Spring 2017

CPLS BC3124: Utopian Literature
M/W 10:10-11:25
Ron Briggs
Oscar Wilde wrote that “a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at.” This course reads the concept from Christopher Columbus and Thomas More to the advent of modern socialism. Readings by Campanella, Cavendish, Engels, Bellamy, Gilman, and Portal.
CPLS BC3143: Topics in Comp Lit - Literature & Violence
T/R 11:40-12:55
Brian O'Keeffe
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: The Poetry of Mourning
M/W 11:40-12:55
Emily Sun
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.
CPLS BC3510 (Sec. 001 + Sec. 002): Advanced Translation Workshop
W 4:10-6:00pm
Peter Connor (section 001)
Emily Sun (section 002)
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. Admission into the class is by permission of the instructor. CPLT BC 3011 "Introduction to Translation Studies" is a recommended prerequisite, 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. Please Email pconnor@barnard.edu by 1 December 2015 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 UN3600: Visual and Verbal Arts
T/R 10:10-11:25
Erk Grimm
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 UN3950: Literary Theory
T 4:10-6:00
Emily Sun
Examination of concepts and assumptions present in contemporary views of literature. Theory of meaning and interpretation (hermeneutics); questions of genre (with discussion of representative examples); a critical analysis of formalist, psychoanalytic, structuralist, post-structuralist, Marxist, and feminist approaches to literature.
CPLS BC3997: Senior Seminar
W 2:10-4:00
Erk Grimm
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).