COMPARATIVE LITERATURE (CMPL)
Comic books, Manga, and the graphic novel have almost vanished from the realm of serious literature. Recently, graphic literature has addressed controversial topics and reached readers across the globe. We will explore graphic literature's unique ability to be a medium for the marginal and oppressed in the 21st century.
This is a first-year seminar that analyzes the changing values and relationship of curiosity and the imagination over time. We will examine literary texts and cultural artifacts (maps, paintings, chronicles, instruments of discovery, and more) to study how attitudes towards curiosity and imagination have evolved over time, and how working together, they now fuel invention, innovation, and artistic achievement. Authors studied include Apuleius, Cervantes, Galileo, Mary Shelley, and more. Reserved for First-Year students only.
Specials topics course. Content will vary each semester.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Major works of literature central to the formation of Western culture from antiquity to 1750. Considers epic, lyric, drama, and prose; core authors such as Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course focuses on the literary mode of romance, with particular attention to cross-cultural contact and exchange from classical antiquity to the present in both European and non-European literature. Honors version available.
This course offers students a survey of mutually supportive developments in literature and the visual arts from classical antiquity until around 1700. Fulfills a major core requirement. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines comparative literary texts in literature and political philosophy in the context of developments in political thought and practice from classical Greece through the French Revolution.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines developments in literary and scientific thought, including the literary depiction of the disciplines of natural philosophy, including magic, cosmology, natural history, and physiology.
Fulfills a major core requirement. An introduction to some of the major texts of 19th- and 20th-century literature, focusing on periods of romanticism, realism, and modernism and with some attention given to parallel developments in the arts and philosophy. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Using readings in literature and philosophy, as well as film screenings, this course explores comparative literature's reconciliation over time of its own, predominantly Western, lineage with other non-Western textual traditions.
Fulfills a major core requirement. The focus of this course is inquiry into how we theorize the existence of the African diaspora, cultural identity/-ies, and the role that performance plays in the articulation of experiences.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course studies the intersection between word and image, especially verbal and photographic cultural production, in the representation of the Americas in the hemispheric sense from the mid-18th century to present.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Introduces students to representative literary and intellectual texts from 1750 to the present and to relevant techniques of literary analysis. Works originally written in foreign languages are studied in translation. Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course surveys the visual arts, in particular painting and photography, from roughly 1750 to the present. Pictorial traditions, styles, and genres (as well as the traditions of critical writing that respond to them) will be considered from a proto-cinematic perspective. Theater and the novel may also be examined comparatively.
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of global cinema and, thence, to the methods of comparativist film study.
This viewing-intensive course introduces students to topics and traditions in film and other media.
Why do we laugh, cry, cringe, or scream at the movies? We will study emotionally intense genres such as melodrama, comedy and horror to think about effective responses to films. Students practice film analysis, gain an overview over genre cinema, and study approaches to emotion, affect, and the body.
Studies in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, Native American, Anglo-Indian, Caribbean, and other films that touch on themes of race and ethnicity in the American context.
An introduction to the literatures of Eastern Europe, including consideration of political influences on literary creation within different cultural traditions.
This course traces the interconnected evolutions of cinema and modern urban life. Versions of the course may address the problem of the city in the abstract or focus on how filmmakers have treated one or more specific cities (New York, Hong Kong, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Rome, Mexico City, Mumbai, Tokyo, etc.).
Fulfills a major core requirement. This course examines the fiction of Jane Austen and her literary and cultural influence across the globe. We will see echoes of Austen in novels and films from around the world and explore how her work transcends generational, cultural, and geographical boundaries. What is the secret of her global appeal? Honors version available.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Close study of Cervantes' Don Quixote, its reception and impact on varied works of world literature.
Fulfills a major core requirement. Recommended preparation, ENGL 225 or familiarity with at least four Shakespeare plays. Explores the afterlife of Shakespeare's plays from a transnational and multidisciplinary perspective, paying attention to the ways in which several of his plays have been dislocated and reconstituted for different audiences and different artistic and political aims.
Traces major points of convergence among the thematic concerns of medieval literature, global cinema, and academic constructions of "the Middle Ages." Considers the aesthetic and technological development of film and of medieval painting, sculpture, and dramatic performance.
The desert-island scenario involves a sophisticated and culturally central thought experiment in which the constraints of history and society are suspended and human nature is exposed in its essence. This course considers the permutations of this scenario in film and fiction from around the world.
This course introduces students to modern Korea through the lens of the city. It explores the changing shape of urban space on the Korean peninsula as well as the central role that visions of the city and of city life have played in the development of modern Korean literature, television, and film.
This course introduces students to the history of North and South Korean film and television through the lens of gender and sexuality. In so doing, it explores the multiple forms of the Korean self and the diverse shapes that Korean identity has taken across the modern and contemporary eras.
This course introduces students to debates in classical and post-classical film theory. Likely topics include medium specificity; the ideological functions of narrative cinema; film theory's investments in psychoanalysis, linguistics, semiotics, and phenomenology; the advent of digital media; feminism; national and transnational cinema; spectatorship; authorship; genre theory; and film and philosophy.
This course surveys twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Korean literature through the lens of representations of the body. Bringing together works of fiction, poetry, drama, and secondary scholarship, it explores how modern Korean literature has imagined the body, defined its multiple natures and identities, and delineated its shifting boundaries. Honors version available.
This communications-intensive course familiarizes students with the theory and practice of comparative literature: the history of literary theory; translation; and literature combined with disciplines such as music, architecture, and philosophy. Honors version available.
Familiarizes students with the theory and practice of comparative literature. Against a background of classical poetics and rhetoric, explores various modern literary theories, including Russian formalism, Frankfurt School, feminism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, new historicism, and others. All reading in theory is paired with that of literary texts drawn from a wide range of literary periods and national traditions.
This course examines popular culture in Southeast Asia as a response to colonialism, nationalism, modernization, the state, and globalization. Topics include theater, film, pop songs, television, rituals, and the Internet.
This course traces the development of horror in film and writing from the 18th-century European novel to contemporary Asian film. Theoretical readings will embrace a range of disciplines, from literary and film theory to anthropology, feminism and gender studies, and psychoanalysis.
Comparative and interdisciplinary study of feasting and its philosophical underpinnings, with special attention to the multiple purposes and nuances of food and feasting in literature, film, and the visual arts. Honors version available.
We will examine the binaries of sacred and profane love, transgression and the law, self and the other, human diversity and inclusiveness in classical Persian poetry. We will explore the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. We will explore the poems inside their historical, cultural, and social contexts.
This course surveys world cinema in the attempt to identify the disjunctions that sever past and present. This course will ask the most basic questions: What is the nature of modernity? What are the challenges of modernity? How does the modern experience differ across the globe?
This course explores literature written in prisons, particularly under the Islamic Republic. Students will read documents to understand human rights (and violations thereof) from a historical perspective. Since literature, film, philosophy, and theory offer invaluable perspectives, we will examine their contributions in the reflection on human rights in Iran's prisons.
This seminar provides students with a general introduction to Marxist thought with particular attention to its critical importance for interpreting the role of ideology in modern literature. Readings and class discussions in English. Previously taught as GSLL 251.
Explores how human interaction with the natural world is represented in the literary, visual, and performing arts from Roman fresco to the ecological art and fiction of the 21st century. Students conduct mentored research at Ackland Art Museum with peer and faculty feedback at every stage.
Examines Western views of India and Indian culture and how these views differ from the way Indians in India and Indian immigrants in the West understand themselves and express their relationship to India through novels and travelogues.
This course investigates the complex relations between cinema and politics in particular national and/or global contexts. Examining not merely films with narratives about politically charged themes but also the political and ideological nature of filmic representation itself, this course focuses on questions that link politics and aesthetics.
This course examines the work of one or several film directors who went into exile during the Third Reich to discuss: How does the experience of exile influence film style? What are theories and histories of exile and exile cinema, and how do they relate to other approaches to film, via national film histories, genre, style, etc.? How does a biography of exile relate to so-called auteur theory? Readings and Discussions in English.
Explores important German films of 1919 to 1933, locating them in their artistic, cultural, and historical context. Treats the contested course of Weimar film history and culture and provides a theoretically informed introduction to the study of film and visual materials. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.
Examines exciting new directions in German and Austrian cinema from the past 20 years. By analyzing weekly films, students develop skills in film analysis and criticism; read reviews, interviews, and film-theoretical texts; write a film review; and produce a critical essay. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English. Students may not receive credit for both GERM 267 and 367.
This course examines the roles and representations of Jews in the world of the theater from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to the present, considering dramas, operas, musicals, film adaptations, and films. Readings and discussions in English.
A study of the role of Jews and the "Jewish question" in German culture from 1750 to the Holocaust and beyond. Discussions and texts (literary, political, theological) in English. Previously offered as GERM 270.
Introduction to feminist aesthetics and film theory by the examination of the representation of women in German cinema from expressionism to the present. All materials and discussions in English. Previously offered as GERM/WGST 250.
This course explores the major developments of German cinema. All films with English subtitles. Readings and discussions in English. Previously offered as GERM 275.
Analyzes literature of pilgrimage, a literal or figurative journey of transformation, from a variety of times and cultures from classical antiquity to the present, including such works as Apuleius' Golden Ass, Cervantes' Persiles, and Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Traces the development of European short fiction from the 12th through the 17th centuries, taking brief looks backward toward the ancient world and forward to the modern short story.
Considers fairy tales from several different national traditions and historical periods against the backdrop of folklore, literature, psychoanalysis, and the socializing forces directed at children. Students may not receive credit for both GERM 279/CMPL 279 and GSLL 54.
This course introduces students to the methods of genre theory and analysis as they pertain to cinema. The course may either provide a survey of several different genres or examine a particular genre in depth as it has evolved historically. National and/or transnational dimensions of popular genres may be emphasized.
A critical look at varieties of cinematic representation and memorialization of the Holocaust, from those countries of Europe where it mostly took place. Taught in English. All films in (or subtitled in) English. Previously offered as SLAV 281.
Survey of masterpieces of Russian literature in the context of their cinematic adaptations. Lectures and readings in English.
We will explore the unique possibilities of comics in the form of graphic medicine: namely comics that thematize physical and mental health. How do comic artists work through issues of trauma and pain? How do artists with chronic illness and disabilities articulate their experience through comics? This course engages with the Medical Humanities, seeking to bring together students of medicine along with students of the humanities to contemplate how we communicate physical and mental illness.
Traces the development of European short fiction from the 12th through the 17th centuries, taking brief looks backward toward the ancient world and forward to the modern short story. Previously offered as CMPL 277. Honors version available.
Analyzing the relationship between the diaspora communities and their new surroundings by drawing on theories of migration, narration, and identity, we will examine the literature born out of this discourse. We will shed light on the historical, cultural, and aesthetic value of this literary production in the Middle East.
Study of classical writers' influence on selected genres of English poetry. Honors version available.
The development of a women's literary tradition in the works of such writers as George Sand, George Eliot, Isak Dinesen, Colette, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Marguerite Yourcenar.
This course surveys European "new wave" cinemas post-1945. Movements in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Britain, Poland, Germany, and other national or transnational contexts may be examined. Movements in Asia, Latin America, and North America may be considered. Or the course may focus on one or two new waves.
A consideration of authors of the Beat Generation, including Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, particularly with regard to their interest in narrative depictions, poetics, and other meditations that bear on crossing national and territorial borders.
Cross-cultural definitions of heroism, individualism, and authority in film and fiction, with emphasis on tales or images that have been translated across cultures. Includes films of Ford, Kurosawa, and Visconti. Honors version available.
Authors' use of narrative techniques to create the separation between heroines and their fictional societies and sometimes also to alienate readers from the heroines. Austen, Flaubert, Ibsen, Arishima, Tanizaki, Abe.
Examines the complex aesthetic relationship between cinema and nature through a range of different genres, traditions, and theoretical frameworks. Films in which natural landscape, animals, and/or plant life receive special attention may be addressed. Thinkers as disparate as Kant, Thoreau, and recent proponents of eco-critical perspectives may be deployed.
Examines the presentation of medical practice in literature from the mid-19th century to the present. Readings include some medical history, novels, stories, and recent autobiographies of medical training. Honors version available.
A study of the structure of various types of modernist and postmodernist narrative, including texts by such writers as Proust, Faulkner, Camus, Hesse, Duras, Mann, Woolf, Robbe-Grillet, Kundera, Simon.
Literary portrayal of adolescence in times of cultural upheaval. Although adolescence is often considered a transitional period from carefree childhood to responsible adulthood, we focus on works that explore adolescence primarily as a creative quest for a more meaningful way of life than the one bequeathed by the previous generation.
Films of the major directors of the French New Wave of the 1950s through the 1970s, including Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer. Examination of earlier films informing these directors. The impact of the New Wave on global cinema. In English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.
Study of French cinema from 1895 through 1950, including early French film, silent cinema, surrealism, poetic realism, and postwar cinema. Concepts and vocabulary for film criticism. Conducted in English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.
Study of French cinema from 1950 to the present, including postwar cinema, the New Wave, and the French film industry in the age of globalization. Concepts and vocabulary for film criticism. Conducted in English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.
Course topics vary from semester to semester.
This course serves as an introduction to research methodologies, theories, and the university resources available to students seeking to perform cutting-edge research in the humanities. The goal of the course is to produce a substantial research project. The capacities developed in this course as well as the project itself could be used as the basis for grants, scholarships, internship applications, or an honors thesis. Taught in English. Honors version available.
Overview of those realms of modern and contemporary thought and writing that are known as, and closely associated with, "critical theory."
This course examines the shifting nature of the cinematic medium in relation to both traditional photography and newer digital forms of image production. The aesthetic, ethical, and ontological aspects of cinema are explored in light of emergent technological and cultural conditions that demand a full-scale reconsideration of cinema's specificity.
This course introduces students to postcolonial literature and theory. The main focus in the course is on literary texts and literary analysis. However, we will use postcolonial theory to engage critically with the primary texts within a postcolonial framework. We will explore language, identity, physical and mental colonization, and decolonization.
Comparative study of representative works on literary and cultural theory or applied criticism to be announced in advance.
Study of select examples of Western medieval literature in translation, with particular attention paid to the development of different genres, subjects, styles, and themes. Texts may be drawn from, among others, the French, Spanish, German, English, and Italian literary traditions, and may range in date rom the eighth to the fifteenth centuries.
Readings of major works of medieval European literature in translation from the 12th to 15th centuries, focusing on topics such as courtship, marriage, adultery, homoeroticism, domestic violence, mystical visions, and prostitution.
Discussion of the major works of Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Ariosto, Tasso, Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, Cervantes, and Erasmus. Honors version available.
English, French, and German 18th-century narrative fiction with emphasis on epistolary novel. The relation of the novel to the Enlightenment and its counterpart, the cult of sentimentality, and on shifting paradigms for family education, gender, and erotic desire.
Research-intensive course that explores how the Romantic movement beginning in 18th-century Europe has shaped the world we experience now. Topics vary and include revolutionary republicanism; slavery and abolition; quests for originality, expressiveness, and spiritual renovation; critiques of progress and modern urban culture; and revaluations of the natural world.
An exploration of Realism and Naturalism in European and American literature, focusing on the movements' philosophical, psychological, and literary manifestations in selected texts.
This course examines surrealism as an inter-art development between the First and Second World Wars. Taking a comparativist view, it focuses mainly on cinema but explores surrealist literature, painting, and sculpture as well. Much of the course traces the continuing relevance of surrealist practices in contemporary cinema.
An exploration of the period concept of modernism in European literature, with attention to central works in poetry, narrative, and drama, and including parallel developments in the visual arts.
Aestheticism as a discrete 19th-century movement and as a major facet of modernism in literature and literary theory. Authors include Kierkegaard, Baudelaire, Nietzche, Huysmans, Wilde, Mann, Rilke, Nabokov, Dinesen, Barthes, Sontag.
This course traces Milan Kundera's literary path from his communist poetic youth to his present postmodern Francophilia. His work will be compared with those authors he considers his predecessors and influences in European literature. Taught in English. Some readings in Czech for qualified students.
History and theory of tragedy as a distinctive literary genre and as a more general literary and cultural problem. Authors include Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Racine, Goethe, Nietzsche, Wagner, Mann, Samuel I and II, Faulkner. Also engages theorists, ancient and modern.
The main currents of European drama from the end of the 19th century to the present. Includes Chekhov, Strindberg, Pirandello, Lorca, Brecht, Anouilh.
An introduction to many different forms of medieval drama and pageantry, including plays, tournaments, public executions, and religious processions. Plays, artwork, and texts from a range of Western European countries, ranging in date from the eighth to the 16th centuries, may be considered.
Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita (1955) became a global phenomenon due to its unflinching portrayal of pedophilia. This course will delve deeper into the novel's moral complexity, its international context, and its reflection in mass culture, including movies by Stanley Kubrick (1962) and Adrian Lyne (1997). Taught in English; some readings in Russian for qualified students.
A comparative study of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Boccaccio's Decameron, and the earliest known version of the Arabian Nights. Knowledge of Middle English desirable, but students with no experience in the language will be able to attend tutorial sessions early in the semester.
This seminar provides students across the humanities with an overview of the historical and cultural relevance of German media theories. We will discuss the distinction between "art" and "medium", the role of technology and techniques, as well as the interaction of media theory and practice with politics. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.
Philosophical readings of literary texts, including novels, plays, and poems.
The study of the influence of Western texts upon Japanese authors and the influence of conceptions of "the East" upon Western writers. Goldsmith, Voltaire, Soseki, Sterne, Arishima, Ibsen, Yoshimoto, Ishiguro.
An examination of central trends in 20th-century narrative.
Love and sexuality in literary works from various historical periods and genres. Authors include Sappho, Plato, Catullus, Propertius, Ovid, Dante, Petrarch, Shakespeare, LaClos, Goethe, Nabokov, and Roland Barthes.
Examines the history of the British Empire and the role of peace, war, defense, diplomacy, and letters in shaping Britain's presence on the world stage. Honors version available.
Topics vary from semester to semester.
Examines aesthetic, political, historical, and philosophical aspects of essay films in international cinema, focusing on examples by directors such as Chris Marker, Orson Welles, Harun Farocki, Agnes Varda, Errol Morris, and Jean-Luc Godard.
This seminar allows comparative literature majors to work on an independent project to synthesize their curricular experience, and it introduces them to current, broadly applicable issues in comparative literature. Previously offered as CMPL 500.
Readings vary from semester to semester. The course is generally offered for three credits.
This course comparatively explores the relationship between cinema and painting. Drawing on methods and concepts from art history, and considering photography as an intermediary between painting and film, this course considers the aesthetic, political, and philosophical dimensions of the frame.
This course introduces students to the specific contours that the Cold War accrued in East Asia. Focusing on literature and film, it explores what the fall of the Japanese Empire and the emergence of the post-1945 world meant across the region.
This course explores the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which films are made and exhibited and focuses on shared intra-regional cinematic trends pertaining to discourse, aesthetics, and production.
This research seminar contextualizes the contemporary explosion of Chinese science fiction within modern Chinese intellectual history and SF studies worldwide. We read globally influential novels such as The Three-Body Problem and trace several waves of the genre's century-long evolution within Chinese literature. We ask how threats of global annihilation, the exhaustion of environmental resources, discoveries in virology, epigenetics, and innovations in cybernetics intersect with global development, climate migration, decolonization, and structures of race and class.
In this course, we will explore the multiple, shifting, and often contested diasporic subjectivities represented and produced in Korean diaspora cinemas; these subjectivities encompass various Korean diaspora communities in Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
An investigation of the social, political, and literary uses of corpses in the Middle Ages.
Permission of the instructor. Reading knowledge of a language other than English recommended. Starting from the proposition that cultural literacy would be impossible without reliance on translations, this course addresses fundamental issues in the practice, art, and politics of literary translation. Previously offered as SLAV 560.
Recommended preparation, FREN 370 (for students taking the course for French credit), or one course from ENGL 225 to ENGL 229, or one course from CMPL 120 to CMPL 124. Study of French-English literary relations in the Renaissance, focusing on literary adaptation and appropriation, poetics, political writing, and related areas. Conducted in English; students may do written work in French for major or minor credit.
British and continental Arthurian literature in translation from the early Middle Ages to Sir Thomas Malory.
An examination of medieval engagements with the foreign and the extent to which those engagements challenged conventional ways of thinking about the world.
Required preparation, one course from CMPL 120-129. Analysis of the Baroque as an aesthetic movement, including major, representative literary works, comparisons of literature and the visual arts, and the study of theories of the Baroque and Neo-Baroque. Authors studied may include Tasso, Racine, Cervantes, and Shakespeare, among others.
Multidisciplinary examination of texts and other media of the Americas, in English and Spanish, from a variety of genres. Two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent strongly recommended.
Required of all students reading for honors in comparative literature.
Required of all students reading for honors in comparative literature.
The course deals with the history of comparative literature, bibliographical materials, orientations of the subject in Europe and America, and problems of methodology, periodization, literary movements, and concepts of literary theory.
Selected critical topics in poststructuralist thought, chosen by the instructor and announced in advance.
Theory and practice of the essay and short story. Topics include masters of the Spanish American and international essay and short story, the evolution of both genres, gender, cultural studies.
The theory and practice of innovative writing, especially since the 19th century. Topics include the historical Spanish American and Anglo-European vanguards, experimental literature, modernismo's literary rebellion, gender, and cultural studies.
The theory and practice of the novel since the 1960s. Topics include the Spanish American "Boom" of the 60s and 70s, major international trends and writers, gender, cultural studies.
Study of processes of recognizing and constructing ironies in texts, with consideration of both theoretical issues and practical readings.
Traces major strains in literary criticism and theory from classical antiquity to the 18th century, pairing primary critical texts with contemporary literary examples and modern day theoretical responses. Authors read include: Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Horace, Augustine, and Burke; Homer, Ovid, Virgil, Dante, and Pope; and Auerbach, Derrida, Ricoeur, and Benjamin.
Study of major theoretical and critical writings in Europe from the middle of the 18th to the early 20th century.
An overview of major theoretical developments of the 20th century, including such movements as Saussurean linguistics, Russian Formalism, Prague Circle Semiotics, poststructuralism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, feminism, and Marxism.
Exploration of 'l'ecriture feminine' through texts of modern women writers, artists, and critics who expanded the frontiers of expression beyond the conventionally articulable into spaces of silence and the 'non-dit.'
Topic announced annually in advance.
Topic announced annually in advance.