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Literature Graduate Course Descriptions Spring 2017

LTCO 281 - Sinophone Literature and Film
Instructor: Ping-hui Liao

This course is a graduate seminar on the theory and practice of Sinophone articulations.  We will examine the ways in which major critics in the field promote or raise questions of world literature in Chinese or Sinophone writings in terms of minority discourse, global diaspora, accented cinema, ethnics and primitive passion, identity performance, and so forth.  Critical essays by Rey Chow, Philip Kuhn, Kam Louie, Gina Machetti, Shu-mei Shih, William Tay, Jing Tsu, David Der-wei Wang, Yingjin Zhang, and many others, will be considered in conjunction with literary and cinematic works by Kaige Chen, Henry David Hwang, Ang Lee, Justin Lin, Jack Neo, Amy Tan, Karwei Wong, etc., to tease out the divergent and convergent forces within the pan Chinese speaking communities and their expressive cultural traditions.  Students need to do presentations and a term paper in critical response to the reading/issues generated.  The seminar will end with at least two trans-regional conferences to be held on campus with prominent scholars in Sinophone studies as moderator/discussants. 

LTCO 282 - Literature and Philosophy
William O'Brien

This course will introduce students to some of the major ideas of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud in some of their most famous works.  We shall also pay special attention to the literary styles of all three authors, and to problematic and disturbing aspects of their work.

The readings will include:

Marx: Selections from the Manuscripts of 1844, The German Ideology (Part I), The Communist Manifesto, and selections from Capital.                    
Nietzsche: "On Truth and Lies in the Extra-Moral Sense," The Gay Science, and Toward a Genealogy of Morality.
Freud: An Outline of Psychoanalysis, Fragment of an Analysis of Hysteria (the "Dora" case), and selected essays.

LTEN 271 -  Genres in English
Lyric Poetry
Instructor: Seth Lerer

This is a graduate level seminar in the history, theory, and methodologies of the English lyric. Its two main goals will be to provide a broad historical survey of major traditions of the vernacular short poem (keyed to manuscript, publication, and reception), and to engage with a range of recent theoretical assessments of lyric as a genre and an aesthetic experience. Among the major collections we will explore will be: the medieval manuscript containing the Middle English Harley Lyrics; Richard Tottel’s Songes and Sonnets of 1557 (first publishing the poetry of Wyatt and Surrey); Shakespeare’s Sonnets as published in 1609; Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads of 1798; the poetry of Emily Dickinson; and at least one recent, book-length poetry volume to be selected by the students. Theoretical and methodological work will include readings from M. H. Abrams, Jonathan Culler, Stephen Burt, and Jackson and Prins, eds., The Lyric Theory Reader. Students will be expected to write a significant (20-25pp) final paper keyed to the concerns of the course.

This course will fulfill the Literature Department’s historical breadth requirement.  

LTTH 200C - Cultural Perspectives and Cultural Criticism
World Literary Systems

Instructor: Amelia Glaser

This third portion of the theory sequence will examine theorizations of world literary systems from Bakhtin’s Soviet school of world literature to Spivak’s visions of a planetary literature. We will discuss the ways that theorists have attempted to classify broad cultural movements, centering them in specific cities, or self-consciously resisting geographical centers. We will also examine the role of translation, legislation, and migration as organizing principles for the institutions and networks that form literary and cultural movements.