Current Graduate Courses
CHV 579/COM 579/ENG 579The Ethics of Reading V: Criminal Law and Criminal LiteratureThe seminar, the fifth in a series under the rubric the "Ethics of Reading," will inquire into the reading and interpretation of major documents from criminal justice in relation to literary texts and films that speak to similar questions. The course looks at stories in the law and about the law: court cases that turn on competing versions of a story, and how narrative "conviction" comes about, as well as fictional and non-fiction accounts of mystery, crime, investigation, and detection. The seminar introduces students to some issues in criminal law and procedure as well as to the analysis of narrative.
COM 535Contemporary Critical Theories: Marxist TheoryThis year's Marxism seminar addresses questions of intellectual and epistemological difference, ideology, and the question of Marxism and cultural/literary forms. We begin with the question of ideology as Marx inherits it from the French eighteenth century, and continue through selections from Capital, Rosa Luxemburg, Gramsci, Lukacs, Sohn-Rethel, Adorno, Althusser, Balibar, Sara Kofman, Raymond Williams and others.
COM 536Topics in Critical Theory: Comparative Literature Writing and Dissertation ColloquiumThe Writing and Dissertation Colloquium is a biweekly forum for graduate students in Comparative Literature to share works in progress with other graduate students. The seminar welcomes drafts of your prospectus, article, dissertation chapter, conference paper, exam statement and grant or fellowship proposal. Work is pre-circulated. The 90 minute sessions, done in conjunction with a rotating COM faculty member, are designed to offer written and oral feedback.
COM 582/LAS 582/SPA 5901968 and the Present: Arts and Politics of Change in Latin AmericaThis course looks at the different ways in which intellectual and artistic work is reinvented as it engages in practices of intense change at moments of political and economic crisis. Focusing on key moments since 1968, we study how social, cultural, and artistic movements reconfigure a sense of the political that visualizes its expressions in other forms of life, proposing innovative ways of approaching the role of knowledge and affects in contemporary societies. Readings include Althusser, Arguedas, Bolaño, Colectivo Situaciones, Fernanda Navarro, Rancière, Revueltas, Kristin Ross.
ENG 566/COM 570Studies in the English Novel: The Great Good Place: Modern UtopiasUtopias literally exist nowhere, but their moral and social hopes for an improved, ideally perfected Life congregate and are realized in a specific site: the Great Good Place. The phrase comes from the title of Henry James's only utopian fiction, in which "The Great Good Place" is equated with having "The Great Want Met." Our seminar explores the Great Wants that Utopian fictions at once acknowledge and hope to satisfy through their imaginative reclamation or transformation of place.
HUM 582/COM 588/PHI 581Observing the WorldIn this seminar we will consider the different modalities of observation in the pre- and early modern world, including artistic, literary, philosophical, and scientific. A central problem will be the ways in which the world was transformed into concrete representations through language, visual art, and mathematics. Among the topics of interest to us will be perspective, early modern technologies of vision, observation and experiment, cosmology, travel narrative, and the rise of the scientific academy. Among those whose works we will consider are Alberti, Bacon, Berkeley, Descartes, Dante, Donne, Galileo, Leonardo, Milton, and Shakespeare.
LAS 502/SPA 591/COM 502Latin America's Colonial History: A Global PerspectiveA fresh look at Latin America's colonial period under the new lens of global history. The course uses the theories of Chakrabarti, Sloterdijk and others to understand the global flows linking Medieval Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world. How was history written in the 16th century? How did Europeans arrive at an understanding of non-Christian traditions?
NES 540/COM 540Studies in Later Persian Literature 1200 - 1800 A.D.Course acquaints students with the literature of the second great classical language of Islam and its legacy of epics, chronicles, lyric poems, mystical writings and imaginative tales from the traditional Persian-speaking world - including not only from present-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan but also from Anatolia, Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Continuation of NES 539. Treats the literature from 1200 to 1800.
POR 562/COM 586/AAS 564Luso-Brazilian Seminar: Rethinking the EnlightenmentWhat are the legacies of the Enlightenment? How do 18th-century developments resurface, or are resignified, in later debates? In this course we study major events, texts, and turning points of the period, as well as their repercussions or reception in the 20th and 21st centuries. With the Luso-Brazilian world at its center, the seminar focuses on three interrelated and overarching themes: transatlantic circulation of knowledge; slavery and the emerging science of race; literature (esp. poetry) and urban imaginaries.