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RUSSA 1104 : Conversation Practice
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Reinforces the speaking skills learned in RUSSA 1122.
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COML 1109 : FWS: Writing Across Cultures
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Matches the first track in our major, Comparative Literary Studies. This course rubric deals with literary works from different cultures or historical periods. Consult the John. S. Knight Writing Seminar Program brochure for current year offerings, instructions and section descriptions: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/knight_institute/fws/fws.htm
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RUSSA 1122 : Elementary Russian through Film
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Gives a thorough grounding in all the language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Course materials include clips from original Russian films and television programs. Homework includes assignments that must be done in the language lab or on the students' own computers. Completing this course makes you eligible for RUSSA 1127, a course that includes ten days of classes at a theater school in Moscow, Russia in late May to early June. Note the RUSSA 1104 option. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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COML 1126 : FWS: Comparative Arts and Media
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Matches the second track in our major, Literary, Visual, and Media Studies.  This course rubric deals with courses that compare literature to film, video, performance, and other arts. Consult the John. S. Knight Writing Seminar Program brochure for current year offerings, instructions and section descriptions: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/knight_institute/fws/fws.htm
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RUSSA 1126 : Reading Russian Press
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The emphasis is on reading unabridged articles on a variety of topics from current Russian web pages and translating them into English; a certain amount of discussion (in Russian) may also be undertaken. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSA 1132 : Self-Paced Elementary Russian II
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
RUSSA 1131 and RUSSA 1132 cover the standard Cornell first-year Russian language curriculum at a slower (or faster) pace than RUSSA 1103 -RUSSA 1104 and RUSSA 1121 -RUSSA 1122, the pace to be chosen by each individual student in consultation with the instructor. Somewhat larger homework reading, writing, and online assignments with fewer and shorter meetings with the instructors, one-on-one or in very small groups.
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RUSSL 2000 : Reading and Cooking Russian Style
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 2000 : Introduction to Visual Studies
Crosslisted as: AMST 2000, ARTH 2000, VISST 2000 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will introduce you to the field of Visual Studies.  Visual Studies seeks to define and improve our visual relationship to nature and culture after the modern surge in technology and knowledge.  Our field contains objects, images, and problems that lie beyond the fine art boundaries of Art History and the methodological boundaries of experimental science, yet is grown using seeds from both academic cultures.  If you see yourself as a "visual person" and want to explore your interests within both science and art, then this is the course for you.  You will learn the physical and legal limits of human, animal, and machine vision, how knowledge and power gets into images, how spectacle drives the economy, and savvy techniques of analysis that will help you deliver fresh perspectives to whatever course of study you follow.
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COML 2021 : Humans and Climate Change
Crosslisted as: EAS 2021, ROMS 2021 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course explores the human dimension of climate change, arguably the most significant crisis ever to confront humanity. The focus of this course will be narratives--the stories we tell ourselves as humans about the past, present and future in literature, film, art, science writing, design, and philosophy. We will address issues such as deep time; energy transitions; guilt and hope; justice and the future. No prior knowledge of atmospheric science or literary studies required. The course is open to anyone interested in thinking about the wicked problem that is climate change from various perspectives. Guest speakers and local field trips will enhance our perspectives.
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COML 2030 : Introduction to Comparative Literature
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Take your love for literature into uncharted waters. "Introduction to Comparative Literature" journeys beyond national and disciplinary borders to explore the far-reaching implications of our increasingly globalized world. In this survey of the field, you'll be exposed to the cutting-edge of current themes and debates in comparative literature. Exploring a range of texts from across the globe, we'll read authors such as Ovid, Aimé Césaire, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, W. G. Sebald, Amitabh Ghosh, Ghasan Kanafani.  J.M. Coetzee, and Yoko Tawada. Punctuated by special guest lectures by innovative scholars in the field, this course will expose you to a wide array of topics such as: postcolonial literature, translation, trauma studies, theories of the lyric, public humanities, gender and biopolitcs, ecocriticism, and media studies.  Students will emerge from this course with new awareness of global cultural expression and with practice in critical reading and writing.
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COML 2041 : World Literature in Question
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 2050 : Introduction to Poetry
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Could a meter have a meaning?  Could there be a reason for a rhyme?  And what is lost and gained in translation?  We'll think about these and other questions in this introduction to poetry.  We'll see how poems are put together and we'll learn how to figure them out.  Poets may include G. Herbert, Hardy, Housman, Dickinson, Frost, W. C. Williams, Gw. Brooks, Mei Yao-ch'en, Petrarch, Scève, Heine, Pushkin, Lermontov, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva.  This course is for anyone who likes poetry.  All reading is in English; we'll make use of non-English originals when possible.  May be used to satisfy the literature requirement for the Russian Minor.
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RUSSA 2204 : Intermediate Composition and Conversation
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Guided conversation, translation, reading, pronunciation, and grammar review, emphasizing the development of accurate and idiomatic expression in the language. Course materials include video clips from an original Russian feature film and work with Russian web sites, in addition to the textbook. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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COML 2230 : The Comic Theater
Crosslisted as: CLASS 2651, PMA 2635 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Study and analysis of 2500 years of comedy (all in English), from Greece (Aristophanes, Menander), Rome (Plautus and Terence), Italy (Machiavelli, The commedia dell' arte), Elizabethan (Shakespeare, Ben Jonson) and Restoration (Congreve, Wycherley) England, France (Molière), Hollywood (Keystone and Hal Roach studios, Screwball comedies of the 30's, Sitcoms) and others besides.
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COML 2235 : New Visions in African Cinema
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2235, ENGL 2935 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This undergraduate course introduces the formal and topical innovations that African cinema has experienced since its inception in the 1960s. Sections will explore, among others, Nollywood, sci-fi, and ideological cinema. Films include: Abderrahmane Sissako's Bamako, Mohamed Camara's Dakan, Djibril Diop Mambéty's Touki-Bouki, Cheikh Oumar Sissoko's Finzan, Anne-Laure Folly's Women with Open Eyes, Ousmane Sembène's Camp de Thiaroye, Jean-Pierre Bekolo's Quartier Mozart.
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COML 2241 : Multi-Media Fantasies: Game of Thrones
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Winter is coming... and the genre of fantasy has acquired unprecedented popularity as Game of Thrones has become a media phenomenon. In this course we will use the Game of Thrones series as a way of familiarizing ourselves with different tools of cultural analysis and approaches in literary theory (such as narratology, psychoanalysis, media studies, queer theory, disability studies, animal studies and more). A strong emphasis will be placed on the different media "avatars" of the series: novels, TV series, graphic novels, spin-offs, fan fiction, blogs, fan art etc. The successful completion of this course will involve some binge-watching and a fair amount of reading--both of selections from Martin's novels and of secondary and theoretical texts.
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COML 2290 : Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
Crosslisted as: FGSS 2290, LGBT 2290 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 2580 : Imagining the Holocaust
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2580, JWST 2580 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
How is the memory of the Holocaust kept alive by means of the literary and visual imagination? Within the historical context of the Holocaust and how and why it occurred, we shall examine major and widely read Holocaust narratives that have shaped the way we understand and respond to the Holocaust. We also study ethical and psychological issues about how and why people behave in dire circumstances. We shall begin with first-person reminiscences—Wiesel's Night, Levi's Survival at Auschwitz, and The Diary of Anne Frank—before turning to realistic fictions such as Kineally's Schindler's List (and Spielberg's film), Kertesz's Fateless, Kosinski's The Painted Bird, and Ozick's "The Shawl." We shall also read the mythopoeic vision of Schwarz-Bart's The Last of the Just, the illuminating distortions of Epstein's King of the Jews, the Kafkaesque parable of Appelfeld's Badenheim 1939, and the fantastic cartoons of Spiegelman's Maus books.
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COML 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
Crosslisted as: JWST 2754, NES 2754 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines Near East's rich and diverse literary heritage. We will read a selection of influential and wondrous texts from ancient to modern times, spanning geographically from the Iberian peninsula to Iran. We will trace three major threads: myths of creation and destruction; travel narratives; and poetry of love and devotion. Together we will read and discuss such ancient works as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' and 'The Song of Songs,' as well as selections from medieval works such as the 'Travels' of Ibn Battuta, the 'Shahnameh' of Ferdowsi, poetry of Yehuda HaLevi, and The Thousand and One Nights. The modern unit will include work by Egyptian Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz. Students will also have the opportunity to research and analyze primary source materials in the collections of Cornell Rare Books and Manuscript Collection, and the Johnson Art Museum. All material is in English translation.
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COML 3021 : Literary Theory on the Edge
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3021, PMA 3421 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course juxtaposes the exciting theoretical advances of the late 20th century, including structuralism and post-structuralism, with current developments in 21st century theory such as performance studies, media theory, digital studies, trauma theory, transgender studies, and ecocriticsm. Taught by two Cornell professors active in the field, along with occasional invited guests, lectures and class discussions will pay close attention to the differences among mediatic systems in the texts we read as well as the uniqueness and complexity of language in its various forms. The course may involve presentation of performance art.
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COML 3240 : Blood Politics: Comparative Renaissance Drama
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 3300 : Political Theory and Cinema
Crosslisted as: GERST 3550, GOVT 3705, PMA 3490 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
An introduction (without prerequisites) to fundamental problems of current political theory, filmmaking, and film analysis, along with their interrelationship.  Particular emphasis on comparing and contrasting European and alternative cinema with Hollywood in terms of post-Marxist, psychoanalytic, postmodernist, and postcolonial types of interpretation.  Filmmakers/theorists might include: David Cronenberg, Michael Curtiz, Kathryn Bigelow, Gilles Deleuze, Rainer Fassbinder, John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Marleen Gorris, Werner Herzog, Alfred Hitchcock, Allen & Albert Hughes, Stanley Kubrick, Fredric Jameson, Chris Marker, Pier-Paolo Pasolini, Gillo Pontecorvo, Robert Ray, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, George Romero, Steven Shaviro, Kidlat Tahimik, Maurizio Viano, Slavoj Zizek.  Although this is a lecture course, there will be ample time for class discussions.
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RUSSA 3300 : Directed Studies
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Taught on a specialized basis for students with special projects (e.g., to supplement a non-language course or thesis work).
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RUSSA 3304 : Advanced Composition and Conversation
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Reading, writing, and conversation: current Russian films (feature and documentary), newspapers, television programs, Russian web sites, and other materials are used. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSA 3306 : Creative Writing for Heritage Speakers
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Creative writing for heritage speakers of Russian. Writing short (one page for each class) texts in Russian in a variety of genres: personal letters, blog entries, news articles, technical descriptions, official documents, short stories, and the like. Two meetings per week if taken for 2 credits hours. An optional third weekly meeting when taken for 3 credit hours has short reading assignments from contemporary literary and non-literary texts. The course is a continuation of RUSSA 3305 but may also be taken by qualified students who have not completed RUSSA 3305. Issues of style and grammar are discussed in every class. The course is primarily for students who learned to speak Russian at home, but students with other backgrounds may be eligible as well. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSA 3310 : Advanced Reading
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Designed to teach advanced reading and discussion skills. In seminar 101, weekly reading assignments include 20-40 pages of unabridged Russian, fiction or non-fiction. In seminar 102, the weekly assignments are 80-100 pages. This course may be taken as a continuation of RUSSA 3309, but it may also be taken by itself. Discussion of the reading is conducted entirely in Russian and centered on the content and analysis of the assigned selection. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSL 3341 : Short Russian Fiction (The Nineteenth Century)
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The nineteenth century Russian novel had its beginnings in a period of short fiction; it ended in another one.  When Tolstoy was preparing to write Anna Karenina, he reread Pushkin's tales.  Dostoevsky's characters have roots in Lermontov's fiction.  The Russian novelists also wrote short works.  This course focuses on the stories and tales of Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others.  It covers the nineteenth century and extends a decade or two in either direction, to the early years of modern Russian fiction in the late eighteenth century and to the final pre-revolutionary years in the early twentieth century.
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COML 3440 : The Tragic Theatre
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3645, PMA 3724 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Tragedy and its audiences from ancient Greece to modern theater and film. Topics: origins of theatrical conventions; Shakespeare and Seneca; tragedy in modern theater and film. Works studied will include: Aeschylus' Agamemnon; Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus, Philoctetes; Euripides' Alcestis, Helen, Iphigeneia in Aulis, Orestes; Seneca's Thyestes, Trojan Women; Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Titus Andronicus, Othello; Strindberg's The Father; Durrenmatt's The Visit; Bergman's Seventh Seal; Cacoyannis' Iphigeneia.
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COML 3460 : The Art of Subversive Writing
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3646 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Writers are often unable to treat the most deeply controversial issues within their societies persuasively and safely by direct and open challenge, especially in ages and cultures which enforce conformity to some political, religious, or sexual norm. This course examines the literary and rhetorical techniques, formulated in the Greco-Roman antiquity and employed by writers and musicians for over two millennia, to express obliquely what may not be expressed overtly, with special attention to Imperial Rome (Plutarch, Quintilian, Demetrius), Victorian England (W.S. Gilbert), the post-World War II Americas and Europe (Frank Baum, Dalton Trumbo, Friedrich Durrenmatt, Czeslaw Milosz, Theodorakis, Abram Tertz, Jorge Luis Borges, and Vinicius de Moraes), and in selected movies (including Spartacus and Z).
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COML 3485 : Cinematic Cities
Crosslisted as: FREN 3485, ITAL 3485, SPAN 3485 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Beginning in the early days of silent cinema, a rich tradition of what are called "city films," combines technological innovation with the exploration of specific urban spaces.  Students in this class will learn how to think about the possibilities of limits of cinema as a way of "knowing" a city and its cultures, including linguistic cultures.  This course will be offered in English and is open to all students.  The focus will be on the relationship between the cinema and the development of urban centers, including Madrid, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Venice.  Films will be shown outside of regular class meeting times, in the original languages with English subtitles.
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COML 3541 : Introduction to Critical Theory
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3920, GERST 3620, GOVT 3636 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Shortly after the last election, The New Yorker published an article entitled "The Frankfurt School Knew Trump was Coming." This course examines what the Frankfurt School knew by introducing students to Critical Theory, beginning with its roots in the 19th century (i.e., Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche) and then focusing on its most prominent manifestation in the 20th century, the Frankfurt School (e.g., Kracauer, Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Marcuse), particularly in its engagement with politics, society, culture, and literature (e.g. Brecht, Kafka, and Beckett).  Established in 1920s at the Institute for Social Research, the assorted circle of scholars comprising the Frankfurt School played a pivotal role in the intellectual developments of post-war American and European social, political, and aesthetic theory: from analyses of authoritarianism and democracy to commentaries on the entertainment industry, high art, commodity fetishism, and mass society. This introduction to Critical Theory explores both the prescience of these diverse thinkers for today's world ("what they knew") as well as what they perhaps could not anticipate in the 21st century (e.g., developments in technology, economy, political orders), and thus how to critically address these changes today.
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COML 3542 : Fables of Capitalism
Crosslisted as: GERST 3610, GOVT 3606 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the economic forces at work in defining and configuring the modern subject, from Adam Smith through Marx and Nietzsche, Simmel and Weber, up to the current neoliberal subject.  The course will investigate figures (as both tropes and subjects) of the human conceived according to three economic paradigms: exchange, debt, and interest. The course will focus on both literary and theoretical sources, including examinations of guiding metaphors (the invisible hand, Schuld as both debt and guilt); the intersection of religious and secular economies; pacts with the devil; economies of salvation/redemption; figures of money/value.
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COML 3550 : Decadence
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3550, FGSS 3550, LGBT 3550 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
"My existence is a scandal," Oscar Wilde once wrote, summing up in an epigram the effect of his carefully cultivated style of perversity and paradox. Through their celebration of "art for art's sake" and all that was considered artificial, unnatural, or obscene, the Decadent writers of the late-nineteenth century sought to free the pleasures of beauty, spirituality, and sexual desire from their more conventional ethical moorings. We will focus on the literature of the period, including works by Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe, A. C. Swinburne, and especially Oscar Wilde, and we will also consider related developments in aesthetic philosophy, painting, music, theater, architecture, and design.
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COML 3743 : Minorities of the Middle East
Crosslisted as: JWST 3655, NES 3655, NES 6655 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the historic diversity of the modern Middle East, exploring histories of inter-communal contact and conflict. We begin by investigating the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and the impact of its dissolution. We will focus our attention on commercial centers that fostered inter-communal relations, as well as investigating sites of strife and cases of minority repression. We will read histories, memoirs, and fiction, and view films that help us better understand inter-communal relations, tensions, and conflict. We will also interrogate the terms for exploring a range distinctions among majority and minority populations including: religious difference (Muslims, Christians, and Jews); divisions of religious rite (Sunni and Shi'a); entho-linguistic minorities (Armenians and Kurds); national identities (Israelis and Palestinians); cultures of origin (Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi Jews). We will explore how these divisions inform urgent current conflicts: the civil war in Syria and the refugee crisis; the civil war in Iraq and the campaign by ISIS against minorities; as well as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
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COML 3800 : Poetry and Poetics of the Americas
Crosslisted as: AMST 3820, ENGL 3910, LATA 3800, SPAN 3800 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
As globalization draws the Americas ever closer together, reshaping our sense of a common and uncommon American culture, what claims might be made for a distinctive, diverse poetry and poetics of the America? How might we characterize its dominant forms and alternative practices? What shared influences, affiliations, concerns and approaches might we find and what differences emerge? Ranging across North and South America, Central America and the Caribbean, this course will place in conversation such figures as Poe, Stein, Eliot, Pound, Williams, Neruda, Vallejo, Borges, Parra, Césaire, Walcott, Bolaño, Espada, Waldrop, Vicuña, Hong, and Rankine.
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COML 3811 : Theory and Practice of Translation
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The modern field of translation studies overlaps most closely with literary studies, but it intersects also with fields such as linguistics and politics.  The intense work in translation studies in the last few decades follows a long history of thinking about translation.  The activity of translation has been viewed over many centuries as betrayal, as an inferior form of literary production, as extending the life of the literary work, as a creative process equal to the original.  In this course we will examine various approaches to the translation of literary texts, both prose and verse.  We will read texts by theorists and by translators, possibly including Cicero, Schleiermacher, Benjamin, Nabokov, Jakobson, Nida, Toury, Venuti, Bassnett and others.  We will also read and analyze translations of literary works, with a focus on classics of Russian literature.  Practical translation work will illuminate theoretical readings. 
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COML 3815 : Reading Nabokov
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3790, RUSSL 3385 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course offers an exciting trip to the intricate world of Nabokov's fiction. After establishing himself in Europe as a distinguished Russian writer, Nabokov, at the outbreak of World War II, came to the United States where he reestablished himself, this time as an American writer of world renown. In our analysis of Nabokov's fictional universe, we shall focus on his Russian corpus of works, from Mary (1926) to The Enchanter (writ. 1939), all in English translation, and then shall examine the two widely read novels which he wrote in English in Ithaca while teaching literature at Cornell: Lolita (1955) and Pnin (1957).
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COML 3891 : Occupied France Through Film
Crosslisted as: FREN 3840 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The Second World War and the Occupation of France by German forces had a traumatic impact on the nation's identity.  We will examine the way France has tried to deal with this conflicted period through a series of films that each deal, directly or indirectly with the major questions posed by history to French "memory" of the Occupation.  What was the role of collaboration, resistance, anti-Semitism, of writers and intellectuals during this traumtic period?  How has film helped to define and re-shape the ways in which France has come to terms with its conflicted past?
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COML 3971 : Books Turned into Operas
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3713 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
How and why is a book "translated" into an opera? The plays, novels, and poetry we will read in this course were seized upon by composers because of their gripping stories and the strong emotions they ensured. We will focus on several such works and the operas they inspired: Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Verdi's Rigoletto, Massenet's Werther, Giordano's Andrea Chénier, and Holten's The Visit of the Royal Physician--plus the movie A Royal Affair, a bridge between opera and novel. Your own emotional responses and curiosity will be the primary material on which to base your interpretations. This course does not require the ability to read music, although that is an advantage, and texts will be available in English as well as in their original languages.
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COML 4001 : Aesthetics of Authenticity
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
A comprehensive survey of philosophical aesthetics from its inception in the 18th century to the present, this class will pay special attention to questions of authenticity and originality. Theories of art can be placed on a scale with conscious human making, i.e. calculated application of rules on the one end and divinely inspired creation or unconscious imitation of nature on the other. Art is per definition artificial, but the discipline of aesthetics has often privileged the natural and the naïve. Rousseau viewed the arts as corrupting, and Kant saw an interest in natural – not manmade – beauty as a sign of moral character. Classicism favored the simplicity of a young culture, while the Romantics called for immediacy and spontaneity. In the 20th century, modernist avant-gardes turned to the very earliest forms of human expression. Can aesthetics help us understand our fascination with the innate, the innocent, and even the ignorant? How do we distinguish authentic from fraudulent art? What counts as artistic originality? Is it possible to know too much to make or to enjoy artworks? Exploring these issues, we will be in constant dialog with figures like Wordsworth, Kleist, de Staël, Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Heidegger, and Cavell.
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COML 4190 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
COML 4190 and COML 4200 may be taken independently of each other. Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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COML 4200 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
COML 4190 and COML 4200 may be taken independently of each other. Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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COML 4368 : Reading Edouard Glissant
Crosslisted as: COML 6368 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
RUSSA 4414 : Advanced Conversation and Stylistics
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Involves discussion, in Russian, of authentic Russian texts and films (feature or documentary) in a variety of non-literary styles and genres. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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COML 4429 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, GERST 4413, GERST 6413, JWST 4913, JWST 7913, NES 4913, NES 7913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death  is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
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RUSSA 4491 : Reading Course: Russian Literature in the Original Language
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
To be taken in conjunction with any Russian literature course at the advanced level. Students receive 1 credit for reading and discussing works in Russian in addition to their normal course work. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSL 4492 : Supervised Reading in Russian Literature
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Independent study.
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COML 4575 : Migration in the Americas: Engaged Research Methods and Practice
Crosslisted as: COML 6375, DSOC 4312, DSOC 6312, ILRIC 4312, ILRIC 6312, LSP 4312, LSP 6312 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will introduce students to basic concepts and developments related to migrants and migration in Central America, Mexico, and the United States via engaged learning and research. The course will be organized around core themes such as the challenges and ethics of working with vulnerable populations, workplaces and working conditions, oral histories/testimonios, and immigration policy and enforcement practices. Students will learn qualitative methodologies for field research, which they will apply in short projects. This can be taken as a stand-alone course, but it is also a prerequisite for an optional winter intersession practicum.
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COML 4616 : Undocumentation
Crosslisted as: AMST 4620, FGSS 4620, LATA 4620, LSP 4621, ROMS 4625, SHUM 4620, VISST 4620 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In this seminar we will sustain a particular reading of post-1984 Mexico-US border cultural production as "undocumentation." Specifically, we will focus on performance, conceptual, and cinematic practices that corrupt the spreadsheet and the exposé; that reflect their makers' commitments to portraying extreme labor situations in a period of greater Mexican neoliberal transition now synonymous with NAFTA, culture and drug wars, and border militarization and maquilization. Assigned texts will include artwork by the Border Art Workshop and Elizabeth Sisco, Louis Hock, and David Avalos; writing by Gloria Anzaldúa, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Sara Uribe, and Sergio González Rodríguez; contributions to the Tijuana-San Diego installation festival inSITE; and "undocumentaries" like Alex Rivera's Borders Trilogy, Sergio De La Torre and Vicki Funari's Maquilapolis, and Natalia Almada's El Velador.
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COML 4618 : Thinking Through Transparency
Crosslisted as: SHUM 4622 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course reads theoretical texts on liberalism, neoliberalism, and corruption in dialogue with science fiction/fantasy narratives, literary and visual. We will study how the aesthetic features of these genres are used to thematize corruption and scandal, and to imagine various forms of transparency, both interpersonal and political. Our goal is to understand how accounts of transparency and corruption in speculative fiction can engage the constitutive categories of liberal political thought, such as freedom, rights, property, progress, autonomy, and legality. Students are advised to read the Song of Ice and Fire series or watch Game of Thrones before class begins. In the last section, students will be asked to select a cultural text for their presentation, and assign part of it as a course reading.
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COML 4621 : Author, Critic, Reader
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4926, SHUM 4626, SHUM 6626 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
What does it mean to have a relationship with a work of literature? This course explores three relationships between text and human: one of authorship and authority, one of critique and criticism, and one of consumption and reading. What are the social relationships imagined by each position? Thinkers and writers across the twentieth century have attempted to describe these positions under historical conditions ranging from authoritarianism and imperialism as well as from historical conditions of post-totalitarianism. Each section draws on essays, literary theory, and an exemplary novel to illuminate the stakes of these questions, for not only aesthetic theory but also political theory and history in the twentieth century.
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COML 4700 : Translation and Cultural Difference
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 4481 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Problems concerning translation are explored. Although there are many different models of translation, we tend to be confined to the unilateral regime of translation, that is, the very narrow and historically specific mode of translation as a transnational transfer of significance between two national or ethnic languages. This course will survey theories of translation with special emphasis on relationships between trans-national translation and transnational transference. Translation establishes a division of two spheres and thereby marks the limit of what can be expressed in one medium. Broadly understood, translation can take place not only between two national languages but also at a variety of boundaries within a single society. We will investigate different economies of translation by which different social and cultural identities are constructed, emphasizing the disappearance of multi-lingualism in the modern nation-state and the mutation of translation tropics which has given rise to new ways of imagining the organicist unity of the society. Historical transformation of translation accompanying the genesis of linguistic and cultural identity will be examined in reference to historical materials. Furthermore, the course will explore the broader conception of translation in terms of which to critically understand communication as the ideology of Capital.
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COML 4704 : Written on the Body
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 4446, FGSS 4607 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Images of tattooed, inscribed, and marked bodies abound in popular media, from television series to blogs, from performance art to popular literature. When the body becomes a canvas or text, this raises crucial questions about the interactions between individual bodies, culture/s, and society/ies. In this course we will pay particular attention to the shifting meanings of body modification in different cultural, theoretical, and historical contexts. Course material will include texts, films, and artwork by Michel de Certeau, Jacques Derrida, Georges Didi-Huberman, Lalla Essaydi, Zhang Huan, Franz Kafka, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Mirta Kupferminc, Christopher Nolan, Renata Salecl, Stelarc, Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Qiu Zhijie, and others, as well as television series, internet forums, and other popular culture formats.
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COML 4860 : Contemporary Poetry and Poetics
Crosslisted as: COML 6865, ENGL 4980, ENGL 6880, ROMS 6860, SPAN 4860 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
What gives contemporary poetry and poetics its resonance and value? What are its dominant features, audiences, and purposes? What does 21st-century poetry's textual environment look like, and how does it situate itself among other genres, discourses, disciplines, media? How would we describe its ambient noise and how does that noise shape, inform, inflect its particular concerns and motivated forms? How does contemporary poetry resist, engage, respond to, sound out that noise? How are we to understand its relation to the pivotal cultural, economic, historical, philosophical, political developments of our time? This seminar will explore these and related questions in a wide range of works that open onto the rich interplay of contemporary poetry and poetics with questions of personal and collective identity and language in contexts at once local and global. Poets include Armantrout, Bernstein, Collins, Espada, Gander, Fitterman, Goldsmith, Hong, Osman, Place, Rich, Smith, and Waldrop.
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COML 4930 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Times TBA individually in consultation with director of Senior Essay Colloquium. Approximately 50 pages to be written over the course of two semesters in the student's senior year under the direction of the student's advisor. An R grade is assigned on the basis of research and a preliminary draft completed in the first semester. A letter grade is awarded on completion of the second semester, COML 4940.
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COML 4930 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Times TBA individually in consultation with director of Senior Essay Colloquium. Approximately 50 pages to be written over the course of two semesters in the student's senior year under the direction of the student's advisor. An R grade is assigned on the basis of research and a preliminary draft completed in the first semester. A letter grade is awarded on completion of the second semester, COML 4940.
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COML 4940 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Times TBA individually in consultation with director of Senior Essay Colloquium. Approximately 50 pages to be written over the course of two semesters in the student's senior year under the direction of the student's advisor. An R grade is assigned on the basis of research and a preliminary draft completed in the first semester.
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COML 4940 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Times TBA individually in consultation with director of Senior Essay Colloquium. Approximately 50 pages to be written over the course of two semesters in the student's senior year under the direction of the student's advisor. An R grade is assigned on the basis of research and a preliminary draft completed in the first semester.
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COML 4945 : Body Politics in African Literature and Cinema
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4995, ENGL 4995, FGSS 4945, LGBT 4945, VISST 4945 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course examines how postcolonial African writers and filmmakers engage with and revise controversial images of bodies and sexuality--genital cursing, same-sex desire, HIV/AIDS, genital surgeries, etc. Our inquiry also surveys African theorists' troubling of problematic tropes and practices such as the conception in 19th-century racist writings of the colonized as embodiment, the pathologization and hypersexualization of colonized bodies, and the precarious and yet empowering nature of the body and sexuality in the postcolonial African experience. As we focus on African artists and theorists, we also read American and European theorists, including but not certainly limited to Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, and Joseph Slaughter, detecting the ways in which discourses around bodies in the African context may shape contemporary theories and vice versa.
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COML 4947 : Bio-Politics and Poetics of Nakedness
Crosslisted as: FGSS 4947 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 6033 : Intensity
Crosslisted as: GERST 6235 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Critical-aesthetical models about the role of art and literature in the search for the  active, good, or just life are increasingly under pressure by the conditions of late capitalism, which assimilates ideas that once promised alternate ways of seeing or being: intensity, (a)liveness, singularity, presentness, fiction, documentation, subversion, even contemporaneity, autonomy, or action/activism have  become norms for self-formation and team-work, for erasing the present by banking on futures.
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COML 6135 : Tragic Modernity
Crosslisted as: GERST 6040 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The tradition of tragic thought has had an enormous impact on theories of modernity. This seminar will explore the ways in which models of the tragic (and tragedy) have influenced the formation and theoretical orientation of disciplines such as literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality studies, performance studies and law. Central questions for inquiry: why does Modernity still refer to prominent figures of Antiquity--such as Antigone and Oedipus--when discussing social--and kinship relations?  How does tragic thought help us articulate fundamental problems of belonging, community, identification, emotional bonds, questions of power and its performative force on stage and in matters of state?  Authors include: Hölderlin, Aristotle, Sophokles, Lessing, Shakespeare, Freud, Heidegger, Butler, Loraux, Derrida, Scheler, Nietzsche, Vernant, Kristeva, Bowlby, Benjamin, Heiner Müller, Botho Strauss. Readings and discussion in English.
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COML 6186 : Posthumanism, Cybernetics, Systems Theory
Crosslisted as: GERST 6315, STS 6131 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This graduate course is dedicated to an in-depth exploration of the recent emergence of Posthumanism as a new theoretical paradigm in cultural and literary studies. Hardly a unified theory, Posthumanism draws on a wide variety of precursors and inspirations—in the natural sciences, the philosophy and history of science, the social sciences, and different theory paradigms in the humanities. They all have in common the intention of transcending a worldview that is exclusively premised on human needs and measures. Thus, posthumanist theorizing in the widest sense includes many recent additions to the critical canon, such as eco-criticism and animal studies. It is the underlying hypothesis of this course that much posthumanist thinking is recapitulating—consciously or unconsciously—many of the insights of cybernetics and systems theory, and that tracking this genealogy helps in clarifying the stakes and challenges of posthumanist theory.
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COML 6190 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Graduate Students: please bring your faculty signed proposal to 240 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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COML 6200 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Graduate Students: please bring your faculty signed proposal to 240 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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COML 6221 : Postcolonial Theory: Then and Now
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
"All decolonization," wrote Frantz Fanon, "is successful at the level of description."  With an focus on the difference between description and critique and on the uneven relation between the academic project underlying the subfield of postcolonial studies and the manifold histories of colonialism and aspirations to decolonization across the twentieth century, this seminar will offer a retrospective survey on the assemblage of texts that has come under the name "Postcolonial Theory" and inquire into its purchase on this present.  Authors may include: Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Aimé Césaire, Edouard Glissant, Achille Mbembe, David Scott, Enrique Dussel, Ranjana Khanna, Dipesh Chakrabarty.
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COML 6285 : Early Modern Translations
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6285 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Translation is a cultural, conceptual, and political problem. It lies at the heart of the literary itself. Methodological discussions of "world" literature hinge on it, and Renaissance culture is unthinkable apart from it. The Renaissance—defined in terms of transmission and reception of ancient texts—is itself, in a way, translation. Tied to philosophical and theo-political problems of origin and copy, Truth and falsehood, fidelity, heresy and betrayal (as the Italian maxim traduttore, traditore attests), translation raises questions of sameness and identity, originality, authority, property, sacredness and evil. The seminar explores these questions in texts from Luther, Cervantes and Montaigne, through Benjamin, Derrida and Agamben. Particular focus is on the early modern as template and groundwork for the complexity and centrality of translation to life.
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COML 6368 : Reading Edouard Glissant
Crosslisted as: COML 4368 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 6375 : Migration in the Americas: Engaged Research Methods and Practice
Crosslisted as: COML 4575, DSOC 4312, DSOC 6312, ILRIC 4312, ILRIC 6312, LSP 4312, LSP 6312 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will introduce students to basic concepts and developments related to migrants and migration in Central America, Mexico, and the United States via engaged learning and research. The course will be organized around core themes such as the challenges and ethics of working with vulnerable populations, workplaces and working conditions, oral histories/testimonios, and immigration policy and enforcement practices. Students will learn qualitative methodologies for field research, which they will apply in short projects. This can be taken as a stand-alone course, but it is also a prerequisite for an optional winter intersession practicum.
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COML 6556 : Rethinking Trauma Theory
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6556 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will serve as an introduction to trauma theory as it (re)emerged near the end of the 20th century as well as a rethinking of its fundamental terms in light of new theoretical developments and global perspectives. We will explore questions of temporality, inscription, archive and erasure in psychoanalytic, post-structuralist, techno-mediatic and politically-inflected thinking about trauma (including new ideas of futurity and event in nuclear and environmental criticism). Central to the course are problems of traumatic address as they emerge in literature, film, performance and new media (and encompass questions of the human and the animal, gender and race). We will also reconsider the problem of conceptualizing trauma across languages, cultures and periods and in new modes of 21st century catastrophe.
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RUSSL 6611 : Supervised Reading and Research
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Independent study.
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COML 6630 : Nietzsche and Heidegger
Crosslisted as: GERST 6630 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This graduate seminar provides a basic introduction to the thinking of Nietzsche and Heidegger, and to the latter's interpretation and appropriation of the former. A major concern is the articulation of philosophy and politics, particularly in the case of Heidegger. We are also interested in the types of argumentation and styles of writing of both thinkers, including in light of the hypothesis that they were working in the ancient tradition of prudent exotericism, viz. that they never wrote exactly what they thought and that they intended their influence to come slightly beneath the level of conscious apprehension. We also consider their impact on the long list of intellectuals across the 'Left-Center-Right' spectrum, including (depending on seminar-participant interest): Adorno, Agamben, Bataille, Badiou, Bourdieu, Butler, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Gadamer, Irigaray, Klossowski, Löwith, Marcuse, Rorty, Leo Strauss, Vattimo, Zupancic.
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RUSSA 6634 : Russian for Russian Specialists
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Designed for students whose areas of study require advanced active control of the language. Fine points of translation, usage, and style are discussed and practiced. Syllabus varies from year to year. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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COML 6702 : Italian Thought
Crosslisted as: ITAL 6510 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Deleuze and Guattari famously quipped that Italy lacked "a milieu" for philosophy, that its thinkers remained comets and that Italy had the habit of "burning" its comets. In this course we will not take issue so much with Deleuze and Guattari's evaluation as wonder if the period from the Italian 1968 to today might not in fact represent the elaboration of a "philosophical milieu" for Italian thought. As such the questions we will take up in this seminar concern the notion of milieu as a middle ground between philosophical extremes and subsequently, an investigation into what contemporary Italian political philosophers share.  Readings from Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt and Toni Negri, Roberto Esposito, Franco Berard ("Bifo"), Paolo Virno, Adriana Cavarero, Rosi Braidotti, as well as some works of a new generation of scholars will be discussed.
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COML 6707 : Surface Theories
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Contemporary theory has turned surface phenomena into the grounds and foundations for conceptual work: from moebius-strips to simulacra, from skin to screens, from folds to planes. But theory's "superficial" turn has led to radically different critical uses. What accounts for the pervasive fascination with surface imaginaries in theoretical thought? This course will engage us in a series of critical reflections on the deployment, as well as the folding and warping, of figures of superficiality, flatness, smoothness, transparence, and nakedness in contemporary theory, from deconstruction to biopolitics, from media studies to queer and transgender theory, from animal and environmental studies to phenomenology, from systems theory to aesthetics. Readings will include texts by Baudrillard, Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida, Han, Didi-Huberman, Foucault, Lyotard, Nancy, Serres, Sloterdijk and others.
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COML 6736 : Ekphrasis: The Art of Description from Homer to Anne Carson
Crosslisted as: ARTH 6730, CLASS 6736 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 6865 : Contemporary Poetry and Poetics
Crosslisted as: COML 4860, ENGL 4980, ENGL 6880, ROMS 6860, SPAN 4860 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
What gives contemporary poetry and poetics its resonance and value? What are its dominant features, audiences, and purposes? What does 21st-century poetry's environment look like, and how does it situate itself among other genres, discourses, disciplines, media? How would we describe its ambient noise and how does that noise shape, inform, inflect its particular concerns and motivated forms? How are we to understand its relation to the pivotal developments of our time? This seminar will explore these and related questions in a range of works from the past two decades that open onto the rich interplay of contemporary poetry and poetics with questions especially of language, aesthetics, and politics. 
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COML 6902 : Environmental Humanities: Theories and Methods
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 6920 : Aesthetics and Politics of Touch
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6725 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
For a description, please visit http://english.cornell.edu/courses.
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COML 6960 : Rites of Contact
Crosslisted as: GERST 6960, NES 6960 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
New forms of German literature emerged in the wake of transnational labor migration, especially after 1989. Taking leave of a sociological model that interprets this literature as a plea for compassionate intercultural dialogue, this course juxtaposes prose fiction about cultural contact and critical theories of difference with two primary goals in mind. Students will be introduced to representative examples of contemporary German literatures of migration, and critical modes of conceptualizing cultural contact in Germany will be compared in relation to each other and in tension with the literary field. A focus on German literature of Turkish migration will be complemented by readings reflecting other transnational phenomena such as postsocialism, postcolonialism, and globalization.
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COML 6998 : Listening from the Other Side: Issues in Music and Border Theory
Crosslisted as: LSP 7352, MUSIC 7352 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description