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Home > Academics > Divisions > Arts and Humanities > Comparative Literature
Comparative Literature

Courses in Comparative Literature

CMLIT 101W, 101H. Global Literature I. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: ENGL 110.  Major works of literature, both oral and written, from ancient times to the Renaissance.  Readings may include works from among the following: the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, Ancient Egyptian texts, African creation myths, the Popol Vuh, Plato, Greek tragedy, Laozi, Ibn Arabi, Lady Murasaki, and Dante.  Priority in registration given to freshmen.  Satisfies the PLAS Reading Literature (RL) and World Cultures (WC) requirements and the Pre-Industrial Society requirement. 

CMLIT 102W, 102H. Global Literature II. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: ENGL 110.  Major works of literature from around the world, spanning the early modern period to the present day.  Readings may include works from among the following authors: Rabelais, Shakespeare, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Basho, Goethe, Tagore, Joyce, Achebe, Rulfo, García Márquez, Faulkner, Césaire, Machado de Assis, Ellison, Salih, Amichai, and Kanafani.  Satisfies the PLAS Reading Literature (RL) and World Cultures (WC) requirements. 

CMLIT 135W. Writing Workshop. 1 hr.; 1 cr.
A one-credit add-on course to a regular subject matter course on a corequisite basis. This course works on writing that is integral to the subject matter of the main course. Corequisite means that all students in the regular course will be in the writing workshop. The combination of a regular course and a writing workshop satisfies one of the college’s writing­intensive course requirements. May be repeated for credit.

CMLIT 200. Introduction to Comparative Literature. 3 hr., 3 cr.
Prereq.: Any 100­level course in literature. Comparative literature as a discipline has moved beyond its strictly philological origins and now encompasses a range of areas of inquiry from postcolonialism to cultural, cinema, and performance studies. This course’s primary goal is to explore the various ways in which "literature" has been constructed as a field, within an explicitly transnational context. Through a combination of theoretical texts and literary works, the course will explore a wide range of approaches to reading and interpretation.

CMLIT 203. The European Novel. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Some major European novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; attention to the problems of the novel as a literary form during this period.

CMLIT 204. Modern Drama. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Selected plays from the late nineteenth century to the present. The thematic focus of this course and the texts studied vary each semester. Students may take this course twice for credit, if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 205. Modern Poetry. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing and ENGL 120 or 140W. Intensive readings in nineteenth­ and twentieth-century lyric poetry of Europe and the Americas, with attention to one or more kinds of poetry (e.g., romantic, symbolist, surrealist) and interpretive approaches. The authors and texts studied vary each semester. Students may take the course twice for credit, if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 211. Medieval Literature, 1100 to 1500. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Major European texts in a variety of forms and genres, studied in their historical, social, intellectual, and religious contexts. The thematic focus and texts studied vary each semester. Students may take this course twice for credit, if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 212. The Literature of the Renaissance. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Major European texts in a variety of forms and genres, studied in their historical, social, intellectual, and religious contexts. The thematic focus of this course and the texts studied vary each semester. Students may take this course twice for credit, if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 213. The Enlightenment. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. A comparative study of outstanding figures in the literature and philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including such writers as Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Vico, Hume, Gibbon, and Lessing.

CMLIT 214. Romanticism. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. A study of the cultural revolution that took place throughout Europe during the early nineteenth century, setting a dominant pattern in the literature and culture for the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century.

CMLIT 215, 215W. Topics in Modern Literature. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. This course will examine selected topics in modern literature and their relationship to nineteenth- and twentieth- century models of thought, society, and culture. We will consider, for instance, the influence of the naturalist Buffon on Balzac, of experimental medicine on Zola, of the philosopher Bergson on Proust, of technology on H.G. Wells, of physics on Pynchon, and of Freud on Kafka.

CMLIT 217. Great Authors in Literature. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Will focus on a number of important figures in western literature ranging from Dante to Beckett. Authors to be read will vary from semester to semester, and emphasis will be on reading fewer authors in depth.

CMLIT 218. Russia and the West. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Major nineteenth- and twentieth-century works illustrating the crosscurrents between Russian and western literature. The thematic focus and texts studied vary each semester. Students may repeat this course twice for credit if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 220. East Asian Literature I. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Introduction to representative works of traditional Chinese and Japanese literature, from ancient times through the Yuan dynasty in China and from ancient times through the medieval period in Japan. No knowledge of Chinese or Japanese is necessary.

CMLIT 221. East Asian Literature II. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Introduction to representative works of Chinese and Japanese literature from the Sung dynasty through the twentieth century in China and from the Tokugawa period through the twentieth century in Japan. No knowledge of Chinese or Japanese is necessary.

CMLIT 225. Literature and Anthropology. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Literary representations in relation to anthropological theories, methods, and subject matter. The thematic focus and texts studied vary each semester. Students may repeat this course more than once if the topic and works studied are different.

CMLIT 228. Themes in Literature. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. A topical course, depending on interests of the instructor. It may examine such problems as literary expression; the relation of literature to other arts, history, and philosophy; or the expression of a cultural theme in different national literatures.

CMLIT 229, 229W. Women in Modern World Literature. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. The representation of women in literary texts by female and male writers, with attention to the relationship between women’s social and cultural status and their image in literature. The thematic focus of this course (e.g. Women and War; Women in Non-Western Literature) and the works studied vary each semester. Students may repeat this course more than once if the topic and works studied are different.

CMLIT 230. African Literatures. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. Study of canonical and non­canonical texts, from a variety of African cultures, in their social, political, and historical contexts, with particular attention to genres, themes, and styles.

CMLIT 231. African Literatures in a World Context. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. Comparative study of texts in a variety of forms and genres from African, Asian, European, and American cultures, with an emphasis on how historical, political, and social factors affect literary representations.

CMLIT 240. Representation, Photography, and Literature. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. Comparison of photography and other visual arts to fiction, poetry, essay, and other forms of writing in order to raise questions about how stories are told by the visual arts and by literature, and how believability is established by these different arts. The course considers what readers and viewers expect from these different art forms and how, at times, visual and verbal arts are linked together in support of one another and, at others, kept separate or even in opposition.

CMLIT 241. Literature and the Movies. 3 or 4 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing. A study of the ways in which literature and the movies have strongly influenced each other. The course will investigate problems arising from the relations and conflicts between these two different media.

CMLIT 242. Francophone Literature in a World Context. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
A survey of Francophone literature and some central historical and theoretical questions that have arisen in relation to this literature. A selection of novels and short stories will be studied from Francophone areas such as the Caribbean, West Africa, and North Africa. Emphasis will be on the cultural references and contexts of the French-speaking population in each country or region and the use of the French language for writing literary texts. French language texts will be compared with indigenous language texts in each context. Texts will be read in English translation. Students with reading knowledge of French may read the texts in the original.

CMLIT 243. Postcolonial Literatures. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: One course in comparative literature. Literatures of nations and/or regions since their independence from colonial rule. The country or region of focus varies according to the instructor. This course deals with national literatures in their national language(s) and languages and/or literatures of former colonial countries. When possible, these literatures will be read in the original languages in which they were written, and when necessary they will be read in English translation.

CMLIT 244: Psychoanalysis as Cultural and Literary Criticism. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Sophomore standing and at least one literature course. An interdisciplinary introduction to some of the major historical and current concepts in psychoanalytic theory—e.g. the Oedipus complex, paranoia, projective identification—in conjunction with literary texts that may range from Greek tragedy to postmodern psychological fiction and drama, depending on the interest of the instructor. Students are asked to critically engage with the discipline of psychoanalysis by testing the validity and/or applicability of its concepts vis­à­vis their own interpretations and analyses of literary texts. Theoretical discussions focus on psychoanalysis as a method of cultural criticism and will consider related discourses, such as gender and postcolonial studies.

CMLIT 331. Literary Criticism. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. The history and problems of literary criticism from Plato to the present, with special emphasis on continental criticism. Not open to students who received credit for ENGL 382.

CMLIT 333. Tragedy. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. Major tragic texts from various cultures and ages, with some attention to theories of tragedy. Students may take this course twice for credit if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 334, 334W. Mythology and Heroic Literature. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. Major heroic epics, with some attention to questions of genre. The texts in this course may vary each semester. Students may take the course twice for credit if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 335. Problems in Drama. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. An intensive study of the works of one or more important dramatic authors. The author(s) and texts vary each semester. Students may take this course twice for credit if the authors and works studied are different.

CMLIT 336. Forms of Fiction. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. The novel, novella, short story, and other forms of prose fiction, with special emphasis on questions and problems of genre. The texts studied vary each semester. Students may take this course twice for credit if the works studied are different.

CMLIT 337. Archetypes. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. Various recurrent themes, myths, and forms in literature, such as Don Juan, Orpheus, Faust; the quest, romance, pastoral. The texts studied in this course vary each semester. Students may take this course more than once for credit if the topic is different.

CMLIT 338. Masterpieces of the Western Tradition. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: At least one elective course in English or another literature. Aims to provide a general overview of western literature to students who have already studied some of it, and who would like to have an upper­level general course in literature. Works will range from Gilgamesh to the present.

CMLIT 340. Literature and History. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: One elective course in comparative literature or another literature department. The study of literature as history and history as literature. Students will learn how to read literary texts in relation to other forms of discourse within a given historical context, how to contextualize a text through historical research, and how to analyze the rhetoric of history.

CMLIT 341. Life Writing. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: One elective course in comparative literature or another literature department. A consideration of various forms of life writing—including autobiography, memoirs, diaries, journals, and testimonials—and the people who write them.

CMLIT 342: Translation Theory and Practice. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: One elective course in comparative literature or another literature department. Knowledge of a foreign language. Introduction to the possibilities of creating new meaning in another language. Students are asked to read and discuss theoretical essays on translation, and to produce their own translations of fiction or poetry into English, through stages from literal to finish. The course focuses on what is lost and gained in translation, and on how to recognize and work with cultural and linguistic differences.

CMLIT 381,381W, 382, 382W, 383, 383W, 384, 384W. Advanced Seminars. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Three elective courses in literature, reading knowledge of one foreign language, junior or senior standing, or permission of the department. Exploration of important themes in literature, literary history, and criticism. Subject matter varies from semester to semester according to the interests and needs of students and teaching staff. Nonmajors also admitted.

CMLIT 390. Internship. 390.1, 45 hr.; 1 cr., 390.2, 90 hr.; 2 cr., 390.3, 135 hr.; 3 cr.
Prereq.: Completion of 9 credits in comparative literature and approval of the department. Comparative literature students are given the opportunity to use and improve their skills and knowledge through working for credit. Fields in which student interns may work include: literature, cultural studies, history, international relations, and media. Students may contact the college’s Office of Career Development for internship placement information, or may get information directly from a workplace. Students should see the Comparative Literature Department for information on writing a proposal for the internship and securing a faculty sponsor. The department must approve the internship before registration. The student’s grade will be based on the employer’s and the faculty sponsor’s assessment of the student’s work. The student will submit a research paper on the work done in the internship. A limit of 6 credits of internships may be taken. Of these 6 credits, no more than 3 can be counted toward the comparative literature major or minor.

 
 

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