Comparative Literature Program - Course Descriptions

Term:  

Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
COM LIT (F22)9  IMMIGRATIONGAMBER, J.
The United States imagines itself to be a “nation of immigrants,” a phrase that abounds in mainstream and political discourses. The reality of this nation is more complicated, of course. This class examines contemporary narratives of immigration, relocation, and diaspora by Indigenous authors and authors of color as well as the legal and political contexts that inform those narratives. Texts will come from an array of genres by Native American, Asian American, African American, and Latinx authors. We will examine the ways these texts construct modes of belonging in place, of establishing or reestablishing that belonging in the face of chosen, coerced, and forced relocations. How do we maintain, reconstruct, or reinvent community when we move (or flee) from nation to nation?
COM LIT (F22)60A  WORLD LITERATURENEWMAN, J
People call movies like Avatar (dir. James Cameron) (2009) “epics.” Do post-modern movies like Avatar mimic the ancient Greek poet Homer’s pre-modern epic, the Odyssey? What can we learn about any nation’s interests and concerns today from its engagement with the masterpieces of either its own tradition or with other traditions from a different time and place? How do the world’s literatures circulate around the globe? In Comparative Literature 60A, we read some of the greatest texts of World Literature – from the ancient Greek, Argentine, English, French-Caribbean, German, Irish, Nigerian, Persian, and U.S. traditions – in dialogue with one another as a way of answering these questions. Texts include the poems of the 14th century Persian poet and mystic Hafiz in various translations and as they were read by the 19th century German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; the Persian poet Firdowsi’s 10th century epic, the Shahnameh, and its afterlife in miniature illustrations, oral recitations in coffee houses, and re-significations as Iran’s national epic; the British medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century Canterbury Tales as they have been taken up by the contemporary British-Nigerian rapper and performance artist Patience Agbabi (b. 1965); the ancient Greek tragedian Sophocles’ Antigone (442 b.c.e.) as it is retold in Argentine playwright Griselda Gambaro’s Antígona Furiosa play (1986); Sophocles’ Philoctetes (409 b.c.e.) as it dialogues with Irish playwright Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy (1990 /1991) and the U.S poet Adrienne Rich’s “Twenty One Love Poems” (1974-76);  Euripides’ Bacchae (405 b.c.e.) in conversation with Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka’s The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite (1973), and Shakespeare’s Tempest (1611) in dialogue with French Caribbean writer Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest (1969) and as it was performed by inmates at the Luther Luckett Correctional  Complex in La Grange, Kentucky, in 2005.  - These dialogues will help us understand the many ways that the traditions we study can have multiple afterlives across traditions and around the world.
COM LIT (F22)121  DETECTIVE STORYABBAS, A.
X’ marks the scene of a crime; but ‘X’ also marks the site of reading, in the sense that, like a puzzling crime, an innovative text (story or film) challenges our ability to read it. This course proposes to use the detective story (texts about how crime can or cannot be solved) to introduce theories of reading. By examining different kinds of detective stories and the critical and theoretical issues they directly or indirectly pose, the course will serve as a gentle and entertaining initiation to current critical theory.

SYLLABUS
1/Conan Doyle ‘The Speckled Band’; Poe ‘Man of the Crowd’
   (Genre and History)
2/Poe ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’
   (Hermeneutics of Belief, Hermeneutics of Suspicion)
3/John Huston ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941 Film)
   (‘Film Noir’, the ‘Femme Fatale’ and ‘the Male Gaze’)
4/Roman Polanski ‘Chinatown’ (1974 Film); Orson Welles ‘Touch of Evil’ (1958 )
   (Nietzsche—lies, truth, myth, ‘beyond good and evil’)
5/Alfred Hitchcock ‘Vertigo’ (1958 Film)
   (Pyschoanalysis and the ‘objet petit a’)
6/ J.L.Borges ‘Death and the Compass; Robert Bresson ‘Pickpocket’ (1959 Film)
   (Metafiction, metacriticism)
7/Paul Auster ‘City of Glass’ (novel and graphic novel)
   (Urban/Textual Ecologies)
8/Ridley Scott ‘Bladerunner’ (1982 Film); Isaac Asimov ‘The Billiard Ball’.
   (Speed and ‘Extro Science Fiction’)
  

EVALUATION, based on:
1/Class attendance and participation
2/ Class Journal
3/2000 word term paper
COM LIT (F22)131  PSYCHOANALYTICAMIRAN, E.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)150  SENEGAL CINEMAMOURAD, G.
This course is an overview of the Senegalese cinema since its inception in the early 1960s until present day. We will start with an outline of the political history of Senegal and a brief introduction to film analysis. We will also connect the film industry of Senegal to the global movement of activist filmmaking that coincides with the late 1960s publication of the Argentinian filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino’s manifesto Toward a Third Cinema. We will watch films on a weekly basis and read texts that help us analyze them.
COM LIT (F22)160  DOCUMENTARY CINEMAABBAS, A.
When factoids are taken for facts, when ‘reality’ as in reality TV has become a game show, and when an unadorned fact is becoming as rare as ‘an orchid in the land of technology’, what becomes of documentary? Are we witnessing its demise? Not quite; but at the same time, documentary in the age of social media and ‘fake news’ cannot retain its old form or employ its old strategy of confronting the factitious with the factual.  If documentary, like translation, is inadvertently a betrayal, then documentary may have to start with the fact of betrayal, with the betrayal of fact. The course will consist of 3 inter-related parts: a/ Classic Documentary (Flaherty’s ‘Nanook of the North’, Vertov’s ‘Man With a Movie Camera’ , Resnais’s ‘Night and Fog’); b/ Crisis in Documentary ( Antonioni’s ‘Blowup’, Lou He’s ‘Suzhou River’, Jia Zhangke’s ‘Still Life’); and c/ Documentary Today ( Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine’, Oppenheimer’s ‘Act of Killing’, Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’). Through discussions of films and writing, the course will trace how mutations in the documentary form point to a world increasingly impervious to factual explanation.

Evaluation based on
1/ Class participation, mid-term test .
2/ Final paper of around 1500 words.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITABBAS, A.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITVAN DEN ABBEEL, G.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITAMIRAN, E.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITGOLDBERG, D.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITJARRATT, S.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITJOHNSON, A.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITNEWMAN, J.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITRAHIMIEH, N.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITSCHLICHTER, A.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITVAN DEN ABBEEL, B.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITSCHWAB, G.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITTERADA, R.
No detailed description available.
COM LIT (F22)199  INDPT STDY COMP LITTHIONG'O, N.
No detailed description available.