Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Spring 2023 Courses

00 and 100 LEVEL COURSES **

**No prerequisites; all CMLT courses below are GH courses. CMLT 10 and 100 are requirements for the CMLT Major and WLIT Minor. For more info: https://complit.la.psu.edu/undergraduate/major

CMLIT 004 —Introduction to Asian Literatures

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM, Boucke Bldg 106, Casey Tilley

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Effective Communication; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Soc Resp & Ethic Reason.

This course is designed to act as a gateway to Asian literatures and cultures – through English translation – of selected fictional and cinematic texts from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Asian diaspora literature (our main focus is on literature of modern Asia). Exploring the historical and cultural contexts of each work, we will pay attention to the ways in which each text depicts the diversities within geographical areas (for instance, “Japanese culture” is not monolithic than “U.S. Culture” is, and writers might see the same social reality in quite differently). The cross/inter-cultural approach used in this course invites students to acquire a global perspective on the rich traditions of Asian cultures and literatures. Students are expected to develop the ability to comparatively analyze and express, in speech and writing, their views through the reading of literary texts and watching of films.

CMLIT 10 – Introduction to World Literatures

Section 001-  TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Hammond Bldg 217, Jiaxin Yan

Section 002-   MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:00AM, Willard Bldg 268, Ozge Ege Altan

Section 003-   WEB, Renée Bailey

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures; International Cultures (IL)
General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning.

As a one-semester introduction to the range and diversity of world literature from the ancient past to the present, CMLIT 10 is intended to help you read (or listen to) a work of literature from any time or place and to appreciate it more fully – whether it belongs to the more familiar types of literature you may have read in the Western tradition or is a fable, folktale, hero story, play, or narrative from another cultural tradition. You will practice expressing your ideas through written exams and in-class and on-line discussions/activities. Discussion sessions allow interaction with the instructor and with other students in the class. This course presents a global sampling of masterpieces of world literature. Students will become familiar with various literary genres and become proficient in the analysis of the similarities and differences between texts from many different time periods and cultures. 

CMLIT 19N – Being in the Universe (also ASTRO 19N)

Section 001    TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM, Thomas Bldg 101, Eric Hayot, Derek Fox          

Section 002-   TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Sackett Bldg 110, Eric Hayot, Derek Fox

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Natural Sciences; General Education: Humanities (GH); General Education:  Natural Sciences (GN); General Education –  Integrative: Interdomain; GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Integrative Thinking; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.

“Being in the Universe” considers three fundamental questions of human existence from both humanistic and scientific perspectives: (1) What is the nature of our universe, and to what extent are creatures like ourselves a predictable consequence of it? (2) What is the nature of time, and what does it mean to be a conscious being living our lives through time? (3) What would it mean for humans to be alone in the Galaxy or the universe, or alternatively, not alone? “Being in the Universe” is an integrative GH+GN GenEd course.

The course’s three major units cover the following topics: (1) We discuss cosmology and religion as human enterprises, as well as the history of science; (2) We study the basic scientific theory of the Big Bang universe, and consider its implications for human life; (3) We address contemporary theories of the multiverse from scientific, philosophical, and literary perspectives; (4) We consider the thermodynamic and relativistic theories of time, and the basic philosophical approaches to time, and discuss the implications of these for our ordinary human experience of the past, present, and future; (5) We discuss the history of life in the universe, the possibility of life on other planets, and the social, religious, and imaginative reactions to those possibilities in literature and film.

CMLIT 100 – Reading across Cultures

TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM, Thomas Bldg 122. Mandisa Haarhoff

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); Honors; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.

This course travels across the Black diaspora starting with Djiril Diop Mambety’s cult masterpiece, Touki Bouki (1973, Senegal) and ending with Yaa Gyasi’s transcontinental novel, Homegoing. The selection of texts present Kafkaesque journeys that illuminate the nuances and complexities of blackness/black identities across the Black diaspora. We will engage literature that spans a range of geographical landscapes, multiple temporalities, and interwoven socio-political contexts. The course follows a thematic focus rather than a chronological approach to open a rich engagement with the cultural landscapes that inflect varying lived experiences of being black in the world. The select literary works sit at the intersections of settler colonialism, slavery, im/migration, genocide, and questions about transitional/transformative justice. In addition, the course privileges literary texts whose critical interventions and the stakes they elaborate upon are global in their impact. Our literary analysis will center on how the select literary creatives attend to the complexities of race, place, and culture. Assignments include an oral presentation, a cross-cultural analysis, and a final paper.

CMLIT 101 – Race, Gender, and Identity in World Literature

TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Willard Bldg 169, Nergis Erturk

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); United States Cultures (US); General Education: Humanities (GH); Honors; GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.

This course examines issues of race, gender, religions, and ethnicity as expressed in literary, social, and cultural contexts. We will address these questions in works from a variety of traditions and time periods. Literary works from around the world show a wide range of response to the “other” — idealization of difference as exotic, fear of difference as threat, the desire to suppress difference or force it into conformity, the recognition of difference within ourselves, etc. The scope includes authors who are themselves members of racial, sexual, or ethnic groups with which you may be less familiar. You will also consider the question of who and what constitutes identity as perceived by oneself and by others.

CMLIT 107: The Literature of Exploration, Travel, Migration, and Exile

MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM, Business Bldg 006, Linda Istanbulli     

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Soc Resp & Ethic Reason.

“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” –Lillian Smith

Whether real or imaginary and whether forced or voluntary, journeying to new places implicates manifold modes of encounters and border crossings. Taking these encounters and crossings as a point of departure, we will explore in this course questions of selfhood, identity, exile, home, and memory. Working across cultural contexts and historical junctures, we will engage with literary and cinematic works to ask: What are the conditions under which a person embarks on a journey and to what ends? In what ways do border crossings negotiate or subvert various systems of power? How does encountering others shape one’s understanding of self, belonging, and the world? What does it mean to be (or feel) displaced or exiled? How do artistic and literary engagements and representations reconfigure dominant discourses of precarious and displaced subjects? And how does journeying as an embodied practice shape human experiences and transform our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us? The course readings may include texts by Yuri Herrera, Ghassan Kanafani, Marjane Satrapi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rivers Solomon, Jean Rhys, and Leila Aboulela.

CMLIT 108 – Myths and Mythologies

Section 001- MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM, Business Bldg 104, Justin Halverson        

Section 002- MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM, Wartik Lab 107, Justin Halverson

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Integrative Thinking.

World mythology: myths primarily of non-Western cultures, based on selected areas and traditions around the world. This course offers a survey of several different cultural traditions as expressed in myth, as well as discussion of myth in its literary, social, geographical, political, and religious contexts. Various theories of the evolution and analysis of myth will be examined. Mythological traditions from around the globe will be compared in order to determine qualities which they share and examine ways in which they are unique. This course will help you see the world in new and exciting ways, based on the wide variety of global myths. At the same time, you will consider the permanent human issues which connect all of these traditions to each other, to the modern world, and to you.

CMLIT 111 – Introduction to Literatures of India

MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:00AM, Willard Bldg 365, Amrita De

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures; International Cultures (IL);General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think;GenEd Learning Objective: Soc Resp & Ethic Reason

This course examines readings and cultural texts from India and other parts of South Asia, including both classical and modern texts from a variety of traditions. Readings from languages other than English will be in translation. You will read, discuss, and write about these texts from the viewpoint of race, gender, culture, religion, philosophy, and ethnicity in a comparative, global, and historical perspective. While improving your understanding of difference and diverse cultures, this course incorporates lesser known and even marginalized works by Asian writers in this study of cultural and social identities and contexts. CMLIT 111 will also help you understand the influence of classical texts, as well as classical and modern culture, on recent literary productions of South Asia. You will gain an understanding of different national literatures and cultures, as well as knowledge of the historical, philosophical, and political contexts that produced them. Ideas such as “the other,” gender, and Orientalism will also be included in discussions of the texts.

CMLIT 112N – Introduction to Global Drama, Theatre, and Performance

TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM, Willard Bldg 169, Henry Morello

International Cultures (IL); United States Cultures (US); General Education: Arts (GA); General Education: Humanities (GH); General Education –  Integrative: Interdomain; GenEd Learning Objective: Creative Thinking; GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Integrative Thinking.

Introduction to Global Drama, Theater, and Performance will enable students to discover the power and excitement of drama in a global context. Students will encounter a variety of cultural contexts as they observe how playwrights portray local histories and lifestyles, in settings from many parts of the world. The course will offer (1) an introductory overview of concepts and terms associated with understanding drama and the technical aspects of theater. It will present (2) traditional dramatic forms such as tragedy, comedy, history play, allegory, Noh, etc., as seen in plays prior to the twentieth century; and (3) the dramatic contributions of multiple cultural groups in the U.S., with African American, Asian American, Latino, and other U.S. plays seen not in isolation, but in relation to world drama. (4) the course will consider ways in which drama, as a form of world literature, can have an international and intercultural impact, both in earlier periods and recently, when global circulation and international collaboration are increasingly frequent. Finally, (5) this course will look at world drama and theater from a design and performance perspective. Class work may include lectures or presentations by the instructor, presentations by students, web based activities, and focused discussions.       

CMLIT 113 – Jewish Myths and Legends  (also CAMS, JST, RLST)

TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM, Willard Bldg 173, Aaron Rubin                     

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Integrative Thinking; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies; GenEd Learning Objective: Soc Resp & Ethic Reason

Comparative study of diverse interpretations of stories from the Bible in Judaism and Christianity. CMLIT 113 / JST 113 / CAMS 113 / RLST 113.    

CMLIT 120—Literature of the Occult

MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM, Nursing Sciences Bldg 323, Bangce Cheng  

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH)’ GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.         

CMLIT 120 is the study of literatures of the occult. Through readings of creative and critical works, you will develop an enhanced awareness of the variations among cultures and historical periods in accepting, fostering, tolerating or sometimes suppressing-unorthodox traditions. Our range of readings from world literature will show that what is rejected or scorned in one cultural context may be tolerated or even honored in another. You will also explore the social, political, ethical and religious implications of “occult.” The course will be designed to compare various manifestations of the occult in literatures from around the globe and throughout history. You will explore issues of difference, and will develop an awareness of the tendency to demonize the ‘strange’ and ‘inaccessible.’ Through various texts from around the world, you will develop the ability to analyze literature in different ways. Readings will be examined both within their cultural context, and in relation to widely found or perhaps universal themes of the occult which transcend the boundaries of time and place.

CMLIT 122—Global Science Fictions

MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM, Willard Bldg 370, Austin Gaffin       

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); United States Cultures (US); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.

A study of the relationships between science, literature, and film, from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. This course examines science fiction and the fictions of science from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. Course content includes a history of the idea of science, of its engagement with and by fictional, filmic, dramatic, and poetic narratives, within an explicitly comparative framework that includes material from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Students will develop a theory of genre and its development over time; they will recognize regional, cultural, and historical differences and forms of change that affect the intellectual development of the arts and sciences.

CMLIT 130— Banned Books: International and Comparative Perspectives

TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Sackett Bldg 322, Duncan Lien

International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.     

The world of banned books, their history, and their politics, studied comparatively and internationally. This course examines one of the most documented events in the history of book reception – the banning of books. Bannings provide a useful window onto the myriad functions of culture in social identity formation. In order to understand how and why offense is given and taken, students will learn to place texts in a specific context of their historical production and reception and also to extrapolate connections between disparate moments when taboos were named. Incorporating examples from a range of global systems of censorship, the course examines differences in the modes and effects of repression and the sometimes surprising connections between church and monarchy, fascism and democracy. This course raises the following questions:-How has censorship been justified? When, if ever, is censorship justifiable? What are the grounds on which censorship can be judged successful or incomplete? Who censors? Who is censored? What are local categories of censorship? Though books are banned for reasons of blasphemy, sedition, and obscenity in various guises in several cultures, are these global categories? How do writers write against a ban? How do they write within it? What are the roles of importation, technologies of circulation, and geography in the censorship of texts? How do border-crossings and forms of miscegenation offend? Is there a unifying aesthetics to books that offend? The course will help students understand value systems and historical contexts in which they were produced and in which they caused offense. It will also ask students to draw connections between seemingly unrelated moments of offense in order to assist students in developing both analytical and expressive abilities. The course is designed to be suitable for all students, whether or not they have previously studied literature or comparative literature.

CMLIT 131— Crime and Detection in World Literature

MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM, Willard Bldg 271, Rebecca Haddaway                 

International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Soc Resp & Ethic Reason.

Issues of ethics, truth, justice, and social order as embodied in crime and detective literature, presented in comparative contexts. This course studies the origins and development of crime and detective literature from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. Beginning with early Greek tragedies, the course traces literature’s investment in issues of crime, violence, detection, forensics, and social justice through a variety of historical and cultural contexts; this may include the classical era, the early modern period, the Enlightenment, the industrial era, and the modern/contemporary world. Some of the questions addressed may include reigning myths about law and order; the rise of urban societies and mass culture; the construction of the detective figure, the witness, the criminal, and the victim as models of subjectivity; issues of gender and sexual violence; and the nature of justice. Students will learn about the history of the idea of crime and its relationship with literary form. They will develop ideas about the contribution of literary thinking to ideas of social justice, as well as a theory of genre and its development over time; they will recognize regional, cultural, and historical differences and forms of change that affect the intellectual development of literature and detection alike.

CMLIT 143 – Human Rights and World Literature

TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM, Willard Bldg 169, Magali Armillas-Tiseyra       

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures; International Cultures (IL)

United States Cultures (US); General Education: Humanities (GH); Honors; GenEd Learning Objective: Effective Communication; GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Soc Resp & Ethic Reason

“Human rights” refers to basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law. But these ideas have not always been a part of human thought and some scholars believe that without certain forms of literature today’s understanding of human rights would not exist. Through comparative analysis of a variety of human rights storytelling genres that reflect a range of contexts, this course will suggest that it is impossible to understand human rights without also thinking about the stories that create and sustain their idea. One main premise of this course is that the representation of human rights violations is always a vexed undertaking. It is both urgent and necessary, while also incomplete and inadequate. In order to explore this dilemma, this course focuses on the intersection between human rights advocacy and the various cultural forms that explicitly attempt to participate in human rights discourse. The course will cover a variety of cultural forms such as comic books, movies, photography, novels, testimonials, poetry, plays, etc. that reflect on human rights atrocities such as slavery, the Holocaust, war, dictatorships, apartheid, genocide, and more. At the center of the course are questions about aesthetics and ethics. What are the risks and obligations of human rights storytelling and how are these linked to specific cultural forms and aesthetic practices? This course examines a range of human rights stories through a balance of context and close reading, where stories are studied both for what they say and how they say it.

CMLIT 153 —International Cultures: Film and Literature 

Section 001-  TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM, Willard Bldg 265, Dina Mahmoud         

Section 002-   MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:00AM, Willard Bldg 370, Flora Shao

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning.

This course will compare narrative and artistic techniques employed by literature and film in portraying different social and cultural environments, which will range widely around the globe and may include

Africa and the Middle East, East Asia, and South America, as well as European and North American examples. Students will view films and read novels or other texts such as short stories, plays, and poems. The purpose of this course is to have students examine how the selected artists have developed their intentions and their subject matter in their respective medium, literature or film, and to allow students to study modes of narration across different cultures and media. Through a combination of lectures and comparative discussions, students will examine how components, including plot, genre, environment, character, and point of view are developed in films and fiction from diverse cultures. The course will also discuss techniques that are exclusive to each medium such as editing and cinematography. The comparative nature of the course allows students to understand, evaluate, and appreciate both the universal and unique qualities of the human condition. The study of narrative technique will help students develop analytical skills in discussing and writing about the literary and cinematic expression of cultural values.

CMLIT 189 – Modern Drama (also ENGL 189) Experimental Theatre

TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM, Sackett Bldg 324, Jonathan Eburne

Bachelor of Arts: Humanities; International Cultures (IL); General Education: Humanities (GH); GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies.      

CMLIT/ENGL 189 will constitute a wide-ranging study of plays by authors often credited with the making of modernist drama. The focus of this course will be experimental theatrical productions that often shocked, amused, outraged, provoked, or challenged its audiences—as well as its performers—in exploring political and existential themes as well as new ways of conceiving of theatrical performance. Important works by Asian, African, European, and North, South, and Latin American playwrights will be considered. This class will prepare students for advanced courses in dramatic literature as well as other academic courses that engage in the verbal and written analysis of complex written texts. The course may be used as an English or Comparative Literature major credit or as credit toward the English or Comparative Literature minor.

CMLIT 240Q – Artistic Patronage in Europe (also IT/HIST/WMSNT)

TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Elec Eng West 105, Maria Truglio

International Cultures (IL); General Education: Arts (GA); General Education: Humanities (GH)’ General Education –  Integrative: Interdomain; Honors; GenEd Learning Objective: Crit & Analytical Think; GenEd Learning Objective: Global Learning; GenEd Learning Objective: Key Literacies   

This course surveys the institutions and social networks in which European fine arts were created, consumed and critiqued. Beginning with the medieval period and ranging to the early 20th century, the course will examine the variety of communities where public and private often intersected and which sponsored innovations in the arts. Often indexing social movements and political change, such communities include convents and cathedrals, royal academies and courts, coffee houses, salons, and theaters. Artists, performers, patrons, politicians, journalists, and others collaborated and competed in these spaces. Such communities could embody political and economic power, or foster resistance to it. This approach to the history of the arts in western culture puts the focus less on the individual creative genius of great composers, writers, painters, and sculptors, and more on the social exchanges and institutions that sponsored and received their work. The course will require that students attend at least one musical performance or concert held on campus during the semester and complete a brief writing project based on that experience. This requirement will encourage students to think about their own university as a contemporary space of cultural sponsorship.

400-LEVEL SEMINARS**

** open to first-year students with instructor permission. 400-level courses are intended for but not restricted to students considering the CMLT Major or WLIT Minor. For more info: https://complit.la.psu.edu/undergraduate/major

CMLIT 406 – Women and World Literature

TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Elec Eng West 201, Ivana Ancic

This course sets out from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s idea of the “danger of a single story.” What is the danger of a single story of women’s writing? Of feminism? Of Africa? We will explore the plurality of ways in which women use literature to examine their relationship to the world, while focusing specifically on a diverse range of texts from across the African continent. How do questions of race, gender, and class intersect in African women’s experience of the world? What mark do slavery, colonization, liberation struggles, and globalization leave on that experience? We will read across multiple genres, from oral poetry, novels, and plays to life writing, blogs, and TED talks. Our discussions will highlight how women reclaim their histories, tackle the colonization of their bodies, and affirm the value of women’s writing cultures and networks. We will also explore how women position themselves in multiple ways in relation to national cultures; traditional values and gender norms; marriage and religion; and finally, the literary canon and world literary market.

CMLIT 410 – Literary Translation: Theory and Practice (also CMLIT 455)

TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Engineering Unit B 112, Anna Ziajka Stanton         

This course introduces students to various theories of translation alongside case studies and hands-on translation exercises that put these ideas into practice. We will frame our discussions throughout the semester around understanding—and, at times, critiquing—a core set of binaries that have shaped conversations around translation since pre-modern times, including: author vs. translator, original vs. copy, sense vs. meaning, source language vs. target language, fidelity vs. betrayal, and domestication vs. foreignization. Other topics covered will include self-translation, machine translation, the politics of translation, and translation ethics. Familiarity with at least one language other than English is preferred (although not required) for enrollment.               

CMLIT 422 – African Drama

TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM, Thomas Bldg 112, Mandisa Haarhoff

In this course, we will explore a selection of key dramatic texts by African playwrights from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. The course will focus on how these playwrights critically dramatize the social and political contexts they present, and the important questions they pose about culture, structures of violence, and liberation. We will discuss the range of performance styles utilized to stage the main concerns in these texts and discuss the variations of critical responses to these works across their multiple iterations. The course asks, how has African drama responded to the impacts of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, and their aftermaths? How have African theatre makers shaped anti-colonial and anti-apartheid discourse? How do these dramatic works incorporate and revise traditional performance styles? In addition to the core texts, we will watch recordings of the plays, and read analytical articles. Assignments will include a short performance analysis, an oral presentation, and final research paper.

CMLIT 435 – Cultures of Globalization

TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM , Chambers Bldg 208, Elizabeth Gray

This course focuses on the cultural and literary effects of the process of globalization, with an emphasis on world literatures and transnationalism. It invites students to think about the ways in which the globalization of culture, language, politics, the environment, and the economy affects literary production, and the ways in which such practices in turn reflect and shape our understanding of the global and its becoming. This course will explore the relationship between globalization and many of the central social and ecological issues of our time including migration, climate change, organized crime, and financial crisis. We will consider the ways globalization has shaped identity (migrants, climate refugees, billionaires) and place (airports, borders, landfills, cyberspace). The course will have a significant focus on primary material (literature, film, visual art, performance, digital media) and secondary material (philosophy, criticism). It will introduce students to the main theoretical concepts that govern thinking about globalization and global culture, as well as to important literary and cultural texts and media that articulate those values.

CMLIT 446 – Postcolonial Literature and Culture

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM, Ferguson Bldg 210, Linda Istanbulli       

Taking a comparative and transnational approach, this course will provide students with an advanced introduction to the field of postcolonial literature and theory. A productive discussion of postcolonialism demands an understanding of colonialism as well as its tools and legacies. Accordingly, we will begin with the works of some of the most prominent theoreticians in the field, including Franz Fanon, Edward Said, and Gayatri Spivak. We will then engage with literary, theatric, and cinematic works to discuss the ways in which authors and cultural producers from the postcolonial world address, dramatize, and negotiate issues such as the violent legacies of empire, the ongoing processes of de-colonization, and evolving forms of neo-colonialism. Additionally, we will think through questions of identity, nationalism, language, diaspora, race, gender, and sexuality as they arise within individual works. Our course readings may include novels, stories, and graphic novels by Jean Rhys, Chinua Achebe, Tayeb Salih, Leila Abuolela, Salman Rushdie, Jamaica Kincaid, Marjane Satrapi, and Mahasweta Devi.

CMLIT 455 – Ethics, Justice, and Rights in World Literature  (also CMLIT 410)

TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM, Engineering Unit B 112, Anna Ziajka Stanton

This course introduces students to various theories of translation alongside case studies and hands-on translation exercises that put these ideas into practice. We will frame our discussions throughout the semester around understanding—and, at times, critiquing—a core set of binaries that have shaped conversations around translation since pre-modern times, including: author vs. translator, original vs. copy, sense vs. meaning, source language vs. target language, fidelity vs. betrayal, and domestication vs. foreignization. Other topics covered will include self-translation, machine translation, the politics of translation, and translation ethics. Familiarity with at least one language other than English is preferred (although not required) for enrollment.         

CMLIT 489 – Contemporary World Fiction

TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM, Sackett Bldg 109, Keru Cai

This course explores contemporary fiction emerging from a variety of geographic, political, and cultural contexts. We will read literature and view films that were originally written or shot in English, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Korean, after the turn of the century. These works all aim to convey something about the present moment, whether that be the connectedness of an increasingly globalized world, the ravages of environmental destruction, or the legacies of long histories of colonialism and oppression. We will discuss a variety of genres including the novel, novella, short story, as well as film, in order to discuss how they use diverse formal strategies to depict the challenges of the contemporary moment. Why do some works attempt to describe reality as minutely as possible, whereas others venture into surrealism or even conjure fantastical alternative realities and science fiction worlds? Why do some writers depict in detail a single fictional individual’s experience, whereas others introduce a diverse array of perspectives and interiorities? How do works from different cultures depict the same social problems or international issues differently? And how can literary or filmic representation of the past shed light on the vicissitudes of the present, and vice-versa? Exploring topics such as race, class, gender and sexuality, geopolitics, interiority, and cultural memory, these works of art examine how the individual is embedded in social structures and networks, how the local is embedded in the planetary, and how the contemporary moment is embedded in sediments of history.

CMLIT 497 – Special Topics.

Proseminar: Criticism, Publishing, and Communities of Knowledge.

MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM, Hammond Bldg 217, Shuang Shen

The proseminar addresses the practice of comparative literature in the world. The course will be a practicum that invites students to apply their writing skills and their experience of close reading in intercultural and multilingual contexts to academic knowledge production and cultural criticism. Focusing on the journal Comparative Literature Studies housed in the Department of Comparative Literature, students will take a step inside publishing and use the journal as a laboratory to see how articles go through the process that ends in journal publication. Students will undertake a series of research and writing projects to explore how engagement with an academic book and publication takes place. In addition, students will also examine the process of cultural production in other media forms. For instance, they may be asked to do an annotated bibliography of existing podcasts focusing on literature or public culture topics, and then practice creating a podcast in which they may interview an author or a member of a cultural institution. The goal of the course is to guide students to explore the material conditions of comparative literary criticism within and beyond the university. By the end of the semester, students will gain an enhanced understanding of the history of academic and non-academic knowledge production in a global context. They will have improved their critical thinking and writing skills through a set of assignments and learned about possible career trajectories in publishing through engagement with guest speakers. This course fulfills the 400-level course requirement for CMLIT majors.