Literature

Body

Classics 1101H - Introduction to Classical Literature (3 credit hours)

This course is centered around a close reading of three texts in translation: Homer's Iliad, Homer's Odyssey, and Vergil's Aeneid. We will explore how these epic poems deal with issues as relevant today as they were in the ancient world: the cost of human life; the loss and recovery of one's home, family, and identity; and the complexities of bravery, deception, and power. Through class discussions and writing assignments, we will hone our critical and creative thinking skills, improve our ability to select relevant evidence and construct coherent arguments, and develop a capacity for contextualizing foreign and complex subject matter.

Classics 2220H - Classical Mythology (3 credit hours)

Personalities and attributes of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, their mythology and its influence on Western culture.  The course introduces the history, the ancient uses by poets and prose writers from Homer through Greek tragedy down to the Roman poet Ovid, and the scholarly interpretations of ancient Greek myths in the 19th and 20th centuries, including the psychological interpretations by Sigmund Freud. Among the questions we will talk about will be: What is a Myth? Where do Greek myths come from, and how do they fit with earlier myths in the Ancient Near East (for example the Flood Myth)? How did early Christians react to them? How were they received by artists and writers up to the present time? How did modern scholars interpret them, and what can we learn from these very different and contradictory interpretations? The course does not want to systematically introduce all the major myths of the Greek tradition. Rather, many major myths and their ancient and modern narrations will be used in an exemplary fashion, to illustrate and explore the main topics of the course.

Comparative Studies 2864H - Modernity and Postmodernity: Issues and Ideas (3 credit hours)

The course introduces students to the principle concepts and themes defining the discourse of modernity and postmodernity. Through weekly readings, lectures, films, and extensive class discussions, the course will cover a range of debates concerning the historical and contemporary meanings of (post)modernity and its intersection with a number of related fields of research, including economics and social relations, political sovereignty, the nation-state, and global governance, colonialism and post-colonialism, migration and human mobility, media and telecommunications, religion, technology, and the environment. We will also situate the weekly readings in relation to extracts from a range of recent literature as well as documentary films addressing issues related to modernity and postmodernity. In this context, we will be asking not only “what is modernity and postmodernity?” (Its meanings and thematic concerns) but also “when is modernity and postmodernity?” (What are their origins? How do we begin to write their history?), “where is modernity and postmodernity? (How do we think of their local, regional, and global contexts?), and “modernity and postmodernity for whom?” (Who experiences modernity and postmodernity and in what ways? Which voices speak for and against these terms?).

Prerequisite: English 1110

English 2201H - Selected Works of British Literature: Medieval through 1800 (3 credit hours)

This course introduces students to some of the major British literary texts written from the early Middle Ages through the late eighteenth century, including Beowulf, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and Milton's Paradise Lost. Our approach to the literature emphasizes historicist and formalist strategies and close reading. Students will develop their research skills by means of a researched essay. Other requirements include brief response papers and two exams.

Prerequisite: English 1110

English 2202H - Selected Works of British Literature: 1800 to Present (3 credit hours)

This course is designed as an introduction to the great literary figures and movements from the time of the French Revolution to our own times. We will be especially interested in distinguishing the Romantic, Victorian, modernist, and postcolonial periods and movements. Classes will consist of lecture and discussion, but mostly discussion.

Prerequisite: English 1110

English 2220H - Introduction to Shakespeare (3 credit hours)

Study of selected plays designed to give an understanding of drama as theatrical art and as an interpretation of fundamental human experience.

Prerequisite: English 1110

English 2261H - Introduction to Fiction (3 credit hours)

Examination of the elements of fiction: plot, character, setting, narrative, perspective, theme, etc., and their various interrelations; comparisons with nonfictional narrative may be included.

Prerequisite: English 1110

Russian 2250H - Masterpieces of Russian Literature (3 credit hours)

Reading great works of Russian literature (including Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bunin, Akhmatova, Solzhenitsyn, Ulitskaya); developing analytical writing and discussion skills. Taught in English.