Note: these courses do not count as core courses toward the Major or Minor
Prof. Yoon Jeong Oh | EAST-UA 611 : 20th Century Korean Lit In Translation | Sponsored by EAS | Contact Mernaz Tiv
Prof. Vince Renzi COLIT-UA.723.002 /EAST-UA 952-001: Socrates & His Critics | Sponsored by the Department of Classics | Contact Nancy Smith Amer
Prof. Leif Weatherby | COLIT-UA 249.001 /GERM-UA 249: Introduction to Theory: German Media Theory: New and Old | This course is an introduction to "New German Media Theory." It explores the roots and consequences of Friedrich Kittler's approach to media, reaching back to Romanticism and the Enlightenment and forward to the contemporary American and German media theory scenes. Kittler articulated the notion of a "media-technological a priori" that shapes meaning itself and our production of cultural and logistical networks. We will read his books Discourse Networks 1800/1900 and Gramophone Film Typewriter, along with several essays. Three threads of readings will accompany these books: the roots of Kittler's media theory in poststructuralist thought (Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Jacques Lacan), the objects of his analysis (Romantic literature (Novalis, E.T.A. Hoffmann), Enlightenment media theory (Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Friedrich Schiller), Modernism and the analog media, and cybernetics), and the contexts and consequences of his thinking in Germany (with "cultural science" or Kulturwissenschaft: Cornelia Vismann, Bernhard Siegert, among others) and in the US (Alexander Galloway, Wendy Chun). The course provides a deep reading of two influential books in media theory as a vantage point from which to understand both the history of media thinking and the underlying frameworks of contemporary media critiques. Sponsored by the Department of German | Contact Doreen Densky
Prof Friedrich Ulfers | COLIT-UA 298.002 / GERM-UA 298: Topics in 20th Century Literature: Kafka | Conducted in English | This course considers Kafka’s work largely in light of his preoccupations with language, and particularly with the way this preoccupation affected his writing, indeed provided one of its central topics. Our point of departure will be the experience of a “language crisis” among intellectuals and writers in turn-of-the-century Austria, which led to the radical criticism of conceptual or referential language by Fritz Mauthner, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and others, but was already foreshadowed by Nietzsche. We will then examine Kafka’s response to this crisis: his insight that conceptual/referential language and opposition/binary involves an abstraction of the “truth” or the “real,” which is only apprehensible in a space of radical undecidability between opposites, demanding a language of irreducible allusiveness, a language this is constitutive of Kafka’s texts. Key topics include: what do the “Kafkaesque,” the “monstrous,” and the “uncanny” mean? What is the “law,” and what is “judgment”? Texts to be read are “The Judgment,” “The Metamorphosis,” “A Country Doctor,” and the novel The Trial. Sponsored by the Department of German. Contact Doreen Densky
Professor Crystal Parikh | COLIT-UA.950.002 / SCA-UA 306: Asian American Literature | Sponsored by the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis Contact: Priscilla Alfaro
Professor Alessandro Barchiesi | CLASS-UA 203 /COLIT-UA 203.001: The Novel in Antiquity | Survey of Greek and Roman narrative fiction in antiquity, its origins and development as a literary genre, and its influence on the tradition of the novel in Western literature. Readings include Chariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe, Longus’s Daphnis and Chloe, Heliodorus’s Ethiopian Tale, Lucian’s True History, Petronius’s Satyricon, and Apuleius’s Golden Ass. Concludes with the Gesta Romanorum and the influence of this tradition on later prose, such as Elizabethan prose romance. Sponsored by the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis Contact: Priscilla Alfaro
Professor Liane Feldman | HBRJD-UA 23 /COLIT-UA 800: The Bible as Literature | The Bible is a complex and fascinating anthology of ancient literature, written by many different people over the course of nearly a thousand years. The focus of this course will be on reading the Bible as literature, and not as a religious or sacred text. In this course, students will be introduced to various strategies for the literary reading and interpretation of biblical texts. The class will engage diverse literary genres from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament and consider the biblical writers’ creative deployment of poetic forms, plot devices, and narrative styles. With the guidance of secondary literature that will introduce us to a number of diverse ways to think about the literary interpretation of these texts, we will read parts of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Esther, Ruth, Jonah, and the Gospels, as well as selections from the poetic and wisdom traditions. The goals of this course are twofold: 1) to introduce students to literary forms and styles from one corner of the ancient world, and 2) to enable students to engage with these texts from a new perspective, and examine the ways in which our assumptions about the origins of a text can and do shape our interpretations of it. Sponsored by Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
Professor Roni Henig COLIT-UA.951/ HBRJD-UA 90 - Monsters and Jewish Modernity | What is a monster? How does it come into being? Why do monsters capture modern imagination and at what historical junctions do they tend to reappear? From the Golem to Frankenstein, monsters have often figured the anxieties, fantasies, and collective distress of the societies from which they hail. Jewish modernity in particular saw the rapid reproduction of monstrous figures as metaphors for the ambivalent state of European Jews vis-à-vis their surrounding societies. Whether an outcast, a dangerous force from within or a defender against external persecutions, monsters totter on the border between imagination and destruction, conveying at once a promise and a threat. This course explores monstrosity as a critical framework through which we may reflect on such issues as belonging, gender, race, abnormality and hybridity. We shall consider the monstrous as it relates to “Jewish questions”, but also as a cultural figure with a life of its own, who recurs across times, languages, and cultures, embodying different states of outsiderness and exception. Sponsored by Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
Professor Geroulanos | COLIT-UA 972/HIST-UA 314: Psychoanalysis: History, Theory, and Politics—from Freud to 2000 | This intensive seminar offers students an advanced understanding of Freud’s thought and the development of psychoanalysis in its cultural, scientific, and political contexts through the end of the twentieth century. As a course in modern intellectual history, it proposes to handle a particular conception of the self, an intellectual movement, the development of psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic concepts in psychiatry and related sciences, the therapeutic practice and the politics of psychoanalysis. The course is structured in three parts. First, we will focus on the thought of Freud and his interlocutors, attending to key texts that demonstrate the development of his psychological and philosophical apparatus, and paying particular attention to his conceptions of the unconscious, sexuality, life, and abnormality. How did sexuality become the basis for a psychiatric treatment aimed at handling conditions that had frequently been handled by, or resulted in, institutionalization? Second, we will study the development of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic practice in different post-1930 cultural contexts. What were the cultural and subjective underpinnings and implications of psychoanalytic treatment? How did Vienna and Freud’s Judaism play into the picture? How did psychoanalysis relate to other psychiatric and physiological treatments? What were the key tensions in psychoanalytic theory after Freud, and how did Freud and his successors balance the treatment of specific conditions that lacked corporeal explanations, scientific expectations, the philosophical study of human life and sexuality? Third, we will attend carefully to the political commitments of psychoanalysts. From patriarchal and homophobic to revolutionary and feminist movements, psychoanalysis has played key roles. How do we understand its role in arguing against fascism, its postwar conservatism, but also its occasional involvement in anticolonial politics and its frequent invocation by feminists? Perhaps above all, how do we think of the politics of its handling of the patient? On this last, psychoanalysis has been as much celebrated as decried. Thinking historically and conceptually about these questions offers us a way to open up the twentieth century to some of its greatest and trickiest questions. Intellectual curiosity and a readiness to read closely and historically are essential! Advance knowledge of psychoanalysis is not. Sponsored by the Department of History | contact: firstname.lastname@example.org