CIN 3533: Race and Representation: U.S. Literature and Film

Racial imagery in the U.S., from the minstrel era to the present, is examined. Students interrogate the mythologies of this imagery as depicted in U.S. literature and film; rethink key analytical categories in cinema and literary studies in light of U.S. race history (genre and spectatorship); and study the racial uses of and meanings behind certain technical innovations in U.S. literature and filmmaking.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
FRE 3067: French Caribbean Literature

A study of major developments in French Caribbean literature of the 19th through 21st centuries. This course focuses on questions of language, race, gender, geography, and class, with emphasis on local, regional, and global frames of reference.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
FRE 3710: Classics of French Literature on Film

How does the cinema adapt a text, and what are the questions underlying these semiological, ideological, or technical choices? Students read the literature (i.e., Cyrano de Bergerac, Madame Bovary) and view the films. Although this course is taught in English, the films are in French, and students who can read the literature in French are encouraged to do so.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
HIS 3180: British Culture and Society in the 20th Century

A team-taught course in British society and cultural development from World War I to the present, examined from the different perspectives of literature and history. Topics include war and social change, construction of class and gender, evolution of the state, intellectuals and politics, popular culture since 1945, feminism, and immigration and race. Readings in history and the works of such authors as Virginia Woolf are complemented by the viewing of films.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
HIS 3365: Global Modernity: Empire and Its Aftermaths

An exploration of the legacies of imperialism through the dual perspectives of history and literature. Readings include literary and historical texts, films, and essays that illuminate the key terms: global, empire, and modern.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
HIS 3424: Modern and Postcolonial France

Twentieth-century social, political, and cultural life in France and French (ex-) colonies in the Caribbean and Africa are examined through history, literature, and film. Topics include Paris as an intellectual center, France under German occupation, modernization and consumerism, family life and gender roles, decolonization, and multiculturalism and changing definitions of what it means to be French.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
HIS 3555: African Diasporas in the Americas

While many African-descended peoples throughout the world identify with a particular nationality—being Brazilian or Cuban, for example—many have also forged connections with each other across national boundaries and have recognized commonalities that transcend national contexts. To comprehend their shared experiences, students explore the history of the linkages created by Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-North Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries, using fiction, memoir, and recent historical scholarship.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
JOU 3374: The Literature of Journalism

Students look at the evolution of long-form journalism of postwar America, roughly defined as 1946–1980. Works include Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, John Hersey’s Hiroshima, and the magazine writing of Lillian Ross, Alex Haley, Joan Didion, and Gay Talese. The class also explores more recent authors, such as Isabel Wilkerson and Rachel Aviv, and the influences of the digital age.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
JST 3709: Theatrical Representations of the Holocaust

Critics agree that the world of the concentration camps and ghettoes is impossible to duplicate on stage. Despite serious aesthetic and practical constraints, playwrights in Europe, Israel, and America have, for the last five decades, created a diverse group of plays dealing with this unprecedented 20th-century event. Works examined in class include documentary dramas, realistic reenactments, absurdist plays, a comedy, and a standup routine.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LAC 3250: Space as Construction: Reclaiming and Rewriting Colonial Landscapes in French-language Literature

The literatures of former French colonies are deeply concerned with questions of space: territory, displacement, indigeneity and migration. This course analyzes recurrent spatial tropes (the island, the plantation, the border, etc.) in the French-language literatures of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Africa to see how received notions of space, including literature as textual space, are reinvented.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1025: Live Lit

Witness literature come alive! Students read work by well-known authors visiting Purchase in the Durst lecture series and read plays staged by the Theatre Program. Students meet independently with authors and attend their public lectures. Directors visit the class and students receive free tickets to all plays. Classwork analyzes material before and after students meet authors and attend plays.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1050: The Common Era Begins

A study of the eastern Mediterranean during New Testament times—the conflict of Jewish and Roman cultures that mark the beginning of the Common Era. While the primary focus is on literary texts, visual arts as well as historical documents and accounts are also included.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1055: "Nature"

What is it we are talking about when we address “Nature”? The closer we look, the more difficult the question becomes. The class looks closely at “Nature,” primarily through various literary texts, as well as through images and videos, considering topics and issues of “natural history,” environmental politics, etc.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1060: On Beauty

What is beauty? How does one recognize it? How do—or how should—people respond to it? What is its relation to justice? This interdisciplinary humanities course examines such fundamental questions with the help of philosophers, theologians, neuroscientists, poets, and artists of all kinds.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1065: Only Connect: Difference and Otherness in Literature

Students trace the development of non-Western identity as it is formulated within the West by examining marginalized characters who are shaped by their powerlessness. Topics include educating the native, victimage, Orientalism, backwardness, and gender. Authors include William Shakespeare, Thomas Babbington Macaulay, Aphra Behn, Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, William Beckford, Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster, Katherine Mayo, and Rukeya Sakhawat Hossein.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1140: The West and Its Others

Explores some of the history, institutions, economy, society, and culture of Britain as a dominant European cultural power and also as an imperial power influencing its colonial possessions. Race and gender are examined, as are the shifting hierarchies between and within cultures. Included are Aphra Behn, E.M. Foster, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Rudyard Kipling, John Stewart Mill, William Shakespeare, and Mary Shelley.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1150: Border Crossings

Social borders are examined through literature that explores immigration, assimilation, and the experience of those who exist “between” cultures. A major focus is on the “hybridizing” of cultures and the way that literature expresses the blending of cultures through language and narrative structure.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1170: Reading Our Past From the Present

A selection of literary and philosophical texts from the Western cultural tradition during the past 2,000 years, with special emphasis on the lenses through which later ages select, read, and construct the past from the present. Texts include works by St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Freud, Marx, Joyce, Brecht, and a selection of contemporary works of film and stage. Where available, texts from the Western tradition being staged on campus are used.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1190: Modernism: The 20th Century

The beginning of the 20th century witnessed an extraordinary ferment and experimental attitude in the arts. This course examines the rise of abstraction and experimentalism in literature, painting, music, and dance in Europe and America from 1899 to the 1950s. The course also considers the artistic breakthroughs of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Graham, Cézanne, Picasso, Mallarmé, Eliot, Pound, and de Kooning, among others.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1520: Introduction to Literature

An introduction to the principles and practice of close reading and literary criticism. Readings include a variety of literary modes, including fiction, poetry, and drama.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1540: Introduction to the Novel

The rise of the novel and its continued relevance today. In addition to close readings of novels from a variety of time periods and countries, students read about the conditions that gave rise to the novel as a genre and various theoretical interpretations of the form and its functions.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 1550: Introduction to Lyric Poetry

An examination of a wide array of poems from classical antiquity to the 21st century. In this course, students consider the multiple ways that poetry works to create meaning and emotion and investigate techniques of close analysis. Particularly recommended for students interested in the study of literature, creative writing, and language.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2055: American History Through Literature

Literature inhabits, reflects, creates, and ironically examines the “history” that is its context. This course observes the central narrative of American history, American institutions and anti-institutions, and the American international situation through the peculiar lens of American poetry, fiction, cinema, and other literary arts.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2080: The Ancient Epic

A reading of texts embodying the oldest myths of Western culture: the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and Metamorphosis. Works are considered both in their historical context and from the perspective of recent thought.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2100: Freedom Dreams: Introduction to African American Literature

Examines black literary and performance culture from the 18th century to the present. Students explore the self-making and resistance of black authors and activists through literary culture. Discussions focus on the intersections of identity formation (race, gender, sexuality, class) to enhance an understanding of the broader tradition of American letters and black culture. Readings include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Credits: 3

Department: Literature
LIT 2195: Italian American Literature and Popular Culture

Using the lens of the politics of whiteness, this course juxtaposes popular stereotypes with more complex views. Authors include Mario Puzo, Tina DeRosa, John Fante, and Kym Ragusa, among others. The investigation of popular culture encompasses early film classics, the iconic Godfather, and experimental films; music from the crooners to rap and hip-hop; and performance art. Attendance at two or three off-campus events is required.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2305: Introduction to Contemporary Global Literature

Examines how literature is shaped by intersections of the local and the global in examples drawn from five regions: North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2361: U.S. Short Story

Short stories by important U.S. writers of fiction, from the beginnings of the literary tradition in the earlier 19th century (Poe, Hawthorne, Melville) to current authors. As the sequence of stories unfolds, the development of American issues unfolds as well.

Credits: 3

Department: Literature
LIT 2375: Classics of European Fiction

Short works of French, Russian, and German fiction, beginning with 18th-century quarrels between classicism and romanticism and ending with multicultural influences on the creation of 20th-century “classics.”

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2387: Literature of the South Asian Diaspora

Students read about South Asians dislocated from their homeland, focusing on issues of cultural displacement, alienation, assimilation, and construction as they follow narratives of South Asians who attempt to preserve the traces of their ethnic, cultural, and religious identities. Authors include Jhumpa Lahiri, Bharati Mukherjee, V.S. Naipaul, and Amitav Ghosh, among others.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2450: Colloquium I: Studies in Literature

An introduction to literary study for current and prospective literature majors. Readings are divided among three areas: primary texts, secondary texts that offer contexts for the primary texts, and works that define the study of literature. Each course section addresses its own topic.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2530: The Bible

Readings illustrate the range of issues, styles, and contexts in the Bible, including Genesis and Exodus, Deuteronomic Histories, prophets major and minor, Job and Ecclesiastes, the Gospels, and Apocalypse. This is not a course in religion, but in a literary and cultural tradition deeply concerned with human action in relation to divinity.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2560: Survey of U.S. Literature I

Spans the literature of the European invasion of North America, from the 16th century through the first decades of a national publishing industry of “American” letters following the Revolutionary War. Students consider the connections between writing and colonialism, nation building, and the resistance of these powerful narratives in, for example, the few written words of the indigenous populations and the enslaved.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2570: Survey of U.S. Literature II

An examination of literature written in the U.S. between the 1830s and the beginning of the 20th century. Careful attention is paid to the context of western expansion, slavery and its legacy, industrialization, immigration, and other historical developments. While much of the course is devoted to the “American Renaissance,” students also consider several contemporaneous literary traditions and their interrelationships.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2590: Mythologies

Myths are the narrative form of a culture’s essential knowledge—of itself, its origins, its contexts. This course substantially engages Greek and Roman mythology as well as myths from many time periods and cultures (biblical, South Asian, Native American, contemporary, and more). Theoretical approaches are also considered.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2640: Modern British Literature

An exploration of how British writers have responded to the social, historical, and intellectual ferment of the 20th century. Authors studied may include as T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, W.H. Auden, Samuel Beckett, V.S. Naipaul, and Muriel Spark.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2675: Literature and the City

An examination of the relationship between urban life and literary creation. How have writers dealt with the changes brought on by urbanization in different places? In what ways has the city changed how writers write and people read? These and other questions are explored through the study of modern writers and cities in the Americas and Europe.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2775: Beowulf to Lucifer: British Lit I

A survey of British literature from Beowulf to Paradise Lost, with a particular focus on the history of literary form and the birth of a vernacular tradition in English.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2825: Modernism and the Metropolis

The relationship between the developments of urban modernity and aesthetic modernism is charted through the first half of the 20th century in three major metropolitan centers: Paris, London, and New York. The focus is on British and American modernist poetry and novels.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2850: Birds: Literature, Ornithology

A study of the cultural, literary, and natural history of birds. Students read poems and essays, study ornithology texts and field guides, and occasionally go into the field to look at birds. Owning a pair of binoculars would be helpful.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 2872: The Golden Land: American Jewish Literature and Film

Beginning as a response to the immigrant experience, writing by American Jews emerged as a central literary presence and the inspiration for important films. This course traces the evolution from early writers such as Abraham Cahan and Anzia Yezierska, through major figures such as Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, and I.B. Singer, to their contemporaries and heirs, including Stanley Elkin, Joseph Heller, Cynthia Ozick, and Grace Paley.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3003: Dostoevsky and Tolstoy

Engages the question “Dostoevsky or Tolstoy?” through readings of some major works, emphasizing The Brothers Karamazov and Anna Karenina as examples of “dialogic” vs. “monologic” narratives.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3004: Lesbian and Gay Poetry

A writing-intensive course in which students study the poetry of queer-identified writers through the lenses of sexuality, culture, identity, history, and poetic technique.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3007: Visions of Dystopia

Examines literary dystopian visions from H.G. Wells’ science fiction classic The Time Machine (1895), Franz Kafka’s The Trial (1920), and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006), Don DeLillo’s Zero K (2016), and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3025: Women and Film

Considers the intersections of sexual difference and cinema. Topics include theories of enunciation and sexual difference, female authorship and the idea of “women’s cinema,” gender and genre, woman as spectacle, the female spectator, and feminist film theory. Representations of sexual difference in films by selected male directors are studied as a means of examining the institution(s) of cinematic expression. The bulk of the course is devoted to studying women directors as they attempt to work within and against that institution.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3038: The American Sentence: Practice and Theory of Prose in America

An investigation of the styles and ideas of “prose” in American literature, fiction and nonfiction. The particular focus is on the sentence—for example, sentences by such writers as Henry James, Melville, Anne Carson, and others. Is there something distinctly “American” about the American sentence? Is there a theory of prose that might emerge?

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3043: Toni Morrison

An exploration of Toni Morrison’s generous literary career as a playwright, fiction writer, and essayist. Students read a collection of Morrison’s most popular works (Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved) alongside her more recent publications (A Mercy, God Help the Child). Discussions place Morrison in conversation with her literary interlocutors (Hurston, Woolf, Faulkner) and some of her most cherished contemporaries (James Baldwin, Toni Cade Bambara).

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3047: Literature and Film of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Explores a variety of literary and cinematic works that depict the conflicting points of view and the varied interests of contemporary Israeli and Arab writers and filmmakers. Students learn the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and then explore a variety of issues relating to it by reading the work of Amos Oz, David Grossman, Mahmood Darwish, and others. Films include Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005) and Lemon Tree (Eran Riklis, 2008).

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3082: 19th-Century British Literature and Empire

Examines the representation of colonized places and people in the British literary imagination during the 19th century. Topics include otherness, difference, exoticism, transculturation, assimilation, and hybridity. Authors include Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, Thomas de Quincey, Rider Haggard, William Jones, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Moore, Olive Schreiner, and Robert Southey.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3085: Literature of the American West

No American geographical fact is more significant than the West less a place than an idea, an imaginative provocation. Many American writers have been provoked to represent the West, and students read from among their work, including such writers as Raymond Chandler, Sandra Cisneros, Jack London, Nathanael West, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Willa Cather, and many poets.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3093: Immigration and Ethnicity in U.S. Literature

We are “a nation of immigrants,” wrote John F. Kennedy. Beginning in the 1880s and continuing to the present, this course explores issues surrounding immigration, ethnicity, and nationality through the lens of immigrant writing. Students look at shifts and continuities over time and among diverse ethnic groups and explore how America creates ethnicity and immigrants create America.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3121: Comparative 19th-Century Novel

A study of four major novels, their respective national obsessions, and contrasting historical contexts (British: Dickens’ Great Expectations; American: Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter; French: Balzac’s Eugenie Grandet; Russian: Dostoevsky’s The Possessed). Texts are read in conjunction with historical background material.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3127: Early Modern English Poetry

An exploration of representative poems in English and associated poetical theories from the late medieval and early modern period (c. 1450–1660), including erotic and religious lyrics, epic and narrative poems, and the emergence of women poets. Poets studied include Wyatt, Spenser, Philip, Robert and Mary Sidney, Southwell, Greville, Ralegh, Shakespeare, Donne, Wroth, Herbert, and Crashaw.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3140: Medieval English Literature

Examines the literature of England written in French, English, and Latin from the Norman Conquest of 1066 (when England was taken over by a Francophone elite) to the 15th century. Epic, romance, history, and the literature of spiritual devotion are read in their literary relations and social contexts. All readings are in translation.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3142: Chivalry and Romance

Covers the literary genre of romance in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern periods. Examines the genre’s roots in classical tales of epic travels, adventure, and fantasy. Includes chivalry, heroism, questing, hospitality, and courtliness and attends to the genre’s place in the periods’ cross-cultural and cross-class encounters. Texts include Arthurian legends, Gawain, Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Shakespeare, Orlando Furioso, Gerusalemme liberata, and Don Quixote.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3150: Chaucer

A study of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales for students who want an introduction to medieval studies and for those who wish to extend their knowledge of the Middle Ages.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3155: Renaissance in England

The principal nondramatic genres—lyric poetry, prose fiction, political theory, social commentary, religious devotion—of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, read in their social and cultural contexts.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3157: Novel Pairings

Alongside theoretical considerations of the novel as a form of rewriting (Bakhtin, Bloom, Landow, et al.), students consider the effects of Caryl Phillips, Maryse Conde, Zadie Smith, Mario Vargas Llosa, Louisa Hall, Kamel Daoud, and others in rewriting Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Madam Bovary, The Scarlet Letter, Mrs. Dalloway, The Stranger, and other master narratives.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: LIT2450

Department: Literature
LIT 3160: Literature of the High Middle Ages

Literature from the songs of the troubadours and the rise of romance to the work of Dante is examined in connection with movements in European intellectual life and social history. Readings are in translation.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3211: Spanish and Latin American Cinema

Drawing from the rich cinematography of Spain and Latin America, this course focuses on the interaction between film and culture in Latin America. Films are discussed and analyzed in the context of sociopolitical events and aesthetic movements, with emphasis on the cultural perspective.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3215: South Asian Literature

Examines the emergence of national identity as represented in South Asian literature in the aftermath of colonialism. The class explores contemporary literary texts along with selected archival documents. Topics include nationalist literature, colonial discourse, and postcolonial fiction. Writers include Rukun Advani, Anita Desai, Mahasweta Devi, Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie. Taught in English.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3220: The Renaissance in Europe

Considers the literature of the Italian Renaissance in connection with such movements as humanism and Neoplatonism. Readings include works by Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Castiglione, and Ariosto in translation, but work in the original language is encouraged when possible.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3226: Literature of Decolonization in South Asia

Explores the process of decolonization in the context of the emergence of India and Pakistan in South Asia and traces the origin of fundamentalism in this region. Students examine the impact that fundamentalism has on religious, regional, and class identity through the works of both literary and nonliterary writers (e.g., Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Nandy, Adiga, Sidhwa, Desai).

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3250: Milton

One of the greatest English writers and the central poetic influence in the language, Milton is read in the context of the classical literary, political, and religious traditions that he inherited, disputed, and transcended. Special focus is on the relationship of “prophesy” and mythmaking to the radical and dissenting imagination.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3265: Kafka

Focuses on one of modernism’s most innovative fiction writers, Franz Kafka of Prague (1884–1924). Students explore the relationship of Jewish to European-Christian culture in Kafka’s work, the literary sources and historical contexts of his allegories, and the influential concept of the “Kafkaesque.” The goal is to become familiar with the multiple interpretations generated from works like The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3266: Kafka to Roth

Post-war American Jewish writers introduced new subjects and styles—such as Kafkaesque paradoxes, immigrant humor, and Yiddish-inflected sentences—to the American literary tradition. The course begins with Kafka’s short stories and includes Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Grace Paley, Stanley Elkin, Philip Roth, and Edith Pearlman.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3295: Dark Fairy Tales

To modern audiences, “fairy tale” suggests beautiful princesses and handsome princes, ball gowns, and singing mice, but fairy tales have much darker roots. Alongside true love, innocence, and bravery lies infanticide, incest, murder, and cannibalism. In this course, students study a selection of fairy tales and explore their origins, variants, interpretations, and the archetypal characters who inhabit them.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3310: Modern Poetry in the U.S. and Latin America

The coming of age of poetry in the Americas through the work of the great modernists: Wallace Stevens, Vicente Huidobro, Ezra Pound, Cesar Vallejo, T.S. Eliot, Octavio Paz, William Carlos Williams, and Pablo Neruda. Taught in English. Latin American poets may be read in translation or in Spanish.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3315: The 19th-Century Novel in the U.S.

What constitutes the genre of the novel and its various subgenres? Which historical contexts most shaped the novel’s development, and how? What was the novel’s role in culture and society? This course asks these questions about the 19th-century novel in the U.S. In addition to many of the novels from the period, students read various theoretical and historical considerations of the novel.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3320: The 19th-Century British Novel

The novels of Austen, Dickens, the Brontës, Eliot, and Hardy in the political, intellectual, social, and cultural context of Britain and its empire in the 19th century.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3330: Romanticism I

Examines the emergence of the Romantic imagination, the concept of the subject or self, and the plural nature of Romantic discourse in Wollstonecraft, Austen, and Wordsworth, among others. Topics explored include the writers’ diverse concepts of creativity and originality, sense of their place in society, notions of political identity, and relation to British literary traditions.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3340: Romanticism II

Traces the evolution of Romanticism in the aftermath of the radical promise of the first generation of Romantic poets, through the prose writers who self-consciously documented their literary and cultural heritage, to the full flowering of such writers as Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Keats, and Emily Brontë.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3344: Romanticism and Modernism

Examines the continuities of themes and paradigms between the Romantic and Modern periods in British literature. Topics include literary form and its relation to historical and social change; Empire; gender and sexuality; and the romantic fragment and modernist fragmentation.The goal of this advanced course is to enable students to recognize the narrative of British literature by witnessing its transmission.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3352: Love in Literature

From Adam and Eve to the present, numerous authors have written about love. In this course, students examine forms and expressions of both romantic and erotic love in Western literature, from the Bible and ancient Greeks to Bob Dylan. Writers studied include Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Nabokov, in addition to love poems, recent American short stories, and more.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3355: Romanticism and Empire

An advanced course examining the construction of India and other “Oriental” spaces in the British imagination during the first phase of imperialism in India (1757–1857). This period coincides with the Romantic movement in England; therefore, British Romanticism and also nonliterary writing in Britain during this period are considered in the context of Empire. Topics include otherness, difference, exoticism, transculturation, assimilation, and hybridity.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3369: Victorian Poetry

Victorian poetry against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world during a period that marked the high point of England’s global power. Writers include Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Arnold, and Hopkins.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3380: Literature of Harlem Renaissance

Examines racial pride, racial origins, and urban blacks through an exploration of essays, poems, short stories, and novels by writers of the period (1915–1930). Authors include Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Nella Larsen, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston. Emphasis is on students’ written analysis of in-class and outside readings.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3396: Fiction of Eastern Europe

From 1866, when Dostoevsky published Notes from Underground, to 2013, when American novelist Anthony Marra published Constellation of Vital Phenomenon, Russia’s historical/existentialist impact on world literature has been legion. This course offers readings from Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Kafka, and Marra.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3400: Short Fiction

An examination of the “middle genre,” encompassing the novella and the short novel. Readings provide ample opportunity to sample works embodying the intensity of short fiction and some of the expanded characterization and plot development of the novel. Readings include works by several significant 19th- and 20th-century authors from many countries.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3415: Global Metafictions

Metafictions “radically call attention to their status as fictions.” They are hardly new, despite their association with “postmodernity”—Cervantes’ Don Quixote is an example of early metafiction. This course focuses on contemporary texts in the global context: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Murakami; The Hakawati, Alameddine; My Name is Red, Pamuk; Underworld, Delillo. Considerable experience with literature is helpful.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3420: Modern Poetry

A study of modern poetry with a focus on T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, and others.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3427: 20th-Century World Literature

Students consider world literature of the 20th century as it reflects and questions national and international boundaries, politics, religion, freedom, nationalism, sexuality, gender, and identity. Readings include a broad cross-section of contemporary writings by international authors to facilitate discussion of social norms and values and the diversity of global literary tradition.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3432: The Roaring Twenties

The 1920s was a decade of promise and anxiety in the US. From shell-shocked soldiers to bootlegging millionaires, flappers to factory workers, expatriates to eugenicists, the Great Migration to the Great Depression, much was changing in Americans’ perceptions of their nation, themselves, and the “other.” This course explores these shifts through Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Eliot, Hurston, Yezierska, DuBois, and Lewis, among others.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3455: Teaching Good Prose

Helping others to read and write better improves one’s own reading and writing dramatically. In this course, advanced students improve their own writing and gain tutoring experience by serving as peer tutors in first-year courses. Each student is attached to a College Writing section and serves as a peer mentor/tutor, attending classes and working closely with the instructor (approx. 2 to 4 hours weekly).

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3490: James Joyce

An examination of the style, production, and reception of Ulysses, one of the founding texts of modernist fiction. Students analyze the distinctive style of each chapter and examine the relationship of the book to political and cultural issues of the period and to other literary texts by Joyce and continental writers. Readings also include historical, cultural, and critical materials.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3497: Gothic

In this advanced lecture, the first wave of Gothic novels from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century is examined in relation to visual representations of issues that dominate Gothic discourse. Topics include horror, imprisonment, madness, gender, ghosts and vampires. Authors and artists studied include Austen, the Brontë sisters, Radcliffe, Collins, Blake, Fuseli, and Turner.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3540: Emerson

Detailed readings of the major essays, poetry, and journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the paradoxical central figure of American culture. The course addresses his powerful influence in literature, political ideology, rhetoric, religion, and popular arts.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3571: Holocaust Memoir and Diary

Holocaust scholar Lawrence Langer asks, "To whom shall we entrust the custody of the public memory of the Holocaust?" This course examines eyewitness testimony produced either during or after the Holocaust. Students read works such authors as Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, Kazik (Simha Rotem), Emanuel Ringelblum, Anne Frank, and Hanna Senesh, a true Jewish Joan of Arc.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3572: Imagining America’s Yiddish World: Writings and Performance

Focuses on a variety of writings (memoirs, letters, fiction, poetry), theatre, and films depicting the Yiddish world of the Lower East Side, home to more than two million Eastern European Jewish immigrants between 1880 and 1920. Readings include selections from the work of a variety of authors, from Yiddish newspapers, films, and other cultural materials.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3575: Virginia Woolf

An examination of the novels, short stories, and essays of Virginia Woolf.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3581: Realism and Naturalism in U.S. Literature

What is a realist novel? What does it do, how, and to what end? Students consider these issues by interrogating texts in their cultural contexts, exploring the authors’ critical writings, drawing links among novels, and analyzing their reception over time. Readings include works by William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Charles Chesnutt, and Ann Petry.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3585: Childhood in U.S. Literature

Explores constructions and representations of childhood and adolescence in post–Civil War U.S. culture and fiction, focusing particularly on ideological linkages between nation and family and how these connections shape the experiences and writings of authors and educators across cultures. Readings may include works by Alger, Louisa May Alcott, Twain, Dewey, Adams, Riis, Yezierska, Fauset, Cisneros, and Rita Mae Brown.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3605: Jazz and the Literary Imagination

From hip-hop to Kerouac, jazz has influenced American culture through its improvisatory nature and capacious style. This course traces the jazz aesthetic (its early developments, definitions, and evolutions) across a range of novels, poems, and musical performances by writers and artists, including Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, Billie Holiday, Gayl Jones, Louis Armstrong, Ralph Ellison, Thelonious Monk, and James Baldwin.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3620: U.S. Poetry

The development of U.S. poetry. The course examines its major figures (Dickinson and Whitman from the 19th century; Stevens, Frost, and Williams from the 20th century) and surveys the “minor” poets. Provides an overview of contemporary poetry, as well as much practice in the close reading of poetic texts.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3630: Melville

The major novels of Melville, as well as some of his poetry and several important shorter works of his fiction.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3633: The Beat Generation

Explores the lives, works, and times of the Beat Generation authors, examining the literary and cultural landscape from which the Beats emerged and their profound effect on the nascent counterculture and on the music and literature of a generation of artists that followed.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3635: Reviewing the Contemporary Novel

An introduction to the contemporary novel and the art and practice of book reviewing. Students read exemplary novels (e.g., Cloud Atlas and Netherland); they read exemplary book critics (e.g., Zadie Smith and James Wood); and they write their own exemplary reviews of contemporary fiction. Writing assignments range from blog posts to newspaper-style reviews and magazine-style essays.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3636: Modern American Poetry

Modern and contemporary American poetry is studied with an emphasis on craft and the creative process. Poets include T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, and Sylvia Plath, among others. Attention is given to the imagery, structure, and sound patterns (or “music”) of the poems. Poetry writers are encouraged to enroll, and anyone interested in poetry is welcome.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3665: American Women Writers

Examines several texts written by American women, including works by Radstreet, Wheatley, Rowson, Stowe, Dickinson, Jewett, Cather, Wharton, Hurston, Bishop, and Naylor. The question of whether there is a traceable female tradition during the past 350 years is addressed. Readings include feminist literary criticism and theory.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3673: Austen

An examination of the novels of Jane Austen. Topics include gender and authorship; irony, sympathy, and point of view; the marriage plot; and filmic adaptation.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3676: Short Narrative

An examination of short fiction as it emerged from the oral tradition of storytelling. Biblical tales and parables, Greek romance, saints’ lives, and the great story collections of medieval and early modern Europe are considered from a comparative perspective.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3677: Modern American Short Stories

Concise and focused, the short story has been a lens through which Americans have explored their identities. Stories written in the last 25 years examine the changing sense of what being an American means.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3680: Surrealism and Its Legacy

Surrealist literature, films, and art in France, Spain, and Latin America. Artists include Aragon, Breton, Buñuel, Césaire, Char, Dali, Eluard, and Lorca. Works are read in translation and lectures given in English; students with French and/or Spanish are encouraged to read in the original language.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3685: Modern Novel of Latin America

Major works of the most celebrated Latin American novelists, such as Cortàzar, García Márquez, Carpentier, and Guiraldes, emphasizing the cultural and social contexts from which these novels spring. Although this is a literature course taught in English, students with competent Spanish language skills are encouraged to read the works in the original and write their papers in Spanish.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3695: Contemporary U.S. Literature

Novels, poems, and plays produced in the U.S. from World War II to the present. Focus is on the development of a postmodern aspect, and attention is concentrated on the flourishing literature of minority groups. Writers include Jack Kerouac, Thomas Pynchon, Louise Erdrich, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Adrienne Rich, and Tony Kushner.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3705: Cervantes

Centers on a close reading of Don Quixote, with attention to other works of Cervantes and to his importance to European narrative as a whole.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3721: Contemporary Jewish American Fiction

Features major American novelists writing about the Jewish experience in the 21st century. Themes include Zionist and post-Zionist concerns, the appeal of a growing religious community, religious immigration to Israel, and young religious Jews fleeing the fold. Authors may include Gary Shtayngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, Tova Mirvis, Lara Vapnyar, Roya Hakakian, Deborah Feldman, Dara Horn, and Risa Miller.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3725: Literature of the Holocaust

Despite the imperative to accept shocked silence as the most appropriate response to the Nazi genocide, the Holocaust experience has inspired a powerful and eloquent body of literary expression, especially in fiction and poetry. This course considers some of the significant authors and texts that constitute the literature (e.g., Appelfeld, Schwarz-Bart, Wiesel, Singer, Borowski, and Wallant).

Credits: 4

PREREQ: LWR1110 Or WRI1110

Department: Literature
LIT 3745: Identity and Self-Fashioning

“Who am I?” This course explores the ways this question is addressed in a range of autobiographical forms and practices—autobiography proper, essay, memoir, graphic memoir, self-portraiture, performance, film—in works produced over the last half century. In addition to autobiographical texts and images, readings include a few key critical or theoretical essays about autobiography and self-portraiture.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3755: Poetry and the Avant-Garde

The notion of the “new” in poetry and art is examined. Students read a range of poetry written in the late 19th century through the 1940s in France, Germany, Spain, Latin America, and the U.S., and explore ways in which expressive novelty is linked to particular cultural and social situations. Along with the poems and some visual art, some contemporary texts that advance theories of the “avant-garde” are considered.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3825: British Poetry I: Beginnings to the 1650s

An examination of the development of the British poetic canon in its literary and historical context. The development of lyric poetry is discussed in the context of changing reading practices and uses of literacy, and the multiple relations between literary artistry and the social world.

Credits: 3

Department: Literature
LIT 3839: The Modern Novel

Considers seven novels that represent “modernity” as social, ethical, and/or individual crisis. The course explores overlapping modernist prose styles from romanticism to surrealism and concludes with a “postmodern” novel.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3845: Zora Neale Hurston

Examines Hurston’s novels, short stories, plays, and essays alongside archival recordings and visual media. Discussions cover Hurston’s influential role in shaping conversations around race, class, and gender in the 20th century and her impact on other writers, including Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 3940: Literature of War

Examines the central role of war in Western literature, with a concentration on English and American texts.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4050: The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Explores plays, prose works, poetry, and art from the early Middle Ages to c. 1650, in English or English translation, showing the varied influences of the Bible, especially the Christian New Testament and surrounding apocryphal traditions. Students are introduced to medieval, early modern, and contemporary approaches to the biblical text.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4180: Dante and Medieval Culture

A close reading of the Divine Comedy in the dual context of late medieval Italy and contemporary theoretical inquiry.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4190: Williams and Faulkner

William Carlos Williams and William Faulkner were both deeply engaged with the historical myths of their time and place, and both were central influences in the evolution of American modernism. Readings concentrate on major novels by Faulkner and poetry by Williams.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4240: Science Fiction

A survey of science fiction in literature and film, with particular focus on the genre’s ability to investigate large-scale social, political, philosophical, and narratological questions. Works by Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and China Miéville, among others.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4450: Colloquium II: Advanced Studies in Literature

A culminating course that draws together the work of the major and prepares students for and complements the senior project. Each course section addresses its own topic; in every section, readings include primary texts, secondary texts that illuminate the primary texts, and works that define the discipline of literature or its interdisciplinary extensions, including theory and cultural studies.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4451: Advanced Shakespeare Workshop

Advanced study of one Shakespeare play that will be mounted in the spring by the acting program. Focuses on the performative, historical, and critical context of the play and provides an in-depth understanding of Shakespeare’s theatrical art. A folio acting version of the play, a modern critical edition, and required background material are used in a close study of the text. Requirements include group and individual research projects.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4675: George Eliot and Henry James

An examination of two of the greatest novelists in the English language, George Eliot and Henry James. Topics include point-of-view and its relation to ethics; the nature of sympathy; melodrama and realism; and the representation of consciousness in literary form.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4685: Whitman and Dickinson

These two poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, dominate not only the American 19th century, but the entire history of poetry at length and in depth. Students also consider some of their marginal work (Whitman’s prose and Dickinson’s letters, for example).

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4690: Contemporary U.S. Poetry

Here are poets who epitomize trends, possibilities, or radical departures—poets like Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, and James Merrill, among others—interesting not only in their context within the tradition, but for their manifold intrinsic excellences as well.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
LIT 4885: Senior Project Seminar

In this seminar, students are guided through the steps required to complete a senior project. Students refine their topic, create a list of secondary sources, write an annotated bibliography, and workshop their first chapter. Required for literature majors in conjunction with the first semester of their senior project.

Credits: 2

PREREQ: LIT2450

Department: Literature
PHI 2835: Happiness: Philosophy, Film, Literature

An interdisciplinary examination of the subject of happiness, using a variety of ancient and modern literary and philosophical works as well as films. Students analyze the texts and films for their specific content but also for a deepened sense of the possible relationships between visual and discursive representations of narratives.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
PHI 3025: Temporality

A historical examination of philosophical thought on the structure and meaning of time. Readings emphasize the centrality of time to continental thought, but other approaches are also discussed. Key questions include: What is the relation between subjective and objective temporality, and how are we to conceive of each? Is there anything more to time than our experience of it?

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
PHI 3205: Shakespeare and Philosophy

Explores what the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas might have meant when he wrote that “all of philosophy may be found in the plays of Shakespeare.” The focus is on a close study of selected works, together with commentary by such thinkers as Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Derrida, Cavell, and Critchley. Plays include Hamlet, Richard II, Coriolanus, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, The Tempest, and King Lear.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: THP2205 Or PHI1515 Or PHI2110

Department: Literature
PHI 3650: Philosophy and Literature

A study of how philosophical themes have been developed in recent fiction and an examination of the relationship between philosophy and literary criticism.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
POL 3307: Politics and Memoir

A study of memoirs by male and female authors, politicians, activists, and ordinary citizens describing childhood, communities, social changes, and revolutions. Works are drawn from South Africa, South America, Asia, Cuba, and the U.S. The rubric is the non-West’s interaction with the West, a north-south divide.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
SPA 3370: Lettered Cities: The Literature of Latin American Cities

A study of the literature of 20th- and 21st-century Latin American cities, looking at the relationship between literary texts, urban societies, and architectural configurations. Students also investigate the historical role cities have in Latin American cultural production and the role of capital cities in the production of nationalisms. Taught in Spanish.Note: Students should have experience with courses in Spanish at the advanced level or above. Consult with the instructor if in doubt.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
SPA 3687: The Idea of Latin America

Who had the idea to name part of the world “Latin America”? What makes it “Latin”? Who has an interest in this definition? Who is included and who isn’t? This course asks these questions and others through readings of texts by Bolívar, Martí, Mariátegui, and others.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
SPA 3700: The Latin American Short Story

Selected examples drawn from the significant number of Latin American writers who have made some of their most interesting contributions in this short form. Selected works from 19th- and 20th-century writers are read closely. Taught in Spanish.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 2205: Shakespeare Then and Now

Selected plays spanning Shakespeare’s entire career. In addition to close reading and textual interpretation, students address questions and problems of performing, directing, lighting, costuming, and set designing Shakespeare’s plays. The course examines past and current trends in Shakespearean criticism, as well as the social and theatrical contexts in which the plays were first produced.

Credits: 3

Department: Literature
THP 2600: American Drama: From O’Neill to Albee

American drama considered primarily as a critique of American society, values, and life. Covers the period from 1916 to 1964, including plays by Susan Glaspell, Eugene O’Neill, Clifford Odets, Lillian Hellman, Gertrude Stein, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, Adrienne Kennedy, and Edward Albee.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 2885: Theatre Histories I

Western and world theatre from ancient Greece to 1642, when the theatres of Shakespeare’s time were finally closed. What would now be called actors, playwrights, producers, directors, designers, and theatre architects are all considered.

Credits: 3

Department: Literature
THP 3140: Medieval and Renaissance English Drama

A study of the mystery plays, morality plays, interludes, masques, and entertainments of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Analysis of texts is combined with consideration of theatrical production in light of the ideological, religious, and historical contexts of the plays.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 3410: Adapting Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf captures sensory detail and internal thought like few other writers. This dramatization of perception makes her work ripe for adaptation. Students will read selections of Woolf's essays, short stories, and novels, and study theatrical adaptations of her work. Students will explore translating Woolf’s iconic vision into theatrical shape by creating immersive stage adaptations of her work

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 3495: Black American Drama

Examines the history of 20th-century black American theatre. Major representative plays are read as literature; playwrights include Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Alice Childress, Adrienne Kennedy, August Wilson, Robert O’Hara, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lynn Nottage, Kia Corthron, and Lorraine Hansberry.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 3620: Shakespeare and Film

Shakespeare goes to celluloid, Hollywood, Japan, TV, and elsewhere. On the one hand, this is a Shakespeare seminar, with emphasis on discussions of the plays themselves. On the other, it becomes a film course, focusing on analyses of screen adaptations.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: THP2205 Or LIT2205

Department: Literature
THP 3690: American Theatre in Our Time

American theatre and society during the last 50 years. Plays by Jones (Baraka), Mamet, Shepard, Hwang, Kushner, Fornes, Marsha Norman, Sarah Ruhl, and August Wilson. Some knowledge of the American drama of O’Neill, Williams, and Miller is required.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 3725: Adapting Literature for Performance

A writing workshop on how to develop performance scripts from poetry, prose fiction, and nonfiction. Requires a background in literature, interest in theatrical form, and commitment to the scripting process.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
THP 3750: European Drama in Our Time

Malaise, futility, despair, and, sometimes, hope in the plays of Pirandello, Brecht, Giraudoux, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Osborne, Pinter, Churchill, and others, from World War I to somewhere short of tomorrow.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature
WRI 2770: The Art of the Essay

Though often seen as simply a test of students’ knowledge and ideas, essays go far beyond what is generally required in courses. Students in this course read and experiment with a wide variety of critical, journalistic, academic, personal, and experimental essay forms. In the process, they further develop their skills as critical thinkers and writers.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: WRI1110 Or WRI2110

Department: Literature
WRI 3785: The Personal Essay

In the personal essay, writers adopt distinct points of view, moving beyond the emotional to analytical and reasoned positions. Topics can include personal reflections, thoughts on daily life, art analysis, and political arguments. Students read and analyze contemporary essays and “workshop” each other’s writing. Requirements include attending instructor-supervised events (films, performances, guest speakers) outside of class for some writing assignments.

Credits: 4

Department: Literature