Category V: Arts and Letters
These courses aim at depth of knowledge and development of students' interpretive skills through intellectual engagement with major works of philosophy, literature, art, film, or music. Classes are writing-intensive and limited to thirty students to promote direct interaction between students and faculty.
TTh, 8:00 - 9:20
This course examines selected works that have been considered classics by and within the Islamic, Indian, Chinese and Japanese traditions. The course is both text- and problem-centered, emphasizing the exploration of views and approaches alternative to those found with the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions or the specific disciplines represented by the texts and problems assigned for reading and discussion. It is, however, hoped that students will feel challenged personally by these texts and problems; that they will focus thoughtfully on those alternative perspectives; and that they will thereby exercise both their intellects and moral imaginations. The reading may include: The Koran Interpreted; Ibn Khaldun, The Mugaddimah: An Introduction to History; The Bhagavad Gita; The Buddhist Tradition; Confucius, The Analects; Lao Tzu, The Way and Its Power; Wu Ch'eng-en, Monkey: Folk Novel of China; Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Yoshida Kenko; Anthology of Japanese Literature; and Natsume Soseki, Kokoro. (All works are in translation.)
RACE, RELIGION AND RHETORIC IN AMERICA
TTh, 8:00 - 9:20
In this course, we will explore the complex intersections of race and religions in contemporary America through the rhetorical analysis of written texts and films. In the ongoing formation of a national religious identity, two competing models have emerged: America as "one nation under God," and America as a land of religious freedom and tolerance. We will examine how these idealogical frameworks complicate and are complicated by religious position and racial-ethnic identity. We will also investigate the concept of a unified the religious "other" on which this identity relies. Primary materials include: Robert N. Bellah, The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in Time of Trial; James Cones, Risks of Faith: The Emergence of a Black Theology of Liberation, 1968-1998; Leslie Maron Silko, Ceremony; Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlans/La Frontera: The New Mestiza; David Henry Hwang, Golden Child; Alan M. Dershowitz, The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century, and course reader. Films include: The Believers, Little Buddha, Sankofa, and A Grave Matter.
THE ONE ACT PLAY IN WORLD DRAMA
The objective of this course is to acquaint the student with a series of short plays, representing a great variety of genres, dramatic styles and techniques, and a broad range of historical periods and cultures. The plays and authors are discussed in their historical and ideological contexts. The analysis of the plays in the classroom will be applied by the students in their essays on a comparative topic. The readings will include Rutebeuf, The Miracle of Theophilus; Anonymous, Everyman; H. Sachs, The Wandering Scholar; Beolco, Ruzzante Returns from Wars; Molière, The Flying Doctor; Strindberg, Miss Julie: The Stronger; O'Neill, Before Breakfast; Ghelderode, Escurial; Hasenclever, Humanity; Goll, Methusalem; Cocteau, Wedding at the Eiffel Tower; O'Casey, Bedtime Story; Thornton Wilder, The Long Christmas Dinner; Brecht, The Jewish Wife; Arrabal, Picnic on the Battlefield; Ionesco, The Bald Soprano; Beckett, Waiting for Godot; Pinter, The Dumb Waiter; and Albee, Zoo Story.
This course will examine specific works of art and architecture of the ancient world in a historical and cultural context. This is not a course about art appreciation or connoisseurship. Instead, the focus will be on those monuments of art and architecture that best represent the religious beliefs, interests, concerns, and aspirations of the society that produced them. Attention will be given to modern misperceptions of the ancient world, as a result of much of our information about it having been filtered in the past through a biased Judeo-Christian tradition. Other topics of consideration include the nature of the visual evidence, how fragmentary monuments of art and architecture can be reconstructed, how materials and techniques might have imposed restrictions on the artist/architect, and the limitations of art in reconstructing the past. The texts for the course will include: Marilyn Stokstad, Art History; Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art; and a course manual.
LITERATURE, SCIENCE AND SCIENCE FICTION
TTh, 9:30 - 10:50
This is a multidisciplinary class that explores the interactions between literature and science. Course material will deal with some of the major developments in Physics and Biology during this century. The primary texts for the course include scientist's accounts of scientific discovery, such as James Watson's The Double Helix; biographies of scientists such as William Poundstone's biography of John von Neumann, Prisoner's Dilemma; works that address the ethical and cultural dimensions of scientific discovery, such as Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth; novels by and about science, such as Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49; and science fiction novels, such as Benford's Timescape; Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; LeGuin, The Lathe of Heaven; LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness; Shelley, Frankenstein; Snow, The Two Cultures; Stoker, Dracula; Stirling, The Stone Dogs; Turner, Brain Child; and Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five. The course will make extensive use of the World Wide Web, e-mail and computer multimedia.
MASTERPIECES OF THE SHORT STORY
TTh, 9:30 - 10:50
This course is intended to be an introduction to Russian literature by way of its best short fiction, during which students will also be introduced to the basic principles of textual interpretation. Students will read, mostly in chronological order, and analyze some of the best short stories written by Russian authors over the two-hundred year existence of modern Russian prose, from Karamzin to the present day. Key emphases will fall on historical background (the reading list provides a cross-section of an entire culture and the changes it has undergone in the modern era); narrative structure (of which students are usually ignorant, but a critical awareness of which will prepare them for more advanced literary, and other kinds of, analysis); and intertextuality (the lively dialog that turns out to be taking place among these texts and often enough between them and non-Russian works). Among other topics that will be addressed are, on the historical side, the civic tenor of Russian literature and its role as surrogate opposition in Russian society, including the peculiar pressures of the Soviet era; and on the literary side, the ways in which these texts often simultaneously adopt and subvert the exemplars that precede them. The reading list includes the following: Karamzin, "Poor Liza"; Pushkin, "Station Master", "The Shot"; Gogol, "The Overcoat", "The Nose"; Lermontov, "Taman"; Dostoevsky, "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man", "The Gentle Spirit"; Leskov, "The Sentry"; Tolstoy, "After the Ball"; Chekhov, "The Darling", "Anna on the Neck"; Bunin, "Light Breathing"; Kuprin, "The Garnet Bracelet"; Gorky, "Twenty Six and a Girl"; Babel, "Guy de Maupassant", "Answer to Inquiry"; Romanov, "Without Cherry Blossom"; Zoshchenko, "Aristocrat", "Receipt", "An Evening of Culture"; Nabokov, "Spring in Fialta"; Platonov, "Fro"; Iskander, "On a Summer Day"; Aksenov, "Victory"; Solzhenitsyn, "An Incident at Krechetovka"; and Siniavsky, "Pkhentz."
THE NATION AND ITS OTHERS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND FILM
TTh, 9:30 - 10:50
This course examines the ways that American national identity has been defined and contested since the 1960s. What do we mean when we say "American"? Who is included? Who is excluded? How have race, ethnicity and immigration shaped US national identity? By focusing on the African-American, Chicano/a, US Chinese and South Asian communities, we will discuss the various dynamics that have influenced the production of racial and ethnic identity. How are these identities expressed and contested via literature and popular culture? How are tensions within and between different racial and ethnic groups revealed through literature and popular culture? Beginning with an investigation of the terms "race," "ethnicity," "nation," and "class," we will look at the differing ways that literary and visual texts represent these categories and how such representations simultaneously depend upon structuring dichotomies and the explosion of those very dichotomies. A few mandatory film screenings will be held outside of class, most likely in the evening. Texts will include: Omi and Winant, Racial Formation in the US, Beatty, The White Boy Shuffle, Kingston, Woman Warrior, Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies, and Deavere Smith, Twilight Los Angeles, 1992: On the Road: A Search for American Character. Films will include: Griffith, The Birth of a Nation, Tarentino, Pulp Fiction and lesser known independent films.
IN SEARCH OF AMERICA
MWF, 10:00 - 10:50
Through fiction, poetry, essays, and film, this course will examine the idea of America in contrast to American social reality during the twentieth century. Is America an identity or an abstraction from differences? Is it best understood as an idea, a geography of multiple regions, or the flow of capital? Is there "no place like home," or does every American place resemble every other in a consumer culture? By exploring the tragedy and promise of the American dream's elusive appeal, we will seek to understand the relationships between materialism and desire, between the ideology of individualism and the communities that claim us, and between romance and nostalgia. The course aims also to interrogate abstract American notions such as "freedom" and "mobility" from African American, white, and gay perspectives, among others, in a collective search for American character. Writers will include John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, Wallace Stegner, Allen Ginsberg, Toni Morrison, Tony Kushner, and Anna Deavere Smith.
MWF, 10:00 - 10:50
An introduction to Renaissance Drama with special attention to the methods of interpretation--language, history, character and imagination--ways to understand and enjoy dramatic literature created for the Renaissance stage. We shall consider plays by Shakespeare and at least two of his contemporaries (Marlowe and Webster) to see how social, political, and religious concerns are defined and challenged by the action and poetry on the Renaissance stage. The class will read six or seven plays, consider historical information, discuss interpretations, possibly direct and/or act a few scenes, and explore ways to respond with short essays and exams. The reading list includes: Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Hamlet, and The Tempest; Marlowe, Dr. Faustus; and Webster, The White Devil.
REPRESENTENTING THE HOLOCAUST: HISTORY, MEMORY AND NATIONAL IDENTITY
MWF, 11:00 - 11:50
The act of remembering is related to the repository of images and ideals that
constitute the societies in which we live. Memory has not only to do with the past, but with those who do the remembering. Far from being merely an individual experience, memory also constitutes a social act. We will explore the distinctive and often conflicting memories of the Holocaust produced in post- World War II America, Germany, and France. How did the French evolve the myth of the Resistance to appease their conscience and restore self-esteem? Why is Anne Frank the world's most famous Holocaust victim? How is an historical event like the Holocaust interpreted through a distinctively American lens? What happens when the Holocaust and Hollywood meet? Applying a multi-disciplinary approach to texts, this course will focus on questions of cultural and national identity as well as contemporary debates over historical methodology.
POETRY, EVIDENCE AND METHODS OF READING
MWF, 11:00 - 11:50
How do we read poetry? What constitutes evidence about poetry? How do we go about establishing some method for reading particular poems or groups of poems? Readings will consist of four different types of verse collections from four different periods: the collected poetry of Wallace Stevens, Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge, the cavalier poets of the 17th century, and the sonnets of Shakespeare. We will read these poems chronologically, primarily as a means to study the vocabulary and conventions from earlier poets used by later ones. We will not be concerned primarily with the aesthetic aspect of poetry, nor with imaginative readings and interpretations of individual poems. We will look at individual poems and poetry collections as problems to be solved, and solved particularly by literary-historical methods.
REPRESENTING MODERN AMERICAS
MWF, 11:00 - 11:50
We shall study ways in which twentieth-century American novelists and short story writers have created myths and stereotypes of diverse parts of the "American." Attending to geography, history, and ethnicity, we shall examine the literary construction of popular types in the American imagination (e.g., the "New York Jew," "Middle America," the "Sixties," the "West") and the construction of conventional literary-social types in the academic imagination (e.g., "the Southern gothic novel," "revisionist African-American and Native-American narratives," the "Hollywood thriller"). In addition to considering theoretical issues of typing (from ethnicity to literary traditions), we shall analyze and compare narrative texts to develop some insight into relationships between the what and the how of social representation.
GIRLHOOD: TWENTIETH CENTURY PERSPECTIVES
MWF, 11:00 - 11:50
When the word "girl" disappeared from polite usage nearly twenty-five years ago, widespread cultural interest in the vicissitudes of girlhood seemed to disappear along with it. Since the early 1990's, however, a range of literary writers, sociologists, filmmakers, psychologists, and cultural critics have once again turned their attention, this time with some urgency, toward the phases of female childhood and adolescence. In this course, we will examine this contemporary resurgence of interest in the figure of the "girl" emphasizing the difficulty of locating suitable literary forms through which to articulate the complexities of girlhood. We will begin by examining a series of well-known older depictions of female children, ranging from the classic (Alcott's Little Women) to the highly controversial (Freud's Dora; Nabokov's Lolita). We will then turn to the contemporary moment, paying special attention to the narrative innovations of Toni Morrison's 1974 novel Sula, a text that served as inspiration and as point of departure for dozens of depictions of girlhood published in the years since. Finally, after reading a range of contemporary novels (by Sandra Cisneros, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joyce Carol Oates, and Jayne Anne Phillips), we will look at writing by young feminists who are currently working to reclaim the importance and to redefine the significance of the "girl."
LOVE AND DEATH IN THE RUSSIAN NOVEL
MWF, 11:00 - 11:50
This course will examine some of the remarkable works of literature produced in Russia during the 19th century--the golden age of the Russian novel. For a variety of reasons Russia in this age produced an uncommonly rich body of fiction, in which the characters' daily lives unfold as if in immediate connection with the deepest (or as the Russians often called them, "accursed") issues of good versus evil, and as if the destiny of Russia hung in their balance. Some background information on the novels' historical context will be provided in lectures, but our principal focus will be on close readings of the works themselves. We will use the novels to examine Russian insights into human nature and human experience, as well as the more specific ways in which these authors explore their Russian identity and their country's complex relation with the rest of the world. We will also consider what "novels" are, and the ways in which these writers adapt the genre of the novel to their particular concerns. The reading list includes such works as Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, Gogol, Dead Souls; Turgenev, Fathers and Sons; Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment; and Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
This course will introduce students to Italian Renaissance culture through an interdisciplinary study of literature, social issues, philosophy, and the arts (music, painting, architecture). We will read literary works in relation to the social context in which these works were written. We will look at the role of the family, marriage, and the ways in which gender relations played a crucial role in literature and society. Historical and philosophical issues regarding new conceptions of God, humanity, the individual, and nature will form topics of study. Although the idea of the Renaissance is explored transnationally, emphasis will be placed on Italy. We will read diaries and memoirs (Pitti, Dati), novellas (Boccaccio), love poetry by men and women (Petrarch, Michelangelo, Stampa, Franco, Colonna), dialogues and orations (Pico della Mirandola, women humanists, Castiglione, Alberti, Fonte), theatrical comedy (Machiavelli), political and feminist treatises (Machiavelli, Marinelli), and autobiography and letters (Cellini, Franco, Macinghi Strozzi). Some of the issues we will address are: How did the discipline of the humanities grow out of this historical period? Did all people have a Renaissance? How did women respond to the social pressures placed upon them? In what ways might we see this period as modern? The readings may include the following: Machiavelli, The Prince and The Mandrake Root; Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier; Petrarch, Canzoniere and Seceretum; Franco, Terze Rime; Stampa, Poems; Fonte, The Merit of Women; Dati and Pitti, Two Memoirs of Renaissance Florence; Cellini, Autobiography; Boccaccio, The Decameron; Alberti, On the Family; Michelangelo, Poems; and da Vinci, Notebooks. (All works are in translation.)
WOMEN IN LITERATURE AND ART
This course is intended to present and examine the issues and feminist analyses surrounding discussions about women and creativity, both in literature and the visual arts in the western tradition. It should serve as an introduction to the feminist paradigms and problematics involved in a gendered analysis of creation in other arts, as well. In order to enlarge the scope of our understanding of the patriarchal and feminist diversities, we will also consider an alternative creative system -- that of the pre-patriarchal era and of the Goddess civilization. The readings will include books from the following list: Simone de Beauvior, The Second Sex; Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own; The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women; Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet; Judy Chicago, Through the Flower; The Power of Feminist Art Ed. by Broude and Garrard; The Guerilla Girls Bedside Companion of Art History; Art and Sexual Politics, Ed. T. Hess, essay by Linda Nochlin; Alias Olympia, by Eunice Lipton; and Les Guerrillères by Monique Wittig.
LITERATURE, SONGS AND OPERA
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
Many of the world's most famous operas, song cycles, oratorios and symphonic works are based on works of known literature. This course gives an introduction into literary works of German and other European authors which have been used most often for music or have inspired some of the most well- known musical masterpieces. It will include Goethe's Werther, Egmont and Faust, Schiller's Don Carlos and William Tell, Shakespeare's Othello, Wild's Salome, tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann, plays and stories by French authors and poems by Goethe, Heine and other Romantic German poets which have been used for some of the greatest songs and song cycles. In this course students will also learn how to analyze the content and style of the chosen literary works and will be introduced into how these works were put to music in different styles by different composers from different countries, such as German composers Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Brahms, Humperdinck, Strauss, Austrian composers Mozart (Salzburg), Schubert, Wolf, Mahler, French composers Berlioz, Bizet, Gounod, Massenet, Italian composers Rossini, Verdi, Busoni, Russian composers Mussorsky, Tschaikovsky, German-French composer Offenbach, Hungarian-Austrian-German composer Liszt, and British composer Britten. In the case of opera and songs, students will also analyze how musical phrasing and intonation relate to spoken intonation and prosodics of written text. While the focus of the course will remain on the literary text, the introduction into musical style will be equally important.
MODERN RUSSIAN ART
John E. Bowlt
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
The course begins with the 18th century and ends with the Putin period, but concentration is on the later 19th century and the years just before and after the October Revolution. Major paintings, some sculptures, architectural monuments, and applied designs form the visual material essential to this course and they will be examined in chronological sequence. These artifacts will be described and analyzed for their own sake and also as symbols and manifestations of social, political, and philosophical developments in Russian history. The student will gain an insight into the esthetic and cultural concerns of Russia/Soviet Union that will supplement and enhance his or her knowledge of the more familiar chronologies of modern art history. The texts for the course are Camilla Gray, The Russian Experiment in Art 1663-1992 and John E. Bowlt, The Russian Avant-garde: Theory and Criticism. Students will also be asked to consult relevant publications held in the Art Library on campus, for example, James Billington, The Icon and the Axe; Alan Bird, A History of Russian Painting; John E. Bowlt, Russian Art of the Silver Age; George Heard Hamilton, The Art and Architecture of Russia; Beverley Kean, All the Empty Palaces; Christina Lodder, Russian Constructivism; and Elizabeth Valkenier, Russian Realist Art.
HOMER, VIRGIL, AND DANTE
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
Virgil based his great epic poem the Aeneid on the Iliad and the Odyssey. Dante chose Virgil as his guide through Hell and Purgatory in the Divine Comedy. Through these texts, this course will consider the development and transformation of literary and cultural traditions. It will emphasize techniques of reading, various properties of literary texts such as narrative voice, allusion, and genre, and the development of persuasive written arguments in response to that reading. At the same time, it will introduce students to three critical periods of cultural transformation--the late eighth century B.C.E., Augustan Rome, and the late Middle Ages--and specifically to three stages in the development of the city-state and therefore of the very notion of the state and the political community. Emphasis will be placed on this broader social and cultural context, and specifically on these texts as responses to political developments in their construction of what it means to be a citizen with rights in and responsibilities to a larger polity. Readings: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey; Virgil's Aeneid; Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno and Purgatorio complete, selections from Paradiso).
REALITY AND ITS OTHERS
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
This course examines the tendency of modern culture both to construct recognizable visions of the real and to call such constructions into question. We begin with the study of a number of canonical works in the realist and fantastic modes (Balzac's Old Goriot and Dickens' Oliver Twist; short fiction by Gogol, Hoffmann, James and Kafka). After a few sessions devoted to stories in the magical realist vein (by Bombal, Cortazar, Lispector, Borges, and García Márquez), we then turn our attention to the depiction of alternative realities in novels by Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49) and William Gibson (Neuromancer). The course concludes with a short segment on the filmic afterlife of so-called cyberpunk fiction.
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
This course approaches ancient China through its art and archaeology, exploring the relationship of contemporary texts to archeological finds. It not only examines a selection of the most unique visual products in China, such as terra-cotta warriors, bronze mirrors and jade suits, but also their connection with ancient Chinese cosmology, mythology and political thought. There will be discussion of approaches to visual culture from a modern viewpoint, using texts such as Wu Hung's Wu Liang Shrine and Lothar Ledderose's Ten Thousand Things. To contextualize the art objects, the class also introduces contemporary Chinese texts (in English translation) as supplements to archaeological finds. Readings include The Art of War, Records of the Grand Historian and Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn Annals. Among the cases to be studied are the First Emperor's Mausoleum, Prince Liu Sheng's tomb, Wang Mang's ritual hall and Wu Liang's funerary shrines.
A WORLD OF HEROES
TTh, 12:30 - 1:50
In this course students will explore a variety of social constructions of heroism worldwide from the earliest surviving literary documents up to the modern period. The scope of the material necessitates a selective reading of the relevant documents, but still allows for enough depth to avoid the "whirlwind tour" mode, for the focus is always strictly on the hero and the social function of the hero. Using this point of access, it will be possible to deal seriously with issues of cultural difference, social values cross-culturally, notions of morality and social "evolution." The texts may include: Gilgamesh; David (Samuel I-II); Homer, Iliad; Ramayana; Mahabharata; Apuleius, Metamorphosis; Cilappatikaram; Beowulf; Abolqasem Ferdowsi, Shâhnâme; The Song of Roland; Dede Korkut; The Tale of the Heike; Son-Jara; Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote; Popol Vuh; and John Milton, Paradise Lost.
CULTURE, CONFORMITY, REVOLT
TTh, 12:30 - 1:50
The course will consider the themes of revolt and conformity in literary works written between the Middle Ages and the present and in late twentieth-century popular culture. We shall ask certain fundamental questions: what social or political forces lead people to rebel? When is rebellion simply a type of conformism or a pretext for personal gain, glory and glamour? During which particular periods of history have significant social changes taken place? What rebellious role is played by clothes, accessories, cosmetics and shoes? The ambiguous revolutions under analysis may be sensual (Kate Chopin, The Awakening, Mme. de LaFayette, The Princess of Cleves), sexual (Honoré de Balzac, The Girl with the Golden Eyes, André Gide, The Immoralist), political (Marguerite de Navarre, excerpts from The Heptameron, Geoffrey Chaucer, excerpts from The Canterberry Tales), educational (The Quest of the Holy Grail) or philosophic (Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head, Albert Camus, The Stranger). Some attention will also be devoted to the manipulation of revolt in the pursuit of money and self-glorification (products by Madonna, music and film featuring The Sex Pistols and Doris Day).
LITERATURE OF RESISTANCE
TTh, 12:30 - 1:50
How does a culture react to oppression? What literary and artistic products are created in the process? Can literature be an act of resistance? What modes of overcoming oppression are suggested in such literature? The course will explore these issues in a variety of societies and groups that experience(d) oppression deriving from their cultural, religious, gender, and national affiliations. Students will analyze and discuss diverse genres of spiritual, political, military and cultural resistance to subjugation and oppressions, from antiquity to modernity. The various genres will include, but will not be limited to, texts such as biblical narratives, fiction, poetry, sermons, diaries, historical documents and political manifestos, films, and other modes of artistic expression created by authors such as Atwood, Bradbury, Camus, the Dalai Lama, Dylan, Ginsberg, M.L. King Jr., Marx, Orwell, Wolf, and many others. While some lectures will provide the theoretical context for class discussions, most of the critical and analytical work will happen in class as a product of the students' contributions and participation.
THE LITERATURE AND ART OF AIDS IN AMERICA
TTh, 12:30 - 1:50
This course examines the art and literature of the American AIDS epidemic. We will survey a diverse field of AIDS literature and art including autobiography, poetry, drama, essays, fiction, film, performance, painting and photography. One of our goals for the semester will be to trace the ways that AIDS is represented both in traditional genres and community-based art projects. Our course will be historical and interdisciplinary. We will focus on the literary, performing, and visual arts produced throughout the United States during the past two decades. Throughout the course, we will be taking up questions of power and social change, especially as they relate to the arts. The course will address the following questions: What is the relationship between AIDS and representation? How do AIDS representations circulate and to what effect? What is the relationship between artistic production and community survival? What are the primary methods for interpreting AIDS literature, art, and culture? How do the arts and humanities shape our understanding of AIDS? Readings for this course will include: Peter Adair, Absolutely Positive (video documentary); Marlon Riggs, Tongues United (film); Thom Gunn, Man with Night Sweats (poetry); Carolyn Jones and Kermit Cole, Living Proof (a photography exhibit); Abraham Verghese, My Own Country: A Doctor's Story (a memoir); Rebecca Brown, The Gifts of the Body (short stories); Mark Doty, Heaven's Coast: A Memoir; Gil Cuadros, City of God (poetry and short fiction); Sarah Schulman, People in Trouble (a novel); Jonathan Larson, Rent (a musical); Sapphire, Push (a novel); Tony Kushner, Angels in America (a play); Jonathan Demme, Philadelphia (a film); and Paul Monette, Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir.
THE LANGUAGE OF POETRY
MWF, 1:00 - 1:50
Close reading of poetry, using the new analytical approaches made possible by contemporary research in metaphor and the grammar of poetry. We'll develop a theoretical background by analyzing some major poems of the three big Renaissance sonneteers, Sir Phillip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare; then we'll examine the challenging language of John Milton's Paradise Lost. We will conclude with some of Ben Jonson's non-dramatic poetry and selections from the rich but difficult poetry of Emily Dickinson. Required texts: Abrams, et al, (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume I (rev. ed.); Lakoff and Turner, More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor (1989); Burto (ed.), William Shakespeare: The Sonnets (Signet Classic, 1988); Johnson (ed.), Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson's Poems.
SHAKESPEARE OUR CONTEMPORARY
MWF, 1:00 - 1:50
This course attempts to account for the continued popularity of Shakespeare in academic courses, theatrical performance, and (in particular) recent films. Close reading and analysis of at least eight plays (Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, The Tempest) and screenings of selected films will be required.
MUSIC AND THE MODERN IMAGINATION
MW, 2:00 - 3:20
This class will be devoted to a close study of music from the 20th century that expresses important characteristics of the modern imagination--including social and scientific phenomena, political and racial ideologies, and ideas from the other fine arts and letters of the century. To learn how music intersects the modern world, we will read critical essays, scientific writings, polemics, and works of literature and assess in detail their influence upon selected musical compositions and the outlook of major composers. No reading knowledge of music is necessary, although repeated listening to the assigned music is required. The class sessions will contain lectures, student presentations, and guided discussions. All of the assigned listening is found on cassette tapes on reserve for this class in the Music Library, and the assigned reading is collected in an anthology that may be purchased at the bookstore.
RIGHT, WRONG AND TRAGEDY IN LITERATURE
MW, 2:00 - 3:20
Beginning with the Hebrew Bible and the Gospel of Mark, (both in Oxford translations) this course lays out some of the ancient Judeo-Christian definitions of goodness and evil. As a transition to the modern period, we shall examine Shakespeare's Hamlet for its perspective on good and evil, and its treatment of the young person in turmoil about that polarity. Among modern authors who will be read are: Herman Melville, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, J.D. Salinger and Rebecca Goldstein. Students will be expected to develop a sense of the differences between the text as a self-contained cosmos and the text as referring to some condition in the lived world. Readings will include some critical theory on representation and gender perspective.
LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHERS: REASON AND PASSIONS AROUND THE ENLIGHTMENT
MW, 2:00 - 3:20
This course, focusing on explorations of the relationship between reason and the passions (or, for some, "rationalism" and "antirationalism") in philosophy and literature, will provide students with a general introduction to the Enlightenment period and one of its most central preoccupations. As we examine the ways in which authors and philosophers have attempted to define, delineate, elicit, and curb the rational and sentimental impulses of their readers, we will investigate the place of reason on the one hand and passion on the other in Enlightenment understandings of human nature, sexual difference, social life, and artistic creation. Some of the questions we will ask include: what is the difference between "reason" and "passion" and why is this difference important? how do ideas about rationality and sensibility or sentimentality contribute to an Enlightenment understanding of what a human being is? what is the role of reason and/or the passions in defining a sexed body? how does a distinction between rational thought and sentimental identification get played out in other distinctions-between public and private, mind and body, man and woman? how do rational and/or passionate impulses function differently in literature and in philosophy? In order to discuss possible answers to these and other queries, we will read texts: philosophical essays, treatises, "declarations," encyclopedias- and literary- novels, short stories, dialogues, plays. We will begin the course with a discussion of the deployment of "reason" and "the passions" in the works of earlier writers such as Descartes (The Passions of the Soul), Locke, Pascal (Pensées), and Racine. We will then proceed to a discussion of rationalism and what has been called "the revolt against rationalism" in eighteenth- century texts; our focus here will be on the ways in which the themes of reason and the passions are developed in literature and philosophy in often complementary and sometimes contradictory ways. Our reading list may include: Diderot (The Nun and other texts), the Encyclopedia, Françoise de Graffigny (Letters from a Peruvian Woman), Hume (Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding), Kant, La Mettrie (Man a Machine), Prévost (Manon Lescaut), Richardson (Pamela), Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman). The course will conclude with a brief examination of the influence of Enlightenment notions of reason and the passions on contemporary debates about the body and subjectivity.
LIARS, PROMISE-BREAKERS AND FREELOADERS
MW, 2:00 - 3:20
In this course, we will discuss the following old and enduring questions: What is the relationship between morality and self-interest? Is morality simply enlightened self-interest? Or, if not, why ought we ever act morally when morality demands that we act contrary to self-interest? We will examine these questions by considering the ethics of everyday life: Why should we tell the truth? Why should we keep our promises? And, why should we, for instance, pay for public television when we know full well that others will pay enough to make it available to us? That is, why shouldn't we be freeloaders? The course will address these questions through examination of the writings of philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries (including Hobbes, Hume and Kant), through the writings of contemporary philosophers who respond to and develop answers proposed by these 17th and 18th century figures (including John Rawls, Sissela Bok, Elizabeth Anscombe, Barbara Herman, Thomas Scanlon and David Gauthier), and through works of film and literature that dramatize the questions being discussed. Throughout, the emphasis will be on the close reading of difficult texts that reward the time they are given. In the case of each of these topics of the course, we will start by first looking at a work of fiction that raises and examines the particular ethical questions under discussion. We will then move on to consider the views of those who think that the particular obligation in question is just a form of enlightened self-interest; we ought not to lie, for instance, on views of this sort, because, in the long run, our own interests are not served by doing so. Then we will move on to consider alternative ways of understanding the relevant obligation. In each case, we will look at broadly Humean and broadly Kantian accounts of the source of the obligation under discussion.
WAR AND MEMORY IN KOREAN LITERATURE
This course will examine autobiographical and fictional accounts depicting wars in the twentieth century, with special reference to Korea. We will examine works written during and after the Second World War and the Korean War. We will explore the special links between collective and individual experiences, and the centrality of memories as a means to construct the past. Students will also investigate the historical and political realities at the root of imperialism and aggression. Works by Korean authors (Ahn, Cho, and Pak) will be closely examined along with recent publications by Korean-American writers (Nora Keller, Richard Kim, and Therese Park). Students will be encouraged to think about the complex interactions between human lives and the social, political, and economic conditions in which they emerge, especially during times of conflict and war. The required texts include: Ahn, Silver Stallion; Cho, Playing With Fire; Pak, "Winter Outing"; Nora Keller, Comfort Woman; and Kim, Lost Names. All readings are in English. No knowledge of Korean language, literature, or culture is required.
BORDER AND SPIRIT, LAND AND NATION: THE "HEART" LAND IN LITERATURE AND FILM
TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
This course is designed to draw the student's attention to the underlying structures of signification that both structure texts and produce them. By using the metaphor of the border to indicate the encounter between cultures, races and genders, the student will come to understand the complexities of representation and production of cultural forms. The Border, as Gloria Anzaldua has famously indicated, is not a comfortable place, it is "a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition." (Borderlands/la frontera, p.3) The United States has been created out of struggles between nations and peoples, for land and for control over self-determination. The connections between real and metaphoric borders and identity, between land and spirit are central to uncovering the impulse to establish place and nation, as well as to produce lasting reminders of these struggles in art. Students will read a selection of literary texts and will view several films in which these issues are key. They will also read supporting critical essays to guide them in their critical reading and viewing. The course bibliography includes Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres; Helen Marie Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus; Willa Cather, O Pioneers; Katerine Anne Porter, Flowering Judas; Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima; Tomas Rivera, Y no se lo trago la tierra, And the Earth did not Devour Him; N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn; Ana Castillo, So Far From God; Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart; Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don; Louise Erdrich, Tracks; and Toni Morrison, Sula. The films include Lone Star (John Sayles), The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (Moctesuma Esparaza) and Tierra (Paul Espinosa).
JEWISH AMERICAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
Major themes of American and American Jewish life are set forth in this primarily 20th-century literature: marginality, social and esthetic ambition, assimilation, family relations, spiritual dilemmas, sexual and political strivings. This literature reflects self-discovery and self-creation--meaning that no uncritical reliance can be placed on the data of an autobiographical or memoiristic work, though each such work does document the values of its author and its age. The course will focus on analytical readings of a range of texts and on discussion of what these texts suggest about the human condition as seen from a variety of American Jewish perspectives. Use will be made of Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney. Examples of texts to be studied: Emma Goldman (Living My Life), Lillian Hellman (An Unfinished Woman), Alfred Kazin (A Walker in the City and New York Jew), Meyer Levin (In Search), Ludwig Lewisohn (Up Stream and Mid-Channel), Norman Mailer (Advertisements for Myself), Arthur Miller (Timebends), and Anne Roiphe (Generation Without Memory and 1185 Park Avenue).
LANDSCAPE AND POETRY
TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
This course considers the role of "Nature" in the arts of the West from about 1450 to the middle of the 20th century. The primary vehicle is landscape painting, especially that of England in the 19th century (Constable, Turner) and its relationship with nature poetry (Wordsworth) and the rise of the landscape garden. We will, however, explore other countries and arts, specifically music, where we will listen to the works of Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy, and Delius, as well as the art of the Impressionists (Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Gauguin).
UTOPIA AND ANTI-UTOPIA
TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
This course will consider the development, imaginative appeal, and significance of utopian fiction from its origins during the Renaissance to its uses in the twentieth century. The starting point will be Saint Thomas More's Utopia. Close analysis of it will serve to define the genre while also introducing methods of interpreting and judging this and related modes of literature. Other readings will include landmark works that illustrate how the classical utopian model inaugurated by More has been varied and applied: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels; H.G. Wells, The Time Machine; Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Aruthur's Court; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four; Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451; Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed; and William Gibson, Neuromancer.
CLASSICS OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE
TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
This course introduces the student to a selection of the best of Greek literature and philosophy with an emphasis on reading a text as very much a product of a place, time and society, but also one with enduring interest for thoughtful persons for the present time. The intent is to keep to acknowledged "classics," the best works of a literature already selected in antiquity as a canon and the best philosophical writing, but which also have proven interest for modern readers. Readings from Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Cleanthes.
WRITING REVOLUTIONS: NEW FICTION IN LATIN AMERICA
TTh, 2:00 - 3:20
In this course we will take up the phenomenon called "the new Latin American narrative," which includes works by authors such as Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Manuel Puig, Juan Rulfo, Luisa Valenzuela, and Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as the writing of Jorge Luis Borges, the most significant forerunner of this major development in twentieth-century literature. We will frame the reading of these authors by addressing literary and historical factors, such as the Cuban Revolution and the internationalization of literary culture in Latin America, which coincided during the 1960s when this phenomenon was recognized inside and outside Latin America. Through close reading and formal analysis of novels and short fictions, we will see how these writers raise questions about political change, social transformation, and literary and cultural value. We will also explore how the new Latin American fiction interrogates the critical vocabulary and concepts usually employed for reading and interpreting works of narrative.
NARRATIVE FORMS IN LITERATURE AND FILM
William H. Brown
TTh, 2:00 - 4:30
This course will be an introductory study of narrative strategies in film and literature. Our emphasis will be on interpreting structural and thematic conventions--those that help define the tragedy of classical Greece, the tragedy and romance of Renaissance England, and the social realism of the late nineteenth century on the one hand, the western and detective genres of modern film on the other. Our juxtaposing of literary works with films will enable us to analyze recurring principles of narrative development in these two forms, even though the forms come from distinctly different historical and aesthetic contexts. We will examine broad issues like parallel plots and the development of character, as well as more narrow concerns such as the establishment of self image and of one's role within society, the bonding within groups, the quest for justice, the failure of communication between the sexes, and the limitations of idealism. Literary texts will include Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Antigone, Euripides' Medea and Orestes, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Macbeth, and The Winter's Tale, and Ibsen's A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, and An Enemy of the People. Films will include The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, High Noon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Chinatown, Witness for the Prosecution, and Vertigo.
MANY FAITHS: MANY TRUTHS?
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
This is a course on religious diversity which looks first at the phenomenon of religious diversity itself, and then explores various proposals for dealing with it, ranging from "true belief" in one's one religion and disdain for others, on the one extreme, to a universal "identity under the surface," on the other, with various forms of the "pluralist project" in between. The relationship between religion and morality is a close one, historically, and often times (but not always) religious relativism and moral relativism go hand in hand, as do (also not always) religious absolutism and moral absolutism. The range of approaches to the issue of racial/ethnic diversity extends from racial superiority and the balkanization (or ethnic cleansing) that racial superiority entails, on the one extreme, to an egalitarian "melting pot," on the other extreme, with a variety of approaches between the extremes, e.g., "identity politics," in which one pays allegiance to a primary group without threatening others, or that all races exemplify a part of the human race, none of them perfectly, or that each race is perfectly human but not yet fully humanly developed. The required texts include: The Qur'an, The Hebrew Bible, and The New Testament (selected passages expressing the absoluteness of each tradition); and Armstrong, A History of God.
SHAKESPEARE AND OUR CONTEMPORARIES
TTh, 11:00 - 12:20
We will explore some of Shakespeare's major plays both as literary texts and as stage productions. Our critical perspective will be that of a director searching for meaning and fashioning staging in support of that meaning. In juxtaposition with each Shakespearean text we will study a contemporary play and film influenced by or adapted from it that attempts the bold act of cultural transference, making Shakespeare meaningful to our own times. The texts include: Shakepeare, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, King Lear, and Macbeth; Josephine Tey, Daughter of Time; Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres; and Caryl Churchill, Vinegar Tom.
in Literature and Film
TTh, 12:30 - 1:50
Beauty is a touchy subject these days--in part, some would say, because beauty has disappeared, or been pushed, from the horizon of serious discussion. Just to talk about beauty as an idea today, we usually have to historicize it (relegate it to the past), or approach it ironically (to speak as if something were beautiful). What would it mean, however, to take seriously the pleasures, the anxieties, and the power we associate with beauty? Would it be necessary to recover a sense of the relation between philosophy and beauty, or between art and beauty? To begin to answer these many questions about beauty, we will read widely in the history of aesthetics (the philosophy of art), but also analyze essays of art and literary criticism, by authors ranging from Edmund Burke to Arthur Danto to Roland Barthes. We will consider the enormous impact of popular culture on contemporary notions of beauty, moving from Vogue magazine to fractal diagrams to hip hop. In addition, to complicate our sense of beauty--and to discover its partial nature--we will read back and forth between poetry and philosophy, as if we might fashion, through dialogue, a kaleidoscopic sense of beauty. These imaginary conversations between (for example) Plato and Baudelaire, Lessing and Emily Dickinson, or Plotinus and John Ashbery, will form the backbone of our analytic project, and they will also supply us with a conceptual and imaginative vocabulary adequate to probing the mystery of beauty.
THE MONSTER AND THE DETECTIVE IN LITERATURE AND FILM
This course traces the history of popular culture in Europe and America from the eighteenth to the twentieth century by focusing on two mythic figures, the monster and the detective. The focus on the monstrous and the abnormal as a way of determining what is normal and acceptable takes many different forms in the nineteenth century. But also with the nineteenth century the figure of the monster becomes countered by that of the detective, whose knowledge of the intricate spaces of the city and whose careful methods of determining the patterns and identity of crime and villainy seem to offer a rational antidote to the miasmic ambiguities of gothic mystery. The strains of both meet in the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, but also in the stories and novels of Conan Doyle, where the essence of Sherlock Holmes's ability to plumb the criminal mind is usually described not as detachment but as affinity and empathy. This interplay between the monster and the detective continues into the twentieth century as both genres begin to evolve through new literary and cinematic versions. Questions of adaptation, sequelization, and repetition as essentials of popular culture story-telling will be examined here, along with the metamorphoses of the basic theme of conflict and cooperation between the abnormal and the rational.
THE MODERN SHORT STORY
MW, 2:00 - 3:20
This course is designed to teach techniques of close-reading, to stimulate students' thinking on some key questions raised in fictional form by masters of the short story and novella: the artist and society; the artistic temperament; class conflicts; realism and economics; Romantic Rousseauism vs. miserablism (proletarian art); race relations and conflict in American Southern literature; illusion and reality; fiction into film. At all times there will be implicit instruction in techniques of interpretation of various symbolic systems of expression. Lectures are grouped around readings illustrating such themes as "Artist Heroes" from jazz pianists to writers; class conflict and social realism; Southern literature (ante-bellum nostalgia and race conflicts), self-delusion and fantasy. At the same time, the lectures offer techniques of reading, strategies of a practical sort that will initiate the students into critical analysis of texts and prepare them for informed enjoyment of challenging literature. Readings by such masters of modern Continental, British and American short fiction as Faulkner, James Joyce, Eudora Welty, Maupassant, Thomas Mann, Alice Walker, Flannery O'Connor, Kafka, John Cheever, James Thurber, Katherine Mansfield, D. H. Lawrence.