An introduction to the reading and analysis of African literatures written in French. The course examines identity/otherness, “race,” cultural hegemony, oral literatures, gender-related issues, and post-colonialism. No prior knowledge of French is necessary: All works are read and discussed in English. Open to seniors with permission of instructor only.
An introduction to the process of reading critically and writing perceptively about literary works, through the exploration of specific topics or questions. Topics for individual sections will vary, and topics for each upcoming semester can be found through BannerWeb or the English Department Homepage. Counts toward the English major. May not be repeated for credit. First-year and sophomore students only.
The pirates who plundered the ships of the Spanish Main and cruised the coasts of Africa and the Americas both served and troubled conventional notions of race, gender, economics, law, and nationality in a period that saw the rise of Empire and the Atlantic slave trade, the American Revolution, and the wars of the early nineteenth century. The usually criminal and always liminal status of those who decided to “go upon the account” has attracted the attention of numerous authors and filmmakers who have cast them as brave iconoclasts, romantic heroes, and heartless villains.
This course examines the distinct world-consciousness of Russian religious thought, with its emphases on the themes of God, good and evil, the search for divine justice on Earth, the material world as sanctified, and the moral content of spiritualized beauty. Reading materials will be taken from the religio-philosophical writings of distinguished thinkers, Orthodox presentations of major points of dogmatic theology, and monastic wisdom past and present. All works are read in English translation.
An introductory course of modern Chinese literature (1918-1989) designed to acquaint students with major phases of modern Chinese
literature and some masterpieces of representative writers in relation to political and social changes. The course provides opportunities to
learn about modern Chinese culture, society, and politics through readings of chosen works and trains students to read thoughtfully and
critically. The course is taught in English. Chinese 305 is reserved for majors, who will do substantial portions of the work for the course
This course introduces East Asian cultures through the classic works of China, Japan, and Korea. In order to better grasp the cultural
legacies of East Asia, students will read various cultural texts such as fiction, poetry, drama, and prose in English translation. This course
is designed to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of and critical appreciation for East Asian cultures. The course
is taught in English. Chinese 306 is reserved for majors, who will do substantial portions of the work for the course in Chinese.
This course introduces one of the world’s richest literary heritages: traditional Chinese literature. It conducts a general survey of Chinese
literature from high antiquity up to modern times with the focus on some representative writers and their works. It consists of three major
sections: poetry and prose, drama, and fiction. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese language and culture is
Reading of representative works by major Russian writers of the nineteenth century (including Pushkin, Pavlova, Gogol, Goncharov,
Soboleva, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky). The literary works include Eugene Onegin, supernatural tales by Gogol, Oblomov, The
Cossacks, Notes from Underground, and Fathers and Children. These works will be studied for their individual merit, what they
illuminate about nineteenth-century Russian society, and their contribution to the rise of the Russian novel. All works are read in
This course looks into the changing constructions of gender, sexuality, and desire in Chinese literature and film over time. It seeks to examine the social, cultural and institutional norms of gender behaviors in Chinese society as well as how the fictional imagination conforms to, deviates from and subverts these norms. Other critical issues discussed include the complex relationships between identity and performance, the construction of female subjectivity and male fantasy, gender and genre. Students will be encouraged to conduct cross-genre and cross-cultural comparisons.
This course focuses on the rich storytelling traditions of medieval Iceland. The endlessly diverse sagas and eddas introduce readers not only to feats of dragon-slaying heroes, disputes among Old Norse gods, fantastical tales of giants and Valkyries, and legendary explorations as far as North America but also to the more everyday aspects of medieval life—foodways, material culture, healing practices, gender roles, laws and customs, and settlement patterns across Iceland’s dangerous and beautiful landscape.