Fall 2022 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 001— Introduction to Western Literatures Through the Renaissance
TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM Steidle Building 114 Scott Smith
This course provides a survey of Western literary tradition and considers a variety of genres — such as epic, drama, sonnet, essay, saga, chronicle, folktale, and novel — with attention to the literary and historical contexts which these works reflect in the Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance (Early Modern) periods. Universal themes and cultural values, along with individual differences, will be discussed and compared in works from such authors as Homer, Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, and Marguerite de Navarre. Comparative study focuses on the understanding and appreciation not only of the individual works, but also of their influence on other literary works and artistic forms and the ways in which they relate to their cultures. You will articulate and compare interpretations of texts spanning 2500 years of Western literary history. The variety of the Western tradition will lead you to an understanding and critical discussion of the process by which certain works become regarded as “great.” This course will also allow you the pleasure of encountering a wide variety of creative literary expressions from three distinct periods. This course also fulfills the General Education Humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts Humanities requirement, and International Cultures requirement.
CMLIT 004 —Introduction to Asian Literatures
TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM Thomas Bldg 104 Nicolai Volland
Satisfies General Education (GH), International Cultures (IL), Other Cultures (BA) requirements. 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 005— Introduction to Literatures of the Americas
MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:00AM Willard Bldg 271 Andrea Martinez Teruel
(GH;US;IL)(BA) This allows you to explore the great variety of literatures of the Americas, including translations of texts written in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Amerindian languages, as well as texts originally written in English. Readings include many genres and artistic forms dealing with histories and accounts of “American” issues, such as conquest, nationalism, slavery, diaspora, and immigration. You will also consider the various influences among these traditions in terms of time period and genre. This course investigates the literary and cultural notion of “America,” and what it means to be “American,” in terms of the entire hemisphere. We will deal with issues of race, ethnicity, class, religion, as well as other vital concerns of identity and “Americanness” as reflected in both oral and written literary traditions through the history of the Americas. At the conclusion of this course, you should be able to understand and make – comparisons among the many “American” literary traditions. This course fulfills requirements for the Comparative Literature major, the World Literature minor, General Education Humanities, Bachelor of Arts Humanities, and General Education United States and International Competency.
CMLIT 10 – Introduction to World Literatures
1. Section 001 TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Hammond Bldg 220 Linda Istanbulli
2. *HONORS Section 002 TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM Elec Eng West 105 Flora Shao
3. Section 003 Web Renée Bailey
The development of literature around the world—from epic, legend, lyric, etc. in the oral tradition to modern written forms. (GH;IL)(BA) 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 10 is a prerequisite for the Comparative Literature major and the World Literature minor. This course also fulfills the General Education humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts humanities requirement, and the United States and International requirement.
CMLIT 083: First Year Seminar: Global Science Fictions
TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM Sackett Bldg 109 Thomas Beebee
COMBINED SECTION with CMLIT 122. (GH;US;IL) (BA) A study of the relationships between science, literature, and film, from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. 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 100 – Reading across Cultures
1. Section 001. TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Willard Bldg 370 Shuang Shen
2. Section 002* TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM Willard Bldg 268 Mandisa Haarhoff
*combined section with CMLIT 143, section 002.
CMLIT 100, Reading Across Cultures, is an introductory course to the discipline of Comparative Literature. The course is generally based upon a central theme (or series of themes) around which the reading assignments are chosen. Through a range of traditional (poems, short stories, drama, novellas, novels) and non-traditional (film, multimedia, hypermedia) texts from around the world, students will develop the ability to analyze literature in a variety of ways. Students will examine works both within their individual and diverse cultural contexts, and in relation to broader themes that transcend the boundaries of time and place. As an introductory course, CMLIT 100 is intended to lay a solid foundation for further study in any college-level courses on cultures and/or literature. Through an examination of a wide range of world literature, we will explore the practical aspects of what it means to deal with literary works in a comparative global context. The course is intended to help you develop your analytical and comparative skills and to simultaneously introduce you to a wide variety of interesting world literatures. The course is a prerequisite for the CMLIT major and the World Literature minor.
CMLIT 101 – Race, Gender, and Identity in World Literature
1. Section 001 MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM Thomas Bldg 217 Elizabeth Gray
2. HONORS Section 002 M TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Engineering Unit B 107 Keru Cai
GH;US;IL)(BA)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 106—The Arthurian Legend
MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM Willard Bldg 367 Audrey Saxton
The growth and development of the legend of King Arthur, from medieval Europe to modern Japan. (GH;IL)(BA) This course is designed to familiarize students with the legends about and surrounding King
Arthur and the Round Table fellowship. Through a series of readings, students will survey the development of the legends of Arthur from their beginnings in early medieval Europe to their modern adaptations in many cultures around the world. The Arthurian legend is an ideal vehicle for showing the ways in which literary works capture and express changing value systems in different cultural and historical situations, and thus the course is a good example of comparative (international) approaches to literary study. Classes will discuss the changing cultural’ ideals represented, the different characterizations of the central figures, and the literary, techniques employed. Lectures and discussions will be supplemented by overheads, slides, music, and films or film clips dealing with Arthurian themes. Throughout, the course will ask why and how the stories of Arthur and the Round Table fellowship have captured the imagination of artists, political and religious leaders, and readers throughout the ages and around the world. Finally, it will ask how the practical concerns of daily life are developed in this literature–for example, how does this highly imaginative literature address practical concerns such as striking a balance between one’s short-term goals and personal gratifications, and one’s long-range obligations to other people?
CMLIT 107: The Literature of Exploration, Travel, Migration, and Exile
1. Section 001. MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM Willard Bldg 251 Duncan Lien
2. Section 002. TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM Willard Bldg 268 Casey Tilley
CMLIT 107 examines the notions of exploration, travel, migration, and exile through the lenses of time, space, language, and genre. We will consider questions of home, of place, of identity, and of belonging through literary and cultural productions that depict crossings both real and imaginary, voluntary and forced, geographic and personal. Through reading, discussion, and writing, we will examine and compare the different roles that travel can play in the imaginations of both the individual writers and the cultures from which they come. We will not only explore recurrent themes and timeless topics, but also the ways in which travel writing can both reinforce and subvert the basic value-systems, stereotypes, or other assumptions present in its cultural context. To that end, we will consider how literature of travel, migration, and exile address questions of gender, race, class, colonialism, human rights, the environment, social institutions, and political organization. Throughout our study, we will ask the following questions: What are the historical, social, and psychological conditions under which a person embarks on a journey, and what does a person search for in other places? How does the experience of travel transform one’s relation to oneself, one’s home culture, and the world at large? How are people understood, or misunderstood, during encounters made in the context of journeying? How is literature and language itself a space of traversal? This course fulfills requirements for the Comparative Literature major, the World Literature minor, General Education Humanities, Bachelor of Arts Humanities, and General Education International/Intercultural Competency.
CMLIT 108 – Myths and Mythologies
1. Section 001. MoWe 4:00PM – 5:15PM Animal, Vet and Biomed Sci 102 Justin Halverson
2. Section 002. MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM Willard Bldg 268 Justin Halverson
3. Section 003. Web Peter Wolf
(GH;IL)(BA) 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 108 is one of the choices of survey courses, which count toward the Comparative Literature major and the World Literature minor. This course also fulfills the General Education humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts humanities requirement, and the International Cultures requirement.
CMLIT 112N – Introduction to Global Drama, Theatre, and Performance
1. Section 001. MoWeFr 9:05AM – 9:55AM Willard Bldg 067 Henry Morello
2. Section 002. MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM Willard Bldg 067 Henry Morello
(IL) (US) (GA) (GH) (Integrative: Interdomain). 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 120—Literature of the Occult
TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM Willard Bldg 073 Jonathan Eburne
(GH;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. 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 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. This course fulfills the General Education Humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts Humanities requirement, or the United States and International Cultures requirement.
CMLIT 122—Global Science Fictions
TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM Sackett Bldg 109 Thomas Beebee
COMBINED SECTION with CMLIT 083. (GH;US;IL) (BA) A study of the relationships between science, literature, and film, from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. 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 128N—The Holocaust in Film and Literature
1. Section 001. TuTh 3:05PM – 4:20PM Earth and Eng Sciences 119 TBA
2. Section 002. MoWeFr 3:35PM – 4:25PM Hammond Bldg 219 Lisa Sternlieb
(also GER, JST, ENGL) This class studies how art, literature, film, and other media can help us to gain a perspective on one of the most horrific events in human history, the Holocaust: the genocidal murder of more than six million men, women, and children (mostly Jewish) under the Nazi regime during World War II. We will also examine the theoretical questions involved in any attempt to capture what appears to be beyond our comprehension, in terms of moral outrage and the sheer scale, inhumanity, and bureaucratic efficiency. To this end we will study literary works, such as Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, films such as Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, and Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful, as well as photographs, poems, artworks, installations, museum architecture, the design of monuments and other artifacts. We will also examine questions of memorialization (Holocaust museums and memorials), national guilt, survivor’s guilt, stigmatization, and the ethics of historical representation.
CMLIT 130— Banned Books: International and Comparative Perspectives
MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:00AM Willard Bldg 373 Austin Gaffin
(GH;IL)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
TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM Willard Bldg 269 Qiyu Chen
(GH;IL)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 133N— Global Satire and Modern Politics
TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Willard Bldg 360 Sophia Mcclennen
Across cultures and across history, people have used political satire to call out abuses of power, manipulation, deception, and absurdity. While there are examples of political satire everywhere, its growth is a form of political resistance and as a source of political behavior has been on the rise since the turn of the 21st century. Drawing on examples from Stephen Colbert to Bassem Youssef to Charlie Hebdo and studying a range of different types of satirical media this course examines the role that satire has played in shaping political discourse and advancing democracy. Possible topics include the use of satire to bring down Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, the attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the political comedy of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the street art of Banksy, and the use of political cartooning in Africa. Students will hone their analytical skills through critical response papers, cross-cultural assessment of satire, comparative analysis of satirical forms, group projects, assessment of the effects of satire on shaping political debates, and quizzes on readings from the social sciences and humanities. This class is a GenEd inter-domain course for GH/GS; and International Cultures (IL) course.
CMLIT 143 – Human Rights and World Literature
1. Section 001. MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM Elec Eng West 109 Ivana Ancic
2. Section 002 concurrent with CMLIT 100.002 TuTh 9:05AM – 10:20AM Mandisa Haarhoff
(GH;US;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. “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
TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM Willard Bldg 265 Flora Shao
(GH;IL) (BA) 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 184 —The Short Story
TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Sackett Bldg 106 Verna Kale
(also ENGL 184) This course is designed to introduce students to the art of the short story and to acquaint them with some of its most talented writers. During the semester we will read short stories from various cultures and countries, ranging from stories written in the early nineteenth-century to those written within the last few years. Readings will include works from authors like Hawthorne, Melville, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Bierce, Chekhov, Kafka, Chopin, Crane, Gilman, James, Cather, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Hemingway, Lawrence, Orwell, O’Connor, Baldwin, Olson, Silko, Erdrich, Ondaatje, Barth, Barthelme, Atwood, Mukherjee, Walker, Tan, Calvino, Garcia Marquez, and Cortazar. All readings will be in English. This course is intended to help one learn how to read fiction, how to understand it, and how to talk about it. The desire to tell stories and to be told stories is one of the most basic human needs, and all cultures have been defined in part by the stories they hear and the stories they tell. We are not born knowing how to read the short story or any fiction for that matter. Rather it is a skill that one acquires, and the more one does it, like playing tennis or any other activity, the better one becomes at it, for we learn what to look for. We will explore the historical development of the short story genre, and examine how historical contexts relate to the content and style of the stories under discussion. We will become familiar with how stories are put together and with the vocabulary that is used to discuss fiction–terms such as plot, narrative, character, tone, language, closure, irony, imagery, and so forth. This course also fulfills the General Education Humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts Humanities requirement, and International Cultures requirement.
** 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 400Y: Seminar in Literary Criticism and Theory
TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Willard 365 Jonathan Eburne
This advanced seminar in criticism and theory will examine modern and contemporary practices of literary and cultural “theory” in ways that highlight the moral, psychological, and political interests that guide cultural analysis. This course considers theory to be a form of thought- at once analytical and speculative- that is practiced by writers, philosophers, scientists, and critics alike. Our readings will thus include literary texts that engage in abstract thought (e.g. Lewis Carroll), as well as critical studies whose relationship to literature is central to their analytical or social/scientific methods. This is a writing-intensive course (“writing across the curriculum”) and thus of interest for anyone exploring ways to incorporate cultural and literary analysis within their writing.
CMLIT 403 – Latina/o Literature and Culture
also CMLIT 453 – Narrative Theory: Film and Literature
TuTh 10:35AM – 11:50AM Thomas220 John Ochoa
This course provides students with a multi-faceted comparative view of Latina/o literature in relation to other forms of cultural expression. First, the course presents a variety of cultural expressions; each text will be studied in its historical context as well, thereby providing students with a sense of Latina/o cultural history. Second, this course compares works from within the same genre, allowing students to recognize the ways that Latina/o culture has worked to build identity, to deconstruct identity, and to challenge cultural stereotypes. Such comparison further facilitates comparison of the ways that different cultural forms have been used by diverse Latina/o communities. Third, this course compares cultural forms, allowing students to see how Latina/o poetry affects music or how Latina/o theater affects novels. Fourth, this course will include texts that represent a variety of linguistic and national contexts, including many countries in Latin America, thereby allowing students to see the relationship between history, culture, language, geography, and identity. These themes are at the center of both Latina/o Studies and Comparative Literature. A comparative perspective facilitates appreciation of the vast and varied ways that Latina/o communities have used cultural expression.
CMLIT 406 – Women and World Literature
TuTh 3:05PM – 4:20PM Willard 174 Linda Istanbulli
How do women writers and cultural producers from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA} conceive of themselves as active subjects participating in the making of their collective histories? How do they appreciate and articulate their experiences at different intersections of class, religion, culture, and race? In what ways do their aesthetic engagements reflect, negotiate, or challenge processes that attempt to homogenize the fundamental complexities that they face in their lives? What modalities of agency do their literary discourses envision and facilitate?
Taking these questions as a point of departure, this course will offer students a critical and analytical engagement with short stories, novellas, autobiographies, and films produced by women from the Middle East and North Africa. Following a comparative approach, we will draw upon materials that eut across a range of historical junctures and national contexts with an eye toward the sorts of theoretical interventions these texts stage against dominant paradigms and power structures. Through a diverse collection of readings, lectures, and discussions, students will critically engage with key notions that have been central to the reformulation of feminism, including power, subjectivity, agency, embodiment, performativity, and cultural translation.
CMLIT 415 – World Graphic Novels
1:25PM – 2:15PM Willard Bldg 174 Ivana Ancic
Critical analyses of form, genre, medium, and discourse of the graphic novel and its historical precedents in an international and comparative context. This course considers the graphic novel (also known as graphic fiction, comics, or sequential narrative) as an emergent literary medium and global phenomenon. The course focuses on texts that engage issues of contemporary identity, ethnicity, sexuality, technology, and/or history (personal, family, and national). These graphic novels engage these issues through the medium of text joined with image. This course explores the aesthetic of sequential narrative, its methods of production and consumption, and its place in a contemporary culture of reading. Assigned texts include titles from the United States, France, Japan, Italy, Canada and Norway. All texts will be read in English translation.
CMLIT 422 — African Drama
TuTh 12:05PM – 1:20PM Huck Life Sciences Bldg 301D 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. Students will:
· Expand their understanding of African theatre with focus on the mid-20thcentury until present
· Build their performance and cultural analysis skills
· Understand the social histories and politics of the countries we’re engaging
· Understand the contribution of African theatre to performance
· Be able to offer a performance analysis of a play
· Strengthen their writing and critical thinking skills
Core Dramatic Texts:
Ama Ata Aidoo, Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa
Ngūgī wa Thiongo and Micere Githae Mugo, The Trial of Dedan Kimathi
Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman
Athol Fugard, Statements
Jane Taylor, Ubu and the Truth Commission
Yael Farber, Mies Julie
Magnet Theatre, Cargo (screening)
CMLIT 429 – New Media and Literature (also ENGL)
TuTh 1:35PM- 2:50PM Elec Eng West 202 Brian Lennon
An introduction to new media in liaison with literature, literariness, and literary study, with a focus on new media’s digital and computational character. We will consider the novelty of electronic screen media, in a print culture of newspapers, magazines, and the simulation and remediation of older by newer media, and of newer by older media; the residuality of modern print culture in a “postmodern” technocratic society; and the broader questions of technology, temporality, and modernity that shape these concepts.
Beginning with a tour of literary uses of computational media, we will look at early examples of computer-generated literary writing; learn about the importance of randomness in expressive or creative uses of computing; examine new media poetry produced as an extension of ongoing work in traditional paper-based print literature; study the literary and cultural history of password authentication and discuss a poem encrypted and embedded in an artist’s book; and examine examples of time-based or streaming electronic or digital literature. Subsequently, we will turn from literary uses of computational media to conventional literary depictions of technologically extended literary cognition– in other words, new media as literary experience — in contemporary speculative fiction, and to literary depictions of cultures of new media in the contemporary novel.
CMLIT 453 – Narrative Theory: Film and Literature
see CMLIT 403 – Latina/o Literature and Culture
CMLIT 448 – Literary Cultures of Buddhism (also ASIA)
TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM Huck Life Sciences Bldg 014 Charlotte Eubanks
Comparative exploration of various Buddhist literary cultures, from the classical Indian subcontinent to modern movements like the Beats andwriting. This course will provide an in-depth exploration of various cultures of Buddhist literary production. Readings will cover a broad temporal and geographical range. Prior study of Buddhism or literature is not required and materials will be in English. Students will learn about major genres of Buddhist literature, such as sutras (scripture), (stories of the Buddha’s previous incarnations), hagiography, miracle tales, religiously inspired poetry, and meditational riddles. The course will also examine the various forms into which contemporary authors have adapted these materials (such as manga, navels, memoirs, and film). The course, or individual units within the course, will be structured so that students develop an historical perspective, allowing them to understand the literary cultures that gave rise to the works under study. Class work includes some lecture but emphasizes guided discussions, group work, writing exercises, and some student presentations. This participatory approach is intended to deepen students’ appreciation of the works, to help them understand value systems that may differ from those predominant in western cultures, and to assist students in developing both analytical and expressive abilities. The course is designed to be suitable for all students generally interested in religious cultures of writing, in Buddhism, or in literature, whether or not they have previously studied in any of these areas.
CMLIT 449 – Literary Cultures of Islam
TuTh 1:35PM – 2:50PM Hammond Bldg 207 Anna Stanton
What is the Qur’an, and why is it considered a sacred text by more than a billion Muslims worldwide today and a masterpiece of literary aesthetics by countless others? How did the nomadic Arabs of long ago serenade their camels, prepare for battle, and mourn their departed lovers? Who was Rumi, and what explains the enduring power of this ever-popular Sufi verses? Why did Andalusia remain a patent symbol for poets from Pakistan to Spain, Palestine to Egypt, more than 400 years after it fell to the European Reconquista? In this course we will address these questions-and many more1-as we engage with literature from the Islamic world in a number of major genres, including navels and religious texts, ghazals and films and folktales, from the sixth century to the present. Works will be read in translation. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required, although at least 3 previous or concurrent credits in the study of literature is preferred for enrollment. Please contact Prof. Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CMLIT 497.001: Dramaturgy Lab (also THEA)
TuTh 10:35AM-11:50AM Ford Building 208 Sebastian Trainor
This semester’s Dramaturgy Lab is inspired by a “choose-able path” version of Hamlet. A main goal will be, collectively, ta create a (script for) a play in which an audience can choose the direction of Hamlet’s story. The text we develop will be inspired by Shakespeare’s play, but our writing will be in contemporary English. One important task will be ta work out a viable “mechanism” for performing our “choose-able path” drama (though we will not mount an actual performance). Class experimentation will be informed by several works related to or derived from Hamlet (ranging, for example, from the “bad quarto” text of the play to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, to Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, A Novel, to Hamlet itself, and at least one Shakespeare biography). The course involves explorations of literary text, of historical context, of dramaturgical technique, and of principles of script writing. No prior playwriting experience is required. A general familiarity with Shakespeare is helpful, but not required. An interest in experimental theatre is very helpful.
CMLIT 497.002 Theatre History 1: Pre-Modern/Early Modern Theatre History
TuTh 12:05PM- 1:20PM Boucke Bldg216 Elizabeth Bonjean
Survey of drama and theatre from primitive rites through the Renaissance.
Elizabeth Bonjean teaches theatre history, dramatic literature, critical theory, and performance studies. She received her Ph.D. in Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of Washington (Seattle), and her BA and MA in Drama from San Francisco State University.