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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate courses in Comparative Literature

Primarily for graduate students; undergraduates may enroll with consent of instructor.

COMPLIT 215. Nabokov in the Transnational Context

(Same as COMPLIT 115, SLAVGEN 156, SLAVGEN 256.) Nabakov's techniques of migration and camouflage as he inhabits the literary and historical contexts of St. Petersburg, Berlin, Paris, America, and Switzerland. His early and late stories, last Russian novel The Gift, Lolita (the novel and screenplay), and Pale Fire. Readings in English.

3-4 units, Spr (Greenleaf, M)

COMPLIT 215A. Gottfried Benn and Francis Ponge: Mid-20th-Century European Poetry and the Problem of the Referent

(Same as FRENGEN 215, GERLIT 215.) Comparative readings of the two poets in their respective national contexts, with attention to biographical and poetological frameworks. Canonic status and scholarly reception histories. Renewed interest in their work with regard to their distinctive practices of connecting prosodic form and extra textual referents. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of German or French.

3-5 units, Aut (Gumbrecht, H)

COMPLIT 216. Petrarch and Petrarchism

(Same as ITALGEN 264E.) The works of Petrarch (1304-1374), acknowledged as the founder of Renaissance humanism, and a bibliophile, collector of manuscripts, and devotee of erudition. How he dedicated his life to harmonizing the Christian faith with classical learning. Sources include his Latin moral works, epistles, epics, and treatises on illustrious men, and the Triumphs and Canzoniere.

5 units, Aut (Schnapp, J)

COMPLIT 219. Dostoevsky and His Times

(Same as COMPLIT 119, SLAVGEN 151, SLAVGEN 251.) Open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Major works in English translation with reference to related developments in Russian and European culture, literary criticism, and intellectual history.

4 units, Win (Frank, J)

COMPLIT 221. Memory, History, and the Contemporary Novel

(Same as GERLIT 246.) How the watershed events of the 20th century, the philosophic linguistic turn, and the debate regarding the end of history left their mark on the novel. How does the contemporary novel engage with the past? How does its interest in memory and history relate to late- or postmodern culture of time or to political and ethical concerns? Novels by Toni Morrison, W. G. Sebald, J. M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, and A. B. Yehoshua; theoretical works by Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson, Paul Ricoeur Awishai Margalit, and Walter Benn Michaels.

3-5 units, Spr (Eshel, A; White, H)

COMPLIT 232A. Time of Latency: Western Cultures in the Decade After 1945

(Same as FRENGEN 232, ITALGEN 232.) Retrospective accounts and contemporary experience converge in the description of the decade following 1945 as a period of quietude that seemed to repress an unknown trauma. Goal is to reconstruct the mood of this historical moment and its relationship to the early 21st century. Sources include canonical texts and everyday documents from different national and cultural contexts. Advanced undergrads require consent of instructor.

3-5 units, Aut (Gumbrecht, H)

COMPLIT 235. Staging Knowledge

Exhibition practices and curatorship in the interdisciplinary humanities through the design of an experimental exhibition space concerning the actuality of late 18th-century individualism. 18th-century politics, music, fine arts, philosophy, technology, medicine, and diplomacy in relation to methodological inquiry into display and multiple media. Attention to opera as particular stagings of knowledge: Mozart, da Ponte, Slileri, Casti, Gluck, and Haydn. Theoretical sources include Adorno, Bachelard, Batailles, Freud, Musil, and Warburg.

5 units, Spr (Lachmayer, H)

COMPLIT 238. Futurisms

(Same as ARTHIST 248, ITALGEN 238.) From its foundation in 1909 through WW II, futurism developed into the first truly international cultural-political avant garde. Its aim was the revolutionary transformation of all spheres of life. The movement's manifestations in Italy, Russia, France, Spain, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Topics: machines and culture; visual poetics and war; futurism's complex ties to bolshevism and fascism. Media: poetry, performance, music, painting, photography, radio, and film. Writers include: Marinetti, Mayakovsky. Visual artists include: Boccioni, Bragaglia, Russolo, Malevich, Lissitzky.

5 units, Win (Schnapp, J; Gough, M)

COMPLIT 242A. China and the World: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Literature

(Same as CHINLIT 251.) How 20th-century Chinese thinkers and writers envisioned themselves as citizens of the world and critiqued traditional culture. How intellectuals infused new life into traditional thought and sensibility and made contributions to global culture. The matrix of aesthetics, ethics, and literature. Texts from the Western aesthetic and cosmopolitan tradition.

4-5 units, Aut (Wang, B)

COMPLIT 245A. Fin de Siècle Vienna

Implosive avant gardism in Vienna around 1900: artistic and intellectual anti-traditionalism in the face of forceful resistance by conservative culture. Viennese modernism in architecture and design, theory, literature, and cultural critique. The emergence of Viennese internationalism. Texts by Freud, Kraus, Wagner, Loos and Hoffmann, Mach and the Wiener Kreis, early Wittgenstein, Schiele, Kokoschka, Zemlinsky, early Schönberg, Weber, and Berg. Viennese modernism as a hypercritic self-construction of individualism as an inspiring decadence.

5 units, Spr (Lachmayer, H)

COMPLIT 250. Literature, History, and Representation

(Same as FRENLIT 248.) Literary works as historical narratives; texts which envision ways of reconstructing or representing an ancient or immediate past through collective or individual narratives. Narration and narrator; relation between individual and collective history; historical events and how they have shaped the narratives; master narratives; and alternative histories. Reading include Glissant, Césaire, Dadié, Cixous, Pérec, Le Clézio, Mokkedem, Benjamin, de Certeau, and White.

3-5 units, Win (Boyi, E)

COMPLIT 303D. Thinking in Fiction

(Same as ENGLISH 303D.) Narrative and cognition in 18th-century fictional, philosophical, scientific, and cultural texts. Probable readings: Hobbes, Locke, Newton, Swift, Defoe, Hume, Lennox, Sterne, Adam Smith, Wollstonecraft, and Bentham.

5 units, Aut (Bender, J)

COMPLIT 311. Shakespeare, Islam, and Others

(Same as ENGLISH 373D.) Shakespeare and other early modern writers in relation to new work on Islam and the Ottoman Turk in early modern studies. Othello, Twelfth Night, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, and other Shakespeare plays. Kyd's Solyman and Perseda, Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk, Massinger's The Renegado, Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, and literary and historical materials.

5 units, Spr (Parker, P)

COMPLIT 320A. Epic and Empire

(Same as ENGLISH 314.) Focus is on Virgil's Aeneid and its influence, tracing the European epic tradition (Ariosto, Tasso, Camoes, Spenser, and Milton) to New World discovery and mercantile expansion in the early modern period.

5 units, Win (Parker, P)

COMPLIT 324. Landscapes of the Sublime

The modern notion of the sublime in philosophy, literature, and art, emphasizing its connection to space and landscape. Topics include: how global exploration contributed to the sublime in the late 17th and 18th centuries; the romantic interiorization of the sublime; and the sublime's connection to mimesis, power, work, and technology. Writers may include Milton, Burke, Kant, Deleuze and Guattari, Freud, the Shelleys, Coleridge, Hugo, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud; artists may include Gericault, Turner, Delacroix, and Friedrich.

5 units, Win (Cohen, M)

COMPLIT 327. Genres of the Novel

Literary genres in 18th and 19th century novels include picaresque and adventure fiction, domestic fiction, realist fiction, historical fiction, Gothic fiction, sentimental fiction, science fiction, and the novel of ideas. Works may include Lazarillo de Tormes, Robinson Crusoe, The Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Sorrows of Werher, Claire d'Albe, Ivanhoe, Indiana, Madame Bovary, Voyage to the Center of the Earth. Theoretical models for genre.

5 units, Spr (Cohen, M)

COMPLIT 358. Psychoanalytic Hermeneutics: Soma, Psyche, and Self in Modernist Discourse

Pseudoscience psychoanalysis considered as a symptom of the cultural disaggregation of the western European humanist idea of selfhood. Freud's formulation of the psychoanalytical project in Interpretation of Dreams and his revisions of the project in works such as Totem and Taboo, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Ego and Id, Instincts, Moses. Post-Freudian revisions as represented by figures such as Klein, Abraham, Lacan, and LaPlanche. Postmodernist adaptations of the project by Lear, Ronnen, Bloom, and Derrida. Recommended: ability to read German and French.

5 units, Spr (White, H)

COMPLIT 359A. Philosophical Reading Group

(Same as FRENGEN 395, ITALGEN 395.) Discussion of one contemporary or historical text from the Western philosophical tradition per quarter in a group of faculty and graduate students. For admission of new participants, a conversation with H. U. Gumbrecht is required. May be repeated for credit.

1 unit, Aut (Gumbrecht, H), Win (Gumbrecht, H), Spr (Gumbrecht, H)

COMPLIT 369. Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession

(Same as FRENGEN 369, ITALGEN 369, GERLIT 369.) Major texts of modern literary criticism in the context of professional scholarship today. Readings of critics such as Lukács, Auerbach, Frye, Ong, Benjamin, Adorno, Szondi, de Man, Abrams, Bourdieu, Vendler, and Said. Contemporary professional issues including scholarly associations, journals, national and comparative literatures, university structures, and career paths.

5 units, Aut (Berman, R)

COMPLIT 395. Research

1-15 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

COMPLIT 396L. Pedagogy Seminar I

(Same as ENGLISH 396L.) Required for first-year Ph.D students in English, Modern Thought and Literature, and Comparative Literature (except for Comparative Literature students teaching in a foreign language). Preparation for surviving as teaching assistants in undergraduate literature courses. Focus is on leading discussions and grading papers.

2 units, Aut (Vermeule, B)

COMPLIT 399. Dissertation

1-15 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

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