Courses

FREN 21720 Histoire, Superstitions et Croyances dans le roman francophone des XXe et XXIe siècles

Crosslistings
LACS 21720

L’Afrique et les Antilles sont généralement présentées comme des régions hautement superstitieuses, figées dans les croyances et les traditions. La littérature apparaît comme le lieu privilégié où se reflètent ces éléments culturels. Les écrivains africains et antillais (plus précisément d’Haïti, de Martinique, de Guadeloupe et de la Guyane française) analysent, questionnent, reformulent des récits, mythes et légendes tirés d’une tradition avant tout orale. A leur suite, nous essayerons de remonter aux origines de ces croyances et superstitions. Nous naviguerons entre essais théoriques et récits linéaires pour mener une réflexion critique, et formuler des réponses à un certain nombre de questions, notamment : Croyances et superstitions sont-elles uniquement les vestiges d’un héritage oral ? Comment se rattachent-elles à l’histoire de ces peuples ? Quelle perception [sociale] suscitent-elles ? En tant qu’éléments du récit, quels effets provoquent-elles chez le lecteur ? Soulignent-elles des objectifs spécifiques d’écriture ? Nous examinerons également les rapports entre ces deux notions et celles d’identité et d’altérité.

Les auteurs plus particulièrement étudiés seront Mariama Bâ, René Depestre, Jean-Roger Essomba, Véronique Lordinot, André Paradis, Gisèle Pineau, Jacques Roumain, Simone Schwarz-Bart et Véronique Tadjo. 

This is an introductory-level course.

Prerequisites

Taught in French. FREN 20500 or 20503.

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 22721 Montaigne et la philosophie grecque: cours d'introduction

This course will examine how Montaigne blends different Hellenistic psychological schools of philosophical thought (Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism) into a complex philosophy (or anti-philosophy) about how to live a fulfilling and pleasurable life. The course will examine the fundamental questions raised as Montaigne reacts to these philosophical schools: What is the nature of pleasure, and how or why should we pursue it? How are we to regulate and value different emotional states? What is the proper philosophical and emotional response to the inevitability of death? Throughout the course, we will discover how Montaigne constantly posed and tested these questions for himself in his own life and times.

Prerequisites

FREN 20500 or 20503. This is an introductory-level course. Taught in French.

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 22821 Écritures féminines au XIXe siècle : une introduction

Crosslistings
GNSE 22821

How do women portray themselves in the literary production of the long 19th century? What are the main features of the emergence of female authorship in France in this historical moment? The course aims to provide answers to these and other questions by looking at both canonical texts and lesser-known works by women writers such as George Sand, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Marie Krysinska, Renée Vivien, and Liane de Pougy. 
Our journey will culminate in the Belle Époque (1890-1914), during which an astonishing increase in publications by women writers occurs. In this context, we will reflect on what a female voice entails and whether its features can be isolated when approaching a literary text. Another source of interest in this period is the rediscovery of the myth of Sappho and the exploration of alternative sexualities as discursive spaces of revindication and cultural debate. Finally, we will analyze the importance of an intertextual reading of 19th-century literary production in order to understand how women writers revisit a male-oriented tradition and try to reshape female social and individual identity. Incursions into other media will also contribute to the understanding of the issues at stake.

Prerequisites

FREN 20500 or 20503. This is an introductory-level course. Taught in French.

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 23821 Écritures françaises, autobiographies étrangères: cours d'introduction

Ce cours propose une analyse de l’autobiographie et de l’autofiction francophones du 20e siècle. Nous aborderons notamment les manières dont l’identité nationale et l’identité culturelle se construisent dans un contexte de guerre et de construction postcoloniale. À travers une liste de textes et d’auteurs variés, y compris des œuvres d’autofiction et des autobiographies, nous traiterons le rapport entre le public et le privé par rapport à la représentation de la femme. Nous considérerons la place unique et les modes de représentation de la femme dans l’histoire coloniale et dans le contexte familial.

Prerequisites

FREN 20500 or 20503. This is an introductory-level course. Taught in French.

2020-2021 Spring

FREN 24821 Krik…Krak! African and Caribbean Storytelling: Tradition, Resistance and Empowerment

Africa and Afro-Caribbean people’s oral tradition can be traced back to slavery, when Black slaves turned to storytelling as a means of expression and resistance. With the advent of writing, storytelling flourished, and became associated with entertainment, cultural preservation, and education as well as identity and moral values. Through storytelling, history was conveyed, questions were answered, and lifelong lessons were taught and learned. In this seminar we will explore written storytelling traditions from Africa and Caribbean French-speaking countries through the lens of history, with a focus on contemporary writers. How have writers adapted oral stories to new historical contexts? What are the implications of these adaptations? How has storytelling been streamlined to deal with new challenges, especially political and social status quo? How does storytelling contribute to empowerment and agency? Students will engage in close readings and collaborative discussions to analyze and interpret folktales from Ivory Coast, Haiti, French Guiana, among others.

Prerequisites

Class discussions and readings in French and English. FREN 20500 or 20503.

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 25610 Figures de l’immigré dans la littérature maghrébine d’expression française

La littérature maghrébine d’expression française s’est très tôt intéressée à la question de l’immigration et à la condition de l’immigré maghrébin en France. Associée notamment à la mobilisation des soldats maghrébins lors des deux guerres mondiales, cette immigration commence dès les années 1920 et connaît son apogée pendant les Trente Glorieuses (1946-1975), une période de croissance pendant laquelle l’économie française fait appel à la main d’œuvre maghrébine. L’évolution et les dynamiques du mouvement migratoire maghrébin ont fait l’objet de plusieurs lectures d’ordre historique, politique, économique et socioculturel. Ce cours s’intéresse à l’expérience de l’immigration telle que représentée par les écrivains maghrébins entre le milieu des années 1950 et les années 2000. En étudiant un corpus constitué de romans (Chraïbi, Ben Jelloun, Boudjedra, Mokeddem), de récits (Sebbar, Cherfi) et de théâtre (Kateb), nous nous intéresserons aux figures de l’immigré et à quelques thèmes récurrents tels que l’expérience de l’exil et du déracinement, la misère sociale et psychologique, les questionnements identitaires, les rapports ambivalents aux pays d’origine et d’accueil ainsi que l’expérience des enfants de l’immigration maghrébine. On analysera en particulier les motifs littéraires, les procédés narratifs et les outils esthétiques mis en œuvre par les auteurs maghrébins pour représenter, éclairer ou dénoncer la condition de l’immigré.

Prerequisites

FREN 20500 or 20503. Taught in French.

2020-2021 Spring

FREN 26003 Introduction à l’autobiographie

Crosslistings
GNSE 26003

This course traces the history of the autobiographical genre in France from the eighteenth century to the present. The study of key texts will be accompanied by an introduction to some critical perspectives. We will give special emphasis to questions of reference and authenticity, identity and subject formation, and gender and the family. Authors include Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Stendhal, Colette, Perec, and Sarraute.

This is an introductory-level course.

Prerequisites

FREN 20500 or 20503. Taught in French.

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 26821 Mind and Memory in Nineteenth-Century France

How does memory contribute to defining our identity? What is the role of imagination in the reconstruction of the past? What do literary texts bring up that philosophic and scientific essays cannot add to the discourse on memory? The course will focus on the representation of memory in nineteenth-century French literature through the lens of its connections with the philosophical issues of self and identity. Our analysis of different literary renditions of memory, both in prose and in verse, will start from the end of the eighteenth century with Jean-Jacques Rousseau to arrive to the beginning of the twentieth century, and particularly Marcel Proust’s theory on time and memory. The course also concentrates on some theoretical approaches to this topic, ranging from philosophy to psychology to sociology. Throughout the nineteenth century, these fields of knowledge are deeply intertwined and have a revolutionary impact on the perception of time and self, thus paving the way to modernist subjectivism. 

Prerequisites

FREN 20500 or 20503. Taught in French.

2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 25210 Brevitas

Reflecting on his preference for short literary forms, Italo Calvino identifies brevitas as “the true vocation of Italian literature, which is poor in novelists but rich in poets, who even when they write in prose give their best in texts where the highest degree of invention and thought is contained in a few pages.” Taking as a starting point Calvino’s statement, this course explores the short and fragmentary forms of Italian literature. Not only short stories, but also aphorisms, epigrams, lyrical fragments, cases, and apologues. Some of our guiding questions will be: What are the resources of expressive density? Is a fragment the negation of a superior unity or the compendium of an entire universe? How does silence shape brevitas?
The moments of close reading and theoretical reflection will be alternated with creative writing activities, in which students will have the opportunity to engage more closely and actively with the encountered texts. This course is especially designed to help students improve their written Italian and literary interpretive skills. 

Prerequisites

Taught in Italian.

2020-2021 Autumn

ITAL 26500 Renaissance Demonology

Crosslistings
CMLT 27602, HIST 22110, RLST 26501, GNSE 26504

In this course we analyze the complex concept of demonology according to early modern European culture from a theological, historical, philosophical, and literary point of view. The term 'demon' in the Renaissance encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Demons are hybrids. They are both the Christian devils, but also synonyms for classical deities, and Neo-platonic spiritual beings. As far as Christian theology is concerned, we read selections from Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas's treatises, some complex exorcisms written in Italy, and a recent translation of the infamous "Malleus maleficarum," the most important treatise on witch-hunt. We pay close attention to the historical evolution of the so-called witch-craze in Europe through a selection of the best secondary literature on this subject, with special emphasis on Michel de Certeau's "The Possession at Loudun." We also study how major Italian and Spanish women mystics, such as Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi and Teresa of Avila, approach the issue of demonic temptation and possession. As far as Renaissance Neoplatonic philosophy is concerned, we read selections from Marsilio Ficino's "Platonic Theology" and Girolamo Cardano's mesmerizing autobiography. We also investigate the connection between demonology and melancholy through a close reading of the initial section of Robert Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy" and Cervantes's short story "The Glass Graduate" ("El licenciado Vidriera"). 

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 27020 Modern Italian Cinema: Ways of Representation and Forms of Life

Crosslistings
CMST 23002

The course aims to focus on the bond that exists in the Italian tradition between ways of cinematographic representation and forms of life. Italian cinema, especially from the post-war period on, has in fact contructed a unique link between cinematographic images and the practices, values, customs and lifestyles of an entire country.

Roberto De Gaetano
2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 27500 Women and the Mafia in Contemporary Italian Cinema

Crosslistings
GNSE 27508

This course will examine how gender dynamics within mafia contexts have been represented in a selection of Italian films. Students will engage in cinematic analysis by drawing from sociological and psychological studies on female roles in relation to organized crime. Both these fields, sociology and psychology, have underscored the important part that women play in relation to the mafia, notwithstanding the rigid patriarchal structure that allows only male affiliation. Although focusing primarily on Sicilian mafia, this course will include information on other types of Italian mafia, namely Camorra, ’Ndrangheta and Sacra Corona Unita. Vocabulary in Italian to identify formal elements of the films will be provided throughout the course.

Prerequisites

ITAL 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Italian.

2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 28818 Literature And Technology: Machines, Humans, And Posthumans From Frankenstein To The Futurists

Crosslistings
CMLT 21200, ENGL 21277, PORT 28818

Course description TBA.

Ana Ilievska
2020-2021 Autumn

PORT 27720 Races, Castes, and Their Relations in Latin American Colonial Music

Crosslistings
SPAN 27720, LACS 27720

The course will undertake a critical survey of repertoires, institutions, and social practices related to musical practices in Spain’s and Portugal’s American territories between 1558 and ca. 1800. The missions of the Jesuits and other orders, the constitution of the musical chapels of the cathedrals, the “villancico de negros” and the emergence of local popular musics will be some of the topics examined, with a critical assessment of recent views of the role of Colonial music in current musical life.

Leonardo Waisman
2020-2021 Winter

PORT 28818 Literature And Technology: Machines, Humans, And Posthumans From Frankenstein To The Futurists

Crosslistings
CMLT 21200, ENGL 21277, ITAL 28828

Course description TBA.

Ana Ilievska
2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 21008 Introduction to Latinx Literature

Crosslistings
ENGL 11008, CMLT 11008, LACS 11008

From the activist literature of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement to contemporary fiction and poetry, this course explores the forms, aesthetics, and political engagements of US Latinx literature in the 20th and 21st centuries. Theoretical readings are drawn from Chicanx Studies, Latinx Studies, American Studies, Latin American Studies, Hemispheric Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Postcolonial Studies, as we explore Latinx literature in the context of current debates about globalization, neoliberalism, and US foreign policy; Latinx literature’s response to technological and socio-political changes and its engagement with race, gender, sexuality, class, and labor; and its dialogues with indigenous, Latin American, North American, and European literatures.

Prerequisites

Taught in English. Students seeking RLL credit are required to do the readings in the original Romance language, when available.

2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 21500 Introducción al análisis literario

Through a variety of representative works of Hispanic literature, this course focuses on the discussion and practical application of different approaches to the critical reading of literary texts. We also study basic concepts and problems of literary theory, as well as strategies for research and academic writing in Spanish.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.
 

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 21703 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos españoles clásicos

This course involves careful reading and discussion of significant works from the Spanish Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the Golden Age, including Juan Manuel's Conde Lucanor, Jorge Manrique's Coplas, the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes, and the theater of Calderón.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 21703 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos españoles clásicos

This course involves careful reading and discussion of significant works from the Spanish Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the Golden Age, including Juan Manuel's Conde Lucanor, Jorge Manrique's Coplas, the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes, and the theater of Calderón.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 21803 Literaturas hispánicas: Textos españoles contemporáneos

Este curso ofrecerá un amplio panorama de las literaturas españolas de los siglos XIX-XXI. Buena parte de la historia cultural de España ha estado marcada por la ansiedad respecto al supuesto atraso cultural, político, social y económico del país. La modernidad se convierte así en objeto de deseo y de disputa cultural para los intelectuales españoles que luchan por definir en qué consiste y cómo alcanzarla. Este es el tema que nos guiará, de manera flexible, por las obras de autores como Mariano José de Larra, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Rosalía de Castro, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Leopoldo Alas Clarín, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Luisa Carnés, Ana María Matute, Max Aub y Manuel Rivas, entre otros, complementadas por algunas películas. En relación con este tema principal, se explorarán también el lugar del campo y la ciudad en la imaginación moderna, la cuestión nacional, las luchas por la emancipación de la mujer, las tensión creativa entre tradición y vanguardia artística, o los debates sobre la historia y la memoria del pasado reciente de España.
 

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 21903 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos desde la Colonia a la Independencia

Crosslistings
CRES 21903, LACS 21903

This course examines an array of representative texts written in Spanish America from the colonial period to the late nineteenth century, underscoring not only their aesthetic qualities but also the historical conditions that made their production possible. Among authors studied are Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Simón Bolívar, and José Martí.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 22003 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos del modernismo al presente

Crosslistings
LACS 22003

Students in this course study an array of texts written in Spanish America from the late nineteenth century to the present, including the literature of the Hispanic diasporas. Authors may include José Martí, Rubén Darío, Mariano Azuela, Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Teresa de la Parra, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Pedro Pietri.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 22003 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos del modernismo al presente

Crosslistings
LACS 22003

Students in this course study an array of texts written in Spanish America from the late nineteenth century to the present, including the literature of the Hispanic diasporas. Authors may include José Martí, Rubén Darío, Mariano Azuela, Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Teresa de la Parra, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Pedro Pietri.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 22520 Metaphorical Bondage, Real Captivity: Slavery as a Trope in the Iberian Atlantic

Crosslistings
CRES 22520, LACS 22520

This course will examine the long-lived trope of slavery as a metaphor—for love, sex, god, and imperial domination—in the Iberian Atlantic from the seventeenth to the late-nineteenth centuries. Focusing on literary, spiritual, and political texts, we will explore the ways in which slavery as a metaphor has informed understandings and conceptions of actual slavery in Ibero-America. What happens when a captive writes a poem about being enslaved to their lover? What does it mean for a slave master to define their relationship to Europe in terms of bondage? How must we read spiritual writings and religious sermons depicting God as a “true master” in slave-holding territories? 
In addition to these questions, we will analyze the presence of enslaved people in literary texts written by white Creole authors in order to explore how they shape modern conceptions of freedom and whiteness. Readings will include literary texts by Cuban and Brazilian authors, religious sermons, literature written by slaves and former slaves, as well as independentist letters and pamphlets. In addressing the ubiquity of slavery both as a trope and as a concrete system of labor exploitation and capital accumulation, students will be able to better recognize the material implications of cultural artifacts, and to build connections between the Spanish, Portuguese, and Brazilian empires. 
 

Prerequisites

Class will be taught in English, with the possibility of extra sessions in Spanish for HLBS majors and minors.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 22521 ¿Qué onda, Siri? – Ciencia Ficción Latinoamericana

Intercambio de cartas entre México y la luna, exploradores planetarios argentinos, hackers activistas en Bolivia y viajes en el tiempo para salvar el Caribe. Aunque a lo largo de su historia no haya gozado del mismo prestigio que otros géneros literarios, la ciencia ficción en América Latina tiene ejemplos que datan del siglo XVIII. Sin embargo, no es hasta los 1950s que el género empieza a ganar impulso editorial y, más tarde, académico. Ya en el siglo XXI, autores como Rita Indiana, Pola Oloixarac y Edmundo Paz Soldán han utilizado los variados elementos constitutivos del género y alcanzando incluso reconocimiento internacional. Frente a tal histórico, este curso busca contestar las siguientes preguntas: ¿De qué manera se asemeja y se difiere la ciencia ficción latinoamericana, de país a país, y en comparación al resto del mundo? ¿Cómo se mezclan los elementos tradicionales del género con las culturas nacionales y regionales del subcontinente? ¿Qué particularidades sociales, políticas, económicas, raciales y de género se manifiestan en estos textos que nos ayudan a pensar la realidad de esta región y que la ficción realista históricamente privilegiada no llega a escenificar? Para ello, nos ocuparemos de novelas, cuentos, poemas, películas, series de televisión y performances de América Latina, desde sus principios decimonónicos hasta el presente, enfocándonos en los elementos característicos del género y las representaciones culturales puestas en escena por estos artistas.

Prerequisites

SPAN 20300. Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 22620 Food, Culture and Writing in the Early Modern Spanish Atlantic

Crosslistings
LACS 22620

This class will engage critically with Iberian and Latin American food studies by focusing on iconic everyday food commodities whose history is deeply rooted in colonization, slavery, imperial expansion and evangelization. Students will examine the presence of foods—such as maize, chocolate, sugar, potato and chili— in early modern literature, travel narratives, natural histories and historical documents in order to reflect upon issues like cultural interaction, identity formation and difference in the context of the Spanish Empire. We will read texts such as those by Fernández de Oviedo, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Guamán Poma, as well as unpublished recipes and cookbooks. We will also engage with hands-on research and reconstruction of early modern recipes to gain insight into historical techniques and materials. 
Early modern sources will be put in dialogue with contemporary issues like gastronomic prestige, food justice and sustainability. In doing so, students will be provided with critical tools to analyze the political, economic, gender and racial implications of contemporary discourses of food. 
 

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 22821 Women and Horror in Contemporary Latin America

Crosslistings
LACS 22821, GNSE 22822

In this seminar, students will explore questions relevant to both horror studies in general and contemporary Latin American horror specifically from a feminist perspective. What does horror as a genre contribute to the representation and exploration of women’s experiences of terrifying events in Latin American history and politics? How can we understand the gendered dynamics of Latin American culture and politics through horror? What do gendered themes in Latin American horror say about societal attitudes, oppression, and struggles for equality? How does the representation of Latin American women in horror texts contribute to or subvert forms of oppression? 
This interdisciplinary course will transverse the region as well as genres, covering such texts as the short stories of Amparo Dávila (Mexico) and Mariana Enríquez (Argentina); novellas by Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) and Felisberto Hernández (Uruguay); and films such as As boas maneiras (Brazil, 2017). 

Prerequisites

Discussion will be in Spanish, with readings in both English and Spanish.

2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 27720 Races, Castes, and Their Relations in Latin American Colonial Music

Crosslistings
LACS 27720, PORT 27720

The course will undertake a critical survey of repertoires, institutions, and social practices related to musical practices in Spain’s and Portugal’s American territories between 1558 and ca. 1800. The missions of the Jesuits and other orders, the constitution of the musical chapels of the cathedrals, the “villancico de negros” and the emergence of local popular musics will be some of the topics examined, with a critical assessment of recent views of the role of Colonial music in current musical life.

Leonardo Waisman
2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 31700 La novela historica del presente

Crosslistings
CATA 31700, BASQ 31700

Narratives of recovery and transmission of the historical past play a prominent role in contemporary fiction. In the case of the literatures of Spain —in Basque, Catalan, Galician, and Spanish — the attention given by novelists to the memory of the Civil War, the dictatorship, and the Transition to democracy is such that it could be argued that a new form of historical novel, a sort of “historical novel of the present” (which founds its counterpart in the “history of the present” that has emerged as a booming field among historians), has become one of the dominant modes of postmodern fictional writing. In this course we will explore this recent development in historical fiction through the analysis of a number of works published in the last thirty years.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

BASQ 31700 La novela historica del presente

Crosslistings
CATA 31700, SPAN 31700

Narratives of recovery and transmission of the historical past play a prominent role in contemporary fiction. In the case of the literatures of Spain —in Basque, Catalan, Galician, and Spanish — the attention given by novelists to the memory of the Civil War, the dictatorship, and the Transition to democracy is such that it could be argued that a new form of historical novel, a sort of “historical novel of the present” (which founds its counterpart in the “history of the present” that has emerged as a booming field among historians), has become one of the dominant modes of postmodern fictional writing. In this course we will explore this recent development in historical fiction through the analysis of a number of works published in the last thirty years.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

CATA 22350/CATA 32350 Speaking Truth to Power in Medieval Iberia

Crosslistings
SPAN 22350/32350, MDVL 22350, PORT 22350/32350

In the multilingual and multireligious environment of the Iberian middle ages, poetry can express many things. And while literary history has granted a prestigious space to some of these things, such as love or spirituality, it has consistently neglected others, such as socio-political satire or vulgarity. This class will be paying attention to that other less talked-about poetry that gets into the political struggles of the period, that talks in profanities about profane things. In other words, the poetry that does not speak to the eternity of existence, but that gets its hands dirty with earthly matters. The poetry that savagely mocks and cuts through social conventions in a way that makes seem contemporary Twitter trolls benevolent in comparison. For this class we will be reading authors who wrote in Galician-Portuguese such as Joao Soares de Paiva or King Alfonso X, authors who wrote in Catalan such as Guillem de Bergueda or Ramon Vidal de Besalu, and authors who wrote in Spanish such as Juan Ruiz or Juan de Mena. Translations to Spanish will be provided or worked though class discussion. 

2020-2021 Autumn

CATA 25520/CATA 35520 Narrativas trans en la cultura catalana del siglo XX

Crosslistings
SPAN 25520/35520

Este curso ofrece una síntesis crítica de algunas de las representaciones más destacadas de las vidas las personas trans (transformistas, travestidas y transexuales) en la Barcelona del período que transcurre entre 1914 y 1980 a partir de los testimonios literarios disponibles —redactados fundamentalmente en catalán y en español— que reflejaron las voces, los ecos y las distorsiones de la diversidad sexual en las culturas ibéricas del siglo XX. Estas fuentes primarias se interrelacionarán con documentos periodísticos y ensayísticos, con fotografías y cómics, con películas de ficción y documentales que permitirán profundizar en cuestiones sociales e históricas que incidieron en la plural percepción (auto)biográfica y en los debates sobre la noción de género sexual a lo largo del siglo XX. La ciudad de Barcelona será considerada, por consiguiente, epicentro geográfico real y metáfora de libertades políticas, colectivas e individuales.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

Rafael Mérida
2020-2021 Autumn

CATA 27020/CATA 37020 Christianity and Islam in the Western Mediterranean World during the Late Middle Ages

Crosslistings
SPAN 27020/37020, RLST 27020

El curso analizará los contactos mantenidos entre mundo cristiano y mundo islámico en el Mediterráneo bajomedieval, tomando la Corona de Aragón y sus ricas fuentes documentales como observatorio privilegiado. Las particularidades de la Corona de Aragón se compararán con las de otros estados cristianos del Occidente mediterráneo que mantuvieron relaciones sostenidas con los musulmanes. Tras la definición de la naturaleza y de las especificidades de los contactos político-diplomáticos, mercantiles y pirático-corsarios entre Cristiandad e Islam, las clases se focalizarán en la identificación y caracterización de colectivos y personas que actuaron como mediadores lingüísticos y culturales entre ambas realidades. Se determinarán las circunstancias y motivos que permitieron que agentes diplomáticos, mercaderes, mercenarios, piratas–corsarios o cautivos–esclavos vehicularan los contactos. Y se analizarán y compararán las distintas tipologías documentales que son plasmación de todos esos intercambios y contactos culturales y humanos.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish. 

Roser Salicrú i Lluch
2020-2021 Spring

FREN 23335/FREN 33335 Racial France

Crosslistings
ANTH 23335/33335, CRES 23335

Over the last two decades, questions of race, racial identity, and racial discrimination have come increasingly to the fore in France, despite (or because of) the country's prevailing rhetoric of colorblind indivisibility. These issues are becoming ever more pressing on a background of intensifying racisms and right-wing populisms in Europe. The purpose of this course is to offer analytical perspectives about these critical tensions and their ripples across the landscape of contemporary French politics. Using readings from a wide variety of fields (among others, anthropology, sociology, literature, philosophy, history, political science, and news media), we will unpack the discourses and lived experiences of race that have shaped the politics of national identity and difference in France since the late 18th century. We will see that the question of 'racial France' has been intimately bound up with the country's history of colonialism and decolonization, with its Republican ideology, with matters of law and government, with questions of citizenship, religion and sexuality, with recent debates on multiculturalism, and with white malaise and resentment stirred by the growth of right-wing extremisms. In the course of our examinations, we will also reflect on the specificity of race and racialization in France, and its differences from racecraft in the United States.

Prerequisites

Course taught in Paris.

2020-2021 Spring

FREN 23711/FREN 33711 Littérature et photographie

Ce cours se propose d’interroger les interactions entre littérature et photographie aux XIXe et XXe siècles à travers un parcours à la fois chronologique et thématique, en suivant trois pistes principales: l’influence du regard photographique sur l’écriture romanesque et poétique (Zola, Cendrars, Duras); les réflexions d’écrivains sur la photographie (Baudelaire, Barthes, Guibert); et les relations entre texte et image au sein du livre ou dans les œuvres de plasticiens (Rodenbach, Breton, Ernaux, Calle). Nous étudierons notamment: le rapport entre le visible et le lisible; la théorisation de l’image photographique; les fonctions narratives, illustratives et documentaires de l’image photographique dans la fiction et dans l’autobiographie; et l’histoire de la “photolittérature” comme genre spécifique. Des lectures théoriques et critiques accompagneront l’analyse des textes.
 

Prerequisites

Taught in French. FREN 20500 or 20503, and one other literature course taught in French.

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 24888/FREN 34888 Jeux littéraires, XXe/XXIe siècles

Ce cours abordera l’histoire littérature à travers un prisme particulier: la fréquence des pratiques de jeu dans la production littéraire des XXe et XXIe siècles—des "cadavres exquis" du surréalisme à l’interactivité des littératures numériques, en passant par les contraintes formelles de l’Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (Oulipo). Nous analyserons le rôle de ces pratiques dans l’esthétique et la sociabilité des avant-gardes, tout en tenant compte des théories du jeu les plus pertinentes (Huizinga, Caillois). En plus des travaux d’analyse littéraire, les étudiants participeront à des exercices de création individuels ou collectifs.

Prerequisites

Taught in French. FREN 20500 or 20503, and one other literature course taught in French.

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 25910/FREN 35910 Racine

Crosslistings
FNDL 25910, TAPS 28476

Racine’s tragedies are often considered the culminating achievement of French classicism. Most famous for his powerful re-imaginings of Greek myth (Phèdre, Andromaque), his tragic universe nevertheless ranged considerably wider, from ancient Jewish queens to a contemporary Ottoman harem. We will consider the roots (from Euripides to Corneille) of his theatrical practice as well as its immense influence on future writers (from Voltaire to Proust, Beckett and Genet). 

Prerequisites

At least one French literature course, 21700 or higher. Course taught in French; all work in French for students seeking FREN credit; written work may be in English for those taking course for TAPS or FNDL credit.

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 28410/FREN 38410 Ecrire le « Printemps arabe » au Maghreb : témoignages et perspectives littéraires

Fin 2010, l’immolation de Mohamed Bouazizi, un vendeur ambulant tunisien, déclenche un soulèvement populaire qui s’étend rapidement au reste du monde arabe, entraînant notamment la chute des régimes en Tunisie et en Egypte et une série de reconfigurations d’ordre politique et socio-économique. Si les pays du Maghreb ont vécu ces soulèvements et leurs conséquences de manières différentes, les écrivains maghrébins ont été particulièrement sensibles à l’élan et à la promesse de changement portés par la rue. Ceci étant, et à l’image de l’appellation « Printemps arabe », à la fois utilisée et récusée, les dynamiques et les résultats des protestations ont fait l’objet de nombreux débats. En s’appuyant sur ce contexte historique, ce cours s’intéresse aux différentes modalités d’écriture des soulèvements au Maghreb à travers divers genres littéraires, du témoignage à la fiction, en passant par l’essai, le théâtre ou encore la poésie. En étudiant un corpus de textes francophones issus de la Tunisie (Meddeb, Filali, Bekri), de l’Algérie (Benfodil, Boudjedra, Tamzali, Sebbar) et du Maroc (Ben Jelloun, Elalamy, Terrab), nous nous intéresserons à la représentation de la révolte populaire dans ses dimensions socio-politique et culturelle mais aussi à des questions clés telles que les formes d’engagement des écrivains, leurs approches et choix esthétiques et le rapport entre la dynamique des soulèvements et la construction narrative ou poétique des textes. 

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 29100/FREN 39100 Pascal and Simone Weil

Crosslistings
CMST 29101/39101, RLST 24910, SCTH 38201, FNDL 21812

Blaise Pascal in the seventeenth century and Simone Weil in the twentieth formulated a compelling vision of the human condition torn between greatness and misery. They showed how human imperfection coexists with the noblest callings, how attention struggles with distraction and how individuals can be rescued from their usual reliance on public opinion and customary beliefs. Both thinkers point to the religious dimension of human experience and suggest unorthodox ways of approaching it. We will also study an important text by Gabriel Marcel emphasizing human coexistence and cooperation. 

Prerequisites

Undergraduates must be in their third or fourth year. Taught in English. For French undergraduates and graduates, there will be a bi-weekly one-hour meeting to study the original French texts.

2020-2021 Spring

FREN 29322/FREN 39322 Europe's Intellectual Transformations, Renaissance through Enlightenment

Crosslistings
HIST 29522/39522, KNOW 29522/39522, SIGN 26036, RLST 22605, HCHR 29522

This course will consider the foundational transformations of Western thought from the end of the Middle Ages to the threshold of modernity. It will provide an overview of the three self-conscious and interlinked intellectual revolutions which reshaped early modern Europe: the Renaissance revival of antiquity, the "new philosophy" of the seventeenth century, and the light and dark faces of the Enlightenment. It will treat scholasticism, humanism, the scientific revolution, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, Diderot, and Sade.

Prerequisites

Students taking FREN 29322/39322 must read French texts in French. First-year students and non-History majors welcome.

Ada Palmer
2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 40009 The Archive: Materiality, Visual Culture, Methodology

Crosslistings
CMST 69110

In this research-intensive graduate seminar, students will engage
with a range of methods, questions, and approaches for conducting archival research in filmic, paper and print, and internet databases in American and foreign contexts. Some class content will unfold around French film, art, and cultural and political practices and events between 1871-1970 while we address the discursive transformations around concepts of materiality, visual culture, and the archive itself. We will engage a range of texts on archival methodology; archival theory; the phenomenology of the archive; and case-studies foregrounding modes of archival discovery, evaluation, and interpretation. With
the aim of training students for “deep dive” explorations of material and visual culture, students will be expected to conduct original research on a topic of their own design beginning in week 2.

Interested students should thus submit a short (1 paragraph) description of a research area or interest prior to registration. These descriptions do not have to focus on French or Francophone topics, nor do they have to be fully developed. They must, however, suggest an exploratory, if tentative, question, proposition, or object that the student would like to explore through archival research. Paragraphs should be sent to jenniferwild@uchicago.edu.  
 

Prerequisites

All students (doctoral, MAPH, or MAPS) who are interested in this seminar, but who do not have a specific research question, agenda, or object in mind are nevertheless encouraged to enroll. Such students will be provided with directed questions, topics, or objects for archival research, or research related to the theoretical dimensions of the archive. These students may work collaboratively or in small groups with the aim of building a foundation in primary research methods and objectives, which will lead to a final dossier on their research findings, methodological challenges, roadblocks, and breakthroughs. 

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 42310 World Literatures in Dialogue: Latin American and Francophone Perspectives

Crosslistings
PORT 42310, SPAN 42310, CMLT 42310

This course aims to explore the major debates that have surrounded the concept of “World literature” in both Latin American and Francophone contexts. Building upon a wide range of critical works (Said, Casanova, Damrosch, Apter, Moretti), it highlights the significance of the concept of “World literature” in two different yet equally instructive and often intersecting contexts. 
In the French-speaking world, this course will draw on the Manifesto “Toward a World literature in French” (2007) signed by eminent writers from areas as diverse as Sub-Saharan Africa (Mabanckou, Waberi), North Africa (Ben Jelloun, Sansal), Indian Ocean islands (Ananda Devi, Raharimanana), and the Caribbean (Condé, Laferrière). Some of the key questions that will be studied include the critique of “Francophonie”, the question of multilingualism and its manifestations, and the relationship between world literature and cosmopolitanism. 
In a similar vein, the course will explore the expanding corpus of Latin American scholarship on the topic (Kristal, Siskind, Hoyos) in relation to the contributions of Latin American authors (Bolaño, García Márquez, Indiana, Lisboa, Oloixarac). This portion aims to revisit some of the topics and issues present in contemporary scholarship on world literature as they relate to earlier Latin American theory and criticism, and to discuss major contemporary works that directly intervene on world literature debates today.
 

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

FREN 42777 Montaigne et La Boétie: une amitié littéraire?

Le nom de La Boétie est à jamais lié à celui de Montaigne. La célèbre définition de l’amitié donnée par Montaigne, « parce que c’estoit luy, parce que c’estoit moy », rendit les deux hommes inséparables aux yeux de la postérité. C’est cette amitié soi-disant parfaite proposée par Montaigne que nous aborderons dans ce séminaire. Indicible pour Montaigne, cette amitié reflète pourtant des ambitions professionnelles et éditoriales. Les intentions politiques se confondent alors avec l’expression littéraire d’une amitié érigée en modèle. La Boétie joua en effet un rôle important dans la formation politique de Montaigne et dans son évolution littéraire. Son Discours de la servitude volontaire est aujourd’hui considéré comme un des textes fondateurs de la philosophie politique moderne. Ce traité politique devait à l’origine constituer le cœur du livre de Montaigne, mais il fut retranché au dernier moment, lors de l’impression des Essais en 1580. En fait, la place des écrits de La Boétie dans l’œuvre de Montaigne a toujours été problématique et l’amitié idéalisée par l’auteur des Essais n’est pas exempte de calculs personnels. Ainsi, l’histoire de l’amitié rapportée par Montaigne appelle un commentaire. Nous aborderons donc cette amitié de papier dans son rapport au politique et au social.

Prerequisites

Taught in French, with all readings in French. Oral presentations may be in English.

Intensive course ending on May 15

2020-2021 Spring

FREN 45250 Les victimes de Lumières

Course description TBA.

2020-2021 Winter

FREN 46402 History and Fiction

Crosslistings
PORT 46402, SPAN 46402, HIST 46400

We will explore the relations among historical analysis, historical narrative, and fiction, with an emphasis on the Americas. 

Prerequisites

Graduate seminar; open to upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructors; students taking course with FREN, PORT, or SPAN subject code must do readings and the final paper in the appropriate language. Taught in English.

2020-2021 Autumn

FREN 49100 The Archive: Materiality, Visual Culture, Methodology

Crosslistings
CMST 69110

In this research-intensive graduate seminar, students will engage with a range of methods, questions, and approaches for conducting archival research in filmic, paper and print, and internet databases in American and foreign contexts. Some class content will unfold around French film, art, and cultural and political practices and events between 1871-1970 while we address the discursive transformations around concepts of materiality, visual culture, and the archive itself. We will engage a range of texts on archival methodology; archival theory; the phenomenology of the archive; and case-studies foregrounding modes of archival discovery, evaluation, and interpretation. With the aim of training students for “deep dive” explorations of material and visual culture, students will be expected to conduct original research on a topic of their own design beginning in week 2. Interested students should thus submit a short (1 paragraph) description of a research area or interest prior to registration. These descriptions do not have to focus on French or Francophone topics, nor do they have to be fully developed. They must, however, suggest an exploratory, if tentative, question, proposition, or object that the student would like to explore through archival research. Paragraphs should be sent to jenniferwild@uchicago.edu. 

Prerequisites

All students (doctoral, MAPH, or MAPS) who are interested in this seminar, but who do not have a specific research question, agenda, or object in mind are nevertheless encouraged to enroll. Such students will be provided with directed questions, topics, or objects for archival research, or research related to the theoretical dimensions of the archive. These students may work collaboratively or in small groups with the aim of building a foundation in primary research methods and objectives, which will lead to a final dossier on their research findings, methodological challenges, roadblocks, and breakthroughs. 

2020-2021 Winter

ITAL 21820/ITAL 31820 Italo Calvino: the Dark Side

Crosslistings
FNDL 21820

An intense reading of Italo Calvino’s later works: we will contemplate the orbital debris of Cosmicomics and t zero, and we will follow the labyrinthine threads of The Castle of Crossed Destinies and The Invisible Cities. After stumbling upon the suspended multiple beginnings of If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, we will probe the possibilities of literature with the essays collected in Una pietra sopra. Finally, we will encounter Mr Palomar, who will provide us with a set of instructions on how to neutralize the self and "learn how to be dead.” The approach will be both philosophical and historical, focusing on Calvino’s ambiguous fascination with science, his critique of the aporias of reason and the “dementia” of the intellectual, and his engagement with the nuclear threat of total annihilation.
 

Prerequisites

Taught in Italian.

2020-2021 Winter

ITAL 21900/ITAL 31900 Dante's Divine Comedy I: Inferno

Crosslistings
FNDL 27200, MDVL 21900

This is the first part of a sequence focusing on Dante’s masterpiece. We examine Dante’s Inferno in its cultural (i.e., historical, artistic, philosophical, sociopolitical) context. In particular, we study Dante’s poem alongside other crucial Latin and vernacular texts of his age. They include selections from the Bible, Virgil’s Aeneid, Augustine’s Confessions, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the stilnovist and Siculo-Tuscan poets. Political turmoil, economic transformation, changing philosophical and theological paradigms, and social and religious conflict all converge in the making of the Inferno.

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Winter

ITAL 22101/ITAL 32101 Dante's Divine Comedy III: Paradiso

Crosslistings
FNDL 21804, MDVL 22101

An in-depth study of the third cantica of Dante's masterpiece, considered the most difficult but in many ways also the most innovative. Read alongside his scientific treatise the Convivio and his political manifesto the Monarchia.

Prerequisites

Completion of the previous courses in the sequence not required, but students should familiarize themselves with the Inferno and the Purgatorio before the first day of class. Taught in English.

2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 32304 Patronage and the Production of Culture in Renaissance Italy and Her Neighbors

Crosslistings
HIST 42304

The great works of literature, philosophy, art, architecture, music, and science which the word "Renaissance" invokes were products of a complex system of patronage and hierarchy in which local, personal, and international politics were as essential to innovation as ideas and movements. This course examines how historians of early modern Europe can strive to access, understand, and describe the web of hierarchy and inequality that bound the creative minds of Renaissance Europe to wealthy patrons, poor apprentices, distant princes, friends and rivals, women and servants, and the many other agents, almost invisible in written sources, who were vital to the production and transformation of culture.

Prerequisites

Open to upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor. Taught in English. Students taking course with the ITAL subject code must do readings in Italian.

Ada Palmer
2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 22900/ITAL 32900 Vico's New Science

Crosslistings
FNDL 21408, CMLT 22501/32501

This course offers a close reading of Giambattista Vico's masterpiece, New Science (1744) - a work that sets out to refute "all opinions hitherto held about the principles of humanity." Vico, who is acknowledged as the most resolute scourge of any form of rationalism, breathed new life into rhetoric, imagination, poetry, metaphor, history, and philology in order to promote in his readers that originary "wonder" and "pathos" which sets human beings on the search for truth. However, Vico argues, the truths that are most available and interesting to us are the ones humanity "authored" by means of its culture and history-creating activities. For this reason the study of myth and folklore as well as archeology, anthropology, and ethnology must all play a role in the rediscovery of man. The New Science builds an "alternative philosophy" for a new age and reads like a "novel of formation" recounting the (hi)story of the entire human race and our divine ancestors. In Vico, a prophetic spirit, one recognizes the fulfillment of the Renaissance, the spokesperson of a particular Enlightenment, the precursor of the Kantian revolution, and the forefather of the philosophy of history (Herder, Hegel, and Marx). The New Science remained a strong source of inspiration in the twentieth century (Cassirer, Gadamer, Berlin, Joyce, Beckett, etc.) and may prove relevant in disclosing our own responsibilities in postmodernity.
 

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Autumn

ITAL 23020/ITAL 33020 The Italian Cinematographic Comedy

Crosslistings
CMST 23030/33030

An important genre in Italian cinema is represented by the "commedia," in particular the declination "all'italiana." It is a very original form of representation of the world invented by Italian cinema. The comedy genre has marked many decades of Italian cinematography: from the flot comedies of the Fifties (going back until the Thirties) with films like Due soldi di speranza (1952) bu Renato Castellani, to the grotesque comedy of masks of the Sixties, with authors such as Dino Risi (Il sorpasso, 1962, I mostri, 1963), Mario Monicelli (La Grande Guerra, 1959) and Pietro Germi (Divorzio all'italiana, 1961, Sedotta e abbandonata, 1964), up to the dominance of the grotesque representation of the world, with authors such as Elio Petri (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto, 1972). The heritage of the commedia all'italiana can be found in contemporary Italian cinema, as for example with Nanni Moretti. Moretti's cinema in fact summarizes the entire inheritance of Italian cinematographic modernity--starting from neoralism and up to comedy and author cinema--in one of the most effective ways. The Italian cinematographic comedy is also rooted in the Italian literary tradition, in the masks of the "commedia dell'arte", and generally speaking in the different aspects of grotesque tradition (as analyzed by Bachtin).

Roberto De Gaetano
2020-2021 Spring

ITAL 23510/ITAL 33510 Barocco e Neobarocco

This course investigates the literary, cultural, and ideological facets of seventeenth-century Italian baroque and their role in twentieth-century Italian literature. We will analyze Marino’s ekphrastic poems La galeria, Adone and the genre of “visual poetry” (poesia figurata) through a close reading of Guido Casoni’s La passione di Cristo. To enlighten the baroque’s emphasis on verbal/visual contamination, we will read passages from Emanuele Tesauro’s Il cannocchiale aristotelico and Panegirici, particularly those dedicated to the Holy Shroud of Turin, which the baroque saw as an exceptional hybrid (representation made with Christ’s blood). We will read the first chapter of Marino’s Dicerie sacre (La Pittura. Diceria prima sopra la Santa Sindone), selections from Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti, and Torquato Accetto’s Della dissimulazione onesta. From the modern Neo-baroque, we will read texts that reflect the concepts and rhetorical strategies we found in the seventeenth-century texts. We will analyze crucial novels such as Gadda’s La cognizione del dolore, Ortese’s Il cardillo addolorato, Manganelli’s Dall’inferno, Discorso dell’ombra e dello stemma, and Centuria. We will focus on Sanguineti’s Laborintus and Zanzotto’s La beltà, which is a key text of Italian poetic canon. During the course we will discuss essential secondary literature such as Benjamin’s The Origins of German Tragic Drama, Calabrese’s Il neobarocco, and Harrison’s Reflections on Baroque.

Prerequisites

Taught in Italian.

2020-2021 Winter

ITAL 24920/ITAL 34920 Primo Levi

Crosslistings
FNDL 24920

Witness, novelist, essayist, translator, linguist, chemist, and even entomologist. Primo Levi is a polyhedral author, and this course revisits his work in all its facets. We will privilege the most hybrid of his texts: The Search for Roots, an anthology that collects the author’s favorite readings--a book assembled through the books of the others, but which represents Levi’s most authentic portrait. By using this work as an entry point into Levi’s universe, we will later explore his other texts, addressing issues such as the unsettling relationship between survival and testimony, the “sinful” choice of fiction, the oblique path towards autobiography, and the paradoxes of witnessing by proxy.

Prerequisites

Open to advanced undergrads with consent of instructor. Taught in Italian.

2020-2021 Autumn

ITAL 26002/ITAL 36002 Philosophical Petrarchism

Crosslistings
FNDL 25802

This course is a close reading of Petrarch’s Latin corpus. Readings include the Coronation OrationThe Secret, and selections from Remedies for Fortune Fair and FoulOn Illustrious MenOn Religious Leisure, and The Life of Solitude. Special attention is devoted to Petrarch’s letter collections (Letters on Familiar MattersLetters of Old Age, Book without a Name, etc.) and his invectives. The aim of the course is to familiarize the student with the new and complete Petrarch that emerged in 2004 on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of his birth. Discussion will focus on Petrarch’s self-consciousness as the “father of humanism,” his relationship to Dante, autobiographism, dialogical inquiry, anti-scholasticism, patriotism, and Petrarch’s “civic” reception in the Quattrocento as well as on a comparative evaluation of the nineteenth-century Petrarchs of Alfred Mézières, Georg Voigt, and Francesco De Sanctis.

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Autumn

ITAL 26210/ITAL 36210 The World in Ruins

Crosslistings
CMLT 26211/42311

In this course we will not limit ourselves to the traditional view of ‘ruins’ as remains of ancient or modern buildings. Our course will involve a variety of different artifacts (literary texts, paintings, films, philosophical tracts, etc.) from different cultural moments, in order to attain a clearer understanding of our notion of ruins, decay, and decadence. We will first examine ‘ruins’ in classical cultures, focusing on Plutarch’s short treatise On the Obsolescence of Oracles. We will investigate the ‘discovery’ of ruins in the Renaissance through Petrarch’s Letters on Familiar Matters, his canzoniere, and his epic poem Africa, Francesco Colonna’s verbal/visual Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (The Strife of Love in a Dream), and Joaquim De Bellay’s The Antiquities of Rome. 17th-century approach to ruins and decay will focus on Benjamin’s texts (Origins of the German Tragic Drama among others), Agamben’s response to Benjamin in Man Without Content, and European poetry and paintings. After an analysis of Piranesi’s famous etchings Vedute di Roma, we will approach Romanticism through Leopardi’s and Hölderlin’s works. There will be a screening of Pasolini’s The Walls of Sana’a (1970), which will open our discussion of the concepts of decay and annihilation in modern times. We will read Curzio Malaparte’s novel The Skin and W. G. Sebald’s On the Natural History of Destruction, César Aira’s Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, and the recent Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Spring

PORT 22350/PORT 32350 Speaking Truth to Power in Medieval Iberia

Crosslistings
SPAN 22350/32350, MDVL 22350, CATA 22350/32350

In the multilingual and multireligious environment of the Iberian middle ages, poetry can express many things. And while literary history has granted a prestigious space to some of these things, such as love or spirituality, it has consistently neglected others, such as socio-political satire or vulgarity. This class will be paying attention to that other less talked-about poetry that gets into the political struggles of the period, that talks in profanities about profane things. In other words, the poetry that does not speak to the eternity of existence, but that gets its hands dirty with earthly matters. The poetry that savagely mocks and cuts through social conventions in a way that makes seem contemporary Twitter trolls benevolent in comparison. For this class we will be reading authors who wrote in Galician-Portuguese such as Joao Soares de Paiva or King Alfonso X, authors who wrote in Catalan such as Guillem de Bergueda or Ramon Vidal de Besalu, and authors who wrote in Spanish such as Juan Ruiz or Juan de Mena. Translations to Spanish will be provided or worked though class discussion. 

2020-2021 Autumn

PORT 26810/PORT 36810 From Cannibalism to Tropicalism: Brazilian Avant-Gardes

Crosslistings
LACS 26810/36810

Avant-garde movements, tendencies, and artists have been present in Brazil throughout the 20th century. From the paradigmatic Week of Modern Art in 1922 to the Tropicalism of the 1960s and 1970s, this course revisits works of fiction, poetry, essay, visual arts, film, and music that have shaped the Brazilian avant-gardes. We will focus on the Modernist Movement, Concretism, Neoconcretism, New Cinema, Tropicalism, and regional avant-garde movements produced across the country.

2020-2021 Spring

PORT 27200/PORT 37200 Introduction to Brazilian Culture

Crosslistings
LACS 27200/37200

This course provides a survey of Brazilian culture through its literature, music, cinema, visual arts, and digital culture. Through these different media, we will discuss topics such as urban development, racial issues, gender issues, modernity, deforestation, and internal migrations, besides samba, bossa nova, funk, and visual arts movements, among others. Authors may include Machado de Assis, Oswald de Andrade, Rubem Fonseca, Bernardo Carvalho, Angélica Freitas, Glauber Rocha, Suzana Amaral, and Walter Salles. 

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Winter

PORT 42310 World Literatures in Dialogue: Latin American and Francophone Perspectives

Crosslistings
FREN 42310, SPAN 42310, CMLT 42310

This course aims to explore the major debates that have surrounded the concept of “World literature” in both Latin American and Francophone contexts. Building upon a wide range of critical works (Said, Casanova, Damrosch, Apter, Moretti), it highlights the significance of the concept of “World literature” in two different yet equally instructive and often intersecting contexts. 
In the French-speaking world, this course will draw on the Manifesto “Toward a World literature in French” (2007) signed by eminent writers from areas as diverse as Sub-Saharan Africa (Mabanckou, Waberi), North Africa (Ben Jelloun, Sansal), Indian Ocean islands (Ananda Devi, Raharimanana), and the Caribbean (Condé, Laferrière). Some of the key questions that will be studied include the critique of “Francophonie”, the question of multilingualism and its manifestations, and the relationship between world literature and cosmopolitanism. 
In a similar vein, the course will explore the expanding corpus of Latin American scholarship on the topic (Kristal, Siskind, Hoyos) in relation to the contributions of Latin American authors (Bolaño, García Márquez, Indiana, Lisboa, Oloixarac). This portion aims to revisit some of the topics and issues present in contemporary scholarship on world literature as they relate to earlier Latin American theory and criticism, and to discuss major contemporary works that directly intervene on world literature debates today.
 

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

PORT 46402 History and Fiction

Crosslistings
FREN 46402, SPAN 46402, HIST 46400

We will explore the relations among historical analysis, historical narrative, and fiction, with an emphasis on the Americas. 

Prerequisites

Graduate seminar; open to upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructors; students taking course with FREN, PORT, or SPAN subject code must do readings and the final paper in the appropriate language. Taught in English.

2020-2021 Autumn

RLLT 47000 Academic Publishing

This course is open to all graduate students and will be run as a workshop. The primary goal is to work on the Qualifying Paper with the objective of producing a piece of work that might, with subsequent revision, be submitted to an academic journal for publication. This course is also appropriate for anyone who wants to work on a dissertation proposal or chapter. We will cover all aspects of professional writing, from abstracts and grant proposals to revising manuscripts after readers' reports.

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

2020-2021 Winter

RLLT 48000 Academic Job Market Preparation

Advanced RLL graduate students will prepare and polish materials needed for applying to academic jobs: cover letter, CV, dissertation abstract, research statement, teaching statement, and diversity statement. In addition we will discuss best practices for first-round interviews and campus visits. The course is strongly recommended for students in their fifth and sixth years and open to other students.

2020-2021 Spring

RLLT 48800 Foreign Language Acquisition, Research and Teaching

This course provides students with a foundation in foreign language acquisition and sociolinguistic research pertinent to foreign language teaching, introduces current teaching methodologies and technologies, and discusses their usefulness in the classroom. Designed primarily with RLL students in mind but open to others.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 31700, BASQ 31700 La novela historica del presente

Narratives of recovery and transmission of the historical past play a prominent role in contemporary fiction. In the case of the literatures of Spain —in Basque, Catalan, Galician, and Spanish — the attention given by novelists to the memory of the Civil War, the dictatorship, and the Transition to democracy is such that it could be argued that a new form of historical novel, a sort of “historical novel of the present” (which founds its counterpart in the “history of the present” that has emerged as a booming field among historians), has become one of the dominant modes of postmodern fictional writing. In this course we will explore this recent development in historical fiction through the analysis of a number of works published in the last thirty years.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 31800 Culturas populares en el mundo iberico (siglos XVI-XVII)

The popular classes of early modern Europe engaged in a rich array of cultural practices, including the production and consumption of a wide variety of literary materials. In the Iberian peninsula, moreover, some of the central cultural phenomena of the period are difficult to understand without taking into account the specifically popular social distribution of their uses and appropriations. In this seminar we will explore, for instance, popular readings of the Amadís, carnivalesque discourses and practices, the complexity and multiplicity of the romancero, the development of popular print and pliegos de cordel, the theater of playwrights such as Gil Vicente, Lope de Rueda, Lope de Vega, and Cervantes, or the autobiographies of the Catalan tanner Miquel Parets and the Valencian typographer Juan Martín Cordero. In order to seriously engage in a theoretical discussion about the complex notion of popular culture, we will also read classic essays by Bakhtin, Burke, Ginzburg, De Certeau, Chartier, Gramsci, Frow, Fiske, Caro Baroja, Redondo, and Maravall.
 

2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 22350/SPAN 32350 Speaking Truth to Power in Medieval Iberia

Crosslistings
MDVL 22350, CATA 22350/32350, PORT 22350/32350

In the multilingual and multireligious environment of the Iberian middle ages, poetry can express many things. And while literary history has granted a prestigious space to some of these things, such as love or spirituality, it has consistently neglected others, such as socio-political satire or vulgarity. This class will be paying attention to that other less talked-about poetry that gets into the political struggles of the period, that talks in profanities about profane things. In other words, the poetry that does not speak to the eternity of existence, but that gets its hands dirty with earthly matters. The poetry that savagely mocks and cuts through social conventions in a way that makes seem contemporary Twitter trolls benevolent in comparison. For this class we will be reading authors who wrote in Galician-Portuguese such as Joao Soares de Paiva or King Alfonso X, authors who wrote in Catalan such as Guillem de Bergueda or Ramon Vidal de Besalu, and authors who wrote in Spanish such as Juan Ruiz or Juan de Mena. Translations to Spanish will be provided or worked though class discussion. 

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 23025/SPAN 33025 Vidas infames. Sujetos heterodoxos en el mundo hispánico (1500-1800)

En este curso leeremos y discutiremos las vidas de varias mujeres y hombres comunes perseguidos por la Inquisición hispánica entre 1500 y 1800, aproximadamente, tanto en Europa y el Mediterráneo como en las Américas. La mayoría de estas vidas fueron dichas por los mismos acusados frente a un tribunal eclesiástico. Estas autobiografías orales, producidas en condiciones de máxima dureza y precariedad, revelan la forma en que la vida cotidiana es moldeada e interrumpida por el poder. Leeremos las historias de hombres transgénero, mujeres criptojudías, campesinos moriscos, renegados, profetas y monjas acusadas de sodomía, entre otras; y discutiremos temas como la relación entre poder y subjetividad, heterodoxia y cultura popular, las formas narrativas del yo o la articulación biográfica de la clase, la raza y el género en la primera modernidad. Estas ‘vidas ínfimas’, a pesar de su concreta individualidad, permiten ofrecer un amplio panorama de la historia cultural y social de España y América en la era de la Inquisición.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 33900 El teatro en la corte de Felipe IV

Spectacle plays flourished in the Spanish Golden Age after Philip IV ascended to the throne in 1621. Many of these plays rework mythological materials and make use of mechanical devices and designs prepared by Italian engineers and artists. Not only did these works appeal to the eyes, thus undermining the preeminent role of the poet, but they often included music and dance. And, they were ostensibly written in praise of the king and of his courtiers, who were seen as classical deities walking on earth. Philip's minister, the Count-Duke of Olivares, promoted these works and a vision of Philip as a solar king around whom revolved artists and poets, enjoying his vivifying rays and glorifying his reign. This course will investigate the oppositions between the verbal and the visual, the laudatory and the critical, the Christian and the pagan in a number of plays written during Philip's reign, beginning with Villamediana's La gloria de Niquea and culminating with works by "a true master of the polyphony of the theatrical idiom," Calderón de la Barca. The course will also include a chivalric spectacle play by of one the few women playwrights of the period, Ana Caro.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 35500 New Directions in Afro-Latin Performance

Crosslistings
TAPS 34880

This class engages contemporary conversations in the study of Afro-Latin performance and explores the work of emerging black performance artists across the hemisphere. Tracing performances of blackness from the Southern cone to the Caribbean, we will examine the ways blackness is wielded by the State and by black communities themselves in performance and visual art across the region. We ask: what is the relationship between race and theatricality? What work is blackness made to do in states organized around discourses of racial democracy and mestizaje? How are notions of diaspora constructed through performances of blackness? We take up these questions in our study of reggaetón, hip hop, samba, el baile de los negritos and examine the works of noted and upcoming black artists such as Victoria and Nicomedes Santa-Cruz, Carlos Martiel, Las Nietas de Nonó, and others.

Prerequisites

Knowledge of Spanish is recommended. While the course will be taught in English, many of the performances and at least four of the readings will be in Spanish. 

2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 25520/SPAN 35520 Narrativas trans en la cultura catalana del siglo XX

Crosslistings
CATA 25520/35520

Este curso ofrece una síntesis crítica de algunas de las representaciones más destacadas de las vidas las personas trans (transformistas, travestidas y transexuales) en la Barcelona del período que transcurre entre 1914 y 1980 a partir de los testimonios literarios disponibles —redactados fundamentalmente en catalán y en español— que reflejaron las voces, los ecos y las distorsiones de la diversidad sexual en las culturas ibéricas del siglo XX. Estas fuentes primarias se interrelacionarán con documentos periodísticos y ensayísticos, con fotografías y cómics, con películas de ficción y documentales que permitirán profundizar en cuestiones sociales e históricas que incidieron en la plural percepción (auto)biográfica y en los debates sobre la noción de género sexual a lo largo del siglo XX. La ciudad de Barcelona será considerada, por consiguiente, epicentro geográfico real y metáfora de libertades políticas, colectivas e individuales.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

Rafael Mérida
2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 27020/SPAN 37020 Christianity and Islam in the Western Mediterranean World during the Late Middle Ages

Crosslistings
CATA 27020/37020, RLST 27020

El curso analizará los contactos mantenidos entre mundo cristiano y mundo islámico en el Mediterráneo bajomedieval, tomando la Corona de Aragón y sus ricas fuentes documentales como observatorio privilegiado. Las particularidades de la Corona de Aragón se compararán con las de otros estados cristianos del Occidente mediterráneo que mantuvieron relaciones sostenidas con los musulmanes. Tras la definición de la naturaleza y de las especificidades de los contactos político-diplomáticos, mercantiles y pirático-corsarios entre Cristiandad e Islam, las clases se focalizarán en la identificación y caracterización de colectivos y personas que actuaron como mediadores lingüísticos y culturales entre ambas realidades. Se determinarán las circunstancias y motivos que permitieron que agentes diplomáticos, mercaderes, mercenarios, piratas–corsarios o cautivos–esclavos vehicularan los contactos. Y se analizarán y compararán las distintas tipologías documentales que son plasmación de todos esos intercambios y contactos culturales y humanos.

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

Roser Salicrú i Lluch
2020-2021 Spring

SPAN 27401/SPAN 37401 Literaturas del Caribe Hispanico en el siglo XX

Crosslistings
CRES 27401/37401, LACS 27401/37401

En este curso se estudiarán algunos ejemplos salientes de las literaturas producidas en el Caribe hispánico insular (Cuba, Puerto Rico y Santo Domingo) durante el siglo XX y a principios del XXI. Entre los asuntos a discutir tendrán un lugar principal los modos en que esta producción se ha constituído como respuesta y elaboración estética de las historias de esclavitud, violencia racial y colonialismo, de militarización y desplazamientos territoriales migratorios, que han marcado a la región en su carácter de frontera imperial desde el siglo XVI. En el curso también se abordará la condición simbólica del Caribe como espacio de utopías y catástrofes, escenario previlegiado tanto de las aspiraciones revolucionarias propias de la modernidad (e.g. la Revolución Haitiana del 1791 y la Revolución Cubana del 1959) como de los terrores de la destrucción ecológica (con su experiencia cruel de huracanes y terremotos).
 

Prerequisites

At least one of the following courses: SPAN 21500, 21703, 21803, 21903, or 22003. Taught in Spanish.
 

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 38810 Empire, Slavery & Salvation: Writing Difference in Colonial Americas

Crosslistings
LACS 38810, CMLT 38810

This course explores portrayals of human difference in literature, travel writing, painting, and autobiography from Spain, England, and the Americas. Students will become versed in debates surrounding the emergence of human distinctions based on religion, race, and ethnicity in the early modern era. Understanding these debates and the history surrounding them is crucial to participating in informed discussion, research, and activism regarding issues of race, empire, and colonialism across time and space.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 29117/SPAN 39117 Theater and Performance in Latin America

Crosslistings
LACS 29117/39117, TAPS 28479/38479, GNSE 29117/39117, CRES 29117/39117

What is performance? How has it been used in Latin America and the Caribbean? This course is an introduction to theatre and performance in Latin America and the Caribbean that will examine the intersection of performance and social life. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate ideologies of race, gender and sexuality? What is the role of performance in relation to systems of power? How has it negotiated dictatorship, military rule, and social memory? Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students an overview of Latin American performance including blackface performance, indigenous performance, as well as performance and activism. We will study the works of Coco Fusco, Augusto Boal, Regina Galindo, Yuyachkani among others.

Prerequisites

Undergraduates must be in their third or fourth year. Taught in English.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 42103 Hemispheric Studies

Crosslistings
ENGL 42103, CMLT 42103, LACS 42103

This course examines Hemispheric Studies approaches to the literatures and cultures of the Americas, which combines a commitment to comparatism with attention to the specificities of local contexts ranging from the Southern Cone to the Caribbean to North America. Theories drawn from American Studies, Canadian Studies, Caribbean Studies, Latin American Studies, Poetry and Poetics, Postcolonial Studies, and US Latinx Studies will be explored in relation to literature written primarily but not exclusively in the 20th and 21st centuries by writers residing throughout the Americas. We’ll examine recent, innovative studies being published by contemporary scholars working with Hemispheric methods across several fields. We’ll also consider the politics of academic field formation, debating the theories and uses of a method that takes the American hemisphere as its primary frame yet does not take the US as the default point of departure; and the conceptual and political limitations of such an approach. No knowledge of Spanish, French, or Portuguese is required. 

Prerequisites

Taught in English. Students seeking RLL credit are required to do the readings in the original Romance language, when available.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 42310 World Literatures in Dialogue: Latin American and Francophone Perspectives

Crosslistings
FREN 42310, PORT 42310, CMLT 42310

This course aims to explore the major debates that have surrounded the concept of “World literature” in both Latin American and Francophone contexts. Building upon a wide range of critical works (Said, Casanova, Damrosch, Apter, Moretti), it highlights the significance of the concept of “World literature” in two different yet equally instructive and often intersecting contexts. 
In the French-speaking world, this course will draw on the Manifesto “Toward a World literature in French” (2007) signed by eminent writers from areas as diverse as Sub-Saharan Africa (Mabanckou, Waberi), North Africa (Ben Jelloun, Sansal), Indian Ocean islands (Ananda Devi, Raharimanana), and the Caribbean (Condé, Laferrière). Some of the key questions that will be studied include the critique of “Francophonie”, the question of multilingualism and its manifestations, and the relationship between world literature and cosmopolitanism. 
In a similar vein, the course will explore the expanding corpus of Latin American scholarship on the topic (Kristal, Siskind, Hoyos) in relation to the contributions of Latin American authors (Bolaño, García Márquez, Indiana, Lisboa, Oloixarac). This portion aims to revisit some of the topics and issues present in contemporary scholarship on world literature as they relate to earlier Latin American theory and criticism, and to discuss major contemporary works that directly intervene on world literature debates today.
 

Prerequisites

Taught in English.

SPAN 43333 Waiting for the End of the World

From the beginning of its recorded history, humanity has always been equally fascinated and terrified with the representation of its own finitude. This class explores some of the cultural forms that the imagination of this finitude has inspired in religious, socio-political, and aesthetic terms, focusing on apocalyptic productions coming from the Iberian Middle Ages, such as Julian de Toledo, Beatus de Liebana, Gonzalo de Berceo, or Ramon Llull. Our goal will be to confront the nightmarish scenarios that different forms of society imagined for their ending. In doing so, we will discover that such scenarios for the end of the world, or, at least, the end of the world as humans conceive it, reveal deeply rooted forms of ideological violence, social exclusion, and fear of a chaotic and unpredictable universe. Ultimately, these forms of imagining the end of the world are the proof that it is inherent to the human condition to imagine itself as the center of its own universe, while suspecting that this exceptionality is nothing but wishful thinking. The class will function like a seminar and be discussion-based.

2020-2021 Winter

SPAN 46402 History and Fiction

Crosslistings
FREN 46402, PORT 46402, HIST 46400

We will explore the relations among historical analysis, historical narrative, and fiction, with an emphasis on the Americas. 

Prerequisites

Graduate seminar; open to upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructors; students taking course with FREN, PORT, or SPAN subject code must do readings and the final paper in the appropriate language. Taught in English.

2020-2021 Autumn

SPAN 49350 Literatura e ideas en el Caribe Hispánico: El siglo XIX

Crosslistings
LACS 46350

En este curso examinaremos algunas de las principales corrientes intelectuales del Caribe Hispánico durante el siglo XIX y sus relaciones con la producción literaria de la época. Para ello nos enfocaremos en la lectura cuidadosa de una serie de documentos históricos y de textos literarios clave. En particular, haremos hincapié en los modos en que algunas de las ideas de la Ilustración, del liberalismo y del positivismo filosóficos fueron refuncionalizadas al interior de los debates en torno a la esclavitud así como de los proyectos de independencia nacional y de reforma social que se escenificaron en la región durante este periodo, procurando destacar sus efectos para el desarrollo de determinadas estéticas literarias y retóricas políticas. ¿En qué medida los postulados de la Ilustración sirivieron para estructurar el imaginario pro y anti-esclavista del Caribe Hispánico? ¿Cuál fue la naturaleza de las relaciones entre liberalismo y abolicionismo? ¿Hasta qué punto ciertos principios conceptuales asociados al desarrollo de las modernas ciencias naturales vinieron a apoyar o a cuestionar --y por ende a narrar-- la legitimidad del orden colonial y de los proceso de emancipación social (tales como aquellos relacionados a los derechos de las mujeres y al temprano movimiento obrero) que se despegaron hacia finales del siglo? Y finalmente, ¿cómo la literatura terminó participando de estas polémicas, transformándolas estéticamente en proyectos de ficción?

Prerequisites

Taught in Spanish.

2020-2021 Spring