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IAP 2018 Non-Credit Activities SP2018 Course Supplement Fall 2018 Course Supplement
Show Descriptions

Introductory

21L.000[J] Writing About Literature: Section 1
21W.041J
Arthur Bahr TR 2:30 - 4:00 4-251

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

Students, scholars, bloggers, reviewers, fans, and book-group members write about literature, but so do authors themselves. Through the ways they engage with their own texts and those of other artists, writers reflect on and inspire questions about the creative process. We will examine Mary Shelley’s shaping of Frankenstein (1818) from the dark materials of Milton’s Paradise Lost, German fairy tales, tales of scientific discovery, and her husband’s poems; Melville’s redesign of a nautical travel adventure into a Gothic novella in Benito Cereno (1856); and Alison Bechdel’s rewriting of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) in her graphic novel Fun Home (2006).

21L.000[J] Writing About Literature: On Poets and Poetry , Section 2
21W.041J
Noel Jackson MW 3:30 - 5:00 4-146

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

How information is presented affects the meanings it conveys; a poem is fundamentally different from a play, a movie, a novel, and an opera, even if all of them tell the same “story.” In this class, we will think closely, talk energetically, and write critically about the complicated relationship between form and content. Our case studies will be a wide range of works that grapple with big themes: love and society, treachery and death, good and evil. Readings will include most and perhaps all of the following: poems (by William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and Elizabeth Bishop), a play (Sheridan, The School for Scandal), an opera (Mozart, Cosi Fan Tutte), several cultures’ versions of a fairy tale (“Sleeping Beauty”), a few movies (Sleeping Beauty, Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions), and two short novels (Austen, Lady Susan; Waugh, The Loved One).

21L.001 Foundations of Western Literature: Homer to Dante Howard Eiland MW 3:30 - 5:00 56-162

Prereq: none
3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-H
Topics: Classics

This class will study representative texts from classical Greek and Roman antiquity—Homer’s Odyssey, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Euripides’ Medea, Plato’s Symposium, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses—followed by selected works from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The class will then conclude with Dante’s Inferno, in which the two traditions, classical and biblical, converge. The class format is group discussion, with informal lectures by the instructor.

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Section 1 Kate Delaney MW 1:00 - 2:30 4-257

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

In this course we will read longer and shorter classics of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century fiction. Readings include novels by Jane Austen, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Michael Cunningham, and Kurt Vonnegut as well as short stories and a graphic novel. The course is designed to teach students to read better and more closely, with greater attention to literary effects. We will also examine the works; social, historical, and cultural contexts. Students will be asked to reflect on how the works assigned relate to each other and to other cultural forms, including film. The class format is group discussion. Required oral presentations involve group projects for small teams.

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Section 2 Ina Lipkowitz TR 9:30 - 11:00 56-167

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

Fiction: late 14c., “something invented,” from L. fictionem, “a fashioning or feigning,” from L. fingere “to shape, form, devise, feign,” originally “to knead, form out of clay.” So what is fiction? Something invented or something formed out of clay—or out of one’s life, one’s historical moment, or even someone else’s fiction? In this class, we’ll consider what fiction is, the difference between historical truth and fictional truth, and have fun looking at some of the many ways writers have formed their fictions out of the materials at hand. Authors might include: E.M. Forster, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Tim O’Brien, Toni Morrison, Norman Maclean, Sandra Cisneros, Virginia Woolf, Ian McEwan, Kate Chopin, Jon Krakauer.

21L.004 Reading Poetry: Section 1 Stephen Tapscott MW 3:30 - 5:00 56-167

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

An introduction to poetry in English. We will explore poems written during several periods and in several genres (nature-poems, narratives, the epic, sonnets, odes, experimental forms). Our focus will be on tactics of analytic reading. Poets whose work we’ll read include William Shakespeare, John Keats, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, Li-Young Lee, and many others. Special course-related events (readings, lectures, film screenings) will take place on selected evenings throughout the term. Regular classroom hours will be reduced in the weeks for which special events are scheduled.

21L.004 Reading Poetry: Section 2 Staff TR 2:30 - 4:00 14N-112

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

An introduction to poetry in English. We will explore poems written during several periods and in several genres (nature-poems, narratives, the epic, sonnets, odes, experimental forms). Our focus will be on tactics of analytic reading. Poets whose work we’ll read include William Shakespeare, John Keats, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, Li-Young Lee, and many others. Special course-related events (readings, lectures, film screenings) will take place on selected evenings throughout the term. (Regular classroom hours will be reduced in the weeks for which special events are scheduled.)

21L.005 Introduction to Drama Anne Fleche TR 3:30 - 5:00 5-217

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

Drama might be described as a game played with something sacred. It tells stories that go right to the heart of what people believe about themselves. And it is enacted in the moment, lending it an added layer of interpretive mystery and playfulness, or “theatricality.” We will explore theater and theatricality across periods and cultures, through intensive engagement with performance texts. We will study and discuss plays that exemplify different kinds of dramatic structure. Class members will also attend and review dramatic performances and have a chance to perform scenes on their own. In addition to modern and contemporary plays, readings will range from ancient Greece to Medieval England, Renaissance Spain and Classical Japan.

21L.006 American Literature Sandy Alexandre TR 3:30 - 5:00 4-144

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

This course surveys the texts and contexts that have shaped and continue to shape American literature. From Walt Whitman’s proud assertion of an American selfhood in “Song of Myself” (1855) to Junot Díaz’s engaging and complex consideration of national identity in The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), we will explore multiple versions of American identity as they have developed through time, across different regions both inside and outside the US, and through representation in prose narrative, poetry, and drama. Readings include, but are not limited to the following authors: Henry James, Elizabeth Bishop, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Sherman Alexie, Gish Jen, Toni Morrison.

21L.007 World Literatures William Donaldson TR 9:30 - 11:00 4-146

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

The class looks at the forces of globalization, post-colonialism, internal-colonialism and cultural imperialism that have bound large parts of it together down the centuries. Areas of particular focus include the poetry of the eighth-century Chinese Tang Dynasty and its reception in the west; novels and poetry from twentieth-century Africa with related patterns of cultural diffusion and appropriation; and poetry and drama from Scotland, shedding light upon writing from the periphery and the possibility of long-term resistance to cultural hegemony.

21L.009 Shakespeare: Section 1 Peter S. Donaldson TR 3:30 - 5:00 16-676

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

We will focus on three or four plays by Shakespeare, drawn from different genres. Close reading of the texts will be accompanied by examining how they have been adapted and performed around the world, on film and in theatre. Students will watch different versions of the plays chosen, reflecting upon how staging them in different ways and contexts changes our understanding of the texts and their cultural impact. We may also attend one or more theatrical performances, depending on what is available in the Boston area in the Spring semester. Plays selected will probably include: Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest.

21L.009 Shakespeare: Section 2 Shankar Raman TR 2:30 - 4:00 56-169

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

We will focus on three or four plays by Shakespeare, drawn from different genres. Close reading of the texts will be accompanied by examining how they have been adapted and performed around the world, on film and in theatre. Students will watch different versions of the plays chosen, reflecting upon how staging them in different ways and contexts changes our understanding of the texts and their cultural impact. We may also attend one or more theatrical performances, depending on what is available in the Boston area in the Spring semester. Plays selected will probably include: Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest.

21L.010[J] Writing with Shakespeare
21W.042[J]
Diana Henderson TR 3:00 - 4:30 1-242

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

William Shakespeare didn’t go to college. If he could time-travel like Dr. Who, he would be stunned to find his words on a university syllabus. But he would not be surprised at the way we will be using those words in this class, because the study of rhetoric was essential to all education in his day. We too will focus on communication using words, with Shakespeare as a capacious model and inspiration for dialogue, self-presentation and writing.

By writing “with” Shakespeare—creatively, critically, in groups and in response to performances and commentary in a variety of media—you will have ample opportunity to explore the elements and occasions that shape effective, meaningful communication. In addition to famous speeches and sonnets, we will consider film versions of Much Ado About Nothing and the challenges of social exchange in Othello. We will examine the enduring power of Shakespeare across the globe. Nevertheless, our aim is less to appreciate Shakespeare as an end in itself than to draw on his remarkable drama (its vocabulary, variety, and verbal command) in order to help you improve your own writing, speaking, analytic thinking, use of resources, and understanding of media today.

21L.011 The Film Experience David Thorburn T 4:00 - 5:00 3-270
Film Screening T 7:00 - 10:00pm 3-270
Recitation 1 R 3:00 - 4:00 4-265
Recitation 2 R 4:00 - 5:00 8-119
Recitation 3 R 3:00 - 4:00 4-265
Recitation 4 R 4:00 - 5:00 8-119

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

This subject will examine a series of classic films by American and European directors, with emphasis on the historical evolution of the film medium and on the cultural and artistic importance of individual films. The course will be organized in three segments: 1. The Silent Era (films by Griffith, Chaplin, Keaton, Murnau); 2. Hollywood Genres (Hitchcock, Ford, Kelly, Fosse, Altman); and 3. International Masters (Renoir, De Sica or Fellini, others). All films will be shown on Tuesday evenings and will be available on videocassette or DVD to assist students in the writing of essays and in preparation for exams. Two lectures, one recitation meeting per week. Lectures are held on Tuesdays, 4-5 pm and 7-8 pm. Both are required. The week’s screening follows the evening lecture.

21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative Eugenie Brinkema MW 2:30 - 4:00 1-277
Film Screening R 7:00 - 10:00pm 1-277

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

What is a narrative? What might it be? How does any narrative—whether short or long, literary or cinematic—make us know, understand, and feel, or fail to know, understand, and feel things? In this course, we will examine a wide assortment of narrative forms—epics, novels, tales, short stories (written and sung), films, television programs, graphic novels, and an interactive gamebook—asking why and how stories are formed. Our concerns will include: how narratives organize (or disorganize) knowledge, time, and space; the role of voice and point of view; how different media affect the construction and interpretation of narratives; and what happens when narratives become circular, layered, multiple, reflexive, or interactive. We will also explore what happens when narration is incomplete, when a narrator lies, is repulsive, mad, dead or dying—or, as in the case of Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy,” an ape.

Films include Citizen Kane, North by Northwest, Pulp Fiction, Run Lola Run, and Memento. We will also look at episodes of The Simpsons, The Sopranos, and the out-of-order sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Readings will include Homer’s Odyssey; Grimms’ fairy tales; Shelley’s Frankenstein; short stories by Poe, Kafka, Bierce, and The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift”; Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground; an Edward Packard “Choose Your Own Adventure” gamebook; and Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus.

21L.013 The Supernatural in Music, Literature and Culture
21M.013J
Mary C. Fuller, Charles Shadle MW 11:00 - 12:30 4-364

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

In this subject, we investigate the ways that broadly held ideas about the supernatural made their way into works of literature and some key symphonic and operatic works based on them, over a period spanning 1600 to 1960. We’ll study three aspects of the topic in roughly chronological order: Witches, Learned Magic, and Spiritualism. Materials range from the depositions of accused witches to live performances of Schubert’s songs and screenings of films such as Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and Murnau’s silent Faust. Operas will be studied primarily through the medium of filmed performances rather than musical scores, allowing students the opportunity to experience these works as dramatic performances.

21L.020[J] Globalization: The Good, the Bad and the In-Between
21G.076[J]
Margery Resnick TR 3:00 - 4:30 14E-310

Prereq: none
3-0-6 HASS-H, CI-H

This subject explores globalization in a literature class that combines a global forum with the study or one new or familiar foreign language of your choice. Think of 21L.020 as a model United Nations focused on cultural rather than political issues. Guest lecturers from all over the Institute visit class as we examine the impact of globalization on cultural identity, the arts, the politics of language, and the media. How migration has changed notions of cultural and racial hybridity, what we can learn from specific examples of global media and expressive culture including popular music and film, how globalization has affected human rights, and the ways in which globalization has changed literary production form the core of this subject. Through novels, essays, poetry, films, audio files and team projects, students develop sensitivity to other cultures and the ability to read broadly across national boundaries. In this course, students acquire the analytical frameworks to contextualize contemporary debates about globalization. The emphasis on the historical context in which contemporary globalization emerged gives students a foundation to continue work in literature, history and the arts with a global perspective.

Students enrolled in 21L.020 must be simultaneously enrolled in a language subject at any level in Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish. Students receive 9 HASS-D, CI units for 21L.020 and 9 HASS elective units for their language class. This combination counts for two of the 8 required Humanities, Arts and Social Science subjects. Freshmen can take three 12-unit subjects plus 21L.020 and a 9-unit global language subject and still meet the 54-unit limit.

21L.021 Comedy Wyn Kelley MW 9:30 - 11:00 14N-325

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

This class considers comedy in drama, narrative, and film spanning more than 2000 years. We will look at examples of Greek, Roman, and Shakespearean drama and the bawdy stories of Boccaccio, Chaucer, and Rabelais; investigate the romantic comedy and social satire of Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde; and try to understand the uneasy relationship between farce and romantic love, violence and redemptive humor, satire and festivity in comic art. We will note certain continuities: the body as object and source of rebellious pleasure; transgression against social norms corrected and reordered through laughter; verbal play and wit; identity and mistaken identity; political protest and social reform. As the class develops, we will also note the ways writers appropriate and reshape comic plots and structures from the past for new uses.

21L.022[J] Darwin and Design: Section 1
21W.739[J]
James Paradis MW 8:30 - 10:00 14E-310

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

We will explore some of the many origins of evolutionary thought in classic works of literature and intellectual history, with special attention to the themes of agency. Design, the adaptation of means to ends, will be a central concern, as we examine narratives of autonomous agency, atavism, and feedback in works like Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Voltaire’s Candide, Malthus’s Essay on Population, Darwin’s Origin of Species, Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Wells’ The Time Machine, Wiener’s God and Golem, and William Gibson’s Neuromancer. We will discover the evolutionary thread that leads from Aristotle through speculative fiction and nonfiction to modern feedback theory.

21L.022[J] Darwin and Design: Section 2
21W.739[J]
Alvin Kibel TR 11:00 - 12:30 56-180

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

This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) selected to trace the immediate intellectual antecedents and some of the implications of the ideas animating Charles Darwin’s revolutionary On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s text, of course, is about the mechanism that drives the evolution of life on this planet, but its fundamental ideas have implications that range well beyond the scope of natural history, and the assumptions behind its arguments challenge ideas that go much further back than the set of ideas that Darwin set himself explicitly to question. These ideas are of decisive importance when we think about ourselves, the nature of the material universe, the planet that we live upon, and our place in its scheme of life.

Our main focus of attention will be the relevance of Darwin’s thought to what is called “the argument for intelligent design”: the notion that since innumerable aspects of the world (and most particularly the organisms within it) display features directly analogous to objects of human design, it follows that an intelligent, conscious agency must have been responsible for their organization and creation. We will also examine some related questions, for example (a) is natural selection via our genetic endowment the source of our ethical biases? (b) if mindless nature can select, can mindless machinery, like computers, think? (c) does mankind’s intelligence set mankind apart from nature by virtue of its capacity to adapt the natural environment to its needs or is intelligence just one way—and not an especially privileged way—to compete in the struggle for existence? We will read literary texts by authors such as Lewis Carroll, Voltaire, E. M. Forster, H. G. Wells, Samuel Butler, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and excerpts from argumentative works by Aristotle, David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thomas Huxley, Alan Turing, and others.

21L.023[J] Folk Music of the British Isles and North America
21M.223[J]
Ruth Perry, William Donaldson TR 12:30 - 2:00 4-160

Prereq: none
3-1-8 HASS-A, CI-H

This subject will introduce students to the folk music of the British Isles and North America and some of the scholarship about it. We will examine the qualities of “folk music” and of “folk poetry” (narrative ballads), and will try to understand the historical context in which such music was an essential part of everyday life. We will survey the history of collecting folk music, beginning with broadsides, Percy’s Reliques, and Sir Walter Scott’s collections—a movement that changed the course of literary history. We will trace the migrations of instrumental styles and 21L Literature Course Descriptions – Fall 2013 Note: rooms and times subject to change. 7 sung ballads to North America—with their attendant changes and continuities—and examine the influences of the African-­‐American musics (including their texts) of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will conclude with the broad outlines of the “folk revivals” in the USA and Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

Samplings

21L.315 Prizewinners: Politics and Private Life in Contemporary Fiction David Thorburn TR 1:00 - 2:30 Ends October 18 14N-325

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

A sampling of recent and memorable fiction in English. We’ll read a collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, by Jumpa Lahiri, and short novels by William Kennedy, Stephen Millhauser, Penelope Fitzgerald, and Arundhati Roy. The course will explore the way these powerful texts imagine and dramatize the contemporary world, their focus on political, racial and sexual themes, and their instructive diversity of style and tone.

21L.345 On The Screen: American Film Genres Alvin Kibel TR 2:30 - 4:00 (begins October 18) 34-304

Prereq: Permission of instructor
2-0-4 Can be repeated for credit

This version of On the Screen will explore various elements of cinematic texts–in particular, mise-en-scène (the setting of action in time and space, the landscape, lighting, decor, placement of camera) and story or plot-line–to determine what makes a film an instance or version of a film of a particular kind, all of whose members discernibly expressing the same underlying narrative pattern despite differences in narrative details. Since each genre is adept at communicating a particular view of reality, classification by kinds is not an empty academic exercise. Discrimination of genre is implicit in understanding film narrative, as it is in understanding narratives of any kind–why the actions of the characters make sense and what they means in relation to lived experience.

To get a handle on generic similarity, we will begin with two films which would seem to have the same kind of overt narrative premise and which yet do not belong to the same genres— movies with all the trappings and plot devices of science fiction can have closer affinities to Westerns than to other science fiction movies— and then move on to examine several popular American genres, such as Westerns, Detective Films, Musicals, Screwball Comedies, Gangster movies, Film Noir, and also a nameless genre: films about the relation of the cinematic medium to reality. Directors whose films will be examined include Buster Keaton, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Carol Reed, Raoul Walsh, Francis Ford Coppola, Leo McCarey, John Houston. In addition to viewing films, we will read some literary or dramatic texts to compare the treatment of similar narrative patterns in different media, and we will glance at some theory of narrative and film narrative.

No previous experience with film analysis or critical theory is presumed.

21L.350 Science and Literature Shankar Raman T 7:00 - 10:00pm (ends October 18) 14N-325

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

This subject focuses on the interaction between literary texts and scientific cultures that surround them. Ranging over time and place, we will try each week to pair a literary work with other short texts representative of the scientific discourse of the period being discussed. Authors studied may include: Plato and Aristotle, Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Margaret Cavendish, Pascal, Leibniz, Daniel Defoe, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Wells, Stoppard and Pynchon.

Intermediate

21L.435 Literature and Film: At the Limit: Violence in Contemporary Film & Literature
CMS.840
Eugenie Brinkema T 11:00 - 2:00 1-277
Film Screening M 7:00 - 10:00pm 1-277

Prereq: One subject in Literature or Comparative Media Studies
3-3-6 HASS-H; Can be repeated for credit

“Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?” This course focuses on novels and films from the last twenty-five years marked by their relationship to violence and transgression. Our texts will variously focus on serial killers, torture, rape, and brutality, but they also explore the myth of the American West, terror and 9/11, and reality television—sometimes, they even delve into love or the redemptive role of art in late modernity. We will explore the politics and aesthetics of the extreme; affective questions about sensation, fear, disgust, and shock; depictions of gender, sexuality and race; and problems of torture, pain, and the unrepresentable. We will ask whether these texts help us understand violence, or whether they frame violence as something that resists comprehension or refuses critique; we will consider whether form mitigates or colludes with violence. And throughout the course, we will ask about the ethics of representation at the limit.

Short theoretical readings from Arendt, Artaud, Bataille, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze, Foucault, Scarry, and Sontag will help us think about the nature of violence and the image; cruelty and the absurd; erotics and violence; the banality of evil; embodiment, flesh, and meat; trauma and catastrophe; and commodification. Novels include Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Dennis Cooper’s Frisk, and Frédéric Beigbede’’s Windows on the World. Films include À ma soeur, American History X, Audition, Baise-moi, Dans ma peau, Funny Games, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Hostel, Man Bites Dog, Natural Born Killers, Old Boy, Reservoir Dogs, Seul Contre Tous, Se7en and Tesis.

Prerequisite: One subject in Literature or Comparative Media Studies.

21L.458 The Bible Ina Lipkowitz TR 11:30 - 1:00 4-146

Prereq: none
3-0-9 HASS-H

The Bible–both Hebrew Bible and New Testament–is a complex and fascinating text, written by many people, in different languages, over a vast period of time, yet still displaying an overarching unity. Our purpose in this course is to consider the Bible as both a collection of disparate books and as a unified whole. Of course it is impossible to discuss the Bible without reference to religion, but religious interpretation–whether Jewish or Christian–is not our primary concern. Rather, we will explore the Bible’s literary techniques and its enormous variety of genres–everything from myth to history, from genealogy to poetry–as well as the historical periods that produced and are reflected in it. We will also consider issues arising from the history of the translation of the Bible from its original Hebrew and Greek. We will read Genesis, Exodus, selections from Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Samuel, Isaiah, Job, Daniel, the Gospels, Acts, Pauline Epistles, and Revelation.

21L.460 Medieval Literature: Legends of Arthur and the Round Table Arthur Bahr W 7:00 - 10:00pm 4-253

Prereq: One subject in Literature
3-0-9 HASS-H; Can be repeated for credit

As a quasi-historical, quasi-legendary figure of consistently great popularity, King Arthur has been subject to an extraordinary amount of reinvention and rewriting: as a Christian hero and war-leader; as an ineffective king and pathetic cuckold; and as a tragic figure of noble but doomed intentions. As we trace Arthur’s evolution and that of principal knights, we will ask what underlies the appeal of this figure whose consistent reappearance in western culture has performed the medieval prophecy that he would be rex quondam et futurus: the once and future king. Readings will include early Latin and Welsh texts, the great Old French romances of Chretien de Troyes (Yvain, Lancelot, Perceval), and the extraordinary Morte d’Arthur of Sir Thomas Malory.

21L.475 Enlightenment and Modernity: Victorian Modernity John Picker TR 11:00 - 12:30 12-142

Prereq: One subject in Literature
3-0-9 HASS-H; Can be repeated for credit

This survey of English literature and culture from 1837-1901 will consider the tensions of a transitional era that flirted with and feared modernity. Among the subjects we will cover will be those that shaped the modern age: faith and doubt, bodies and machines, new technologies and media, science, sex and gender, empire, the function of art, and degeneration. Readings will consist not only of fiction, drama, and poetry, but also some historical writing, journalism, and criticism; texts will likely include works by Carlyle, Dickens, Ruskin, Tennyson, Darwin, Eliot, Braddon, Wilde, and others. Expectations include diligent preparation and active participation, along with some discussion leading and writing assignments.

21L.487 Modern Poetry Stephen Tapscott M 7:00 - 10:00pm 14N-112

Prereq: One subject in Literature
3-0-9 HASS-H

We will read the major poems by the most important poets in English in the twentieth century, emphasizing especially the period between post-WW I disillusionment and early WW II internationalism (ca. 1918-1940). Our special focus this term will be how the concept of “the Image” evolved during this period. The War had undercut beliefs in master-narratives of nationalism and empire, and the language-systems that supported them (religious transcendence, rationalism and formalism). Retrieving energies from the Symbolist movements of the preceding century and from turn-of-the-century technologies of vision, early twentieth-century poets began to rethink how images carry information, and in what ways the visual, visionary, and verbal image can take the place of transcendent beliefs. New theories of linguistics and anthropology helped to advance this interest in the artistic/religious image. So did Freud. So did Charlie Chaplin. We will read poems that pay attention both to this disillusionment and to the compensatory joyous attention to the image: to ideas of the poet as language priest, aesthetic experience as displaced religious impulse, and to poetry as faith, ritual, and cultural form. Poets whose work we read include W. B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes.

21L.512 American Authors: Autobiography and Memoir Wyn Kelley MW 1:00 - 2:30 5-231

Prereq: One subject in Literature, permission of instructor
3-0-9 HASS-H; Can be repeated for credit

What is a “life” when it’s written down? How does memory inform the present? Why are autobiographies and memoirs so popular? This course will address these questions and others, considering the relationship between biography, autobiography, and memoir and between personal and social themes. We will examine classic authors such as Benjamin Franklin, Mary Rowlandson, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Mark Twain; then more recent examples like Tobias Wolff, Art Spiegelman, Sherman Alexie, Alison Bechdel, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, or Edwidge Danticat.

International Literatures

21L.611 Latin I Randall Colaizzi MW 1:00 - 2:30 Ends October 18 14N-112

Prereq: none
3-0-3; first half of term

Latin I offers an introduction for those who do not know the language, or a review for those who would like to refresh the Latin that they have previously learned. In this half-semester intensive course, students will learn the rudiments of Latin vocabulary and grammar, including basic vocabulary, word forms, and simple sentence structure. This is the equivalent of a full first semester of college-level Latin.

21L.612 Latin II Randall Colaizzi MW 1:00 - 2:30 Begins October 21 14N-112

Prereq: 21L.611 or permission of instructor
3-0-3; second half of term

Latin II offers a continuation of Latin I. This class will complete the basic preparation for those who have begun the language with Latin I (330), or will give a review to those who have learned some Latin previously. In this half-semester intensive course, students will reach the level necessary to read Latin texts at an intermediate level, including the full basic Latin vocabulary, word forms, and a knowledge of more complex sentence structures. This is the equivalent of the second semester of college-level Latin.

21L.639[J] Globalization and its Discontents: Spanish-speaking Nations
21G.739[J]
César Pérez TR 1:00 - 2:30 56-167

Prereq: One intermediate subject in Spanish or permission of instructor
3-0-9 HASS-H

The course will focus on the two defining features that have shaped 20th and 21st Century Latin American identity and culture: the often conflictive relationship with the United States and the profound influence of the Cuban revolution and its aftermath. Materials will include fiction, essay, poetry, film and music as well as telenovelas, advertisements and blogs so that students will become familiar with popular as well as canonical cultural artifacts. We will identify the forces that made Latin American literature and culture so globally influential from the 1960’s to the present. While our discussions will be wide-ranging, the course will emphasize Argentina, Chile, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Course is taught entirely in Spanish. Students should have completed an intermediate course or an advanced course in Spanish or have the permission of the instructor.

Seminars

21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Kafka Howard Eiland MW 12:30 - 2:00 4-146

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

Among twentieth-century European writers, no one is darker—or funnier—than Franz Kafka. He was the practitioner of an avant-garde realism in which the everyday life of the modern city merges uncannily with the magical and sometimes nightmarish world of fairy tale and legend. Readings of selected stories, aphorisms, diaries, and letters in addition to the three novels: The Man Who Disappeared, The Trial, and The Castle. We will pay some consideration also to predecessors like Dostoevsky and Dickens and to successors like Beckett and Sebald.

21L.705 Major Authors: Mapping Melville Wyn Kelley MW 3:30 - 5:00 5-231

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

In his life and work, Herman Melville traveled far, from the streets of American cities to the decks of ships in Pacific archipelagos to the tourist sites of London, Rome, Cairo, and Jerusalem. This class will track Melville’s journeys in life and literature, using various digital tools including an interactive map developed at MIT. Students will immerse themselves in Melville’s novels and poems—Moby-Dick, The Confidence-Man, Battle-Pieces, and Billy Budd among others—in order to experience the sweep of his literary and geographical imagination.

21L.706 Studies in Film: Remakes, Replays, Remixes
CMS.830
Peter S. Donaldson R 7:00 - 10:00pm 16-676

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

Film adaptations of novels, plays and films. Films will include film noir adaptations of science fiction and detective novels and stories, classic fiction, autobiography; films made from plays; films based on other films, and avant-garde takes on Shakespeare. Films and texts: Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The Big Sleep, The Big Lebowski, The Hours/Mrs. Dalloway, Clueless/Emma, A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, X [Malcolm X]/Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North By Northwest, The Passenger (Professione: Reporter), Prospero’s Books, King Lear (Godard).

21L.707 Problems in Cultural Interpretation: Women Reading / Women Writing Ruth Perry TR 3:30 - 5:00 14N-325

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

When George Eliot published Scenes from Clerical Life, Charles Dickens wrote to her publisher and asked who the author was because he did not believe that the heroines in that work could have been invented by a man.

Do women’s books have a discernable style? Do men’s? Is theme, or character, or plot or incident in some way “gendered”? If so, does this mean that women cannot create plausible male characters and men cannot create plausible women—that Henry James’ Isabel Archer (Portrait of a Lady) and George Eliot’s Dr. Lydgate (Middlemarch) reveal the gender of their creators? Or that women are privileged readers of women’s texts and men are privileged readers of men’s texts, such that no woman can fully understand Anna Karenina and no man Emma? What have critics said on this subject? We will read both fiction and criticism in this class to explore the topic.

21L.709 Studies in Literary History: The 1920s: African-American Literature of the Jazz Age Sandy Alexandre TR 11:00 - 12:30 66-148

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

This seminar will provide an in-depth introduction to the literary, historical, geographical, and cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance (1920-1930). In the first half of the seminar we will read Harlem Renaissance debates about the idea of art and the artist. We will then read many of the texts most often associated with the Harlem Renaissance. These include Jean Toomer’s Cane, Nella Larsen’s two novellas Quicksand and Passing, James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Jessie Fauset’s Plum Bun, Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, Langston Hughes’s The Weary Blues, and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.

21L.715 Media in Cultural Context: Literature in the Digital Age
CMS.871
Julia Panko W 7:00 - 10:00pm 14N-325

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

How does literature change when writers explore digital media and books circulate within media networks? From flash poetry and hypertext novels to Twitter fiction and innovative print novels: this class will study a range of literary genres across different media formats. We will seek to understand both the uniqueness of digital texts and the continuities between new media writing and older forms of experimental writing. We will also consider how media can shape literary genres: how, for example, might a print novel like Mark Z. Danielewsk’s House of Leaves compare to The Silent History, a novel written for the iPad? Topics for discussion will include: emerging models of authorship; experiments with the print book; the poetics of code; theories of media change; and the development of new reading practices (such as distracted reading, browsing, and play).