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.
Course # (Section)
Painting and Subjectivity
W 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Painting and Subjectivity AS.010.632 (01)
Readings from a range of theoretically and philosophically interesting texts on painting and the visual arts. Among our authors: Cavell, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Derrida, Nancy, Lyotard.
Status: Waitlist Only
Seats Available: 0/10
Happy and Unhappy Words: Austin, Wittgenstein, and Cavell
M 4:00PM - 6:30PM
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.
Seats Available: 13/20
How to Read Proust?
W 4:30PM - 6:30PM
How to Read Proust? AS.300.601 (01)
Given the difficulty of his prose, closely and patiently would seem the best way to read Proust, but who has time – time to read a book that, ironically, begins with “Longtemps” and ends with “le temps”? This course will offer for critical examination surgically selected passages of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu as a training ground for the (lost?) art of close reading and as entry points into wide-ranging aspects of literary criticism and theory. Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor. Taught in English. Knowledge of French is desirable, but not required.
Seats Available: 17/20
Theory and Praxis of Modern Tragedy
Th 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Theory and Praxis of Modern Tragedy AS.300.619 (01)
This course will examine the philosophy and drama of modern tragedy through the close reading and comparison of a number of key works. We will study plays by Shakespeare (Hamlet and King Lear), de la Barca (Life is a Dream), Racine (Phèdre), Hölderlin (Death of Empedocles), and Ibsen (Master Builder and Hedda Gabler) in conjunction with philosophical writings by Pascal, Leopardi, Hegel, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, Heidegger and Cavell. Course is open to open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
Seats Available: 15/15
The Critical Unconscious
Th 1:00PM - 3:00PM
The Critical Unconscious AS.211.777 (01)
Criticism in the 21st century has tended to relegate psychoanalysis to a dustbin of fads that proliferated at the end of the prior century but that today are of interest only to balkanized cliques of devotees. Bucking this trend, this seminar will examine the intellectual history and abiding influence of psychoanalysis’s key critical concept: the unconscious. Basing our discussions on in-depth readings from key thinkers in the analytic tradition such as Freud, Lacan, and Klein, as well as the post-analytic philosophical tradition, including Zizek, Butler, Laclau and Mouffe, Deleuze and Guattari, and Jameson, we will work to distill an understanding of the unconscious as essential to the practice of criticism tout court, and as inhering even in those discourses that have sought most stridently to distance themselves from it. Seminar discussions will take place in English; readings will be available in the original as well as in translation.
Seats Available: 4/20
Independent Study Field Exam
Independent Study Field Exam AS.300.802 (01)
Status: Approval Required
Ricardo Piglia, Borges, Derrida and Argentina's Eighteenth Century
T 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Ricardo Piglia, Borges, Derrida and Argentina's Eighteenth Century AS.215.613 (01)
A voice in Piglia’s Artificial Respiration claims that Argentina did not have an eighteenth century or the Eighteenth Century. Besides Piglia’s palimpsest novel, we’ll study a handful of texts by Borges. Passages from Leopoldo Marechal’s Adan Buenosayres, and Derrida’s The Beast and the Sovereign Volume Two, in reference to Heidegger’s The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Taught in English.
Seats Available: 12/15
Literature and Truth: Forgery and Fakes
W 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Havens, Earle Ashcroft, II., Stephens, Walter E
Literature and Truth: Forgery and Fakes AS.211.606 (01)
Forgery is an eternal problem. It is a literary tradition in its own right, with connections to politics, Classics, religion, philosophy, and literary theory. Spurious writings impinge on social and political realities to a degree rarely confronted by criticism. This course offers a reading of the sort traditionally reserved for canonical works of poetry and prose fiction, spotlighting forgery’s imaginative vitality and its sinister impact on scholarship. Students will study manuscripts and incunabula drawn from JHU’s Bibliotheca Fictiva, the world’s premier collection of literary forgeries.