College of Letters

The College of Letters (COL) is a three-year interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy, from antiquity to the present. During these three years, students participate as a cohort in a series of five colloquia in which they read and discuss (in English) major literary, philosophical, and historical texts and concepts drawn from the three disciplinary fields, and also from monotheistic religious traditions. Majors are invited to think critically about texts in relation to their contexts and influences—both European and non-European—and in relation to the disciplines that shape and are shaped by those texts. Majors also become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad to deepen their knowledge of another culture. As a unique college within the University, the COL has its own library and workspace where students can study together, attend talks, and meet informally with their professors, whose offices surround the library.

Faculty

Joseph J. Fitzpatrick
BA, Harvard University; PHD, Duke University
Assistant Professor of the Practice in Letters

Tushar Irani
BA, Colgate University; PHD, Northwestern University
Associate Professor of Philosophy; Associate Professor of Letters

Ethan Kleinberg
BA, University of California, Berkeley; MA, University of California LA; PHD, University of California LA
Professor of History; Professor of Letters; Director, Center for the Humanities; Executive Editor, History and Theory

Typhaine Leservot
BA, University of Caen; MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; PHD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Professor of Letters; Associate Professor of French; Chair, Romance Languages and Literatures

Ulrich Plass
MA, University of Michigan; PHD, New York University
Professor of German Studies; Professor, Letters

Gabrielle Piedad Ponce-Hegenauer
BA, University of Illinois Urbana; MFA, Johns Hopkins University; PHD, Johns Hopkins University
Assistant Professor of Letters

Daniel Smyth
BA, University of Chicago; MA, University of Chicago; PHD, University of Chicago
Assistant Professor of Letters; Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Jesse Wayne Torgerson
BA, Biola University; MA, University of California, Berkeley; PHD, University of California, Berkeley
Assistant Professor of Letters; Assistant Professor, Medieval Studies; Assistant Professor, History

Khachig Tölölyan
BA, Harvard University; MA, University of Rhode Island; MAA, Wesleyan University; PHD, Brown University
Professor of Letters; Professor of English; Editor, Diaspora; Professor, German Studies

Kari Weil
BA, Cornell University; MA, Princeton University; PHD, Princeton University
University Professor of Letters; Chair, College of Letters

Visiting Faculty

Charles Barber
BA, Harvard University; MFA, Columbia University
Visiting Assistant Professor of Letters

Samuel J Garcia
BA, St. John's College; MT, Harvard University; PHD, Yale University
Visiting Assistant Professor of Letters

Emeriti

Howard I. Needler
BA, Oxford University; BS, Yale University; MA, Oxford University; PHD, Columbia University
Professor of Letters, Emeritus

Laurie Nussdorfer
BA, Yale University; MA, Princeton University; MSC, London School of Economics and Political Science; PHD, Princeton University
Professor of Letters, Emerita; William Armstrong Professor of History, Emerita

Paul Schwaber
BA, Wesleyan University; MA, University of California, Berkeley; PHD, Columbia University
Professor of Letters, Emeritus

Departmental Advising Experts

Tushar Irani; Typhaine Leservot; Ethan Kleinberg; Ulrich Plass; Gabrielle Piedad Ponce-Hegenauer, Khachig Tölölyan; Jesse Torgerson; Kari Weil

COL104 Baroque Rome

This interdisciplinary history seminar for first-year students focuses on Europe's most famous capital city between 1550 and 1650, a period when Rome was a symbol of religious zeal, artistic creativity, and intellectual repression. We will explore these contradictions and their impact on cultural innovation by taking a close look at daily life in early modern Rome and at the lives of some of the city's most celebrated women and men. These saints, murderers, artists, and scientists include San Filippo Neri, Beatrice Cenci, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Galileo. Course materials emphasize writings by historians, art and music historians, and historians of science, as well as visual, literary, musical, and documentary sources from the period. The seminar culminates with a research project on an individual or aspect of baroque Rome.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST118
Prereq: None

COL108 Language

This course, beyond providing an introduction to the science of linguistics, is designed to give students in their first year an awareness of the importance of language in everyday life and of the range of its uses and abuses as a cultural and class marker, vehicle of knowledge, and instrument of power. It is an objective of this course that students who complete it should be better prepared than they were before for the sensitive and exacting study not only of literature but of whatever specialized studies they subsequently undertake. Topics to be considered include whether language is a cultural artifact that is learned or is instinctual; the varieties of languages; language as expression of culture; linguistic imperialism; problems of translation; the distinction between speech and writing; stenolanguage, metalanguage, and poetic language; metaphor and symbol; and semiotics.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL109 A History of Civil Disobedience

This course will explore some classic readings on civil disobedience and nonviolent political resistance in literature, history, and philosophy. We will examine connections between some key moments in the history of intellectual thought in fifth-/fourth-century BCE Athens and the 19th/20th century. The lives of Socrates, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. will be the focus of our study, though we will also read works of Greek tragedy (Sophocles), comedy (Aristophanes), and history (Thucydides), and various different political tracts on civil disobedience from the modern period, including writings by Percy Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Doris Stevens, Rabindranath Tagore, George Orwell, and John Rawls. The course will conclude by examining the use and relevance of nonviolent political action in the 21st century.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: PHIL224
Prereq: None

COL110 What Does Art Mean? Studies in Aesthetics and Cultural Relevance

Humans have felt compelled to make what we now call "art" for millennia; clearly, the drive to create and express is a pressing one in our species. Can we define that drive? The title of this course encompasses multiple questions. What do we mean when we say "art," and is there a way to legitimately wield or deny that designation? Does that designation have universal meaning? Is there an inherent exclusion, or exclusivity, within it? Also, what is art communicating? Is there a common thread or purpose to what we call art? Can there ever be a "right" answer to that question? Or, put another way, if art means one particular thing, does it then cease to be art? Several thinkers in several disciplines, from art history and practice to philosophy to sociology to religion to feminist thought, have weighed in on this question; we will read and analyze some of their arguments and, because this is a writing course, students will have the chance to formulate their own. We will also visit the Davison Art Center, the Yale Art Gallery, and other locations where art can be viewed, experienced, and discussed firsthand.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL112 The European Novel from Cervantes to Calvino

This course provides an introductory survey that tracks the development of the European novel through its major periods--from its origins in DON QUIXOTE through the rise of the novel in 18th-century Britain to romanticism, realism, and modernism.

We will focus on texts that had tremendous impact (and long afterlives) throughout Europe, that inspired responses and imitations in many different languages, and that provided European intellectual culture with archetypal characters and plots through which problems of history, politics, and philosophy were articulated--Voltaire's naïf and Dostoevsky's nihilist; Defoe's heroic bourgeois individualist and Kafka's victim of modern bureaucratic rationality. The readings will also introduce students to some of the European novel's important subgenres (e.g., romance, gothic, grotesque, the philosophical novel) and important narrative forms (e.g., epistolary novel, unreliable narration, free indirect discourse).
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL113 The Language of Poetry

This course will examine how poems are made and how they work, beginning with the question of whether there is such a thing as a distinctively poetic style or function of language--and, consequently, a correspondingly nonpoetic one. Our investigation will combine close reading of lyric poetry (with special attention to early 20th-century Europe) with an overview of relevant texts in poetics, literary theory, and the philosophy of language. Topics will include nonsense verse and sound poetry; free verse and poetic constraints; metaphor and the relationship of thought to language; theories of communication and information; and translation.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL115 How to Read a Literary Text

This course will introduce students to the practice of close reading and to the formal study of literary texts. Working with selections of poetry and prose (including texts that have been translated from languages other than English), students will learn to analyze and make arguments according to the disciplinary methods of literary studies.

Primary readings will include texts from a wide range of historical periods, national literatures, and cultural contexts. Secondary readings will include exemplary works of literary criticism and theoretical writings on critical method. In addition to performing close readings of the primary texts, we will discuss theoretical problems of genre, author, closure, and ambiguity, along with the limitations of formal analysis and the text/context binary.

The governing purpose of this course is to teach students to perform in the written genre of literary close reading as it is practiced in a college essay. The writing assignments, which will include revisions and workshopping, will be treated as an integral part of our course of study.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL117 Writing Love: Myth-Making and Experience in the Literature of Amour

What does it mean to experience love? How do we write about it? What beliefs about love do we hold most dear? What stories or myths do we use to inscribe the indescribable? This course investigates several myths, literary works, and philosophical treatises that attempt to represent, understand, explain, and immortalize the experience of love. From contemporary pop lyrics to Renaissance love poetry and Romanticism, we will look at the ways in which social, personal, and metaphysical experiences of love are illustrated and reimagined in the art of verbal language and literary representation. Beginning with 21st-century pop records like those of Adele, we will rediscover the tradition of love that has come down to us. This course is taught in translation and focused on close readings and discussions of the assigned texts. Students will be given the opportunity to write analytically and creatively in response to the assigned readings.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL118 The Fall of Rome and Other Stories

The fifth-century fall of Rome to barbarian invaders is an idea that slowly crystallized over time. This course will examine the birth and development of this "fall"--one of the most persistent stories in history--using the very texts in which it was first articulated. We will work with a range of authors--Suetonius, Eusebius of Caesarea, Ammianus Marcellinus, Augustine of Hippo, Jordanes, Procopius of Caesarea--to connect the fall of Rome with other attempts to explain catastrophe and change. The course will conclude by surveying the persistence of the fall of Rome as an idea, through the medieval, early modern, and modern periods, right into contemporary discourse.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: CCIV118
Prereq: None

COL120 Muslims, Jews, and Christians: Getting Along in Medieval Spain

For eight centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived side by side as neighbors on the Iberian Peninsula in a carefully negotiated state of coexistence known as "convivencia." While much of the written record is often full of enmity, religious polemic, and mutual suspicion, the artistic record tells another version, of lives lived in close proximity giving rise to shared cultural practices, artistic tastes, and long interludes of mutual well-being.

This seminar will explore the works produced by the pluralistic societies of medieval Iberia from the perspectives of art, architecture, history, archaeology, literature, and music. As we study renowned monuments such as the synagogues of Toledo, the Alhambra, and the Way of St. James, we will learn to decode elements such as dress and home decor, food and hygiene, gardening and agriculture, to expand our picture of culture and lived experience. Finally, we will ask why convivencia ultimately failed, and how the medieval Iberian experience can enlighten our own uneasy attempts at building a multicultural, multiconfessional society.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: FIST122
Prereq: None

COL123 Love, Sex, and Marriage in Renaissance Europe

This writing-intensive seminar will compare literary and artistic depictions of love, sex, and marriage during the Renaissance by authors and artists from England, Spain, France, Flanders, Germany, and Italy. We will read both male and female writers in genres ranging from poetry, the short story, and theater to the essay, the travel narrative, and the sermon. We will also examine other arts such as painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts (e.g., wedding chests). Questions we will explore include, but are not limited to, How were love and marriage related during the Renaissance? What role did sex, gender, and violence play in relationships between couples and within society? How do gender and genre affect the ways in which love, sex, and marriage are depicted? How did cultural differences influence writers' and artists' interpretations of love, sex, and marriage? And what about same-sex unions? Other topics will include virginity and celibacy, erotic literature, family and class structures, and divorce.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FIST123, FGSS123, MDST125
Prereq: None

COL125 Staging America: Modern American Drama

Can modern American drama--as cultural analysis--teach us to reread how America ticks? Together we will explore this question as we read and discuss some of the most provocative classic and uncanonized plays written between the 1910s and the present. Plays by Susan Glaspell, Eugene O'Neill, Mike Gold, workers theater troupes, Clifford Odets, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Amiri Baraka, Arthur Kopit, Ntozake Shange, Luis Valdez, David Mamet, Tony Kushner, Ayad Akhtar, and others will help us think about what's at stake in staging America and equip us as cultural analysts, critical thinkers, close readers of literature, and imaginative historians of culture and theater. This seminar will introduce first-year students to the kind of critical thinking developed in majors such as English; American studies; African American studies; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; College of Letters; theater studies; and the Social and Cultural Theory Certificate.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL175, AMST125, AFAM152, FGSS175, THEA172
Prereq: None

COL128 Constantinople: From Rome to Istanbul

Constantinople was founded by a Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in 330. From there the story gets complicated. Should we account for Constantinople from a Western point of view and call it Roman? Or, should we label it by its Eastern religion and call it Christian? Or, should we see Constantinople's true nature in a transnational Hellenic culture and call it Byzantine? Then, once we have chosen a story to explain the city's nature, how should it end? With the pillaging fourth crusade in 1204, or the Ottoman sack in 1453, or is Constantinople yet alive in modern Istanbul? This course diverges from such narrative frameworks by accounting for Constantinople as, first and foremost, a city. Together we will explore the rich, unevenly distributed, textual and material relics of this medieval metropolis and contribute our finds to a collaborative digital database. Students will draw from this database to craft their own histories, applying both imagination and analysis into a believable and reliable story conveying the diversities and paradoxes of life in The City.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: MDST128, HIST230
Prereq: None

COL129 Writing the French Revolution

Liberty, equality, and fraternity" was the slogan of the French Revolution and features three concepts of enduring interest. In this seminar we will explore the French Revolution and its antecedents--and what these can mean for us today. In the process we will delve into a number of ways of thinking and modes of representation: historical thinking, of course, but we will also get a sense of the origins of sociology and political science, the power of scientific thinking, and differences between literary and visual representation (especially films). This course will also serve as a writing workshop emphasizing the nuts and bolts of good writing and experimenting with such rhetorical modes as argument, personal narrative, persuasion, and fiction-writing.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FIST129
Prereq: None

COL150 Great Books Unbound

This course will introduce students to great works of Western Culture--both textual and performative--and the different ways that a professor of literature, a historian, and a philosopher might read them. The theme of the course is METAMORPHOSIS. Through repeated encounters with Apuleius' GOLDEN ASS, Shakespeare's A WINTER'S TALE, Kafka's METAMORPHOSIS, and Puccini's MADAME BUTTERFLY, we will track the transformation of our theme through questions of translation, reception, language, method, genre, and our own choice to read, think and write through these works. Three College of Letters faculty will alternately lecture and lead small seminars, where students will learn how to transpose their own analysis of these texts into effective writing. We will celebrate the apotheosis of this course with an expedition to the MET's performance of Madame Butterfly.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL186 The Changing American Novel: From Jack Kerouac to Maggy Nelson

This course will discuss eleven novels, exploring changes in the styles, concerns, and attitudes of fiction from World War II to the present. The first half of the course addresses the hegemony of certain forms and issues in novels written primarily by white male authors between 1945 and 1965. The second half is devoted to diverse novels that represent some of the literary, social and political forces that have led to the heterogeneity of the contemporary American novel. The course will explicitly address ways of reading and interpreting.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL186
Prereq: None

COL201 Writing Nonfiction

In this creative course, students will address the elements of creative nonfiction, such as narrative, character, voice, tone, conflict, dialogue, process, and argument. The work of nonfiction writers such as James Agee, George Orwell, Joseph Mitchell, Walker Percy, Anne Lamott, Caroline Knapp, and Dave Eggers will serve as models and inspiration. The course will be taught in workshop fashion, with selected students presenting their writing in class each week.

Charles Barber is the author of two works of nonfiction and a novel in progress. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale Medical School and a visiting writer at the College of Letters.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL202 Poetry and Politics: Pound, Arendt, Lowell

By focusing on the connections among two poets and a political philosopher, this seminar will explore the problematic relationship between art and political life. Robert Lowell sought Ezra Pound as a poetic mentor; Lowell and Hannah Arendt were friends; and all three became embroiled in controversies over the relationship between morality and aesthetics after World War II. The course will ask to what extent poetry can be politically destructive and morally culpable and, conversely, consider whether the writing of poetry can be a redemptive act. Writing assignments will encourage students to focus their discussions of political and aesthetic theory through case studies and to relate ideas to poetry through close readings.

The class will read selections from Pound's CANTOS, including the PISAN CANTOS (1948), giving careful consideration both to his poetic theory and to his attraction to fascism. Our discussion of Pound will conclude with a sustained study of the debates that erupted when the fascist Pound was awarded the 1949 Bollingen Prize for poetry. We will then focus on Arendt's critique of fascism and totalitarianism and her belief that writing, or storytelling, can be morally and politically redemptive. Readings from Arendt will range from THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM (1950) to "Thinking and Moral Considerations" (1984; posthumously published). We will read EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM (1963) in its entirety and consider it as both a treatise in political theory and as a historical narrative. By revisiting the controversy that greeted its publication, we will again take a public debate as a case study that allows us to consider the relation of art and morality. Finally, we will discuss Lowell's poetry as a possible example of the kind of storytelling Arendt endorses, reading LIFE STUDIES (1959) and much of NOTEBOOK (1970). At the same time, we will explore Lowell's admiration for Pound (he was on the committee that awarded Pound the Bollingen prize) and ask to what extent his poetry adequately responds to the dilemmas posed by Pound's example.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL204 British Literature in the Enlightenment: Individualism, Consumer Culture, and the Public Sphere

England was changing rapidly in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indeed, it is often said that this period was crucial for the emergence of individualism, consumer culture, and the public sphere--for the modern world itself. The period is sometimes described as the Age of Reason, but it was also an age of bawdy laughter, intense emotion, brazen self-promotion, serious faith, and gossip in coffeehouses and magazines. It was an age, too, of flourishing marketplaces, imperial expansion, slavery and abolition. This course will track how literary writers celebrated, condemned, participated in, or simply tried to make sense of their changing moment (and the changing understandings of literature available in it).
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL206
Prereq: None

COL206 Remembering the Self: Forces and Forms of Autobiography

Know thyself," commands the Delphic Oracle, and perhaps in response, authors have felt compelled to confess, condemn, forget, and remember past selves in an effort to narrate and so envision who they are in the present. This course will look at a range of autobiographical works from The Confessions of Saint Augustine to contemporary graphic memoirs. We will ask how memory works to conserve, construct, or distance past selves; how bodies delimit selves; and how selves are conceived in and through our relations with others and with our worlds (material, social, and historical).
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL208 Rome Through the Ages

This course surveys the history of Europe's most resonant urban symbol, the city of Rome, from antiquity to the baroque era (1600s). It focuses both on Rome's own urban, political, and cultural history and on the city's changing context as a symbol over 2000 years. This is a lecture and discussion course that emphasizes reading and viewing primary sources, both literary texts and visual images.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST208, MDST208
Prereq: None

COL213 Writing Short Fiction

In this creative course, students will address the elements of writing fiction, such as narrative types and structures, character, voice, conflict, dialogue, and construction of time. The work of 20th-century novelists such as E. M. Forster, Milan Kundera, Graham Greene, A. S. Byatt, Ralph Ellison, Walker Percy, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Jeffrey Eugenides will serve as models and inspiration. The course will be taught in workshop fashion, with selected students presenting their writing in class each week.

Charles Barber is the author of two works of nonfiction and a novel in progress. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale Medical School and a visiting writer at the College of Letters.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL214 The Modern and the Postmodern

In this course we will examine how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change during the last 200 years. Our readings will be drawn from a variety of areas--philosophy, novels, music, painting, and photography--and we will be concerned with the relations between culture and historical change. Finally, we shall try to determine what it means to be modern today and whether it makes sense to go beyond the modern to the postmodern.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-HIST
Identical With: HIST214, CHUM214
Prereq: None

COL215 Theater of Anton Chekhov: Research, Analysis, and Performance

This course will take a journey into the theatrical world of one of the most famous playwrights of all times, Anton Chekhov. Students will read, research, analyze, and perform scenes from all of Chekhov's plays including dramas, comedies, and vaudevilles. Videos of the world's best performances and movies adapted from his dramas will illustrate different artistic approaches to well-known texts. The course will also examine in detail the historical and cultural context of Chekhov's writing, as well as issues of translation and adaptation of his plays for the contemporary theater.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-THEA
Identical With: THEA214, REES279, RUSS279, RULE279
Prereq: None

COL216 Multikulti Germany": Expressions of Germany's Cultural Diversity

That Germany is an ethnically and culturally homogenous country is a myth cultivated by the Nazis. Germany's position in the center of Europe has made its geographical and cultural identity fluid and the make-up of its population diverse at least since the Migration of Peoples (ca. 200-800 CE). Adding to the ethnic and cultural mix were influxes of Jews during the Middle Ages and later; the incursions of armies from all over Europe during the Thirty Years' War; the 17th-century immigration of French Hugenots to Prussia; the redrawing of borders after both world wars; marriages between black GIs and German women after World War II; and, during the labor shortage that followed World War II, the arrival of guest workers from southern and eastern Europe and Turkey, many of whom ended up staying. Refugees also came from Eastern Europe during the Soviet era and during the Bosnian War, and for some people not motivated by political or economic oppression, Germany has proved an attractive destination. In this course we will focus primarily on fiction and nonfiction works by recent immigrants or descendants of immigrants, all of whom write in German and have been translated into English. Among the topics we explore will be homesickness; interactions with the bureaucracy; use of and perspectives on language; questions of citizenship, assimilation, and integration; clashes of cultures; and encounters with xenophobia. We will also look at the particular experience of Afro-Germans.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST234, GELT234
Prereq: None

COL217 Love and Loss in Medieval and Early Modern French Literature and Culture

The interconnected themes of love and loss encompass others such as desire, passion, friendship, death, separation, and grief. This course introduces students to the uses of these themes in French literature of the medieval and early modern periods by reading a range of texts, from the courtly romance and lyric poetry, to the essay, the novella, and theater. We will examine how men and women treat these themes, and we will be especially sensitive to the ways in which women write in genres traditionally dominated by men. Topics of study will include the body, virtues and vices, marriage, sexuality, seduction, chastity, and violence. We will also place emphasis on improving French pronunciation and on developing oral presentation and written skills. Readings, papers, and discussions will be in French.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN222, MDST224
Prereq: None

COL219 Modern Spain: Literature, Painting, and the Arts in Their Historical Context

In this course, we study the so-called "masterpieces" of modern and contemporary Spanish literature, painting, and film (18th century to the present). The works chosen represent the major literary and cultural movements of the past three centuries: the Enlightenment, Romanticism, realism, and naturalism, the generations of 98 and 27, the avant-garde, neorealism, and postmodernism. As masterpieces, they have achieved canonical status through either the influence they have come to exercise over successive generations or their popular reception at the time of their production. In our close analysis of these works, we will interrogate the processes and conditions of canonicity. We will emphasize the relationship between cultural production and historical context, seeking to draw analogies at all times between the short stories, novels, poems, plays, paintings, and movies under consideration and the social, political, and economic milieu from which they emerged.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN250
Prereq: None

COL220 Modern Christian Thought

This course will provide an introduction to the field of Christian thought by exploring the relationship between conceptions of God and conceptions of selfhood, from St. Augustine through mystical liberation, black, feminist, womanist, evangelical, process, and eco-theologies. How do the ways people think about God reflect, support, or interrupt the ways they think about the human subject? And what sorts of ethics, communities, and political decisions do these models underwrite?
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RELI
Identical With: RELI220
Prereq: None

COL223 The Picaresque Hero: Rogue (Picaro), Anti-Hero, Citizen

A new type of character, the rogue or pícaro, emerges in early modern fiction, in a new genre (we now call the picaresque) built around an anti-hero. This course explores how and why the anti-hero displaced the virtuous ideal of the hero prevailing in classical and medieval literature. Through Spanish picaresque novels written between 1554 and 1647, we will trace the pícaro as a character who evokes, parodies, and subverts the attributes associated with the ideal citizen. To understand how the picaresque accomplishes this, we will look at its interplay with competing, often idealizing, genres (e.g., autobiography, lives of saints and soldiers, inquisitorial confessions, the arts of letter writing), together with political theory and natural-law theories of the period. Finally, we will look ahead to 20th-century examples of picaresque narrative such as Louis-Ferdinand Céline's JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT or E. L. Doctorow's BILLY BATHGATE, considering what picaresque characters mean for us now.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN233
Prereq: None

COL224 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Rethinking the Italian Renaissance

In this course we explore the intellectual achievements of the Italian Renaissance. We study the development of new secular values and the quest for the fulfillment of body and soul, glory, and exuberant pleasures. We question notions of beauty, symmetry, proportion, and order. We also unveil often-neglected aspects of Renaissance counter-cultures, such as the aesthetics of ugliness and obscenity and practices of marginalization (e.g., misogyny, homophobia). We inquire into the rediscovery of classical civilizations. We consider how the study of antiquity fundamentally changed the politics, literatures, arts, and philosophies of Italy at the dawn of the modern era. Through a close reading of texts by authors such as Francesco Petrarca, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Michelangelo, we investigate continuities and ruptures between their quest for human identity and ours. This course is conducted in English, and all primary and secondary sources are in English.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FIST224, ITAL224, MDST223
Prereq: None

COL225 20th-Century Franco-Caribbean Literature and the Search for Identity

This course investigates how 20th-century Francophone literature from the Caribbean defines Caribbean identity. Through a study of literary texts, films, and paintings from Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti, Guyana, and Louisiana, we will explore the evolution of Caribbean self-definition, focusing on the major concepts of Negritude, Antillanite, Creolite, and Louisianitude.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: AFAM223, AMST226, FREN225, LAST220
Prereq: None

COL226 Dialogue of Poets: Classical and 20th-Century Poetry in Spain and Latin America

This course samples the rich tradition of Spanish-language verse from its beginnings to the present. It is organized around four primary dialogues: (1) the creative reception by leading 20th-century poets from Spain and Latin America (e.g., Neruda, Lorca, Machado, Borges, Paz, Rossetti) of classical poets (Saint John of the Cross, Góngora, Quevedo, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz); (2) the interplay of poetry and essays by those same poets; (3) the round-trip fertilization of popular and elite, oral and written forms of poetry; and (4) the crossing of linguistic, ethnic, religious, and gender boundaries that has shaped Spanish-language verse from its beginnings as love lyrics embedded in Hebrew and Arabic poems (jarchas) to the creative stimulus of other Romance languages (especially Galician and Catalan) in Spain, through Latin American poets open to Amerindian and African influences, and Hispanic-American poets exploring bilingualism in the U.S. We will read lyric, epic, and burlesque verse on a wide variety of themes (mysticism, sex, history, reason, travel, love, politics, sensory perception, death, and poetry itself); reflect on how poetry can best be enjoyed and understood; and consider how poetry has been produced, heard, read, and used (ritual and spontaneous song; minstrel performance of epic and ballads; courtly patronage, literary academies, and manuscript circulation; private reading of printed texts and commodification; and 20th-century singer-songwriter musical settings and politics). Although no prior expertise in poetry is expected, a willingness to engage it closely (textually and historically) is essential.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN232, LAST232
Prereq: None

COL227 Life Writing: Writing About the Self and from Experience

This course will examine both the power and the complexities of writing that derives from personal experience. Topics to be addressed, in turn, are memory (and its reliability); experience (authoritative/reportorial vs. interpretative/symbolic); identity and voice of the narrator; and agency (the degree to which the narrator is in control, or not in control, of the narrative). Types of life writing that will be explored are coming-of-age narratives, illness and trauma narratives, confessional narratives, autobiographical poetry and song lyrics, and interviews/oral histories. Readings and materials include Shadd Maruna, William Styron, Mary Karr, Donna Tartt, James Joyce, and many others.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL228 Virtue and Vice in History, Literature, and Philosophy

Beginning with Aristotle and Confucius and reading our way through significant texts of Christianity, humanism, postmodernism, and contemporary cultural productions, we will explore the ethics, power, and politics interesecting in the idea of virtue.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: CHUM228, PHIL112, HIST140
Prereq: None

COL229 Heroes, Lovers, and Swindlers: Medieval and Renaissance Spanish Literature and History

This course is designed to develop students' ability to make informed and creative sense of four fascinating, complex, and influential medieval and Renaissance Spanish texts in their multiple (literary, historical) contexts: the "national" epic EL CID (12th--13th century); the bawdy and highly theatrical prose dialogue known as LA CELESTINA (1499); the anonymous LAZARILLO (1554), the first picaresque novel; and María de Zayas's proto-feminist novella THE WAGES OF VICE (1647). Through these and selected historical readings, the course is also intended to provide students with a basic knowledge of Spanish culture (in its plurality) from the 11th through the 17th centuries, the texture of everyday life, and the larger movements of long-term historical change. We will draw on literature and history to imagine the world of chivalry and crusade in the medieval Spain of "the three religions of the book" (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam); of mercantile values, courtly love, and prostitution in the Renaissance city; of social injustice and religious hypocrisy in imperial Spain; and of the exacerbated gender and caste tensions that followed from the political crises of the 1640s. We will reflect on the interplay of literature and history in our efforts to come to grips with a past both familiar and strange; address the crossing of linguistic, artistic, ethnic, religious, caste, and gender boundaries that has long been a conspicuous feature of Spanish society; and consider what texts and lives of the past might still have to say to us today. No prior historical or literary preparation is required, only a willingness to engage the readings closely (textually and historically).
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN230, MDST228
Prereq: None

COL230 Introduction to European Avant-Garde, 1880--1940

This course will introduce students to the major avant-garde art movements from the first half of the 20th century as they took root in France, Germany, Italy, Holland, and Russia. Our focus will be on painting, but we will also look at attempts to go beyond painting in an attempt to gain greater immediacy or social relevance for art. Topics that will receive special emphasis include the relationship between abstraction and figuration, the impact of primitivism and contact with non-Western arts, modernism's relationship to mass culture, war and revolution, gender and representation, art and dictatorship, and the utopian impulse to have the arts redesign society as a whole.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ART
Identical With: ARHA241, FIST241, GRST241
Prereq: None

COL231 Orientalism: Spain and Africa

Over the past several decades, North African and Middle Eastern cultures have become conspicuously important within the Spanish cultural arena. Translations of writers from Lebanon to Morocco abound in Spanish bookstores. Spanish writers have begun addressing North African and Middle Eastern issues with greater frequency, especially in their novels. The dramatic rise in the African immigrant population in Spain during the 1980s and 1990s, meanwhile, has been matched by a rise in press coverage of issues pertaining to Africa and the Middle East. These factors constitute the point of departure for our historical overview of the treatment of Islamic cultures in modern Spain, from early 19th century to the present. Guided by Edward Said's seminal essay, ORIENTALISM, we will assess the extent to which (and the process by which) Spain passes from the Orientalized subject of European Romanticism (painting, literature, music) to an Orientalizing European power in the late 20th century. In doing so, we will seek to relate the representation of Islamic cultures in Spanish literature and painting to social, political, and economic factors, most important of which was Spain's military invasion into Morocco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We will also survey changing attitudes among Spanish intellectuals with regard to the Islamic world and toward Spain's Islamic heritage, the result, perhaps, of 20th-century modernization and, most recently, of Spain's full integration, after Franco's death, into Europe's military and political structures. The tools for this study include works of literature primarily, but we will also focus on painting, historical essays, newspaper articles, and film.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN264
Prereq: None

COL232 Paris and Its Representations: Realities and Fantasies

This course investigates some of the myths and realities of Paris. Starting from an analysis of Paris in late 19th-century novels and paintings, we will explore the shifting perceptions of the city during the 20th century in fiction, poetry, photography, painting, and film. We will focus on such themes as the role of history in the structuring of the city, the importance of architecture in the ever-changing social fabric, and the recurrent opposition between the city and its suburbs. Students will be asked to attend various screenings.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN331
Prereq: None

COL233 Tales of Transcendental Homelessness: Journey, Adventure, and the Foreigner Before the Novel

Happy are those ages when the starry sky is the map of all possible paths. The world is wide and yet it is like a home," wrote Georg Lukács in his 1916 Theory of the Novel. How do the conditions of linguistic, cultural, metaphysical, and material homelessness occasion the ways in which identity is lexically structured and recast? This course examines the role that travel, new encounters, playing the foreigner, greeting the visitor, and sojourning through multicultural landscapes played in the growth of imaginative literature during the European Renaissance. In addition to a focus on early modern rise of novelistic storytelling in Boccaccio, de Navarre, Colonna, Montalvo, Montemayor, Cervantes, Basho, Voltaire, Sterne, and anonymous authors, readings will include selections from Ancient Greek, Latin, and Medieval forms of novelistic prose. We will conclude with a contemporary piece of journalistic storytelling--Fractured Lands (August 14, 2016)--a full-length narrative account of life in the Middle East following the Arab Spring. Through a discussion of the ways in which previously observed narrative forms are employed to recast international news within the context of a national newspaper we will engage our study of narrative structure with several contemporary problematics involved in the representation of life outside the United States. Throughout this course we will engage with Lukács's sense of our own modern transcendental homelessness and examine how the historical conditions of various cultures gave rise to the invention and transmutation of aesthetic forms. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which characters and authors navigate literary (and self-) representation in the absence of a set linguistic home.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL234 The Cosmos of Dante's Comedy

This course provides an in-depth introduction to Dante Alighieri's 14th-century masterpiece as a point of entry to the history of Western literature, philosophy, and science. The core of the course consists of an intensive study of Dante's encyclopedic poem in relation to the culture and history of Medieval Europe. Major topics include: representations of the afterlife; the soul's relation to the divine; concepts of modernity and antiquity in the Middle Ages; notions of authorship and authority during the 13th and 14th centuries; vernacular poetics and the medieval genre system; the culture and materiality of manuscripts in the Middle Ages; gender and genre in Dante and the 12th- to 14th-century lyric; intertextuality and imitation; classical and medieval language theory; the role of the classics in the Middle Ages; Dante's concepts of governance; myth and theology in Dante's Christian poetics; and the reception to Dante's work from the 14th-century to present. The course combines a close analysis of Dante's literary strategies with exercises in critical writing and in multimedia translation and adaptation, aimed at prompting critical reflection on the ways in which present cultural practices are built upon the practices of the past. This course is conducted in English; no previous knowledge of Italian is required.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FIST226, ITAL226, RELI218, MDST226
Prereq: None

COL235 The Spanish Inquisition

Few institutions are as notorious as the Spanish Inquisition. Reviled in literature (most famously by Dostoyevsky in his Brothers Karamazov) and lampooned in popular culture (by Monty Python, among others), the Spanish Inquisition remains a potent symbol of both religious fanaticism and ecclesiastical power run amok. In this seminar, we will consider the history and legacy of the Spanish Inquisition, which existed for 356 years (1478--1834) and operated in both Spain and Spain's colonies overseas. We will examine not only the historical record itself (e.g., transcripts of actual trials, individual case studies) but also various depictions of the Inquisition found in imaginative media (art, literature, and film). Our subject, then, will be the Spanish Inquisition both real and imagined. Why did this institution arise? How did it survive for as long as it did? And does the legend of the Spanish Inquisition match its history?
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: FIST235
Prereq: None

COL236 Witchcraft in the Early Modern World

Between the years 1400 and 1800, approximately 100,000 people were prosecuted on the charge of witchcraft in both Europe and colonial America. Of this number, roughly half were executed. While these estimates are much lower than popularly believed--Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE told legions of readers that "an astounding five million women" had been burned at the stake--they are nonetheless startling numbers for a modern audience. In this seminar, we will examine the phenomenon of witchcraft and witch-hunts in early modern Europe and Europe's colonies in the Americas. What confluence of beliefs--religious, legal, cultural--made such prosecutions possible? Of those tried, why were the vast majority women? And how is the witch of history different than the witch of myth, literature, and popular culture? To explore these questions, we will consider historical sources (e.g., case studies, trial records), literary depictions (e.g., plays, fairy tales), and representations in film (e.g., Häxan, The Craft, The VVitch).
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: FREN238
Prereq: None

COL237 The World of Federico García Lorca: Tradition and Modernity in the Spanish Avant-Garde

Our focus will be the Spanish avant-garde as mirrored in the poetry and plays of Federico García Lorca, one of Europe's most celebrated authors. A substantial portion of the syllabus includes the poetry and plays of writers who represent the literary traditions (classical, medieval, Golden Age) and contemporary intellectual context (1900--1936) that influenced Lorca. These readings will help us to understand how the modern and the popular interact in the literature and visual arts (Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel) of this period of intense intellectual ferment. Since intellectual and ideological ferment run parallel during these years, we will also study the relationship between the arts and ideology, concentrating on the portrayal of Lorca as a modern bard or public intellectual in the context of the Second Republic (1931--1939), Spain's first important experiment with a progressive democracy.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN254, THEA254
Prereq: None

COL238 Animal Theories/Human Fictions

The question of "the animal" has become a recent focus of theory, although depictions of nonhuman animals can be traced to the very origins of representation. This course will move among literature, philosophy, art, and theory in an effort to trace the changing conceptions of human-animal difference and human-animal relations from 18th-century fictions of savage men and wild children to current theories of the posthuman. We will consider the ways that the representation of "the animal" intersects with theories of gender and race as it also contests the grounds of representation itself. Authors may include Rousseau, Poe, Sewell, Mann, Colette, Coetzee, Heidegger, Agamben, Derrida, and Harway.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: FGSS239, ENGL252
Prereq: None

COL239 Paris, 19th Century

In the course of the 19th century, under the influence of urban growth, political upheaval, and economic speculation, the city of Paris offered an increasingly seductive but also unpredictable spectacle to artists and intellectuals who attempted to represent the city and envision their role within it. This course will consider both the lure and the effects of this spectacle, paying particular attention to the ways in which the "rebuilding" of Paris under Haussmann and Napoleon III led to reconceptualizations of public and private space in the city and to new spatial and social distinctions by gender and class. We will ask how these visual attractions and social-spatial configurations were ultimately seen to affect the more intimate and psychological spaces for understanding the self and its relation to the other. Authors may include Balzac, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Zola, Maupassant, Huysmans, and Rachilde.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: FREN339
Prereq: None

COL240 Modernism and Modernity in 19th-Century French Painting

This course looks at factors that contributed to Paris's rise as the preeminent artistic center in the West at the time of the French Revolution and traces the evolution of French art throughout what would prove to be an extraordinary century of formal advance and experiment ending in impressionism and postimpressionism. The story of French art is one in which timeless ideals and triumphal narratives were continually put under pressure by the imperative to model the contingency of modern experience. Themes we will explore in this class include the significance of a public sphere for art making and the relationship between artistic advance and appeals to an ever-widening public; painting and revolution; history painting; the persistence of classical ideals and their relationship to modern subjects and experience; the new focus on sensation and the rise of landscape painting; the decline of narrative in painting in favor of form and surface; the relationship between modern art and academic practice; the rise of feminism and attempts on the part of women artists to find their own voice in a masculine practice; the conflict between the unabashed pursuit of artistic individualism and the need to define collective values and experience; the significance of the decorative to painting at the end of the century; and the relationship between art's embrace of privacy, domesticity, and intimacy at the end of the century and France's revolutionary legacy.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ART
Identical With: ARHA240, FIST240
Prereq: None

COL241 Sophomore Colloquium

This is the first of the five multidisciplinary colloquia required of all COL majors. It must be taken during the first semester of the major's sophomore year. The topic is antiquity, and the course covers major texts of the Greek and Roman/Latin traditions, along with selections from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-COL
Prereq: None

COL243 Junior Colloquium

This is the second of the five multidisciplinary colloquia required of all COL majors and must be taken in the first semester of the major's junior year. The topic is the medieval period, and the course covers the literature, philosophy, and history of roughly a millennium, from 500 CE to 1475 CE.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-COL
Prereq: None

COL244 Junior Colloquium

This is the third of the five multidisciplinary colloquia required of all COL majors and must be taken in the second semester of the major's junior year. Its topics are drawn from the literature, history, and philosophy of Europe in the period 1475--1800.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL245 Senior Colloquium

This is the fourth of the five multidisciplinary colloquia required of all COL majors and must be taken in the first semester of the major's senior year. The topics covered include literature, history, and philosophy in the 19th century, which in this context, can extend from 1789 to 1900.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-COL
Prereq: None

COL246 Senior Colloquium

This is the fifth and final of the five multidisciplinary colloquia required of all COL majors and must be taken in the second semester of the major's senior year. It includes texts from the literature, history, and philosophy of the 20th century, extending from 1900 to 2015.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL248 Urban Fantasies: The City, Sexuality, and National Identity in the Modern Spanish Novel

The novel as we know it today reached maturity in Europe in the 19th century against the backdrop of a rapidly changing social and economic context and the emergence of the metropolis as a "capital" coordinate (literally and figuratively) on the map of national cultures. The rapid growth of a powerful bourgeoisie is equally important within this cultural dynamic, manifesting itself as it does through demographic changes, urban expansion, and the predominance of a bourgeois aesthetic in art and literature. In Spain, these phenomena are acutely reflected by two novelists, Benito Pérez Galdós and Leopoldo Alas ("Clarín"). Through a close reading of what are widely regarded as masterpieces of the modern Spanish novel, FORTUNATA Y JACINTA (Galdós) and LA REGENTA ("Clarín"), we will seek to evaluate how narrative and the cityscape form interlocking textualities within each of which the family is protagonist and sexuality a central theme.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN251
Prereq: None

COL249 Narrative and Ideology

When ballads were popular songs that told stories, Andrew Fletcher (1655--1716) emphasized the importance of controlling dominant narratives: "If a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation." Nowadays, stories take various forms, among them cinematic, and they circulate and are consumed in vast quantities. People make stories, and the consumption of those stories, in turn, "makes" people, helping to construct individual subjectivity and collective discourse. How do narratives function as the vehicles for both overt and covert ideologies? How do stories change as they become such vehicles, and how do ideologies change when they are embedded in stories? This course pursues these questions through the analysis of the narrative structure of post-1980 American films, supplemental by reading some film theory. It combines short lectures (mainly in the first few weeks) with much discussion.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: ENGL247
Prereq: None

COL251 Kafka: Literature, Law, and Power

Elias Canetti claimed that among all writers, Kafka was "the greatest expert on power." In this course we will focus on Kafka's narratives of power relations. We will read and discuss Kafka's sometimes painfully precise descriptions of how power is exerted in the family and in personal relationships and how scrutiny and discipline are exercised over the body. We will also consider Kafka's depictions of physical violence and of apparatuses and institutions of power and the ethical and political implications of these depictions. The working hypothesis of this course is that Kafka not only tells stories about power, but that his stories also contain an implicit theory of how power works in modern society.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST251
Prereq: None

COL253 Existentialism

This course is an introduction to 20th-century French existentialism. "Existentialism" is both a philosophical tradition and a term that is central to the intellectual history of Western thought. The term was explicitly adopted as a self-description by Jean-Paul Sartre and was widely disseminated both by his own literary and philosophical contributions and those of his associates--notably Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Albert Camus. Existentialism became identified with a cultural movement that flourished in Europe in the 1940s and '50s. It also resonated widely with anti-colonial thinkers across the globe. Thus, through the work of Frantz Fanon, Richard Wright, and Sartre's own intellectual engagement with colonialism and oppression, we will also explore the ways in which existentialism gradually became an intellectual and political tool for contestation against racism and European imperialism.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL256
Prereq: None

COL254 Folly & Enlightenment: Madness Before and After the Mind/Body Split

This course examines a variety of ways in which madness has been conceptualized in the history of literature, philosophy, and medicine. Through close readings of classical, early modern, and modern works we will consider forms of human disquiet which have been framed as amorous rapture, poetic furor, the wisdom of folly, visionary experience, satiric subversion, apotheosis, and enlightenment. We will reconsider Foucault's observation that madness is contingent on society by exploring the ways in which perceivably mad characters interact with the limits of their social restrictions and the boundaries of consciousness in order to reveal truths and manifest new outcomes. Special attention will be paid to relationship between insanity and intellect. What is madness? What does it reveal to us about ourselves and our worlds? How does the history of madness inform our understanding of contemporary discourse in mental health and psychic well-being? In addition to the primary texts listed below, readings will be supplemented with brief excerpts from Hippocrates, Galen, Cicero, Ficino, Huarte de San Juan, Bruno, Freud, Jung, Laing, Foucault and Deleuze.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL255 The Invention of Fiction: Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron

In this course we read and discuss Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron (ca. 1353), a collection of 100 short stories traded by an "honest brigade" of 10 Florentine men and women. They tell each other these stories while sheltered in a secluded villa as the plague of 1348 rages in Florence. We study the Decameron as both a product and an interpretation of the world Boccaccio inhabited. We examine the Decameron's tales and narrative frame as a point of entry into the cultural and social environment of medieval Italy. We look at its scurrilous, amusing, and provocative innuendos as traces of erotic, religious, ethnic, and cultural questions. We investigate the sexual exuberance of many of Boccaccio's tales and the tension between "high" and "low" culture. We consider the development of mercantilism and literacy in early-modern Europe and its emerging virtues of wit and self-reliance. We review the dynamics of composition and reception in manuscript culture and the book's adaptation into different media, from illuminations to film. And by impersonating the 10 Florentines, we will reenact their pastime of telling stories and appreciate Boccaccio's remarkably modern sensibility and unsurpassed art of writing fiction. This course is conducted in Italian.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: ITAL235, MDST245
Prereq: None

COL256 The Emergence of World Literature(s)

In the past four decades, the traditional study of national territories, their cultures, and literatures has been supplemented and challenged by concepts and phenomena such as the transnational, the diasporic, the global, and the cosmopolitan, as well as by new curricular categories such as world history, world politics, and world literature. This course will focus on world literature and will examine literary, historical, and theoretical texts to ask what is at stake in this new area. Topics will include, but are not limited to, the networks along which narratives circulate; the aesthetic and other standards that regulate the selection of plots and themes that appeal to the cultural gatekeepers; the politics of continued domination, subordination, and cultural imperialism; inclusion and exclusion; and margins, peripheries, and centers. There is as yet no single accepted theory, no consensus history, and no established canon or geography of world literature--all are evolving as literary scholars attempt to weave together elements of comparative and postcolonial literatures with the above-mentioned concepts into a new object of readerly experience and critical knowledge. We will use literary and theoretical texts to explore how world literature is being created.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-COL
Identical With: ENGL256
Prereq: None

COL262 Tolstoy

During the 19th century when Tolstoy wrote his novels and stories, literature was viewed in Russia as the intelligentsia's primary medium for debating its big questions (such as how to resolve the inequalities that had been institutionalized under serfdom, or how to choose between new and old values as Russia experienced modernization). Writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky willingly assumed the responsibility to address a broad range of political, historical, and philosophical-religious questions in their fiction, and they wrote novels with radical formulations as well as solutions to these questions. However, they also viewed literature, particularly the novel, as a medium with rich potential for innovative formal experimentation, and so they resisted the call for conventional ideological novels. Each of Tolstoy's best works is an innovative formal experiment that creates an unprecedented, new type of novel. This course will study how Tolstoy's writings both responded to and transcended their times by creating new novelistic forms and new truths within those forms.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS252, REES252, RULE252
Prereq: None

COL263 Pale Fire: Nabokov's Ingredients

We will spend the semester reading Vladimir Nabokov's novel PALE FIRE and the many texts it draws from. The characters in the novel have their own specific frames of reference: the American poet John Shade reads Alexander Pope and Robert Frost, while Charles Kinbote draws from a wide range of documents--the Elder Eddas, King Charles II's memoir of his escape, Boswell's Life of Johnson, etc. In the seminar, we will analyze the novel's conversation among subtext, character, and author through student presentations. Some critics consider Nabokov's novel to be post-modern; our collective analysis of the subtexts will help us examine that idea. Everyone is invited to discover further subtexts to present to the class; we can construct a subtext bank and post it on line. A Nabokov conference on campus towards the end of the semester will be part of the course work.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: REES268, RUSS268, RULE268
Prereq: None

COL264 Critical Theory: From Karl Marx to Angela Davis

According to the Frankfurt School philosopher Max Horkheimer's 1937 essay "Traditional and Critical Theory," Critical Theory aims at dislodging traditional theory's reliance on the assumption that to theorize means to categorize and explain facts from a trans-historically fixed position. Instead, Critical Theory wants to uncover the formative socio-economic processes of exploitation, struggle, and domination that underpin both the objective appearance of reality and our subjective ability to become conscious of them. In doing so, it not only wants to critique the very foundations of society and subjectivity but also wants to ignite a utopian imagination. Although Critical Theory draws on the concepts of the Western philosophical tradition (in particular on Kant and Hegel), it views them as being tainted by the "irrational totality" of bourgeois society that structurally blocks the realization of genuine freedom, equality, and liberation from fear. Hence, Critical Theory is concerned not only with the critique of specific social ills but also with the abolition of their systemic causal conditions. For this reason, it is by design a practical and activist mode of theory, as exemplified by an insight Herbert Marcuse attributes to Angela Davis: "the philosophical idea, unless it was a lie, must be translated into reality.

In this seminar, we will do three things: 1) Retrace the genesis of Critical Theory from Marx's appropriation of Hegel's dialectical method to Lukács's theory of reification; 2) Explore the Frankfurt School's ambition to establish Critical Theory as an encompassing, multi-disciplinary research program addressing the pathologies of capitalism from the interlocking perspectives of social and economic theory, psychoanalysis, empirical social research, aesthetics, and ethics; 3) Examine how contemporary heirs to the tradition of Critical Theory such as Angela Davis, Sianne Ngai, or Rei Terada have challenged and advanced the concerns of the earlier theory in light of our current neoliberal and authoritarian predicament.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-GRST, HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST254
Prereq: None

COL265 Nabokov and Cultural Synthesis

This course will trace the development of Nabokov's art from its origins in Russian literature by close readings of the motifs that spiral outward through his (principally English-language) novels.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-REES
Identical With: RUSS263, REES263, RULE263
Prereq: None

COL266 History and Limits of Aesthetic Theory

This class will engage significant contributions to Aesthetic Theory in the West from antiquity to the modern period along three dimensions: theoretical, critical, and historical. From a theoretical standpoint, we will address perennial questions in aesthetics, such as what makes something a work of art in the first place, what it means for art to be "beautiful" or otherwise "successful," how differences in media condition and contribute to artistic meaning, what genera are and how they evolve, whether and how art can be ethically or politically significant, why we care about fiction, why and how we "enjoy" tragic plays or horror films, and how artistic tradition can (and should) inform individual works. From a critical standpoint, we will consider how works of art contemporaneous with each theoretical account either reinforce or challenge its specific proposals. And from a historical standpoint, we will seek to understand how aesthetic theories both respond to the specificities of their own epoch and situate themselves relative to the artistic and aesthetic traditions of their predecessors. Readings will include texts by Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Lessing, and Hegel.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL267
Prereq: None

COL268 Understanding Modernity: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud

The names of the writers and thinkers Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud signal a revolution of thought in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This course is designed to make critical theory and contemporary discourses in the humanities and social sciences more accessible by providing the modern historical and philosophical foundations for key concepts such as interpretation, subject, history, politics/society, and religion/morality. We will explore some of the most influential writings of the respective authors in a comparative manner and, thus, come to a better understanding of the genesis of much modern thinking.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST268, GELT268
Prereq: None

COL269 Modern Aesthetic Theory

As a philosophical discipline, aesthetic theory initially coalesced around a cluster of related issues concerning the nature of beauty and the norms governing its production, appreciation, and authoritative assessment. Beginning in the nineteenth century, however, both art and aesthetics undergo a conspicuous yet enigmatic shift, signaled by (among other things) Hegel's declaration that "art, in its highest vocation, is and remains for us a thing of the past." Rather suddenly, classical accounts of beauty, genius, aesthetic experience, and critical taste are beset by anxieties about the autonomy and significance of aesthetic praxis in human life and, subsequently, by a series of challenges to the tenebility of traditional aesthetic categories--author, text, tradition, meaning and interpretation, disinterested pleasure, originality, etc. Our aim in this course is to track these conceptual shifts and to interrogate the rationale behind them. (This course complements, but does not presuppose COL 266: History and Limits of Aesthetic Theory.)
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: PHIL269
Prereq: None

COL270 Modernist City-Texts

Since the 19th century, the city has been both a privileged and a problematic object of representation for narrative realism: privileged because urban spaces have increasingly been seen as shaping or producing the very social relations and individual experiences that realism wants to describe; problematic because the city itself, as a coherent totality that might explain those relations and experiences, is too vast, heterogeneous, and complex to be represented through the traditional techniques of realism.

This course will approach the problems and possibilities of the city for realism through a close reading of two large, ambitious texts that attempt to represent the city as a totality: James Joyce's novel ULYSSES (1922) and David Simon's television series THE WIRE (2002-2008). We will be particularly concerned with two techniques, pioneered by Joyce, for representing the city: stream of consciousness, which creates a tour of the city from the perspective of a single, mobile flâneur; and montage, which creates a map of the city by juxtaposing various cross-sections of social life or various institutions central to the city's functioning.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: ENGL272
Prereq: None

COL271 Performing Ethnicity: Gypsies and the Culture of Flamenco in Spain

In this course, we will analyze how Gypsies and flamenco are associated, in fact and in fiction, and how and why they have emerged into the limelight of Spanish national cultural discourses. Although they represent discrete realities--not all Gypsies identify with flamenco and not all flamenco artists are Gypsies--correlations between the two have nonetheless been exploited by the media and by artists as an often unwanted emblem of Spanishness. The tensions surrounding this practice seem related to an undisputed fact of Spanish cultural history: Flamenco is unique within European culture; with a population of nearly one million, Gypsies are Spain's dominant minority; yet recognition of the artistic value of the former and acceptance and assimilation of the latter have been slow to congeal within Spanish society. Our practical aim will be to analyze these important aspects of Spanish culture in their historical context. We will study how the connection between Gypsies and flamenco has emerged; we will evaluate the extent to which it is valid; and we will attempt to assess what seems to be at stake in the struggles between those who promote and those who resist this connection as distinctive of Spanish national culture. In doing so, we seek to foster a deeper understanding of the importance of the Roma community within the framework of European and Spanish culture and a deeper appreciation for flamenco as a unique form of cultural expression. On the theoretical plane, we seek to understand how music, dance, literature, cinema, performance, and art can give expression to ethnicity; how cultural hegemonies emerge; and what role artists play in supporting or contesting those hegemonies. In general, this course is designed to help students develop critical skills of cultural analysis while increasing their proficiency in Spanish.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN257
Prereq: None

COL272 Exoticism: Imaginary Geographies in 18th- and 19th-Century French Literature

This course will consider the fascination with the exotic--with foreign landscapes, customs, and culture--in 18th- and 19th-century French fiction and, to a lesser extent, poetry. Discussions will focus on the representation of foreignness and the construction of the exotic woman, as well as on the status of the European gaze. Major authors may include Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Mérimée, Loti, Flaubert, Hugo, Baudelaire, and Gautier.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN372
Prereq: None

COL273 The Agony and the Ecstasy: The German Novel and Novella

Starting with Goethe in the 18th century, German, Austrian, and Swiss authors have made major contributions to the literary genre of the novel and the sub-genre of the novella, typically shorter than a novel and restricted to one plot line. German prose works often grapple with profound philosophical questions, particularly those that bear on the meaning of life, the relation of the individual to society and to other individuals, the character of justice, definitions of ethics and morality, the nature and calling of the artist, and the tension between thought and emotion. In this course we will read, in English translation, longer or shorter works by some of the most significant and enduring authors writing in German between the 18th and 21st centuries. Particular attention will be paid to the portrayal of social and political issues, to narrative strategies and style, and to thematic continuities in the cultures of the German-speaking regions. We will also consider the challenges of translating fiction from one language and culture to another. Several films based on works read in the course will be viewed and analyzed. Ample opportunities will be provided for writing, in both expository and creative veins, and receiving detailed feedback.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST260, GELT260
Prereq: None

COL275 Virtue Ethics: Traditional, Comparative, and Contemporary Approaches

This course provides an overview and evaluation of various virtue-based approaches to ethics in the Western and Eastern traditions. In the first part of the course, we will get a basic sense for the structure and distinctive features of ancient virtue-based ethical theories. In the second part of the course, we will follow the trajectory of these approaches through to their revival in the late 20th century in the contemporary virtue ethics movement.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL276
Prereq: None

COL276 Creativity and Crisis: Germany 1918-1933

This course investigates the fascinating culture of the Weimar Republic, Germany's first, heady, and ultimately unsuccessful experience with democracy between the end of the First World War and the Nazis' rise to power. We will focus particularly on Berlin, coming into its own as Germany's first true metropolis, but will also look at Munich, another hub of cultural activity and the site of Hitler's early organizing activities. Among the topics to be studied may be the increasing influence of film, radio, and the press; modernism in literature; new impulses in art; the economic and social impact of hyperinflation and the Great Depression; changes in the roles of women; assertion of previously taboo gender identities; competing political ideologies; reactions to the immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe; the emergence of proletarian mass culture; and the observations of cultural critics such as Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer on the world taking shape before their eyes. We will also read works set in Berlin but written by outsiders (Isherwood and Porter).
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST275, GELT275
Prereq: None

COL277 Language, Thought, and Politics

This course will offer an interdisciplinary historical investigation of the question of whether (or how) a language--through its grammar and lexicon--influences or even determines its speakers' thoughts and perceptions. We will examine philosophical, linguistic, ethnographic, and literary variations on this question from the 19th century to the present and the wide range of political assumptions and consequences that have entangled the question's various answers.

Topics will include the theories of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Benjamin Lee Whorf; the production and critiques of national languages; problems of translation, untranslatability, and universal grammar; gendered speech and l'écriture feminine; political correctness; and linguistic utopianism in speculative fiction.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL278 European Realist Novels

The realist novel has a strangely ambivalent legacy. On the one hand, like other literary forms, it is repeatedly consigned, dismissively, to an earlier moment in literary history: surpassed by modernism, reimagined by postmodernism, and replaced by film, television, and whatever forms of new media might presently emerge. Yet it has also clearly endured--in the popular imagination as well as in the academy--as a pervasive norm, continually setting the standard against which popular narratives may be judged to be successful and (more importantly) serious. Reading these novels, then, does not just teach about an important period in literary history (though it does that, too); it gives us a better understanding of what we continue to expect from the fictional stories that claim to represent the world around us.

We will spend the first six weeks on an overview of the influential tradition of French realism, reading representative texts by Stendhal, Balzac, and Zola. In the second half of the semester, we will delve into two longer novels that have often been regarded as exemplary (even paradigmatic) works of realist fiction: Eliot's Middlemarch and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. While the emphasis will be on the novels themselves--what they do and how they work--we will also read a small selection of secondary texts (variously critical, historical, and theoretical) on realism, narrative, and the novel as genre.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL279 Good, Evil, Human: German Fairy Tales and Their Cultural Impact

The collected folk tales of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm have had a substantial impact on the cultural history of Germany and beyond. Deceptively simple, these little texts communicate and negotiate extraordinarily important and complicated messages about what it means to be human, to behave in acceptable ways, to have and control unwelcome desires, and to (be able to) imagine a better world. We will read selected fairy tales from the Grimm collection and other texts, investigate the historical context in which the Grimms undertook their ambitious project, learn about ways in which scholarship has framed fairy tales, and discuss adaptations of the fairy-tale tradition in films and texts of the 20th century.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST279, GELT279
Prereq: None

COL280 Work: Its History and Future

In this course, we will explore one of the fundamental concerns of human existence: "the creation of man through human labor," as Karl Marx once put it. Marx's interest in self-creation through work and the possibility of overcoming all forms of alienated work is arguably at the heart of what we imagine living well means today. For many of us, an idle life without work has become unthinkable. We live to work and we work to live. Yet while we have become ever more immersed in intimate forms of immaterial labor (keeping in touch with clients at all times, collaborating via digital platforms no matter where we are, tackling our jobs with ceaseless enthusiasm and creativity), waged labor has diminished and might now be thought of as a rare good. Soon the work of truck drivers will be replaced by self-driving vehicles, and the bulk of industrial production will be designated to robots. Automation and artificial intelligence will increasingly restructure intellectual labor, like that of lawyers, accountants, and data analysts, as well. What may once have been the dream of a liberated life is now motivating a feeling of dystopian dread: Fear of losing one's job, of being replaceable, is an all too common feeling. The jobs that remain are demanding but often monotonous. Moreover, deindustrialization in Western countries has created real misery in what used to be the core zones of global wealth accumulation--a development that right-wing populists in the United States and in Europe have been eagerly exploiting to advance protectionist and racist politics.

Against the social backdrop of precarious employment, stagnant wages, deindustrialization, the rapid expansion of vast unemployed and underemployed surplus populations, looming ecological disaster, and, crucially, the financialization of a structurally unstable global economy that seems to have exhausted its capacity for substantial growth in productivity, the future of work must be interrogated with renewed urgency. In addition to reading past and present theories of work, including some essential selections from Karl Marx and critical theory (e.g., Lukács, Adorno, Benjamin, Kracauer), Hannah Arendt's response to Marx in her distinction between labor and work, as well as recent academic work by feminists, affect theorists, and crisis theorists (e.g., Federici, Berlant, La Berge, Weeks, Clover), we will examine narratives and representations of work in films by Fritz Lang, Charlie Chaplin, Laurent Cantet, and Alexander Kluge, and literary texts by Brecht, Kafka, Dickens, Twain, Melville, Steinbeck, and Vonnegut. These thinkers and artists will give us a foundation for understanding the radical historical changes in the meaning of work in the past 200 years as well as its uncertain status in our immediate future.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: GRST280
Prereq: None

COL284 Rethinking the Baroque

The baroque has been defined as the quintessential Hispanic (Spanish and Latin American) aesthetic, in literature and the visual arts. It has also been defined as an essentially conservative, orthodox, pessimistic, and world-denying aesthetic. Instead, this class will examine the aesthetic in terms of its embrace of the sensual, material world; its love of fragmentation, and its imagining of a new citizen-reader able to participate in civic debate. We will examine fundamental categories of the literary baroque, such as agudeza (wit) and desengaño (disenchantment), and the 17th-century equivalent of the nature-nurture debate (nature-art) and situate them in relation to scientific, political, and religious revolutions of the period. We will therefore explore ways in which 17th-century Spanish culture--far from being focused on decline and decay--optimistically embraced change and pioneered a proto-democratic aesthetic. We will look at diverse baroque literary phenomena, from poetry to satire, from theories of invention and wit (Gracián, Tesauro, Pallavicino) to picaresque narrative, and from New World baroque expressions ("barroco de indias") to political treatises. The democratic thrust of the Hispanic baroque will become apparent in the figure of the reader-citizen and in literary works that functioned as a civic space for public debate.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN246
Prereq: None

COL285 Spanish Identity in the Early Modern World

Who exactly is a Spaniard? And which particular qualities constituted "Spanishness" for peninsulares (i.e., those born in Spain itself), for the diverse inhabitants of the Spanish New World, and for Spain's allies and rivals abroad? Was it a question of blood, culture, religion, or some combination thereof? These were questions that provoked profound anxieties, as well as a variety of responses, in the late medieval and early modern periods, particularly as Spain confronted religious and "racial" others both at home (i.e., Jews and Muslims) and overseas (e.g., Amerindians). In this course, we will closely examine these anxieties and responses, paying special attention to the creation and representation of identity itself. Topics will include the legacy of convivencia (i.e., the "coexistence" of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in medieval Spain), "purity of blood" laws, the so-called Black Legend (of Spanish rapacity and fanaticism), and the fascinating artistic genre known as "casta paintings" that depicted the dizzying variety of racial mixtures found and produced in the Spanish colonial world.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: HIST305
Prereq: None

COL286 French Cinema: An Introduction

This course introduces students to the history of French cinema (the evolution of its aesthetics as well as of its main themes), from the films of the Lumière brothers in 1895 until now with French filmmakers of Maghrebi origins. One leading question of the course will be, What makes French cinema "French"?
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN280
Prereq: None

COL289 Forbidden Love: From the Middle Ages to the French Revolution

This advanced seminar explores the theme of "forbidden love" in prose fiction, memoirs, poetry, and theater in France from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution. We approach it from three vantage points. The first step will be to establish a theoretical, historical, and conceptual basis for understanding of the forbidden, the taboo, transgression, and subversion. This will enable us to contextualize concepts such as love, desire, sexuality, and "gender." Then we will study the texts themselves, focusing on three main themes: adultery, same-sex relations, and incest. Finally, we will watch film and theatrical adaptations of some of the core texts in the 20th and 21st centuries to understand how and why we appropriate them today. By the end of this course, students will improve their knowledge of a central but often neglected dimension of French literature and culture, become familiar with a method combining a historical approach with the use of essential theoretical concepts, explore how attention to noncanonical and/or "nonliterary" material can extend their knowledge of the period, and provide evidence of competence in critical reading and in the presentation of independent research.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN397, FGSS397
Prereq: None

COL291 Forward, Without Forgetting: The GDR in Literature and Film

In 1949, postwar Germany officially split into two separate countries with the formation of the German Democratic Republic. Also known as East Germany, the GDR was isolated from the Western world for four decades, but it developed its own, equally rich literary and cinematic cultures. By looking at a range of textual and visual sources, students will engage critically with ways of understanding this "other" Germany and its distinctive cultural expressions, ideology, and history, including the role of the government and the Stasi. We will also explore phenomena such as the "Ostalgie" and retro-chic that manifested themselves after the Fall of the Wall in 1989. We will read works by Christa Wolf, Wolf Biermann, and Monika Maron, among others, and watch films and TV-series produced before and after unification.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST302, GELT302
Prereq: GRST213

COL292 Reason and Its Limits

This course offers a close study of Immanuel Kant's magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason, supplemented by related writings by Kant and some secondary literature. Kant observes that the history of philosophy is rife with disagreements, even though philosophers purport to traffic in necessary truths disclosed by reason alone. This scandalous fractiousness calls into question reason's ability to offer substantive insights into necessary truths. Kant's "critique" aims to vindicate reason by distinguishing, in a principled manner, the sorts of things we can know with certainty from those that lie beyond the limits of human understanding. His central thesis, "transcendental idealism," holds that "reason has insight only into what it produces after its own plan" (Bxiii). In other words, we can indeed be certain of key structural features of reality such as its spatiotemporality and causal interconnectedness--but only because those features are, in some crucial sense, mind-dependent. This class will explore in detail the arguments for these claims as well as prominent interpretations of their philosophical upshot.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL291
Prereq: None

COL293 Goethe, Schiller, and German Romanticism

This course covers a period of roughly 60 years that defined the shape of German literature and culture for good. In 1774, Goethe entered the literary scene with his epistolary novel THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER. In 1832, he published his final work, the second part of FAUST, and became immortal. With his earthly death, a period now known simply as the "Age of Goethe" [Goethezeit] came to an end. The tasks of this course will be twofold. We will first examine the aesthetics and core ideas of Goethe and his friend and occasional collaborator, Friedrich Schiller, the second major representative of Weimar classicism. We will then contrast the ideals and works of Weimar classicism with the much more freewheeling and often deeply ironic intellectual and artistic production of German Romanticism as embodied in members of the Romantic circle around Dorothea von Schlegel and her lover and later husband, Friedrich, and Caroline Schlegel and her husband, August Wilhelm Schlegel (Friedrich's brother). The young and hip members of the Schlegel circle acted both as profound admirers of Goethe's achievement and as acerbic critics of what they perceived to be the stilted style of Weimar classicism. While Romanticism is often misunderstood as a cult of irrationalism, the German Romantics were closely allied to the transcendental idealism of Fichte and Schelling and advocated their own brand of a communal thinking or "symphilosophy." The course will probe both the continuities and the antagonisms that characterize German literary culture in the Age of Goethe.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GELT286, GRST286
Prereq: None

COL297 Reading Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, trained philologist and self-proclaimed "free spirit," remains one of the most controversial figures in modern thought, a source of fascination and outrage alike. Best known as the philosopher of the "Dionysian," the "will to power," the "eternal return of the same," the "transvaluation of all values," and the "over-man," Nietzsche also proudly considered himself the most accomplished prose stylist in the German language. In this course, we will examine two closely interrelated issues: (1) the genesis of Nietzsche's major philosophical thoughts in the areas of epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, and the critique of religion, from his earliest to his latest writings; (2) the cultivation of a philosophical style that, in its mobilization of highly artistic modes of aphoristic reduction, metaphorization, personification, and storytelling, aspires to turn critical thinking into a life-affirming art form.

The course will combine philosophical interpretation with textual analysis. No prior knowledge of Nietzsche's works is expected; however, a willingness to set aside significant chunks of time to dwell in Nietzsche's texts is required. Students with reading knowledge in German are encouraged to read at least some of the assignments in the original. Guidance in doing so will be provided based on individual need.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST261
Prereq: None

COL298 Minorities in French Cinema

This course offers insights into the ways French cinema represents minorities in postwar France. We will study films formally and contextually to understand what French cinematic representations of minorities add to the debate surrounding immigration and national identity. Students will learn how to analyze cinematic texts in depth and reflect upon the identity crisis of France.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN398
Prereq: None

COL299 The Grumbling Hive: Ethics and British Literature, 1660--1800

This course will explore the ethical imagination in the 18th century by looking at literary representations of social organization and encounters with the other alongside readings from moral and political philosophy. Both literary and philosophical discourses were deeply invested in normative claims about how men and women should live their lives, but they often developed radically divergent concepts of consent, virtue, the "State of Nature," natural sociability, and rational autonomy. We will explore these divergences by taking seriously the intersections and impasses that emerge when literature and philosophy are put into conversation. Discussion and assignments will address the ways in which different literary forms and traditions develop, and critique "practical" philosophies and how the "realisms" of literary and philosophical representations tell different stories about moral imperatives.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL308
Prereq: None

COL303 Matter, Community, Environment

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to consider human communities without also considering questions of "nature" or "environment." Actor-network theory condemns nature/society dualisms; ecological theory argues that there is indeed no "nature" or "society"--only the anthropocene; and, drawing from the former two positions, object-oriented ontology conceives of ideas (such as "community" or "society") as objects and ecological actors. In this seminar, we will consider various approaches taken in recent years to thinking about our relations to the worlds we inhabit. We will attempt to think not only outside a focus on "us" as humans in the first place but even outside a focus on sentient life or life in general. Examining theories of matter, community, and environment, we will discuss and analyze work by philosophers, evolutionary biologists, literary scholars, and sociologists, among others. We will pay special attention to how theorists and critics are blurring the boundaries between nature and society, environment and community, life and matter. In addition to class participation and a series of brief reading responses, students will be required to produce a final paper dealing with any topic related to the course.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-CHUM
Identical With: CHUM305, ENGL302, SISP303
Prereq: None

COL304 Negotiating Gender in the Maghreb

Since 1989, the fractious debate over a Muslim woman's right to wear a veil in France (from the short hijab to the all covering niqab) has focused attention on the relationship between secularism and religion in the French public sphere. Less discussed, but perhaps even more significant, is the question of gender and Islam. This class will contextualize the question of Islam and gender in the Maghreb, the Muslim region most linked (historically, geographically, and demographically) to France. Using religious, literary, historical, and sociological sources, the first part of the course will focus on gender in the early days of Islam, charting the evolution of gender issues before and during the era of French colonialism in the Maghreb. The second part of the course will focus on women's issues in the contemporary Maghreb, from independence to the recent Arab revolutions, as represented through literature, film, and various news media from or about the region. Class participation, papers, and most readings will be in French.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN303, FGSS304
Prereq: None

COL307 Negotiating French Identity: Migration and Identity in Contemporary France

With the largest minority in France being of Maghrebi origin, Islam has become the second largest religion in France today. What are the repercussions of this phenomenon for French identity? How did French society understand its identity and regard foreigners in the past? What do members of the growing Franco-Maghrebi community add to the ongoing dialogue surrounding France's republican and secular identity? This course will analyze the recent attempts at redefining French identity through a study of literary texts, films, and media coverage of important societal debates (e.g., the Scarf Affair, French immigration laws, the Algerian war). Readings, discussions, and papers will be in French.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN305
Prereq: None

COL308 Medievals on the Move: Pilgrimage, Jihad, Crusade, and Apocalypse

Medieval people moved: They traded and sent emissaries; they invaded and migrated; they wandered, begged, and ascended the heavens; they went on crusade, jihad, and pilgrimage. This course will first analyze the most consistently preserved sources on medieval movement: accounts of pious travel "for God's sake and not for pleasure." We will then contextualize such accounts with two other types of movement: the physical journeys of traders, diplomats, and warriors, as well as the interiorized journeys of the prophet, the mystic, and the storyteller. By encompassing this variety we will be able to pursue a larger question: Can patterns of exchange across the physical and cultural barriers of geography, language, religion, and governance reveal a more global medieval world than we usually envision?
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: MDST308, HIST303
Prereq: None

COL309 Truth & the Poet: Lyric Subjectivity and Phenomenology

Who is the poet? What is subjectivity? How is the "Lyric I" located and articulated? How do lyrics reify their own claims to truth? Is there a role for the poet in society? What is the relationship between critique and creation? This course examines the poet in relation to various formulations of subjectivity in the history of phenomenology. We will explore how lyric subjectivity may speak truth without deferring to or differing from empirical and objective truth claims. We will consider whether the history of the lyric can be read as a series of observations that contribute to understandings of subjectivity, agency, and intersubjectivity before and after the theological turn in French phenomenology. Readings in lyric poetry will be paired with readings in phenomenology as a way of putting poetry and philosophy into conversation. Assignments will be both analytic and creative.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: CHUM309
Prereq: None

COL311 Spinoza's ETHICS

This course is devoted to close reading of one of the philosophical masterpieces of the Western tradition. The ETHICS is of genuine contemporary interest, with its metaphysics that combine materialism with theism, its philosophical psychology that anticipates Freud, and its attempt to reconcile human freedom with a belief in scientific explanation. This is a difficult, vast, profound work that requires and will repay close study.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL311
Prereq: None

COL313 Classic Spanish Plays: Love, Violence, and (Poetic) Justice on the Early Modern Stage

From 1580 to 1680, Spanish playwrights created one of the great dramatic repertories of world literature, as inventive, varied, and influential as the classical Greek and Elizabethan-Jacobean English traditions. This profit-driven popular entertainment of its day appealed to the learned and illiterate, to women and men, and to rich and poor alike. And the plays correspondingly mixed high and low characters, language, genres, and sources, with results regularly attacked by moralists. Vital, surprising, and ingenious, they exposed the creative tension between art and profit on a new scale, a tension that remains alive for us. We will examine five of the greatest of these plays by Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, and Tirso de Molina in a variety of genres and modes (history, epic, romantic comedy, tragedy, Islamic borderland, parody, siege play, philosophical and theological drama), with their deft character portraits (the original Don Juan by Tirso; Calderón's "Spanish Hamlet" Segismundo; Lope's spitfire diva Diana, the Countess of Belflor; and Cervantes's border-crossing Catalina, the Ottoman sultan's queen) and their virtuoso dialogue, inventive plots, and dazzling metrical variety. We will look at the social conditions that enabled the Spanish stage to serve as a kind of civic forum, where conflicts between freedom and authority or desire and conformism could be acted out and the fears, hopes, dangers, and pleasures generated by conquest, urbanization, trade, shifting gender roles, social mobility, religious reform, regulation of matrimony and violence, and clashing intellectual and political ideals could be aired. We pay particular attention to the shaping influence of women on the professional stage (in contrast to England) and to performance spaces and traditions. Organized around the careful reading of five key play-texts in Spanish, together with historical, critical, and theoretical readings, this course assumes no familiarity with the texts, with Spanish history, or with literary analysis. However, an interest in engaging these wonderful plays closely, imaginatively, and historically is essential. There will be opportunities to pursue performance, adaptation, and translation.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN231, THEA231
Prereq: None

COL314 Crossing Borders on the Early Modern Stage

This course looks at the ways in which seven fascinating plays by Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, John Webster, and Philip Massinger responded creatively to and still challenge narratives about a period in which many situate the origins of globalization. Written from 1580 to 1630 for the first public, commercial theaters of the Western world (in Madrid and London), these plays explore the anxieties, hopes, dangers, and pleasures generated by a century of displacements--of peoples, ideas, goods, capital, and diseases--that had transformed the look, feel, and taste of daily life even in remote villages of Spain and England. From Cervantes' use of Roman history to dramatize the contemporary wages of empire, to Massinger's and Cervantes' evocations of Christian captivity in Tunis and Algiers (which Cervantes experienced in the flesh for five years), to Lope's and Webster's markedly distinct versions of a celebrity murder (of the Italian Duchess of Amalfi, killed by her brothers for marrying the commoner steward of her household), to Shakespeare's and Lope's romantic comedy exploration of conflicting loyalties and shifting gender roles in a world of accelerated social mobility, these plays often resort to seemingly remote places (ancient Rome, Islamic Algiers and Tunis, Renaissance Milan and Naples) to examine the exoticism, immorality, internal conflicts, and injustices of the supposedly familiar worlds of their audiences in Madrid and London. Organized around the careful reading of seven key play-texts in English, together with historical, critical, and theoretical readings, this seminar will offer students multiple ways to approach early modern plays through printed and online resources and Wesleyan's Special Collections and Archives. We will pay particular attention to the local conditions that help explain why Spanish and English theatrical cultures were so similar despite divergent political and religious trajectories (their commercial orientation, for instance) and also why, on the other hand, even plays that drew on the same sources could differ so markedly (because, for instance, of the prominence of actresses on the Spanish professional stage in roles played by boy actors in England). Those interested in translation and performance will have opportunities to pursue them in class presentations, papers, and final projects.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FIST302, SPAN302, THEA322, ENGL377
Prereq: None

COL316 Reality and Escape: Four Contemporary German Novels

In this advanced seminar, we will read and analyze four contemporary German novels that range from attempts to convey detailed accounts of how we live under the conditions of an all-pervasive capitalist system to novels that allow us to escape to other worlds, either in (imagined) history or entirely in our fantasy. Our objectives are threefold: We want to (1) come to a genuine understanding of what kinds of novels have been written in Germany since the turn of the century; (2) analyze our four novels with regard to how they represent (or refuse to represent) historical and social reality; (3) arrive at a better understanding of what it means to refer to a work of literature as "contemporary": does it mean, simply, that the text was written in recent years, or are we justified in demanding that the text somehow convey a truthful image of the historical time that we inhabit now? Under the rubric "reality," we will read and discuss Ernst-Wilhelm Händler's WENN WIR STERBEN (2002) and Rainald Goetz' JOHANN HOLTROPP: ABRISS DER GESELLSCHAFT (2012). Under the rubric "escape," we will read and discuss Christian Kracht's IMPERIUM (2011) and Felicitas Hoppe's PARADIESE, ÜBERSEE (2003).
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST342
Prereq: None

COL320 Modern Intellectual History in Global Perspectives

Recently, postcolonial critics have urged historians to reconsider the emergence of ideas central to European intellectual history--including reason, society, and human rights--as part of a global process. In this course, we will explore intellectual history in dialogue with the non-West. Topics include the Enlightenment, romanticism, nationalism, modernity, and postmodernity. Discussions will address how these movements took shape through a series of cross-cultural exchanges and exclusions.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-CHUM
Identical With: CHUM320, FGSS319
Prereq: None

COL323 Gender and History (FGSS Gateway)

What is a female husband? In the 1980s an increasing number of feminist scholars posed questions about the relationship between biological sex and gender roles. The African scholar Ifi Amadiume, who studied the history of female husbands in West Africa, asserted that such relationships between sex and gender needed to be studied in a global context. More than two decades after Amadiume's influential book MALE DAUGHTERS, FEMALE HUSBANDS: GENDER AND SEX IN AN AFRICAN SOCIETY (1987) was published, the scholarship on global gender and sexuality is vibrant and dynamic. These works have shown gender to be central to understanding society at different periods and geographical locations, but it is far from a universally understood category. This seminar will introduce students to the history of gender, sex, and the body from a global and comparative perspective with readings from the history of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. We will also cover the development of influential theories in the field and how they apply to the writing of history. This course is especially appropriate for prospective history and feminist, gender, and sexuality majors, though all students interested in using gender as a category of historical analysis for their scholarly work in other fields are welcome.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST291, FGSS269
Prereq: None

COL324 Interpreting the "New World": France and the Early Modern Americas

The impact and long-lasting effects of the "discovery" of the "New World" on Europeans cannot be overestimated. This advanced seminar will compare and contrast styles of expedition and conquest among the European nations, though the course will focus on the French context and the various events and encounters that occurred in the early modern Americas, particularly between 1492 and 1610, a period that laid the groundwork for the subsequent colonial project. Throughout the course, we will pay special attention to the Amerindians' points of view. In turn, students will examine the insights and blind spots in 16th-century French navigators', cosmographers', cartographers', and intellectuals' interpretations, representations, and negotiations of difference by critically engaging with concepts such as nature, culture, alterity, gender, sexuality, marriage, religion, exchange, possession, conquest, and war. Reading, writing, and class discussions will be in French.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FREN324, FGSS324
Prereq: None

COL327 Cervantes

Cervantes is known chiefly for DON QUIXOTE, often described as the first modern novel and fountainhead of one of the great modern myths of individualism. DON QUIXOTE also reimagines virtually every fashionable, popular, and disreputable literary genre of its time: chivalric, pastoral, picaresque, sentimental, adventure, and Moorish novels; the novella; verse forms; drama; and even the ways these kinds of literary entertainment were circulated and consumed, debated, celebrated, and reviled. It is a book about the life-enhancing (and endangering) power of books and reading and the interplay of fiction and history and truths and lies. Cervantes' art remains fresh and unsettling, sparing no one and nothing, including the author and his work. Distinguished by its commitment to the serious business of humor, make-believe, and play, the novel is at once a literary tour de force and a fascinating lens through which to examine the political, social, religious, and intellectual debates of its moment. Characteristic themes include social reality as artifact or fiction, the paradoxical character of truths, the irreducible diversity of taste and perception, the call for consent in politics and love, and personal identity (including gender) as a heroic quest. In this course, we will read, discuss, and write about DON QUIXOTE, along with a sampling of critical, philosophical, literary, and artistic responses it has inspired.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: SPAN236, MDST254
Prereq: None

COL330 Plato's Moral Psychology

The PHAEDRUS, usually considered among the last of Plato's dialogues, is one of the philosophical and literary masterpieces in his corpus. It is also a veritable digest of Platonic theory, covering topics in moral psychology, metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. Virtually every major doctrine commonly attributed to Plato can be found in the dialogue, including his theory of forms, his doctrine of recollection, his views on the immortality of the soul, and his tripartite account of human psychology. The structure of the PHAEDRUS famously falls into two parts: the first containing three speeches on love, or eros; the second containing a discussion between Socrates and Phaedrus on the difference between good and bad discourse. Since antiquity, readers of this dialogue have puzzled over the connection between these two parts of the work and their respective themes. What is the relationship exactly between love and discourse? We will explore this question in this seminar through a close investigation of Plato's moral psychology in the PHAEDRUS, focusing on his views on the role of human motivation in argument and the connection between this topic and other topics in the dialogue. In the process, we will consider the place of the PHAEDRUS both in the context of Plato's views on rhetoric elsewhere (in works such as the GORGIAS) and in the context of various historical debates that were occurring in 4th- and 5th-century Greece regarding the art of argument.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL305
Prereq: None

COL332 European Intellectual History since the Renaissance

This class will examine some of the major texts in Western thought since the Renaissance. Emphasis will be placed on close reading and analysis of the texts.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST216
Prereq: None

COL332L European Intellectual History since the Renaissance- Service Learning

This class will examine some of the major texts in Western thought since the Renaissance. Emphasis will be placed on close reading and analysis of the texts.

This course is designed for Service Learning. Students in this course will read short selections about Aging, meet with a specific senior citizen to talk about the books we are reading for class (5 times in the semester), and write 2-page papers responding to those meetings. Otherwise, both History 216L and History 216 will have the same class requirements.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST216L
Prereq: None

COL334 The History of Spanish Cinema

This course explores the development of Spanish cinema from the early 20th century to the present. We will evaluate how social, political, and economic circumstances condition Spanish cinematography at key junctures of Spanish cultural history in terms of the production and distribution of films, cinematographic style, and thematics. The course will also highlight key facets of the Spanish star system as well as the auteurism of those directors who have achieved international acclaim by reworking a national film idiom within international frames of reference.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: FIST301, SPAN301, FILM301
Prereq: None

COL336 Theories of Translation

This course will examine a range of predominately 20th-century theoretical approaches to literary translation in the fields of philosophy, linguistics, literary criticism, and translation studies. In an effort to derive a definition of literary translation, we will focus on two questions. First: What is literal (or word-for-word) translation? How does it differ from other kinds of translation; how does it conceptualize meaning; what are its purposes; and what oppositions (e.g., literal vs. figurative) can we use to make sense of it? Second: What is the relationship between language and culture? Can translation give us access to an unfamiliar culture; can literary translation affect the culture in which it is produced; or does translation simply colonize foreign texts by transforming them into something legible to a domestic culture?
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: ENGL356
Prereq: None

COL338 Utter Nonsense: Making Sense of Literature and Theory

One of the central concerns of 20th-century literary theory was to figure out how we make sense of texts and, especially, how this making sense of something comes to seem so intuitive and self-evident that we regularly talk about texts themselves as, intrinsically, making sense or not making sense.

This course examines this question by looking closely at a collection of literary texts that seem, in some obvious way, not to make sense on their own. These texts present themselves as utter nonsense, yet they also ask us to make sense of them. Starting from dada and surrealism and working our way through a variety of avant-garde formal experiments, we will look the different ways these texts have been constructed, read, interpreted, and used. At the same time, we will read a series of literary theorists who developed sophisticated psychoanalytic and semiotic accounts of the ways that we make sense of texts and of language more generally. Our goal throughout will be to see how these seemingly marginal works of nonsense literature might illuminate the ways that we make sense of all texts and utterances, even the most common everyday variety.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Prereq: None

COL339 Reading Theories

In this survey of theories that have shaped the reading of literature and the analysis of culture, emphasis is on key concepts--language, identity, subjectivity, gender, power, and knowledge--and on key figures and schools such as Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Saussure, Barthes, Gramsci, Benjamin, Althusser, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Jameson, postmodernism, and U.S. feminism.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ENGL
Identical With: ENGL295, CCIV393, CEAS340, FIST290, GRST231, RUSS340, RULE340, REES340
Prereq: None

COL340 Observing Justice: Trials and Judgments in Arendt, Kleist, and Kafka

Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem (written at Wesleyan's Center for Advanced Studies in 1962) is often reduced to the easily misunderstood phrase "the banality of evil." This seminar will seek to account for the explicit and implicit theoretical claims of Arendt's work. The course will be divided into two parts: In the first, we will explore in-depth Eichmann in Jerusalem and its controversial reception in conjunction with Arendt's evaluation of the faculty of judgment as elusive yet decisive in establishing a viable moral philosophy after Auschwitz. We will conclude our study of Arendt with her lectures on Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment, a work that she treats not as Kant's aesthetics but rather as his (unwritten) political philosophy. The second part of the seminar will be dedicated to literary depictions of trials and/or texts that have themselves a trial-like structure. Our literary case studies include texts by Kleist, Kafka, and Peter Weiss. The ultimate purpose of the seminar is to study and critique procedural (and this includes literary and juridical) evaluative mechanisms that allow the truth of inhuman acts to come to light. Thus, we will examine the rules, procedures, and language games that are instrumental in making ineffable events appear.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-CHUM
Identical With: CHUM340, GRST340
Prereq: None

COL341 Plato's REPUBLIC

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." This declaration, famously made by Alfred North Whitehead in the early 20th century, seems especially true of Plato's Republic. No other work in the Western tradition can lay claim to setting the tone so influentially for the development of philosophy as a discipline. Almost every branch of philosophical thought we are familiar with today--on matters of ethics, politics, moral psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics--receives a major formulation in this text. This seminar will be devoted to a close reading of each of the 10 books of The Republic alongside various perspectives that have been taken on this magisterial work in contemporary philosophy, journalism, and literature. We will focus on The Republic primarily as a work of moral psychology by investigating the topical question of the dialogue: Why is it better to live justly rather than unjustly? For Plato, a just life is one governed by the pursuit of wisdom or learning, and this he believes will also be a psychologically healthy one. By contrast, a life governed by the indiscriminate pursuit of power--the life of a tyrant--is psychologically corrupted. These are bold claims. What is Plato's argument for them? In raising this question, we will consider the political project Plato embarks upon in the Republic in constructing a just society, as well as connected issues he raises in the dialogue concerning the nature of human motivation, the distinction between belief and knowledge, the distinction between appearance and reality, the importance of a proper education to the human good, and the role of art and beauty in furthering the common good. Alongside Plato, we will read various works of secondary literature, journalistic pieces, and works of fiction this semester, all inspired by The Republic.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL303, CCIV257
Prereq: None

COL346 Digital Humanities: Intellectual Encounters in the 21st Century

Tweeting, Tumblr, blogs, and social media are changing the way that intellectuals produce, disseminate, discuss, and archive their work. This course will explore new modes of intellectual production and dissemination in theory and practice to explore and evaluate the ways that these forms are changing intellectual production (if indeed they are). The course combines two distinct components: attendance at the Center for the Humanities weekly Monday Night Lecture series, and faculty and weekly discussion meetings. The lectures will serve as content to be discussed, disseminated, and archived using such forms as Twitter, Tumblr, and class blogs. Then we as a class will evaluate these artifacts in terms of efficacy, depth, and appropriateness to the subject under consideration. Students will learn strategies for informed live tweeting, editorial oversight of academic discussion forums, academic blogging, and other new media.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-CHUM
Identical With: CHUM346
Prereq: None

COL347 Emperor, Caliph, King: Comparing the Byzantines, Abbasids, and Carolingians

This seminar investigates a unique "age of empires" in the wider Mediterranean world--the ninth century--during which imperializing political revolutions inspired intense cultural production among the Byzantines in Constantinople, the Abbasids in Baghdad, and the Carolingians across Europe. Using the cultural artifacts surviving from these "renaissances," we will investigate how political cultures accounted for their own contested identities through myths of rebirth and return, specifically of Greek, Roman, and Persian imperial traditions. The course uses a workshop environment that relies on both collaboration and independent research; students will apply skills of analysis, creative thinking, and persuasive communication to presentations and a (in-translation) source-based research project.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-COL
Identical With: CHUM315, HIST327
Prereq: None

COL349 Modernism and the Total Work of Art

The term "total work of art" refers to the German Gesamtkunstwerk that took on new urgency in the 19th century amid social upheaval and revolution. Understood as the intention to reunite the arts into one integrated work, the total work of art was tied from the beginning to the desire to recover and renew the public function of art. While there exist many approaches to totality in the modern era, this course focuses on modernist theories and practices that simultaneously critiqued existing society and posited a utopian alternative. We will begin by studying formulations of totality in response to a cultural crisis initiated by the 1789 French Revolution. From there, we turn to German idealism and to an analysis of composer Richard Wagner's ideas and compositions that made the idea of the synthesis of the arts a central focus for European modernism. Yet if Wagner's works and writings provided the dominant reference for subsequent developments from the 1880s onward, these most often consisted of a search for alternatives to his own theory and practice, particularly in the visual arts. We will examine attempts to envision totality after Wagner in impressionist painting and German expressionism. Ideas of totality and utopia continued to carry positive associations for modern artists until the 1930s, when they became co-opted by totalitarian governments. The course concludes by examining the perversion of modernist dreams in Nazi festivals and art exhibitions.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ART
Identical With: ARHA339, GRST239, GELT239, FIST339, MUSC285
Prereq: None

COL359 Philosophical Classics I: Ancient Western Philosophy

This course provides an overview of the development of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from its inception in the 6th century BCE through to Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics. In exploring this material, we will touch on all or nearly all of the central concerns of the Western philosophical tradition: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, aesthetics, religion, and logic. Our focus in class will be on the close analysis of primary texts. Students must be willing to engage with readings that are fascinating but at the same time dense, difficult, and perplexing. The course requires no prior experience in philosophy and should be of equal interest to students who are pursuing or intend to pursue other majors.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL201, CCIV217
Prereq: None

COL360 Philosophical Classics II: Early Modern Philosophy from Descartes Through Kant

Can we ever hope to attain certain knowledge of the external world? Can we know ourselves? How is our mind related to our body? Are our senses more reliable than our intellect? Or is it the other way round? Can we have science without a belief in God? These are some of the questions that excited the philosophical imagination of the major intellectual figures of the early modern period, an era of unparalleled collaboration between science and philosophy. In this course we will examine how the Scientific Revolution encouraged philosophers toward radical innovation in epistemology and philosophy of mind, laying the foundations for our own modern conceptions of natural law, scientific explanation, consciousness and self-consciousness, knowledge and belief. We will be reading, analyzing, and arguing with some of the most influential works in the history of Western philosophy, including Descartes' MEDIATIONS, Locke's ESSAY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING, Berkeley's TREATISE ON HUMAN KNOWLEDGE, Hume's ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING, and Kant's CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-PHIL
Identical With: PHIL202
Prereq: None

COL370 Digital History

This course offers an introduction to the emerging field of digital history, part of the broader digital humanities (DH), the application of computing techniques and new media to humanities disciplines. DH has important implications for teaching, research, and the presentation of cultural artifacts to the scholarly and general public. Digital humanists employ a wide-ranging set of techniques, from text- and data-mining to network analysis, topic modeling, GIS, and visualizations. DH also offers opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborations among humanists, computer scientists, media specialists, and others. As a result, this course seeks to bring together students with a variety of skills and backgrounds (e.g. history, writing, programming, web and graphic design, sound and video) who share an interest in historical communication and making things.

Through readings, conversations, and hands-on work with DH tools and historical resources, we will examine questions pertinent to historical scholarship and consider how they may be reconfigured by new media and new applications of computing power. How does DH allow us to ask new questions as historians, and what perils do digital techniques pose for the discipline of history? Together, we will cultivate our skills as practitioners of history in the digital age.

A central component of the course will be collaborative DH projects of our own devising. Much of the course will have the character of a digital history research lab as we take real problems and relevant sources to advance historical knowledge as well as our skills. This might involve projects in which we conceive, design, build, publicize, and launch a tool, website, or other contribution to digital history. Students should be prepared to collaborate in and out of class, to teach and learn from each other, and to cope with a dynamic and flexible syllabus and group of tasks.

This course is part of Wesleyan's Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Identical With: HIST211
Prereq: None

COL401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

COL402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

COL403 Department/Program Project or Essay

Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

COL404 Department/Program Project or Essay

Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

COL407 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

COL408 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

COL409 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

COL410 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

COL411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

COL412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

COL420 Student Forum

Student-run group tutorial, sponsored by a faculty member and approved by the chair of a department or program.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

COL465 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

COL466 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

COL491 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

COL492 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT