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Literature Graduate Course Descriptions Spring 2018

LTCO 282 - Literature and Philosophy
The <<Conflicted Psyche>> and Cinema
Instructor: Alain Cohen

How do we describe the “conflicted psyche” and how is it represented in film? How are various representations of psychological conflicts and states of mind accountable to a filmmaker’s mise-en-scène? to recursive images of his/her obsessions, and style? to film techniques —image/sound editing? How much is due to the actors’ craft? Or to the screenwriters’ sense of action and dialogue? Or the presence of a therapist in a film? or at a film? or to therapeutic effect for audiences emoted to pity and fear, sadness and joy, mood swings, emotions, sentiments and filmic passions?

Readings include texts in contemporary film theory, as well as psychoanalytic theory and mind models (first Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Lacan, et al., and afterwards Brenner, Kohut, Mitchell, Kernberg, et al.). Technical methods of film analysis will be emphasized during the first weeks of the term. At the end of this seminar, students will become conversant with:

  1. a) the psychological, psychiatric, and psychoanalytic mind models and theories addressing issues of sex and gender and trauma in relation to the “conflicted psyche,”
  2. b) the integration of film style and techniques within the history and philosophy of cinema and the history of mind models,
  3. c) technical methods of film analysis,
  4. d) the delineation and representation of evolving emotion systems in film.

Clips from cult and classic films, such as M. Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Hitchcock’s Psycho, S. Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, L. Visconti’s The Damned, L. Cavani’s Night Porter, I. Bergman’s Persona  and Passion of Anna, P. Schrader’s The Comfort of StrangersTrouble Every Day, and many others, will be used to highlight issues of trauma, sex and gender, the psyche’s complexities, conflictual entanglements, masochism, violence and cruelty, aggression and self-aggression, fragmentation, et al.

LTEN 222 - Elizabethan Studies
"Global Shakespeare"
Daniel Vitkus

This graduate seminar will help its participants to develop and deepen their knowledge of global theory and Shakespearean drama while offering the chance to pursue a research project that focuses on either A) the early modern global context for London theater or B) a modern or postmodern adaptation of one of the plays by Shakespeare that we will be studying. The plays that will form the primary focus of our inquiry will be: The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest.  At the beginning of the seminar, we will consider a range of concepts important for global theory:  globality and the origins of globalization, worlding, cosmopolitanism, the terrestrial, and the planetary.  We will also consider theories and practices that enable us to describe how local events and texts are linked to large-scale historical processes through systems, networks, and assemblages. Most of the seminar meetings will focus on the early modern signification of the four plays by Shakespeare, but with an emphasis on their connection to transnational texts and global contexts involving race, gender, cross-cultural exchange,, colonialism, slavery, and the origins of capitalism.  In the last unit of the seminar, we will read and discuss recent and leading theories of global adaptation and appropriation (including Julie Sanders, Linda Hutcheon, and Alex Huang) and see how they may be applied in critical analyses of “global Shakespeare.” This course will satisfy the historical breadth requirement.

 LTEN 222 will fulfill the Historical Breadth requirement.

LTEN 259 - Transnational Literary Studies
Memory Studies

Instructor: Lisa Lampert-Weissig

This course explores the burgeoning field of memory studies, beginning with an examination of the intersection between of memory studies and medieval studies.  We will use the autobiography of fifteenth-century mystic and pilgrim Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe as the focal point of our investigation of medieval arts of memory, medieval forms of memorial culture, and the intersections of this memorial culture with issues of gender and alterity.  In the second half of the course we will consider the afterlives of pre-modern memory practices and explore how an understanding of these practices can enrich comparative understandings of memory culture.  Secondary readings include works by Mary Carruthers, Elizabeth Castelli, Maurice Halbwachs, Jacqueline Hidalgo, George Lipsitz, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pierre Nora, Michael Rothberg, Anissa Wardi and Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi.

As part of the class, Professor Michael Rothberg of UCLA will be giving a lecture in the evening of Monday, April 23rd.  Please save the date.  

 LTEN 259 will fulfill the Historical Breadth requirement.

LTSP 272 - Literature and Society Studies
Colonialismo, capitalismo, y la Contra-Reforma en el s. 17: cuestiones del Sur
Instructor: Jody Blanco

Does a Catholic ethic drive the spirit of (the Spanish) empire, in the way a Protestant ethic (according to sociologist Max Weber) drove the spirit of capitalism in Europe in the early modern period? The question, however obtuse, intends to highlight a deeper one, which the seminar proposes to investigate: how did the notion of a specifically Christian, Counter-Reformation world empire develop notions of a world economy, a universal law, and the management of racially-marked subject populations: all of which ran parallel to the growth of the base paradigms for conceiving Eurocentrism, while remaining outside or excluded from it? Conversely, how did / does Christianity also facilitate the cultivation – by accommodation, resistance, or invention to Spanish rule – of new communities defined by relations of cultural interdependence beyond, even in spite of, colonial hierarchies and divisions of labor? Keywords / key concepts include: spaces of exception (the frontier / periphery), primitive accumulation, formal subsumption, theological economy / oikonomia, race formation / racialization, probabilismo, gongorismo, and theories of the baroque. Readings combine primary texts written in the 16th and 17th centuries with recent studies in Latin American and postcolonial history and political philosophy. These include writings by: Juan de Mariana, Ignatius de Loyola, José de Acosta, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Luis de Góngora, Luis de Molina, José Mariateguí, Bolívar Echeverría, Carl Schmitt, Roland Barthes, Michel de Certeau, Bartolomé Clavero, Severo Sarduy, Kojin Karatani, Sylvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Marcel Henaff, Antonio de Hespanha, Elvira Vilches, Cecilia Prieto, Ivonne del Valle, and Daniel Nemser. Short response papers, oral presentation, and final paper or presentation. This course satisfies the historical breadth requirement for the Literature Ph.D. program.  

El su ensayo “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” el sociólogo Max Weber propone una correspondencia entre el protestantismo europeo (luteranismo y calvinismo) y los valores del capitalismo, implicando no sólo el eurocentrismo del capitalismo moderno sino también un desajuste y contradicción entre el capitalismo y los valores del catolicismo. Pero sale una paradoja cuando tomemos en cuenta que fue precisamente el catolicismo el que dio impulso a la conquista y colonización ibérica de las Américas y Filipinas. ¿Cómo sirvieron el “espíritu” del catolicismo y la Contra-Reforma para dar luz al mundo moderno, si chocaron con los fundamentos de la globalización? El seminario propone investigar el tema mediante la exploración de varias historias en conjunto: la apariencia de una economía teológica “barroca,” la acumulación primitiva y predatoria de los poderes europeos, el nacimiento del derecho internacional [jus Gentium], las políticas (y policía) de la administración fronteriza, la organización social de las poblaciones racializadas, y el imaginario criollo (y luego mestizo). Los requisitos son: 4 ensayos breves (1-2pp.), una presentación oral, y un proyecto final. Cumple el curso con el “historical breadth requirement” del doctorado en el programa. 

 LTSP 272 will fulfill the Historical Breadth requirement.

LTTH 200C - Cultural Perspectives and Cultural Criticism
Instructor: Oumelbanine Zhiri

Please contact instructor for course description.