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COML 2020 : Great Books: The Great Short Works
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
What is a "classic"? What is "contemporary"? How did we get "here" from "there"? Where are we heading now? Extending from the Renaissance to the present, this course will focus on texts from Europe and the Americas that have played a pivotal role in shaping our increasingly global understanding of "World Literature." Exploring literature's enduring value in the 21st century, the Age of Twitter and Instagram, with its pervasive emphasis on brevity and speed of communication, we will pay special attention to great short works that have had an outsized impact on the ways literature, culture, history, philosophy, language, economics, politics, and technology continue to intersect and evolve. Authors include Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe, Blake, Wordsworth, Büchner, Balzac, Poe, Baudelaire, Marx, Freud, Breton, Nietzsche, Borges, Bolaño, Walcott, and Rankine. 
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COML 2030 : Introduction to Comparative Literature
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Spring: 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 including Ovid, Aimé Césaire, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, Gloria Anzaldua, J.M. Coetzee, Yoko Tawada and Kazuo Ishiguro. 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, animal studies, digital humanities, public humanities, 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 2035 : Science Fiction
Crosslisted as: BSOC 2131, ENGL 2035, STS 2131 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Science fiction, as Fredric Jameson put it, is "the only kind of literature that can reach back and colonize reality." Today more than ever, when science and technology have penetrated everyday life in ways that would have seemed impossible only a few decades ago, it has become apparent that science fiction is not merely a literary genre but a whole way of being, thinking, and acting in the modern world. The course explores classic and contemporary science fiction from Frankenstein to The Hunger Games alongside a rich array of fiction, films, and new media from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Our discussions will position these works vis-à-vis seminal thinkers, ranging from Plato to Descartes and Donna Haraway to Paul Crutzen, who ask the same questions as science fiction does about ourselves, our world, and our future.
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COML 2050 : Introduction to Poetry
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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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COML 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
Crosslisted as: JWST 2754, NES 2754 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This survey course (which also fulfills an NES major requirement) is a multidisciplinary introduction to Near Eastern civilization, exploring history, literature, religion, art and archeology, and other aspects of the Near East's rich and diverse heritage from earliest times to the present. In Fall 2016, the focus is on the wondrous literatures of the region. Together we will read and discuss such ancient works as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' and 'The Song of Songs,' from such medieval works as the 'Travels' of Ibn Battuta, the 'Shahnameh' of Ferdowsi, and the poems of Yehuda Ha-Levi, and modern material from the Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish literary traditions. All material is in English translation.
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COML 3150 : Literature and Media in Japan
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3318, VISST 3318 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Beginning with the mid-nineteeth century, the course traces dynamic relays and reciprocal influences among woodblock prints, maps, fiction, films, anime, comics, and digital arts in Japan. We will consider the extensive cultural commentary that has surrounded the emergence of new media in an attempt to assess their transformative aesthetic, social, and political implications. The course will use materials with translations or subtitles in English.
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COML 3330 : America through Russian Eyes
Crosslisted as: AMST 3331, RUSSL 3330 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this course, we shall look at Russia's perception of America as reflected in the works of its writers for over a hundred-year period. What motivated these writers? Did they go to the United States with an open mind? Did they have a hidden agenda? How fair and balanced was their portrayal of America and of Americans? We shall attempt to answer these and other questions by examining the writings of such authors as Korolenko, Bunin, Gorky, Mayakovsky, Il'f and Petrov, and Nabokov as well as Aksyonov and Dovlatov. All texts are in English.
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COML 3440 : The Tragic Theatre
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3645, PMA 3724 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 3780 : What is a People? The Social Contract and its Discontents
Crosslisted as: FREN 3780, GOVT 3786 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
When Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced the concept of the "general will" in his classic text The Social Contract, he made what was then an unprecedented and scandalous claim: that the people as a whole, and not an individual agent, could be the subject of political will and self-determination.  This claim was all the more revolutionary in that historically "the people" [ie peuple] named those poor masses who had no political representation, and who were subjects of the state only to the extent that they were subject to the will of a sovereign monarch.  What then is "the people," and how is it constituted as a collective subject?  How does a people speak, or make its will known?  Can that will be represented or institutionalized?  Do all people belong to the people?  How inclusive is the social contract?  This course will examine crucial moments in the constitution of the people from the French Revolution to the present day, considering the crisis of political representation they have alternately exposed or engendered and the forms of the social contract to which they have given rise.  Our discussions will range from major political events (the French and Haitian Revolutions, the Paris Commune, colonialism and decolonization, May '68) to contemporary debates around universalism, secularism, immigration, and "marriage for all."  Readings by Rousseau, Robespierre, L'Ouverture, Michelet, Marx, Freud, Arendt, Balibar, and Rancière.
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COML 3802 : Fantasies of Avant Gardes
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 3815 : Reading Nabokov
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3790, RUSSL 3385 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 3975 : Afropolitanism
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3975, ENGL 3975 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 3980 : Theorizing Gender and Race in Asian Histories and Literatures
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3388, ASIAN 6688, COML 6680, FGSS 3580, FGSS 6580 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
For a long time area studies have overlooked the over-determined links of gender, race/ethnicity, and social class in fields related to East Asia and the trans-Pacific regions. Little attention has been paid to how to conceptualize gender and race/ethnicity; how to analyze the mutual implication of sexism, racism, and class essentialism (some call it "class racism"), and how to understand the relationships of these topics to the broader contexts of colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism. This course is designed to offer a series of discussions about the following problems: (1) the historically specific modes of sexism and racism in social spaces related to Japan and other places in the trans-Pacific; (2) the mutual implication of sexism, racism, and social class in various contexts including those of colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism; (3) the roles of gender, race, and social class in the United States' knowledge production about East Asia in general; and (4) the conceptions of gender and race in the social formations particular to East Asia. The assigned readings include both English and Japanese materials. However, those who register in ASIAN 3388 are exempt from reading the materials in Japanese.
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COML 4007 : The Art of Love
Crosslisted as: COML 6007, FREN 4050, FREN 6050, MEDVL 4050, MEDVL 6050 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4190 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
COML 4190 and COML 4200 may be taken independently of each other. To apply for independent study, please complete the on-line form https://data.arts.cornell.edu/as-stus/indep_study_intro.cfm. Undergraduate student and faculty advisor to determine course of study and credit hours.
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COML 4221 : Modern Primitives
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
What is "modern"? What is "primitive"? How can one tell the difference?  This course will examine the complex conjuncture of  art, literature, anthropology and colonialist racism in the early decades of the twentieth century, from Cubist painting to surrealism.  Of central concern will be the figure of the "fetish" in its economic, psychic and artifactual dimensions and also the richly paradoxical position of  artists and thinkers of color caught in the nexus of "primitivism" and "modernism."   Authors may include Pablo Picasso, Jospehine Baker, Lydia Cabrera, Claude McKay, Levy-Bruhl, Joseph Conrad, Langston Hugues, André Breton, Pierre Mabille, Wifreo Lam, Leopold Senghor.
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COML 4251 : Existentialism or Marxism
Crosslisted as: GERST 4210, GOVT 4015, ROMS 4210 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The most intense public encounter between Existentialism and Marxism occurred in immediate post-WWII Europe, its structure remaining alive internationally. Existentialist questions have been traced from pre-Socratic thinkers through Dante, Shakespeare, and Cervantes onward; just as roots of modern materialism extend to Epicurus and Lucretius, or Leopardi. This course will focus on differing theories and concomitant practices concerned with "alienation," "anxiety," "crisis," "death of God," "nihilism," "rebellion or revolution." Crucial are possible relations between fiction and non-fiction; also among philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis, and political theory. Other authors may include: Althusser, de Beauvoir, Beckett, Büchner, Camus, Che, Dostoevsky, Fanon, Genet, Gide, Gramsci, O. Gross, Hamsun, Heidegger, Husserl, Jaspers, C.L.R. James, Kafka, Kierkegaard, Lagerkvist, Lacan, Lenin, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Mishima, G. Novack, Nietzsche, Ortega, Pirandello, W. Reich, Sartre, Shestov, Tillich, Unamuno. There is also cinema.
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COML 4281 : Social Activism and Tactical Media Design
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4705 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
What happens when experience design meets Reverend Billy? Or design thinking encounters the Guerrilla Girls? Tracing such questions, we'll draw on contemporary fields of human-computer interaction and media theory to study how artists and activists use digital media to create social engagement at the level of sign, subject, and organization. We will experiment theoretically and practically to create working desiring machines, taking as guides Deleuze and Guattari, ACT-UP, Critical Art Ensemble, subRosa, and Electronic Disturbance Theater. Students will combine cultural analysis and digital production to study how activists have used media to engage different audiences for different ends. The course mixes studio, lab, and seminar activities to explore theories and practices of tactical media through hands-on engagement with human-centered design, arguably the transmedia rhetoric of the global creative economy.
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COML 4413 : Technologies of Verse
Crosslisted as: GERST 4220, ROMS 4225, VISST 4221 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4521 : Cosmopolitanism, Tolerance and Coexistence
Crosslisted as: COML 6521, JWST 4708, NES 4708, NES 6708 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Alexandria, the Egyptian port city, has a long history of rich cultural interaction. In this course we will examine literary and artistic representations of modern Alexandria, which have played an important role in creating, disseminating and immortalizing the city as a cosmopolis. Readings and discussions will interrogate the relationship between the city's cosmopolitan character and its colonial history. We will read works by: E. M. Forster, Constantin Cavafy, Lawrence Durrell, Fausta Cialente, Edwar al-Kharrat, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, André Aciman, and Harry Tsalas. We will also discuss Youssef Chahine's semi-autobiographical Alexandria films.
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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 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4613 : Theorizing the Local and the Global: Corruption and the Indian Novel in English
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 4463, ENGL 4996, SHUM 4613 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4614 : Corrupting Environmental Media
Crosslisted as: SHUM 4616, STS 4616 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4615 : Data Corruption's Deep History
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4618, CLASS 4632, MEDVL 4718, SHUM 4618, STS 4618 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4831 : The Genius of Joyce's Ulysses
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4700 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
A thorough episode-by-episode study of the art and meaning of Joyce's masterwork Ulysses, the most influential book of the twentieth century. We shall place Ulysses in the context of Joyce's canon, Irish culture, and literary modernism. We shall explore the relationship between Ulysses and other experiments in modernism-especially painting and sculpture-and show how Ulysses redefines the concepts of epic, hero, and reader. We shall examine Ulysses as a political novel-specifically, Joyce's response to Yeats and the Celtic Renaissance; Joyce's role in the debate about the direction of Irish politics after Parnell; and Joyce's response to British colonial occupation of Ireland. We shall also consider Ulysses as an urban novel in which Bloom, the marginalized Jew and outsider, is symptomatic of the kind of alienation created by urban culture. No previous experience with Joyce is required.
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COML 4930 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2017 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 6007 : The Art of Love
Crosslisted as: COML 4007, FREN 4050, FREN 6050, MEDVL 4050, MEDVL 6050 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 6136 : Empathy: Affects and Sociality in Literature and Theory
Crosslisted as: GERST 6175 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 6158 : History of the Lie
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6555 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 6160 : Translation, in Theory
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 6619, VISST 6619 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The course provides an introduction to various aspects of translation theory, and emphasizes relations between translation theory and trauma theory, post-structuralism, post-colonial theory, and debates on comparative literature, "world literature," and area studies.
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COML 6190 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Graduate Students: please bring your faculty signed proposal to 240 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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COML 6300 : Aesthetics in the Eighteenth Century
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6300 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
A study of the development of aesthetics as a theoretical discipline specifying the genetic process, forms, effects, and judgments peculiar to art. Through readings of primarily British and French criticism and philosophy, we will examine the empirical and psychological basis of aesthetics as indicative of the progress of modernity, but we will also investigate Kant's transcendental founding of aesthetics in a self-reflexive subject. Some topics orienting our discussion: the relation of empirical epistemology and linguistic theory to neoclassical conceptions of figurative language; the consequences of an aesthetics of the sublime for formal and generic theories of literature; tragedy and the pleasures of pain; ideology and aesthetics; and, especially, the relation of aesthetics to ethics. Authors include. Longinus, Boileau, Shaftesbury, Hume, Burke, Lessing, Rousseau, and Kant.
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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 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 6410 : Derrida and Literature
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6240, FREN 6410 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 6521 : Cosmopolitanism, Tolerance and Coexistence
Crosslisted as: COML 4521, JWST 4708, NES 4708, NES 6708 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Alexandria, the Egyptian port city, has a long history of rich cultural interaction. In this course we will examine literary and artistic representations of modern Alexandria, which have played an important role in creating, disseminating and immortalizing the city as a cosmopolis. Readings and discussions will interrogate the relationship between the city's cosmopolitan character and its colonial history. We will read works by: E. M. Forster, Constantin Cavafy, Lawrence Durrell, Fausta Cialente, Edwar al-Kharrat, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, André Aciman, and Harry Tsalas. We will also discuss Youssef Chahine's semi-autobiographical Alexandria films.
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COML 6661 : Persecution and the Art of Writing
Crosslisted as: ARTH 6780, GERST 6780, GOVT 6785, JWST 6780 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Our title is derived from the political philosopher Leo Strauss, who provides our initial analytic, methodological, and theoretical model. But we extend it beyond Straussian ideological positions and we include Art unrestricted to Written philosophy and literature, as in painting, music, cinema, and Reason of State. Persecution (via censorship or heterodoxy) is understood as being both externally imposed and internalized. "The double rhetoric" or "esotericism," and hence "writing between the lines," has a millennial history dating back to archaic times in probably all known cultures. We focus on more recent manifestations across disciplines, periods, and places. Examples include Gramsci (Prison Notebooks), Hegel (as read by Left-Hegelians and by Marx), and Lessing (on the Free Masons), but also Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Wittgenstein, and their legacies.
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COML 6676 : Critical Continental Thought
Crosslisted as: FREN 6676, GOVT 6676 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This semester we will focus upon the right to life, techniques of life management and the disposition of (one's own) death. The co-imbrication of the politico-theological with the death penalty, the way society classifies and treats its dead, its « living dead » or excluded members (« the public enemy »), and the political economy of death will figure among questions and philosophical concepts to be addressed in the seminar. We will concentrate on three authors-Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard-and their three principal texts (respectively)- The Seminar on the Death Penalty, volume one; Punitive Society (1972-3 Course at the Collège de France), and Symbolic Exchange and Death. The work of other twentieth century French thinkers on temporality and the economy of death such as Bataille and Blanchot will supplement our critical engagement with these thinkers. At the same time, we will attend to the tension within these texts within a larger context of recent developments in public law and other purported associated rights and philosophemes (the rights of/to literature; free speech and tolerance.)
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COML 6680 : Theorizing Gender and Race in Asian Histories and Literatures
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3388, ASIAN 6688, COML 3980, FGSS 3580, FGSS 6580 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
For a long time area studies have overlooked the over-determined links of gender, race/ethnicity, and social class in fields related to East Asia and the trans-Pacific regions. Little attention has been paid to how to conceptualize gender and race/ethnicity; how to analyze the mutual implication of sexism, racism, and class essentialism (some call it "class racism"), and how to understand the relationships of these topics to the broader contexts of colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism. This course is designed to offer a series of discussions about the following problems: (1) the historically specific modes of sexism and racism in social spaces related to Japan and other places in the trans-Pacific; (2) the mutual implication of sexism, racism, and social class in various contexts including those of colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism; (3) the roles of gender, race, and social class in the United States' knowledge production about East Asia in general; and (4) the conceptions of gender and race in the social formations particular to East Asia. The assigned readings include both English and Japanese materials. However, those who register in ASIAN 3388 are exempt from reading the materials in Japanese.
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COML 6894 : Prose of the World: 19th C. Letters
Crosslisted as: GERST 6070, ROMS 6070 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This seminar takes as its theoretical starting point Hegel's notion of the "prose of the world" to describe the modern age, and the 19th c in particular—an age no longer defined by the exception and heroes, but by the ascent of the average man, market forces, efficiency, industriousness, usefulness, and the regular rhythms of bureaucratic life and institutions. In opposition to the poetic-heroic, one now has the prosaic-common giving form to life's expression. We will explore theoretical investigations of "the prose of the world" (e.g., Moretti, Lukacs, Auerbach), the rise of social statistics, and crucial novels and novellas of the 19th c by authors such as Keller, Stifter, and Fontane in the European context of Dickens, Balzac and Flaubert.
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COML 6944 : Biopolitics
Crosslisted as: GOVT 6946, ROMS 6944 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course explores the philosophical concept of biopolitics and its diverse translations and/or adaptations across multiple disciplines and across the globe (Africa, Far East, South East Asia, and the Americas). We will trace the concept of biopolitics and its attendant notions-Biopower, Sovereignty, Governmentality-as they emerge in the work of Michel Foucault and analyze the multiple disciplinary and geographical directions in which they have travelled. Throughout the semester, we shall examine 1. the innovative thinking around biopolitics in the works of Arendt, Esposito, Agamben, Hardt and Negri, 2. the connections and entanglements of the concept with postcolonial theory in Mbembe, Samaddar, Sakai, Mezzadra, 3. the extension and complication of biopolitical logistics over to non-human bodies in Uexküll, Sloterdijk, Wolfe, Shukin. Additionally, we will examine theorizations of new stylistics of power as well as emerging forms of agency and political organizing in the biopolitical sphere. Key terms include race, postcoloniality, animality, capture, embodiment, agency, technology.
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