of capitalism, Nietzsche’s genealogy of Judaeo-Christian morality, skepticism about ‘truth’, and proto-deconstruction of the human self, and Freud’s theory of the unconscious. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to independent research and writing of an original essay in intellectual history.||HIST3252401, HIST3252401|
|COML 3712-401||From Tablets to Tablets: A Long History of Technology and Communication||Andrew Starling||VANP 627||T 3:30 PM-6:29 PM||The invention of new communications technologies is often accompanied by a swell of hope. Enthusiasts expect people to become more connected, new ideas to become more accessible, and information to be shared more rapidly and in more fixed forms than ever before. While there are always nay-sayers, who warn against the effects of such inventions, the narrative linking new communications technologies and progress is so strong that these detractors are most commonly painted as luddites, and the narrative itself is used to justify and promote yet newer media as well as new configurations of state and media relations.
In this class, we will examine some of the most significant transformations in the history of communications technology—from orality to writing, from tablet to scroll to codex, manuscript to print, hand-press to steam-press, print to radio, radio to tv, and tv to streaming and other forms of new media. We will ask some basic questions: How were these technologies made? How and by whom were these technologies used? How did contemporaries perceive them and the transformations they did or did not work? We will also ask some bigger questions: why do certain communications technologies emerge and get adopted when and where they do? Conversely, why are some communications technologies resisted at some times and in some places? What impacts do communications technologies have on the societies in which the appear? Do they alter the course of events? Do they change the way in which we think? If so, then how? Is the history of communication substitutive or additive? How is the digital age in which we live similar to or different from those that came before?
History Majors may use this course to fulfill the pre-1800 requirement depending on the topic of their research paper.
|COML 3923-401||Twentieth Century European Intellectual History||Warren G Breckman||COLL 318||MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM||European intellectual and cultural history from 1870 to 1950. Themes to be considered include aesthetic modernism and the avant-garde, the rebellion against rationalism and positivism, Social Darwinism, Second International Socialism, the impact of World War One on European intellectuals, psychoanalysis, existentialism, and the ideological origins of fascism. Figures to be studied include Nietzsche, Freud, Woolf, Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger.||HIST3923401, HIST3923401|
|COML 3931-401||Participatory Community Media, 1970-Present||Louis Joseph Massiah
Karen E Redrobe
|JAFF 104||W 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||What would it mean to understand the history of American cinema through the lens of participatory community media, collectively-made films made by and for specific communities to address personal, social and political needs using a range of affordable technologies and platforms, including 16mm film, Portapak, video, cable access television, satellite, digital video, mobile phones, social media, and drones? What methodologies do participatory community media makers employ, and how might those methods challenge and transform the methods used for cinema and media scholarship? How would such an approach to filmmaking challenge our understanding of terms like “authorship,” “amateur,” “exhibition,” “distribution,” “venue,” “completion,” “criticism,” “documentary,” “performance,” “narrative,” “community,” and “success”? How might we understand these U.S.-based works within a more expansive set of transnational conversations about the transformational capacities of collective media practices? This course will address these and other questions through a deep engagement with the films that make up the national traveling exhibition curated by Louis Massiah and Patricia R. Zimmerman, We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media, which foregrounds six major themes: Body Publics (public health and sexualities); Collaborative Knowledges (intergenerational dialogue); Environments of Race and Place (immigration, migration, and racial identities unique to specific environments); States of Violence (war and the American criminal justice system); Turf (gentrification, homelessness, housing, and urban space); and Wages of Work (job opportunities, occupations, wages, unemployment, and underemployment). As part of that engagement, we will study the history of a series of Community Media Centers from around the U.S., including Philadelphia’s own Scribe Video Center, founded in 1982 by Louis Massiah, this course’s co-instructor. This is an undergraduate seminar, but it also available to graduate students in the form of group-guided independent studies. The course requirements include: weekly screenings, readings, and seminar discussions with class members and visiting practitioners, and completing both short assignments and a longer research paper.||AFRC3932401, AFRC3932401, ARTH3931401, ARTH3931401, ARTH6931401, ARTH6931401, CIMS3931401, CIMS3931401, ENGL2970401, ENGL2970401, GSWS3931401, GSWS3931401|
|COML 5010-001||Comparative Literature Proseminar||David C Kazanjian||VANP 625||W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM||This course will survey what has come to be known in literary and cultural studies as "theory" by tracking the genealogies of a select range of contemporary practices of interpretation. We will address the following questions. What are some of the historical and rhetorical conditions of emergence for contemporary critical theories of interpretation? What does it mean to interpret literature and culture in the wake of the grand theoretical enterprises of the modern period? How do conceptions of power and authority in literature and culture change as symbolic accounts of language give way to allegorical and performative accounts? How might we bring frameworks of globality and translation to bear on literary and cultural criticism? Half of the course sessions will involve the instructor and the students reading texts that represent a range of hermeneutic approaches, in classical and contemporary forms. For the other half of the class, we will welcome one visiting instructor per week from the Comparative Literature faculty, who will assign readings and lead discussion on their own area(s) of specialization.
The central, practical goals of the class will be to help first year PhD candidates in Comparative Literature prepare for their MA exam, to introduce students to a range of faculty in the Program, and to forge an intellectual community among the first year cohort.
|Perm Needed From Department|
|COML 5050-401||Digital Humanities Studies||Whitney A Trettien||DRLB 4N30||M 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||This course is designed to introduce advanced undergraduate and graduate students to the range of new opportunities for literary research afforded by Digital Humanities and recent technological innovation.
Digital Humanities: you've heard of it. Maybe you're excited about it, maybe you're skeptical. Regardless of your primary area of study, this course will give you the critical vocabularies and hands-on experience necessary to understand the changing landscape of the humanities today. Topics will include quantitative analysis, digital editing and bibliography, network visualization, public humanities, and the future of scholarly publishing. Although we will spend a good portion of our time together working directly with new tools and methods, our goal will not be technological proficiency so much as critical competence and facility with digital theories and concepts. We will engage deeply with media archaeology, feminist technology studies, critical algorithm studies, and the history of material texts; and we will attend carefully to the politics of race, gender, and sexuality in the field. Students will have the opportunity to pursue their own scalable digital project.
See the English Department's website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description of the current offerings.
|CIMS5051401, CIMS5051401, ENGL5050401, ENGL5050401|
|COML 5110-640||Life Writing: Autobiography, Memoir, and the Diary||Batsheva Ben-Amos||COLL 311F||W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM||This course introduces three genres of life writing: Autobiography, Memoir and the Diary. While the Memoir and the diary are older forms of first persons writing the Autobiography developed later. We will first study the literary-historical shifts that occurred in Autobiographies from religious confession through the secular Eurocentric Enlightenment men, expanded to women writers and to members of marginal oppressed groups as well as to non-European autobiographies in the twentieth century. Subsequently we shall study the rise of the modern memoir, asking how it is different from this form of writing that existed already in the middle ages. In the memoirs we see a shift from a self and identity centered on a private individualautobiographer to ones that comes from connections to a community, a country or a nation; a self of a memoirist that represents selves of others. Students will attain theoretical background related to the basic issues and concepts in life writing: genre, truth claims and what they mean, the limits of memory, autobiographical subject, agency or self, the autonomous vs. the relational self. The concepts will be discussed as they apply to several texts. Some examples are: parts of Jan Jacques Rousseau's Confessions; the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; selected East European autobiographies between the two world wars; the memoirs of Lady Ann Clifford, Sally Morgan, Mary Jamison and Saul Friedlander. The third genre, the diary, is a person account, organized around the passage of time, and its subject is in the present. We will study diary theories, diary's generic conventions and the canonical text, trauma diaries and the testimonial aspect, the diary's time, decoding emotions, the relation of the diary to an audience and the process of transition from archival manuscript to a published book. The reading will include travel diaries (for relocation and pleasure), personal diaries in different historical periods and countries, diaries in political conflict (as American Civil War women's diaries, Holocaust diaries, Middle East political conflicts diaries). We will conclude with diaries online, and students will have a chance to experience and report about differences between writing a personal diary on paper and diaries and blogs on line. Each new subject in this online course will be preceded by an introduction. Specific reading and written assignments, some via links to texts will be posted weekly ahead of time. We will have weekly videos and discussions of texts and assigned material and students will post responses during these sessions and class presentations in the forums.||https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=COML5110640|
|COML 5111-401||Introduction to Paleography & Book History||Eva Del Soldato||VANP 627||W 3:30 PM-5:29 PM||Writing and reading are common actions we do every day. Nonetheless they have changed over the centuries, and a fourteenth century manuscript appears to us very different from a Penguin book. The impact of cultural movements such as Humanism, and of historical events, such as the Reformation, reshaped the making of books, and therefore the way of reading them. The course will provide students with an introduction to the history of the book, including elements of paleography, and through direct contact with the subjects of the class: manuscripts and books. Furthermore, a section of the course will focus on digital resources, in order to make students familiar with ongoing projects related to the history of book collections (including the "Philosophical Libraries" and the "Provenance" projects, based at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and at Penn). The course will be conducted in English; a basic knowledge of Latin is desirable but not required.||CLST7709401, CLST7709401, ITAL5110401, ITAL5110401|
|COML 5120-401||French and Italian Film Noir||Philippe Charles Met||WILL 516||T 3:30 PM-5:29 PM||Topics vary. Please see the department's website for the current course description: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/french/pc||CIMS5120401, CIMS5120401, FREN5120401, FREN5120401|
|COML 5245-401||Topics in Medieval Studies: Premodern Animals (c.500-c.1500)||Emily R Steiner||BENN 224||W 10:15 AM-1:14 PM||From St. Cuthbert, whose freezing feet were warmed by otters, to St. Guinefort, a miracle-performing greyhound in 13th-century France, to Melusine, the half-fish, half-woman ancestress of the house of Luxembourg (now the Starbucks logo), medieval narratives are deeply inventive in their portrayal of human-animal interactions. This course introduces students to critical animals studies via medieval literature and culture. We will read a range of genres, from philosophical commentaries on Aristotle and theological commentaries on Noah’s ark to werewolf poems, beast fables, political satires, saints’ lives, chivalric romances, bestiaries, natural encyclopaedias, dietary treatises and travel narratives.
Among the many topics we will explore are the following: animals in premodern law; comfort and companion animals; vegetarianism across religious cultures; animal symbolism and human virtue; taxonomies of species in relation to race, gender, and class; literary animals and political subversion; menageries and collecting across medieval Europe, the Near East, and Asia; medieval notions of hybridity, compositeness, trans-species identity, and interspecies relationships; art and the global traffic in animals (e.g., ivory, parchment); European encounters with New World animals; and the legacy of medieval animals in contemporary philosophy and media.
No prior knowledge of medieval literature is required. Students from all disciplines are welcome.
|CLST7710401, CLST7710401, ENGL5245401, ENGL5245401, RELS6101401, RELS6101401|
|COML 5730-401||Cultures of Reading in Imperial Russia||D. Brian Kim||JAFF B17||W 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||Cultures of Reading in Imperial Russia --- What did it mean to be a reader in imperial Russia? What did people read, and to what ends? How was literacy cultivated, and what were the social implications? In this course, students will develop a broad theoretical apparatus in the history and sociology of reading in nineteenth-century Russia to analyze several canonical works of literature that thematize and foreground the act of reading: as a pursuit undertaken for the betterment of self, society, nation, and world; as a light pastime for the bored, contemplative, or idle; but also as an enterprise fraught with potential for moral or civic ruin. In addition to investigating allusions to the specific texts and authors read by literary characters, we will also examine the reading habits of our own authors as both consumers and producers of literary culture. We will consider these dynamics against a backdrop of constant fluctuations in educational policies, the book market, and the circulation of texts within and beyond Russia as we work together to develop an understanding of the imperial Russian reading public(s).||ARTH5730401, ARTH5730401, CIMS5730401, CIMS5730401, ENGL5730401, ENGL5730401, GRMN5730401, GRMN5730401, REES6683401, REES6683401|
|COML 5735-401||Topics in Criticism: What is Poetics?||Simone White||BENN 140||R 10:15 AM-1:14 PM||What is poetics? How does it differ from other forms of criticism in terms of both attitude or posture and method? In terms of practices of art and politics, What is its relationship to poieis and ethics -- what is poethics? -- as articulated by such varied thinkers as Joan Retallack, Denise Farreira Da Silva and R.A. Judy? What’s to be observed about the current turn of black studies toward poetics?
For the seminar, let’s think about the above as matters of a) critical inquiry b) art practice and c) professional discipline. It may be possible to triangulate by way of “critique” and “aesthetics.” Proposing the inseparability of critical inquiry and writing practice, the final assignment will be deemed experimental since the monograph-ish essay won’t be presumed. Consequently, we will discuss the institutional state/status of what participants will have made.
Possible readings incoude Michel Foucault, What is Critique?; Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guatarri, What is Philosophy?; Hortense Spillers, Black, White & in Color (selections); Joan Retallack, The Poethical Wager; Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Unpayable Debt; Boris Groys, Going Public ; Rachel Zolf, No One’s Witness; Leslie Scalapino, Objects in the Terrifying Tense/Longing from Taking Place.
|COML 5811-401||Modern/Contemporary Italian Culture||Carla Locatelli||WILL 307||T 3:30 PM-5:29 PM||Please see department website for current description at: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/italians/graduate/courses||ITAL5810401, ITAL5810401, ITAL5810401, JWST5810401, JWST5810401, JWST5810401|
|COML 5904-401||English, Irish, and American Dantes||David Wallace||VANP 629||M 10:15 AM-1:14 PM||You cannot build a wall to stop the free flow of literary and creative ideas. But in constructing narratives of national identity, states have long adopted particular texts as "foundational." Very often these texts have been epics or romances designated "medieval," that is, associated with the period in which specific vernaculars or "mother tongues" first emerged. France and Germany, for example, have long fought over who "owns" the Strasbourg oaths, or the Chanson de Roland; new editions of this epic poem, written in French but telling of Frankish (Germanic) warriors, have been produced (on both sides) every time these two countries go to war. In this course we will thus study both a range of "medieval" texts and the ways in which they have been claimed, edited, and disseminated to serve particular nationalist agendas. Particular attention will be paid to the early nineteenth century, and to the 1930s. Delicate issues arise as nations determine what their national epic needs to be. Russia, for example, needs the text known as The Song of Igor to be genuine, since it is the only Russian epic to predate the Mongol invasion. The text was discovered in 1797 and then promptly lost in Moscow's great fire of 1812; suggestions that it might have been a fake have to be handled with care in Putin's Russia. Similarly, discussing putative Mughal (Islamic) elements in so-called "Hindu epics" can also be a delicate matter. Some "uses of the medieval" have been exercised for reactionary and revisionist causes in the USA, but such use is much more extravagant east of Prague. And what, exactly, is the national epic of the USA? What, for that matter, of England? Beowulf has long been celebrated as an English Ur-text, but is set in Denmark, is full of Danes (and has been claimed for Ulster by Seamus Heaney). Malory's Morte Darthur was chosen to provide scenes for the queen's new robing room (following the fire that largely destroyed the Palace of Westminster in 1834), but Queen Victoria found the designs unacceptable: too much popery and adultery. Foundations of literary history still in force today are rooted in nineteenth-century historiography: thus we have The Cambridge History of Italian Literature and The Cambridge History of German Literature, each covering a millennium, even though political entities by the name of Italy and Germany did not exist until the later nineteenth century. What alternative ways of narrating literary history might be found? Itinerary models, which do not observe national boundaries, might be explored, and also the cultural history of watercourses, such as the Rhine, Danube, or Nile. The exact choice of texts to be studied will depend in part on the interests of those who choose to enroll. Faculty with particular regional expertise will be invited to visit specific classes.||ENGL5940401, ENGL5940401, ITAL5940401, ITAL5940401|
|COML 5940-401||Cinema and Media Studies Methods||Karen E Redrobe||JAFF 113||M 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||This proseminar will introduce a range of methodological approaches (and some debates about them) informing the somewhat sprawling interdisciplinary field of Cinema and Media Studies. It aims to equip students with a diverse—though not comprehensive—toolbox with which to begin conducting research in this field; an historical framework for understanding current methods in context; and a space for reflecting on both how to develop rigorous methodologies for emerging questions and how methods interact with disciplines, ideologies, and theories. The course’s assignments will provide students with opportunities to explore a particular methodology in some depth through the lenses of pedagogy, the conference presentation, the written essay, or an essay in another medium of your choice, such as the graphic or video essay. Throughout, we will be trying to develop practical skills for the academic profession. Although our readings engage a variety of particular cinema and media objects, this course will be textually based. The methods studied will be organized around the following concepts and challenges: History/Time; Archive/Gaps/Limits; Ethics and Access; Space/Location/Position/Perspective; Sharing Media: Technology/Exhibition/Experience; National/Transnational/Global/Glocal Frameworks; Voice/Listening/Volume; Against/Beyond Representation; Infrastructures & Environments; and Elements. No prior experience needed. The course is also open to upper-level undergraduates with relevant coursework in the field by permission of instructor.
Complete assigned readings and screenings and actively participate in class discussion: 20%
Canvas postings: 10%
Annotated bibliography or course syllabus on a particular methodology: 20%
SCMS methodology-focused conference paper proposal according to SCMS format: 10%
Research paper (5,000 words) or essay in other format (such as graphic or video essay) using the methodology explored in the syllabus or bibliography: 40%
|ARTH5933401, ARTH5933401, CIMS5933401, CIMS5933401, ENGL5933401, ENGL5933401, GSWS5933401, GSWS5933401|
|COML 6050-401||Modern Literary Theory and Criticism||Ian Fleishman
|VANP 626||M 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||This course will provide an overview of major European thinkers in literary theory of the 20th and 21st centuries. We will pay particular attention to the following movements: Structuralism and Deconstruction (Levi-Strauss, Jakobson, Barthes, Derrida), Social Theory (Foucault, Ranciere), Psychoanalysis (Freud, Lacan, Abraham and Torok), Schizoanalysis (Deleuze and Guattari), Feminism and Queer Theory (Irigary, Kristeva, Sedgwick), Spatial Theory (Bachelard, DeCerteau, Lefebvre), and the Frankfurt School (Adorno and Horkheimer, Kracauer). Readings and discussion will be in English.||ENGL7905401, ENGL7905401, FREN6050401, FREN6050401, GRMN6050401, GRMN6050401, ITAL6050401, ITAL6050401, REES6435401, REES6435401||Perm Needed From Instructor|
|COML 6631-401||The Sanskrit Epics||Deven Patel||Ancient India's two epic poems, originally composed in Sanskrit and received in dozens of languages over the span of two thousand years, continue to shape the psychic, social, religious, and emotional worlds of millions of people around the world. The epic Mahabharata, which roughly translates to The Great Story of the Descendants of the Legendary King Bharata, is the longest single poem in the world (approximately 200,000 lines of Sanskrit verse in the 1966 Critical Edition) and tells the mythic history of dynastic power struggles in ancient India. An apocalyptic meditation on time, death, and the utter devastation brought upon the individual and the family unit through social disintegration, the epic also serves as sourcebook for social and political mores and contains one of the great religious works of the world, The Bhagavad Gita (translation: The Song of God), in the middle of its sprawling narrative. The other great epic, The Ramayana (Rama’s Journey), though essentially tragic and about the struggles for power in ancient India, offers a relatively brighter narrative in foregrounding King Rāma, an avatar of the supreme divinity Viṣṇu, who serves as an ideal for how human beings might successfully negotiate the challenges of worldly life. Perhaps the most important work of ancient Asia, the Rāṃāyaṇa also provides a model of human social order that contrasts with dystopic polities governed by animals and demons. Our course will engage in close reading of selections from both of these epic poems (in English translation) and scholarship on the epic from the past century. We will explore the Sanskrit epic genre, its oral and textual forms in South Asia, and the numerous modes for interpreting it over the centuries. We will also look at the reception of these ancient works in modern forms of media, such as the novel, television, theater, cinema and the comic book/anime.||COML2231401, COML2231401, SAST2231401, SAST2231401, SAST6631401, SAST6631401|
|COML 6860-401||Form, Figure, Metaphor||Sarah P Brilmyer||BENN 322||R 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||This course will explore the tensions and overlaps between three concepts in literary studies: form, figure, and metaphor. Through readings of works in literary theory, literature, and literary criticism, we will ask what it means to pay attention to the form of a literary text, whether at the micro scale of its literary figures or the macro scale of its overarching structure. We will historicize the shifting relations between our three key terms by exploring their role in ancient rhetoric, Victorian aesthetic theory, Russian formalism, the New Criticism, and deconstruction, among other literary-critical schools. Special attention will be paid to the notion of metaphor as it operates across genres and disciplines. While our focus will be on modern European and American literary theory, students will come away with interpretive tools beneficial to the study of literature of any period or genre.
|COML 7600-401||Realisms Seminar--19th Century to Contemporary||Heather Love
Emily D Steinlight
|BENN 140||T 10:15 AM-1:14 PM||An advanced graduate seminar focused on Realism and spanning several centuries. This two-part course will consider the literary history of realism and will take on some fundamental epistemological questions entailed by the novel’s attempts to represent the real. We will read major theories of realism alongside canonical and marginal realist fiction. Emily Steinlight will address the variously formal, aesthetic, political, and epistemological status of realism in nineteenth-century novels and in theories old and new; some discussion will focus on the concept of totality and on the uneven histories and revitalized uses of realism across contexts. Heather Love will address the relation between classical realism, hyperrealism, and modernist/avant-garde departures in the 20th and 21st centuries, with special attention paid to the role of observation and description in literature and the social sciences. The range of readings may include novels by Honoré de Balzac, George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, George Gissing, Mariano Azuela, Virginia Woolf, Patricia Highsmith, Nicholson Baker, Georges Perec, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Rachel Cusk, as well as critical and theoretical work by Viktor Schklovsky, Georg Lukács, Ian Watt, Roland Barthes, Catherine Gallagher, Fredric Jameson, Elaine Freedgood, Anna Kornbluh, Colleen Lye, the Warwick Research Collective, and others.||ENGL7600401, ENGL7600401|
|COML 7708-401||Black Classicisms||Emily Greenwood||DRLB 4C8||W 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||This course will explore heterogeneous responses to ancient Greek and Roman Classics in the literature, art, and political thought of Africa and the Black Diaspora, ranging from the late eighteenth century to the present day and encompassing Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. We will analyze how African and black diasporic writers, artists, and thinkers have engaged with and re-imagined Greco-Roman Classics, both to expose and critique discourses of racism, imperialism, and colonialism, and as a source of radical self-expression. Throughout, we will consider the reciprocal dynamic by which dialogues with ancient Greek and Roman classics contribute to the polyphony of black texts and these same texts write back
to and signify on the Greek and Roman Classics, diversifying the horizon of expectation for their future interpretation.
Writers and artists whose work we will examine include Romare Bearden; Dionne Brand; Gwendolyn Brooks; Aimé Césaire; Austin Clarke; Anna Julia Cooper; Rita Dove; W.E.B. Du Bois; Ralph Ellison; Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona; C.L.R. James; June Jordan; Toni Morrison; Harryette Mullen; Marlene Nourbese Philip; Ola Rotimi; William Sanders Scarborough; Wole Soyinka; Mary Church Terrell; Derek Walcott; Booker T. Washington; Phillis Wheatley; and Richard Wright. We will study these writers in the context of national and transnational histories and networks and in dialogue with relevant theoretical debates. Work for assessment will include a 15-page research paper and the preparation of a teaching syllabus for a course on an aspect of Black Classical Receptions.
|AFRC7708401, AFRC7708401, CLST7708401, CLST7708401|
|COML 7920-401||Study of a Genre: The Manifesto||Zita C Nunes||VANP 629||T 1:45 PM-4:44 PM||If ubiquity confers significance, the manifesto is a major literary form, and yet it has been relatively marginalized in genre studies, where attention to the manifesto has been largely devoted to anthologies. In this seminar we will focus on the manifesto as a genre by exploring its histories, rhetorics, definitions and reception from a Black Studies framework.
Associated with politics, art, literature, pedagogy, film, and new technologies, the manifesto involves the taking of an engaged position that is tied to the moment of its enunciation. The manifesto's individual or collective authors seek to provoke radical change through critique and the modeling of new ways of being though language and images. Included on the syllabus will be anticolonial, anti-racist, feminist, LGBTQ manifestos of the 18th through 21st centuries from throughout the Black world .
In addition to leading class discussion, students will be responsible for a seminar paper or a final project to be developed in consultation with the instructor.
|AFRC7920401, AFRC7920401, ENGL7920401, ENGL7920401|