UC San Diego SearchMenu

Literature Undergraduate Course Descriptions Fall 2017

Literature and Authoritarianism in Latin America

Instructor: Milos Kokotovic

In this course we will examine the relationship between literature and authoritarianism in twentieth-century Latin America.  We will read novels and short stories from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Argentina and Chile.  We will look at the literary techniques used by authors from these countries to respond to and critique various forms of authoritarianism, from outright military dictatorship to the more everyday inequalities of gender, race, and class.  Readings may include works by Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Manuel Puig, Elena Garro, Rosario Ferré, Pía Barros, Manuel Scorza, Sergio Ramírez, and Horacio Castellanos Moya.

 LTAM 110 will fulfill Literature/World major’s non-European/non-U.S. requirement.

Television and U.S. Identity

Instructor: Meg Wesling

This course examines aspects of how TV shapes our perceptions of the world we live in. We will focus on questions of race, gender, and sexuality in popular media and politics. Students will participate in selecting shows to analyze and discuss.

Remixed Media

Instructor: Hoang Nguyen

The course examines cultural appropriation, recycling, sampling, copyright, access, archive, affect, and fandom. Our exploration of these issues highlights found media as central to questions of consumption and re-production, exhibition and re-distribution, that is, questions of cultural values. The course situates found media within the larger art and culture contexts of Dada, Pop Art, appropriation art, music sampling, popular culture, and new media environments. We will focus on the use of found media from the 1930s to the present: the reworking of existing imagery (e.g. Hollywood movies, television, historical archives, educational film, nature documentary, home movies, pornography) to generate new aesthetic frameworks and cultural meanings. The course asks: How are these acts of media appropriation and recirculation critical, pleasurable, and transformative? In what ways are they recuperated into high art or hyper-consumerist milieus?

 LTCS 110 is an LTEN equivalent course. 

Equal Before the Law?

Instructor: Sarah Nicolazzo

The law permeates our lives and our imaginations. Law has historically played a powerful role in constructing hierarchies of race, gender, class and sexuality. At the same time, social movements have turned to the law as a venue for redress, protection, and social change. Literature also has a long history of engagement with the law. Literary texts take up legal problems, comment on legal controversies, and offer up their own—sometimes radically different—visions of justice, safety, or freedom.

This course examines how American literature has engaged with questions of law, power, and inequality from the Constitution to the present. We will read novels, autobiographies, and poems alongside laws, court decisions, and legal commentary as we explore how legal and literary texts spoke to each other— sometimes in surprisingly direct ways. At the same time, we will consider how lawyers, judges, activists, and ordinary citizens caught up in the legal system use language and interpretation as legal tools, and how legal and literary interpretation converge and differ. As we trace how topics such as slavery, immigration, policing and criminal justice, property, family, and marriage have shaped our legal world and our literary imagination, we will ask how law and literature pose fundamental questions: what does it mean to have rights? What does it mean to be equal before the law? What does it mean to be free? 

This course fulfills the DEI requirement.  

 LTCS 130 is an LTEN equivalent course. 

World Film and Video
Instructor: Winifred Woodhull

This course will examine various aspects of globalization as it is dealt with in films and videos from around the world, including its exacerbation of economic inequalities within and between the global north and the global south; its effects on labor migration and trafficking in arms, sex, diamonds, drugs, etc.; the ways it shapes and is shaped by social class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality; and the ways its cultural manifestations both reflect existing problems and create new, emancipatory social spaces.

Learning outcomes:  Students will learn to recognize and interpret aspects of film form, including narrative structure, editing, costumes, lighting, set design, editing, sound, and cinematography (framing of shots, the still or moving camera); to identify and analyze film genres frequently associated with globalization such as fantasy, social problem films, war films, thrillers, romances, and documentaries; to understand and discuss scholarly arguments relating to film and globalization; to critically assess the relation between a film and the contexts of its production and reception (economic, social, political, and cultural); and to reflect on the role of film and video in actively shaping and helping people to reimagine today’s world. 

Grade breakdown:  Midterm exam (two 3-page essays) 40%; take-home final exam (two 3-page essays) 40%; 20-minute individual presentation 20%; consistent preparedness for and active participation in class are expected.

Readings:  All course readings will be available at no charge online or through ARES, the digital reserve system at Geisel Library. 

Films and Videos:  All films and videos will be available to stream at no charge through ARES, the digital reserve system at Geisel Library, including Whistleblower, Lord of War, Blood Diamond, My Beautiful Laundrette, Dirty, Pretty Things, This is England, Free Men, The Promise, Biutiful, Shun-Li and the Poet, The Chinese Botanist’s Daughters, Sicario, Omar). 

Asian American Film, Video, and New Media
Instructor: Hoang Nguyen

The course explores the role of pleasure in the production, reception, and performance of Asian American identities in the mass media of film, video, and the Internet. As such, it participates in an emerging queer and feminist Asian American sexual archive that has been overlooked in queer and Asian American visual cultural studies. We will review the debates about stereotype criticism in Asian American media studies and go on to examine the “perverse” potentials of spectatorship that contest heteronormative criteria. The texts explored in the course alternate between those produced by majoritarian culture and the interventions made by Asian American filmmakers. We will investigate how pleasure, and pain, function in relation to both sets of texts and consider perspectives that cannot be reduced to uncritical celebration or righteous condemnation. Exploration of these issues will draw on theoretical developments in cultural studies, film studies, feminist theory, queer theory, and sexuality studies, alongside Asian American studies.

 LTCS 172 is an LTEN equivalent course. 

Youth Sub-cultures in Taiwan Films

Instructor: Ping-hui Liao

The course examines the ways in which contemporary Taiwan films deal with teenagers and youth sub-cultures in light of their struggles and survival tactics.  Weekly reading assignments will be approximately 60 pages in English.  Students need to write up weekly responses in class, on top of participating actively in discussion sessions with teaching assistants and turning in a term paper/project.

 LTEA 120B will fulfill Literature/World major’s non-European/non-U.S. requirement.

Instructor: Seth Lerer

This course introduces students to the main lines of literary expression in Britain from the end of the fourteenth to the middle of the seventeenth century. It focuses on some well known authors (Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton), but also writers and their works who may be new to students: the poetry of Wyatt, Surrey, and Donne; the prose devotions of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe; and the literary politics of the church and from the court.

The goal of this course, therefore, is not only to read texts but question their social function, to think crucially about language and rhetoric, and to write effectively about imaginative works in ways that are clear, focused, and well-documented.

Instructor: Erin Suzuki

This survey course gives a broad overview and introduction to some of the major works, themes, and concepts central to the study of Asian American literature. This course will outline some of the artistic movements, debates, and critical concerns that have formulated the production and reception of Asian American literature in the twentieth and twenty-first century. Some of the questions this course will explore include: How do we define Asian American literature? Is AsianAmerican literature ultimately a national or transnational project? And given the diversity of cultures, traditions, and gender roles included within the rubric of “Asian America,” is there a way of speaking about or representing a unified Asian American experience?

Instructor: Daniel Vitkus

The course will explore issues of concern to Shakespeare's audiences from his time to ours--love, war, race, sex, mortality, good and evil--through a representative selection of plays from the first half of his career. We will pay close attention to Shakespeare’s masterful way with words and images, with plots and characters, but at the same time we will connect our close readings of Shakespeare’s dazzling language to broader interpretive investigations of these texts and their patterns of meaning.  As much as possible, the class will view and discuss film versions and adaptations of the plays in order to understand these texts as scripts for live performance. 

Victorian Pseudoscience
Instructor: Margaret Loose

What’s the difference between science and pseudoscience, and why does it matter?  And what do novelists, poets, and philosophers have to do with it?  This course seeks to answer such provocative questions with the help of the Victorians, who coined the term “scientist” and were the first to turn the endeavor into a credentialed profession in an effort to distinguish it from the merely folkloric and traditional, not to mention the patently fraudulent.  They had their work cut out for them.  From electromagnetic belts, hair brushes, and rings to pills, syrups, and cakes; from mesmerism to fairies and phrenology, the Victorians had as many unreliable ideas as we do today.  Eminent 19th century scientists such as Michael Faraday conducted experiments aimed at falsifying or validating such occult claims as spirit communication and clairvoyance, and eminent writers like Dickens, Eliot, Browning, Gaskell, Collins, Brontë, and A.C. Doyle conducted parallel investigations, attacked and defended propositions, exposed (and indulged in) cognitive flaws, and shaped public perceptions of scientific and paranormal claims and practices.  We will study the crossroads between literature and pseudoscience, reading ghost stories, advertising, satires, poems, and essays about séances, “race science,” table-rapping, and anti-quackery campaigns.  We will also read healthy doses of modern literary and philosophical scholarship to help us contextualize and debate the problems these issues inevitably pose for us in the here and now.

The Victorian Social Problem Novel

Instructor: Margaret Loose

Unlikely to appear in advertisements for the Industrial Revolution were such features as sweatshops, famine, unemployment, and overcrowded slums.  Faced with such an inheritance, the Victorians became a generation of reformers with radically divergent views on what reform meant and how it should be achieved.  An important literary response to the “Condition of England” question, and the political and philosophical movements it engendered, was the social problem novel.  We will read some examples of this characteristically Victorian genre to see how each characterizes progress, tries to educate the middle- and upper-classes, represents the working class, and envisions remedy.  We will also examine the impact of the novelist’s “having a purpose” on the narrative style of his or her work: how do writers domesticate large social issues in the stories of private lives? what is the role of authorial intervention and outbursts of narrative comment in fiction? how do authors utilize history to contextualize or distance contemporary events? how convincingly portrayed are the lives and personalities of members of opposing classes, and how important is that question?  Students will be asked to research particular movements or social problems to enrich our discussions of the texts, which will include Thomas Martin Wheeler’s Sunshine and Shadow, Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, and George Eliot’s Felix Holt: The Radical.  The class will also include weekly quizzes and a final interpretive essay.

Gay, Lesbian, Queer US Literatures
Instructor: Meg Wesling

What do we mean when we talk about gay, lesbian, and queer literatures? Are we talking about texts by gay, lesbian, or queer authors? Or about texts that feature desire between people of the same sex? What kind of desire counts as queer? We will consider how these terms emerge and how their meanings change over time. We will consider how various literary objects pose the question of same-sex desire and queer desire as commonplace event, as revolutionary act, and as everything in between. We will look at the ways in which sexuality has been policed through constructions of the racialized body, and the ways in which the meanings of race have taken shape around particular notions of sexuality. Lastly, we will discuss what we mean by progress in the context of gay, lesbian, and queer politics.

Travel and Transgression: Mobility and the American Dream
Instructor: Meg Wesling

Stories of U.S. history and culture are replete with images and expressions lauding the bounty of American national space; the open road, the western frontier, the Great Plains – these are just a few of the defining images that construct our understanding of the land that stretches, as it is told, “from sea to shining sea.” Far from mere geographical references, such images tell stories about people, too, becoming part of the backdrop for our understanding of U.S. national identity, defining what we mean when we talk about “the American people.”  This course aims to interrogate such images and expressions in order to consider the crucial ways in which our understandings of gender, race, and sexuality are linked inextricably to our concepts of place, nation, and personhood.  How are assumptions about freedom and mobility coded in racialized and gendered terms?  How are binarist categories of home/away, movement/stasis, and mobility/confinement, themselves gendered and racialized categories?  We begin by looking at the narrative of the “discovery” of the New World before turning to contemporary perspectives on tourism, migration, and immigration in order to think critically and historically about the longstanding romance with mobility that is so central to U.S. national identity.

Edgar Allan Poe
Instructor: William O'Brien

The United States has never been kind to Poe.  Ostracized in life and slandered in death, Poe still remains an ‘outsider’ today.  Relegated to strictly high-school reading in the US, Poe is rarely read at the college or university level.

Poe is, however, our most famous author in the world, and the rest of the world has always held his writing in the highest esteem in intellectual circles.  Through Baudelaire’s brilliant translations Poe instantly became recognized throughout Europe (Baudelaire even claimed to pray to Poe!) and today Latin-American writers cite him reverently as a continued inspiration.

The way Poe deals in horror, decadence, perversity, madness, and morbidity strikes a raw nerve at home.  He has an edge Americans don’t like, a discordant amorality for puritanical America.  It may be permissible to enjoy Poe as an adolescent, but you’re supposed to grow out of it.  Does reading Poe as an adult makes you suspicious, maybe even ‘un-American’?

Poe is ‘lowbrow’ entertainment for us, ‘highbrow’ to the rest of the world.  In the USA Poe remains in the tradition of cheap entertainment that runs from 19th-century carnivals and shows (Poe was orphaned by actors) to contemporary gore movies.  Yet it is precisely within this ‘vulgar’ as well as ‘high’ and ‘philosophical’ traditions that Poe becomes interesting—especially when read attentively for his very ‘highbrow’ poetic form and experimentation (his use of sound in poetry, his meticulously crafted prose, his invention of the modern detective story, etc.).

This course will examine the brief career of Edgar Poe in prose and poetry.  We will read his most famous poems and tales, as well as wonderful, lesser-known writings. We will pay particular attention to the style of Poe’s poetry and prose, its development, and its place in historical context.  For us, as in those old photographs of him, Poe will by stylish.


Careful preparation for every class
Two five-page papers.

Instructor: Erin Suzuki

This class will focus on the English-language literatures of the Pacific Islands. Although the Pacific is often imagined as a series of pristine, isolated islands where once can “get away from it all,” it is in fact one of the most heavily trafficked regions of the world. Not only does the Pacific see the comings and goings of hundreds of thousands of tourists from all around the world; it is also marked by the constant movements and deployments of the U.S. military, who maintain strategically significant bases in Honolulu, Guam, Kwajelein (Micronesia) and Okinawa, and the routes traveled by Indigenous Pacific and Asian immigrants.

 LTEN 189 will fulfill Literature/World major’s non-European/non-U.S. requirement.

Careers for Literature Majors

Instructor: Margaret Loose

There is an exciting and wide array of career options for Literature Majors and we will explore some, hear from people who are making good use of their degrees, and structure some time for students to think about where their own strengths and interests lie for life after college. What strategies can help you leverage your training to get the edge in the hunt for jobs and advanced studies? Let's check them out!


Instructor: Steven Cassedy

In this course we will read three novels by the great nineteenth-century Russian writer Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky: The Idiot, The Devils, and The Brothers Karamazov. We will discuss the novels in their historical, social, cultural, and religious context.

Instructor: TA Supervised by Catherine Ploye

First course in the intermediate sequence designed to be taken after LIFR1C/CX (If you choose to take LIFR1D/DX, you will still need to take LTFR 2A to continue in the French program). Short stories, cartoons and movies from various French-speaking countries are studied to strengthen oral and written language skills while developing reading competency and cultural literacy. A thorough review of grammar is included. Taught entirely in French. May be applied towards a minor in French literature.

Instructor: Catherine Ploye

Plays from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as movies are studied to strengthen the skills developed in LTFR 2A. Includes a grammar review. Taught entirely in French. May be applied towards a minor in French literature or towards fulfilling the secondary literature requirement.

Instructor: Catherine Ploye

Emphasizes the development of language skills and the practice of textual analysis. Discussions are based on the analysis of various poetic texts (poems, short story, and songs) and on a film. Taught entirely in French. May be applied towards a minor in French literature or towards fulfilling the secondary literature requirement. Students who have completed 50 can register in upper-level courses (115 or 116).

French literature and the world

Instructor: Oumelbanine Zhiri

We will read texts of French literature from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution that engage with the outside world, the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Asia. The authors we will study include among others Rabelais, Voltaire, Madame de Stael.

Instructor: Jacobo Myerston

In this class students will be Introduced to ancient Greek, the language of great scientific, philosophical, mythological, and literary texts. In this introductory level, students will learn basic grammar and vocabulary, and engage with beginner-level readings of Greek texts.

This is the first quarter of a three-quarter sequence. Following completion of this sequence (LTGK 1-2-3), students will be equipped to read, in the original Greek, philosophy, history, literature, the medical texts of Hippocrates, the geometrical treatises of Euclid and even the New Testament. They will also be eligible to enroll in upper-division Greek Literature courses. Students are evaluated by quizzes, a midterm and a final.

Learning ancient Greek gives students access to the foundational texts of many modern disciplines such as medicine, mathematics, history, philosophy and literary studies. Ancient Greek is fun to learn, will improve your analytical skills, and will prepare you for sophisticated qualitative analysis. Many notable public figures, such as California’s governor Jerry Brown and Nobel prize winner in physics Anthony Legget, have learned ancient Greek.

Instructor: Page duBois

Herodotos, “the father of history,” is a great story teller. We will read, in ancient Greek, a variety of selections from his Histories, touching on war, myth, descriptions of Egyptians, Persians, and others, as well as strange animals, religions of the Mediterranean, and other fascinating topics. Knowledge of ancient Greek is required. And this course may be repeated for credit as the topics vary. 

Instructor: Eva Fischer-Grunski

This intermediate-level course is conducted entirely in German and emphasizes the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing while focusing on cultural awareness, developing higher level literacy skills and a review of grammar. Course activities include cultural readings on historical content as well as current events, discussion of films and classroom practice in the target language.

Instructor: Todd Kontje

This course offers an introduction to the study of German literature. It is intended for students who have completed two years of university German (2ABC) or the equivalent (please contact the instructor if you have questions). The course is required for German Studies majors and can also be used to fulfill the requirements for a German Studies minor. We will read representative examples of various literary genres (lyric poetry, short prose, drama) by major German authors from Goethe through Kafka to the present day. Readings and class discussion in German.

Instructor: Adriana de Marchi Gherini

A second-year course in Italian language and literature. This course is part of a 3-course series that prepares students for UCSD Education Abroad Programs in Italy, and the first step towards proficiency in Italian. Conversation, reading, writing, grammar review, movies, music and acting are all parts of this course, which meets 4 times a week.

L'Italia nei racconti dei suoi scrittori

Instructor: Adriana de Marchi Gherini

In questo corso leggeremo una decina di racconti (brevi) di scrittori italiani moderni e contemporanei, discutendo la loro interpretazione dell'Italia e della vita italiana.  Gli studenti dovranno anche scrivere un breve racconto con tema italiano.

LTIT100 can be taken three times for credit as long as the topics are different.

Instructor: TAs Supervised by Jeyseon Lee

First year Korean 1A (5 units) is the first part of the Beginning Korean series. This course is designed to assist students to develop low-beginning level skills in the Korean language. These skills are speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as cultural understanding. This course will begin by introducing the writing and sound system of the Korean language. The remainder of the course will focus on grammatical patterns such as basic sentence structures, some grammatical points, and expressions. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to do the following in Korean: 

Speaking: Students are able to handle successfully a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks by creating with the language in straightforward social situation. Conversation is restricted to some of the concrete exchanges and predictable topics necessary for survival in the target-language culture. They can express personal meaning by combining and recombining what they know and what they hear from their interlocutors into short statements and discrete sentences.

Listening: Students are able to understand some information from sentence-length speech, one utterance at a time, in basic personal and social contexts, though comprehension is often uneven.

Reading: Students are able to understand some information from the simplest connected texts dealing with a limited number of personal and social needs, although there may be frequent misunderstandings.

Writing: Students are able to meet some limited practical writing needs. They can create statements and formulate questions based on familiar material. Most sentences are re-combinations of learned vocabulary and structure.

Instructor: Jeyseon Lee and TAs Supervised by Jeyseon Lee

Second Year Korean 2A is the first part of the Intermediate Korean. Students in this course are assumed to have previous knowledge of Korean, which was taught in the Korean 1A, 1B, and 1C courses. Students in this course will learn low-intermediate level skills in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Korean, as well as expand their cultural understanding. Upon completion of this course, students are expected to acquire and use more vocabularies, expressions and sentence structures and to have a good command of Korean in various conversational situations. Students are expected to write short essays using the vocabularies, expressions, and sentence structures introduced. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to do the following in Korean:

Speaking: Students are able to handle a variety of communicative tasks. They are able to participate in most informal and some formal conversations on topics related to school, home, and leisure activities. Students demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in the major time frames in paragraph-length discourse. They show the ability  to combine and link sentences into connected discourse of paragraph length.

Listening: Students are able to understand short conventional narrative and descriptive texts with a clear underlying structure though their comprehension may uneven. They understand the main facts and some supporting details. Comprehension may often derive primarily from situation and subject-matter knowledge.

Reading: Students are able to understand conventional narrative and descriptive texts with a clear underlying structure though their comprehension may be uneven. These texts predominantly contain high-frequency vocabulary and structure. Students understand the main ideas and some supporting details. Comprehension may often derive primarily from situational and subject-matter knowledge.

Writing: Students are able to meet basic work and/or academic writing needs. They are able to compose simple summaries on familiar topics. They are able to combine and link sentences into texts of paragraph length and structure. They demonstrate the ability to incorporate a limited number of cohesive devices.

Instructor: Jeyseon Lee

Third Year Korean 3 (5 units) in the fall quarter is the first part of the advanced Korean. Students in this course are assumed to have previous knowledge of Korean, which was taught in the Korean 2A, 2B, and 2C courses. Students in this course will learn low-advanced level skills in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Korean, as well as expand their cultural understanding. Upon completion of this course, students are expected to acquire and use more vocabularies, expressions and sentence structures and to have a good command of Korean in formal situations. Students are expected to read and understand daily newspapers and daily news broadcasts. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to do the following in Korean:

Speaking: Students are able to communicate with accuracy and fluency in order to participate fully and effectively in conversations on a variety of topics in formal and informal settings from both concrete and abstract perspectives. They discuss their interests and special fields of competence, explain complex matters in detail, and provide lengthy and coherent narrations, all with ease, fluency, and accuracy. They present their opinions on a number of issues of interest to them, and provide structured arguments to support these opinions.

Listening: Students are able to understand speech in a standard dialect on a wide range of familiar and less familiar topics. They can follow linguistically complex extended discourse. Comprehension is no longer limited to the listener's familiarity with subject matter, but also comes from a command of the language that is supported by a broad vocabulary, an understanding of more complex structures and linguistic experience within the target culture. Students can understand not only what is said, but sometimes what is left unsaid.

Reading: Students are able to understand texts from many genres dealing with a wide range of subjects, both familiar and unfamiliar. Comprehension is no longer limited to the reader's familiarity with subject matter, but also comes from a command of the language that is supported by a broad vocabulary, an understanding of complex structures and knowledge of the target culture. Students at this level can draw inferences from textual and extralinguistic clues.

Writing: Students are able to produce most kinds of formal and informal correspondence, in-depth summaries, reports, and research papers. They demonstrate the ability to explain complex matters, and to present and support opinions by developing cogent arguments and hypotheses. They demonstrate a high degree of control of grammar and syntax, of general vocabulary, of spelling or symbol production, of cohesive devices, and of punctuation.

Instructor: Eliot Wirshbo

An immersion into the intricacies of Latin grammar through an elementary text which has students reading an ancient comedy right from the start. This should palliate somewhat the rigors of an unyielding subject known for making learners wince in pain rather than yuk it up from laughter. But the [alleged] humor will be leavened by normal Latin ingredients: unending memorization and incessant reviewing of material that must be made to stick in the mind.

Basic classroom activities include translation of texts, reporting on exercises, writing sentences on the board, and quizzes, not to mention a mid-term and a final. No language exposes students to more of the secrets of English and of the workings of capital-'L' Language than Latin.

Instructor: Julia Mebane

In this three-quarter sequence (LTLA 1-2-3), students will learn the fundamentals of Latin grammar and begin reading the comedies of Plautus, speeches of Cicero, and history of Livy. LTLA 1 begins with the basics: the Latin alphabet, the cases used to construct meaning, the conjugation of verbs, and the acquisition of vocabulary. We’ll keep things interesting by exploring how Latin evolved from one of many regional languages on the Italian peninsula to the dominant language of the Roman empire. We will also study graffiti, inscriptions, and papyrus fragments in order to appreciate Latin as a living language used by millions of people in the ancient world. Assessments will include short homework assignments, weekly quizzes, a midterm, and a final.

Instructor: Eliot Wirshbo

This "Introduction to Latin Literature" could also be called "Valediction to Latin" for all its students who are eager to say bye-bye to a grueling subject rather than hello to more advanced study after this course. But we must abide by our titles and approach the subject as one that begins to unlock the treasure trove of Latin anecdote and history, fable and biography.

Accordingly, the course is based on a series of graded readings that expose students to a variety of Roman (and occasional Greek) characters, not to mention some Gauls, some animals, and some Druids. Not only that: an important component of the course is the writing of Latin sentences, which allows for a systematic review of grammatical points lost track of during the long summer. This course aspires to the classical goal of being both entertaining and edifying; it can also claim to be demanding.

Instructor: Eliot Wirshbo

O.k., it's time. UCSD is ready. It's an author whose name has only been whispered by some of the cognoscenti, but they clam up as soon as students are within hearing distance. Yes, it's A-p-u-l-e-i-u-s, the enigmatic, effusive/secretive convert to Isis-worship of the second century AD/CE who hasn't been taught here since 1984. But now, there's a core of students who just might appreciate his spiritual journey, his stark Jungian archetypes, his over-the-top style that is unlike anything else in Latin. He's from northern Africa and anything but the typically staid Roman. (Then again, Catullus is also atypical, but he'll come along in a poetry course.)

The study of Apuleius involves some consideration of the mystical, soul-soothing, non-Roman religions which impinged upon the imperial city, as well as some scrutiny of just what makes Apuleius' style so unusual. (He twirls Latin grammar into strange contortions that Cicero would have condemned as unworthy.) But apart from these academic concerns, the actual reading of the text should be titillating. Mid-term/paper/final.

Instructor: Rebecca Wells

Please contact instructor for course description.

Instructor: Rebecca Wells

Please contact instructor for course description.

Instructor: Rebecca Wells

Please contact instructor for course description.


Instructor: Steven Cassedy

In this course we will read three novels by the great nineteenth-century Russian writer Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky: The Idiot, The Devils, and The Brothers Karamazov. We will discuss the novels in their historical, social, cultural, and religious context.

Instructor: TAs Supervised by Beatrice Pita

This 5 unit intermediate course meets 4 days per week and is taught entirely in Spanish. LTSP 2A emphasizes the development of communicative skills, reading ability, listening comprehension and writing skills. It includes grammar review, short readings, class discussions and working with Spanish-language video and Internet materials. This course is designed to prepare students for LTSP 2B and 2C. A diagnostic test will be administered on the first day. Prerequisites: Completion of LISP 1C/CX, its equivalent, or a score of 3 on the AP Spanish language exam.

Note: The Final Exam for LTSP 2A is scheduled for SATURDAY, December 9th, 2017.

Contact instructor bpita@ucsd.edu with  any questions regarding placement.

Instructor: TAs Supervised by Beatrice Pita

This intermediate course is designed for students who wish to improve their grammatical competence, ability to speak, read and write Spanish. It is a continuation of LTSP 2A with special emphasis on problems in writing and interpretation. Students meet with the instructor 4 days per week. Work for this 5 unit course includes oral presentations, grammar review, writing assignments, class discussions on the readings and work with Spanish-language video and Internet materials. A diagnostic test will be administered on the first day. Prerequisites: Completion of LTSP 2A, its equivalent, or a score of 4 on the AP Spanish language exam.

Note: The Final Exam for LTSP 2B is scheduled for SATURDAY, December 9th, 2017.

Contact instructor bpita@ucsd.edu with  any questions regarding placement.

Instructor: Beatrice Pita

Designed for bilingual students who have been exposed to Spanish at home but have little or no formal training in Spanish. The goal is for students who are comfortable understanding, reading and speaking in Spanish to further develop existing skills and to acquire greater oral fluency, and grammatical control  through grammar review, and reading and writing practice. Building on existing strengths, the course will allow students  to develop a variety of Spanish language strategies to express themselves in Spanish with greater ease and precision. Prepares native-speakers for  more advanced courses. A diagnostic test will be administered on the first day. Prerequisite: Native speaking ability and/or recommendation of instructor.

Note: The Final Exam for LTSP 2D is scheduled for SATURDAY, December 9th, 2017.

Enrollment for LTSP 2D requires department pre-authorization; contact instructor bpita@ucsd.edu with  any questions regarding placement.

Instructor: TAs Supervised by Beatrice Pita

This course introduces students to Peninsular literature and literary analysis through the close textual reading of a selection of texts including novels, plays, short fiction and poetry. Coursework includes reading of several texts by Spanish authors, participation in class discussions, oral presentations and written assignments. LTSP 50A prepares Literature majors and minors for upper-division work. Two courses from the LTSP 50ABC series (any two) are required for Spanish Literature majors. May be applied towards a minor in Spanish Literature or towards fulfilling the second literature requirement for Literature majors. Prerequisites: Completion of LTSP 2C, 2D, 2E or 2 years of college level Spanish. 

Notes: The Final Exam for LTSP 50A is scheduled for SATURDAY, December 9th, 2017.

Contact instructor bpita@ucsd.edu with  any questions regarding placement.

19th Century/ Early 20th Century Latin American Literature

Instructor: Rosaura Sanchez

After a brief introduction to Precolumbian indigenous literature and the period of Spanish colonialism in Latin America, this survey course will cover the period after Latin American independence from Spain, focusing primarily on nation-formation, political conflicts, modernization, and the Mexican Revolution.  In the process we will examine a number of short stories, poetry, and a couple of novels that are representative of different literary movements: romanticism/costumbrismo, naturalism, modernismo, regionalismo and vanguardismo.  The two novels to be read include the Ecuadorian novel by Juan León Mera, Cumandá, and the Venezuelan novel by Rómulo Gallegos, Doña Bárbara.  Relevant films will also be assigned.  Students will read all assigned texts, write two short papers and take a mid-term and a final exam.

 LTSP 130B will fulfill Literature/World major’s non-European/non-U.S. requirement.

Instructor: Gloria Chacon

This course will focus on the development of the novel in Latin America post l960s.  Starting with the ‘boom novel,” students will learn about the “marvelous real,” the testinovela, the urban novel, and McOndo projects. We will pay close attention to the ways these novels help us think through questions of modernity, postmodernity, alterity, and neoliberalism.   

Instructor: Gloria Chacon

The “encounter” in the Americas gave birth to an entire corpus of texts about the “Indian.” The “Indian” becomes a constant trope in Latin American literary, political, and cultural discourses. In this course, we will focus on a particular movement coined as indigenismo in the 20th century.   This political, literary, and cultural expression emerged in countries with diverse indigenous communities and continues to wield its influence today. Students will learn about the particularities and intricacies of indigenismo through analyzing representative texts from Mexico and Central America. We will complete the second half course by reading indigenous writers and their distance from this trend as well as their own projects of intellectual autonomy.

Del indigenismo a la narrativa urbana en el Perú

Instructor: Milos Kokotovic

En este curso vamos a leer ensayos, cuentos y novelas sobre la migración interna de los Andes peruanos a la costa y del campo a la ciudad.  Desde las primeras décadas del siglo XX, los peruanos del interior andino, muchos de ellos indígenas quechua-hablantes, han migrado a las ciudades de la costa en busca de trabajo y una nueva vida.  Este proceso migratorio ha transformado (y andinizado) las ciudades costeñas, sobre todo la capital, Lima, que hasta mediados del siglo XX habían sido baluartes de la élite criolla. Vamos a empezar con un par de obras indigenistas de los años 1930s y 1940s, que por primera vez en la literatura peruana se refieren a la migración andina hacia la costa.  Después pasaremos a analizar la representación de la nueva experiencia urbana de los migrantes andinos y la reacción de la élite criolla a esta “invasión” de ciudades que consideraba suyas. Como la guerra de Sendero Luminoso contra el estado peruano fue un factor importante en la migración de los Andes a las ciudades de la costa durante los 1980s, también estudiaremos los efectos de este conflicto armado. A lo largo del curso investigaremos no solamente cómo se ha representado la migración y la vida urbana en la literatura, sino también los efectos que estos procesos sociales han tenido sobre la literatura. 

 LTSP 177 will fulfill Literature/World major’s non-European/non-U.S. requirement.

Instructor: Julia Mebane

In this interdisciplinary sequence (LTWL 19A, B, C), we will explore the literature, mythology, history, and philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome. 19A begins with the city-states that thrived in Greece between the eighth and early fifth centuries B.C.E. Key texts include Homer’s Odyssey, an epic poem of adventure and homecoming; the lyric poetry of Sappho, one of the rare female voices to be preserved from antiquity; and Aeschylus’ Oresteia, a sequence of three tragedies about family, betrayal, and fate. These works will serve as our guide as we examine topics of warfare, athletics, religion, education, ethics, and sexuality. How and why literature came to thrive in the distinctive cultural milieu of Archaic Greece will be a question we ask throughout the course. In addition to reading a variety of literary texts, students will complete a paper, midterm, and final. This sequence partially fulfills lower division requirements for the Literatures of the World major/minor, the Classical Studies major/minor and the Warren College program in Classical Studies.

Zombies: An Unnatural History
Instructor: Lisa Lampert-Weissig

Why are zombies so popular right now? Is the current craze just mindless fun or are there political and social subtexts to consider? We'll examine the origins of the zombie figure, zombie films of the 1930s and 40s, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Walking Dead and World War Z. More information at www.talesofthenight.org

Dystopia in Film and Lit

Instructor: Lisa Lampert-Weissig

George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, recently shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. What does this novel, written in 1949, have to say to us today? We will explore political, environmental, and technological dystopias in works such as Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Butler’s The Parable of the Talents, Collins’ The Hunger Games, and the UK television series Black Mirror.


Instructor: Richard Cohen

Few words in the English language have as strong an emotional resonance or as lasting a pull on the imagination as the word “home.”
To have a home is to have sustaining roots; it is to be sheltered, safe, at least for a moment, from the stormy world. To be home is to belong, loved as you are for whom you are. To be homeless, by contrast, is to be adrift, uncertain, unsafe. And to destroy one’s own home would seem the height of madness.

I start with these familiar cliches because “ecology,” in its etymological meaning, is literally the study of home. The word ecology was first coined in 1873 to describe a science of the relationship among organisms, as well as between organisms and their physical environments. Given this origin, it makes sense that we often associate the subject of ecology with that of environmental studies or sciences.

And indeed, this course, Socially Engaged Buddhism: Ecologies, will have a lot to say about contemporary Buddhist engagement with the nature and the natural environment. But we will do so in the context of a consideration of “home,” focusing especially on the planet Earth as our human home. What images, symbols, stories, doctrines, ethics, and practices does Buddhism use to imagine a socially and spiritually healthy way of living on this planet? How are Buddhists ambivalent about the life of the home? And how are they reverent?

More information about the course can be found at: http://profcohen.net/ltwl13

 LTWL 136 is an LTEN equivalent course. 

Instructor: Dayna Kalleres

Please contact instructor for course description.

What is Healthy Aging?

Instructor: Stephanie Jed

In this course, we will have the opportunity to explore the particular contribution of a humanistic approach to the research field of healthy aging. Studying literary texts, we will bring humanistic skills and practices to our discussion of such topics as the neurobiology of wisdom, engineering and writing, neuroscience and architecture, creativity and dementia, culture and heart disease, and literature and medical education.

 LTWL 176 is an LTEN equivalent course. 

Spy Films
Instructor: Alain Cohen

Spying is as old as the history of the world. The spy film genre is complex and is comprised of hundreds of films. The films selected for this course will range across the history of cinema from WW1 and WW2, to the Cold War, its aftermath and contemporary hacking. Filmmakers inclined to work within the spy film genre are apt to address geopolitical as well as psychological issues, in a dialectical process wherein an adversary is scrutinized, made to be transparent while the spy is to remain invisible – until often uncovered in a reverse voyeuristic process. In this regard, the figure of the “double agent” is particularly compelling in literature and cinema, as double agents may become unstable, unravel. or even fragment within their psychological and ideological underpinnings in the course of their activities. Aside from the films on the list and the clips mentioned below, at least one James Bond film (TBA)  and one spy novel by John Le Carré (TBA), will be referenced as masterful examplars of the anxiety and the suspense so pertinent to the genre.

Films and clips so studied this quarter seem to involve a theory about spying, and to interpellate audiences to significant interpretation. The list involves classic and cult spy films: Carol Reed. The Third Man (1949); Sam Fuller. Pick up on South Street (1953); John Frankenheimer. The Manchurian Candidate (the 1962 version, not its remake); Martin Ritt. The Spy who came in from the Cold (1965); Richard Marquand. Eye of the Needle (1980); Philip Noyce. The Quiet American (the 2002 remake, rather than the original); Stephen Gaghan. Syriana (2005); Steven Soderbergh. The Good German (2006); Anton Corbjin. A most Wanted Man (2014.) They will be studied in depth, in reverse chronological order, along with clips from other remarkable cult films such as: Joseph von Sternberg. Dishonored (1931); Alfred Hitchcock. Lifeboat (1944); John Huston. The Kremlin Letter (1970); Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The Lives of Others (2005); and Christian Carion. Farewell (2009.)

As usual, precise methods of film analysis – shot composition, shot-by-shot sequence analysis, narrative programs, filmic figures, film genre,  deep structure, integration of specific films into the history of cinema, filmic poetics, psychological interpretation – will be emphasized during the first weeks of the term. Students will explore the case of the compelling style of spy films. “Veteran” students will be asked for work building upon their previous research.

Course may count for Lit-in-Eng credits, and the Film Studies minor.

 LTWL 184 is an LTEN equivalent course. 

Instructor: Todd Kontje

This advanced seminar is open to all literature majors in their senior year and is required for those interested in the Honors Program. It offers students the opportunity to reflect on the importance of literary analysis and to prepare them for more advanced work in the field, which may include an honor’s thesis or graduate study. We will read selected works of literary theory that establish different frameworks for the interpretation of individual texts. Topics will include questions of gender and sexuality in relation to literary study, postcolonial theory, ecological criticism, the digital humanities, the institutional history of literary studies, and the relationship between national and world literatures. Students will be required to contribute to class discussions, write several short responses to assigned readings, and complete a longer research essay on a topic of their choice.

Instructor: Anna Joy Springer

This course introduces many of the basic elements of contemporary fiction, including characterization, style, point-of-view, dialogue, theme, and narrative structure. Emphasis will be placed upon writing first from your most unfettered imagination, AND upon sculpting these wild writings into shapely, dynamic short stories through a variety of creative revision techniques.

Each week we will read both conventional and innovative short stories published (mostly) within your lifetime, in order to discuss in context the fiction-writing techniques you’ll be practicing in your own writing. We will read 2-3 short stories a week.

To explore craft and experimentation, there will be a number of writing exercises, both in and outside of class, which will help to generate a final short story as the quarter progresses. You will turn in a polished 2-page story every week for group discussion.  There is a LOT of writing and reading for this course.

Writing exercises and drafts will be reviewed in section and in small groups in order to facilitate your creative revision, revision, and revision process. 

COURSE TEXTS: What It Is by Lynda Barry; Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (8th Ed.) by Janet Burroway and Elizabeth & Ned Stuckey-French.

Instructor: Brandon Som

This course introduces students to the practice of writing poetry, focusing on the specific elements of craft: image, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme, lineation, diction, as well as interlingual and intertextual practices. Designed with the idea that to be better writers we must be rigorous readers, students will be assigned to read a wide range of poems from contemporary U.S. poets. Writing assignments ask students to turn outward for insight, connecting concrete language with our more abstract notions and emotions. Students will be asked to work with common objects and to write ekphrastic poems focusing on visual art. The course also introduces a variety of forms including blank verse and the villanelle as well as exploring free verse and the larger field of the page. With the goal to heighten our sensitivity to language—to its visual, sonic, and semantic potentials—assignments will also ask students to work interlingually between two or more languages as well as to explore the etymology of a chosen word. The course culminates in a celebration of the spoken word with students reading from final, revised work before their instructors and peers.

Instructor: Lily Hoang

Please contact instructor for course description.

Instructor: Brandon Som

Writing on Emily Dickinson, the essayist and poet Susan Howe asserts, “In the precinct of Poetry, a word, the space around a word, each letter, every mark, silence, or sound volatizes an inner law of form—moves on a rigorous line.” In this workshop, we will focus on what makes a “rigorous line.” Working with critical essays from contemporary poets, we will explore various approaches to versification and begin to build a vocabulary to help us think about and discuss the technology of the line. Moving from blank verse, to free verse, to more recent experiments with the line, we will attend to how the formal line engages, explores, discovers, and interrogates syntax and content. Conversely, we will also consider how content can inform our formal practice of line making.

The Art of Adaptation and Writing for the Viewer

Instructor: Melissa Bañales

Film critic for The New Yorker, Pauline Kael once wrote, “…Because movies are the most total and encompassing art form we have,…reactions (to them) can seem the most personal and, maybe the most important, imaginable.” Media has become the new storyteller of the 21st century. It is almost a survival skill now for writers to know, and actively engage with, media as well as create their own. Films themselves serve as excellent literary texts, which is no surprise since almost seventy percent of all films are actually adaptations of great works of Literature. This workshop will explore developing work for the screen (big and small) through the lens of adaptation. Along with looking at successful adaptations, writers will learn the basic, technical fundamentals of writing a screenplay and teleplay (basic camera angles, language, and other basics necessary to a standard screenplay or teleplay) as well as explore various exercises (writing and otherwise) to help develop original work. Writers will also examine how media influences history and culture and what their place will be in that conversation as screenwriters in the new millennium. This course is designed as an upper-level, undergraduate, Creative Writing workshop and critical thinking Literature course to engage beginners to seasoned script-writers. It is a “toolbox” workshop, where writers will learn & practice industry standards, methods, skills, and act as though they are in “the writer’s room”. Writers will generate new work throughout the quarter, where fifty percent will be dedicated to workshopping creative work, twenty-five percent will be centered around readings, viewings, discussions, and guest speakers, and twenty-five percent will be a final work consisting of a significant portion of a feature-length screen work, a completed short film script, or completed short teleplay (TV script/episode). Successful adaptations and sources we will focus on this quarter are: The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, adapted by Steven Spielberg & Menno Meyjes; Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, by Hunter S. Thompson, adapted by Terry Gilliam, Alex Cox, Tony Grisoni, & Tod Davies ; Carrie by Stephen King, adapted by Brian De Palma & Lawrence D. Cohen (1976); 1984 by George Orwell, adapted by Michael Radford (1984); the screenwriting textbook Story by Robert McKee; and the television series The Twilight Zone (Original Series, 1959-1964); Haters Back Off (Miranda Sings); and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour (Seasons 1-2). You must have regular access to the internet and YouTube, as well as a webcam or smartphone with recording capability to participate fully in the course. This course will be available on Triton Ed.

Instructor: Anna Joy Springer

This cross-genre course is an intensive advanced study of experimental speculative historical literatures through textual analysis and corresponding writing assignments, with minimal discussion of student drafts-in-progress. Readings and exercises emphasize developing as-yet-unimagined ways to imagine and create historically-situated literary texts.  Course texts include The Comical Tragedy and Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch by Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman, Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, The Host (film), The People of Paper by Salvador Placencia, Zong!  By M. Nourbese Phillip, and The Ohio State Murders (a play) by Adrienne Kennedy plus additional essays and other secondary texts.

Memoir and Life Writing

Instructor: Seth Lerer

Memoir has become the genre of our time. The personal expression of experience challenges the creative writer and the creative reader. This course introduces writers to the techniques of personal narrative. Its goals are: to develop an effective personal voice; to explore literary allusion as a means of reflecting experience and emotion; to read closely in some recent (and historical) memoirs to learn how to capture a reader and mediate feeling and form. Readings will be assigned for discussion -- for example, selections from St. Augustine's Confessions, Rousseau's Confessions, The Autobiography of Malcom X, Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss, Tom Grimes's Mentor, Seth Lerer's Prospero's Son. Writings by students will be workshopped and prepared for potential publication.

The Power, Culture, & Art of the Book

Instructor: Melissa Bañales

Writer Liz Prince once said, “I was really inspired by seeing self-published zines...seeing someone else make work that was either really personal, or was just done entirely themselves. It really showed me what was possible for my own art…” The power of the written word has always held incredible weight and status in culture. So much so, that at one time in this country it was considered one of the most dangerous avenues of social change and freedom, where even owning a printing press or a banned book could get a person sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Today, writers thrive and survive not just on solid writing but also on creative and accessible distribution of their work, and this is seen at its finest in DIY and Independent Publishing. This course aims to examine and explore the power, culture, and art of The Book through the lense of three counter-cultures: zines, small presses, and online literature distribution (ebooks, blogs, online zines & magazines).  Through these three counter-cultures we will examine the modern history of literature distribution in America (the past 100 years); continually meet with writers and publishers who are influencing culture by reimagining The Book and distribution; and participate in these three counter-cultures by creating our own works to be distributed as well as developing our identity as “author”. This class is a critical-thinking and workshop course, where 50% is participation in course discussions, texts, engagement with guest speakers, and critique of student work; 25% weekly writing assignments and exercises; 25% a final creative work created during the course that is a zine, chapbook, short ebook, anthology, or online zine for distribution. This course will also be a unique opportunity to meet writers and publishers; learn how to start the process of getting published; learn the workings of The Book (conceptualization, writing, distribution); and empower and inspire writers to get their work “out there”. Each week we will have a rotating list of readings as many of our materials will be zines, books available on small presses, as well as online sources; but some of the required texts we will encounter are the zines “Broke Bitch Zine” by Alma Rosa Rivera & Alexandra Beehive; “Homegirls” by Brenzy Solorzano; Third Woman Press Zine: Radical Feminist of Color Publishing: “Calling All Goddesses”; and Maximum Rock and Roll; and the books available via small press distribution Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific by Meliza Bañales (novel, Ladybox Books), A Love Like Blood by Victor Yates (novel, Hillmont Press), Love Cake by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha (TSAR Publications) and Glue by Constance Ann Fitzgerald (novella, Lazy Fascist Press) among many, many other print zines and online resources. You must have regular access to email and the internet in order to participate fully in the course, as well as be prepared with access to supplies (scissors, printer, copier, tape, etc.) regularly to physically create work. This course will be available on Triton Ed.

Instructor: Ben Doller

Please contact instructor for course description.