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Course Offerings

Department of Comparative Literature - Spring 2017


AR    J. Johnson
(class requires permission from department)

AR  J. Johnson
(class requires permission from department)
CMLT-C 523 (35600) Medieval Literature:
The Self and Other in Medieval European Literature

TR 1:00-2:15      Prof. Rosemarie McGerr

This course gives students an opportunity to explore representations of the Self and Other in literature from six areas of Europe from the 6th through 15th centuries. Readings will come from several different literary genres: epic and romance narrative, lyric poetry, drama, and allegorical narrative. In each case, we will look at how the text defines Otherness or questions such definitions -- and explore what implications result for definitions of the Self within the text’s cultural context. People have debated how to define human identity for many centuries; but important elements involve a person’s relationships to other individuals or groups.

Literature can provide a means for making characters seem familiar or desirable to an audience or different from an audience (and often seem dangerous or inferior); but literature can also serve as a forum for raising questions about the assumptions that lie behind people’s conceptions of themselves and others. While some medieval European literary works present a static view or closed perspective on how people should view themselves and others, many medieval literary works offer alternative perspectives on the “Other” and challenge assumptions about how race, gender, religion, and class relate to identity. No prior experience with medieval literature required.

READINGS: Our texts will include lyric poems from courtly and religious traditions, the Song of Roland, the Song of the Cid, Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain, Marie de France’s Lais, Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun's Romance of the Rose, Dante's Divine Comedy, The Second Shepherd's Play, and Everyman. All readings will be available in modern English translation.

REQUIREMENTS: Students will prepare two short reports on recent examples of published scholarship on our assigned readings, a comparative research project proposal, and the research project essay of 23-25 pages (including notes and bibliography).
This course meets with CMLT C321 and MEST M390.
Proust and Narrative Theory
M 4:40-7:10PM Professor Herbert Marks
This course is a chance to come to terms with (to be transformed by?) Marcel Proust’s masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, which has emerged in popular and critical opinion alike as the most influential work of twentieth-century literature. Variously lyrical, analytical, and satirical, the book defies traditional notions of narrative coherence. As it explores what it means to become a writer and the obstacles, internal and external, to succeeding, it offers both a profound study in individual psychology and the portrait of an entire society. It is no coincidence that the rise of Proust’s reputation has overlapped with the ascent of narrative theory; our reading will be accompanied by selections from some of the century‘s most influential critics, from Benjamin and Blanchot to Barthes, Genette, Deleuze, and de Man. We shall also be guided by excerpts from more recent writers, who have focused on such topics as the genesis of the novel, fiction and autobiography, sexual identity, and Proust’s relation to his precursors and to the other arts. Students will have the option of reading in English or French. Written work: brief response papers and a twenty-page final essay.
(Undergraduates need permission of instructor in order to enroll.)

(Requires permission of Department)
CMLT – C680
Advanced Translation Workshop
M WH 108 05:00-07:30pm  Professor Bill Johnston

This class offers an opportunity to develop an extensive literary translation project in a workshop setting. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on a collaborative, exploratory approach to literary translation, and one which is grounded in the practical craft of translation, yet makes use of literary theory and translation theory where these are useful and appropriate.
(Requires permission of instructor)
(Requires permission of Department)

(Requires permission of Department)
(Class graded on deferred R grade basis)
(Requires permission of Department)
(Class graded on deferred R grade basis)
(Requires permission of Department)
(Class graded on deferred R grade basis)


Courses from previous semesters

  • Fall 2016
  • Spring 2016
  • Fall 2015
  • Spring 2015
  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Fall 2013
  • Spring 2013
  • Fall 2012
  • Spring 2012
  • Fall 2011
  • Spring 2011
  • Fall 2010
  • Spring 2010
  • Fall 2009
  • Spring 2009
  • Fall 2008