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Literature Graduate Course Descriptions Winter 2018


LTCO 274 - GENRE STORIES 
On Greek Tragedy
Instructor: Page duBois

How does Greek tragedy continue to haunt and trouble theoretical discussions in the present? We will read some Athenian tragedies, including Oedipus Rex and Antigone, as well as a comedy, Frogs, on tragedy, sometimes called the first work of literary criticism in the Western tradition, and Aristotle on tragedy in the Poetics. We will then look at the legacy of tragedy, with readings from the works of Hegel, Freud, Lacan, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Tina Chanter, Anne Carson, and others, as well as accounts of tragic performance in theater and film in the US, Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

 LTCO 274 will fulfill the Historical Breadth requirement.


LTCO 282 - LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY
The Frankfurt School
Instructor: William O'Brien

The term “Critical Theory” entered common parlance through the writings of what has come to be known as the Frankfurt School.

In this seminar we will see what “critical theory” meant—in  theory and practice--to the three most famous members of the school: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse.

Among the books we will read are: Dialectic of Enlightenment by Horkheimer & Adorno, Minima Moralia by Adorno, and 1-Dimensional Man by Marcuse.  We will also read numerous essays by all three authors.

Requirements: preparation of readings for class, informed participation, and final paper.

Students from all sections and all departments are most welcome.


LTCO 284 - PERFORMATIVITY
Instructor: Babak Rahimi

Please contact instructor for course description.


LTCS 256 - CULTURAL STUDIES OF TECHNOSCIENCE
Biopolitical Aesthetics: The Medically Commodified Body in the Age of Biotech

Instructor: Ari Heinrich

How can humanities scholars address questions of medicine, science, and the body in our studies of contemporary cultural phenomena? How are these questions impacted by the dynamics of race, gender, post-coloniality, and trans/nationalism?  While we may draw disproportionately on examples and case-studies from Chinese Studies, the seminar welcomes students from diverse disciplinary and area-studies backgrounds, and discussions in class will be based on the readings and on individual research interests. Students are expected to initiate or develop an existing project on a topic related to medicine, science, and the body in literature, visual culture, or popular media to introduce and present over the course of the quarter. 

 LTCS 256 will fulfill the Historical Breadth requirement.


LTEN 272 - CULTURAL TRADITIONS IN ENGLISH
Slavery and the Literary Imagination
Instructor:Sara Johnson

This seminar explores the complex system of relations between the transatlantic slave trade and the consequent rise and fall of the plantation complex in the extended Americas.  Primary source material from the mid-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries is complemented by contemporary fictional musings concerning how to "make sense" of events that have left a profound impact on the social, economic and aesthetic landscape of the present. Close attention is paid to questions of genre, particularly natural histories, the novel, poetry, polemical essays and the strident periodical press that polarized both proslavery and anti-slavery agendas.  How do these forms explore the nature of freedom and unfreedom, and excise or re-inscribe people of African descent, Native Americans and women into debates about citizenship and equality?  Particular emphasis is put on the new “archival turn” in literary scholarship, and influential historical studies and in-class close readings of visual material provide secondary context.  The course focuses on the British Atlantic, with attention to Iberian and French imperial contexts as well.  Authors include Mary Prince, Olaudah Equiano, Thomas Jefferson, Moreau de Saint-Méry, Phyllis Wheatley, Leonora Sansay, Herman Melville, Toni Morrison, Dionne Brand and Alejo Carpentier. 

 LTEN 272 will fulfill the Historical Breadth requirement.


LTSP 272 - LITERATURE AND SOCIETY STUDIES
Instructor: Gloria Chacon

Please contact instructor for course description.


LTTH 200B - PROBLEMS IN CONTEMPORARY LITERARY THEORY
Instructor: Megan Wesling

Please contact instructor for course description.