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Spring 2017 | Undergraduate Courses

 
Courses Originating in the Comparative Literature Department

Please refer to Albert for room assignments.

 Course Name
Credits
Course Number
Professor
Day
Time
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Introduction to Comparative Literature: Outrageous Texts

4.0 COLIT-UA 116
Ronell
Wed
12:30-3:10
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Junior Theory Seminar: Marx/Nietzsche/Freud

4.0 COLIT-UA 240
Zhang
Wed
3:30-6:10
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The Novel in Africa

4.0 COLIT-UA 132

SCA-UA 744
Sanders
Mon
11:00-1:45
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Topics: The Marginal: Biopolitics and Culture in the Hispanic World

4.0 COLIT-UA 302
Matos-Martin
Mon
3:30-6:10
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Topics: The Literature of the Disappeared in a Transatlantic Context

4.0COLIT-UA 141
Matos-Martin
Fri
12:30-3:15
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Lyric Transgressions

4.0
COLIT-UA 723
Duffy
Tues/Thurs
12:30-1:45
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Topics: Refuge

4.0

COLIT-UA 550
Kaffen
Tues/Thurs
11:00-12:15
 
Independent Study: Internship

(permission of DUS required)

2.0 COLIT-UA 998      
 
Independent Study

(permission of DUS required)

4.0 COLIT-UA 997      



Prof. Ronell
Introduction to Comparative Literature: Outrageous Texts
COLIT-UA 116


The term “outrageous texts” pertains to the freeing force of powerful literary and philosophical texts. The course will not merely focus on what can be considered outrageous in thematic or historical terms but on the ways in which particular texts produce limit-case experiences. We will trace how these texts transgress, cross boundaries, regender and even turn against themselves. The reading list includes works by Kathy Acker, Dennis Cooper, Valerie Solanas, Henry Miller, Pauline Reage, Wordsworth, Kafka, Freud, Heidegger, and Derrida in addition to the instructor’s own work on the relationship between drugs and literature. The aim of this course is to teach you how to read the politics of perversion that every text practices.


Prof. Zhang
Junior Theory Seminar: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
COLIT-UA 200
Syllabus

The modern world is Marxian.  The modern world is Nietzschean.  The modern world is Freudian.  The works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud define our relationship to the world to such a degree that it is simply impossible for us to unlearn our Marx, our Nietzsche, and our Freud, whether or not you are actually familiar with their writings.  That said, however, a thorough, relatively systematic engagement with the seminar texts of these authors promises to sharpen our views on the fundamental relationships, conflicts, and contradictions that have shaped and continue to shape the social and the cultural world forever problematize by their works.

The Junior Theory Seminar: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud is devised to introduce the students not only to the issues that continue to challenge us, but also to the particular approaches, methods, modes of thinking, conceptual constructs, and critical-analytical operations mobilized to confront, penetrate, and represent or narrate them.  What places under the rubric of theory is thus not merely a tool box of terminologies, jargons, discourses cut and dry, but a living record of experiences, adventures, ordeals and achievements of epic proportion that are simultaneously edifying and inspiring.  In other words, the seminar takes as its task to reread these texts not out a mere historical or technical interest, but out of the necessity to keep pushing the envelope and expanding the horizon of our critique and analysis of what appears to be given, often as unquestionable premises, in our own times.


Prof. Sanders

The Novel in Africa
COLIT-UA 132
SCA-UA 744


One of the most interesting developments in contemporary American fiction has been the emergence of writers born in Africa, such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole, and NoViolet Bulawayo. In this class we shall read some of these authors along with Anglophone and Francophone African authors, both classic and contemporary, including Chinua Achebe, Ahmadou Kourouma, Ivan Vladislavic, Phaswane Mpe, and Bessie Head. We shall situate these writers in the context of debates about language and literary form, and about the meaning of “Africa” in the world beyond Africa, reading selections from Ngugi wa Thiong’o, W.E.B. du Bois, Countee Cullen, and others.


Prof. Matos-Martin
Topics: The Marginal: Biopolitics and Culture in the Hispanic World
COLIT-UA 302


The notion of biopolitics is widely used today in many disciplines and discourses to reflect on issues as diverse as neoliberalism, globalization, demographic changes, fascism, or global security. This course aims to familiarize students with some of the most important theories of biopolitics by addressing historical and social questions as articulated in Spain and Latin American contemporary culture. We will analyze literary and visual sources such as short stories, novels, poems, painting, fiction films or documentaries. Topics we will attend to include political violence, nationalism, human rights, terrorism, poverty, immigration or gender. Theoretical readings will include, among others, Foucault, Agamben, Esposito, Lorey, Zizek, Lemke, Mbembe, Bauman, Balibar, Butler, Negri, Hardt and Rancière.


Prof. Matos-Martin

Topics: War in Film and Literature: Transatlantic Perspectives
COLIT-UA 141


This course proposes a cultural and historical examination of contemporary wars in Western Europe and Latin America. With a “Transatlantic” perspective as a comparative paradigm to flesh out shared histories and experiences, we will analyze a range of literary and visual representations to gain insights into different conflicts such as the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the Dirty Wars, the Cold War and guerrilla warfare, the drug wars, and finally today’s war on terrorism. Focusing on questions such as violence, imperialism, fascism, resistance, memory, justice or biopolitics, primary materials will be paired with texts by leading cultural and political theorists such as Bauman, Zizek, Agamben, Sontag, Negri and Hardt, Benjamin, or Butler.


Prof. Duffy
Lyric Transgressions
COLIT-UA 723


A transnational and trans-historical study of moments of lyric rupture or innovation, leading students to develop a theory of “lyric modernity” and the lyric based on historical case studies. Authors will include Villon, Petrarch, John Donne, Gongora, Du Bellay, Richard Crashaw, George Herbert, Wordsworth/Coleridge, Hölderlin, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Whitman, Dickinson, and Adrienne Rich.


Prof. Kaffen
Topics: Refuge
COLIT-UA 550


The aim of this class is to ask whether it is possible to locate forms of refuge today that are distinct from security. While partly informed by and in response to a sense of crisis around refuge and refugees, it also aims at a critical exploration of the mechanisms and senses of security that constitute the ground and backdrop of this crisis. In order to engage with a movement from security to refuge, we will utilize the frames of ecology, war, technology, and love. We will explore the ways that creative work (literature, photography, cinema, contemporary media arts), practices of care, and critical and theoretical reflections—might help unmake the sense of security as the “affective infrastructure” of our contemporary moment. Readings by Arendt, Agamben, Max Frisch, Ariella Azoulay, and others.