Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

http://complit.barnard.edu

320 Milbank Hall
212-854-8312
Administrative Assistant: Sondra Phifer

Mission

Comparative Literature and Translation Studies at Barnard College is the study of literary and closely related cultural manifestations across linguistic and cultural boundaries. As a program that builds on the strengths and dedication of faculty teaching in various departments across the campus, Comparative Literature is distinct in its conviction that literary and cultural manifestations are best studied in an international context. The program gives students and faculty a unique opportunity to study literature in world contexts and establish intellectually stimulating relations among languages, cultures, and literary traditions, in order to understand the methodical comparison of texts as a fruitful dialogue. Due to our close affiliation with Columbia University, undergraduate students in Comparative Literature can acquire proficiency in a great variety of foreign languages, including some which are presently not taught at Barnard College.

The program enables the student to pursue the study of at least two literatures in two different languages and to explore the possibilities and methods of literary study comparatively across national boundaries. In consultation with her adviser, the student will shape a program that will give her a foundation in her two central literatures (at least one of them in a non-English language) and in one major period, genre, theme, or theoretical issue.

The program is supervised by the Committee on Comparative Literature.

Program Director: Erk Grimm (German)

Professors: Peter T. Connor (French), Helene Foley (Classics), Ross Hamilton (English), Maire Jaanus (English), Alfred MacAdam (Spanish),  Max Moerman (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies), Neferti Tadiar (Women’s Studies), Nancy Worman (Classics)
Associate Professors:  Erk Grimm (German), Maja Horn (Spanish), Nelson Moe (Italian)
Assistant Professors: Rachel Eisendrath (English),  Hana Worthen (Theatre), Orlando Betancor (Spanish)
Senior Lecturers: Anne Boyman (French), Laurie Postlewate (French), Margaret Vandenburg (English)
Lecturers: Linn Mehta (English), Brian O’Keeffe (French)

Requirements for the Major in Comparative Literature

For students who declared in Spring 2017 (and after)

To enter the program, a student must normally have completed the required sequence necessary for entry into the advance literature courses of her major program. This varies from language to language; students should consult the director. Each student, after consultation with the director, chooses an adviser from one of her two fields of concentration in a language. This adviser guides her in developing a sequence of courses appropriate for her goals in the major. 

All students are required to take the following Twelve (12) courses:

  • CPLT BC3001 Introduction to Comparative Literature

  • One (1) course in CPLS BC3143 Topics in Comparative Literature

  • Six (6) Courses Three (3) courses in each of TWO distinct literary traditions studied in the original language 

  • Three (3) elective courses in literature, of which:

    • ​One (1) pre-modern 

    • One (1) literary theory

    • One (1) open choice

  • CPLS BC3997 Senior Seminar

Students who wish to major in Comparative Literature, but who for valid reasons wish to pursue a program at variance with the above model, should consult the director.

Important note about studying abroad

If you plan on spending part or all of junior year abroad, plan to take the CPLT BC3001 Introduction to Comparative Literature during the second semester of your sophomore year. This means contacting the director of Comparative Literature program during the first semester of your sophomore year. Indicate that you plan to be abroad one or both semesters during junior year and discuss when to take core courses such as CLLT GU4300 The Classical Tradition or CPLS UN3950 Literary Theory.

If you plan to be away for the entire junior year, consider taking CPLS UN3950 Literary Theory in the spring of your senior year or discuss with the program director which other courses can count toward the major when studying abroad. You should also plan to identify advisors before your departure so that you can contact them via e-mail and meet with them at the beginning of your senior year.

If you have further questions regarding the thesis process and its parts, please contact the Program Director.


For students who have declared prior to Spring 2017

To enter the program a student must normally have completed the required sequence necessary for entry into the advance literature courses of her major program. This varies from language to language; students should consult with the chair of the relevant department and with the program director. Each student, after consultation with the director, chooses an adviser from one of her two fields of concentration in a language. This adviser guides her in developing a sequence of courses appropriate for her goals in the major. All students are required to take CPLT BC3001 Introduction to Comparative Literature and fourteen (14) courses normally to be chosen from the following categories:

One course in appropriate classical texts chosen from The Classical Tradition (CLLT GU4300), RELI V3501 Introduction To the Hebrew Bible, and RELI V3120 Introduction to the New Testament, for those specializing in languages and literature in the Western tradition; Asian Humanities (AHUM UN3399 Colloquium on Major Texts: Middle East and South Asia or AHUM UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia), for those specializing in languages and literatures in Eastern traditions; or other courses with approval of the program director.

One course in literary theory. Students will normally be expected to satisfy this requirement by taking CPLS UN3950 Literary Theory. If study abroad plans make this impossible, other courses may be substituted such as ENGL BC3194 Critical and Theoretical Perspectives on Literature: Marxist Literary Theory or FREN BC3063 Structuralism and Post-Structuralism.

Three courses from each of two literary traditions studied in the original languages. Foreign literature courses must be beyond the introductory level.

Five (5) elective courses in Comparative Literature or Literary Theory (studied in the original or in translation) related to the student's individual program. These courses must be comparative or theoretical in nature; consultation with the director advised.

One course, CPLS BC3997 Senior Seminar. The Senior Thesis must deal with material from at least the two central literatures in the student's major. In addition, this thesis must treat, entirely or in part, the one period, genre, theme, or theoretical issue that has shaped the student's program. The choice of topic for this senior essay and the appointment of a second adviser are determined in consultation with the area adviser and the director of the program. A detailed memorandum on planning the major is available from the advisor and on the Comparative Literature website.

Students who wish to major in Comparative Literature, but who for valid reasons wish to pursue a program at variance with the above model, should consult the director.


Requirements for the Minor in Translation Studies

The Minor in Translation Studies allows students to explore the history and theory of translation practices, to consider the importance of translation in today’s world, and to complete a substantial translation or translation-related project.

The Minor in Translation Studies will not qualify students to work professionally as translators or interpreters upon graduation. The courses on a transcript that count toward the Minor will demonstrate that the student has acquired basic familiarity with the history and principle theories of translation and interpreting, together with sufficient linguistic preparedness to conduct basic practical work in translation or interpreting. It will serve as a useful qualification for those wishing to enter one of the growing number of post-graduate programs that provide further training in translation and interpreting, both areas of significant employment growth. It will serve equally those wishing to pursue research in the area of translation and interpreting, a burgeoning area of academic specialization. For students generally, whatever their career goals, the Minor can be profitably combined with their major (Anthropology, French, Political Science, German, History, etc.), enhancing the value of their degree and making them more competitive in today’s global job market.

The Minor in Translation Studies is supervised by the Director of the Center for Translation Studies along with the Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature. Students wishing to minor in Translation Studies should meet with Professor Peter Connor to discuss the choice of their elective courses.

Six (6) courses are required for the minor:

1. CPLT BC3110 Introduction to Translation Studies 

2. Two or three elective courses dealing with the history and/or theory of translation, or with language from an anthropological, philosophical, psychological, social or cultural perspective. Example courses:

3. One or two language-based courses at the advanced level offering practice in written or oral translation.

  • For example, a student working with French:
  • For example, a student working with Spanish:

4. CPLS BC3510 Advanced Workshop in Translation

Note: the particular courses qualifying for the minor will vary according to the language chosen by the candidate.

With permission of the director of the minor, a student may request credit for an Independent Study involving substantial translation or interpreting work.

CPLT BC3001 Introduction to Comparative Literature. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Introduction to the study of literature from a comparative and cross-disciplinary perspective. Readings will be selected to promote reflection on such topics as the relation of literature to the other arts; nationalism and literature; international literary movements; post-colonial literature; gender and literature; and issues of authorship, influence, originality, and intertextuality.

Fall 2017: CPLT BC3001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLT 3001 001/02326 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
207 Milbank Hall
Emily Sun 3 31

CPLT BC3110 Introduction to Translation Studies. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Prerequisites: Completion of the Language Requirement or equivalent.

Introduction to the major theories and methods of translation in the Western tradition, along with practical work in translating.  Topics include translation in the context of postcolonialism, globalization and immigration, the role of translators in war and zones of conflict, gender and translation, the importance of translation to contemporary writers.

Fall 2017: CPLT BC3110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLT 3110 001/09674 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
202 Altschul Hall
Peter Connor 3 233

CPLS BC3120 Poetics of the Mouth. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Explores the imagery of eating, drinking, spitting, choking, sucking (and other unmentionables) in relation to insults and excessive behaviors. Readings from Greek poetry (e.g., Homer, Aristophanes) to modern theory (e.g., Kristeva, Powers of Horror, Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World), including modern novels and films.

CPLS BC3123 Friend or Foe? World Literature and the Question of Justice. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: CPLS BC3001 Intro to Comp. Lit.; completion of intermediate language courses.

With an emphasis on equality and social justice, this course examines and compares significant 19th c./20th c. literary approaches to friendship as intermediary between individualism and communal life. Discussion of culturally formed concepts and attitudes in modern or postcolonial settings. Reading of Dickens, Hesse, Woolf, Ocampo, Puig, Fugard, Emerson, Derrida, Rawls.

CPLS BC3124 Utopian Literature. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

CPLS BC3140 Europe Imagined: Images of the New Europe in 20th-Century Literature. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Compares the diverse images of Europe in 20th-century literature, with an emphasis on the forces of integration and division that shape cultural identity in the areas of travel writings and transculturation/cosmopolitanism; mnemonic narratives and constructions of the past; borderland stories and the cultural politics of translation. Readings include M. Kundera, S. Rushdie, H. Boell, C. Toibin and others.

CPLS BC3142 The Spanish Civil War in Literature and the Visual Arts. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39), which culminated with the beginning of Francisco Franco's long dictatorship, foreshadowed the WWII European conflict. It generated unprecedented foreign involvement, as well texts and images by artists from both within and outside Spain - from film (documentary and fictional), through painting (Picasso), to narrative and nonfiction.

CPLS BC3143 Topics in Comparative Literature. 3 points.

This course examines the ways in which literary works engage with the matter of violence. The texts have been chosen for the intensity with which they confront the ethical and political dilemmas relation the act of violence, and indeed, the justification of violence. Topics to be considered include terrorism and revolutionary militancy, arguments for and against the death penalty, acts of vengeance, cruelty, and torture. Texts are drawn from a wide variety of cultural, linguistic, and historical contexts - classical Greek tragedy, European literature of the 19th century, works set in Franco-phone Algeria, and in early 20th century China, among others. The course also addresses different genres, including theater, narrative prose, and poetry, as well as photography. Further aspects of the topic will be developed in connection with recent philosophical writing on violence.

CPLS BC3158 Languages of Loss: The Poetry of Mourning. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing

A study of the genre of elegy across time and cultures. Emphasis on how poets express grief and relate to literary traditions. Comparisons of European, Chinese, and American elegies (by Theocritus, Milton, Qu Yuan, Holderlin, Wordsworth, Whitman, Bishop, and others) and discussions of the relationship between singular and collective life.

Spring 2017: CPLS BC3158
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLS 3158 001/08723 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
903 Altschul Hall
Emily Sun 3 15/20

CPLS BC3160 Tragic Bodies. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course will focus on embodiment in ancient and modern drama as well as in film, television, and performance art, including plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Beckett; films such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Limits of Control”; and performances by artists such as Karen Finley and Marina Abromovic. We will explore the provocations, theatricality, and shock aesthetics of such concepts as Artaud’s “Theater of Cruelty” and Kristeva's "powers of horror," as well as Adorno's ideas about terror and the sublime.

CPLS BC3161 Myths of Oedipus in Western Drama and Philosophy . 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course examines the myth of Oedipus in a range of dramatic and theoretical writings, exploring how the paradigm of incest and parricide has shaped Western thought from classical tragedy to gender studies. Authors studied: Sophocles, Seneca, Corneille, Dryden, Voltaire, Hölderlin, Hegel, Wagner, Nietzsche, Freud, Klein, Deleuze, Guattari, and Butler.  

CPLS BC3162 The Novella from Cervantes to Kafka. 3 points.

The novella, older than the novel, painstakingly crafted, links the worlds of ideas and fiction.  The readings present the novella as a genre, tracing its progress from the 17th century to the 20th.  Each text read in the comparative milieu, grants the reader access to the intellectual concerns of an era.

CPLS BC3170 Translating Madness: The Sciences and Fictions of Pathology. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Examines the discursive exchanges between fictional and scientific accounts of "madness," with an emphasis on how modern literature renders the new diagnostic discourse and how literary portrayals of "madness" were "translated back" into the diagnostic language of psychology. Discussions revolve around the "medical gaze" and its influence on the writers' literary style, motifs and technique; relevant questions concern interdisciplinary issues such as the relationship between genre and case study; hysteria and sexuality; gender construction and psychoanalysis. Readings include texts by Flaubert, Wilde, Daudet, Sacher-Masoch; excerpts from Freud, Charcot, Foucault, Deleuze; and visual documents.

CPLT V3200 The Visual and Verbal Arts. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Analysis and discussion of the relation of literature to painting, photography, and film. Emphasis on artistic and literary concepts concerning the visual dimension of narrative and poetic texts from Homer to Burroughs. Explores the role of description, illustration, and montage in realist and modern literature.

CPLS BC3510 Advanced Workshop in Translation. 4 points.

Prerequisites: CPLT BC 3110 - Introduction to Translation Studies is a recommended prerequisite.

A deep immersion in the theory and practice of translation with a focus on translating into English. The first half of the course is devoted to discussing readings in the history of translation theory while translating brief practical exercises; in the second half, translation projects are submitted to the class for critical discussion. The foreign texts for these projects, chosen in consultation with the instructor, will be humanistic, not only literature as conventionally defined (prose fiction and poetry, memoir and travel writing), but also the gamut of text types in the human sciences, including philosophy, history, and ethnography. The aim is not just to translate, but to think deeply about translating, to develop writing practices by drawing on the resources of theory, past and present, and by examining translations written by professionals.  In the spring of 2016, the workshop will be offered in two sections by Professor Peter Connor and Professor Emily Sun. The sections will share most of the common readings in the history of translation theory, but Professor Sun's section will emphasize issues specific to translating East Asia. Enrollment in each workshop is limited to 12 students. Admission into the class is by permission of the instructor. CPLT BC 3011 "Introduction to Translation Studies" is a recommended prerequisite, plus, normally, two advanced courses beyond the language requirement in the language from which you intend to translate. Preference will be given to seniors and to comparative literature majors.  Please Email pconnor@barnard.edu by 1 December 2015 with the following information: Name, year of graduation, major, college (BC, CU, etc.); a list of courses you have taken in the language from which you intend to translate; any other pertinent courses you have taken; a brief (max 300 word) statement explaining why you wish to take the workshop (this statement is not required if you have taken or are taking CPLT BC3110 Intro to Translation Studies).

Spring 2017: CPLS BC3510
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLS 3510 001/03116 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
207 Milbank Hall
Peter Connor 4 7
CPLS 3510 002/08076 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
404 Barnard Hall
Emily Sun 4 9

CPLS BC3630 Theatre and Democracy. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

How does theatre promote democracy, and vice versa: how do concepts and modes of theatre prevent the spectators from assuming civic positions both within and outside a theatrical performance? This class explores both the promotion and the denial of democratic discourse in the practices of dramatic writing and theatrical performance.

CPLS UN3950 Literary Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 18.

Examination of concepts and assumptions present in contemporary views of literature. Theory of meaning and interpretation (hermeneutics); questions of genre (with discussion of representative examples); a critical analysis of formalist, psychoanalytic, structuralist, post-structuralist, Marxist, and feminist approaches to literature.

Spring 2017: CPLS UN3950
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLS 3950 001/01193 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
327 Milbank Hall
Emily Sun 4 6

CPLS BC3997 Senior Seminar. 4 points.

Designed for students writing a senior thesis and doing advanced research on two central literary fields in the student's major. The course of study and reading material will be determined by the instructor(s) in consultation with students(s).

Spring 2017: CPLS BC3997
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CPLS 3997 001/08889 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
404 Barnard Hall
Erk Grimm 4 3

Cross-Listed Courses

Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures (Barnard)

ASST BC3610 Persian Literature Through English Translation. 3 points.

Students are introduced to the multiplicity of geographical and historical centers of literary activity: courts in tenth-century Central Asia and seventeenth century India; The songs of whirling dervishes who followed the teachings of Rumi in Turkey to Sufi hospices in fourteenth century Kashmir; Itinerant storytellers in Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and Bosnia. The interrelationships between literature, patronage, religion, and language policy are discussed, and the evolving connection between Iran and the Persian language is emphasized. The voice of women in Persian literature is given particular attention: including 17th century women of the Mughal court in India and Parvin EÊ¿teṣāmÄ« and Forugh Farrokhzad in 20th century Iran. More recent women poets and fiction-writers will be introduced. No familiarity with Persian language or the history of its development is assumed.  

AHUM UN1399 Major Texts: Middle East/India. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

AHUM UN1399 and UN1400 form a sequence, but either may be taken separately. UN1399 may also be taken as part of a sequence with AHUM UN3830.  Readings in translation and discussion of texts of Middle Eastern and Indian origin. Readings include the Qur'an, Islamic philosophy, Sufi poetry, the Upanishads, Buddhist sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, Indian epics and drama, and Gandhi's Autobiography.

Spring 2017: AHUM UN1399
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1399 001/03602 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
306 Milbank Hall
Rachel McDermott 4 27/16
AHUM 1399 002/06289 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
Hossein Kamaly 4 16/16
AHUM 1399 003/25267 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
425 Pupin Laboratories
Sheldon Pollock 4 17/20

Classics

CLLT UN3132 Classical Myth. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Survey of major myths from the ancient Near East to the advent of Christianity, with emphasis upon the content and treatment of myths in classical authors (Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Vergil, Livy, Ovid).

Fall 2017: CLLT UN3132
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLLT 3132 001/06333 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
323 Milbank Hall
Helene Foley 3 36/70

East Asian Languages and Cultures

AHUM UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course explores the core classical literature in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Humanities. The main objective of the course is to discover the meanings that these literature offer, not just for the original audience or for the respective cultures, but for us. As such, it is not a survey or a lecture-based course. Rather than being taught what meanings are to be derived from the texts, we explore meanings together, informed by in-depth reading and thorough ongoing discussion.

Spring 2017: AHUM UN1400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1400 001/25120 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Paul Anderer 4 16/22
AHUM 1400 002/11851 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Wei Shang 4 19/22
AHUM 1400 003/23430 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Hl-2 Heyman Center For Humanities
Conrad Schirokauer 4 22/22
AHUM 1400 004/66938 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Itsuki Hayashi 4 21/20
AHUM 1400 005/16505 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
420 Pupin Laboratories
Seong-Uk Kim 4 17/20
AHUM 1400 006/81397 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
522c Kent Hall
Charles Woolley 4 16/20
Fall 2017: AHUM UN1400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 1400 001/05400 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
214 Milbank Hall
David Moerman 4 18/22
AHUM 1400 002/67259 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
411 Kent Hall
Seong-Uk Kim 4 14/22
AHUM 1400 003/64631 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Paul Anderer 4 23/27
AHUM 1400 004/24981 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
424 Kent Hall
John Phan 4 15/22

EAAS UN3215 Korean Literature and Film. 0 points.

Corequisites: weekly film screening required.

Traces the history of Korean cinema and literature from 1945 to the present. Particular attention is given to the relationship between visual and literary representations of national division, war, gender, rapid industrialization, authoritarianism, and contemporary consumer culture.

English (Barnard)

ENGL BC3136 Renaissance Epic. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The epic tradition raises crucial questions about the interrelationship of literature and power. In telling the story of war and empire building, how does epic both promote and also challenge the cause of the winner? How does epic preserve a space for more lyrical forms of subjectivity? What does this literary form tell about the role of women, the nameless majority and the global ‘other' in the West? In this course, we will trace the European epic tradition, studying Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, Spenser's The Faerie Queene and Milton's Paradise Lost. Finally, we will read a contemporary poet's reflection on this tradition, Alice Oswald's Memorial: An Excavation of the Iliad.

ENGL BC3158 Medieval Literature: Literatures of Medieval Britain. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

It's easy to forget that medieval literature wasn't always old and "quaint" as it seems to many of us today. For writers and artists of that era, they were modern, too. But they also imagined their own past and (like many of us) they often had a nostalgic yearning for that lost time. This course will explore a number of forms of medieval literature, mostly British but also some continental, as it explores versions of its past, and especially the ultimately tragic story of King Arthur. We will read across many medieval genres, including some little known today, like lives of saints. But the course will focus on narratives of quest: heroic, psychological, and erotic. We will also explore some of the often beautiful medieval manuscripts in which these texts were often copied. We will read most Middle English texts in the original language; we'll study French and Latin texts in translation.

ENGL BC3171 The Novel and Psychoanalysis. 3 points.

The novel in its cultural context, with an accent on psychoanalysis (but no required reading).  Austen, Emily Bronte, Dickens, Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, Didion, Duras, and W.G. Sebald.

ENGL BC3187 American Writers and Their Foreign Counterparts. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Developments in modern literature as seen in selected 19th- and 20th-century American, European, and English works by Flaubert, James, Proust, Joyce, Chekhov, Porter, Cather, Ibsen, O'Neill, Fitzgerald, Rilke, and others.

ENGL BC3190 Global Literature in English. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

  Selective survey of fiction from the ex-colonies, focusing on the colonial encounter, cultural and political decolonization, and belonging and migration in the age of postcolonial imperialism. Areas covered include Africa (Achebe, Aidoo, Armah, Ngugi); the Arab World (Mahfouz, Munif, Salih, Souief); South Asia (Mistry, Rushdie, Suleri); the Carribean (Kincaid); and New Zealand (Hulme).

ENGL BC3192 Exile and Estrangement in Global Literature. 4 points.

"I would never be part of anything. I would never really belong anywhere, and I knew it, and all my life would be the same, trying to belong, and failing. Always something would go wrong. I am a stranger and I always will be, and after all I didn't really care."-Jean Rhys. This course examines the experiential life of the novelist as both artist and citizen. Through the study of the work of two towering figures in 20th century literature, we will look at the seemingly contradictory condition of the novelist as both outsider and integral to society, as both observer and expresser of time's yearnings and passions. In different ways and with different repercussions, Jean Rhys and Albert Camus were born into realities shaped by colonialism. They lived across borders, identities and allegiances. Rhys was neither black-Caribbean nor white-English. Albert Camus could be said to have been both French and Algerian, both the occupier and the occupied, and, perhaps, neither. We will look at how their work reflects the contradictions into which they were born. We will trace, through close reading and open discussion, the ways in which their art continues to have lasting power and remain, in light of the complexities of our own time, vivid, true and alive. The objective is to pinpoint connections between novelistic form and historical time. The uniqueness of the texts we will read lies not just in their use of narrative, ideas and myths, but also in their resistance to generalization. We will examine how our novelists' existential position, as both witnesses and participants, creates an opportunity for fiction to reveal more than the author intends and, on the other hand, more than power desires.

Fall 2017: ENGL BC3192
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3192 001/03784 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
404 Barnard Hall
Hisham Matar 4 15/16

ENRE BC3810 Literary Approaches to the Bible. 4 points.

Interpretive strategies for reading the Bible as a work with literary dimensions. Considerations of poetic and rhetorical structures, narrative techniques, and feminist exegesis will be included. Topics for investigation include the influence of the Bible on literature.

Spring 2017: ENRE BC3810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENRE 3810 001/00952 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
530 Altschul Hall
Margaret Ellsberg 4 12/12

French (Barnard)

FREN UN3420 Introduction To French and Francophone Studies I. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FREN UN3405 Advanced Grammar and Composition or an AP score of 5 or the director of undergraduate studies' permission.

Examines conceptions of culture and civilization in France from the Enlightenment to the Exposition Coloniale of 1931, with an emphasis on the historical development and ideological foundations of French colonialism. Authors and texts include: the Encyclopédie; the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen; the Code noir; Diderot; Chateaubriand; Tocqueville; Claire de Duras; Renan; Gobineau; Gauguin; Drumont.

Fall 2017: FREN UN3420
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FREN 3420 001/18474 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
332 Horace Mann Hall
Aline Rogg 3 17/20

FREN UN3421 Introduction To French and Francophone Studies II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FREN UN3405 Advanced Grammar and Composition or an AP score of 5 or the director of undergraduate studies' permission.

Universalism vs. exceptionalism, tradition vs. modernity, integration and exclusion, racial, gender, regional, and national identities are considered in this introduction to the contemporary French-speaking world in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Authors include: Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Frantz Fanon, Maryse Condé.

Spring 2017: FREN UN3421
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FREN 3421 001/08391 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
302 Milbank Hall
Kaiama Glover 3 29

German (Barnard)

GERM BC3224 Germany's Traveling Cultures. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Examines accounts of traveling or living in South America, Africa, and Germany from a postcolonial and transnational perspective. Discussion of German explorers, colonialism, global tourism, multiculturalism, focusing on the relationship between mobility and the formation of African, Jewish, Turkish bicultural identities in different historical contexts and geographical settings. Close attention to the role of language, ideology, and itinerary in visual, aural, and written records by A.v.Humboldt, Merian, J. Baker, Massaquoi, Wackwitz, Oezdamar, Akin. [In English]

GERM BC3225 Germany's Traveling Cultures. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Examines accounts of traveling or living in South America, Africa, and Germany from a postcolonial and transnational perspective. Discussion of German explorers, colonialism, global tourism, multiculturalism, focusing on the relationship between mobility and the formation of African, Jewish, Turkish bicultural identities in different historical contexts and geographical settings. Close attention to the role of language, ideology, and itinerary in visual, aural, and written records by A.v.Humboldt, Merian, J. Baker, Massaquoi, Wackwitz, Oezdamar, Akin. (This is the same course as BC3224, without the weekly discussions in German.)

Linguistics

LING UN3101 Introduction to Linguistics. 3 points.

An introduction to the study of language from a scientific perspective. The course is divided into three units: language as a system (sounds, morphology, syntax, and semantics), language in context (in space, time, and community), and language of the individual (psycholinguistics, errors, aphasia, neurology of language, and acquisition). Workload: lecture, weekly homework, and final examination. 

Fall 2017: LING UN3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
LING 3101 001/68567 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
717 Hamilton Hall
Alan Timberlake 3 51/86

Religion (Barnard)

RELI V3512 The Bible and Its Interpreters. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. the Old Testament) has been one of the most repercussive texts of the Western ‎canon.  However, it comes to us mediated through its early reception history.  ‎From the first readers of the texts that came to comprise the Hebrew Bible struggled with problems of interpretation and devised creative, often ingenious, and frequently culturally charged solutions. We will focus on a few key biblical passages in translation, subjecting each to close reading and then examining their treatment by various ancient interpreters. These interpreters will include the writers of later biblical texts; ancient translations; extra-canonical texts; Qumran texts; and Hellenistic Jewish, early Christian, and rabbinic literature. Each interpretive tradition will bring us deeper into the world of the Bible as it was received and came to be read.

Religion

RELI W4011 The Lotus Sutra in East Asian Buddhism. 4 points.

Prerequisites: open to students who have taken one previous course in either Buddhism, Chinese religions, or a history course on China or East Asian.

The course examines some central Mahayana Buddhist beliefs and practices through an in-depth study of the Lotus sutra. Schools (Tiantai/Tendai, Nichiren) and cultic practices such as sutra-chanting, meditation, confessional rites, and Guanyin worship based on the scripture. East Asian art and literature inspired by it.

Slavic languages

RUSS UN3220 Literature and Empire: The Reign of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) [In English]. 3 points.

Explores the aesthetic and formal developments in Russian prose, especially the rise of the monumental 19th-century novel, as one manifestation of a complex array of national and cultural aspirations, humanistic and imperialist ones alike. Works by Pushkin, Lermonotov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. Knowledge of Russian not required.

Fall 2017: RUSS UN3220
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RUSS 3220 001/65562 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Cathy Popkin 3 21/40

Spanish and Latin American Cultures (Barnard)

SPAN UN3265 Latin American Literature in Translation. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Study of contemporary Latin American narrative; its origins and apotheosis. Readings include Machado de Assis, Borges, Garcia Marquez, Puig, and others.

Spring 2017: SPAN UN3265
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SPAN 3265 001/07881 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
207 Milbank Hall
Alfred Mac Adam 3 37/60

Theatre (Barnard)

THTR V3141 Socialism/Communism in Performance. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Analyzes dramatic texts and performances under the Communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain before 1989. Principal focus is on Czech, Polish, and East German playwrights and their productions; we will consider their work in both legal and illegal contexts. In order to gain a wider understanding of the diversity of underground performative cultures, works from Hungary, Romania, and Slovenia will be considered as well. The seminar also attends to dissident performative activities in the framework of the 1980s revolutions, and reflects on works by western authors and emigrant/diasporic writers produced on stages behind the Iron Curtain.  Fulfills one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.

THTR UN3150 Western Theatre Traditions: Classic to Romantic. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Dialectical approach to reading and thinking about the history of dramatic theatre in the west, interrogating the ways poetry inflects, and is inflected by, the material dynamics of performance. We will undertake careful study of the practices of performance, and of the sociocultural, economic, political, and aesthetic conditions animating representative plays of the Western tradition from the classical theatre through the early modern period to early romanticism; course will also emphasize development of important critical concepts for the analysis of drama, theatre, and performance. Specific attention will be given to classical Athens, medieval cycle drama, the professional theatre of early modern England, the rival theatres of seventeenth century France and Spain, and eighteenth-century theatre in England and Germany; topics include the sociology of theatre, the impact of print on conceptions of performance, representing gender and race, and the dynamics of court performance. Writing: 2-3 papers; Reading: 1-2 plays, critical and historical reading per week; final examination. Fulfills one (of two) Theatre History requirements for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts majors.

Fall 2017: THTR UN3150
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
THTR 3150 001/06594 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
202 Milbank Hall
William Worthen 3 32

THTR UN3151 Western Theatre Traditions: Modern. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Dialectical approach to reading and thinking about the history of dramatic theatre in the west, interrogating the ways poetry inflects, and is inflected by, the material dynamics of performance. We will undertake careful study of the practices of performance, and of the sociocultural, economic, political, and aesthetic conditions animating representative plays of the Western tradition from the late eighteenth century to today; course will also emphasize development of important critical concepts for the analysis of drama, theatre, and performance. Specific attention will be given to the ideology of realism and naturalism, the development of epic theatre, the theatre of cruelty, postcolonial performance, and the continuing invention of dramatic forms (theatre of the absurd, speechplays, postdramatic theatre), as well as to the political and theoretical impact of race, gender, sexuality in modern performance culture. Writing: 2-3 papers; Reading: 1-2 plays, critical and historical reading per week; final examination. Fulfills one (of two) Theatre History requirements for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts majors.

Spring 2017: THTR UN3151
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
THTR 3151 001/03990 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
324 Milbank Hall
Hana Worthen 3 42

THTR V3166 Drama, Theatre, and Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Intensive immersion in fundamental principles and practices of world drama, theatre, and performance, past and present. Close readings of performances, plays, video, film, and digital media.  Assignments include presentations, performance projects, and critical writing. Fulfills one course in Drama, Theatre, and Theory requirement for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts majors.