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Department of Comparative Literature


  • Frederick de Armas
  • Loren A. Kruger
  • Françoise Meltzer
  • Mark Payne
  • Joshua Scodel

Associate Professors

  • Sascha Ebeling
  • Leah Feldman
  • Rachel Galvin
  • Na’ama Rokem
  • Lawrence Rothfield
  • David Wray

Assistant Professors

  • Hoda El Shakry
  • Olga Solovieva
  • Anna Elena Torres
  • Kris Trujillo

Department Administrator

  • Ingrid Sagor

The Department of Comparative Literature promotes the multidisciplinary, historically self-reflective and cross-cultural study of texts, traditions, and discourses. The department offers students the opportunity to grapple in a rigorous way with the most pressing issues in literary studies today, such as the questioning of national and cultural boundaries and identities; the struggle over literature’s epistemological, ethical, or social authority; the debate about what counts as literature, and why; and the interaction between literature and other cultural or intellectual practices. To that end, the department works with every student individually to arrange a course of studies fitted to their background and scholarly interests. Students may choose from courses offered by the department, as well as those offered by other departments in the Division of the Humanities and in some cases those offered by other divisions. Since we place particular emphasis on reading texts in their original language, all students are expected to develop the highest possible competence in the languages they work with. Students generally use their first years (the time period leading to the Master’s degree) to explore areas of interest and to strengthen their language competence.

The Degree of Master of Arts

The objective of the program is the Ph.D. degree.  Doctoral students in the program are eligible for an M.A. degree after completing the following requirements: a program of eight graduate level courses (one full academic year), all of which must be taken for a letter grade; the required two-quarter Introduction to Comparative Literature sequence; and demonstrated competence (high proficiency in a graduate literature course or high pass in a University examination) in two foreign languages. The remaining six quarter courses are normally divided among two literatures, although a student may, with the Department’s permission, place greater emphasis on one literature or on some special disciplinary interest. Satisfactory completion of the M.A. requirements will be based on a student’s grade record and performance in the required two-quarter sequence.

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

In spring quarter of their first year of study, students are required to submit to the DGS a portfolio of no less than three papers written in their first two quarters in the program. The DGS will circulate these papers to the faculty of the department as a whole ahead of the year-end review of graduate student progress. These papers should demonstrate the student’s ability to write scholarly prose, to formulate a clear research argument, and to situate it within the context of secondary literature relevant to the topic. They must be submitted by the third week of the spring quarter of the first year. The papers may be written for courses outside the department. After the year-end review, the DGS will report to the student feedback from the faculty on the papers submitted and suggestions for the development of their research and writing. 

Please note that all required courses in the PhD must be taken for a quality letter grade (not pass/fail).

Before the student is recommended for admission to candidacy for the doctor’s degree, he or she must pass satisfactorily a written and oral examination by their committee, only after completion of the PhD coursework (16 courses).

Language Requirements

High proficiency in two foreign languages demonstrated by passing a graduate literature course in the language (and approval by the faculty of record via CMLT department form) or a high pass (P+) on the Graduate Reading Exam proctored by the Chicago Language Center. At least one high proficiency language should be confirmed in the first year. The remaining requirements must be completed before the student is admitted to candidacy.

Students should also be working towards native fluency in the language of their major literature by applying to studying abroad, only after exhausting UChicago language offerings. Funding for language study depends on the language and on the student’s immigration status; please review the Humanities Division and UChicago Grad websites for more detailed information and policies.

Registration for the language exam (for which a High Pass is required) can be found on the Graduate Reading Exam page. The exam is proctored by the Chicago Language Center where you can find more resources on language certificates, courses, and the schedule for language exams.


Before entering candidacy, students will be asked to present and discuss their dissertation proposals at a proposal hearing attended by their dissertation committee and other interested faculty. After entering candidacy, students will participate in a colloquium, normally in their fifth year, in which they will discuss with their dissertation committee the current state of the dissertation and outline their plans and schedule for further progress. Students are strongly urged to join appropriate workshops and present dissertation chapters on a regular basis to such workshops. After satisfying the above requirements, the candidate is expected to pursue independent research under the direction of a member of the faculty culminating in the writing of a doctoral dissertation. Candidates conclude their studies by successfully defending their dissertation in a final oral examination.

For additional information about the Comparative Literature Graduate Program, please visit


The department requires a writing sample of no more than 25 pages, usually a critical essay written during the student’s college years.

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in Humanities is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at:

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-1552. Our application process is entirely online.  Please do not send any materials in hard copy. All materials should be submitted through the online application (

International students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). (Current minimum scores, etc., are provided with the application.) For more information, please see the Office of International Affairs website at, or call them at (773) 702-7752.

Comparative Literature Courses

CMLT 30202. Mimesis. 100 Units.

This course will examine one of the central concepts of comparative literature: mimesis (imitation). We will investigate traditional theoretical and historical debates concerning literary and visual mimesis as well as more recent discussions of its relation to non-western and colonial contexts. Readings will include Aristotle, Auerbach, Butler, Spivak, and Taussig. Students are encouraged to write final papers on their own research topics while engaging with issues discussed through the course.

Instructor(s): T. Chin     Terms Offered: Winter 2013
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 30100, CLAS 39200

CMLT 30230. Iconology East and West. 100 Units.

Iconology is the study of images across media and cultures. It is also associated with philosophical reflections on the nature of images and their relation to language-the interplay between the "icon" and the "logos." A plausible translation of this compound word into Chinese would describe it as "Words in Pictures, Pictures in Words":  诗中有画,画中有诗. This seminar will explore the relations of word and image in poetics, semiotics, and aesthetics with a particular emphasis on how texts and pictures have been understood in the Anglo-European-American and Chinese theoretical traditions. The interplay of painting and poetry, speech and spectacle, audition and vision will be considered across a variety of media, particularly the textual and graphic arts. The aims of the course will be 1) to critique the simplistic oppositions between "East" and "West" that have bedevilled intercultural and intermedial comparative studies; 2) to identify common principles, zones of interaction and translation that make this a vital area of study. (Theory; 20th/21st)

Instructor(s): WJT Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in the course will be with the consent of instructor; it is open to students at all levels, but enrollment will be limited to 15. Students should send a one page statement of their interest to W. J. T. Mitchell (
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 20230, ARTV 20033, ARTH 30033, ENGL 20230, ARTH 20033, ENGL 30230, ARTV 30033

CMLT 30405. H. N. Bialik: Poetics of Light and Lament. 100 Units.

This course will comprise a close reading of lyrics of light and lament in the poetry of H. N. Bialik. Attention will be given to their content and interplay, through the prism of both the nostalgia for childhood illumination and the poet's progressive sense of despair and fragmentation. The poet's use of images drawn from Jewish mysticism and his links to Western romanticism will be considered. In addition, Bialik's writing on language will be studied, both in its own right and in relation to his poetry. Comparisons will be drawn to Rilke's lyric poetry and to Herder's treatise on the origins of language. Students will be expected to prepare primary and secondary readings, and produce several short prompt papers during the quarter.

Instructor(s): Michael Fishbane     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of Hebrew preferred but English translation will be supplied
Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 30405, RLST 28105, RLVC 30405, CMLT 28105, JWSC 28105, FNDL 22902

CMLT 31221. Antigone. 100 Units.

Antigone: Heroine or harridan? Political dissident or family loyalist? Harbinger of the free subject or captive of archaic gender norms? Speaking truth to power or preserving traditional privilege? Sophocles' Antigone has been good to think with since its first production in the fifth century BCE. From ancient commentators through Hegel to contemporary gender theorists like Judith Butler, readers have grappled with what Butler calls "Antigone's Claim." The play's exploration of gender, kinship, citizenship, law, resistance to authority, family vs. the state, and religion (among other issues) has proved especially compelling for modern thought. We will supplement our reading of the play with modern commentary grounded in literary interpretation and cultural poetics, as well as philosophy and political theory. We will end by considering three modern re-imaginings of Antigone: Jean Anouilh's Antigone, Athol Fugard's The Island, and Tanya Barfield's Medallion. Although no knowledge of Greek is required for this course, there will be assignment options for those who wish to do reading in Greek. Requirements: weekly readings and posting on Canvas; class presentation; final paper.

Instructor(s): Laura Slatkin     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): NOTE: This course meets for the first 5 weeks of the quarter 1/10 - 2/11.
Equivalent Course(s): GREK 45808, SCTH 31221

CMLT 31301. Chekhov's Modernity. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): REES 30019, REES 20019, FNDL 21807, CMLT 21301

CMLT 31600. Marxism and Modern Culture. 100 Units.

Designed for graduate students in the humanities, this course begins with fundamental texts on ideology and the critique of capitalist culture by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Althusser, Wilhelm Reich, and Raymond Williams, before moving to Marxist aesthetics, from the orthodox Lukács to the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Benjamin) to the heterodox (Brecht), and concludes with contemporary debates around Marxism and imperialism (Lenin, Fanon, and others), and Marxism and media, including the internet.

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): MA and PhD students in Humanities disciplines only. Not suitable for the MAPSS program or for Social Science PhDs, no BA/MA
Equivalent Course(s): MAPH 31600, ENGL 32300

CMLT 32400-32500. History of International Cinema I-II.

This sequence is required of students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies. Taking these courses in sequence is strongly recommended but not required.

CMLT 32400. History of International Cinema I: Silent Era. 100 Units.

This course provides a survey of the history of cinema from its emergence in the mid-1890s to the transition to sound in the late 1920s. We will examine the cinema as a set of aesthetic, social, technological, national, cultural, and industrial practices as they were exercised and developed during this 30-year span. Especially important for our examination will be the exchange of film techniques, practices, and cultures in an international context. We will also pursue questions related to the historiography of the cinema, and examine early attempts to theorize and account for the cinema as an artistic and social phenomenon.

Instructor(s): Allyson Field     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 is required. Course is required for students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
Note(s): For students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies, the entire History of International Cinema three-course sequence must be taken.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 28500, CMST 48500, MAPH 33600, CMLT 22400, ENGL 29300, CMST 28500, ARTV 20002, ENGL 48700, MAAD 18500, ARTH 38500

CMLT 32500. History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960. 100 Units.

The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

Instructor(s): Daniel Morgan     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 required. Required of students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
Note(s): CMST 28500/48500 strongly recommended
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 20003, ENGL 29600, MAAD 18600, CMLT 22500, REES 25005, REES 45005, CMST 48600, ARTH 38600, ENGL 48900, CMST 28600, ARTH 28600, MAPH 33700

CMLT 32501. Vico's New Science. 100 Units.

This course offers a close reading of Giambattista Vico's masterpiece, "The New Science" (1744) - a work that sets out to refute "all opinions hitherto held about the principles of humanity." Vico, who is acknowledged as the most resolute scourge of any form of rationalism, breathed new life into rhetoric, imagination, poetry, metaphor, history, and philology in order to promote in his readers that originary "wonder" and "pathos" which sets human beings on the search for truth. However, Vico argues, the truths that are most available and interesting to us are the ones humanity "authored" by means of its culture and history-creating activities. For this reason the study of myth and folklore as well as archeology, anthropology, and ethnology must all play a role in the rediscovery of man. "The New Science" builds an "alternative philosophy" for a new age and reads like a "novel of formation" recounting the (hi)story of the entire human race and our divine ancestors. In Vico, a prophetic spirit, one recognizes the fulfillment of the Renaissance, the spokesperson of a particular Enlightenment, the precursor of the Kantian revolution, and the forefather of the philosophy of history (Herder, Hegel, and Marx). "The New Science" remained a strong source of inspiration in the twentieth century (Cassirer, Gadamer, Berlin, Joyce, Beckett, etc.) and may prove relevant in disclosing our own responsibilities in postmodernity.

Instructor(s): Rocco Rubini     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 21408, ITAL 32900, CMLT 22501, ITAL 22900

CMLT 33301. Balkan Folklore. 100 Units.

Vampires, fire-breathing dragons, vengeful mountain nymphs. 7/8 and other uneven dance beats, heart-rending laments, and a living epic tradition. This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from historical, political, and anthropological perspectives. We seek to understand folk tradition as a dynamic process and consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. We also experience this living tradition firsthand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, "Balkan Dance."

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30568, REES 29009, ANTH 35908, NEHC 20568, REES 39009, ANTH 25908, CMLT 23301

CMLT 33401. The Burden of History: A Nation and Its Lost Paradise. 100 Units.

What makes it possible for the imagined communities called nations to command the emotional attachments that they do? This course considers some possible answers to Benedict Anderson's question on the basis of material from the Balkans. We will examine the transformation of the scenario of paradise, loss, and redemption into a template for a national identity narrative through which South East European nations retell their Ottoman past. With the help of Žižek's theory of the subject as constituted by trauma and Kant's notion of the sublime, we will contemplate the national fixation on the trauma of loss and the dynamic between victimhood and sublimity.

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39013, CMLT 23401, REES 29013, HIST 24005, HIST 34005, NEHC 30573, NEHC 20573

CMLT 33700. How to do Things with South Asian Texts? Literary Theories and South Asian Literatures. 100 Units.

This course provides an overview of different methods, approaches and themes currently prevalent in the study of South Asian texts from various periods. Topics covered will include translation (theory and practice), book history, literary history, textual criticism, genre theory (the novel in South Asia), literature and colonialism, cultural mobility studies (Greenblatt) and comparative literature/new philologies (Spivak, Ette). Readings will include work by George Steiner, Sheldon Pollock, Meenakshi Mukherjee, Terry Eagleton, Stephen Greenblatt, Gayatri Spivak, Ottmar Ette, and others. We will discuss these different approaches with particular reference to the texts with which participating students are working for their various projects. Students interested in both pre-modern and modern/contemporary texts are welcome. While the course is organized primarily from a literary studies perspective, it will also be of interest to students of history, anthropology and other disciplines dealing with "texts". The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students (no prior knowledge of literary theory or South Asian writing is assumed).

Instructor(s): Sascha Ebeling     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 33700

CMLT 33819. Narratology of Tears: Goethe, Sterne, and the Sentimental Novel. 100 Units.

This seminar will, with a certain intensity of focus, examine two masterpieces of the "sentimental" mode: Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768) and Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774). Since these novels are both generically self-reflective and, each in its own way, boldly experimental, they are well-suited for an analysis oriented toward the theory of narrative. Comparisons will be drawn to passages in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady (1747-8) and Rousseau's Julie, ou La nouvelle Heloise (1761). We will also take a forward look at Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Liaisons dangereuses (1782), which may be considered the destruction of the form. In addition to fundamental contributions to narratology, works by Roland Barthes (Fragments of a Lover's Discourse), Albrecht Koschorke (Körperströme und Schriftverkehr. Mediologie des 18. Jahrhunderts), and James Chandler (An Archeology of Sympathy. The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema) will be important points of reference. As always, Schiller's Über naïve und sentimentalische Dichtung will prove indispensable.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 33819, GRMN 33819

CMLT 34017. Fact and Fiction: Hoaxes and Misunderstandings. 100 Units.

This course will focus on fictional texts that readers have misrecognized as factual accounts, as well as the less frequent case of factual texts misidentified as fictional. Students will study the rhetorical strategies or historical and cultural circumstances responsible for these "errors of pragmatic framing" (O. Caïra) by investigating the contexts governing the production or reception of works such as Apuleius' The Golden Ass, Les Lettres d'une religieuse portugaise, Denis Diderot's La Religieuse, Wolfgang Hildesheimer's Marbot: A Biography, and Orson Welles' adaptation of The War of the Worlds, among others.

Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 24017, FREN 24017, FREN 34017

CMLT 34256. Récits et mémoire des catastrophes naturelles. 100 Units.

Ce cours propose d'interroger, dans une perspective diachronique et comparatiste, les enjeux de la mise en récit et de l'artification des « catastrophes naturelles ». On se demandera, par exemple, quelles formes de rationalisation, quels rapports à la temporalité implique le choix du récit, de l'image, du spectacle et de tel ou tel média (architecture, peinture, film, bande dessinée….). L'hypothèse de travail majeure du cours est que l'artification des catastrophes est inséparable de stratégies mémorielles et d'enjeux politiques. La réflexion se portera sur quelques mémoires (avec des extraits de Boccace, Montaigne, Samuel Pepys) et représentations fictionnelles des épidémies. La comparaison entre Le Journal de l'année de Peste de Defoe et la Peste de Camus amènera à s'interroger sur l'usage de la première personne dans les fictions de la peste.

Instructor(s): Françoise Lavocat     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taught in French.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 24256, FREN 24256, FREN 34256

CMLT 34801. Poetics. 100 Units.

In this course, we will study poetry 'in the abstract'. We will study various efforts on the part of philosophers, literary critics, and poets themselves to formulate theories of poetic discourse. We will examine a range of historical attempts to conceptualize poetry as a particular kind of language practice, from Greek, Chinese, and Indic antiquity to the present. (18th/19th, 20th/21st)

Instructor(s): David Wray     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 34800, MAPH 34800

CMLT 35020. Culture and Zionism. 100 Units.

This seminar will examine the intersection of culture and Zionism. We will begin by considering the historical formation referred to as "cultural Zionism" and examining its ideological underpinnings. Other topics include: Hebrew revival, the role of culture in the Zionist revolution, Israeli culture as Zionist culture. Readings include: Ahad Haam, Haim Nahman Bialik, S.Y. Agnon, Orly Kastel-Blum, Edward Said, Benjamin Harshav.

Instructor(s): Na'ama Rokem     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 25020, HIJD 35020, NEHC 35020, NEHC 25020, CMLT 25020

CMLT 35412. Writing Between Worlds: Exile, Migration, and Diaspora. 100 Units.

This course will examine the themes of exile, migration and diaspora in a variety of literary texts from the late 20th and early 21st centuries in dialog with recent cultural theoretical work. The texts to be studied will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and films from three sets of locations: authors of South Asian (Indian and Sri Lankan) origin in North America and Europe; writers of Turkish, Japanese and Indian origin in Germany; and Latin American-born writers writing from abroad, in addition to Johny Pitts' ethnographic book Afropean. Notes from Black Europe (2020). Besides charting the theoretical coordinates of exile, migration and diaspora studies, we will explore questions such as: How has the accelerated movement of people, ideas, goods, and cultural practices affected literary authors of different racial, class, gender, religious, and national origins? What is the meaning of belonging, home and homeland? How do authors relate to concepts of the nation, national identity, and nationalism? What happens to the physical body, affect, love and intimacy, the family, and intergenerational relations in migration? What are the narrative and lyric patterns and tropes of writing between worlds? Is there a "poetics of dislocation"? How do writers handle issues of language, the mother tongue and bi- or multilingualism? All texts will be read in English translation, but we will also make translation a central issue of discussion by examining original when possible.

Instructor(s): Nisha Kommattam     Terms Offered: Spring

CMLT 35713. Toward a Critique of Avarice. 100 Units.

With the help of Freud, Marx, Lacan, Foucault, Agamben (among others) along with some highpoints of the European literary canon, we propose to develop a "critique of avarice," a project to be sharply distinguished from the moralistic indignation at greed. Our historical and theoretical reflections on avarice open out on to a number of domains and modes of inquiry: from literary criticism to psychoanalysis, from the study of political economy to theories of biopolitics, and finally to the "Jewish question" in relation to all of this. The core text and touchstone of the seminar will be Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which the tensions, ambiguities, disavowals, hatreds, projections, and repressions associated with the "avarice complex" are magisterially staged and played out. Attention will also be given to the subsequent history of the figure of Shylock as well as to the capacities for mercy and forgiveness that were posited as the ideal opposites of avarice and usury. One of the goals of the seminar is to interrogate this very opposition.

Instructor(s): E. Santner, M. Dolar     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 35713, CDIN 35713

CMLT 35801. Machiavelli and Machiavellism. 100 Units.

This course is a comprehensive introduction to Machiavelli's The Prince in light of his vast and varied literary corpus and European reception. The course includes discussion of Machiavelli as playwright ("The Mandrake"), fiction writer ("Belfagor," "The Golden Ass"), and historian ("Discourses," "Florentine Histories"). We will also closely investigate the emergence of myths surrounding Machiavelli (Machiavellism and anti-Machiavellism) in Italy (Guicciardini, Botero, Boccalini), France (Bodin and Gentillet), Spain (Ribadeneyra), and Northern Europe (Hobbes, Grotius, Spinoza) during the Counter Reformation and beyond.

Instructor(s): Rocco Rubini     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Course conducted in English. Those seeking Italian credit will do all work in Italian.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 25801, ITAL 23000, ITAL 33001, FNDL 21603

CMLT 35902. Virgil, The Aeneid. 100 Units.

A close literary analysis of one of the most celebrated works of European literature. While the text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, attention will also be directed to the extraordinary reception of this epic, from Virgil's times to ours.

Instructor(s): G. Most
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 35902, CLAS 44512, SCTH 35902

CMLT 35993. The Sublime. 100 Units.

The sublime has traditionally been thought to have had a merely marginal place in ancient Greek and Latin aesthetics and literary theory; but some scholars have recently argued that it was instead more central, and it is difficult not to apply this category to many ancient literary works. However the explicit category of the sublime did not become central to European aesthetics until the 17th century and then continued until the 19th century to play a central role in discussions not only of art and literature, but also of religion, politics, and other fields. By the middle of the 19th century the wave of interest in the sublime seems to have subsided, but in the past forty years this concept has returned to play an important role in aesthetic theories. The seminar will consider the odd history of the sublime, examining central texts from ancient (Longinus), early modern (Boileau), and modern aesthetics (certainly Burke, Kant, Schiller, and Hegel; perhaps also, depending on students' interest and preparation, Tieck, Schlegel, Schelling, Solger, and Jean Paul) as well as some more recent discussions (again depending on student preferences, Nietzsche, Lyotard, Adorno, Zizek). It will also ask whether the concept of the sublime can still play an important role today, or, if not, then what has taken its place. We will deal primarily with theories of the sublime but also to some extent with works of art. Open to undergraduates with consent.

Instructor(s): Glenn Most     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 25521, CLAS 35521, SCTH 35993

CMLT 36012. 19th Century French Poetry in Translation: Tradition and Revolution. 100 Units.

A study of modern French lyric poetry: Tradition and Revolution, Poetry and Politics, the seedbed of Modernism. Desbordes-Valmore, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire. Texts will be read in English with reference to the French originals. Close reading, references to poetry in English, and focus on problems in translation. Students with French should read the poems in the original. Class discussion to be conducted in English; critical essays to be written in English. An extra weekly session will be scheduled for discussion in French, for French-speakers.

Instructor(s): Rosanna Warren
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 36019, SCTH 36012, FREN 26019, ENGL 36012, SCTH 26012

CMLT 36015. The New Criticism. 100 Units.

n examination of primary works of The New Criticism, British and American. We will consider the theoretical variety and different critical practices of these loosely allied critics, who were often not allies at all. Authors to be studied: I.A. Richards, T.S. Eliot, F.R. Leavis, Kenneth Burke, John Crowe Ransom, Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, Yvor Winters, R. P. Blackmur, William Empson.

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 43250, SCTH 36015

CMLT 36088. The Scientist in the Nineteenth-Century Imagination. 100 Units.

The nineteenth century saw both the professionalization of science and the specialization of its practitioners. In this age of "human empire" produced by industrialization, new technologies offered humanity unprecedented dominion over the natural world, and the "scientist," a term coined in 1834, marked the advent of the idea of a vocation dedicated to that mastery. Moreover, by the end of the century, the natural philosophers and polymaths of earlier ages had given way to chemists, physicists, biologists, and statisticians, whose scope of study was necessarily both deeper and narrower. These developments produced a new social and political positioning for the scientist - an expert, an authority, a wielder of power. This class explores how nineteenth-century fiction writers, from Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe to Jules Verne and Arthur Conan Doyle, engaged with these emerging and transforming conceptualizations of the scientist figure. We will pair our literary explorations with non-fiction readings texts by thinkers and scientists such as Humphry Davy, Karl Pearson, Claude Bernard, William Whewell, and Max Weber ("Science as Vocation") about what the scientist should be and science should do. Additionally, we'll consider how this literary genealogy influences both our fictional portrayal of science to this day as well as our perceptions of it - from our contemporary distrust of expertise to our fear of the scientist playing god.

Instructor(s): Anastasia Klimchynskaya     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 36088, CHSS 36088

CMLT 36200. Early-Modern Aesthetics and French Classicism. 100 Units.

Though "aesthetic" philosophy first developed as an autonomous field in the mid-eighteenth century, it has important roots in earlier seventeenth-century debates concerning literature and the arts. In the wake of Cartesian rationalism, could reasoned method be reconciled with non-rational creativity, or decorous order with the unruly "sublime"? Just what kind of "truth" was revealed by poetry or painting? We will consider the relation between literature and other media (including music, opera, and the visual arts) and gauge the impact of French classical criticism on the broader European scene, considering its reception and contestation in Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany. Among the authors considered will be Descartes, Pascal, Boileau, Molière, Félibien, Du Bos, Addison, Hutcheson, Vico, Montesquieu, Diderot, and Herder.

Instructor(s): L. Norman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Reading knowledge of French
Note(s): Course conducted in English but students taking course for French credit must do all written work in French.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 36200, REMS 36210

CMLT 36319. The Sublime: Theory and History of an Aesthetic Category. 100 Units.

This course focuses on the aesthetic category of the sublime, combining a rich theoretical discussion with analysis of literary and visual texts. The starting point is Pseudo Longinus' "On the Sublime," the first text in the history of aesthetics to focus on reception and subjective response. After a close reading of this text and a careful examination of its recent interpretations, the course will first deal with key moments in the long and complex modern theoretical debate on the sublime, with special focus on the Italian Renaissance and Torquato Tasso, French classicism and Boileau, the British Enlightenment and Burke. In parallel with this historical overview, the course will examine concrete examples of the sublime in the arts, especially the poetry of Leopardi and Baudelaire, and the parallel theme of landscape, especially in visual arts. The last part of the course will focus on contemporary philosophical and aesthetic debate on the sublime, in particular on Fredric Jameson's notion of the hysterical sublime, Slavoj Zizek's reflection on trash sublime; and on parallels with visual arts: Italian arte povera, Bill Viola's videos inspired by Italian Renaissance paintings, Anselm Kiefer's paintings, Mario Martone's movie on Leopardi, and Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," which recovers the theme of apocalypsis reinforced by Wagner's sublime music.

Instructor(s): M. Fusillo     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 36319

CMLT 36523. Motherless Tongue:" Introduction to Transnational Writing in German. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to contemporary authors writing in German whose texts explore cross-pollinations between languages and cultures. Discussions will center around topics such as: identity; cosmopolitanism; memory; cultural hybridity and alterity; hospitality; guests and hosts; storytelling; migration; what are transnational German Studies? Authors include: the Japanese writer Yoko Tawada who lives in Berlin and writes in Japanese and German; the Romanian-born author Herta Müller (Nobel Prize in 2009); the Black British author Sharon Dodua Otoo who resides in Berlin and writes in German and English; the Ukrainian-German writer Katja Petrowskaja; the Turkish-born writer Feridun Zaimoglu; and others. Course conducted in English with an LxC option for interested students.

Instructor(s): Margareta Ingrid Christian     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 26523, GRMN 26523, GRMN 36523

CMLT 36551. The Hidden Word: Post-War Germany Through the Lens of Ulla Hahn. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Nisha Kommattam     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 26551, GRMN 36551, GRMN 26551

CMLT 37621. Philosophical Aesthetics: Heidegger and Adorno. 100 Units.

Two major positions in German philosophical aesthetics of the 20th century will be considered in detail: 1) the ontological-hermeneutic theory advanced by Martin Heidegger; 2) the dialectical-critical theory developed by Theodor W. Adorno. Primary readings will be Heidegger's Origin of the Work of Art and selections from Adorno's Aesthetic Theory. In addition, selected shorter pieces by the two authors will be studied, with a special emphasis on their work on lyric poetry. The seminar will also consider contributions by Georg Simmel, Walter Benjamin, Helmut Plessner, Arnold Gehlen, Georg Lukács. The course seeks to develop an understanding of the conceptual foundation of each of the two philosophical positions. Particular topics to be considered: a) the nature of artistic presentation (Darstellung); b) the nature of artistic truth; c) the historical character of art; d) the political significance of art; e) the relation of art to philosophy.

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergrads must receive consent.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 27621, SCTH 27621, GRMN 27621, SCTH 37621, GRMN 37621

CMLT 37652. Broken Mirrors: Writing the Other from Herodotus to the Jewish/Christian. 100 Units.

How are Others represented in Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian canons? Is the Other purely a mirror of the self who represents it? Or do self and Other interact? Can we trace and compare patterns of representation and taxonomies for human difference across cultures, genres, regions, periods, and sciences? How can we develop new critical frameworks and concepts for this task, if we refuse to take for granted the categories and conventions of today's academic disciplines? What might this new approach to the Other help us to learn, or unlearn, about the making of "the West"? In order to answer those questions, our course will survey the most influential literary models of the Other, from Herodotus to the early medieval "Life of Jesus" polemic tradition. Beyond developing a new framework for exploring and connecting these diverse sources, it has three historical aims. First, to interrogate the limits of modern anthropology as the institutionalized site for writing and knowing the Other. Second, to reveal the centrality of the figure of the Jew in the prehistory of anthropology, where it plays a neglected but crucial role in the European history of human difference in general. Finally, to expose the premodern roots of "scientific" categories-"primitive," "civilized," "Oriental," "Aryan," "Semite," etc.-where racial, linguistic, religious, and cultural differences still intersect today.

Instructor(s): James Adam Redfield     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course meets the HS or LMCS Committee distribution requirement for Divinity students.
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 21922, HIJD 37652, HREL 37652, RLST 27652, JWSC 26603, CLAS 31922

CMLT 38101. Don Quixote. 100 Units.

The course will provide a close reading of Cervantes' "Don Quijote" and discuss its links with Renaissance art and Early Modern narrative genres. On the one hand, "Don Quijote" can be viewed in terms of prose fiction, from the ancient Greek romances to the medieval books of knights errant and the Renaissance pastoral novels. On the other hand, "Don Quijote" exhibits a desire for Italy through the utilization of Renaissance art. Beneath the dusty roads of La Mancha and within Don Quijote's chivalric fantasies, the careful reader will come to appreciate glimpses of images with Italian designs.

Instructor(s): Frederick de Armas     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in English. Students seeking Spanish credit will read the text in the original and use Spanish for the course assignments.
Equivalent Course(s): SPAN 24202, CMLT 28101, SPAN 34202, FNDL 21221

CMLT 38102. Cervantes: The Exemplary Novels and Don Quixote, Part II. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): REMS 34311, FNDL 21808, SPAN 24311, CMLT 28102, SPAN 34311

CMLT 38500. Journey to the West II. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): CHIN 31306, CMLT 28500, CHIN 21306, RLIT 49200

CMLT 38600. Aesthetics of French Classicism. 100 Units.

Though "aesthetic" philosophy first developed as an autonomous field in the mid-eighteenth century, it has important roots in earlier eighteenth- and seventeenth-century debates concerning literature and the arts. In the wake of Cartesian rationalism, could reasoned method be reconciled with non-rational creativity, or decorous order with the unruly "sublime"? Just what kind of "truth" was revealed by poetry or painting? We will consider the relation between literature and other media (including music, opera, and the visual arts) and gauge the impact of French classical criticism on the broader European scene. Readings will include works by Descartes, Pascal, Boileau, Molière, La Fontaine, Félibien, Du Bos, Addison, Hutcheson, Vico, Montesquieu.

Instructor(s): L. Norman     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Undergrads admitted with permission of instructor.
Note(s): Course will be conducted in French; students not taking course for French credit may do written work and class presentations in English.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 37000, SCTH 37000, REMS 37000, ARTH 48301

CMLT 38640. The Book of Ruth: Bible, Literature, Gender. 100 Units.

The Book of Ruth offers the most elaborate tale of a woman to be found in the Bible, but even this relatively detailed account is astonishingly laconic. The Book of Ruth is not really a book. It is only four chapters long - more of a short story, or a very short story, than a book. And yet, despite its ellipses, Ruth's cryptic tale is remarkable for its capacity to provide, with but few vignettes, a vibrant portrait of one of the most intriguing characters in the Bible. The first part of this course will be devoted to the biblical text itself. We will consider literary and feminist readings of the Book of Ruth while exploring broader issues of biblical poetics. Special attention will be given to questions of migration - to different accounts of the Book of Ruth as a paradigmatic tale of a migrant woman. The second part of the course will be devoted to the reception of the Book of Ruth - from the Midrash and the Zohar to modern literature. Among the modern and contemporary writers to be considered: S. Y. Agnon, Allen Ginsberg, Toni Morrison, and Michal Ben-Naftali. The discussion will also entail an exploration of adaptations of the Book of Ruth in art - from Nicholas Poussin to Adi Nes.

Instructor(s): Ilana Pardes     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 28640, CMLT 28640, RLST 22640, JWSC 28640, GNSE 38640, GNSE 28640, BIBL 38640

CMLT 38647. Trauma and Narrative. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar invites students to engage with literary trauma studies, a field that first emerged in the 1990s, and that has more recently been undergoing decolonization processes. Following calls by scholars such as Stef Craps in Postcolonial Witnessing (2013), we will examine foundational and current literary theory by questioning its validity and applicability across different cultural contexts and languages. We will read select fictional trauma narratives, in English translation or in the original language when possible. Readings will include select psychological and psychoanalytical theoretical literature from Judith L. Herman and Cathy Caruth to Bessel van der Kolk; (literary) theory by Ruth Leys, Lauren Berlant and Stef Craps, as well as fictional texts, largely from non-Euro-Anglo-American contexts. Students working on trauma-related literary projects are welcome to contribute materials in their respective research languages. We will end the course by bridging discussions of literary trauma studies with recent debates around a pedagogy of trauma, especially as applicable the context of higher education. Students need to be available for 2 synchronous online meetings per week.

Instructor(s): Nisha Kommattam     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 38647

CMLT 38740. Biblical Politics: Literature, History, Political Thought. 100 Units.

Joseph and Moses share much in common. Both are prominent leaders of the Hebrew minority in Egypt and both oscillate between Hebrew and Egyptian cultures. We'll look at the Bible's portrayal of the lives of Joseph and Moses as inextricably connected to communal ones. In fact, the final chapters of Genesis and the Book of Exodus offer an incredibly rich turf for probing the complexities and ambiguities of minority culture in their attention to both individual and collective histories. Among the topics to be discussed: the charm of the hybrid, Hebrew-Egyptian characters of Joseph and Moses and the lingering ambivalences toward this hybridity, the explicit and implicit exposure of the Hebrew minority to Egyptian culture, the role of Hebrew and Egyptian women in the drama - Potiphar's wife, Yocheved, Miriam, the Egyptian midwives, and Pharaoh's daughter. We will also explore the reception of the tales of Joseph and Moses in later literary contexts - from S. Y. Agnon and Thomas Mann to Hollywood. We will consider a range of approaches to Genesis-Exodus - from the literary readings of Robert Alter and Mieke Bal to the psychoanalytic writings of Freud and Kristeva. Special attention will be given to Freud's Moses and Monotheism.

Instructor(s): Ilana Pardes     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): BIBL 38740

CMLT 39023. Returning the Gaze: The West and the Rest. 100 Units.

Aware of being observed. And judged. Inferior... Abject… Angry... Proud… This course provides insight into identity dynamics between the "West," as the center of economic power and self-proclaimed normative humanity, and the "Rest," as the poor, backward, volatile periphery. We investigate the relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western gaze. Inherent in the act of looking at oneself through the eyes of another is the privileging of that other's standard. We will contemplate the responses to this existential position of identifying symbolically with a normative site outside of oneself-self-consciousness, defiance, arrogance, self-exoticization-and consider how these responses have been incorporated in the texture of the national, gender, and social identities in the region. Orhan Pamuk, Ivo Andrić, Nikos Kazantzakis, Aleko Konstantinov, Emir Kusturica, Milcho Manchevski.

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39023, HIST 23609, REES 29023, NEHC 29023, HIST 33609, NEHC 39023, CMLT 29023

CMLT 39024. States of Surveillance. 100 Units.

What does it feel to be watched and listened to all the time? Literary and cinematic works give us a glimpse into the experience of living under surveillance and explore the human effects of surveillance - the fraying of intimacy, fracturing sense of self, testing the limits of what it means to be human. Works from the former Soviet Union (Solzhenitsyn, Abram Tertz, Andrey Zvyagintsev), former Yugoslavia (Ivo Andrić, Danilo Kiš, Dušan Kovačević), Romania (Norman Manea, Cristian Mungiu), Bulgaria (Valeri Petrov), and Albania (Ismail Kadare).

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39024, CMLT 29024, REES 29024

CMLT 39045. Dostoevsky and Critical Theory. 100 Units.

The tormented, obsessed, and sadistic characters of Dostoevsky's novels posed a challenge to positivism and reason too scandalous and compelling to be ignored. The novels inspired some of the most brilliant and influential thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the fields of religion, philosophy, psychology and literary theory. We will read two of Dostoevsky's philosophically challenging novels alongside works by these critics and philosophers, including Nietzsche, Sartre, Freud, Bakhtin, Kristeva, and Levinas. While exploring their ideas about faith and unbelief, madness and reason, violence and torture, society and history, we will also inquire into the relationships among literature, philosophy and biography and examine the processes of influence and adaptation.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 28207, REES 29045, CMLT 29045, REES 39045

CMLT 39300. Dostoevsky: The Idiot. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 27101, REES 20018, REES 30018, ENGL 48902, ENGL 28902, CMLT 29300

CMLT 39714. North Africa in Literature and Film. 100 Units.

This course explores twentieth- and twenty-first century literary and cinematic works from the countries of North Africa. We will focus in particular on the region of Northwestern Africa known as the Maghreb-encompassing Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Situated at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, the Maghreb has a layered colonial past culminating in France's brutal occupation of the region through the 1960s. Inflected by this colonial history, Maghrebi studies tends to privilege Francophone works while overlooking the region's rich Arabic and indigenous traditions. Understanding the Maghreb as both a geopolitical as well as an imagined space, our course materials reflect the region's diverse cultural histories and practices. We will consider the Maghreb's ethnic, linguistic, and religious pluralism in dialogue with broader questions of cultural imperialism, orientalism, decolonization, and globalization. Fictional and cinematic works will be paired with relevant historical and theoretical readings. In light of the recent 'Arab Spring' catapulted by the Tunisian uprising in January 2011, we will also touch on contemporary social and political happenings in the region.

Instructor(s): Hoda El Shakry     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 39714, CMLT 29714, NEHC 29714

CMLT 39821. Goethe's Faust: Myth and Modernity. 100 Units.

In this seminar we shall undertake an intensive study of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, with close textual study of the entirety of Part I and Act 5 of Part II. We will begin by casting a brief look at the earliest versions of the Faust myth, the so-called Faust Chapbook of 1587 and Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus composed 1589-92, premiered 1592), and we will have an eye on later versions such as those of Paul Valéry and Thomas Mann. Some consideration will be devoted to the question of modern "myth" and the Faust myth will be compared to that of Don Juan in particular. Our major task, however, will be to develop a close reading and interpretation of Goethe's text, which ranks as one of the supreme achievements of the European literary tradition. The interpretive issues at the center of our inquiry will include: a) the theory of (modern) tragedy; b) desire and subjectivity; c) Faust in relation to post-Kantian philosophy; d) the theme of time and the "moment." In addition to major works of scholarship, we shall touch on interpretations of the play by Schelling and Kierkegaard. Command of German will be helpful, but students may also refer to an English translation. (Recommended English version: Faust I & II, translated by Stuart Atkins, introduction by David E. Wellbery, Princeton Classics, 2014. Recommended German version: Faust I und II, hrsg. Albrecht Schöne, 2 vols. Text + commentary. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag 2017.)

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 39821, SCTH 39821

CMLT 39954. Hannah Arendt on Art and Politics. 100 Units.

Although Hannah Arendt is not often thought of as a theorist of aesthetics, art plays a central role in her thinking. Arendt described the public sphere as a "space of appearance," putting special emphasis on the category of "work," which she defined as the production of objects of permanence and meaning. This seminar focuses on the implications of this model of the political for our understanding of art and examines Arendt's use of examples from the arts in her writing. Readings include Arendt's major philosophical work, The Human Condition, and her Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy. We will consider the place of art in Arendt's thinking and writing on key political issues that preoccupied her: totalitarianism, Jewish politics and Zionism, and the politics of race in America. Together with Arendt, we will read literary texts by Franz Kafka and Rainer Maria Rilke, watch films by Charlie Chaplin, and look at photos by Gary Winogrand. We will draw on the work of scholars such as Cecilia Sjoholm, Amir Eshel, and Ullrich Baer, and engage with artistic depictions of Arendt by Volker März, Shai Abadi, and Margarette von Trotta.

Instructor(s): Na'ama Rokem     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 29954, CMLT 29954

CMLT 40010. Ruins. 100 Units.

Ruins" will cover texts and images, from Thucydides to WWII, via the Reformation. We will include films (e.g. Rossellini's "Germany Year Zero"), art (e.g. H. Robert, Piranesi) archaeology, and the museum (Soane). On ruins writing, we will read Thucydides, Pausanias from within antiquity, the Enlightenment responses to the destruction and archaeological rediscovery of Pompeii, Diderot, Simmel, Freud on the mind as levels of ruins (Rome) and the analysis as reconstructive archaeologist as well as on the novel Gradiva and the Acropolis, the Romantic obsession with ruins, and the firebombing in WWII. We will also consider the photographing of ruins, and passages from the best-known works on photography (Benjamin, Sontag, Ritchen, Fried, Azoulay). The goal is to see how ruin gazing, and its depictions (textual, imagistic, photographic, etc.) change from the ancients (Greek and Roman), to the Romantic use of ruins as a source of (pleasurable) melancholy, to the technological "advances" in targeting and decimating civilian populations that describe the Second Word War.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 40010, CDIN 40010, RLIT 40010

CMLT 40100. Islamic Love Poetry. 100 Units.

The focus of this course is classical Islamic love poetry, Arabic and Persian love lyric will be covered, as well as some Ottoman love lyric (at least in translation). In the past we have incorporated Urdu, Punjabi, Bangla, Bosnian, and Turkish traditions, and-for comparative and historical purposes-Hebrew poetry from medieval Andalus. Because none of us are proficient in the all these languages, students who are proficient a given language are asked to provide a guide (including text, translation, explanation of key vocabulary, etc.) for selected poems from in that language. Each member of the class will be asked to present one poem guide, in addition to a final assignment. Among the poets commonly included in the course are Ibn Zaydun, Ibn al-Farid, Ibn al-`Arabi, Rumi, Hafiz, Baba Fighani, Na'ili, Mir Dard, Bulleh Shah, and Ghalib.

Equivalent Course(s): RLIT 40300, ISLM 40100, NEHC 40600

CMLT 40203. Biopolitics & Posthumanism. 100 Units.

Much has been written about the possibility (or impossibility) of creating an integrated political schema that incorporates living status, not species boundary, as the salient distinction between person and thing. In this course, we will explore how biopolitical and posthumanistic scholars like Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, Jane Bennett, Cary Wolfe, and Donna Haraway have acknowledged (and advocated transcending) the anthropocentric ümwelt, to borrow Jakob von Üexküll's influential term. In parallel with our theoretical readings, we will explore how actual legal systems have incorporated the nonhuman, with a particular focus on Anglo-American and transnational law. Our goal is to develop our own sense of an applied biopolitics-whether to our own research, to future legislation and jurisprudence, or both.

Instructor(s): Nicolette I. Bruner     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar requirement to be eligible to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. No instructor consent is required, but registration is not final until after the 1st week in order to give Ph.D. students priority.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 40203, KNOW 40203, ENGL 40203

CMLT 41219. Interpretation: Theory and Practice. 100 Units.

his seminar will be conducted on two tracks. On the one hand, we will study major contributions to hermeneutic theory (including positions that understand themselves as anti-hermeneutic). Contributions to be considered include works by Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, E.D. Hirsch, Manfred Frank, Roland Barthes, Stanley Cavell, and Jacques Derrida. At the same time, the seminar will include a practical component in which we will collectively develop interpretations of works by Heinrich von Kleist, Johann Peter Hebel, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Baudelaire, Guillaume Apollinaire, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville. English translations of the assigned readings will be provided. (This course is restricted to students in Ph.D. programs.)

Instructor(s): David Wellbery     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 41219, ENGL 41219, SCTH 41219, FREN 41219

CMLT 41410. The Literary Life of Things in China. 100 Units.

This course investigates traditional literary strategies in China through which objects are depicted and animated. Our emphasis will be on reading in primary sources, but we'll also draw on secondary sources from anthropology, the history of material culture, literary theory, and art history, both from within and outside China studies. Each week will introduce some basic genre and key literary works while also foregrounding certain conceptual issues. Students will select a case study to work on throughut the quarter, which will become their final research paper and which will also help orient their shorter class presentations. The choice of subject for the case study is quite open, so that each student can pursue a project that relates to his or her own central interests. It might be a cultural biography of a real object or class of objects; it might be a study of how objects are deployed in a novel or play, encyclopedia or connoisseurship manual, but there are many other possibilities.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 41400

CMLT 41815. Writing the Algerian War of Independence. 100 Units.

This course aims to examine the representation of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) in the work of Algerian and French writers. It will consider a corpus of testimonial texts, novels, and poetry in relation to the memory of the war, its traumatic experiences, and various forms of anticolonial struggle and insurgency. We will analyse the narrative, discursive, and poetic strategies used by authors to explore individual and collective memories and elaborate a politics of resistance and transformation in the Algerian context. Studied authors include Maïssa Bey, Assia Djebar, Leïla Sebbar, Mouloud Feraoun, Jean Sénac, Laurent Mauvignier, and Joseph Andras.

Instructor(s): Khalid Lyamlahy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): All readings and in-class discussions will be in English. Students will have the option to write either in English or in French.
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 41815, NEHC 41815

CMLT 42101. Collapse: The End of the Soviet Empire. 100 Units.

This team-taught course invites students to reassess critically the meaning of the Soviet collapse on the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary. Topics to be examined include the neoliberal "shock therapy" economic reforms that ushered in a state of wild capitalism, the dissolution of the Soviet empire and rise of rise of new right nationalisms, and the formation of alternative artistic movements that resisted the economic and political devastation that accompanied the transition. The course pedagogy employs economic, political, historical, and aesthetic analysis to develop a robust understanding across a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches.

Instructor(s): Leah Feldman and Faith Hillis     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent required for undergraduate enrollment; email Professors Feldman and Hillis a paragraph long description about what you bring and what you hope to get out of this seminar.
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 42101, REES 42101, HIST 43802

CMLT 42503. Renaissance Humanism. 100 Units.

Humanism in the Renaissance was an ambitious project to repair what idealists saw as a fallen, broken world by reviving the lost arts of antiquity. Their systematic transformation of literature, education, art, religion, architecture, and science dramatically reshaped European culture, mixing ancient and medieval and producing the foundations of modern thought and society. Readings focus on primary sources: Petrarch, Poggio, Ficino, Pico, Castiglione, and Machiavelli, with a historiographical review of major modern treatments of the topic. We will discuss the history of the book, cultural and intellectual history, and academic writing skills especially planning the dissertation as a book and writing and submitting articles to journals.

Instructor(s): A. Palmer     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor. Students with Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, or German will have the opportunity to use them.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 42503, CLAS 42514, ITAL 42503

CMLT 42918. Exploratory Translation. 100 Units.

Translation is one of the central mechanisms of literary creativity across the world. This course will offer opportunities to think through both the theory and practice of this art form and means of cultural transmission, focusing on the problems of translation of and by poets in a variety of languages: it will emphasize precisely the genre most easily "lost in translation," as the truism goes. Topics to be discussed will include semantic and grammatical interference, loss and gain, the production of difference, pidgin, translationese, bilingualism, self-translation, code-switching, translation as metaphor, foreignization vs. nativization, and distinct histories of translation. Alongside seminar sessions for discussion of readings, workshop sessions patterned on Creative Writing pedagogy will offer students a chance to try their hands at a range of tactics of translation. We also hope to invite a few poets and translators to engage in dialogues about the art (these visits conditioned on funding that we are currently seeking). The course therefore engages with such fields as linguistics, literary study, creative writing, psychology, and anthropology. Its thematic and methodological implications reach across the humanities and social sciences.

Instructor(s): Jennifer Scappettone, Haun Saussy     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 42918, RLLT 42918, CRWR 42918, MAPH 42918, SCTH 42918

CMLT 43301. Comparative Mystical Literature: Islamic, Jewish and Christian. 100 Units.

The mysticisms of the three monotheistic faiths share many features that invite comparison. All three deal with sacred texts that overlap in instances, and all three responded in different ways to the philosophical mysticisms inherited from Classical antiquity. While there are a number of influences, both direct and indirect, among these traditions, there are far more instances of similar structural motifs shared by the three. This course is designed to explore the history and structural dynamics of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticisms through the careful reading of primary sources across the traditions. The Class will be limited to 20 students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each student will be expected to demonstrate reading competence in the language of one of the mystical traditions (e. g., Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Latin, or one of the Christian vernaculars).

Equivalent Course(s): HIJD 43301, ISLM 43301, RLIT 43303, HCHR 43302

CMLT 43510. Films by Akira Kurosawa and Their Literary Sources. 100 Units.

This interdisciplinary graduate course focuses on nine films of Akira Kurosawa which were based on literary sources ranging from Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Georges Simenon, and Shakespeare to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev. The course will not only introduce some theoretical and intermedial problems of adaptation of literature to film but also address cultural and political implications of Kurosawa's adaptation of classic and foreign sources. We will study how Kurosawa's turn to literary adaptation provided a vehicle for circumventing social taboos of his time and offered a screen for addressing politically sensitive and sometimes censored topics of Japan's militarist past, war crimes, defeat in the Second World War, and ideological conflicts of reconstruction. The course will combine film analysis with close reading of relevant literary sources, contextualized by current work of political, economic, and cultural historians of postwar Japan. Prerequisites: Good reading knowledge of Japanese; successful completion of Intro to Film, or Close Analysis of Film.

Instructor(s): Olga Solovieva     Terms Offered: Winter

CMLT 43995. Comparative Issues in Monotheistic Mystical Traditions. 100 Units.

The mysticisms of the three monotheistic faiths share many features that invite comparison. All three deal with sacred texts that overlap in instances, and all three responded in different ways to the philosophical mysticisms inherited from Classical antiquity. While there are a number of influences, both direct and indirect, among these traditions, there are far more instances of similar structural motifs shared by the three. This course is designed to explore the history and structural dynamics of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticisms through the careful reading of primary sources across the traditions.

Equivalent Course(s): HCHR 43995, ISLM 43995, HIJD 43995, RLIT 43995

CMLT 44000. Cultura visual y esclavitud en Iberoamérica. 100 Units.

La esclavitud en las Américas no fue únicamente un sistema de organización socio-económica fundamentado en el trabajo coactivo. Este también conllevó la gestación de complejas y heterogéneas formas de producción cultural. En el contexto del moderno sistema de la plantación, ello en parte implicó una inédita articulación filosófica de las relaciones entre poder, raza y cuerpo, sofisticadas formas sincréticas de musicalidad y religiosidad populares, así como la producción de numerosas representaciones artísticas en las que se simbolizaron las conflictivas y a veces insólitas relaciones entre amos y esclavos. En este seminario nos enfocaremos en una serie de artefactos en los que se dramatiza puntualmente la intersección entre cultural visual y dominación esclavista en el mundo iberoamericano, prestándole especial atención a sus encuadres transatlánticos y a sus relaciones con los proyectos de constitución nacional en el siglo XIX. Nuestro objetivo es identificar el lugar de lo visual al interior de las cultura de la esclavitud --las lógicas de sus funcionamientos-- a partir del reconocimiento de algunas de sus zonas menos estudiadas. Examinaremos una selección de expresiones relativas a la "alta" pintura, las dimensiones visuales de los reglamentos de esclavos, ciertas modalidades performáticas de las prácticas evangélicas y del teatro popular, y la dialéctica de lo visible y lo invisible en narrativas de esclavos y en algunas producciones efímeras de la cultura material.

Instructor(s): Agnes Lugo-Ortiz     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in Spanish. Open to advanced undergraduates with consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 44000, SPAN 44000, LACS 44000

CMLT 44410. Practices of Classicism in the French Seventeenth Century. 100 Units.

This seminar has two goals. One is to combine the text-based tradition of French literary studies with the image-based, comparative tradition of art history-and, in so doing, to change the taxonomies of both. The other is to re-evaluate French Classicism by attending to practices of reading, writing, performing, looking and making. The seminar's breadth is designed to appeal to all graduate students interested in the theory and history of aesthetics, and the interleaving of visual and literary evidence. Looking will be no less important than reading, as we will conduct sessions with original objects in the Art Institute and in Regenstein Special Collections. Authors studied will include Corneille, Molière, La Fontaine, Pascal, and Descartes; among the artists, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, La Tour, and Callot. Critical readings will range from Leo Spitzer to Louis Marin and Foucault. The seminar will be conducted in English; all primary texts will be made available in both English translation and, for those with reading knowledge, in the French original. This seminar will travel to Paris during exam week (March 13-21, 2020); airfare and lodging covered by university. Consent of instructors required.

Instructor(s): Larry Norman and Richard Neer     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 44420, FREN 34420, ARTH 45885, CDIN 44420

CMLT 46000. How to Think about Literature: the Main Notions. 100 Units.

In literary studies new trends and theories rarely supersede older ones. While in physics and biology Aristotle has long been obsolete, literary scholars still find his Poetics to be a source of important insights. And yet literary studies are not resistant to change. Over time, they have experienced a genuine historical growth in thinking. Perhaps one can best describe the discipline of literature as a stable field of recurring issues that generate innovative thinking. This course will introduce graduate students to the main notion of the field. Its aim is to identify an object of study that is integral, yet flexible enough to allow for comparisons between its manifestations in various national traditions.

Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 34601

CMLT 46202. Performance Theory: Action, Affect, Archive. 100 Units.

This seminar offers a critical introduction to performance theory and its applications to theatre and other practices. We will discuss three key conceptual clusters: a) action, acting, and forms of production or play, from classical (Aristotle) through modern (Hegel, Brecht, Artaud), to contemporary (Richard Schechner, Philip Zarilli, others); b) affect, and its intersections with emotion and feeling: in addition to contemporary theories, we will read earlier texts that anticipate recent debates (Diderot, Freud) and their current interpreters (Joseph Roach, Erin Hurley, others), as well as writing about the absence of affect and the performance of failure (Sara Bailes etc); c) archives and related institutions and theories, including audience formation (Susan Bennett) and challenges of recording ephemeral acts: theorists of memory (Pierre Nora) and remains (Rebecca Schneider), theatre historians (Daphne Brookes, Tracy Davis and others) as well as current theorists on the tensions between the archive and the repertoire (Diana Taylor). Requires active and complete participation; two oral presentations and final paper. Final paper could be a review article (ca 5000 words) using two recent books in your field to examine key concepts that define the field and controversies they may engender.

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Note: This course is intended only for those who have completed their undergraduate degree.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 46202, ENGL 46202, CMST 38346

CMLT 47201. History of Criticism: 16th-19th Centuries. 100 Units.

The second of a two-course sequence that offers a survey of major historical moments in the theory of interpretation. The course will pursue the thesis that the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries are dominated by three cardinal moments in the sociology of modern knowledge: the emergence of the figure of "the critic"; the articulation of "aesthetics" as an independent mode of thought; and the establishment of historical-critical methodology as prerequisite to understanding, and in turn properly interpreting, the Bible. Prerequisite: completion of the first course in the sequence. Required of Ph.D. students taking the RLVC 1 exam.

Instructor(s): Richard Rosengarten     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RLVC 47200

CMLT 48017. Phaedras Compared: Adaptation, Gender, Tragic Form. 100 Units.

This seminar places Racine's French neoclassical tragedy Phaedra within a wide-ranging series of adaptations of the ancient myth, from its Greek and Latin sources (Euripides, Seneca, Ovid) to twentieth-century and contemporary translations and stage adaptations (Ted Hughes, Sarah Kane), read along with a series of theoretical and critical texts. Particular attention will be paid to critical paradigms and approaches in the evolving fields of classical reception studies, theater and performance studies, and gender studies. Reading knowledge of French strongly preferred.

Equivalent Course(s): FREN 48017, CLAS 48017, TAPS 48017, CDIN 48017, GNSE 48017

CMLT 48616. Hölderlin and the Greeks. 100 Units.

The German poet Friedrich Hölderlin submitted to the paradoxical double-bind of Johann Joachim Winckelmann's injunction that "the only way for us [Germans] to become great or - if this is possible - inimitable, is to imitate the ancients." As he wrote in his short essay "The standpoint from which we should consider antiquity," Hölderlin feared being crushed by the originary brilliance of his Greek models (as the Greeks themselves had been), and yet foresaw that modern European self-formation must endure the ordeal of its encounter with the Greek Other. The faculty of the imagination was instrumental to the mediated self-formation of this Bildung project, for imagination alone was capable of making Greece a living, vitalizing, presence on the page. Our seminar will therefore trace the work of poetic imagination in Hölderlin's texts: the spatiality and mediality of the written and printed page, and their relation to the temporal rhythms of lived experience. All texts will be read in English translation, but a reading knowledge of German and/or Greek would be desirable.

Equivalent Course(s): GRMN 48616, CLAS 48616

CMLT 49002. Ekphrasis: Description, Vision and Imagination in Art and Religion. 100 Units.

This course explores the rich traditions of the description - ekphrasis -- from Greco-Roman antiquity to modernity. It tackles texts (both prose and verse) in order to establish the ramifications of a genre in the European tradition, and its applications in particular to visual culture and religion. There will be opportunity in the final paper to range beyond these into questions of comparative literature, art (history) writing, religious imagination and ekphrasis in all periods or contexts, as well as into the use of images or films as themselves forms of descriptive response. The course is primarily intended for graduates but interested undergraduates are welcome. The course will be taught over 5 weeks in the Spring Quarter on an intensive schedule. It will be examined on the basis of a paper, due on a subject to be agreed and on a date to be agreed at the end of the Spring quarter.

Instructor(s): Jaś Elsner and Francoise Meltzer     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Note: Consent of instructor required for undergraduates; email Professors Meltzer and Elsner a paragraph long description about what you bring and what you hope to get out of this seminar. (CDI seminar enrollment is capped at 18 students.)
Equivalent Course(s): RLVC 49002, DVPR 49002, CDIN 49002, ARTH 40401

CMLT 49900. Reading And Research: Comp Lit. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Michael Gluzman     Terms Offered: Spring

CMLT 49999. Graduate Comparative Literature Workshop. 100 Units.

Graduate writing workshop for Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature aimed at cultivating familiarity and fluency with various genres of writing in the academy-from seminar papers, conference presentations, and journal articles, to doctoral degree documents as well as fellowship and academic job market materials. Enrolled students will have the opportunity to share and individually workshop works-in-progress, while attending to the craft of producing creative, engaging, and persuasive scholarly writing. In addition to tackling the various stages of academic writing development, editing, and revision, we will address practical aspects of the writing process-such as writing habits, challenges, and technologies.

Instructor(s): Hoda El Shakry     Terms Offered: Autumn

CMLT 50007. Michel Foucault: Les aveux de la chair. 100 Units.

The last volume of Foucault's history of sexuality has finally been published after more than a 30 year wait. In this volume Foucault moves from his previous focus on Greco-Roman culture to early Christianity, and his account culminates in an extensive discussion of Saint Augustine. This seminar will consist of a close reading of Les Aveux de la chair, supplemented by a few other texts from the later Foucault. We will also try to draw some general methodological and philosophical conclusions from our reading.

Instructor(s): A. Davidson     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Good reading knowledge of French and familiarity with the previous volumes of Foucault's "Histoire de la sexualité". All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to by 12/14/2018. Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, phone number, and department or committee. Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 50007, DVPR 50007, FREN 40007

CMLT 50101. Contemporary Critical Theory: Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics. 100 Units.

This graduate seminar introduces key debates in contemporary theory from a broad cross-section of disciplinary perspectives, fields, and cultural contexts. Adopting a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, we will explore critical models of aesthetics, ethics, and politics. These theories shape not only how we come to understand the nature of cultural objects (literature, film, art), but also the principles, methodologies, and ethical stakes of their analysis. Our seminar topics include: global Marxism; orientalism and anti-colonial discourse; (post)secularism; feminist and queer theory; embodiment and affect; as well as critical race theory. Engaging recent critical projects to "theorize from below," we will put foundational texts of the Euro-American canon into conversation with translated works of theory from the global south. In so doing, our seminar asks: What comes to count as theory and how do we account for alternative practices of knowledge production? Where does theory come from and what are the political economies that structure its circulation? Finally, what is the relationship of theory to embodiment, affect, and experience?

Instructor(s): Hoda El Shakry     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course fulfills the fall core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 50101, MAPH 40101, ENGL 50101, GNSE 50102

CMLT 50104. Blood Libel: Damascus to Riyadh. 100 Units.

This course examines the Blood-Libel from the thirteenth-century to the present, with special focus upon the Damascus Affair of 1840 and its repercussions in the modern Middle Eastern and European contexts and in polemics today among Muslims, Christians and Jews. We will review cases and especially upon literary and artistic representations of ritual murder and sacrificial consumption alleged to have been carried out by Waldensians, Fraticelli, witches, and Jews, with special attention to the forms of redemptive, demonic, and symbolic logic that developed over the course of the centuries and culminated in the wake of the Damascus Affair. Each participant will be asked to translate and annotate a sample primary text, ideally one that has not yet been translated into English, and to use that work as well in connection with a final paper.

Instructor(s): M. Sells     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Willingness to work on a text from one of the following languages--Latin, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Arabic, Modern Greek, or Turkish--at whatever level of proficiency one has attained. This course fulfills the autumn core requirement for first year PhDs in Comparative Literature
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 41610

CMLT 50105. Literary Theory: Auerbach's Mimesis. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore Western literary criticism from Plato to the late eighteenth-century conceived of as a prehistory of comparative literature as a discipline. The course will take as its particular lens the critical treatment of epic in some of the following authors: Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Horace, Montaigne, Tasso, Giraldi, Sidney, Boileau, Le Bossu, St. Evremond, Dryden, Addison, Voltaire, Fielding, and Burke. The course will also examine both twentieth-century comparative approaches to epic (e.g., Auerbach, Curtius, Frye) and more recent debates within comparative literature with an eye to continuities and discontinuities in critical method and goals.

Instructor(s): David Wray     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 52502

CMLT 50106. Literary Theory: Pre-Modern, Non-Western, Not Exclusively Literary. 100 Units.

Readings in theories of literature and related arts from cultures other than those of the post-1900 industrialized regions. What motivated reflection on verbal art in Greece, Rome, early China, early South Asia, and elsewhere? Rhetoric, hermeneutics, commentary, allegory, and other modes of textual analysis will be approached through source texts, using both originals and translations. Authors to be considered include Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Zhuangzi, Sima Qian, Augustine, Liu Xie, Abhinavagupta, Dante, Li Zhi, Rousseau, Lessing, Schlegel, and Saussure.

Instructor(s): Haun Saussy
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 50106, KNOW 50106

CMLT 50107. Literary Theory: Auerbach's Mimesis. 100 Units.

The focus of this seminar will be Erich Auerbach's Mimesis, a book often held up as foundational and paradigmatic for the discipline of comparative literature. Close reading of its twenty chapters together with excerpts from its objects of study (from Homer to Virginia Woolf) will be framed by readings and discussion on the contexts of its production, the history of its reception, the limitations that have been imputed to its presuppositions and biases, and the generative potentials and significances it might continue to make available to the current and future practice of literary comparison.

Terms Offered: Autumn

CMLT 50201. Premodern Critical Theory: Historicity, Worldmaking, Filiation. 100 Units.

This course explores contemporary theoretical approaches to premodern cultural objects. How do we establish relationality with thought worlds whose archives are only partially preserved? Or redress the "discovery" of premodern cultural objects in contexts of political instrumentalization? How do we care for the earliest cultural objects as legacies of non-literary worldmaking? Where possible, the course will pair readings in contemporary theory with class visits from scholars engaged in premodern comparative projects, with research engaging cultural objects from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. We will ask: What is at stake in characterizations of cultural objects as "ancient," "archaic," or "premodern"? And: How does the practice of comparison change when its objects are located in a distant past?

Instructor(s): Mark Payne     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course fulfills the winter core requirement for first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 50201

CMLT 50204. Destruction of Images, Books & Artifacts in Europe and S. Asia. 100 Units.

The course offers a comparative perspective on European and South Asian iconoclasm. In the European tradition, iconoclasm was predominantly aimed at images, whereas in South Asian traditions it was also enacted upon books and buildings. The combination of these traditions will allow us to extend the usual understanding of iconoclasm as the destruction of images to a broader phenomenon of destruction of cultural artifacts and help question the theories of image as they have been independently developed in Europe and South Asia, and occasionally in conversation with one another. We will ask how and why, in the context of particular political imaginaries and material cultures, were certain objects singled out for iconoclasm? Also, who was considered to be entitled or authorized to commit their destruction? Through a choice of concrete examples of iconoclasm, we will query how religious and political motivations are defined, redefined, and intertwined in each particular case. We will approach the iconoclastic events in Europe and South Asia through the lenses of philology, history, and material culture. Class discussions will incorporate not only textual materials, but also the close collaborative study of images, objects, and film. Case studies will make use of objects in the Art Institute of Chicago and Special Collections at the University Library.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 40204, HREL 50204, RLVC 50204, SALC 50204, CDIN 50204

CMLT 50205. Contemporary Critical Theory 1920-Present. 100 Units.

This course (the second half of the required Comparative Literature introductory sequence) roams the cultural landscape transformed by Freud, Saussure, Shklovsky, the First World War, and the Russian Revolution. Readings from psychoanalytic, formalist and Marxist criticism, from the corresponding heresies, and their successors. The aim throughout is to locate theoretical texts in the polemical situations to which they originally were addressed, and others in which they subsequently were invoked.

Instructor(s): Haun Saussy     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 50205

CMLT 50300. Catharsis, Tedium, and other Aesthetic Responses. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the ramifications of catharsis, tedium and other forms of aesthetic response, in other words the relationship between effect and affect in and in response to performance, live, mediated and in reading. Beginning with Aristotle and present day responses to catharsis, we will investigate the kinds of aesthetic response invoked by theories of tragedy (esp Hegel), realism (authority, attachment and estrangement in Lukacs, Adorno, Brecht, Benjamin), as well as theories of pleasure (Barthes, Derrida, Cixous) and tedium (Heidegger). We will also explore tedium through text and audio of The Hunchback Variations by local playwright Mickle Maher. We will conclude with, the potential and limitations of catharsis as an appropriate response to testimonial narrative in text and film during and after the dictatorship in Chile. An essential part of the discussion will be the problem of translating key theoretical terms, not only from one language to another but also from one theoretical discourse to another.

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 50300, ENGL 50301

CMLT 58910. Aesthetics and Politics. 100 Units.

Aesthetics and Politics: Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch, Brecht, Lowenthal, Lukacs, … This PhD seminar will build on the work covered in Marxism and Modern Culture to examine in more detail and where possible in the original German the arguments about the intersections and frictions between aesthetics and politics in high, middle, and mass cultural forms of literature, performance, film and other media, in the work of the above theorists.

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PhD Seminar: Marxism or equivalent grad training; German desirable
Note(s): Consent required, please email the professor, Loren Kruger ( by Friday, March 17th with details about your program, and preparation to take the course.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 58910, ENGL 58910, TAPS 58910

CMLT 59999. Graduate Comparative Literature Writing Workshop. 100 Units.

Elective writing workshop for PhD students in Comparative Literature to develop and refine skills in various modes of writing, editing, and revision. Writing assignments may include developing conference papers, writing the dissertation prospectus, generating a chapter draft, reformulating a paper for submission as a journal article, and other professional writing development to prepare students for writing in the academy and communicating with readers.

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PhDs in Comparative Literature: as an elective, this workshop is designed for students in the third year and beyond who have completed most of their required courses and are ready to move to academic and professional writing for readers other than the instructor of a course. Second years with permission of instructor.
Note(s): Permission of instructor required.

CMLT 70000. Advanced Study: Comparative Literature. 300.00 Units.

Advanced Study: Comparative Literature

CMLT 75000. Advanced Research. 300.00 Units.


Terms Offered: Autumn