Courses

Students are required to take ten graduate level courses (600-level) for grades in their first two years of study. Of the ten graded courses, five must be courses offered by the core faculty in the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature, including a mandatory pro-seminar on comparative methods and theory for all incoming students in the fall semester of their first year.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Historical Writing in the Middle Ages
AS.100.728 (01)

The course will begin with readings of literary and critical theory, as a preparation for the study of modes of historical writing in the Middle Ages. We will then read a sampling of medieval historiographical texts, beginning with Eusebius and continuing throughout the Middle Ages.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Spiegel, Gabrielle M
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/10

On the Difficulty of Saying I
AS.213.639 (01)

This course takes as its point of departure the position that language carries within it the traces of something that exceeds the cognitive grasp of the subject and to this extent undoes any claim to knowledge the subject might make. This position has been central to twentieth and twenty-first century thought from psychoanalysis and poststructuralism to media theory and new materialism. This course will not take issue with this position. It will examine instead how this position evolved from the Idealism of Fichte to the eerily inhuman, if not mechanical, talking figures in texts by Novalis (“Monolog”), Poe (“Maelzel’s Chess Player”), Hoffmann (“Die Automate”), Büchner (Leonce und Lena), and Kafka (“Ein Bericht für eine Akademie”). We will explore the literature of the personal and impersonal in romantic and modernist texts in order to ask what moves and motivates works in which the first-person narrator would seem to be nothing more than a fiction—a staged phenomenon or a mechanical device.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: F 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Tobias, Rochelle
  • Room: Gilman 443
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/15

The End of Art
AS.300.614 (01)

In this course we will examine Hegel’s seminal claim that art has come to an end in the modern world. In addition to Hegel’s original argument, readings will include important elaborations of the idea by Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Adorno. In a final section of the course, we will relate these texts to reflections on the function and prospects of art under the unprecedented condition of the Anthropocene.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: Th 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room: Bloomberg 178
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/15

What is a Person? Humans, Corporations, Robots, Trees.
AS.300.618 (01)

Knowing who or what counts as a person seems straightforward, until we consider the many kinds of creatures, objects, and artificial beings that have been granted—or demanded or denied—that status. This course investigates recent debates about being a person in literature and law. Questions examined will include: Should trees have standing? Can corporations have religious beliefs? Could a robot sign a contract? Although our explorations will be focused on these questions, the genre of materials examined will be wide-ranging (including legal essays, philosophy, contemporary novels, and film). Texts will include novels by William Gibson and Lydia Millet, essays by John Dewey and Daniel Dennett, and films such as Ex Machinaand Her.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Siraganian, Lisa Michele
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/10

The Physics and Metaphysics of Handwriting
AS.300.608 (01)

When word processing machines that can be held in the palm of a hand, why use pen and paper? Handwriting -- and its juxtaposition against digital forms of communication -- offers a unique approach to studying human interactions and the ways in which meaning, truth, intimacy, and agency are shaped by our changing technologies. At a time of exponential growth in machine writing, a study of this older form of communication enables a comparative approach that, perhaps surprisingly, opens up what are contemporary political questions. Centered on a few case-studies involving works by Sand, Chopin, Manet, Giacometti, Mallarmé, and Proust, this course takes a backward glance at a culture of written expression at a great remove from our word processing world and yet explicitly vested in an aesthetics of free expression. This modern graphological culture saw in the tracings of the hand, the uniquely personal marks of an intertwining of mind, body, and of subjectivity. Merleau-Ponty and recent word on embodiment will provide us with critical tools for our investigations into the “physics” of this activity, as will the methods of textual criticism and the new domain of creativity studies. The “metaphysics” of handwriting call, meanwhile, for a return to Heidegger, to Derrida and other major contemporary theorists of writing. They will help us see how hand and digital writing emerge as fundamentally different modes of human expression – philosophically and politically. Knowledge of French is not required for this course. Undergraduates accepted with the permission of the professor.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 4:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Instructor: Ender, Evelyne
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/15

Happy and Unhappy Words: Austin, Wittgenstein, and Cavell
AS.300.638 (01)

This seminar studies how words help shaping the world we inhabit and how the power and limits of language affect the possibility of living in a shared world in the works of Austin, Wittgenstein, Cavell and others.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: M 4:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Instructor: Marrati, Paola
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Canceled
  • Seats Available: 20/20

Cosmopolitanism: Conflicted Legacies, Potential Futures
AS.300.620 (01)

In its modern version cosmopolitanism is a defining aspect of Enlightenment that bespeaks its emancipatory aspirations as well as the shortcomings of its Eurocentric and gendered presuppositions. In our time of resurgence of violent nationalisms and mass refugees crises, this seminar aims at reassessing the conflicted legacies of cosmopolitanism and its critical value for the present. Authors studied include: Montaigne, Kant, Marx, Derrida, Lévinas, Kwame A. Appiah, Seyla Benhabib, and others.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: M 4:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Instructor: Marrati, Paola
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/15

Independent Study
AS.300.800 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Ong, Yi-Ping
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 3/3

Russian Literary and Critical Theory
AS.300.625 (01)

Close reading of major authors from the Russian literary theoretical and critical tradition including Bakhtin, Eikhenbaum, Jakobson, Lotman, Shklovsky and Tynianov. Student will present primary sources or case studies from their own fields and research.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: Th 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Eakin Moss, Anne
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/12

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (02)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor:
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Marrati, Paola
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 3/5

Dissertation Research
AS.300.804 (01)

Discussion of dissertations in progress. Limited to students writing dissertations.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor:
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 8/15

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (05)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Hashimoto, Satoru
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 4/5

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (04)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Ong, Yi-Ping
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (03)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Forster, Eckart
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Literary Pedagogics
AS.300.806 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room:  
  • Status: Closed
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room Info
AS.100.728 (01)Historical Writing in the Middle AgesW 2:00PM - 4:00PMSpiegel, Gabrielle M 
AS.213.639 (01)On the Difficulty of Saying IF 3:00PM - 5:30PMTobias, RochelleGilman 443
AS.300.614 (01)The End of ArtTh 1:30PM - 4:00PMLisi, LeonardoBloomberg 178
AS.300.618 (01)What is a Person? Humans, Corporations, Robots, Trees.T 1:30PM - 4:00PMSiraganian, Lisa MicheleGilman 208
AS.300.608 (01)The Physics and Metaphysics of HandwritingT 4:00PM - 6:30PMEnder, Evelyne 
AS.300.638 (01)Happy and Unhappy Words: Austin, Wittgenstein, and CavellM 4:00PM - 6:30PMMarrati, PaolaGilman 208
AS.300.620 (01)Cosmopolitanism: Conflicted Legacies, Potential FuturesM 4:00PM - 6:30PMMarrati, PaolaGilman 208
AS.300.800 (01)Independent StudyOng, Yi-Ping 
AS.300.625 (01)Russian Literary and Critical TheoryTh 1:30PM - 4:00PMEakin Moss, AnneGilman 208
AS.300.802 (02)Independent Study Field Exam 
AS.300.802 (01)Independent Study Field ExamMarrati, Paola 
AS.300.804 (01)Dissertation Research 
AS.300.802 (05)Independent Study Field ExamHashimoto, Satoru 
AS.300.802 (04)Independent Study Field ExamOng, Yi-Ping 
AS.300.802 (03)Independent Study Field ExamForster, Eckart 
AS.300.806 (01)Literary PedagogicsStaff