Subject Offerings

To find subjects taught in previous semesters, you may also look at the archived Literature Supplements.

Spring 2024 Literature Supplement   IAP 2024   Fall 2023 Literature Supplement
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Introductory

Reading Fiction: The Birth of the Global Short Story
TR
1-2:30P
4-253

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H

There have always been stories that are short, but “the short story” has been a recognized category of literature for only about 200 years. Standalone short stories emerged in magazines and newspapers of the early 19th century. In this class you’ll learn about the first century (roughly 1800-1920) of short stories as they developed across the world. You’ll develop skills for analyzing their techniques of plotting, characterization and style. In addition, the class will guide you through your own research into short stories from times and places that interest you.

This class has a global scope. You’ll read stories from the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Russia that continue to be influential in the English-speaking world alongside stories from countries including Brazil, China, India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, and Sierra Leone. The class also features numerous African American writers, who haven’t been part of the standard history of the genre. All stories will be provided in English, and students with additional language skills are encouraged to read in the original language where relevant. Your major project for this class is to explore magazine and newspaper archives for a forgotten short story that interests you, and create a digital publication to reintroduce it to the world.

Reading Poetry
TR
1-2:30P
56-167

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H

An introduction to poetry in English, chiefly by British and American poets, spanning more than 400 years of literary history. The aim is to demystify “great” poetry and to analyze it collaboratively for insight and pleasure. We will explore Renaissance, eighteenth-century, Romantic, and modernist poetry in some detail. Though the organization of the subject is mostly chronological, our focus will be less on names and dates than on cultivating skills in careful reading and effective writing. Poets to be read may include William Shakespeare, Sir Philip Sidney, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, and Elizabeth Bishop. [Pre-1900]

Introduction to Drama
TR
9:30-11A
66-144

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-A, CI-H

In her autobiographical play, To Be Young Gifted and Black (1969), the playwright Lorraine Hansberry wrote: “I think that virtually every human being is dramatically interesting.” In our own lives—through our own verbal and body language—we alternate between deprecating and eagerly embracing what it means to be dramatic: “Oh gosh, he is so dramatic,” we accuse! “Yes, honey! I’m absolutely a drama queen,” we might hear someone proudly profess. “Dee-rahmuh!” we drawl to diagnose a scandalous story. Drama is everywhere around us asserting itself: provoking us, amusing us, challenging us, prompting us, inspiring us, catching the conscience of Kings even—effectively acting on us in some way or another. By reading plays and watching video recordings of some of them, we will attempt to understand what drama does best and uniquely as a literary genre. Toward the end of the semester, we will also consider the various forms drama can take. Where, for example, do we situate a TikTok video, a historical reenactment, a staged protest, a walk down the runway of an underground ballroom, or a flash mob in an Introduction to Drama course? Our encounters may include, but are not limited to, plays by Samuel Beckett, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Shakespeare.

American Literature: Thinking with Plants and Animals
TR
11-12:30P
14N-325

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H

Climate crisis and COVID-19 are forceful reminders of the entangled lives of everyone and everything on the planet. This class turns to contemporary literature to consider ways of living together that are often ignored in contemporary American society. How do plant, animal, mineral, fungal, microbial, or bacterial networks think and live together? We will read novels, short stories, and poetry that place non-human characters at their center: what does a story look like from the point of view of mushrooms, moss, trees, or a piece of plastic waste at sea? Can we learn to be kinder, more open, and more oriented to a world where we value the lives of the most vulnerable rather than the creation of wealth? We will think about these ideas through the lens of social justice, such as the profit-driven response to the current pandemic, environmental racism, and the use of Indigenous lands for nuclear mining.

This class is a CI-H subject, which means that it will provide you with a foundation in written and oral communication. Over the course of the class you will write and revise a series of short essays and share your ideas with the class through presentations. Assessment is based on consistent participation and engagement throughout the semester, rather than being heavily weighted towards a final paper.

Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies
Michel DeGraff
MW
1-2:30P
14N-225

Same subject as: 24.912[J], 21H.106[J], 21W.741[J], WGS.190[J]
Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-A/H, CI-H

Interdisciplinary survey of people of African descent that draws on the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. Connects the experiences of African-Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns. Includes lectures, discussions, workshops, and required field trips that involve minimal cost to students.

Shakespeare: The Comedies
TR
9:30-11A
1-379

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H

We will take our lead from Dr Johnson, a renowned 18th-century writer and composer of the first English Dictionary, who claims that Shakespeare’s natural disposition is comedy, in which he “seems to repose, or to luxuriate, as in a mode of thinking congenial to his nature.” In this course, we will test this statement by contextualizing Shakespeare’s major comedies within a broader framework that includes his so-called “problem” plays as well as city comedies by some of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. We will ground our readings in performance and so the comedies will be paired with filmic realizations that will also allow  us to consider how the plays must be changed and re-interpreted so as to travel across cultural boundaries. Connections may include Twelfth Night and Some Like It Hot; Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me, Kate, Beware of Eve, and 10 Things I Hate About You; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Were the World Mine; and Comedy of Errors and Bhranti Bilas.  [Pre-1900]

Introduction to Film Studies
Screening
M
7-10P
3-270
Lecture
T
3:30-5P
3-270
Recitation 1
R
3-4P
1-273
Recitation 2
R
4-5P
1-273

Prereq: none
Units: 3-3-6 HASS-A, CI-H

What and why is cinema? These questions have been repeatedly asked by inventors, artists, theorists, and historians since the first photographic reproductions of movement on celluloid were produced over 130 years ago. Cinema has been called a method for scientific study; a tool for mass manipulation; documentary evidence; and a promise for liberation, to name a few. This course acts as an introduction to the ever-expanding field of cinema and media studies. We will study not only the history of moving images since their emergence but how that history was written and rewritten as a consequence of technological, cultural, and institutional conditions. Students will learn key terms for the close analysis and interpretation of media, become conversant in contemporary theoretical debates, and have opportunities to put theory into practice through essays and creative projects. Our objects of study will range from early silent cinema and classic Hollywood to independent cinema and the networked media environments of the present.

Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction: Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves
MW
9:30-11A
66-148

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H

Fiction writers are masters of the art of deception.  They lie all the time.  It should come as no surprise, then, that some of their most enduring (and sometimes endearing) characters are themselves liars, swindlers, adulterers, rogues and criminals. This course will introduce you to European and Latin American fiction through a selection of its most memorable lowlifes.  We will examine how novels, short stories, graphic novels, and films use these outsiders and their transgressions to comment on societal norms and problems. Some of the works we will analyze and discuss are the Lazarillo de Tormes, Voltaire’s Candide, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Machado de Assis’s Epitaph of a Small Winner, Jorge Luis Borges’s A Universal History of Infamy, Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Clarice Lispector’s The Hour of the Star. Class projects will include the opportunity for students to create—using various media—their own lowlife characters. [Pre-1900]

Foundations of East Asian Literature and Culture: From Confucius to the Beats
MW
11-12:30P
2-103

Same subject as: 21G.041[J]
Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 CI-H

Today we have the luxury of reading more literatures in more languages than ever before, giving us the opportunity to explore the great diversity of what is called “literature” across the time and space of world history. This course introduces you to some of the most seminal and thought-provoking texts from East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam), and is conceived as complementary to the Foundations of Western Literature course in the Literature curriculum. We persistently ask how “literature” looks different when viewed through the literary heritage of East Asia: what does poetry written in Chinese characters accomplish that alphabetic poetry cannot? How does Buddhist reincarnation change the way you tell stories and devise novels?

Why is Japan the world’s only major literature where female authors dominated certain literary genres as early as the 11th century? How did the complex interplay in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam between high-brow literature in the cosmopolitan language of Literary Chinese, and vernacular or popular literatures expand the possibilities of literary expressivity, gender figuration, and identity play? What was it that made American avantgarde writers of the Beat generation so ecstatic about classical Chinese and Japanese poetry?

Our strategic journey through East Asian literatures and cultures will take us through philosophical master texts such as Confucius, Laozi, and Zhuangzi; Tang poetry; China’s classical novels such as Journey to the West; Japan’s female-authored tales and diaries, such as The Tale of Genji and The Pillow Book; Korea’s classical novel The Nine Cloud Dream, and the heart-wrenching pansori play Song of Ch’unhyang. [Pre-1900]

Samplings (6 - units)

Bestsellers: Detective Fiction
W
7-10P
14N-112

Prereq: none
Units: 2-0-4 Can be repeated for credit; first half of term

(Second Half Term: Begins April 1) In this course we will examine detective fictions as both a mode of thinking (we ask questions about our lives) and as a literary genre. As a mode of thinking it’s been around for millennia  (we consider Sophocles’ “Oedipus” and the T’ang Chinese Judge Dee); as a literary genre it emerges in the nineteenth century (Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle), develops through classic twentieth-century and modernist and noir writers (Agatha Christie, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Raymond Chandler) and booms through postmodern uses of the genre’s structures (Jorge Louis Borges, Patricia Highsmith, Walter Mosley). We’ll end with some film examples (Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock). We’ll also consider some formal, ideological and philosophical aspects of detective fiction, using essays by structuralist/narratology critics (Roland Barthes, Peter Brooks) and essays by other recent critics (Jaques Lacan, Sally Munt). We’ll pay special attention to the cognitive work of “detection” and to the character of the detective, in social position, gender, class, race, intelligence, language, and wit.  [Pre-1900]

Prizewinners and Laureates: Reading Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio
M
3:30-5P
4-144

Prereq: none
Units: 2-0-4 Can be repeated for credit; first half of term

(Full Term: Feb 5-May 14) Dante’s long narrative poem, “The Divine Comedy,” opens with the poet-narrator, midway through his life, lost in a dark wood. There, he is found by Roman poet Virgil, sent from the afterlife by a woman Dante had loved who has reached down from Heaven to set him back on the right path by showing him what waits for human beings after death. The first two parts of the “Comedy” tell the story of Dante and Virgil’s journey together through hell to the mountain of Purgatory; atop the mountain lies a lost Eden where Dante will meet Beatrice once more.

The “Comedy,” itself a kind of response to Virgil’s own epic poem the “Aeneid,” has generated a rich tradition of commentary, illustration, translation, and allusion that date back to the poem’s completion in 1320. As well as making use of this tradition, we will continue and add to it through practices of active reading. Work for the class includes reading journals, homework groups, leading discussion, and three short reflection papers. [Pre-1900]

Small Wonders: Close Rereadings
T
7-10P
14N-112

Prereq: none
Units: 2-0-4 Can be repeated for credit

(First Half Term: Ends March 22)
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly
stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21,
I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
— Mark Twain

We all have our landmarks, our favorite poems (and our resistances). They are often not the same choices when we are 15, 20, or 40. So what changes when they change? In this “Samplings” half-semester subject, we’ll look at what happens when we individual readers reread poems—and also, more generally, how a poem can change, in a society—so that the work the artwork does (or the intervention it makes, or the influence or ideas it represents) can change as well. Sometimes such changes significantly alter what the poem “means” or what the poem (or the poet) signifies to the society.

Poets we will read might include Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Emma Lazarus, T. S. Eliot, Dr. Seuss [Theodor Geisel], L. Frank Baum, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Marilyn Chin… and of course poems suggested by the experience of class members. We’ll also look, tangentially, at related questions: how a literary canon changes over time; how a shift in mode [from prose-fiction to film for instance] reframes the original; how translation is a “rereading” and an alteration, in the service of “repetition”; how a poem adapts when it appears alone, or in a collection, or in an anthology. Our method is as close to close-reading as we can come, while keeping this set of questions as our lens. [Pre-1900]

Special Subjects, Research, and Thesis

Special Subject in Literature: Rap Theory and Practice
W
2-5P
1-150

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: Units arranged; Can be repeated for credit

“Rap Theory & Practice,” is a dynamic and immersive course designed for aspiring rap artists and enthusiasts. This class offers a unique blend of in-class and field activities, fostering both individual creativity and group collaboration. Inside the classroom, students engage in ideation, writing, and recording sessions, enabling them to work on solo projects as well as group compositions. The course also takes a novel approach to in situ rap creation by incorporating field activities, known as “GHOTIING,” where students get the opportunity to brainstorm, write, and record in various outdoor settings, expanding their creative horizons.

Another focus of the course is preparing students for the prestigious global MC competition, End Of The Weak (EODUB), offering them intensive training in various performance modalities to hone their skills. Additionally, the course includes weekly in class freestyle training sessions, designed to enhance students’ improvisational abilities and lyrical agility. Outside of class, students are expected to create a full song weekly, pushing their creative boundaries and building a robust portfolio. The culmination of this course is a rap-based final project, allowing students to showcase their learned skills and artistic growth.

Students are expected to take part in class discussion, readings, lecture and presentations from guest speakers. Students must have an iPad or Laptop with either Logic Pro or GarageBand recording software to take this course. Also students must have Inner Ear Monitors or “IEM” style headphones. Microphones and all other relevant equipment will be provided. This course promises a comprehensive, rigorous hands-on experience in the art and practice of rap, optimal for those looking to dive deep into this music genre.

Intermediate

Film Styles and Genres: G.O.A.T. Classic Film Genres and Why We Love Them
MW
3:30-5P
4-253

Prereq: 21L.011 or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H; Can be repeated for credit

Timeless classic, blockbuster hit, or guilty pleasure? Genre films consistently captivate audiences and drive viewership in the film industry. In this course, students will rigorously analyze the definitive films that have shaped the cinematic imaginary of classic film genres. It provides an in-depth exploration of the concept of film genre, enhancing students’ understanding of how different genres are constructed, deconstructed, and evolve over time. From Westerns to Horror, we will consider how films such as John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939) and Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) establish, subvert, or transform film genres, paying particular attention to film style and the interplay between genre, ideology, and societal commentary. Students will become familiar with key theories and concepts related to film genre and deploy them in their own scholarly and/or creative work.

Science Fiction and Fantasy: 21st Century Speculative Fiction
TR
1-2:30P
56-162

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H

The American author Octavia E. Butler once wrote: “There is nothing new under the sun; but there are new suns.” This ability to up-end what we consider possible and to allow us to imagine differently is the hallmark of Speculative Fiction. In this class we will read books that makes use of this radical capacity in order to challenge the oppressive structures of race, gender, colonialism/settler colonialism, and capitalism that we currently live under. By tackling the social injustices of the present, the writers we will read invite us to imagine our futures differently.

This intermediate-level class is focused on issues of social justice. We will read 21st- century science fiction and speculative fiction (including short stories, novels, and films), as well as theoretical and critical texts. Assessment (presentations, short written responses, and a final paper/project) is based on consistent participation and engagement throughout the semester, rather than being heavily weighted towards a final paper.

The Wilds of Literature
MW
1-2:30P
66-154

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-A

Nowadays, when we think about the interaction between human beings and nature, we tend to focus on environmental damage: deforestation, pollution, climate change and the catastrophes to which it has contributed. In this course, however, we will study literature that represents the interaction between humans and the natural world as joyous, sublime, revelatory, and mutually sustaining. We will traverse the Lake District with William Wordsworth, Walden Pond with Henry David Thoreau, and the Grand Canyon with Lauret Savoy. We will trace a breathtakingly long and moving tradition of writers of color crafting stories, poems, and picture books about animals and plants, space and place, from Aesop, Phillis Wheatley, and Paul Laurence Dunbar to Lucille Clifton, Thylias Moss, and Ada Limón.

Without denying that human beings have damaged the world we inhabit—and that certain groups have been systematically barred from enjoying equal access to its beauty and bounty—we will focus on the role that wonder, ease, and joy might play in helping us to envision new modes of being with ourselves and engaging with others and an ever-changing environment. To that end, each student will contribute to a collective “Local Knowledge Project” that enjoins each of you to choose a nearby natural site to visit and revisit, research and write about as winter segues into spring. By mid-May, you will have reworked these short essays into a longer piece of creative nonfiction that chronicles your personal engagement with this locale over time, in a way that makes use of rhetorical tropes and other literary techniques that we will have identified in the work of the essayists and poets whose craft we will marvel at and puzzle over during our seminar-style class discussions.

This version of 21L.449 counts toward the pre-1900 requirement for the Literature Minor and Major. It also satisfies the HASS-A GIR and serves as an approved elective for MIT’s Environment and Sustainability Minor. [Pre-1900]

Literary Theory
TR
1-2:30P
5-231

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H

This subject examines the ways we read. It introduces important strategies for engaging with literary texts developed in the twentieth century, paying special attention to French poststructuralist theorists — such as Derrida, Lacan, and Foucault — and their legacy. The course is organised around specific theoretical paradigms. In general, we will: (1) work through the selected readings in order to see how they construe what literary interpretation is; (2) locate the limits of each particular approach; and (3) trace the emergence of subsequent theoretical paradigms as responses to what came before. The literary texts and films accompanying the theoretical material will serve as concrete cases that allow us to see theory in action. Rather than attempting a definitive or full analysis of a literary or filmic work, we will exploit it (unashamedly — and indeed sometimes reductively) to understand better the theoretical text or paradigm it accompanies.

The Bible: Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible and Its Readers
MW
3-4:30P
56-167

Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 H

From the creation of the world in Genesis to the rebuilding of the Temple in Ezra—from poetic wisdom literature to narratives of Israel’s history—the Hebrew Bible spans a vast range of genres, was written by innumerable people over many centuries, and is endlessly complex. In this course we will read substantial selections from each of the three divisions of the Bible: the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. We will deploy different methods useful for the academic study of the Bible, considering it by turns as literature, as history, as data for the study of religion, as a collection of texts written, edited, and canonized over a long period of time. One conclusion of this investigation will be that the Bible is a dynamic, moving target; it means different things to different audiences over time—indeed, what for some readers is simply the Bible is, for others, the Old Testament. Accordingly, we will also explore a series of episodes in the history of reading, interpreting, and appropriating the Bible. This component of the course will involve reading and discussing exegetical and hermeneutic approaches to the Bible originating in several distinct religious and intellectual contexts from antiquity to the present.

No previous knowledge of the Bible is expected; all readings are in English. [Pre-1900]

Introduction to the Classics of Russian Literature
Maria Khotimsky
TR
2:30-4P
14N-225

Same subject as: 21G.077[J]
Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H

Explores the works of classical Russian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, including stories and novels by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bunin, Nabokov, Platonov, and others. Focuses on their approaches to portraying self and society, and on literary responses to fundamental ethical and philosophical questions about justice, freedom, free will, fate, love, loyalty, betrayal, and forgiveness.  Taught in English; students interested in completing some readings and a short writing project in Russian should register for 21G.618.

Three Kingdoms: From History to Fiction, Comic, Film, and Game
Emma Teng
TR
1-2:30P
14E-310

Same subject as: 21G.042[J], 21H.352[J], CMS.359[J]
Meets with: 21G.133
Prereq: none
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H

Tracing adaptations of the great Chinese epic novel, Three Kingdoms, across diverse media, and considers what underlies the appeal of this classic narrative over the centuries. Through focus on historical events in the period 206 BC to AD 280, examines the representation of power, diplomacy, war, and strategy, and explores the tension among competing models of political authority and legitimacy. Covers basic elements of classical Chinese political and philosophical thought, and literary and cultural history. Final group project involves digital humanities tools. Readings in translation.

Gateway to Japanese Literature and Culture (New)
MW
9:30-11A
2-103

Same subject as: 21G.062
Prereq: none
Units: 4-0-8

Surveys the nature, history, and distinctive features of Japanese literature and cultural history from the beginnings through the threshold of modernity. Examines various genres of poetry, historiography and mythological lore, prose tales and fiction, diaries, essays, Noh and puppet plays, short stories and novels; and helps students appreciate the texts’ relevance in the historical and cultural context in which authors wrote them, in the broader context of literary traditions from around the world, and for the humanistic and aesthetic powers, which makes them poignant to us today. Showcases how authors increasingly enjoyed adapting, redoing, and satirizing earlier models, while constantly developing new expressive forms suited to the urgent needs of their time. Includes an eco-literature lab, a creative writing lab, and a history-writing lab for collaborative experimentation.

Race and Identity in American Literature: Race and Horror in the Americas
MW
1-2:30P
36-112

Same subject as: WGS.140[J]
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H; Can be repeated for credit

This course examines the relationship between race, gender, and horror in literature, film, and television from the Americas. Although the genre has often relied on racist stereotypes and anxieties, horror has also proven a remarkably powerful means for writers and filmmakers of color to reflect on historical traumas and contemporary issues—from lynching and land dispossession to police brutality and gentrification—as well as imagine forms of survival and resistance. In order to understand how horror functions in this way, we will consider its history, tropes, forms, and subgenres while also engaging with current scholarship in the fields of Black, Indigenous, Latin American, and feminist studies.

Focusing on the work of Black and Indigenous creators, we will analyze fiction by Victor LaValle, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, Brenda Lozano, and Stephen Graham Jones; films such as Candyman, Nanny, Nope, Sorry to Bother You, Blood Quantum, The Devil’s Knot, and La Llorona; and television shows like Lovecraft Country and The Changeling.

Greek Readings: Plato’s Symposium
MW
12:30-1P + F 4-5P
4-251

Prereq: none
Units: 2-0-4

First Half Term: Ends March 22, Read ancient Greek literature in the original language! 21L.609 serves as a bridge for students with at least one semester or more of formal Greek training (Greek I/II, high school Greek, or equivalent) between the study of Greek grammar and vocabulary and the reading of Greek authors. 21L.610 offers more of a challenge for advanced readers. They run simultaneously and each may be repeated once for credit. The topic for Spring 2024 will be Plato’s Symposium. [Pre-1900]

Advanced Greek Readings: Plato’s Symposium
MW
12:30-1P + F 4-5P
4-251

Prereq: none
Units: 2-0-4

Second Half Term: Begins April 1. Read ancient Greek literature in the original language! 21L.609 serves as a bridge for students with at least one semester or more of formal Greek training (Greek I/II, high school Greek, or equivalent) between the study of Greek grammar and vocabulary and the reading of Greek authors. 21L.610 offers more of a challenge for advanced readers. They run simultaneously and each may be repeated once for credit. The topic for Spring 2024 will be Plato’s Symposium. [Pre-1900]

Introduction to French Literature (New)
T
7-10P
14N-313

Same subject as: 21G.320
Prereq: 21G.304 or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9 H

A study of major French literary genres and an introduction to methods of literary analysis. This semester students will be part of the jury for the Goncourt Prize USA. “Le Goncourt” is the most prestigious literary prize in France. Students will study and rank books from the Goncourt shortlist. They will elect a representative to present their selection at the Villa Albertine in New York and choose the winner along with students from Princeton, Duke, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Virginia. Meanwhile, the other students will prepare a press article to present their experience as a jury! Authors studied: Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Neige Sinno, Gaspard Koenig, and Eric Reinhardt. Special attention is devoted to the improvement of French language skills. Taught in French.

The New Spain: 1977-Present
T
7-10P
14N-325

Same subject as: 21G.740[J]
Prereq: One intermediate subject in Spanish or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H

Deals with the vast changes in Spanish social, political and cultural life that have taken place since the death of Franco (1975). Topics include the transition to democracy, new freedom from censorship, the re-emergence of strong movements for regional autonomy (the Basque region and Catalonia), the new cinema including Almodóvar and Saura, educational reforms instituted by the socialist government, the changes in the role of the Catholic church, the emergence of one of the world’s most progressive gender environment, and new forms of fiction.  Special emphasis on the mass media as a vehicle for expression in Spain. Materials include magazines, newspapers, films, television series, fiction, and essays.  Each student chooses a research project that focuses on an issue of personal interest. Taught in Spanish

Seminars

Literary Methods: Digital Approaches to Storytelling
TR
11-12:30P
4-146

Prereq: Two subjects in Literature
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-M; Can be repeated for credit

What place do stories have in the digital age? How can we understand works of literature of the past in new ways using digital tools? What new possibilities and problems do digital technologies create for storytellers and their audiences?

This class is focused on stories in the broadest sense, including novels, novellas and short stories; video games, digital video, interactive fiction, fan fiction, AI-generated narrative; non-fiction storytelling by journalists and social media users; storytelling using the human voice, whether face to face or through media like podcasts and audiobooks. You’ll develop new methods for reading stories, creating stories and forming communities around stories.

Because this is a class on methods, the emphasis will be on learning to do and make, and reflecting on that process. You’ll spend the semester working on four projects that involve: 1) analyzing novels using digital tools, 2) adapting stories into digital media, 3) creating storytelling communities in the digital age, 4) telling born-digital stories. We’ll also read two works of literature together as a class: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel about breaking down and transforming the human body that has itself been repeatedly broken down and transformed into other media, and Aaron A. Reid’s Subcutanean, an experimental multiverse novel where no two copies are the same.

Studies in Poetry: The Radical Imagination
TR
3-4:30P
4-144

Prereq: Two subjects in Literature
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-M; Can be repeated for credit

In 1790, the visual artist, poet, and printer William Blake wrote: “What is now proved, was once only imagined.” The idea that imagination extends the bounds of known reality was a defining assumption of the literary period known today as Romanticism. In an era of momentous social, political and economic transformation, Romantic writers designated imagination as the site of, and possibly the most potent means of bringing about, social and political change. To write (and to read) was to be part of a world-making enterprise – as potentially efficacious in changing the world as the contemporary events to which their writing responded.

The artists at the center of this seminar are two visionary Romantic poets, Blake and Percy Shelley. Both were figures of radicalism and rebellion, and both were committed to imagination as a vehicle of sociopolitical world-making. We will read these poets alongside other Romantic texts by radicals, philosophers, and visionaries, including Anna Barbauld, S.T. Coleridge, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Shelley’s immortal tale of the miscreative imagination, Frankenstein. Taking Romanticism not as an isolated moment of literary history but as a creative energy that reverberates through subsequent forms of radical literary and political writing, our seminar will encounter the works of this period as tools to think, contend, and create with today.

Studies in Film: Aesthetics, Ethics, and White Supremacy
Lecture
MW
1-2:30P
4-253
Screening
W
7-10P
3-270

Same subject as: CMS.830
Prereq: 21L.011, one subject in Literature or Comparative Media Studies; or permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-6 HASS-H, CI-M; Can be repeated for credit

This course investigates white supremacy through aesthetics, or the philosophy of embodied knowledge. We approach white supremacy not only as an ideology or system but an aesthetic environment that shapes, as Sara Ahmed writes, which bodies get to “be at home.”We ask how white supremacy represents itself and engages in aesthetic world-making across Enlightenment ethico-political accounts of the“sublime”and “beautiful,” historical imaginaries, and media regimes past and present. Engaging Black thought; intersectional approaches to racialized experience, and a diverse array of cinematic works, built environments, and visual art, we will discuss and devise critical creative practices for disempowering and unmaking white supremacist futures.

Problems in Cultural Interpretation: Women Readers, Women Writers—Antiquity To Today
MW
11-12:30P
4-251

Prereq: Two subjects in Literature or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-M; Can be repeated for credit

Recent years have seen an explosion of new works by women writers engaging with ancient myth. This class explores how these authors have responded to ancient epic by rethinking these stories through a feminist lens. Readings from Greek and Latin sources in translation provide background, but the focus this semester is on reading 20th and 21st century works including Ursula Le Guin’s Lavinia, Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad, Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red, Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown, and Madeline Miller’s Circe.