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)
Challenge to Painting: Collage, Montage, Assemblage
T 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Challenge to Painting: Collage, Montage, Assemblage AS.010.640 (01)
The invention of Cubist collage is generally regarded as a watershed in twentieth-century art. This seminar will examine key junctures in the rapid proliferation and redefinition of collage strategies primarily in Europe and the United States, including but not limited to Futurist “words in liberty”; Dada and Constructivist photomontage; the Surrealist exploration of desire; Situationist détournement; and selected varieties of postwar assemblage. Frequent meetings in Special Collections.
Days/Times: T 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Instructor: Warnock, Molly
Room: Gilman 177
Seats Available: 2/7
Russian Avant-Garde Cinema
TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
Eakin Moss, Anne
Russian Avant-Garde Cinema AS.300.666 (01)
Russian cinema was born out of the intense artistic experimentation of the fin-de-siècle avant-garde and developed in a climate of dramatic political and cultural change in the twenties and thirties. While subject to draconian censorship in the Soviet period, it nonetheless engaged in active dialogue with the film industries of Western Europe and America and had a lasting impact on world cinema. This course examines the extraordinary flourishing of avant-garde cinema in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 30s including films by Eisenstein, Vertov, Pudovkin, and Dovzhenko, their theoretical writings, and their far-reaching influence on film and film theory. All readings in English, films subtitled in English.
Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
Instructor: Eakin Moss, Anne
Room: Gilman 208
Seats Available: 6/8
The Literature of Existence
W 1:00PM - 3:00PM
The Literature of Existence AS.211.640 (01)
This seminar will explore some key expressions of what could loosely be called existentialist writing from the early twentieth century to the present day, to the end of coming to terms with an emerging “new politics of existence.” While there will be some emphasis on Spanish language materials, including writings by José Ortega Y Gasset, Miguel de Unamuno, María Zambrano, and Jorge Luis Borges, we will also be reading important works by Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Martin Hägglund.
Days/Times: W 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Instructor: Egginton, William
Room: Gilman 479
Seats Available: 11/19
Comparative Methods and Theory: Formalism and Materialism
W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Siraganian, Lisa Michele
Comparative Methods and Theory: Formalism and Materialism AS.300.647 (01)
This pro-seminar provides a brief overview and map of the theoretical and philosophical positions in the major debate, still ongoing, between formalism and materialism. Its aim is both theoretical and historical: to help graduate students understand the range and depth of these positions as well as their development over time, continuing to this day. We will study fundamental philosophical works (Kant, Hegel, Marx, de Beauvoir), classic theoretical texts (Propp, Lévi-Strauss, Foucault, Derrida), and contemporary variations on these debates (Fish, McGurl, Moi, Allen), to name a few. The course fulfills the pro-seminar requirements in comparative methods and theory for CTL but is open to all graduate students.
Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Instructor: Siraganian, Lisa Michele
Room: Gilman 208
Seats Available: 12/15
Media Theory in the Age of Big Data
F 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Media Theory in the Age of Big Data AS.211.748 (01)
This seminar will explore some key themes in contemporary media theory in an age when five tech giants have succeeded in infiltrating the daily lives of global citizens to an unprecedented degree in history. We will study the impact of this saturation on socioeconomic inequality as well as the implications of an almost total loss of privacy.
Among the strategies of resistance to the capacity for surveillance these companies have developed we will focus in particular on current examples of feminist media art and voices from the global and cultural periphery as well as tendencies in these practices to emphasize a return to interpersonal connections and the embodied here and now. As case studies we nay include #metoo, slo-film movements from Southern Bahia in Brazil, and the financing and distribution of art films by mega media companies like Netflix.
Days/Times: F 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Instructor: Wegenstein, Bernadette
Room: Gilman 479
Seats Available: 18/25
On the Difficulty of Saying I
F 4:00PM - 6:00PM
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.
Days/Times: F 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Instructor: Tobias, Rochelle
Room: Gilman 479
Seats Available: 12/12
Patterns of Attention in the Visual Arts
W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Patterns of Attention in the Visual Arts AS.010.703 (01)
This seminar aims to excavate six distinct modalities of attention and attentiveness in the visual arts from Middle Ages to Modernity (cultic, narrational, speculative, ethical, sexual, and artistic). While emphasizing European developments, close consideration will be given to the role of visual attention in Hindu and Islamic visual cultures, providing the opportunity for cross-cultural comparison. Each case study will consider the historically shifting roles given to vision, cognition, imagination, affect, desire and power-knowledge in the culturally prevalent patterns of attention we study, and explore how specific kinds of pictorial schema or spatial environments served to structure and guide, or deflect and disrupt, the attention of their beholders. Finally, we will ask whether the historical study of attention can suggest analytical models or ethical lessons for the (re)mobilization of attentiveness in our own art-historical methods.
Days/Times: W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
Room: Gilman 177
Seats Available: 10/15
Historical Writing in the Middle Ages
Th 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Spiegel, Gabrielle M
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.