Using an interdisciplinary arts approach, investigates varied performance aesthetics, theory and practices of the later 20th and early 21st century with a focus on the American experience, new and disenfranchised voices, and hybrid genres in the arts. Considers perspectives in music, dance, directing, multimedia, and of theorists and playwrights. Disillusionment of the post-WWII era, voices of protest, agitation/propaganda, performance art, and identity politics; Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender performance, race relations, and the feminist aesthetic. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.)
Fifth century Athens is widely considered to be one of the apexes of civilization in the west, in terms of politics, art, and society. The century is bookended, however, by two devastating traumas: the economic crisis from the destruction of Athens in the Persian Wars, and the fall of the Athenian Democracy, precipitated, arguably, by the financial drain of the Sicilian Expedition. As the theater of Dionysos is an important place where the Athenians worked out their social and political anxieties, in this class we will read economically themed Athenian drama, from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon to Aristophanes’ Wealth, with a view toward understanding attitudes toward monetary enrichment, poverty, and greed. Upon mastering the origins and early forms of ancient drama, students will select a contemporary event, “ripped from the headlines”, and cast it in the form of an Aristotelian Greek tragedy.
Romantic, Commedia and Neo-Classic Theatre (CO200/DR222)
A survey of Western theatre from the English Restoration through German Romanticism, culminating with the advent of realism throughout Europe. Studies will include the work of Racine, Corneille, Goethe, Schiller, Bichner, Gozzi, Goldoni, and the innovators of modern stage practice.
Gender Trouble on the Acropolis: Athena and Dionysos in Fifth Century Athens (in Athens) (CO200/EN274/FG280/DR220/CL222)
Girls will be boys and boys will be girls. It’s a mixed up muddled shook up world . . .” In the fifth century BCE the Athenian acropolis prominently featured Athena, the masculine patron goddess of the city, and Dionysos, the most feminine of the male Olympians, and in whose cult gender reversal is prominent. Likewise, three of the most important civic festivals, the City Dionysia, the Lenaia, and the Panathenaia were in honor of these peculiarly gendered deities. In this course we will consider the major monuments on the acropolis, the three major festivals of the city, and the ancient Greek dramas, especially those paying specific attention to the issue of gender relations and the creation of civic ideology. In addition we will look at other monuments of the city, as well as artifacts in the National Archaeological Museum and the new Acropolis Museum.
Greek culture reached out into the world in new ways with Alexander the Great, and Greeks urbanized and cosmopolitanized in new ways. City-state based Old Comedy gave way to the New Comedy of character and situation and whole new genres arose exploring and narrating the marginal and vernacular and still-enchanted fringe of an increasingly known world. Pastoral evoked the experience of country people in hexameter verse, while prose romance-novels opened up the erotically charged space-time between infatuation and marriage. Reading from Menander, Plautus, Terence, Theocritus, Vergil, the Greek Romances and Petronius.
This Course Explores how Japanese writers have dealt with issues of gender and sexuality from the Heian Period through the modern era. Drawing on literary sources such as The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (11th c.), Five Women Who Loved Love by Ihara Saikaku (17th c.), and Kitchen by Yoshimoto Banana (20th c.), as well as films and manga. We will analyze how both male and female authors have portrayed gender and sexuality within an ever-changing landscape. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.)
Self-Conscious Fiction (CO200/EN280)
This course will explore self-conscious or metafictional texts, that is, texts that call attention to themselves as artifice. We will examine how these texts expose their status as fictional constructs both thematically and structurally and, thus, how they call into question the boundaries between fiction and reality. Texts include Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Gide’s The Counterfeiters, Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse, Nabokov’s Pale Fire, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author,
and Abish’s Alphabetical Africa
This course will introduce students to the rich tradition of epic poetry in South and Southeast Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos). We will look at the historical and religious contexts in which these epics were produced, as well as the performance traditions that often accompanied them. Special attention will be paid to the history of contact between these cultural areas and the ways in which translocal stories and poetic forms were influenced by local traditions.
Religion and myth of ancient Greece and Rome in relation to that of the ancient Mediterranean (Akkadian, Hittite, Sumerian, Egyptian). Female presence in art, literature and religion compared to treatment of women in their respective cultures. Theoretical approaches to the understanding of myth (Comparative, Jungian, Structuralist) in relation to myths as they are encoded in their specific cultures. Students may trace a myth through Medieval, Renaissance and modern transformations in art, music, poetry and film, or study myth in other cultures (e.g. Norse and Celtic).
Women, Literature, and Murder (CO200/EN280)
Women and murder have a curious and enduring relationship, and images of the femme fatale haunt fiction from Homer to the Lifetime Network. This class looks at literary representations of women and murder from various historical periods from antiquity to the contemporary world, and in various genres and media including film, drama, myth, and prose fiction. Texts may include Euripides' Medea, Papadiamantis' The Murderess, Wilder's Double Indemnity, Morrison's Jazz, and Lyne's Fatal Attraction.
African-American Theatre (CO200/DR320/ES200)
History of African and African-American theatre, emphasizing the synergy between the two forms and the two continents from the griot-driven oral tradition and African folk-tale languages of performance grounded in the talking drum through American minstrelsy and other African-American musical and theatrical traditions (choreo-poems, performance art, jazz). Examines the development of the two forms in their theatrical, literary, and performance traditions.
What do Tin Tin, Milou, and characters from Maus have in common? This course will examine the nature of the comic book and graphic novel from a comparative perspective. Drawing on French, American, Belgian, and English sources, we will study topics such as humor, iconography, nationalism, semiotic systems, and other topics. We will compare how representations of national traits, jokes, and caricature structure these works. We will also examine the nature of tragedy in the comic book by examining representations of the Holocaust and September 11th. All sources will be available in both English and in the original language of publication for those students capable of reading the original work.
Major psychoanalytical perspectives of the late 19th and 20th centuries on the concept of the unconscious, in theory, case studies, and fiction. Emphasis on unconscious processes as they relate to the formation of identity. Reading from such authors as Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Kohut and Yalom.
An investigation into the birth, development, and evolution of good and evil as philosophical, anthropological, and even psychological terms, using dramatic texts as guideposts for the discussion. Do good and evil exit? If so, do they exist as entities, or do we create them because of a basic human need? Are good and evil inherently oppositional, or can they be gradated and value-laden? Critical texts will include Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Augustine’s Confessions, Nietzche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and selected essays of Foucault. Dramatic texts will include Medea, The Duchess of Malfi, Othello, The Devils, Fargo (filmscript), Aunt Dan and Lemon, and selected scenes.
Holocaust in German Literature and Film (CO200/GR220)
Even though such writers as Jean Paul Sartre, Theodor Adorno, and George Steiner questioned whether one could ever create imaginative writing after Auschwitz, the Holocaust has been a presence in German literature from the 1940s to the present. Because the Nazis employed so many lies to pervert the truth, it has been the concern of a number of post-World War II writers and film-makers to render the horrendous truth in their art. In this class we will focus on the formal as well as on the moral responsibilities those artists had to face in order to understand and communicate the complexities of the Holocaust through literary or filmic representation.
A study of origins, early texts, performance practices and developing theatrical conventions in various cultures, with special emphasis on ancient Greek and Roman theatre.
The character of the warrior appears as a major figure throughout literary works produced in very different historical and cultural contexts. The warrior plays a special role in most cultures; while he/she is celebrated for his/her skill in killing, this role comes with responsibilities and moral dilemmas not faced by the civilian. This class explores representations of the warrior in literature from cultures ranging from ancient India to the contemporary United States, focusing on how heroism and morality are defined and questioned in times of war. A significant part of this course will be student engagement with military communities and institutions in and around Colorado Springs to better understand the diverse ways that contemporary, local communities experience and express the issues we have been exploring throughout the class. This course carries a Community Based Learning (CBL) designation.
This course provides a broad overview of movements in Mexican American literature in the twentieth century, from Revolutionary corridos, to Chicano movement documents, through the development of Chicana feminism. This interdisciplinary course emphasizes a relation between historical events and literary production. Authors to include Americo Paredes, Tomas Rivera, and Sandra Cisneros.
Nineteenth-century Europe was the site of great creativity, progressive social thought, and great violence. Artistic movements, ranging from romanticism through realism and naturalism, justified and criticized the creation of modern industrial society, the rise of a new type of city, recurring waves of revolution, and a new understanding of human emotions. This course is designed to explore European culture in the nineteenth century through an interdisciplinary perspective. We utilize different kinds of primary-source texts, such as novels, political philosophy, and opera libretti, and we’ll also analyze several contemporary movies. The nineteenth century will not be presented as a “monolith”; rather we will focus on different European cultures in comparative context (Germanic, French, Italian, British), and we will consider differences in the female and male experience by studying composers such as Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn. The climax of the course is a prolonged study of “La Traviata.” We'll read Camille, Alexandre Dumas Fils’ novel that served as a basis for the story; we'll study the libretto; we'll learn about the musical elements; and we'll see the opera. The end of the course will focus on one of the most important fin-de-siècle composers, Richard Wagner, and his romantic imagination.
Medieval and Renaissance Theatre (CO200/TH221/EN280)
Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World (CO200/CL222/FG206)
An introductory survey of issues relating to gender and sexuality in Greece and Rome. The focus will be on the role of women in ancient society and their characterization in literature. Though our sources are dominated by male perspectives, the class will attempt a balanced and accurate picture of ancient society. The course will also place these literary depictions in the broader context of art, political and societal structure, religious belief and family relations. Authors examined will include Hesiod, Homer, Aristophanes, Virgil, the female poets Sappho and Sulpicia, Ovid, and many more.
Mafia Movies (CO200/IT320/FS205)
Perhaps more than any other region, the Caribbean still bears witness to the legacies of colonialism, slavery, and transatlantic and transpacific migrations. Both the region and individual islands are multilingual and multicultural, formed by communities of the African, Asian, and European diasporas who each brought a variety of rich traditions, languages, philosophies, religions, and cultural practices to the small islands. This class will explore the challenges and opportunities of developing both individual and national identities in the context of cultural richness and economic and political challenges of this region. We will read authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, CLR James, Monique Roffey, Edouard Glissant, Aimé and Suzanne Césaire, Junot Diaz, and Andrea Herrera among others, as well as studying films such as Sugar Cane Alley, The Sweetest Mango, and Once in an Island.
Good and Bad in Times of War: Heroism and Morality in Literature of the Warrior (CO200/PA250/AN209)
The character of the warrior appears as a major figure throughout literary works produced in very different historical and cultural contexts. The warrior plays a special role in most cultures; while he/she is celebrated for his/her skill in killing, this role comes with responsibilities and moral dilemmas not faced by the civilian. Selected readings may include the Bhagavad Gita, Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain, Knight of the Lion, Mahasweta Devi's Breast Stories and Larry Heinemann's Paco's Story. While we will look at these texts in terms of themes that stretch across world literature, we will pay close attention to how the literary interpretations of these themes reflect cultural priorities and anxieties that may or may not be universal.
Feminist Performance (CO200/DR200/DA200/FG206)
Feminist performance since the sixties has used the body’s material presence and erotic force to disrupt masculine regimes of control and meaning. This course will examine how this disruptive tradition of resistance and affirmation has become the dominant paradigm for female artists across multiple disciplines, including dramatists, choreographers, and performance artists, such as Carolee Schneeman, Karen Finley, and Annie Sprinkle. However, the course will also investigate female artists whose personal accounts of social marginalization portray the disappearance or loss of individual identity. Beginning with Gertrude Stein’s elusive poetic idiom, we will trace this aesthetic of disappearance into novels, plays, and films of the seventies by Christa Wolf, Maguerite Duras, and Chantal Akerman. We also consider Ana Medieta’s emphemeral body performances and subdued choreography by Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, and Meredith Monk. In conclusion, the course will investigate three interdisciplinary artists—Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Yoko Tawada, and Cecilia Vicuña—whose multi-linguistic texts and performances turn feminist aesthetics towards a global horizon. Additional artists to be considered may include Adrian Piper, Kate Bornstein, Lynn Hershman, Mary Kelly, Louise Bourgeois, Rebecca Horn, and Nancy Spero.
Latin American Cinema (CO200/SP316/FS205)
This course examines different modes of film-making in Latin America, namely Industrial Cinema, autonomous film collectives and Indigenous Media, and auteur-based Art Cinema. We will integrate these major currents in the history of Latin American film within a broader political, economic, and social framework. We will also explore the interconnections between the Latin American film industry, Hollywood, and European Cinema. The social role of the cinematic medium will emerge as an important theme for analysis, as well as the tension between aesthetic experimentation and political engagement.
A study of the 20th-century movements in playwriting and theatre practice. Topics will include realism (Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov) and the revolts against it, such as the work of Brecht, Artaud, Pirandello, and various artists of “alternative” theatre.
Media & Psychoanalysis Considers the status of desire and subjectivity in the contemporary media landscape, a setting in which failure often has become a new means for success. How can we judge the aesthetic value of contemporary media when failure may ensure, rather than prevent, profitabilty? Is there any possibility for an ethics of media when nothing is off limits? To what extent can the psychoanalytic concept of desire be applied to and extended by the aesthetics of new media?
Jean-Luc Godard (CO220/PH203/FS205)
From Breathless (1960) to Film Socialism (2010), the films, writings, and videos of Jean-Luc Godard have delighted and perplexed generations of viewers. Indisputably one of the great figures in the history of cinema, Godard has continually pushed the boundaries of his medium, working simultaneously in fiction and documentary, film and video, text and audio. This course will explore a wide range of Godard’s work, focusing in particular on the ways in which his works both engage important questions in philosophy and constitute a new multimedia genre for the philosophical essay.
Contemporary Performance 1950-present (CO220/DR224)
Using an interdisciplinary arts approach, investigates varied performance aesthetics, theory and practices of the later 20th and early 21st century with a focus on the American experience, new and disenfranchised voices, and hybrid genres in the arts. Considers perspectives in music, dance, directing, multimedia, and of theorists and playwrights. Disillusionment of the post-WWII era, voices of protest, agitation/propaganda, performance art, and identity politics;
Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender performance, race relations, and the feminist aesthetic. Contemporary Performance will offer an optional field trip to Portland, OR in order to attend the Time-Based Art Festival, which is hosted by the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) draws artists from across the country and around the globe for a convergence of contemporary performance, dance, music, new media, and visual arts projects in Portland, Oregon. Now in its ninth year, the TBA Festival is presented September 8-18, 2011, with visual art installations running through October. TBA celebrates artists from across and in-between all mediums, and activates the entire community with art and ideas. PICA's annual Time-Based Art Festival. The festival's website is: http://www.pica.org/tba/. Travel expenses will be determined based on the number of students who wish to attend the festival. Attendance is not required as part of the course. Interested parties should feel free to contact the course instructor, Ryan Platt at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.)
Childhood in Japanese History (CO220/JA250/PA250)
In this course we will examine the construction of childhood in Japan, primarily through literary texts about and for children. We will supplement this with a variety of texts from other fields (history, sociology, anthropology, art, and music). Through an analysis of the printed text and cultural artifacts, we will come to an understanding of the process of how childhood in Japan has evolved into its current status.
Latin American Literature and Mass Media (CO220/SP316)
Study of literature in interrelation with television, news, and current events. Team-taught wit the distinguished Chilean author, Antonio Skarmeta. Prerequisite: Spanish 306 for Spanish credit (taught in Chile).
The Age of Genius: The Enlightenment Through Music and History (CO220/HY200/MU228)
In this course, we will investigate some of the composers, writers, and theorists who made the long eighteenth century an Age of Enlightenment. Focusing on what many scholars have called the "Birth of Modernity," we will explore the broad-based questioning of Old Regime institutions and cultural practices. We will study the works of political theorists, such as Rousseau and Kant, writers, including Beaumarchais and Goethe, and composers, such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Reading Caribbean Feminisms through the Arts (CO220/PG320/FG206/ES200)
Topics in Hispanic Literature and Culture:Reading Caribbean Feminisms through the Arts" This course approaches feminist studies in the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora through multiple forms of artistic production, including cinema, visual art, creative fiction, dance, and music. The selected readings and audio-visual texts we will study represent a range of forms of expression and ideological positions produced in late nineteenth through early twenty-first century Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic. Through these texts students will become acquainted with a variety of ways of understanding knowledge production—art epistemologies—and will gain tools for approaching studies of the Caribbean and the Caribbean-diaspora using the arts as a point of theorization. In addition to gaining increased linguistic fluency in the realm of Spanish-language production, students will acquire the capacity to read feminisms through the lens of artistic production. By the end of the course students will be expected to focus on one artistic method and engage it as a methodological tool for studying one aspect of Hispanic Caribbean feminist expression.
The Life of the Soul (in Chicago) (CO220/CL220)
Since the beginning of time, humans have been searching into the nature of the soul, its life and its meanings. Starting from the Greeks, this course seeks to discover how the concept of “soul” is understood, and how its life is conceived. We will explore the roots of these questions in ancient Greek epic, drama and philosophy, how these answers transform in medieval and renaissance literature, and how modernity offers strikingly new answers to them. Possible common texts for the course: Presocratic philosophers, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Plato’s Symposium and Republic, Sophocles Oedipus Cycle, Aristotle’s On the Soul (De Anima), Ethics, Augustine’s Confessions, Neoplatonic writers such as Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola’s On the Dignity of Man; Goethe’s Faust, Franklin’s Autobiography, Emerson’s Essays, and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. These texts offer some of the most profound answers to how the soul can achieve its greatest life and will act as a template for the exploration of themes in the Newberry library’s collection.
Journeys to the Self: Hermann Hesse and Psychoanalysis (CO220/GR320)
We will focus will be on connections between some of the shorter novels of Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) and psychoanalysis, with particular emphasis on the life and works of Carl Jung (1875-1961), within the context of modernism. Of Hesse’s works, students will read Siddartha, Die Morgenlandfahrt (Journey to the East), Demian, and Der Steppenwolf. We will also watch and analyze film versions of several of the novels. In addition, students will read some basic background on Freud, Jung and the origins of psychoanalysis, as well as selections from Jung’s work, particularly from Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. The goal of the course will be for students to gain insight, not only into Hesse’s life and works, but also into the discourse of “modernism” as it arises at the turn of the century up through World War I. Hesse’s novels help to create a version of “selfhood” that persists in many ways to this day. Our readings and discussion will work toward a critical understanding of modernist version of the psyche. At the same time, we will analyze the literary techniques through which Hesse creates what we might call the “novel of the psychoanalytic self.” This will be a “Foreign Language Across the Curriculum” (FLAC) course. Students who register for GR 320 will read all texts, and submit written assignments, in German. No German language ability is required for students who register for CO 220.
Literature and the Environmental Imagination (CO220/EN280)
Centering on the works of Henry David Thoreau, this course examines what used to be called more generally “nature writing” in American literature. The term “environmental imagination” refers to imagining the natural environment as a human construction and reflecting upon such issues as these: how is human history implicated in natural history? Is human interest the only legitimate interest? How is human accountability to the environment an ethical matter? Texts that offer an opportunity to reflect on these questions include the writings of William Bartram, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aldo Leopold, and others.
Art in the Making of Brazil (CO220/PG320/FG206/ES200)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to a variety of artistic productions—film, fiction, popular music, contemporary choreographies, etc.—and the role that they play in the internally produced and externally consumed vision of Brazilian culture. We will focus on the ways that sexuality has been portrayed and displayed in the production of Brazilian culture. Students will be expected to read both historical and theoretical texts to inform their approach to various artistic productions and socio-historical contexts. The emphasis of the course will be the 19th-21st centuries with special attention to moments of transition, from the end of slavery in 1888 to the First and Second Republics that followed, as well as the impact of dictatorship and transition to democracy in more recent years. This course will explore the role of the sexualized body as a site of national identity formation and will engage feminist and queer theories to read “nationalized” culture forms such as samba, capoeira, and carnaval. Taught in English.
Practice in Comparison: The Romantic Vision (CO300/EN380)
We will look at the rise in romanticism in the late 18th century, particularly in England, France, and Germany, reading selections from both canonical and lesser-known British poets; French and German Romantics, such as Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Schiller, Novalis, Hoffmann; along with selections from 20th century critics who attempt to define Romanticism, including Marion Praz, M.H. Abrams, Paul De Man, and Jerome McGann. Of key significance is the understanding of how certain texts, some of which vary from each other immensely, come to be classified as “romantic.” We will try to understand how critics and scholars came to demarcate this particular area of cultural representation in opposition to delimiting periods such as “classicism” and “realism.” Finally, we will investigate a few strains of the “romantic” that persist both in “high” and popular culture up to the present day.
Practice in Comparison: The Novel as Genre (CO300/EN380)
As the title of the course indicates, we will examine the novel as a genre in a comparative context. We will begin by looking at what elements constitute a novel and how the novel compares to other genres. To illustrate, we will study two “classic” British novels, DeFoe's Moll Flanders and Austen's Emma, in conjunction with seminal theoretical statements on certain of these elements. We will then explore three more recent novels, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Nabokov's Pale Fire, and Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, to see how our reading of the text becomes more complicated by the novelist’s experimentation with language and form.
Travelers, Kings and Men of God: Literary Encounters between India and the West (CO351/EN380/PA250/ES300/AN308)
Since the earliest records India and the West have encountered each other in traveler's logs, historical accounts and a range of literary genres. In the eyes of the other these cultural and geopolitical bodies have been imagined as the end of the earth, land of opportunity, spiritual destination and center of depravity. This class looks at a range of such constructions of the other in texts from India, Pakistan, England, the United States and Portugal to better understand their long interrelated histories. Selected readings may include Rudyard Kipling's Kim, Ruth Jhabvala's Heat and Dust, W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, Gita Mehta's Karma Cola, and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Theatre of the Absurd (CO351/DR300)
An investigation of the influential dramatic texts of the Theatre of the Absurd, including works by Ionesco, Genet, Adamov, Beckett, Pinter, Albee, Jarry, and Pirandello. The class will examine the Theatre of the Absurd's philosophical roots in the existential philosophies of Camus and Satre and root the movement's genesis in the world wars of the of the 20th Century.
Plato’s Republic (CO351/PH314)
Among the greatest texts in the history of philosophy, Plato’s Republic is one of the most accessible, influential, and enigmatic. This course will explore Plato’s great work from a variety of perspectives, philosophical and literary, considering its implications for ethics, political philosophy, philosophical psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics. Working with multiple translations of the text, we will also read widely in the contemporary secondary literature on the Republic, considering both analytic and Continental approaches to the dialogue. Prerequisite: PH 101 or PH 201, and one 200- or 300-level literature course in CL, CO, EN, or other literatures, or COI.
Black Writers in Paris (CO351/EN385/ES385)
In this course, we explore Paris and its significance in the lives, work, and thought of African, Antillean, and African American writers during the first half of the twentieth century. From the American slaves who came to Paris to get an education denied to them in the United States, to the architects of the New Negro movement, to the jazz artists who charmed the French, to the African and Antillean francophone colonial subjects who, inspired by their encounters with other intellectuals from the Black Diaspora, returned to their native countries to loosen the bonds of colonialism, to the alienated young Arabs and Africans burning cars in the suburbs in 2005 and 2007, the city of Paris has played a central role in black diasporic culture, discourses of identity and freedom, and global conversations between black intellectuals. We will walk the historic streets, explore relevant museums, cultural sites, and monuments of the city which for generations has symbolized all the promises and betrayals of humanism, modernism and urban culture. In conversations with African American, Antillean, and African expatriate writers and artists, we gain insight into the work of writers such as Langston Hughes, Aimé Césaire, the Nardal sisters, Claude McKay and Cheikh Hamidou Kane as well as into still simmering debates about the power of literature, the legacies of colonialism, diasporic culture, the values of humanism, and social justice.
Pornography in the Age of Enlightenment (CO351/EN350/FR316)
Erotic writing appeared in many forms during the eighteenth century throughout Europe. Rarely were sexually explicit texts intended solely for the physical gratification and prurient interests of the reader. In fact, most often “pornographic” or so-called “lewd” texts served to express political or personal criticisms and challenged social structures. This course will look beyond the salacious details of the course material to locate the complex veiled critique beneath, while comparing the kinds and forms of critiques produced in the relatively stable constitutional monarchy of England (with its own sources of anxiety and tension) with those emerging from the volatile atmosphere of revolutionary France. Students should register for either FR 321 or EN 350. All students will meet together with both professors for each class session, but the students enrolled in the French course will complete all the French readings (and all written work) in French.
Borderlands Theory, Song, and Literature (CO351/EN380/SW308/ES300)
This course is an in depth examination of the theoretical and literary productions of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Readings of foundational theorists such as Jose Vasconcelos, Americo Paredes, Octavio Paz, and Gloria Anzaldua will provoke discussions of rapidly evolving concepts of race, gender, and language.
Philosophy of Technology in Film and Media (CO351/FM303/FS205)
Greek Myth in the Renaissance (CO351/EN320)
Greek myth was a rich source of inspiration for early modern writers, painters and sculptors. This class will start with looking at literary and visual representations of myth in the Italian Renaissance as we center on reading Golding’s 1567 English translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a highly erotic work. Golding defended it at the time as a symbolic representation of the same truths available in scripture, and Greek myth became for early modern England an allegorical tool for considering the soul’s relationship to God. Venus, Hercules, Jupiter, and Apollo fill pages and canvases with alternative ways of looking at the world, however, and myth also became a way of expanding attitudes to the human condition, human bodies and sex. Along with Golding’s Ovid, we will read other masterpieces of the English renaissance which make use of the mythical tradition.
Art in Context: Dante and Michelangelo: Art and Influence in the Renaissance (in Italy) (CO352/EN310/AH275)
This class frames the themes, issues, and problems of the Renaissance through the works of Dante and Michelangelo, giving special attention to the problems of artistic influence and cross-disciplinary fertilization in the period 1250-1550. The established connection between these two great artists will provide a structure for the class. Within this framework, we will consider the role of competition, admiration, and emulation in Renaissance art and literature, the effect of courtly patronage systems, and the reception of works of art at the time. Artists considered under this rubric of influence include: Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, Donatello, and Signorelli; texts include Dante's Divine Comedy, selections from Ovid, Virgil, Boethius, Petrarch, Ficino. After an intensive period at CC, the class will travel to Italy to continue its work on site.
Queer Performance and Body Politics (CO352/TH329)
Examines how performances since 1960 by queer artists have challenged conventional ideas about the body, sexuality and selfhood. Uses readings by theorists such as Michael Foucault, Michael Warner, and Jose Esteban Munoz to identify strategic positions adopted by artists working in literature, film, drama, musical theatre, dance and performance art.
T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Poetry (CO352/PH303/EN383)
One of the most influential poet-critics in the English language, T. S. Eliot was also a philosopher: not only was he the author of a philosophical dissertation, but his critical essays on poetry and poetics are a significant contribution to the philosophy of literature. Reading Eliot's major poems and essays, along with other related writings, we will investigate his changing ideas about skepticism and religious belief, his aesthetics, his philosophy of experience, his views about poetry, his extraordinary achievement and influence, as well as the controversies engendered by his art and opinions.
2014-15 Course List
What is literature? What are genres? How should they be read, interpreted and evaluated? What social and personal functions does writing have? How is writing related to oral tradition? How do writers compare themselves to others (admiration and imitation, rejection, transformation)? Study of literary of texts from ancient to modern and from a variety of languages and cultures. Emphasis on close reading of literary texts as well as critical research, analysis, and writing. Meets the Critical Perspectives: The West in Time requirement.
2 units — Scheiner, Cramer, Dept.
Introduction to the major twentieth-century theories of literature, including such approaches as formalism and structuralism, hermeneutics, reception theory, feminist theory, psychoanalytic approaches, post-structuralism and new historicism. Study of important theoretical texts as well as literary works from a variety of language traditions, exploring the ways in which theory informs possibilities of interpretation. Also listed as English 250.
CO200: Topics in Comparative Literature
Intermediate level consideration of various topics in comparative literature. Topics might include a single genre, a period or a theme. Texts usually in English but with reference to non-English materials within the competence of students. (May be offered as a January half-block.)
Also listed as Classics 219, 220, 222; Comparative Literature 220; English 280, 360; Race and Ethnic Studies 200; Feminist and Gender Studies 206, 220; Film and New Media Studies 202; French 318; Film Studies 205; German 328; History 200; Italian 320; Music 227; Philosophy 262; Political Science 234; Psychology 120, 203; Southwest Studies 253; Theatre 220, 222, 223.
1 unit —
Explores theatre as a literary genre and as a form of communication. Students study texts by major French and Francophone playwrights such as Racine, Moliere and Ionesco and (when possible) adapt them for a campus performance in French. Also listed as French 318.
Examines how notions of freedom and authority from antiquity and the physical remains of antiquity fired the imaginations of the Romantic poets of the early 19th century, helping to cause the literary and political revolution that culminated in the creation of the modern Greek state. Readings include works by both ancient and romantic authors, such as Hesiod, Euripides, Plato, Hölderlin, Schiller, Keats, Shelley, and Byron. Through readings and travel to ancient sites we will work toward an understanding of how the Romantic imaginationused with ancient texts and concepts of the ancient world to help create the idea of modern Greece. Taught in Greece. Program fee $2800 plus airfare. Also listed as Comparative Literature 220 and English 360.
-- Hughes, Davis
This course will study the work of non-Western writers (e.g., Murakami Haruki, Salman Rushdie, Nadine Gordimer, Adunis, Yambo Ouologuem, Wole Soyinka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and the creation of a corpus of world literature through prestigious prizes like the Nobel, the Man Booker, or the Kafka. We will think through questions of translation, economy and profit, taste, race, and colonial legacies, in addition to attending to stylistic and formal innovations in the texts themselves.
Langston Hughes isn't the only black poet of the twentieth century. We will travel, via verse, to Africa and all reaches of the diaspora (the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia), in order to think through the intersection of politics and aesthetics, history and the present in the figure of the black poet. Possible texts include ancient epics, slam poetry/spoken word, hip hop, griot/griotte performance, sonnets, prose poetry, and, maybe, some Langston Hughes.
Considers the status of desire and subjectivity in the contemporary media landscape, a setting in which failure often has become a new means for success. How can we judge the aesthetic value of contemporary media when failure may ensure, rather than prevent, profitabilty? Is there any possibility for an ethics of media when nothing is off limits? To what extent can the psychoanalytic concept of desire be applied to and extended by the aesthetics of new media? Also listed as Film and New Media Studies 202, Psychology 203, and English 280.
Also listed as History 200, Feminist and Gender Studies 206 and Music 227.
Major psychoanalytic perspectives of the late 19th and 20th centuries on the concept of the unconscious in theory, case studies, and fiction. Emphasis on unconscious processes as they relate to the formation of identity. Readings from such authors as Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Kohut, and Yalom. Also listed as Philosophy 262 and Psychology 120.
In this course we will read Machiavelli’s The Prince as a background to understanding literary representations of girls seeking power and authority and holding onto it. What are the motives and means? What are the stakes? Is it a gendered thing? Or to what extent is Machiavelli’s advice useful to Regina George? Girls to consider include Athena and Arachne, Antigone and Ismene, Elizabeth Bennett and Miss Bingley, Romy and Michelle, and all the cinematic Mean Girls. (Taught half-block)
Religion and myth of ancient Greece and Rome in relation to that of the ancient Mediterranean (Akkadian, Hittite, Sumerian, Egyptian). Female presence in art, literature and religion compared to treatment of women in their respective cultures. Theoretical approaches to the understanding of myth (Comparative, Jungian, Structuralist) in relation to myths as they are encoded in their specific cultures. Students may trace a myth through Medieval, Renaissance and modern transformations in art, music, poetry and film, or study myth in other cultures (e.g. Norse and Celtic). Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. Also listed as Classics 220 and Feminist and Gender Studies 220
This course provides a broad overview of movements in Mexican American literature in the twentieth century, from Revolutionary corridos, to Chicano movement documents, through the development of Chicana feminism. This interdisciplinary course emphasizes a relation between historical events and literary production. Authors to include Americo Paredes, Tomas Rivera, and Sandra Cisneros. Also listed as English 280, Race and Ethnic Studies 200 and Southwest Studies 253.
Examines ancient politics, from the struggle for freedom to the temptations of empire, insofar as it is vividly portrayed in Shakespeare and the classical literature of Greece and Rome: the greatness, challenges and defects of the ancient republic; the nature of political and military ambition; and the causes and character of empire. Focus/possible works: Shakespeare’s Roman plays; the Socratic Xenophon’s novel on the rise and rule of Cyrus the Great; Tacitus on Roman emperors. The course may also draw upon Machiavelli on Rome. Also listed as Classics 222 and Political Science 234.
This course introduces students to the literature and culture of Germany’s various minority groups. From the early guest worker poetry of the 1970s to the collages of Herta Müller, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009, we will explore the narrative of post-war Germany through the lens of migration. We will analyze a variety of genres (poetry, short stories, novels, collages, and short films) and examine how Turkish-German, Afro-German, Jewish-German, and other migrant writers represent and challenge the ideas and debates concerning integration, multiculturalism, identity, race, class, gender, and the nation. In addition to works by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Zafer Şenoçak, May Ayim, and Wladimir Kaminer, among others, we will read newspaper articles and theoretical texts to identify key questions in the study of minority cultural productions. Also listed as German 328.
A study of origins, early texts, performance practices and developing theatrical conventions in various cultures, with special emphasis on ancient Greek and Roman theatre. Also listed as Classics 219 and Theatre 220.
Described by The New York Times as a “writer of virtuosic talents who can seemingly do anything,” novelist, short-story writer, and essayist David Foster Wallace dramatically changed the face of contemporary fiction. The course explores Wallace's fiction and non-fiction, focusing both on his use of language and on what he might have termed the preoccupations, that is the central concerns, of his writing. Texts include: The Broom of the System, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and Infinite Jest; stories from Girl with Curious Hair and Oblivion; Everything and More; and essays from A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster. Also listed as English 280.
An introductory survey of issues relating to gender and sexuality in Greece and Rome. The focus will be on the role of women in ancient society and their characterization in literature. Though our sources are dominated by male perspectives, the class will attempt a balanced and accurate picture of ancient society. The course will also place these literary depictions in the broader context of art, political and societal structure, religious belief and family relations. Authors examined will include Hesiod, Homer, Aristophanes, Virgil, the female poets Sappho and Sulpicia, Ovid, and many more. Also listed as Classics 222 and Feminist and Gender Studies 206.
A survey of Western theatre from the English Restoration through German Romanticism, culminating with the advent of realism throughout Europe. Studies will include the work of Racine, Corneille, Goethe, Schiller, Bichner, Gozzi, Goldoni, and the innovators of modern stage practice. Also listed as Theatre 222
A study of the 20th-century movements in playwriting and theatre practice. Topics will include realism (Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Schnitzler) and the anti-realistic revolts against it, such as the work of Maeterlinck, Cocteau, Kaiser, Brecht, Pirandello, and various artists of alternative theatre. Also listed as Theatre 223.
Study of Italian culture, genres, art, film or literature not represented in the regular curriculum. The structure of the course is determined by the topic and the preference of the instructor. In Italian. Also listed as Italian 320 and Film Studies 205
This class explores black European identities in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries. While there has always been a black presence in Europe, decolonization in the twentieth century and migration patterns in the twenty-first century have contributed not only to an increasing number of black citizens and immigrants in European cities, towns, and villages but also to a great deal of literary, artistic, and musical expressions and analyses of what it means to be a black woman in Europe today. The class raises questions about different approaches to theorizing transnational migrations, cultural hybridity, and gender. The class will focus on work by women such as Jamika Ajalon, a queer spoken word artist who lives in Paris but performs throughout Europe, the singer/songwriters Dobet Gnahoré, Kareyce Fotso, and Manou Gallo (who have joined forces as “Afropean Women”); the scholar Odile Cazenave (author of Afroeuropean Writers and Europe: Reconfiguring the Diasporic Imaginary) and the novelist Léonara Miano, prize-winning author of Afropean Soul among other works. Students will have the opportunity to read French texts in the original language. Also listed as English 380 and Eastern Studies 300.
CO220: Topics in Comparative Literature: Literature and Other Disciplines
Intermediate level consideration of various topics in comparative literature with particular emphasis on comparisons between literature and other disciplines. Topics might include a particular period or theme. Texts usually in English but with reference to non-English materials within the competence of students. (May be offered as a January half-block.)
Also listed as English 280; Biology 100; German 334, 336; Japanese 250; Asian Studies 250; Classics 222; Philosophy 203; Film Studies 205.
This course brings together two modes of critical analysis, the literary and the biological, for a cultural and scientific investigation of higher plants in the West. With an emphasis on plant structure and taxonomy from an historical and literary context, this class will explore the relationship between botanic form and function and how plants have been viewed culturally and used socially by English and American poets and natural philosophers from the Renaissance through the Victorian era. The course will weave together a blend of seminar discussions, lab work, and fieldwork, including a visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. Also listed as English 280 and Biology 100.
Dakar, Lagos, and Cairo have variously served as centers for African film production during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Artists located there and in Cape Town, Bamako, and other African cities have used the art film, the smooth black-and-white 1950s drama, the music video, and the social realist tragedy to act as distraction, manifesto, or apologia to their local and global audiences. This course will incorporate films from the Egyptian Golden Age (1940s-1950s), Third Cinema (West Africa, 1950s-1960s), the Postcolonial era (1960s-1980s), Nollywood (Nigerian, 1990s-2000s), and era of Global Hollywood (2000s-present) to address African modes of filmmaking and self-representation. Recent Hollywood blockbusters that feature Africa as setting, such as Blood Diamond, Last King of Scotland, and Invictus, will also be included as mimetic counterpoints. Also listed as Film Studies 205
This course is an introduction to human rights via the declarations, legal texts, and manifestos that helped shape them, and the fictional texts that represented and questioned their violations. Our exploration of how “rights” (and “the human”) have been defined and represented will begin in the West—where human rights were first codified—and will extend to East Asia, South Asia, Africa, South America, and oppressed populations within the United States and Europe. Texts include Maus, The Handmaid's Tale, I'jaam, The Killing Fields, Murambi, The Book of Bones, and others.
Influenced by 18th-century thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France and Immanuel Kant in Germany, philosophers, poets and other artists began to work toward new understandings of “nature” around 1800. For example, the German philosopher, Friedrich Schelling, argued that we should view nature as one vast organism of which we are all a part, rather than as a collection of discrete objects. This sort of thinking influenced (and was influenced by) many creative writers at the turn of the 19th century in Germany. Largely through the influence of the British poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, many of these ideas became prominent in England as well. We will examine this connection between the philosophy of nature and Romantic poetry through thinkers and poets such as Fichte, Schelling, Novalis, Hölderlin, Goethe, Coleridge, and Percy Shelley. Through our readings and discussions we hope to gain insight to a key aspect of German Romanticism—a reinvention of nature—that has had a lasting influence up to the present day. No knowledge of German required. GR334 credit for students reading in German. CO 220 credit for students reading in English translation.
Also listed as German 336.
Childhood in Japanese History. In this course we will examine the construction of childhood in Japan, primarily through literary texts about and for children. We will supplement this with a variety of texts from other fields (history, sociology, anthropology, art, and music). Through an analysis of the printed text and cultural artifacts, we will come to an understanding of the process of how childhood in Japan has evolved into its current status. Also listed as Japanese 250 and Asian Studies 250.
Since the beginning of time, humans have been searching into the nature of the soul, its life and its meanings. Starting from the Greeks, this course seeks to discover how the concept of “soul” is understood, and how its life is conceived. We will explore the roots of these questions in ancient Greek epic, drama and philosophy, how these answers transform in medieval and renaissance literature, and how modernity offers strikingly new answers to them. Also listed as Philosophy 203, Classics 222 and Religion 200.
Freud’s ideas regarding the “unconscious”—the notion that many of our darkest urges and fears remain mostly unknown to us, repressed by mechanisms that help us function in polite society—had a great influence on literature and other arts at the turn of the 20th century. Freud’s student and later rival, Carl Jung, looked in part to myth and literature as he constructed an alternate version of the Freudian unconscious; a version Jung believed better reflected the creative potential of the dark energy of the soul. Through the works of writers such as Arthur Schnitzler, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, and Hermann Hesse we will examine literary representations of the suppression of dark urges in the human psyche, with an eye to better understanding the relation between the emergence of psychoanalysis and literature so important to the artistic movement of Modernism. No knowledge of German needed. Also listed as German 334.
Centering on the works of Henry David Thoreau, this course examines what used to be called more generally “nature writing” in American literature. The term “environmental imagination” refers to imagining the natural environment as a human construction and reflecting upon such issues as these: how is human history implicated in natural history? Is human interest the only legitimate interest? How is human accountability to the environment an ethical matter? Texts that offer an opportunity to reflect on these questions include the writings of William Bartram, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aldo Leopold, and others. Also listed as English 280.
The Iliad and Odyssey as oral traditional poems, preservers of Bronze Age and archaic lore, locus of the creation of classical Greek culture and predecessors of European epic; together with Hesiodic epic and Homeric hymns. Reading in English with attention to the formal Greek diction and the problems of translation, except that students who know Greek will read parts of the original text. Comparative Literature students will pay special attention to the genre and historical aspects of this course: development of the monumental epic in the ancient Near East (Gilgamesh) and of Indo-European oral epic into Homeric/Hesiodic (also into Vedic, Old English and South Slavic) text; reception of heroic poetry in later Graeco-Roman culture (Apollonius, Vergil, Roman Epic), and the development of modern, sometimes “national” narrative poems in the vernaculars of Europe: Dante, Ariosto, Camões, Milton. Comparatists may also want to relate the genre of epic to the more monumental forms of novel (“the Great American Novel”) and film. Students will undertake individual projects, choosing texts/works out of this wide variety. Also listed as Classics 218.
1 unit – Cramer
Preparation for the senior thesis; opportunity for students to discuss their work, the work of their colleagues, and theoretical texts of common interest in a workshop setting. Examination of what it means to engage in the study of Comparative Literature and, in particular, of current issues and debates within the discipline. Contextualizing of students' work within a larger, disciplinary framework.
Prerequisite: Junior standing, reading knowledge of a language other than English, and a 300 level course in English, or other literature, or consent of instructor.
CO351: Advanced Topics in Comparative Literature
Topics to include periods, genres, themes, movements or other groupings of texts. (May be taught as a January half-block.)
Also listed as Spanish 316; Religion 346; Italian 321; Feminist and Gender Studies 206; Philosophy 314.
Prerequisite: 200 or 300-level lit course in CO, EN, or other literatures or consent of instructor.
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Also listed as Spanish 316
The Thought of Sexual Difference: from French to Italian Feminism” explores the origin and implications of the thought of sexual difference with a focus on French and Italian feminism. The course builds a solid background in Freudian and Lacanian conceptions of sexuality (along with contemporary interpretations by Slavoj Žižek) in order to move to the innovations brought about by French philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray and the subsequent elaborations by the Diotima Community. Students will examine how building on de Beauvoirs’ seminal work The Second Sex, Irigaray’s notion of sexed subjectivity becomes essential to the definition of a different process of symbolization that Italian feminists will later call the symbolic order of the mother. Students will explore contributions by key militants of the Diotima Community such as Luisa Muraro and Adriana Cavarero as well as revisions of the original theory by intellectuals such as Diana Sartori and Ida Dominijanni. Attention will be paid to the application of these theoretical perspectives to visual and literary texts. Each student is expected to gradually identify the concerns that she or he finds most relevant and to work creatively through the dimensions of those issues. Also listed as Italian 321, Feminist and Gender Studies 206 and Philosophy 314.
Also listed as Religion 346
Study of culture, genres, art film or literature of one or more Portuguese-speaking countries or region. Also listed as Portuguese 320, Race and Ethnic Studies 200 and Feminist and Gender Studies 206.
This course will combine the practical experience of translating literary texts with reading and discussion in the rich field of translation studies. The first third of the block will be devoted to exploring the questions that translation raises about language, literature, authority, and power, both through readings and through exercises in translation and in translation criticism. The second third of the block will consist of translation workshops and discussion of the more practical issues of translation. We will end the block with a discussion of translations themselves as a cultural force, and with individual research projects on translation. or AN 258, and a 300 level course in a foreign language (or equivalent); or consent of instructor.
1 unit – Scheiner
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