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Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature

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  • Objectives
    A WORK OF LITERATURE ALWAYS MAKES CONNECTIONS. It not only reaches individual readers; it can invoke other literary works and traditions, it can challenge or embrace scientific or historical knowledge, it can be translated into another language or transformed by film. Comparative literature explores this rich tapestry of relationships. At Hamilton, comparative literature is the study of literary and cultural texts from around the globe
  • Course description
    A concentration in comparative literature consists of nine courses, including five designated as comparative literature, two in a national literature in the original language (e.g., Chinese, Russian, Greek) and two in either a second national literature in the original language or in linguistics selected in consultation with a departmental advisor. Students pursuing the linguistics option must complete study in a foreign language to the 140 level or equivalent. All concentrators are required to take 211 or 212, and 297, and all senior concentrators will take part in a Senior Program in which 500 (Senior Seminar) is required and 550 (Senior Project) is recommended. A complete description of the Senior Program is available from the department chair. Only one 100-level course may be counted toward the concentration. It is to the student’s advantage to begin foreign language study early; those planning graduate work in literature are urged to take two additional courses in a national literature and to study two foreign languages.

    Honors in comparative literature will be awarded on the basis of a cumulative record of 3.5 (90) or above in all courses counting toward the major, as well as distinguished performance in 550.

    A minor consists of five courses, including either 211, 212 or 297; two other courses designated as comparative literature; and two other courses in comparative, English or foreign literature, or linguistics. Only two 100-level courses may be counted toward the minor.

    Many courses at the 200-level are open to seniors without prerequisites. For details, see the specific descriptions below.

    [142F] Twentieth-Century Fiction.
    Organized chronologically for the most part, and involving such issues as sexuality, colonialism and racism. Readings drawn from high art, not popular culture, and include such authors as Conrad, Kafka, Puig, Woolf, Duras and Valenzuela. (Writing-intensive.) (Proseminar.) Open to first-year students only. Maximum enrollment, 16.

    143F Literature on Trials.
    Why are trials so fascinating? Our emphasis will be on the ways they clarify values, establishing borders between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, with attention to how they enforce cultural norms concerning race, gender, and sexuality. We will discuss literary and cultural representations of historical trials, such as those of Socrates, Joan of Arc, Galileo, the Salem Witches, and Oscar Wilde. Course materials to include readings from Aeschylus, Plato, Shaw, Brecht, Stendhal, Kafka, Camus, Morrison, as well as films and other primary and secondary sources. (Writing-intensive.) (Proseminar.) Open to first-year students only. Maximum enrollment, 16. N Rabinowitz.

    152F Literature and Ethics.
    Study of literature as a vehicle for moral and political concerns and of the ways that literature shapes its readers. Special emphasis on popular literature, feminist criticism and the problems raised by censorship and pornography. Selected novels and plays by such writers as Ibsen, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Wright, Highsmith, Doris Lessing, Burgess and others. (Writing-intensive.) (Proseminar.) Open to first-year students only. Maximum enrollment, 16. P Rabinowitz.

    [158S] Music and Literature.
    Explorations of the connections between music and literature, including examination of hybrid works that bridge the two arts (such as fiction about music and musical settings of literary texts) and study of the overlap between musical and literary structures. Emphasis on music of the Western classical tradition. Works include operas, symphonic poems, songs and literary works by such composers and writers as Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Berg, Tolstoy, Wilde, Cain, Proust, Cather and Burgess. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20.

    164F Fantastic Worlds: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Sci Fi and Anime.
    Why do we read, write, and dream about far-off lands, strange creatures and alternate realities? Why do children, adolescents and adults become absorbed in fantastic, new worlds through texts and movies? How do these worlds transcend time, space, and culture to re-create readers’ hopes, fears, dreams and nightmares? What can these texts tell us about civilization, technology and the great beyond? We will ask these questions and others as we survey nineteenth and twentieth century works like Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and My Neighbor Tottoro. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Peck.

    193S Introduction to Korean Cinema.
    In this introductory course on Korean cinema in the 20th and 21st centuries, we will explore the development of Korean cinema from the colonial period to the current "Korean wave." In addition to discussing film technique, we will focus on themes such as colonialism and post-coloniality and globalization, nation-building, the division and Korean War, industrialization, social movements, and minority movements. Three hours of class and weekly film screenings. Kim.

    200F Prisoners of the Caucusus:Russian Literature of Empire and Rebellion.
    In the nineteenth century, Russian writers such as Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tolstoy captivated Russian readers with their romantic tales of the Caucasus mountains. At the same time, these writers were soldiers in the Imperial army, fighting to subdue the same “noble savages” they extolled in verse. Russia’s ambiguous relationship with the Caucasus has continued to be a theme in 20th century. This course will consider the dynamics of empire and rebellion as expressed in literature and other arts, while considering the cultures of the Caucasus to explore how the empire “writes back.” (Same as Russian Studies 200). Oldfield.

    205F Modern China Through Film.
    This course examines how films produced in diverse socio-economic contexts generate conflicting modern representations of China, ranging from a legendary land, an everlasting patriarchy, to a revolutionary battlefield, and how these representations produce hegemonic and subversive cultural knowledge. Students will gain a broad understanding of post-1959 Chinese cinema and history, theory of film and cultural studies, and pertinent Hollywood films. All films have English subtitles. Requirements include film viewings, presentations, quizzes, class discussions, and a final paper. All lectures and discussions in English. (Same as East Asian Languages and Literatures 205.) The Department.

    [206S] The Culture of Imperialism(s) in East Asia.
    Study of the discourses of imperialism in East Asia during the 20th century using the theoretical framework of cultural studies to consider the impact of European, American and Japanese imperialism on Korean and Japanese cultures during the colonial and post-colonial eras. Reading focus on Said's "Orientalism," McClintock's "Imperial Leather," Lowe's and Lloyd's "The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital," Tanaka's "Japan's Orient" and Cumings's "Parallax Visions." (Same as Anthropology 206.)

    211F Readings in World Literature I.
    Exploring the space and time continuum from 3,000 B.C. to 1700 A.D, this course will examine narrative, poetry and drama from Europe, the Near and Far East. Beginning with cave drawings and Babylonian myths of creation, we will question the ways that women and men have recorded the story of humankind through relationship with one another and the divine across linguistic, literary, political, and spiritual divides. Special attention to marginality, violence, innovation and damnation in Plato, the Qur’an, Augustine, Ibn ’Arabi, Ibn Hazm, Dante, Rojas, Cervantes and Sor Juana, among others. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Peck.

    212S Readings in World Literature II.
    Study of representative texts in world literature from 1800 to the present, including novels, short fiction, and drama. Particular attention paid to the concepts of self and society, and they way they are intertwined with developments in narrative and theatrical technique. Readings to include works by such authors as Goethe, Flaubert, Twain,Tolstoy, Brontë, Ibsen, Mann, Sôseki, Kafka, Valenzuela. (Writing-intensive.) May be taken without 211. Maximum enrollment, 20. N Rabinowitz.

    [215F] Chinese Literature in Translation.
    Study and analysis of pre-modern Chinese literature in English translation. Texts will be selected from far antiquity to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Lectures will introduce authors, major genres and theories in their social and historical context, while tutorials will be spent reading and discussing samples of significant texts. Students will give oral presentations and keep abreast of prescribed readings. All lectures and discussions in English. (Same as East Asian Languages and Literatures 215.)

    218F The Word and the Spirit.
    An examination of classical poetry from both Asia and Europe as an expression of the sacred. Poets to be studied will include Han Shan, Hsieh Ling-yun, Ikkyu, Ryokan, Jayadeva, Kabir, Rumi and Hafiz. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in religious studies or comparative literature. (Same as Religious Studies 218.) Maximum enrollment, 20. J Williams.

    225F Madness, Murder and Mayhem: Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature.
    Readings of representative works with emphasis on major literary movements, cultural history and basic literary devices. Primary texts by Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov, as well as some critical materials. (Writing-intensive.) No knowledge of Russian required. (Same as Russian Studies 225.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Bartle.

    [226] Sex, Death and Revolution: Twentieth-Century Russian Art and Literature.
    Close analysis of major literary and artistic movements of the 20th century, with particular attention paid to the innovations of the avant-garde and the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on the artistic imagination. Emphasis on the recurring theme of the fate of the individual in a mass society. No knowledge of Russian required. (Same as Russian Studies 226.)

    [228] From Different to Monstrous: Muslim (and Christian) Subversions and Coercions.
    The Iberian Peninsula (now home to Spain and Portugal) was the site of over 700 years of medieval Jewish, Muslim and Christian exchanges. This course proposes to enter into this textual space of Iberian difference after it was officially labeled as dark, evil and monstrous by the Renaissance Catholic Church State. A consideration of marginal Muslim writers like Ibrahim de Bolfad, Muhammad Rabadan, and al-Wahrani exposes so-called proponents of Catholic orthodoxy like Don Quijote de la Mancha — not as enemies, but as fellow skeptics of the Monarchy’s attempts to extinguish difference. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, One course in literature. (Same as Religious Studies 228.) Maximum enrollment, 20.

    [235S] Love, Family and Loneliness in Modern Japanese Literature.
    Love has always been a central theme in Japanese literature. Focuses on how Japanese writers of the modern period (particularly late 19th century to the present) depict the struggle with new concepts and forms of "love" and relationships. As well as basic readings about modern Japanese history and culture, assigned texts range from canonical work, various forms of early twentieth-century modernist mystery, technical and avant-garde writings, to contemporary "coming of age" novels. We will also examine such media as cartoons and films. Readings and discussion in English. (Same as East Asian Languages and Literatures 235.)

    [238] China's Greatest Novel.
    The Story of the Stone was written in the 18th century, when China was the largest and richest state in the world. This masterpiece of world literature offers what seems to be a realistic description of social life through intimate focus upon a wealthy extended family, with much to teach us about traditional Chinese culture. Yet the novel also questions the nature of truth and fiction, for the stone is magical, at once a boy, the amulet he was born with, the narrator and the novel itself. All readings and discussions in English.

    [239] Modern Life and War in Japanese Literature.
    To a global audience, Japan may be associated with images of both a brutal assailant during WWII and a symbol of peace as the only victim of A-bombings to date. In the postwar period, Japan has also come to be known as a technology giant. In either case, rapid modernization during the 20th-century have shaped the contours of Japanese society and culture. Explores the perspectives of people in 20th-century Japan through readings (and some films) ranging from mystery, science fiction and war. Taught in English. No knowledge of Japanese language or history required. (Same as East Asian Languages and Literatures 239.)

    244F Tragedy: Then and Now.

    How did Greek tragedy work in the city of Athens? Athens was a radical democracy but was based on slave labor and the exclusion of women. How is this implied contradiction displayed in the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides? But tragedy also has contemporary life. How do these plays transcend their time of production? An opportunity to examine relations of gods/humans, fate/choice, as well as gender, class/ethnicity and sexuality. Readings to include works by Seneca, Racine, Sartre, O’Neill, Heaney, Fugard. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Theatre 244 and Classics 244.) Maximum enrollment, 20. N Rabinowitz.

    245S Modern European and American Drama.
    A study of modern drama as literary and social text, with special attention to issues of class and gender. How does dramatic form express political and philosophical ideas? What is "modern"? Once experimental, these modern classics shaped theatre today. Texts to include works by Büchner, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Pirandello, Shaw, Beckett, Brecht, Ionesco, Genet, O'Neill, Treadwell, Lorca, Williams, Hansberry, as well as recent interpretations and productions of some of these works. Prerequisite, one course in theatre or literature. Not open to students who have taken 345. (Same as and Theatre 245.) Bellini-Sharp and N Rabinowitz.

    [251] “Modern” Youth in Japanese Literature and Culture.
    This course examines stories and other forms of cultural expression related to the emergence of “modern” youth in Japan. We pay particular attention to the cultural, historical, and political backgrounds that facilitated the establishment of such a category. Primarily focusing on literature, readings also include other modern expressive media such as film, cartoons, animation, and online bulletin boards. We will also examine the production and dissemination of certain images of “youth” by mass media. (Same as Comparative Literature 251). Readings and discussion in English. (Same as East Asian Languages and Literatures 251.)

    [258S] Opera.
    Study of literary and musical dimensions of operas by major composers from Monteverdi and Mozart to the present. Emphasis on the transformation of independent texts into librettos and the effects of music as it reflects language and dramatic action. Includes such works as Orfeo, The Marriage of Figaro, Otello, The Turn of the Screw and Candide. Prerequisite, two courses in literature or two in music or one in each field, or consent of instructors. (Same as Music 258.) Maximum enrollment, 24.

    266S The Road From Damascus: Storytelling Across the Divide.
    How do stories depict cultural, linguistic and religious exchanges between Christians, Muslims and peoples of other faiths? Through a consideration of the tale within a tale, we explore these multifaceted interactions across Premodern Middle Eastern and European divides. Topics include: framed narration, oral and written textual cultures, the woman who tells a story to save her life, beasts and jinn, as well as storytelling as ritual. Texts: "One Thousand and One Arabian Nights," "MuwashshaHaat," "The Book of Good Love," "Count Lucanor," "Celestina and the Decameron," among others. Prerequisite, one course in literature. Peck.

    [268] Korea and Its Others in Literature and Film.
    This is a broad examination of Korean literature and film in the 20th and 21th centuries. Our goal is to explore the concept of "self" and "other" by critically examining modern Korean and Korean diasporic literature and films which represent conflicting ideas of self-identity. Thematically, we will focus on colonialism, migration and capitalism, gender and sexuality, war and trauma, industrialization and democratization, and transnational culture. (Writing-intensive.) Bi-weekly film screenings. Maximum enrollment, 20.

    [278] The Straight Story?: Rethinking the Romance.
    A study of the ways in which various forms of sexual desire (overt or closeted) drive the plot of literary works. How is desire constructed? How have authors used, manipulated and resisted the marriage plot for aesthetic and political ends? Special attention to works by gay and lesbian authors. Readings, which include works of theory as well as imaginative texts, to include such authors as Austen, Diderot, Balzac, Zola, Wilde, Baldwin. (Same as Women's Studies 278.)

    [281] Performing Politics: Gender and Sexuality.
    Examines the connections between theatre and political life: Is theatre political? Is political action theatrical? Focusing on performances in 20th-century Europe and the United States, we will read plays, theatre history, and political and historical documents to understand 1) how playwrights have used theatre for political ends and 2) how both “left” and “right” have mobilized people in demonstrations that might be considered performances. Topics include AIDS, reproductive rights, and sexuality (drag and performance art). Prerequisite, one course in theatre or comparative literature. (Same as Women's Studies 281.)

    284F From Harlot to Saint: Muslim Women, Christian Women and Other Women.
    How are women portrayed in Premodern texts? Did women speak through these texts or were they spoken for? Examines these questions and others as we explore Christian and Muslim textual representations of woman, her relationships with men and society, her spirituality and particularly her corporality from 11th- 17th centuries. From harlot to saint, from poetess to mystic and enlightened one, we will examine her textual roles as a reflection of her cultural roles in Al-Jahiz, Ibn Hazam, As-Sulamii, Nafzawii, Alfonso X, Cervantes, Calderón, Santa Teresa, Zayas and Sor Juana. (Same as Women's Studies 284 and and Religious Studies 284.) Peck.

    [285F] Detective Story, Tradition and Experiment.
    Survey of a broad range of works, both “popular” and “serious,” showing the continual renewal of the genre through the manipulation of conventional elements to produce new effects and to argue a variety of positions. Includes readings from Sophocles, Dostoevsky, Christie, Faulkner, Hammett, Chandler, Nabokov, Robbe-Grillet, Borges, Butor, Stoppard, Cortázar and others. Prerequisite, one course in literature. (Same as English 285.)

    287F Women Writers and Filmmakers of the Muslim World.
    Do women in Islamic societies view the world differently? Who are their great writers and what are their concerns? Introduces the works of some of the outstanding 20th-century women writers and filmmakers of the Middle East, including artists from Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt. Integrates lectures on culture to help contextualize the works, as well as theoretical writings by women scholars from the Muslim world to help interrogate our own readings and reactions. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Women's Studies 287 and Asian Studies 287.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Oldfield.

    289S Introduction to Arabic Literature: Texts and Contexts.
    This course will analyze the emergence of Arabic literature from its mythological genesis in a cave of Mt. Hira’ in the 7th century to high literary works produced in the thriving cities of Baghdad, Damascus and Córdoba from the 8th-12th centuries. We will then move to Arabic texts transcribed from oral works told in markets, homes, and make-shift mosques in and around the Mediterranean in the 16th century. We will conclude our survey with a select group of contemporary novels produced by writers in Egypt, Palestine and Morocco. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Peck.

    293 Introduction to Korean Cinema.
    In this introductory course on Korean cinema in the 20th and 21st centuries, we will explore the development of Korean cinema from the colonial period to the current "Korean wave." In addition to discussing film technique, we will focus on themes such as colonialism and post-coloniality and globalization, nation-building, the division and Korean War, industrialization, social movements, and minority movements. (Writing-intensive.) Three hours of class and weekly film screenings. Maximum enrollment, 20. Kim.

    294F Korean Literature and Culture: Gender and Sexuality.
    This course is a survey of modern Korean literature and culture from the 1920s to the 2000s, focusing on the representation of gender and sexuality in both print culture and pop culture. We will read novels and short fiction along with works of cultural history that explore femininity and masculinity. Our goal is to investigate changes in the discourse on gender and sexuality in modern Korea. Topics to include New Women, militarized masculinity, family and domesticity, hyper-femininity, and queer movements. (Writing-intensive.) Same as Women's Studies 294. (Same as Women's Studies 294.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Kim.

    295S East Asian Colonial Encounters.
    As a result of Western and Asian colonialism and imperialism in the twentieth century, East Asian societies faced mixing of different races and ethnicities in ways never experienced before. This survey will study such encounters by looking at such topics as nation-building, colonial migration, anti-imperialist struggles, the representation of women, and post-colonial diaspora. Readings will be drawn from popular literature from Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan, as well as cultural studies scholarship, for instance, Giddens, Stoler, Silverberg, and Morris-Suzuki. No knowledge of Asian languages required. Kim.

    297S Introduction to Literary Theory.
    Exploration of the kinds of questions that can be asked about literary texts in themselves, and in relation to the aesthetic, political, historical, and personal contexts in which they are written and interpreted. Readings include drama, fiction and theoretical essays. Although the emphasis will be on 20th-century theory (including feminist, structuralist, poststructuralist, and rhetorical theory), readings will range from Aristotle to the newest work on the relationship between narrative and cognitive psychology. Prerequisite, two courses in literature. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors only. (Same as English 297.) P Rabinowitz.

    301F Critical Cinema: A History of Experimental and Avant-Garde Film.
    A history of alternatives to commercial movies, focusing on surrealist and dadaist film, visual music, psychodrama, direct cinema, the film society movement, personal cinema, the New American Cinema, structuralism, Queer cinema, feminist cinema, minor cinema, recycled cinema and devotional cinema. While conventional entertainment films use the novel, the short story and the stage drama as their primary instigations, experimental and avant-garde films are analogous to music, poetry, painting, sculpture and collage. Not open to first-year students. (Same as Art History 301). MacDonald.

    [309F] Twentieth Century East Asia: Imperialism and Modernity.
    What has been the impact of imperialism in the modernization of East Asia? This class will introduce students to the major problems, paradigms, and literature concerning East Asian cultural history. How does imperialism affect intimacy? We will explore some of the following themes: nation-building, colonial settler cultures, imperial assimilation, gender and sexuality, and post-colonial states. Readings include Giddens, Stoler, Silverberg and Morris-Suzuki. Prerequisite, One course in literature or Asian Studies.

    [319F] Text/Image in Cinema.
    Focus on the ways in which the histories of film and literature have intersected. Discussion of implications of adapting narrative and dramatic fiction to the screen. Also evokes the history of the use of visual text in film — in titles, intertitles, subtitles, credits — as a background for exploration of the wide range of creative uses of visual text evident in the work of independent filmmakers. Filmmaker guests will be invited to talk about their work. Prerequisite, one course in literature or film. (Same as Art History 319.)

    327S Voices from the Other Europe: Eastern Europe in Fiction and Film.
    Eastern Europe, a region caught between armies and ideologies throughout the 20th century, is also home to some of Europe’s most intensive intellectual creativity. Considering how narratives and histories intersect in the changing landscapes of the 20th century, this class will examine the works of writers including Czeslaw Milosz, Stanislaw Lem, Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, and Danilo Kis. Films will span from classics such as Closely Watched Trains and Knife in the Water to Kusturica’s Time of the Gypsies and the award winning No Man’s Land from Bosnia. Prerequisite, Two courses in literature or permission of instructor. (Same as Russian Studies 327.) Oldfield.

    [338] Seminar: Heroes and Bandits in Chinese History and Fiction.
    Readings from several of China’s greatest literary works (including histories, novels, opera and poetry) such as Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Reexamination of widely held assumptions about history and fiction with discussions and writing assignments on the role played by different genres as sources for knowledge about the past. Emphasis on authors’ attitudes in shaping narrative accounts of heroes, bandits, assassins, scholars, women and emperors. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 280, 285 or consent of instructor. (Same as History 338.) Maximum enrollment, 12.

    [344S] Unshackling the Mind.
    What does it mean to be free? Aren't we all prisoners? Why are themes like goodness, beauty and order associated with freedom and transcendence? Conversely, why are iconoclastic beliefs and nonconformist behaviors sometimes depicted as liberating and transformative? We will explore ideas of “freedom” as well as the chains of circumstance, life and the world in Plato, Cervantes, Calderon, Angela Davis, Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Burgess and others. Themes to include movement, community, individuality, law, body, divinity, and otherness. Prerequisite, One course in literature or Africana Studies. Maximum enrollment, 16.

    [346] The Comedy of Terrors.
    Analysis of 19th- and 20th-century works in which stark visions of the human condition are paradoxically presented in comic terms. Emphasis on the techniques by which the apparently contradictory tendencies of humor and terror are fused, as well as the reasons (psychological, philosophical, political and aesthetic) why writers, film-makers and composers have been attracted to this device. Readings by such writers as Gogol, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Nabokov, Ionesco, and Burgess; study, as well, of such films as Pulp Fiction and Fargo and such operas as Strauss' Salome. Prerequisite, two courses in literature or consent of instructor

    [349S] The Garden in the Machine: Depicting Place in Modern American Cinema.
    An exploration of the many ways filmmakers and video-makers have explored and depicted the American landscape and cityscape. Extensive screenings of accomplished films and videos, contextualized by discussions of painting and photography; by readings of novels, stories, poems by Henry David Thoreau, Mary Austin, William Faulkner and others; by place-oriented films from other cultures; and by visiting filmmakers.

    356S Introduction to Japanese Film.
    Traces the history of one of the world’s most innovative film industries. Since the early 20th century, Japanese film makers have experimented with and improved upon cinema; their work has been influential not only in Japan but throughout the world. From the drama of early silent movies to anime, we’ll cover some of the “greatest hits” of Japanese film, whether widely popular or critically acclaimed. This exploration of cinema in Japan will offer both a new perspective on cinema itself as well as an opportunity to view the genre’s development in a specific cultural context. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, Cinema and New Media Studies 120, Comparative Literature 120 or Art History 120, any 200-level course in Asian Studies or Comparative Literature, or consent of the instructor. No prior knowledge of Japanese history, language or film is required. (Same as and East Asian Languages and Literatures 356.) Omori.

    360S Proust.
    Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is often cited as the greatest Western novel, but because of its length—over 4000 pages in the standard English translation—it is seldom read. This course offers a rare chance to study the novel in its entirety, with particular attention to Proust’s understanding of time, his revolutionary views on sexuality, his narrative technique, and his ideas about the relationship between literature and the other arts. Prerequisite, 152 or consent of instructor. Open to first year students with consent of instructor only. Maximum enrollment, 12. P Rabinowitz.

    500F Senior Seminar: Great Novels and Beach Reading.
    Despite a variety of compelling attacks on the canon, many of us still have a sense that some novels are better than others—even though we’d be hard pressed to explain why. By placing certified classics against works with lesser reputations, this course will consider the question of literary quality—is it in the reader, in the text, in the culture, elsewhere, or nowhere? Readings to include novels by such writers as Charlotte Brontë, Southworth, Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell, Chandler, and Spillane, as well as selected essays in narrative theory. Prerequisite, three courses in literature. Priority given to senior concentrators. Maximum enrollment, 12. P Rabinowitz.

    550S Senior Project.
    A project resulting in a thesis and supervised by a member of the department. Required of candidates for departmental honors. The Department.

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