Comparative Literature examines literature across national, cultural and linguistic boundaries. The broad perspective of Comparative Literature generates sustained critical thinking about what literature is and does; how literature relates to other fields and kinds of writing; how literary texts produce meaning; and the ethical valence of literature in a globalized world. Advanced knowledge of a foreign language is essential for understanding and appreciating a given literature and culture. Therefore, all majors study a foreign language and literature at an advanced level. Moreover, the study of works in translation, especially those originally written in non-European languages, facilitates cross-cultural comparisons and helps prepare students for a multilingual, pluralistic and global world. Comparison of literature to other arts, media and other modes of writing develops one's understanding of literature and culture, as well as of technologies and aesthetic forms of mediation and transmission of world views, values and critiques.

Comparative Literature offers students:

  • A high degree of flexibility in their course selection and in their chosen program.
  • A rich array of courses spanning national, temporal or medial boundaries organized by genre (e.g., postmodern narrative, comedy, the novel, lyric poetry); cultural issues (e.g., exile, diaspora, cross-cultural encounters); themes (e.g., memory, obsession in the novel, mysticism in poetry); period (Romanticism, the Renaissance); and transnational region (e.g., Middle Eastern literature, African literature).
  • Courses that instruct the student in the central practices, approaches and theories of the discipline: an entry-level course titled "World Literature," "Introduction to Comparative Arts," and courses on literature, literary theory and translation.
  • Preparation for life in a global, multicultural and pluralinguistic world. The critical thinking developed in all of our courses can help students succeed in law and other professional schools. Many of our graduates have gone on to careers in secondary or higher education. With the help of our major and the semester or year abroad that we encourage, some graduates have pursued careers in international affairs, teaching English as a second language abroad, and international humanitarian programs such as the Peace Corps.

Comparative Literature and the Arts & Sciences Curriculum

Comparative Literature offers freshman seminars, writing-intensive courses and various capstone experiences, including directed research, creative projects and internships appropriate to a student's field.

Phone:314-935-5170
Email:complit@wustl.edu
Website:http://complit.wustl.edu

The Major in Comparative Literature

Units required: 27

Required courses:

  • 27 units of Comparative Literature courses, which include:
    - Comp Lit 211 World Literature (3 units)
    - Comp Lit 3050 Literary Modernities: Text and Tradition (3 units)
    - Seven additional courses in Comparative Literature at both the 300 and 400 levels (21 units). With permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the student may substitute up to 6 units of appropriate foreign literature courses at the 300 or 400 level.
  • The major also requires completion of a capstone experience. Students who are double majoring may elect to complete their capstone in the other major.
  • Students in Comparative Literature are also expected to have had substantial college-level experience of foreign language study as demonstrated by completion of either one 400-level foreign language course or two 300-level courses.

The Major in Comparative Arts

Units required: 27

Required courses:

  • 21 units in Comparative Literature courses, which include:
    - Comp Lit 211 World Literature (3 units)
    - Comp Lit 313E Introduction to Comparative Arts (3 units)
    - Five additional courses at both the 300 and 400 levels (15 units) including one course on interrelations between literature and other art forms. With permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the student may substitute up to 6 units of appropriate foreign literature courses at the 300 and 400 level.
  • 6 units advanced study (300-level or above) in theoretical or historical courses in aesthetics, art history, dance, drama, film or music. (Students with minors or majors in one of these fields may elect to substitute 6 units in Comparative Literature).
  • The major also requires completion of a capstone experience. Students who are double majoring may elect to complete their capstone in the other major.
  • Students of Comparative Arts are also expected to have had substantial college-level experience of foreign language study as demonstrated by the completion of either one 400-level foreign language course or two 300-level courses. They are also expected to pursue work in an applied art form — music, fine arts, drama, dance or creative writing — for four semesters. This course work need not be conducted at the 300 or 400 level.

*Students should be aware that courses satisfying the major requirements in another department cannot also be counted in satisfaction of the major requirements in Comparative Literature or Comparative Arts.

Additional Information

Senior Honors: To be considered for honors, a student must have a 3.7 GPA by the end of the sixth semester and must be approved by either the Director of Comparative Literature or the Director of Undergraduate Studies to write a Senior Honors thesis. Honors courses (Comp Lit 497 Independent Work for Senior Honors and Comp Lit 498 Independent Work for Senior Honors) supplement the major and do not satisfy any of the above requirements.

The Minor in Comparative Literature

Units required: 15

Required courses: 15 units of study distributed as follows:

  • Comp Lit 211 World Literature (3 units)
  • Comp Lit 3050 Literary Modernities: Text and Tradition (3 units)
  • Three additional Comparative Literature courses at the 300 or 400 level

Minors in comparative literature are also expected to have had substantial college-level experience of foreign language study as demonstrated by completion of either one 400-level foreign language course or two 300-level foreign language courses.

The Minor in Comparative Arts

Units required: 15

Required courses: 15 units of study, distributed as follows:

  • 6 units in Comparative Literature, which include:
    - Comp Lit 211 World Literature (3 units)
    - Comp Lit 313E Introduction to Comparative Arts (3 units)
  • One more Comparative Literature course at the 300 or 400 level
  • 6 units of advanced study (300-level or above) in theoretical or historical courses in music, art history, drama, dance, film or aesthetics. (Students with majors or minors in one of these fields may elect to substitute 6 units in Comparative Literature.)
  • Minors in comparative arts are also expected to have had substantial college-level experience of foreign language study as demonstrated by completion of either one 400-level foreign language course or two 300-level foreign language courses.

Visit https://courses.wustl.edu to view semester offerings for L16 Comp Lit.


L16 Comp Lit 1024 Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the most recognized composers of "classical" music. A child prodigy of astonishing precocity, he has come to symbolize genius for Western culture — a composer whose music embodies superhuman, even utopian beauty and perfection. In this course, we learn that there was more to Mozart. Mozart was a lover of codes and puzzles who delighted in the science of music, a sampler of non-Western music, and a musical humorist whose comedies make provocative statements — ranging from cynical to poignant — about politics, gender and morality. Our focus works include Mozart's symphonies, piano music, string quartets, and such comedies as The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro. We also explore Mozart's afterlife — how his music has figured in film, literature and popular culture. This course is open to all undergraduates — no previous musical course work or experience is required.
Same as L27 Music 1024

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 115 Freshman Seminar

A variety of topics in comparative literature, designed for first-year students — no special background is required — to be conducive to the investigation and discussion format of a seminar.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 137A Freshman Seminar

The destructive, scandal-ridden career of the Roman emperor Nero (mid-first century CE) almost defies belief. From his assumption of power as a teenager to his suicide after a military revolt, Nero flouted political and cultural conventions left and right. His inspiring debut notwithstanding, he killed off his family and mentor, held wild parties, poured money into extravagant projects, and neglected state business to pursue a career on stage. He came to be labeled one of the "Bad Emperors," and seen as a symbol of the decline of Rome itself — especially by sympathizers of the Christians he persecuted. Yet Nero as an emperor and a literary character was also a creation of his time. The figure of Nero is examined in his context. The central text is the Life of Nero by Suetonius (second century CE), a dense and colorful text read first in its entirety and then more carefully in pieces. Supplementary readings are from the abundant other sources on and interpretations of Nero, both ancient and modern. Discussions and writing assignments are varied and designed to develop analytical and writing skills.
Same as L08 Classics 137

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 1511 The Birth of Venus

This course examine the art, politics and history of Renaissance Florence, Venice, Ferrara and Rome. We study how love, beauty, religion and politics were intertwined in these cities. We consider how the flourishing of the arts occurred along with the oppressive rule of the Church; why, for one out of two women in upper-class families, the choice was the convent rather than marriage; the rise of courtesan culture and pornography; conspicuous consumption; healing as a matter of faith and a matter of science. Professor Wallace presents the great artists who worked in these cities, including works by Donatello, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Vasari. Professor Stone examines Sarah Dunant's trilogy of best-selling historical novels: The Birth of Venus, set in Florence; In the Company of the Courtesan, set in Venice; and Sacred Hearts, set in Ferrara. Ms. Dunant, who is a visitor to the University during part of the semester, introduces the class to historical documents that she used in creating her novels. Guest lecturer Professor Monson (Music Department) explores connections between nuns who make both music and magic. Open to freshmen and sophomores only.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: AH EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 151C Freshman Seminar: Immigrants and Exiles

Reading courses, each limited to 15 students. Topics: selected writers, varieties of approaches to literature, e.g., Southern fiction, the modern American short story, the mystery; consult Course Listings. Prerequisite: first-year standing.
Same as L14 E Lit 151

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 153 Laughter: From Aristotle to Seinfeld


Same as L14 E Lit 153

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 176C Freshman Seminar: Aesop and His Fables: Comedy and Social Criticism

Aesop's Fables, a collection of stories featuring talking animals, is still popular today, and it has its roots in ancient Greece. Many stories about Aesop were circulated in Greco-Roman antiquity, stories that could be complex, politically charged, and sometimes quite crude. In this course, we will read The Life of Aesop, a popular ancient novel about the fabulist's life and exploits. We will also consider how Aesop and his fables are treated in the larger tradition: in other fable collections, in comedy and philosophy, and in the visual tradition. As we will see, Aesop is a highly mutable figure: sometimes comic, sometimes serious, often critical of power imbalances and injustices, and always ready to mask what he really means behind a clever animal fable.
Same as L08 Classics 176

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 201A Classical to Renaissance Literature: Text and Tradition

As we study some of the most influential of ancient works we will address the basic questions of liberal education. Why ought the classics be read in the first place? How is it that Western culture has come to value certain fundamental questions, even to the point of encouraging opposition? Texts include selections from the Old Testament, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Virgil, Ovid, Petrarch, Montaigne, and Shakespeare. Preference given to Text and Tradition and IPH students. Non-minor or major juniors and seniors with permission of professor.
Same as L93 IPH 201C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 204 Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Comparative Literature

An introduction to some of the ideas and practices of literary studies at the beginning of the 21st century. This course is designed for majors and prospective majors in comparative literature and comparative arts — and other students interested in reading literature from many parts of the world and exploring issues in literary studies including questions of epistemology and representation, the cultural biases of readers, semiotics, translation theory and Orientalism. Plays, novels and poems by writers including Euripides, Vergil, Racine, Rilke, Henry James, Borges, Mellah and Murakami, and closely related short excerpts by theorists from Aristotle to Bhabha. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 206 Opera

Much operatic repertoire is based on classics of literature, from the very first operas of 1598-1600 to the present day. From Literature to Opera will introduce students to the world of opera through a close study of a few select works based on major literary subjects, beginning with the literary works themselves and proceeding to the ways they are adapted for the stage and transformed into another genre through their dramatic musical settings. One work will be selected from the live transmissions of the Metropolitan Opera where we will have an opportunity to see something of how a major work is produced on the stage. For 2016 the works studied will be Virgil's and Ovid's versions of the Orpheus myth and Claudio Monteverdi's setting of 1607. Next we will move on to Pierre Beaumarchais' "Figaro" comedies The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro and Wolfgang Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro of 1786. Shakespeare will be represented by the ultimate tragedy of words, Othello, and Giuseppe Verdi's Otello of 1887. The course will conclude with the Metropolitan Opera live production of Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly of 1904, based on a play by David Belasco. No previous musical experience required. The class will be conducted as a seminar focused on student participation. Each student will choose an opera based on a literary work as the subject of two 10-page papers. The first, due at midterm, will study the literary source and the way it is adapted as an operatic text (libretto). The second, due at the end of finals week, will analyze how the libretto is dramatized through the music. One of the important purposes of class discussion will be to develop a usable vocabulary for describing music and its dramatic effects.
Same as L93 IPH 260

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 209 Scriptures and Cultural Traditions

Certain books, "sacred scriptures," shape U.S. society and culture in powerful and complex ways. Many religious communities believe that Scriptures are ancient texts that are ever-flowing sources of timeless truths. Often the truths advanced by one faith conflict with those to which another subscribes, and one of the great challenges that the human community faces involves reconciling these conflicting messages and learning to respect the faiths of others. Some religious movements, of which Mormonism has been the most successful example, have claimed to have uncovered or revealed new scriptures as a means of explaining their cultural authority. This course will therefore consist of three parts. First, we will work to define the concept of "Scriptures" with particular attention to the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian New Testament: what Scriptures are, what they do, and how varying motifs within them have engaged historic communities. Second, we will explore the enduring interest in extending scripture through the discovery or creation of new sacred texts, in this case, the Book of Mormon. Third, we will examine the appropriation of the Bible in American political and public life.
Same as L93 IPH 209

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 211 World Literature

This course teaches ways of reading literature across Eastern and Western cultures, introducing students to works of great imaginative power from many different regions of the world. The course focuses on a given historical period, such as the modern period or antiquity (the latter including Near Eastern as well as European texts). Organizing themes may include cultural translation, cross-cultural encounter (e.g., Orientalism), hybridity and displacement.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 213E Introduction to Comparative Arts

A variety of topics in comparative literature, designed for first-year students — no special background is required — to be conducive to the investigation and discussion format of a seminar.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 215C Introduction to Comparative Practice I

This course permits the close examination of a particular theme or question studied comparatively, that is, with a cross-cultural focus involving at least two national literatures. Topics are often interdisciplinary; they explore questions pertinent to literary study that also engage history, philosophy and/or the visual arts. Although the majority of works studied are texts, the course frequently pursues comparisons of texts and images (painting, photography, film). Requirements may include frequent short papers, response papers and/or exams.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 219C Topics in Comparative Literature

An examination of how life, suffering and hope are reflected in stories by major Israeli and Arab writers of the 20th century. Themes examined: war, sacrifice, modernity, the erosion of religious faith. Short stories by Ben Ner, Yehoshua, Agnon, Mahfouz, Idris, Habibi and others are discussed. Analysis focuses on differences and similarities in society, culture and national concerns.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH


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L16 Comp Lit 260 Cityscapes

Uses literature to explore past urban societies.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 300 Undergraduate Independent Study

Students pursue personalized projects not normally covered in standard courses at this level. Prerequisites: acceptance by an appropriate instructor of a proposed project and permission of the chair of the committee.

Credit 3 units. Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 3003 Writing Intensive in Ancient Studies: The Ancient Novel

Study of selected topics in Classics. This is a Writing Intensive course.
Same as L08 Classics 3003

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, WI EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3023 Jazz in American Culture

This course will address the role of jazz within the context of 20th-century African-American and American cultural history, with particular emphasis on the ways in which jazz has shaped, and has been shaped by, ideas about race, gender, economics and politics. We will make use of recordings and primary sources from the 1910s to the present in order to address the relationship between jazz performances and critical and historical thinking about jazz. This course in not a survey, and students should already be familiar with basic jazz history. Prerequisite: L27 105 or permission of instructor.
Same as L27 Music 3023

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD A&S IQ: HUM, SD BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 3040 Introduction to Digital Humanities: Introduction to Digital Humanities: Cultural Analysis

It is a truism that computers have changed our lives and the way we think and interact. But in fact systematic efforts to apply current technologies to the study of history and culture have been rare. This course enable students to consider how these technologies might transform the humanities. We explore the various ways in which ideas and data in the humanities can be represented, analyzed and communicated. We also reflect on how the expansion of information technology has transformed and is continuing to transform the humanities, both with regard to their role in the university and in society at large. Readings and classwork are supplemented by small assigned digital projects culminating in a project chosen by the students themselves.
Same as L93 IPH 340

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3050 Literary Modernities: Text and Tradition

The course examines the various facets of modernity in major works of European, Eurasian and, sometimes, American literature from the early 17th century to the 1920s, starting with Don Quixote. We explore, among other things, the eruption of the novel, the secularization of autobiography, the literary discovery of the city, the rise of literary and aesthetic criticism that takes literature and art seriously as political and social institutions. In addition to literary works, the course engages with two or three important models of critical practice, e.g., Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women, Marx's German Ideology, Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, T.S. Eliot's Tradition and the Individual Talent, or perhaps that great work of fictionalized literary criticism, Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote."
Same as L93 IPH 3050

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 306 Modern Jewish Writers

What is Jewish literature? While we begin with — and return to — the traditional question of definition, we take an unorthodox approach to the course. Reading beyond Bellow, Ozick and Wiesel, we look for enlightenment in unexpected places: Egypt, Latin America, Australia. Recent works by Philip Roth, Andre Aciman, Simone Zelitch and Terri-ann White are supplemented by guest lectures, film, short stories and significant essays. We focus on issues of language, memory and place. Background knowledge is not required, though it is warmly welcomed.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3071 Caribbean Literature

Rum! Fun! Beaches! Sun! This is the image of the Caribbean in America today. This course surveys literature and culture from these islands, looking both at and beyond this tourists' paradise. It aims to introduce students to the region's unmistakably vibrant tradition of multicultural mixture, while keeping an eye on the long history of slavery and rebellion out of which the islands' contemporary situation formed. Along the way we encounter a wide variety of texts, from the earliest writing focused on life in urban slums, to the first novel ever to have a Rastafarian as its hero, to more contemporary considerations of the region's uncertain place in a U.S.-dominated world. Toward the end of the course, we also look at important films like The Harder They Come as well as discussing the most globally famous cultural product of the contemporary Caribbean: reggae music. The course involves readings from multiple genres and covers authors such as C.L.R. James, Derek Walcott, Jean Rhys, V.S. Naipaul, Jamaica Kincaid, and Caryl Phillips.
Same as L14 E Lit 3071

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 307A The Writing of the Indian Subcontinent

The Indian subcontinent has in recent years yielded a number of writers, expatriate or otherwise, whose works articulate the postcolonial experience in the "foreign" English tongue. This course is designed to be an introductory survey of such writing, drawing on select subcontinental writers. Covering both fiction and nonfiction by several authors including R.K. Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Amitav Ghosh, Sara Suleri, Micheal Ondaatjie and Romesh Gunesekera, we discuss such issues as the nature of the colonial legacy, the status of the English language, problems of translation (linguistic and cultural), the politics of religion, the expatriate identity and the constraints of gender roles.
Same as L14 E Lit 307

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 311A Topics in English and American Literature: International Modernism

Topics: themes, formal problems, literary genres, special subjects (e.g., the American West, science and literature, the modern short story). Consult Course Listings for offerings in any given semester.
Same as L14 E Lit 311

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM UColl: NW


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L16 Comp Lit 312A Medieval Romance and Arthurian Legend

The romance grows out of the epic: how we get from the fall of Troy to the fall of Troilus. Readings from Vergil's Aeneid to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Same as L14 E Lit 3121

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 312C The Literature of Obsession

This course will explore the theme of consolation in medieval poetry. We will read narratives that represent the consolation of a variety of melancholy figures — philosophers in exile, lovers in mourning, citizens in plague-ridden cities, and women disturbed by misogynous writing. We will examine the connection between representations of consolation and the act of reading, and think about literature itself (along with other art forms) as a contested site of entertainment, moral guidance, self-fashioning, and redemption. Authors may include Boccaccio, Boethius, Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, Abelard and Heloise, and the Pearl-poet. As a writing-intensive class, we will spend time writing and talking about writing in the classroom. We will read our literary texts as "arguments" about literature in addition to other topics, and we will read secondary articles as examples of scholarly writing that we may or may not want to adopt as models.
Same as L14 E Lit 312W

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, WI BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3132 Romantic Revolutions in European Music and Culture

The early 19th century in Europe witnessed sweeping changes in social, political, and cultural life, but some of the most fascinating happened in music. This course considers intersections between Romantic thinking about music — which inspired an idealistic vision of the art form as a source of quasi-spiritual experience — and other contemporary "revolutions." To what extent was Romantic music a "holy art" that offered a refuge from the world? In what ways was it a worldly participant in larger currents in society and culture? By exploring these questions and more, students develop the skills and framework needed to incorporate works of music into their investigation of enduring issues in history and the humanities. Although this course requires listening and viewing of musical works, it is designed for students with intellectual curiosity but without prior musical background. We also require weekly readings, occasional presentations, three short papers, and spirited class discussion.
Same as L27 Music 3132

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 313E Introduction to Comparative Arts

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 3231 Transatlantic Foreignisms, 1878-1946

Intensive study of one or more American writers. Consult Course Listings for offerings in any given semester.
Same as L14 E Lit 323

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 325A Introduction to Arabic Literature

A survey of the major genres and themes in Arabic literature from the pre-Islamic era to the modern period. Texts include pre-Islamic, classical and Sufi poetry, as well as popular tales and critical prose from the Umayyad and Abbasid empires and Andalusia. The modern sections of the course interrogate political commitment in Arabic literature and introduce students to feminist and magical realist novels from North Africa and the Levant. All readings are in English translation.
Same as L49 Arab 325

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3263 Topics in East Asian Studies: Modern China on the Silver Screen

A topics course on a variety of East Asian subjects.
Same as L03 East Asia 3263

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3301 Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture

A topics course on Chinese literature and culture; topics vary by semester.
Same as L04 Chinese 330

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: IS


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L16 Comp Lit 331A Topics in Holocaust Studies


Same as L21 German 331

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 331C Tragedy

What is the relationship between freedom and luck? How do men and women respond to large forces beyond their control? Is character a struggle against outside events, or is it a submission to destiny? What happens when two ethical principles, taken absolutely, collide together? What is the nature of evil, and how does good respond to it? In ancient Greece, Renaissance England, 17th-century Europe, modern Europe and postcolonial Africa, the form of tragedy has grappled with these questions, generating both a rich body of imaginative literature and equally compelling philosophical reflections about tragedy. This course explores great works of tragic literature by authors such as Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen, Dostoevsky, Miller and Soyinka, and examines philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Weil and Arendt in order to explore the questions raised by tragedy.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 332 Literature and Art

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 332C Comedy

This comparative course examines and enjoys the substances and forms of humor and comedy in different times and places. Some attention to jokes, gags and comics precedes a wide-ranging examination of literary comedy. A study of various plays and comic texts illuminates different forms of comedy, such as farce, satire, romantic comedy, comedy of manners, absurdist comedy and contemporary political comedy. Authors include Aristophanes, Plautus, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Molière, Fielding, Gogol, Wilde, Stoppard and Dario Fo.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 334 Love in the Novel/Love of the Novel

Our focus is our own pleasure in reading. How do we assure that this pleasure survives into the next century now that the visual, the sound bite, the video clip permeate our lives? We attempt to answer this question by rediscovering one of the great love stories of all times, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Daniel Pennac's Reads Like A Novel, a recent work about the pleasures of reading for pleasure, guides us as we isolate elements of Tolstoy's story that compel us, that teach us about our own needs and desires as readers. The class considers novels whose love stories are molded by the characters' own reading: Austen's Northanger Abbey, Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1856), Proust's Swann In Love, Skarmet's Burning Patience, Bernhard Schlink's The Reader. Far from being immune to or eclipsed by history and politics, the pleasure of reading is shown to reflect the reader's appreciation of the larger fabric of society, where passion is set against war, prostitution, mental illness, adultery and prejudice.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 338C Postmodern Fiction and Graphic Novels

Genre as a comparative laboratory. A close examination of the nature, function and pleasures of given literary genres, such as epic or postmodern narrative.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 340A American Literature, 1914-1945

An introduction to major American works and writers from the later 19th century through the mid-20th century. Writers studied include Twain, James, Crane, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, Eliot and Stevens. The course assumes no previous acquaintance with the material and is directed toward a broad range of majors and non-majors with a serious but not scholarly interest in the subject. Students with little or no background in literature might be advised to take E Lit 213C (Chief American Writers), while English majors looking to do advanced work should consider the 400-level American literature sequence. Students who have taken E Lit 213C should not enroll in this course.
Same as L14 E Lit 340

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 343A Literature and Science: One Culture or Two?


Same as L14 E Lit 343

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 349A Yidishkayt

This course traces the emergence, development, flourish and near-decline of Yiddish literature, beginning with some of the earliest writings to appear in Yiddish in the late middle ages and early modern period, continuing with 19th-century attempts to establish a modern Yiddish literature and the 20th-century emergence of both a classical canon and a literary avant-garde, and ending with post-Holocaust attempts to retain a Yiddish literary culture in the near absence of Yiddish-speaking communities. Focusing on the role of Yiddish as the "national" language of Ashkenaz, the course examines the ways in which Yiddish literature has responded to the social conditions of European Jewish life, exploring among others the relationship between Yiddish and the non-Jewish cultures in which it existed, the tensions between secular trends versus religious tradition, life in the shtetl and in the metropolis, immigration from the old world to the new, and Yiddish literary responses to the Holocaust.
Same as L75 JINE 349

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3508 Introduction to South Asian Literature I


Same as L73 Hindi 350

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 351 Issues in Comparative Literature

This course addresses current issues in Comparative Literature that relate to historical period, genre, theory, the metropole, etc. The specific topic varies from semester to semester.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, WI Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3520 Introduction to Postcolonial Literature and Theory

At its zenith, the British Empire encompassed almost a quarter of the globe, allowing the diminutive island nation unprecedented economic, military and political influence upon the rest of the world. This course introduces some of the foundational responses to this dominance, both literary and theoretical, by the colonized and their descendants. We examine important critiques of colonialism by theorists such as Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Spivak, as well as literary works that reflect a postcolonial critique by authors such as V.S. Naipaul, George Lamming, Doris Lessing, and N'gugi wa Thiong'o. The course interrogates how literature could be said to help consolidate Empire as well as ways in which it might function as rebellion against imperial power, with a view toward teasing out the problematics of race, gender, language, nationalism and identity that postcolonial texts so urgently confront.
Same as L14 E Lit 3520

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 352A Topics in Literature: Transatlantic Foreignisms


Same as L14 E Lit 3522

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3552 Introduction to Literary Theory


Same as L14 E Lit 3552

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 355A Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory: Computation and Literary Form


Same as L14 E Lit 355

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 355C The Flowering of Islamic Literature 500-1200

Exploration of the multilingual (Arabic, Persian, Turkish) literary cultures of a civilization that stretched from Spain to India. Themes and genres include early court patronage, Bedouin odes, wine poetry, social satire, mystical poetry, national epic and the literature of love and romance. Comparisons to contemporaneous Hebrew and ancient and medieval Western literatures. Readings in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 358C Modern Near Eastern Literatures

Literary expressions of the struggle for love, self-realization and liberation. Romanticism, realism and the surreal. A comparative, team-taught approach to selected genres, authors or themes in two or more Near Eastern literatures (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish) in English translation.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 360A Women and Contemporary European Cinema

What binds society together? One of the most influential answers to this question was offered by French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. He argued that the fabric of a society is formed by a network of exchanges among kinship groups, which circulate three kinds of objects: economic goods, linguistic signs and women. In this course, we inquire into the place of women in this argument. We trace rudiments of the traditional marriage system (a father figure still "gives away" the bride in the marriage ceremony), its range of displacements in a global economy (transnational wives, nannies and domestic servants), the role of new media in the formation of new systems of trafficking (internet brides), and the place of the debate on gay marriage within the larger conversation. We read texts by Friedrich Engels, Sigmund Freud, Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Gayle Rubin, Luce Irigaray, Judith Butler, Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild; and we watch a number of films that dramatize the traffic in women in the context of contemporary Europe: Coline Serreau's Chaos, Lukas Moodisson's Lilja 4-ever, Cristian Mungiu's Occident, Nilita Vachani's When Mother Comes Home for Christmas, Fatih Akin's Head-on, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's The Silence of Lorna.
Same as L93 IPH 360

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3631 Russian Literature and Opera: Transpositions and Transgressions


Same as L97 IAS 363

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 364 Literature and Ethics

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3676 Rhetoric: Ancient and Modern

Rhetoric, or the art of persuasion, has played a prominent and controversial role in political and educational theory and practice. We survey rhetorical texts, ranging from Plato and Aristotle through Augustine and Edmund Burke, to Kenneth Burke and Jürgen Habermas.
Same as L08 Classics 3676

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 3721 Topics in Renaissance Literature


Same as L14 E Lit 3725

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 375 The Trope of "China" In the Imagination of the Chinese Diaspora

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD A&S IQ: HUM, SD Art: HUM BU: IS


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L16 Comp Lit 3751 In the Beginning: Creation Myths of the Biblical World

This course studies myths and epic literature from the Bible, ancient Egypt, the ancient Near East and ancient Greece about the birth of the gods, the creation of the world and of humanity, and the establishment of societies. These masterpieces of ancient literature recount the deeds of gods and heroes and humanity's eternal struggle to come to terms with the world, supernatural powers, love, lust and death. This course examines how each culture borrows traditions and recasts them in a distinct idiom. The course further examines different approaches to mythology and to the study of ancient cultures and the Bible.
Same as L75 JINE 3751

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 376 Topics in Comparative Literature II

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 3778 Comparative Studies in the Novel

This course introduces students to novels from a given period or from a geographical area, with attention to how novels are read and how they communicate.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 382C Iraqi Literature

This course introduces students to major works in Iraqi literature in the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on the post-World War II period up to the present day.
Same as L49 Arab 352

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 385 Topics in Comparative Literature

Subject matter varies from semester to semester.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 386 The Literary 1960s: Years of Hope/Days of Rage

Taking its subtitle from the one used by Todd Gitlin for his monumental sociological study of the 1960s, this course focuses on the diverse and exciting literature of this often chaotic, always fascinating period. Readings include popular and influential books by Peter Weiss, Robbe-Grillet, Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, Germaine Greer, Eldridge Cleaver and Joan Didion. Attention is paid not only to important new artistic, political and social movements, as seen by these writers, but also to films and music of the time.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 389 Topics

Comparative study of a given question, theme or problem, such as eros or exile or cruelty.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 392 Literary Movements

This course compares authors of different national literatures by closely examining certain movements and periods, such as Renaissance humanism, romanticism and naturalism.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 393 Literary Theory

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 394 Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology

This course considers the crucial role played by translation across the world today: from new technologies and digital media, to the global demands of professionals working in fields as diverse as literature, law, business, anthropology, and health care. We begin our exploration of the concept of translation as a key mechanism of transmission between different languages by looking at works of literature and film. Students then examine how different cultures have historically required translation in their encounter with each other, studying how translation constitutes a necessary transcultural bridge both from a colonial and postcolonial point of view. The course also analyzes from practical and real-world perspectives whether concepts such as war, human rights, democracy or various deadly illnesses have the same meaning in different societies by considering the diverse frames of reference used by linguists, lawyers, anthropologists, and medical doctors across the world. Finally, we focus on translation from a technological perspective by examining various modes of transfer of information required for the functioning of digital media such as Google Translate, Twitter or various iPhone applications. Readings include works by Jorge Luis Borges, Talal Asad, Lawrence Venuti, Michael Cronin, Emily Apter and Gayatri Spivak, among others. This course offers students an optional CBTL (Community Based Teaching and Learning) component in collaboration with a St. Louis-based community partner. Prerequisite: none.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 396 Lyric Poetry

A study of the sounds, forms, devices, voices and pleasures of lyric poetry from international and comparative points of view. Attention to theories of lyric, formal devices and problems of translation. The study of various lyric forms such as the ode, the elegy and the sonnet, generates comparisons across time and space.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 402 Introduction to Comparative Literature

An introduction to the discipline and practice of Comparative Literature, this course explores the concepts most frequently discussed and the methods most successfully practiced. We study what texts reveal when they are examined cross-culturally. Students consider the various differences that emerge between texts when themes and genres are followed across more than one national literature. The course includes a short history of the discipline and recent debates about the nature and scope of the field. Topics discussed include genres and forms, influence and intertextuality, translation, world literature, exile and cross-cultural encounter.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 405A Theory and Methods in the Humanities

This spring's iteration of the course will give a special emphasis to exploring genealogies of diverse interdisciplinary practices. We will examine theoretical dilemmas and particular questions that have led scholars to conduct research across disciplinary boundaries. Students will be encouraged to apply these insights to their own research.
Same as L93 IPH 405

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 406 Translation

This course looks at the practice and theory of literary translation. While the main focus is on the literary and linguistic processes involved in translating a text from one language to another, we spend much time exploring the cultural significance of translation in an increasingly interconnected world. Translation is one of the best ways to make the world accessible to us. Successful translation requires in-depth knowledge of the social and cultural conditions in which the original text is produced. It is equally important to be aware of the expectations of the readers who read the translated version. To balance these theoretical discussions with practical matters, we invite translators to the class to speak about their published works. The requirements include translation projects to add experience to the analysis carried out in class. Prerequisite: fluency in a language other than/in addition to English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4080 Africanist Travel Writing: Texts, Contexts, Theory

This course will examine the art, politics and history of Renaissance Florence, Venice, Ferrara and Rome. We will study how love, beauty, religion and politics were intertwined in these cities. We will consider how the flourishing of the arts occurred along with the oppressive rule of the Church; why, for one out of two women in upperclass families, the choice was the convent rather than marriage; the rise of courtesan culture and pornography; conspicuous consumption; healing as a matter of faith and a matter of science. Prof. Wallace will present the great artists who worked in these cities, including works by Donatello, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Vasari. Prof. Stone will examine Sarah Dunant's trilogy of best-selling historical novels: The Birth of Venus, set in Florence; In the Company of the Courtesan, set in Venice; and Sacred Hearts, set in Ferrara. Ms. Dunant, who will be a visitor to the university during part of the semester, will introduce the class to historical documents that she used in creating her novels. Guest lecturer Prof. Monson (music dept.) will explore connections between nuns who make both music and magic. Open to freshmen and sophomores only.
Same as L16 Comp Lit 1511

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: AH EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 409 Correlation Between East and West

Extensive comparative study of a period, topic, theme or genre in Chinese or Japanese literature with a body of texts from one or more European languages that serve to illuminate the literary similarities and cultural differences between the two. Texts vary, depending upon the interests of the instructor(s). All texts available in English translations as well as in the original languages.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 409C Beyond Geography: The Meaning of Place in the Middle East

This course considers the importance of place in the Middle East with particular reference to Jewish and Islamic traditions. Topics covered include the creation of holy sites, the concept of sacred space, the practice of pilgrimages, and the tropes of exile and return. Texts range from analytical essays to novels, memoirs and films by authors such as Edward Said, Naguib Mahfouz, Taher Ben Jelloun, Elif Shafak, A.B. Yehoshua, Shulamit Hareven, and Hanan Al-Shaykh. Requirements include participation, short assignments, and a seminar paper. This course fulfills the capstone requirement for students majoring in Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, but is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Prerequisites: course work in JINES and senior standing or permission of instructor.
Same as L75 JINE 409

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4111 Pastoral Literature


Same as L93 IPH 4111

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 418A Victorian Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Readings in such authors as Carlyle, Tennyson, Browning, Mill, Arnold and Pater.
Same as L14 E Lit 418

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 419 Feminist Literary and Cultural Theory

This course is intended to acquaint students with basic ideas and issues raised by a diversity of voices in contemporary feminist and cultural theory. Readings cover a wide range of approaches and tendencies within feminism, among them: French feminism, Foucauldian analyses of gender and sexuality, lesbian and queer theories, Third World/postcolonial feminism, and feminism by women of color. Given that feminist theories developed in response to and in dialogue with wider sociopolitical, cultural and philosophical currents, the course explores feminist literary and cultural theory in an interdisciplinary context. Note: This course is in the core curriculum for the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies graduate certificate. Prerequisites: advanced course work in WGSS or in literary theory (300-level and above) or permission of the instructor required.
Same as L77 WGSS 419

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 4204 Film Theory

This course is an introduction to both classical and contemporary film theory. Beginning with the earliest attempts to treat cinema as a new and unique art form, the course initially reviews the various ways in which film theory attempted to define cinema in terms of its most essential properties. The course then examines more contemporary developments within film theory, more specifically its attempt to incorporate the insights of other critical and analytical paradigms, such as semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory and postmodernism. Throughout the course, we consider questions regarding the ontology of cinema, its relation to spectators, and the various ways in which its formal properties create meaning. Readings for the course include the major works of Sergei Eisenstein, Andre Bazin, Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey and Fredric Jameson. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 420

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, WI Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 4224 The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair: German and Austrian Art Exhibited

The St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 (The Louisiana Purchase Exposition) was one of the greatest events of its time. At the beginning of the course, we deal with the historical development that lead to the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803 and have a look at the grand dimensions of the World's Fair (connected with the Olympic Games). Of central importance are the Art Exhibits from Germany and Austria with their cultural-political implications. The German Emperor had a hand in selecting the German paintings to be sent to St. Louis, and his opposition against modern movements like Impressionism caused opposition in Germany. Austria was different: In their Art Nouveau Pavilion they included secessionists (Hagenbund). The Wiener Werkstaetten (Vienna's Workshops) attracted a lot of attention. Different from the paintings, German Arts and Crafts represented avant-garde movements. We visit libraries, archives and museums in St. Louis that have World's Fair holdings. The seminar is for advanced undergraduate students but beginning graduate students can take it with permission of the instructor.
Same as L97 IAS 4224

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4225 European Utopian Settlements in the American Midwest (1814-1864): Diversity and Antislavery

During the first part of the 19th century a number of utopian visionaries from Europe (Germany, France and England) tried to establish communities in the American Midwest. These colonies were based either on religious or philosophical/social ideals which could be traced back to interpretations of the Old and the New Testament or to Enlightenment principles of freedom and equality that had been propagated during the revolutions in Europe of 1789, 1830 and 1848 which in turn had been influenced by the American war of independence. These groups showed strong antislavery convictions. The Midwest was chosen since the areas in the vicinity of the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri were seen as open to new social experiments. Part of the seminar are field trips to the St. Louis-based Missouri History Library as well as to the St. Louis Public Library and one-day excursions to New Harmony in Indiana, Nauvoo in Illinois, and to small towns in Warren County, Missouri.
Same as L97 IAS 4225

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 424 Senior Seminar

Intensive study of a comparative topic in a seminar situation.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 4252 Seminar in Comparative Literature: Transatlantic Poetics

This seminar explores how the flow and circulation of artistic forms between Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean during the 20th century results in the creation and dissemination of radically innovative modes of artistic expression.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 425A Humanities by the Numbers

Every time Google guesses the next word we are about to type, Amazon recommends books we might like to read, or the iPhone's "Siri" answers a question, they draw on the massive advances that have been made in the application of computational techniques to language over the last few years. However, can such technologies help us to read literary texts in new ways? If literature can be thought of as unusual and distinctive uses of language, to what extent can computational techniques that draw on statistical patterns and quantification assist us in literary analysis? This course juxtaposes the typically human scale of the close reading to the "inhuman" and massive scales at which computers can count, quantify and categorize texts. How can we translate what we as human readers care about in these literary works — the things that make them valuable, rather than things that are easy to count? What nuance is lost in this translation between "close" and "distant" readings and what insights are gained? While this class introduces students to basic statistical and computational techniques, no prior experience with technology is required.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 430 Narrative Theory

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4300 Data Manipulation for the Humanities


Same as L93 IPH 430

Credit 1 unit.


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L16 Comp Lit 4310 Statistics for Humanities Scholars


Same as L93 IPH 431

Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: HUM, AN EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4340 Topics in English and American Drama: Melodrama


Same as L14 E Lit 434

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 436 Seminar in Dramatic Theory

The course begins with Plato's critique of mimesis and Aristotle's defense, as we read The Poetics as a response to Plato. We take some of Aristotle's basic concepts, such as mimesis, plot, character and thought, and attempt to apply them to drama up to the present day. We also consider fundamental elements of both the dramatic text and the dramatic production, such as space, time, dialogue, narrative devices and perspective. Brecht's theory of "epic drama" forms the other conceptual pole in the course, opposing Aristotle. Besides these two theorists, other figures include Ben Jonson, Corneille, Dryden, Diderot, Schiller, Hegel, Zola, Artaud and Grotowski. The course, then, has both chronological and thematic axes. Three papers and one oral presentation.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 438 Aesthetics

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 444C Psychoanalysis and Its Literary Cultures

This course examines interactions between texts from the domains of literature and psychoanalysis. We read theory and literature side by side, in order to ask the following questions: Does the relationship between literary text and theory necessarily entail the subjection of literature to analysis, or can one, as Pierre Bayard asks, apply literature to psychoanalysis? What can psychoanalytic readings tell us more broadly about the act of reading? How can psychoanalysis enrich our sense of the ethical import of reading and writing, and how can literature challenge psychoanalytic goals and values? In terms of psychoanalytic authors, we focus on Freud, Lacan, Klein, Winnicott and Bayard. In terms of literature, we range widely from Sophocles to Henry James.
Same as L93 IPH 444

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 449 Topics in Literature

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 450A Topics in the Humanities

This seminar will introduce students to the study of literature by attending to the materials and material conditions of its production, distribution, regulation and consumption. We will ask how literary analysis changes when we think about the physical character of the books that we read — their size, their format, the various editions in which they were issued. We will study the history and function of censorship and the ways in which authors and publishers asserted legal and financial interests in the books they produced. We will reflect carefully on how to study reading — by paying attention to the social conditions in which books are consumed, by attending to schooling in literacy and literature, as well as by considering how book producers attempt to shape consumption. Our primary texts will mostly come from early modern England — the world of Shakespeare, Jonson and Milton — but we will also look at texts from before and beyond this world and at secondary literature that will help us think through the problems of literature in all its materiality.
Same as L93 IPH 450

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, WI EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 450C Interdisciplinary Topics in the Humanities: Romancing the Ruins


Same as L93 IPH 450

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, WI EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 453A Theories of Literary and Cultural Analysis

This seminar familiarizes advanced undergraduate and graduate students with concepts and methodologies that are foundational for research in the humanities. Our discussions will be organized around a range of conceptual categories that have constituted the focus of scholarly reflection in the past few decades, categories such as text, genre, image, medium, discourse, discipline, subjectivity, gender, race, culture, politics and history. Our consideration of these categories will also require us to examine key currents in recent literary theory and cultural criticism, including (post)structuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxist theory, feminism and gender theory, postcolonial studies, cognitive science, book history, visual studies, and media theory. Although this seminar does not aim to offer an intellectual history, seminar members will acquire a sense of some of the key trends in cultural theory since 1945 as well as an awareness of the limits and possibilities that characterize each of them. The course also includes an introduction to the tools of scholarly research. Readings and discussions in English. Prerequisite: permission of the department.
Same as L21 German 453

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 455C Senior Colloquium


Same as L93 IPH 455

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4561 Marxism After Marx: Philosophy and Radicalism in the 20th Century

As claims around the supposed "post-modernity" of our contemporary situation have ebbed, so scholars have returned once more to perhaps the defining philosophical and political voice of modernity, Karl Marx. This course prepares students to engage in current debates in the humanities over the nature of the political, the dynamics of class, the relative importance of the economy to "culture," and the historical situatedness of philosophical knowledge, all through close readings of the Western Marxist philosophical tradition. That tradition, developing in Continental Europe and later the United States, sought to revitalize Marx's account of historical development through attention to art, literature and the broader Western philosophical canon, often with the intention of accounting for the failures of Soviet Communism. The course begins with a condensed primer to Marx's original ideas, before turning to the extension of Marxist philosophy in the ideas of Lenin, Lukács, the Frankfurt School, Louis Althusser, the British New Left, Lucio Colletti and Antonio Negri, before addressing more contemporary authors including Fredric Jameson and Alain Badiou.
Same as L93 IPH 456

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 461A Ocean, Island, Ghetto, Globe: The Routes and Horizons of Asian-American Literature

Studies in special subjects, e.g., allegory and symbolism in the medieval period, the sonnet in English literature, English poetry and politics. Consult Course Listings.
Same as L14 E Lit 461

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 4647 Ancient Madness

In this course we ask what madness meant in Greek and Roman culture. We find reading strategies that are sensitive both to ancient evidence and to the ethical demands of talking about, evaluating and categorizing people treated as mad. While we concentrate on literary (particularly tragic and epic), philosophical and medical texts, we also look at visual representations and evidence from ritual and cult. An important part of our project involves tracing the afterlife of classical ideas. The history of melancholia grounds this aspect of the course. We then consider how antiquity informs psychoanalysis, and how ancient madness might partake in a critique of contemporary understandings of what it means to be mentally ill.
Same as L08 Classics 4647

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 471A Topics in Modern Arabic Literature

Modern Arabic narratives read in English translation foregrounding themes such as the conflict between tradition and modernity, civil war, poverty, alienation, religion and politics, and changing gender roles.
Same as L49 Arab 471

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH


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L16 Comp Lit 493 The Unmaking and Remaking of Europe: The Literature and History of the Great War of 1914-1918

Credit 3 units.


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L16 Comp Lit 494 Seminar: Diverse Topics in Literature

This course may offer a variety of topics. Semester subtitle varies. It has been offered as an in-depth study of the individual through autobiographies; and as a course on visual poetics from antiquity to the present. Consult the department for further details.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 495 Seminar

Seminar in Comparative Literature Studies. Topics vary. Consult Course Listings for current semester's offering.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 497 Independent Work for Senior Honors

One or more long papers on a topic chosen in conjunction with the adviser and an examination. A committee determines whether the student receives credit only or Honors. Prerequisites: senior standing and permission of chair of the committee.

Credit 3 units. Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 498 Independent Work for Senior Honors

Advanced work as indicated in Comp Lit 497. Prerequisites: senior standing and permission of chair of the committee.

Credit 3 units. Art: HUM


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L16 Comp Lit 4980 Spenser


Same as L14 E Lit 498

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L16 Comp Lit 498A Spenser Lab


Same as L14 E Lit 498W

Credit 4 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, WI EN: H


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