Spring 2018 Course Listing

CPLS BC3143:  Topics in Comparative Literature - Literature and Violence
Brian O'Keeffe
T/R 11:40-12:55
This course examines the ways in which literary works engage with the matter of violence. The texts have been chosen for the intensity with which they confront the ethical and political dilemmas relation the act of violence, and indeed, the justification of violence. Topics to be considered include terrorism and revolutionary militancy, arguments for and against the death penalty, acts of vengeance, cruelty, and torture. Texts are drawn from a wide variety of cultural, linguistic, and historical contexts - classical Greek tragedy, European literature of the 19th century, works set in Franco-phone Algeria, and in early 20th century China, among others. The course also addresses different genres, including theater, narrative prose, and poetry, as well as photography. Further aspects of the topic will be developed in connection with recent philosophical writing on violence.
 
 
CPLS BC3158:  Languages of Loss
Emily Sun
M/W 1:10-2:25
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
A study of the genre of elegy across time and cultures. Emphasis on how poets express grief and relate to literary traditions. Comparisons of European, Chinese, and American elegies (by Theocritus, Milton, Qu Yuan, Holderlin, Wordsworth, Whitman, Bishop, and others) and discussions of the relationship between singular and collective life.
 
 
CPLT UN3200: Visual and Verbal Arts
Erk Grimm
T/TH 10:10-11:25
Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)
Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)
Analysis and discussion of the relation of literature to painting, photography, and film. Emphasis on artistic and literary concepts concerning the visual dimension of narrative and poetic texts from Homer to Burroughs. Explores the role of description, illustration, and montage in realist and modern literature.
 
 
CPLS BC3510: Advanced Workshop Translation
Section 001 - Peter Connor - T 4:10-6:00
Section 002 - Emily Sun - T 4:10-6:00
Prerequisites:  Admission into the class is by permission of the instructor. CPLT BC 3110 "Introduction to Translation Studies" is a recommended, plus, normally, two advanced courses beyond the language requirement in the language from which you intend to translate. Preference will be given to seniors and to comparative literature majors. 
    A deep immersion in the theory and practice of translation with a focus on translating into English. The first half of the course is devoted to discussing readings in the history of translation theory while translating brief practical exercises; in the second half, translation projects are submitted to the class for critical discussion. The foreign texts for these projects, chosen in consultation with the instructor, will be humanistic, not only literature as conventionally defined (prose fiction and poetry, memoir and travel writing), but also the gamut of text types in the human sciences, including philosophy, history, and ethnography. The aim is not just to translate, but to think deeply about translating, to develop writing practices by drawing on the resources of theory, past and present, and by examining translations written by professionals. 
    In the spring of 2016, the workshop will be offered in two sections by Professor Peter Connor and Professor Emily Sun. The sections will share most of the common readings in the history of translation theory, but Professor Sun's section will emphasize issues specific to translating East Asia. Enrollment in each workshop is limited to 12 students
    Please email pconnor@barnard.edu or esun@barnard.edu by 1 December 2017 with the following information: name, year of graduation, major, college (BC, CU, etc.); a list of courses you have taken in the language from which you intend to translate; any other pertinent courses you have taken; a brief (max 300 word) statement explaining why you wish to take the workshop (this statement is not required if you have taken or are taking CPLT BC3110 Intro to Translation Studies).
 
 
CPLS BC3899 - Surrealism and DADA (NEW!!!)
Caroline Weber
M/W 4:10-5:25
This course focuses on two twentieth-century avant-garde art movements, Dada and Surrealism, that developed in response to the horrors of World War I, and that investigated the revolutionary potential of artistic experimentation. Both movements drew artists from many different national backgrounds (German, French, Belgian, British, Swiss, Spanish, Latin American, North American); these individuals worked in a wide range of media (fiction, poetry, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, film) and pioneered several new or hybrid forms (automatic writing, chance collages, exquisite cadavers, found objects, ready-mades, solarizations, woven textiles).  Students will study works from all these categories, paying special attention to: the avant-garde critique of "high culture," the elaboration of an "anti-art" aesthetics (in both literature and the visual arts), the notion of creative activity as a work of political revolt and/or social reform, and the role of female artists and the conceptualization of sexuality and gender roles.
 
 
CPLS GU4161 - Tragic Bodies II: Identities, Materialities, Enactments (NEW!!!)
Nancy Worman
W 10:10-12:00
Prerequisite: Tragic Bodies (CPLS BC3160) or permission from instructor
This course is conceived as an advanced seminar (i.e., upper-level undergraduate and graduate) that addresses in more depth the themes of my lecture course Tragic Bodies (BC3160). It explores how dramatic enactment represents bodily boundaries and edges and thus skin, coverings, maskings, and dress-up in relation to gender, sexuality, race, and status / class. The course will focus on these edges and surfaces, as well as proximities, touching, and affect in ancient and modern drama (and occasionally film). The course treats the three ancient tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides) as unifying threads and centers on politically and aesthetically challenging re-envisionings of their plays.
 
 
CPLS BC3997 - Senior Seminar
Emily Sun
W 4:10-6:00
Prerequisite: For comparative literature majors in their senior year only.
Designed for students writing a senior thesis and doing advanced research on two central literary fields in the student's major. The course of study and reading material will be determined by the instructor(s) in consultation with students(s).
 
 

Cross-listed Courses

CLRS GU4040: The Future is Red (White and Blue) - Modernity & Social Justice in the U.S. & U.S.S.R. 1920s-1960s
Bradley Gorski
W 4:10-6:00pm
In the 1920s, the Soviet Union and the U.S. emerged as growing world powers, offering each other two compelling, if often opposed, versions of modernity. At the same time, each country saw its intercontinental rival as an attractive, but dangerous “other”: a counterexample of the road not taken, and a foil for its own ideology and identity. From the 1920s to the heat of the Cold War, Some of the USSR’s most prominent public figures came to the U.S. and several American intellectuals, progressive activists, and officials traveled to the Soviet experiment. This course examines the cultural images of the American and Soviet “other” in the texts that resulted from these exchanges. We will read works about America from Sergei Esenin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilya Il'f and Evgeny Petrov, and poems, essays, and novels about Russia by Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Louise Bryant, W.E.B. Du Bois, John Steinbeck, and others. Each of these texts attempts to grapple with what it means to be modern—both technologically advanced and socially liberated—in different national contexts and under different proclaimed ideologies.
 
 
DNCE BC3000: From Page to Stage - The Interactions of Literature and Choreography
Seth Williams
T/R 11:40-12:55
Study of dance works which have their origins in the written word. Topics considered include: Is choreography a complete act of creative originality? Which literary genres are most often transformed into dance pieces? Why are some texts privileged with dance interpretation(s) and others are not?