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.

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: T 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Warnock, Molly
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/7

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Eakin Moss, Anne
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/8

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: F 2:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Wegenstein, Bernadette
  • Room: Gilman 479
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 18/25

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/15

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Siraganian, Lisa Michele
  • Room: Gilman 208
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/15

Independent Study
AS.300.800 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/5

Independent Study
AS.300.800 (04)

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

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 4:00PM - 6:00PM
  • Instructor: Tobias, Rochelle
  • Room: Gilman 479
  • Status: Canceled
  • Seats Available: 12/12

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: Th 2:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Spiegel, Gabrielle M
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/10

Ind Stdy-Field Exams
AS.300.801 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Marrati, Paola
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/2

Ind Stdy-Field Exams
AS.300.801 (02)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Eakin Moss, Anne, Marrati, Paola
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/2

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.

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:00PM - 3:00PM
  • Instructor: Egginton, William
  • Room: Gilman 479
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/19

Dissertation Research
AS.300.803 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/10

Ind Stdy-Field Exams
AS.300.801 (03)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/2

Literary Pedagogy
AS.300.805 (01)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/5

In Study Field Exam
AS.300.809 (01)

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

Independent Study
AS.300.800 (05)

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

In Study Field Exam
AS.300.809 (02)

  • Credits: 0.00
  • Level: Graduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Lisi, Leonardo
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/2

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room Info
AS.010.640 (01)Challenge to Painting: Collage, Montage, AssemblageT 3:00PM - 5:30PMWarnock, MollyGilman 177
AS.300.666 (01)Russian Avant-Garde CinemaTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMEakin Moss, AnneGilman 208
AS.211.748 (01)Media Theory in the Age of Big DataF 2:00PM - 4:00PMWegenstein, BernadetteGilman 479
AS.010.703 (01)Patterns of Attention in the Visual ArtsW 2:00PM - 4:00PMMerback, MitchellGilman 177
AS.300.647 (01)Comparative Methods and Theory: Formalism and MaterialismW 1:30PM - 4:00PMSiraganian, Lisa MicheleGilman 208
AS.300.800 (01)Independent StudyLisi, Leonardo 
AS.300.800 (04)Independent StudyMarrati, Paola 
AS.213.639 (01)On the Difficulty of Saying IF 4:00PM - 6:00PMTobias, RochelleGilman 479
AS.100.728 (01)Historical Writing in the Middle AgesTh 2:00PM - 4:00PMSpiegel, Gabrielle M 
AS.300.801 (01)Ind Stdy-Field ExamsMarrati, Paola 
AS.300.801 (02)Ind Stdy-Field ExamsEakin Moss, Anne, Marrati, Paola 
AS.211.640 (01)The Literature of ExistenceW 1:00PM - 3:00PMEgginton, WilliamGilman 479
AS.300.803 (01)Dissertation ResearchLisi, Leonardo 
AS.300.801 (03)Ind Stdy-Field ExamsLisi, Leonardo 
AS.300.805 (01)Literary PedagogyLisi, Leonardo 
AS.300.809 (01)In Study Field ExamHashimoto, Satoru 
AS.300.800 (05)Independent StudyMarrati, Paola 
AS.300.809 (02)In Study Field ExamLisi, Leonardo 

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.

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

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: 6/15

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: 3/15

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: 9/10

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: 10/15

Independent Study
AS.300.800 (01)

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

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (01)

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

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: Greenhouse 113
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/15

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (03)

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

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.

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

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (02)

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

Independent Study Field Exam
AS.300.802 (04)

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

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: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 12/15

Literary Pedagogics
AS.300.806 (01)

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

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

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room Info
AS.300.638 (01)Happy and Unhappy Words: Austin, Wittgenstein, and CavellM 4:00PM - 6:30PMMarrati, PaolaGilman 208
AS.300.614 (01)The End of ArtTh 1:30PM - 4:00PMLisi, LeonardoBloomberg 178
AS.213.639 (01)On the Difficulty of Saying IF 3:00PM - 5:30PMTobias, RochelleGilman 443
AS.300.618 (01)What is a Person? Humans, Corporations, Robots, Trees.T 1:30PM - 4:00PMSiraganian, Lisa MicheleGilman 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.300.802 (01)Independent Study Field ExamMarrati, Paola 
AS.300.608 (01)The Physics and Metaphysics of HandwritingT 4:00PM - 6:30PMEnder, EvelyneGreenhouse 113
AS.300.802 (03)Independent Study Field ExamForster, Eckart 
AS.100.728 (01)Historical Writing in the Middle AgesW 2:00PM - 4:00PMSpiegel, Gabrielle M 
AS.300.802 (02)Independent Study Field Exam 
AS.300.802 (04)Independent Study Field ExamOng, Yi-Ping 
AS.300.804 (01)Dissertation Research 
AS.300.806 (01)Literary PedagogicsStaff 
AS.300.625 (01)Russian Literary and Critical TheoryTh 1:30PM - 4:00PMEakin Moss, AnneGilman 208