Comparative Literature

CMLT 105. Rites of Passage (Livingston)
This course will focus on one particular rite of passage: the coming of age. Through the literature of different time periods and cultures, we will examine the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Readings may include Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus; Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval; Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle; Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Duong Thu Huong, Paradise of the Blind; Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner; and the films Cinema Paradiso and Harold and Maude. (Group III)

CMLT 110. Myth, Legend, and Folklore of the European Continent (Merkel)
In this course we will focus on the folklore of the European continent. The term “folklore” will be considered in its broadest sense to include folk narratives, rituals, customs, traditions, and beliefs. Although our central focus will be verbal lore, we will study folk art, traditional festivals, and folk costume. Special emphasis will be given to food traditions. The verbal lore read and discussed will include animal tales, fairy tales, legends, myths, riddles, jokes, and proverbs. Students will learn to prepare ancient Slavic dishes: kutia, blini, kasha, and kvas. The European fairy tale will be a centerpiece of the course. Students can expect to read and write about tales from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Italy, and Poland. Readings in these traditions will be extensive. In addition to the tales themselves, students will become acquainted with major theoretical approaches to studying folklore. These approaches include the works of Vladimir Propp, Claude Lévi- Strauss, Bruno Bettelheim, Karen Rowe, Alison Lurie, Max Lüthi, Carl Jung, and others. The transposition of traditional narratives into modern poetry, film, and visual art will complement our study. (Group III)

CMLT 113. Myth, Legend, and Folklore of Asia (Sokolsky)
Why do we read myths, legends, and folklore? When do we usually read such tales? And how are these tales imparted to us? Do you remember the tales you were told as a young child? Can you recall the lessons about life that you were supposed to cull from these stories? Now as an adult, with a more mature eye, you can probably see that these myths, legends, and folklore that often seem to be for entertainment purposes can also have a social agenda. What about the tales that come from Asia? Are the underlying premises of tales from Asian cultures the same as those from Anglo-European traditions? In this class, through assigned literary readings, we will travel to Japan, China, Korea, India, and ancient Mesopotamia to see how people of these areas have been shaped by the myths, legends, and folklore of their respective cultures. The goal of the class will be to see if there is a universal theme to all of these texts. Thus are we as human beings ultimately the same as Carl Jung posits with his idea of archetypes? Or are there cultural differences in the way people from different countries perceive the world? How do ideas of gender roles, social order, national identity, and morality get subtly transmitted in these tales? Moreover, we will look at the various ways in which such tales get transmitted. By studying the myths, legends, and folklore of other cultures, we will have a better understanding of how the worldviews of people who live in distant lands, as well as our own worldview, are shaped by supposed entertainment tales. Some of the readings and assignments will include one of the earliest extant epics Gilgamesh; tales from China, Japan, and Korea; and India’s The Ramayana. (Group III, Diversity)

CMLT 120. Love and Sexuality in Literature: The Western Tradition (Livingston)
“Love is the answer; but while you’re waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.” – Woody Allen. The emotion of love, the drive of sex: what is their relationship and how has culture constructed them? Must they go together? Is one necessarily better than the other? Do modern ideas of gender complicate or illuminate their relationship? In this course, we will investigate the literary, artistic, and musical manifestations of these two powerful forces from the Bible through contemporary times. Beginning with Genesis, we’ll read Plato’s Symposium and some of Sappho’s poems, look at two surprisingly progressive medieval texts (The Letters of Abelard and Heloise and The Romance of Silence), examine some of Shakespeare’s love sonnets, and enjoy Eliza Heywood’s seventeenth-century tale of Fantomina. As we move into the modern era, we’ll use various theoretical ideas (Freud, Foucault, Lacan) to understand literary texts such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata” (along with Beethoven’s work of the same name), and Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red. We’ll end the course with the film Jules et Jim, some episodes of Sex and the City, and our own selection of poems about love and/or sexuality. (Group III)

CMLT 121. Love and Sexuality in Literature and the Arts: From Hesiod to Hip-Hop (Stone-Mediatore)
Love and sexuality—how the two intersect, how they diverge, the joy and the pain they bring: these have been central topics in literature and art since the dawn of human culture. And as a glance at any TV, magazine, or movie screen attests, our interest in love and sexuality certainly has not waned. How could it be otherwise? Love and sexuality are two of the most basic forces in human life; yet they are also two of the most mysterious and complex forces. This course explores Western perspectives on love and sexuality ranging from the Paleolithic period to postmodernity, including prehistoric art, the ancient Greeks (Hesiod and Plato); the Bible (Song of Solomon and excerpts from Genesis, Leviticus, and Paul’s Letters); Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents; Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being; John Berger’s Ways of Seeing; Edward Lucie-Smith’s Sexuality in Western Art; Alan Moore’s critically-acclaimed graphic novel, V for Vendetta; and contemporary pop music. (Group III)

CMLT 130. Love and Sexuality in the Literary Arts of the Mediterranean (Raizen)
The Mediterranean region, with its dense weave of historical encounters, has long been a site of intimacies and entanglements, love and war. What is it about love that brings out the most tender and the most violent impulses at the same time? In this course we will explore the concepts of self and other, reflection, agency, representation, and reciprocity as they figure in Mediterranean literary, artistic, and musical treatments of love and sexuality. We will open with a look at two foundational love stories from the Hebrew and Arabic literary traditions: “Song of Solomon” and “Majnun Layla,” respectively. We will then move through a unit on the Hebrew gothic short stories of S.Y. Agnon. With Edward Said’s Orientalism as a theoretical anchor, we will look at intimate encounters between East and West in works such as Ahdaf Soueif ’s In the Eye of the Sun. Moving into present-day Israel-Palestine, we will explore works that feature romantic entanglements between Israeli-Jews and Palestinians. From the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish to the semi-autobiographical novel Yasmine by the Iraqi- born Israeli author Eli Amir, these texts foreground some of the thorniest questions regarding love: Can we really love outside of ourselves? Where is the line between self-love and self-loathing? When does love collapse into narcissism? What happens to love when uneven power dynamics come into play? The course will close with a unit on love and sexuality in the digital age. With a focus on the Arab Spring and its aftermaths, this unit explores how texts such as Ahmed Alaidy’s Being Abbas el Abd introduces questions of voyeurism, exposure, and rumors. (Group III, Diversity)

CMLT 131. Love and Sexuality in the Literary Arts of East Asia (Sokolsky)
This course will examine the words love and sexuality as depicted in East Asian (Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean) literature and film. By exploring the way love and sexuality get treated in the literature and films of cultures on the other side of the globe, we will consider whether there is a universal component to the ideas of love and sexuality, or do these ideas vary from culture and historical setting? Stereotypes of Asian culture in the media of the United States can vary. Images of the Asian man include effete asexual men, kung fu artists, or philandering perverts. Images of the Asian woman vary from the demure geisha to school-girl porn and evil dragon ladies. The goal of this course is to challenge these stereotypes of Asian sexual culture and to seriously examine the assumptions of what love and sexuality mean in East Asian culture as well as in our own. Topics will include: attitudes toward marriage, family, homosexuality, sexual violence, and recent trends in China and Japan’s underground youth culture regarding sex and drugs. (Group III, Diversity)

CMLT 200.6. Cairo Cosmopolitan (Raizen)
In the globalized Middle East of the twenty-first century, Cairo occupies a unique position as both a relic of a bygone era and a hotbed of political, cultural, and artistic activities that point to emergent contemporary forms of cosmopolitanism. This course offers a look at literary and cinematic representations of Cairo as both an iconic urban center steeped in nostalgia and a wellspring of what Diane Singerman and Paul Amar, in Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East, have termed “vernacular, bottom-up cosmopolitanisms” or grass-roots visions of what a cosmopolitan city should embody. The literary works and films discussed in this course will range from wistful depictions of Cairo as Umm al-dunya (mother of the Earth) in the glory days of her Golden Age, to contemporary reflections on the city as a central player in the political, cultural, and demographic dynamics of the Middle East. The course will feature units on nostalgia, belle époque Cairo, the Egyptian Jewish diaspora, Cairo in the Israeli literary imagination, gender and cosmopolitics, and cosmopolitanism in the wake of the Arab Spring. Texts include Waguih Ghali’s postcolonial coming-of-age novel Beer in the Snooker Club, Nadia Kamel’s documentary film An Egyptian Salad, selected essays by the Jewish-Egyptian author Jacqueline Kahanoff, Lucette Lagnado’s memoir The Man in The White Sharkskin Suit, Mia Ghröndal’s photo collection Revolution Graffiti, and excerpts from Wael Ghonim’s memoir Revolution 2.0. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)

CMLT 200.9. Discourses in Comparative Literature (Livingston, Sokolsky)
The purpose of “Discourses in Comparative Literature” is to provide a theoretical foundation for subsequent courses offered in the Department of Comparative Literature. The Comparative Literature major or minor is the cross-cultural and cross-temporal study of foreign literatures in English translation. As part of this comparative study, we examine articulations of cultures from around the world and over time as well as the various modes of inquiry that comprise the field of Comparative Literature. What does “culture” and its concomitant ideas of “humanity” and “civilization” mean? How does literature play a role in the transmission of these questions about our individual being and our place in the grand scheme of society, the world, and nature? The purpose of this seminar is to provide the historical and theoretical foundations of Comparative Literature and to introduce students to the literature and themes of subsequent courses offered in the department. Questions we will explore are 1) What is Comparative Literature? 2) What is the difference between Comparative Literature and World Literature? 3) Who are the major global literary theorists? 4) What does it mean to read literature in a comparative way? Finally, because we read works that are in translation, we will introduce you to the theory and art of translating literature. What happens to our reading experience when what we are reading is a translation of a work through the translator’s language rather than that of the author’s original language? The course is intended for students who are or are considering Comparative Literature as a major or minor. Prerequisite: at least one prior course in the Department of Comparative Literature or permission of the instructor. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 250. Gender and Identity (Sokolsky, Stone-Mediatore)
What do the words “male,” “female,” “man,” and “woman” mean? Are “man” and “woman” simply nouns or (as eminent feminist theorist Judith Butler argues) are they also verbs, implying a performance of gender? Growing awareness of transgendered identities complicates simple binaries such as “man” and “woman” even further. Do these words refer to any natural bodily reality, or are they socially-constructed concepts? And what is “identity” anyway? Is it possible to “know thyself,” as the ancient Greeks exhorted us? Does a “true self ” even exist, or is the self, too, a social construction? In this class we will explore such challenging questions via the study of literature, theory, film, and other art forms from around the world, and we will examine how conceptions of gender and identity have changed over time and place. This course also counts for the Women and Gender Studies major/minor. (Group III, Diversity)

CMLT 255. The Devil, the Hero, and God (Merkel)

“Den Göttern gleich ich nicht! Zu tief ist es gefühlt.” (“Not like the gods am I – profoundly it is rued!”) Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In this course, students heroically pursue excellence in thought and written expression by reading, discussing, and writing about The Iliad, Dante’s Inferno, Goethe’s Faust, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. Autonomy, integrity, perseverance, rationality, empathy, humility, courage, and probity—essential traits of literary heroes and hero students— are topics of daily discussion and debate. This course is equally concerned with the tradition of thought behind hero stories. Readings from Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Gregory the Great’s Moralia of Iob, Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae, Capellanus’s On Love, and Vladimir Solovyov’s Lectures on Divine Humanity provide essential context for the literary texts read in this course. (Group III, Writing Course)

CMLT 265. Freedom and Constraint (Sokolsky)
This Honors course is an inter-disciplinary study of the way freedom and constraint are defined and represented in various types of literature, film, and art from different cultures with particular emphasis on Asia, Arab, European, and American cultures. The many connotations of freedom and the ways in which people feel constrained as well as resist such constraint will be drawn out through an examination of historical, cultural, political, religious, and gendered contexts. We will be discussing slavery, colonialism, genocide, female sexual oppression, and how people have fought against such atrocities. We will read both fiction and non-fiction. Works may include Chinhua Achebe’s When Things Fall Apart, John Okada’s No-No Boy, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. (Group III, Honors, Writing Option)

CMLT 280. The Tragic Vision (Livingston)
In this course, we will read a wide range of literature that can broadly be called “tragic.” We will explore issues such as fate and free will, power dynamics, difficult choices, individual trauma, and suffering and redemption. Our texts will include the Oresteia trilogy, Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan, King Lear, Goethe’s Faust: Part I, Wuthering Heights, Hedda Gabler, Anna Karenina, Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. (Group III)

CMLT 290. Rogue’s Progress: The Picaresque Experience (Merkel)
Weary of the glory-seeking, soul-searching, ordeal-tested do- gooder hero? Spend the semester with rogues, adventurers, servants, beggars, prostitutes, parvenus, tramps, thieves, pickpockets, liars, and fools! According to Mikhail Bakhtin, these literary outlier types have had—apart from a lot of fun—an enormous significance for the history of the novel: “Stupidity (incomprehension) in the novel is always polemical: it interacts dialogically with an intelligence (a lofty pseudo intelligence) with which it polemicizes and whose mask it tears away… Stupidity in the novel is always implicated in language, in the word: at its heart always lies a polemical failure to understand someone else’s discourse, someone-else’s pathos-charged lie that has appropriated the world and aspires to conceptualize it, a polemical failure to understand generally accepted, canonized, inveterately false languages with their lofty labels for things and events: poetic language, scholarly and pedantic language, religious, political, judicial language and so forth.” From “Discourse in the Novel” in The Dialogic Imagination by Mikhail Bakhtin (Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, trans.) In this course we will explore the roots of novelistic discourse in the tradition of the picaresque, starting with trickster myths. Works read will include novels classified as picaresque and those not formally classified as picaresque but imbued with the picaresque spirit. Lazarillo de Tormes, Moll Flanders, The Gambler, Felix Krull, Dead Souls, Envy, and Lolita are among works read. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 300.2. Literary Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean (Livingston)
In the Middle Ages, the Mediterranean was the site of cultural interaction between Western Europe, the Islamic world, and the Far East. Trade, including the lucrative Silk Road traffic, war, and the diffusion of scholarship all contributed to significant cross- fertilization of ideas. This course will focus on literary texts that reflect the meeting of East, Middle East, and West in the years between 1000 and 1500. Reading will include both the Middle English and Persian versions of the Alexander romance, Floire and Blanchflor, Chrétien de Troyes, Cligès, selections from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim poetry, Aucassin and Nicolette, Marco Polo’s Travels, and stories from The 1001 Nights. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 300.3. Cinemas of the Middle East (Raizen)
This course examines Middle Eastern cinema from the early twentieth century to the present day. As a comparative literature course with a focus on the textual medium of film, “Cinemas of the Middle East” takes up questions of representation, translation, cultural identity, multilingualism, cosmopolitanism, trauma, and dissidence. The course is structured around several historical moments that reshaped the geopolitical and cultural landscape of the Middle East. We will start with a unit on Egyptian film and examine the notion of Egypt as the “Hollywood of the Middle East.” We will then move through a unit on the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and look at the ways in which 1948 is portrayed alternately as the birth of the Israeli nation and the catastrophic start of the Palestinian refugee crisis. Subsequent units examine cinematic treatments of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and its aftermaths, the decline of cosmopolitanism, Mizrahi cinema and identity politics in Israel, the Lebanese civil war and trauma narratives, the 1979 Iranian Revolution and responses to censorship, transnational productions, and new filmic techniques that reflect the aesthetics and modes of communication of the digital age. Theoretical readings include Hamid Naficy’s An Accented Cinema, Ella Shohat’s East/West And the Politics of Representation, Nurith Gertz and George Khleifi’s Palestinian Cinema: Landscape, Trauma, and Memory, Joseph Gugler’s Film in the Middle East and North Africa: Creative Dissidence, Viola Shafik’s Arab Cinema, and Yaron Shemer’s Identity, Place, and Subversion in Contemporary Mizrahi Cinema in Israel. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)

CMLT 300.4. The Arabic Novel from the 19th Century to the Digital Age (Raizen)
This course examines the genre of the novel as it developed in the Arabic-speaking world. We will begin by looking at the concept of storytelling as it figures in A Thousand and One Nights, a cornerstone of the Arabo-Islamic literary tradition. We will then move to the nineteenth-century nahda (Arabic Renaissance) and discuss the inception the Arabic novel at the crossroads of Western Enlightenment thought and the project of Arab modernity. The nahda unit will be followed by an exploration of the postcolonial Arabic novel and the tensions between the ongoing fascination with the Western novel and the push to forge an independent Arabic-language novelistic tradition. From the postcolonial Arabic novel we will move through units on the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and the “Generation of Defeat,” the Palestinian novel, the “new” Arabic novel of the 1980s, and the Arabic novel in the digital age. Readings include Zaynab (1913) by Mohammed Haykal, Men in the Sun (1962) by Ghassan Kanafani, Season of Migration to the North (1966) by Tayib Salih, Children of the Alley (1967) by Naguib Mahfouz, The Pessomptimist (1974) by Emile Habibi, and Girls of Riyadh (2005) by Rajaa Alsanea. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)

CMLT 300.5. The Art and Theory of Translating Literature (Livingston, Merkel, Sokolsky)
What does it mean to read literature translated from one language to another? Are you in fact reading the same work of literature? How does one capture the art of one language and translate it into the art of another? These are just some of the questions we will explore in this upper-level course on the art and theory of translation. This course is a requirement for the Comparative Literature Major. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 320. Great Books of East Asia (Sokolsky)
In this course we will probe both the term “great books” and “Asia” or more specifically “East Asia.” During the first week of class, we will discuss the politics of canonization. Questions we will consider are: What makes a work of literature great? And who gets to decide? Then we will specifically look at famous literary texts from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The term “Asia” is a complicated one. Sixty percent of the earth’s population lives on the Asian continent and some of the oldest civilizations of the world are part of Asia. Yet, people unfamiliar with the vastly different cultures of the numerous countries that fall under the heading of “Asia” often view it as a single cultural entity. We will consider issues of race, gender, nationalism, militarism, and recent postmodern trends in East Asia. Texts we will read may include: The Analects of Confucius, The Tao Te Ching, The Tale of the Heike, Shi Nai’an’s The Water Margin, Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman, Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro, Kawabata Yasunari’s Snow Country, Yi Kwang-su’s Mujong, Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain, and Wu Zhouliu’s Orphan of Asia. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)

CMLT 321. East Asian Film (Sokolsky)
Some scholars argue that film is the new literary form of the late 20th and early 21st century. This course will focus on films that are products of one of the most populous and economically powerful parts of the world—East Asia. We will look at East Asian films (China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) to see in what ways they are unique expressions of Asian culture and thinking and in what ways they are part of a more global world of filmmaking. We will study film theory and learn how to critically watch a film. We will also read theoretical works that specifically address the art of Asian films. While reading these theoretical works, we will look at famous Asian films that have made an historic impact in the film world. Finally, we will look at current trends in Asian films, with particular emphasis on the way Asian films have influenced Hollywood. Genres we will study include: Japanese anime, J-Horror, and Chinese martial arts films. We will also look at classics such as: The Seven Samurai, Farewell My Concubine, and Raise the Red Lantern. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)

CMLT 323. Elegance and Brutality: Topics in Modern Japanese Literature (Sokolsky)
Japan is a country known for its sublime beauty as well as its mystifying brutality. It is a small island nation with a rich cultural history. Despite its size, it has played a pivotal role in world politics since the late 1800s. To date, it is the only non-Western country to have had an empire in the modern era. In the 1980s, it was an economic threat to the American automobile industry. Today, its economy is stagnant and consequently there is a rise of postmodern ennui and nihilism amongst its youth. The purpose of this class is to study through literature both sides of Japan’s fascinating cultural history. We will read works that celebrate Japanese civilization in its most elegant forms as well as its most brutal. A major question we will ask is how can a country that has a philosophy of “wabi sabi” (appreciating the beauty in the simple and sublime) also be a country that reveres “bushidô” (the way of the samurai) and fanatical militarism? Pre-requisite: (CMLT 113, CMLT 131, CMLT 320, or permission of instructor. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option

CMLT 340. Medieval and Renaissance Thought (Livingston)
This course offers an introduction to Western European thought and literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Along with a consideration of our historically and culturally conditioned designations of the time period in question, we shall examine the emergence of spiritual and cultural ideals, humanism, the roles of women, constructions of the “other,” and the attempts to synthesize classical and Christian traditions. Among the authors considered are Christine de Pizan, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and Gaspara Stampa. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 350. Reason and Romanticism (Merkel)
Reason and Romanticism covers the “long 18th-century.” Students explore the spirit of the Enlightenment and its relation to the subsequent Romantic rebellion—roughly, 1750–1850. However, course readings will include seminal writings of John Locke (1632–1704), Francis Bacon (1561–1626), Isaac Newton (1642– 1727), and other thinkers who shaped Enlightenment questions about nature and reason, reason and God, politics, and art. The first half of the course features writings of German, French, Irish, Scottish, English, Russian, and American Enlightenment thinkers. Literary works include Tristram Shandy, Candide, Rameau’s Nephew and Nathan the Wise, and plays of Catherine the Great. The second half of the course features writings of French, German, and Russian participants in the Romantic cultural age. The Sorrows of Young Werther, Queen of Spades, and A Hero of Our Time are among works read. We enlist the 20th- and 21st-century theoretical and philosophical approaches of Ernst Cassirer, Isaiah Berlin, and Bill Brown (Thing Theory) to understand the legacy and lasting influence of “the long 18th-century.” (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 360. Great Books of the 19th Century (Merkel)
(Alternate years.)
I started out very quiet and I beat Mr. Turgenev. Then I trained hard and I beat Mr. de Maupassant. I’ve fought two draws with Mr. Stendhal, and I think I had an edge in the last one. But nobody’s going to get me in the ring with Mr. Tolstoy unless I’m crazy or I keep getting better.” – E. Hemingway. In this course, students will match wits with Hemingway’s heavyweights of nineteenth-century literature: Turgenev, Stendhal, golden-gloved Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky. (Hemingway in A Moveable Feast: “In Dostoevsky there were things unbelievable and not to be believed, but some so true they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know as you knew the landscape and the roads in Turgenev.”)  In the first half of the course, students will read War and Peace, aided by theoretical approaches of Mikhail Bakhtin, Lydia Ginzburg, and Julia Kristeva; in the second half of the course, Red and Black, Crime and Punishment, and Fathers and Sons. Course requirements include class presentation, course paper, and participation in a literary trial. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 370. The Modern Temper (Stone-Mediatore)
This course is an exploration of human subjectivity as it is revealed in modernist literature, music, art, and film. Investigation begins with brief readings of Darwin, Wagner, Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud—thinkers who shaped the intellectual climate in which modernism took root and flourished. We turn then to aesthetic modernism, including works by Charles Baudelaire (The Flowers of Evil), Arnold Schoenberg (Pierrot Lunaire), Pablo Picasso, the Surrealists, Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis), T.S. Eliot (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock), Alain Robbe-Grillet (The Voyeur), the abstract expressionists, Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho), and Don DeLillo (Point Omega). Special attention will be given to the major modernist themes of alienation, experimentation, relativism, fragmentation of the subject, rebellion against tradition, and the quest for new meaning. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 375. Postmodern World Literatures (Stone-Mediatore)
This course investigates postmodernist literature and the light that it casts on contemporary life and subjectivity, particularly the ways in which phenomena such as globalization, multiculturalism, consumerism, and the electronic media profoundly shape our experience of the world, one another, and ourselves. Readings include brief theoretical texts that help illumine the meaning of “postmodernism” and its associated concepts such as (inter) textuality, deconstruction, the nouveau roman, discourse, metafiction, metanarrative, pastiche, schizophrenia, and simulacra, among others. Theorists engaged include Fredric Jameson, Umberto Eco, Brian McHale, Jean Baudrillard, and Jean-François Lyotard. Literary texts include works by Marguerite Duras (The Lover), Alain Robbe-Grillet (La Maison de rendez-vous), Don DeLillo (White Noise), Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose), Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting), and Art Spiegelman (Maus). (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 380. Great Books of Russia: The Russian Enigma (Merkel)
Do you love the way Russian authors think, but you aren’t sure why? This course explores the close relationship between literature and philosophy in Russia. The literary works of Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy form the core of our studies. Together with Russian literary works, we will also read the writings of journalists, philosophers, political activists, religious thinkers, and literary critics. Chaadaev, Belinsky, Herzen, Chernyshevsky, and Solovyov constitute the other half of the literary-philosophical dialogue under consideration. Literary works read include Eugene Onegin, Dead Souls, Hunter’s Sketches, The Idiot, and Hadji Murat. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 490. Independent Study CMLT 491. Directed Readings CMLT 495. Apprenticeship

CMLT 499. Senior Seminar

CMLT 499A. The Myths of the “Oriental” Woman (Sokolsky)
During the era of Western imperialism, Europeans viewed Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East in a variety of ways: dark, erotic, exotic, savage, and uncivilized. The people of these supposedly untamed lands were observed, explored, and exploited by Western imperialists. Rarely were these people given a voice of their own, and rarely were they viewed as autonomous humans on par with the “civilized” Western world. For women in these countries, their oppression was twofold. They were often second-class citizens in the patriarchal societies in which they lived and they were also exoticized and orientalized by Western white men traveling in these lands. Such stereotypes of these women have included: the scary but seductive dragon ladies of China, the demure geisha of Japan, and the sexy belly dancers and mysteriously veiled women from the Arab world. The goal of this course is to explore these stereotypes. Why were they created? Why do they still persist? What are women from the “Orient” truly like? And why is it dangerous to allow such stereotypes to exist? Readings include: Memoirs of a Geisha, The Good Earth, 1001 Arabian Nights, Raja Alem’s Fatma, Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book, Kyung -Sook Shin’s Please Look After Mom, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong, Natsuo Kirino’s Out, and Rana Husseini’s Murder in the Name of Honor. This course is cross-listed with WGS and counts for the WGS major/minor. (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)

CMLT 499B. Medieval Margins (Livingston)
Michael Camille, in Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art, describes the ability of the sometimes outrageous drawings bordering medieval manuscripts “to gloss, parody, modernize, and problematize the text’s authority while never totally undermining it.” This course examines literary and cultural depictions of individuals, groups, fantastic creatures, and spaces that existed on the margins of medieval society. What kind of power did they have? What functions did they play in both challenging cultural norms and maintaining societal values? Readings include Marie de France’s Bisclavret, Miracles of Our Lady by Gonzalo de Berceo, The Travels of John Mandeville, Yde et Olive and the Roman de Troie, and The Trial of Joan of Arc. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 499C. Refiguring the Divide: The Arab Jew in Literature and Film (Raizen)
The Tunisian-born author Albert Memmi sparked a heated debate with his 1975 essay “Who is an Arab Jew?” Activists and scholars alike have revisited Memmi’s postulation, “We would have liked to be Arab Jews…It is now too late for us to be Arab Jews.” Somewhere between the nostalgic reverie of “we would have liked” and the swan song of “it is now too late,” there exists a vast range of responses to the controversial designation “Arab Jew.” Though used historically by a select group of Jewish intellectuals in 19th century Cairo, Baghdad, and Beirut, the term “Arab Jew,” as it is used today, surfaced in the 1970s as a critical intervention into discourses that posit Arab and Jewish as two mutually exclusive and antagonistic terms of identification. This course will examine literary and cinematic attitudes toward the designation “Arab Jew” with its attendant notions of nostalgia, trauma, exile, and political agency. We will also explore the political ramifications of the term when it is used by governments or heads of state, to gesture at new possibilities for community and minority rights. Theoretical readings include Gil Hochberg’s In Spite of Partition: Arabs, Jews, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination, Ella Shohat’s “Reflections by an Arab Jew,” Lital Levy’s Poetic Trespass: Writing Between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine, Ammiel Alcalay’s After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture, and Yehouda Shenhav’s The Arab Jews: A Postcolonial Reading of Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity. Literary and cinematic texts include but are not limited to Sami Michael’s Victoria, Albert Memmi’s The Pillar of Salt, Eli Amir’s The Dove Flyer, Almog Behar’s “I am of the Jews,” Ronit Matalon’s The One Facing Us, Samir’s Forget Baghdad (film), and Boris Maftsir’s Tarab (film). (Group III, Diversity, Writing Option)