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COML 1109 : FWS: Writing Across Cultures
Semester offered: Spring 2017 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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COML 1126 : FWS: Comparative Arts and Media
Semester offered: Spring 2017 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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COML 1133 : FWS: Studies in Literary Theory
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course rubric deals with courses that focus on philosophical themes and texts.  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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COML 2000 : Introduction to Visual Studies
Crosslisted as: AMST 2000, ARTH 2000, VISST 2000 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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 2007 : Media Studies: Photography/Paper/Film/Code
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2907 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Is a photograph of an event somehow more real than a written report? Will the novel survive the age of new media? How do Instagram or Twitter change storytelling? In this class we will examine how media including film, radio, photography, smart phones, and even paper have been taken up by artists and writers to revolutionize representation. Studying visual, sonic and textual artists from across the world, we will explore how media affect the history of sensation and experience, how different media create alternative ways to compose narratives, and how media artists and activists conscious of gender, race, and class have shaped how we use a technology to make it into a medium. Authors and artists include Barthes, Sontag, Chun, L. Clark, McLuhan.
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COML 2020 : Great Books: The Great Short Works
Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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 2580 : Imagining the Holocaust
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2580, JWST 2580 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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 2728 : Introduction to Modern Middle East Literature
Crosslisted as: JWST 2728, NES 2728 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
In their acceptance speeches for the Nobel Prize in Literature, both the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz (1988) and the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk (2006) situate their work between Eastern and Western literary traditions. Pamuk elaborated: "To write, to read, was like leaving one world to find consolation in the other world's otherness, the strange and the wondrous." In this class, we seek the strange and wondrous otherness, along with the familiar and wondrous sameness in modern literature from the Middle East. We proceed thematically across the literary traditions of the Middle East, with a focus on works written in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Hebrew. The thematic organization permits us to approach critical issues comparatively. In addition to exploring the tension between Eastern and Western influences in this literature, we will also investigate other issues writers confront: How do literary heritage and religious tradition inflect modern texts? What is the relationship between politics and aesthetics? How does literature represent traumatic memories and violence, past and present? All readings are in English.
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COML 2760 : Desire
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2760, FGSS 2760, LGBT 2760, PMA 2680 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
"Language is a skin," the critic Roland Barthes once wrote: "I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire." Sexual desire has a history, even a literary history, which we will examine through an introductory survey of European dramatic literature from Plato and Aristophanes to Jean Genet and Caryl Churchill, as well as a survey of classic readings in Western sexual theory from the Ancient Greeks through Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault to recent feminist and queer theory.
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COML 3010 : Hispanic Theatre Production
Crosslisted as: LATA 3010, LSP 3010 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Students develop a specific dramatic text for full-scale production. The course involves selection of an appropriate text, close analysis of the literary aspects of the play, and group evaluation of its representational value and effectiveness. All students in the course are involved in some aspects of production of the play, and write a final paper as a course requirement. Credit is variable depending upon the student's role in play production: a minimum of 50 hours of work is required for 1 credit; a maximum of 3 credits are awarded for 100 hours or more of work.
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COML 3021 : Literary Theory on the Edge
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3021, PMA 3421 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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 3024 : Literature, Trauma, and Culture
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3755 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This is an introduction to trauma theory in the context of the concerns of the contemporary world. We will study the unique and enigmatic notion of trauma as it arose in the beginning of the twentieth century in the work of Sigmund Freud, focusing on the temporal structure of trauma as well as the implications of deferred experience for a thinking of history. The course will emphasize the literary dimension of trauma theory but also its relevance for (and modification in light of) current concerns with nuclearism, terrorism, racism, and environmental catastrophe. Texts by Sigmund Freud, Jean Laplanche, Jacques Derrida, Shoshana Felman, Francoise Davoine, Robert Jay Lifton, among others, and some literature and film.
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COML 3255 : Sacred, Holy, Divine
Crosslisted as: RELST 3255 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
These are names of an existential dimension commonly taken to have gone missing in our time. The flight of the gods and the death of God have supposedly left a disenchanted world with little room for the sacred. However, in this class we will study modern European writers, artists, and philosophers who rejected conventional religion but held fast to a concept of the divine or the holy. In particular, we will trace the desire for a "new mythology" and examine critically the transition from religious art to art as religion, in which the artistic genius is deified. Were these currents radical or reactionary? Are enchantment and enthusiasm compatible with atheism and materialism? What is the price of Enlightenment and what are the risks of resisting it? Helping us answer these questions will be authors like Blake, Hölderlin, Wackenroder, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Yeats, George, Rilke, and Mann. We will also read philosophy by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Eliade, Blumenberg, Girard, and Derrida. In addition, we will experience Wagner's Parsifal and look at a wealth of visual art.
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COML 3550 : Decadence
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3550, FGSS 3550, LGBT 3550 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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 3580 : Imagining Migration in Film and Literature
Crosslisted as: AMST 3581, GERST 3581, PMA 3481, VISST 3581 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
What role should imaginative arts play in debates about transnational migration, one of the principal factors re-shaping community and communication today?  Focusing on literature and film from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with primary examples drawn from Germany, France and the United States—in relation to Turkey, Hungary, Tunisia, Iran, Nigeria, China, Mexico, and Japan—this course explores how creative arts rework the fabric of social life affected by migration.  Seminar-style discussion of assigned readings and viewings, with occasional lectures on other arts and regions.  Thematic units organized around key concepts such as borders and movement, ethnoscapes and citizenship, reading and viewing, labor and leisure, cityscapes and place-making, mediascapes and personhood, lawfulness and illegality, language and speech, art and perception. 
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COML 3688 : Kafka's Worlds: Castles, Trials, and Tribulations
Crosslisted as: GERST 3800 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This seminar will explore the unique "Kafkaesque" universe of metamorphoses, labyrinthine systems of law and (in)-justice, and uncanny societies of humans and animals. Focusing on Franz Kafka's novels and tales, we will examine topics such as: the relationship between body and pain; society and the individual; authority and hierarchy; fathers and sons; writing and living; language and home; music and politics; and religion and persecution. Placing Kafka first within the socio-cultural context of Jewish-German-Czech Prague (and discussing problems of multicultural-lingual identity), we shall follow his literary journey to his vision of America (one of his novels). At the center of our discussions will be the effect of his work on literature, film, and theatre. We shall also discuss the effects of his work on contemporary theories of psychoanalysis, law, performance, modernism, architecture, and literature. Texts include novels and novellas: the Trial, the Castle, America, the Penal Colony, Metamorphoses, the Judgment, the Country Doctor, The Burrow, Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk. Films by the Coen brothers and David Lynch; theoretical readings by Camus, Lacan, Deleuze, Guattari, Bataille, Blanchot, Benjamin, Kierkegaard and others; this course will also examine Kafka's library and discuss a number of authors who influenced his work: Flaubert, Balzac, Cervantes, Hamsun, Tolstoi, Perez, Dostojewski.
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COML 3746 : The Modernist Stage: Plays/Theories/Practices
Crosslisted as: PMA 3746 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The modernist period saw profound transformations in the form, content, and staging of drama, as well as in ideas about theatre and society that remain important today.  We will explore the development of theatrical realism, expressionism, symbolism, and other avant-garde movements through both plays of the era and theoretical writings on drama, performance, and design.  Readings will include works by and about Buchner, Ibsen, Strindberg, Jarry, Shaw, Appia, Stanislavski, Chekhov, Artaud, Brecht, and Beckett.  All readings will be in English.
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COML 3806 : Uncanny Figures and Unsettled Places: Postcolonial and Transnational Drama
Crosslisted as: FGSS 3806, PMA 3806 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Postcolonialism and Transnationalism are significant fields of theory and criticism, and ones not currently the main focus of contemporary drama classes offered through PMA. This course is being created to compliment existing history/theory classes that introduce postcolonial ideas in less detail, and to provide students with significant exposure to postcolonial texts and ideas applicable to their broader study of contemporary theatre and performance.
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COML 3811 : Theory and the Practice of Translation
Semester offered: Spring 2017 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, Pound, Nabokov, Jakobson, Nida, Toury, Appiah, Derrida, 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 4200 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor: Description
COML 4227 : Literature and Mind
Crosslisted as: COML 6227, FREN 4060, FREN 6060 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This interdisciplinary seminar would like to offer new hypotheses on the ways literature is understood and experienced by a reader's mind.  Our methodology, while non-reductionist, will take into account the current state of cognitive science, and also build on literary theory and philosophy (both "analytic" and "Continental").  Literature makes use of cognitive structures and paths - but it also alters and challenges the usual boundaries of thought.  We will identify some key problems (such as the nature of fiction, biological evolution and the literary, the role of contradictions, formal and genre expectations, computation and thinking, poetic regulations, etc.).  We'll approach such issues through innovative methodologies and on the basis of literary texts belongs to a wide range of historical or linguistic traditions.  Students from very diverse backgrounds but with an interest in mind and/or language and literary experience are welcome.
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COML 4250 : Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Crosslisted as: GERST 4250, GOVT 4735 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This is an introduction to the three 'master thinkers' who have helped determine the discourses of modernity and post-modernity. We consider basic aspects of their work: (a) specific critical and historical analyses; (b) theoretical and methodological writings; (c) programs and manifestos; and (d) styles of argumentation, documentation, and persuasion. This also entails an introduction, for non-specialists, to essential problems of political economy, continental philosophy, psychology, and literary and cultural criticism. Second, we compare the underlying assumptions and the interpretive yields of the various disciplines and practices founded by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud: historical materialism and communism, existentialism and power-knowledge analysis, and psychoanalysis, respectively. We also consider how these three writers have been fused into a single constellation, 'Marx-Nietzsche-Freud,' and how they have been interpreted by others, including L. Althusser, A. Badiou, A. Camus, H. Cixous, G. Deleuze, J. Derrida, M. Foucault, H.-G. Gadamer, M. Heidegger, L. Irigaray, K. Karatani, J. Lacan, P. Ricoeur, L. Strauss, S. Zizek.
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COML 4312 : What was Film?
Crosslisted as: GERST 4312, PMA 4512, STS 4821 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
In retrospect, was film anything more than some highly flammable strips of celluloid? Taking its cue from the "digital turn," this course rephrases a traditional question asked in film theory about the nature of the medium (What is film?) in terms of a historical question: What was film when it was still something to be cut, wound up, and carried around, a thing with a literally explosive potential? Reframing the object of study in this manner will help situate familiar narrative cinema within more unfamiliar scientific, aesthetic, and experimental contexts. Early film theorists saw great potential in the new medium, thought to be capable of conveying a new experience of movement and time, creating a new art of light and shadow, or functioning as a new kind of scientific instrument. Screenings will put readings of early film theory in dialogue with early European silent films that address similar concerns about the nature of cinema, such as A Trip to the Moon (1902), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), and Man with a Movie Camera (1929).
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COML 4339 : Bodies at the Border
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 4440, ASIAN 6640, COML 6339, FGSS 4339, FGSS 6339, LSP 4339, LSP 6339 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Although the wounded, often feminine, body is the most powerful way of imagining border space in both the Indian subcontinent and the Americas, it is seldom coupled with the embodied practices and performances through which borders define everyday life and shape geographical and historical consciousness in the two regions. Drawing upon texts, media, and theory generated from South Asia and Latin America, the course will develop new comparative approaches to the constitutive role that bodies play in creating, maintaining, and imagining borders in the global South.
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COML 4414 : The Sound of Literature
Crosslisted as: GERST 4414 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
When we speak, we think of our voice as natural to us. This course will interrogate the basis of this assumption by focusing on the voice as a trained cultural technique.  In this course, we will look at the history of this topic from Plato to Nietzsche through close critical readings of literary and philosophical depictions of listening and acoustic performances up to and prior to the age of the phonograph. How did philosophers, pastors, and poets describe, observe, imagine sound before sounds could be recorded? Were there particular modes of listening or speaking more appropriate for the "right" kind of literary or philosophical understanding? How did listening intersect with the visual apprehension of the printed page, painting or sculpture? How do vocal techniques construct either a national culture or other types of communities? Readings will include texts by Plato, Lucretius, Augustine, Rousseau, Goethe, Klopstock, Herder, Nietzsche, Michel de Certeau, Friedrich Kittler, Michel Chion, and Walter Ong.
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COML 4513 : Science Fiction and the Value of Utopia/Dystopia
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4513, ENGL 4903 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
A pronounced turn away from utopian discourses has long been felt across multiple academic registers—aspects of queer theory rejecting futurity, portions of the radical left adopting a similar politics of no future, and scholars in African-American studies debating the idea of an Afro-pessimism, to name just a few examples. This accumulation of tragic thought brings the question: Does the utopian text no longer hold any value in the development of alternative political thought? This course, grounded in science fiction, will address this question via the thoughtful examination of a range of theoretical, fictional, and cinematic texts. Works to be studied throughout the semester will come from, among others, Frederick Jameson, Carlos Fuentes, Aldous Huxley, Alfonso Cuarón, Colson Whitehead, and Samuel Delany.
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COML 4771 : Indigenous Art, Film, and New Media: Anti-Colonial Strategies
Crosslisted as: AMST 4771, AMST 6771, ANTHR 4771, ANTHR 6771, ARTH 4771, ARTH 6771, COML 6771 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course examines Indigenous art, new media and film from three distinct interrelated perspectives of aesthetics/theory, technology and history/culture. The relationship between technology and tradition reevaluates established assumptions between representation, power and the gaze. Decolonizing methodologies will establish the translatability of Indigenous oral tradition to visual expression as a form of cultural agency. The use of media as a cultural and political intervention will be discussed through the work of Hopi filmmaker, Victor Masayesva, Inuit filmmaker, Zacharias Kunuk, the Kayapo Media Collective, Aboriginal artist, Tracy Moffat, new media artist; Mohawk, Skawanati, Maori photographer, John Miller and more. The construction, circulation, and reception of Indigenous visual culture will be discussed within a transnational, diasporic and global frame.
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COML 4785 : The Body's Edge in Performance
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4602, PMA 4965, SHUM 4612 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course examines how skin and bodily margins in drama, performance art, and film shape the way we understand the human and its markers of identity, from the strange carapace that Oedipus presents in the ancient Theater of Dionysus to the "skin suspensions" of the post-body performance artist Stelarc. Readings and viewings include plays from the ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern periods; films by Peter Greenaway, Jenny Livingston, and Jim Jarmusch; and performances by Karen Finley and Marina Abramovic. We will explore concepts such as Julia Kristeva's abjection, Antonin Artaud's "theater of cruelty," and Georges Bataille's "visions of excess," as different ways of approaching what lies at and beyond the edges of the human.
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COML 4930 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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 4947 : Bio-Politics and Poetics of Nakedness
Crosslisted as: FGSS 4947, SHUM 4605 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
In this course, you will explore nakedness as a form of protest by various social movements and in compelling fictional texts. As you analyze nakedness from ancient Greece to 21th century Africa, Asia, and Latin America, you will also be attentive to the variables of race, gender, and bodily abilities and how they complicate this mode of speaking. Primary texts include Devi's "Draupadi," Ngugi's Wizard of the Crow, Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes, Tennyson's "Godiva," Auden's "Cave of Nakedness," videos of Femen, gay parades, and Occupy Wall Street. You will read these visual and literary texts in conjunction with theoretical reflections on shame/injury, exposure, and humanity by Freud, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas, Nancy, and Berger. Assignments will clarify and build upon the readings and films and include reflection papers, analytical, and argumentative essays.
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COML 6032 : Writing the Self
Crosslisted as: GERST 6210 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The "autobiographical" spans millennia and encompasses a vast array of seemingly dissimilar authors and modes of writing: Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, Augustine's and Rousseau's Confessions, Montaigne's Essays, Pepys' diaries, Goethe's Poetry and Truth, Freud's letters to Fliess accompanying his self-analysis, the corpus of diaries from Amiel to Kafka and Woolf to Warhol or Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes. In this course, we will investigate the emergence of writing a self out of practices such as ascetic (in the Foucauldian sense) self-exploration and confession and the risks of introspection under conditions of secularization. We will explore theories of the autobiographical but also ask what kind of artistic practices and theoretical fields have emerged from genres like autobiography or diary (projects like cartographies in Perec or Ernaux; notions like aesthetics or ethics of everyday life). What stabilizing or destabilizing functions does writing the self serve? Is the ‚I' merely framed by narrative conventions, space and time (Blanchot), or can it find ways to mediate self and world, individual and society in writing?
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COML 6072 : Using Texts: Literature and Linguistic Anthropology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 6072 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
What does it mean to "use" a text or literary artifact? What happens to a novel when we examine it as "interactive text" produced in a shared "real time"? How does the use of a particular term help construct a context of publics and counterpublics? In this course we will study the linguistic anthropologist Michael Silverstein and his "pragmatic" linguistics in relation to free indirect discourse, Bakhtinian register, and Foucauldian author functions to consider how texts work in the world. Examining books from Manuel Puig, David Foster Wallace, Miguel Barnet, Andy Warhol, Lydia Davis and others that take the form of an interview, we will study the maneuvers of spoken conversation in print. Theorists include Jakobson, Bourdieu, V. Jackson, Latour, Banfield, Warner, Agha, and Lucey.
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COML 6142 : Vision in Theory
Crosslisted as: ARTH 6910, GERST 6910 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course takes as its point of departure the foundational questions that have informed interdisciplinary inquiry into vision and visuality in recent decades: What is an image? How do images produce meaning? How has vision been defined historically and methodologically? How has visual culture been construed theoretically? Our goal will be to sketch the genealogical trajectories that comprise visual studies as a field of investigation by focusing on concerns that have shaped larger theoretical debates on the politics and ethics of representation, including mimesis, realism, perspective, the interplay of word and image, attention, spectacle, and surveillance. Readings will be drawn from influential works in visual theory, cultural semiotics and anthropology, media studies, and the science of vision. They may include texts by Alpers, Bal, Barthes, Crary, Elkins, Foucault, Haraway, Jay, Livingstone, Merleau-Ponty, Mitchell, Stafford, Panofski, Ranciere, and Virilio, among others.
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COML 6200 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Graduate Students: please bring your faculty signed proposal to 240 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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COML 6227 : Literature and Mind
Crosslisted as: COML 4227, FREN 4060, FREN 6060 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This interdisciplinary seminar would like to offer new hypotheses on the ways literature is understood and experienced by a reader's mind.  Our methodology, while non-reductionist, will take into account the current state of cognitive science, and also build on literary theory and philosophy (both "analytic" and "Continental").  Literature makes use of cognitive structures and paths - but it also alters and challenges the usual boundaries of thought.  We will identify some key problems (such as the nature of fiction, biological evolution and the literary, the role of contradictions, formal and genre expectations, computation and thinking, poetic regulations, etc.).  We'll approach such issues through innovative methodologies and on the basis of literary texts belongs to a wide range of historical or linguistic traditions.  Students from very diverse backgrounds but with an interest in mind and/or language and literary experience are welcome.
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COML 6339 : Bodies at the Border
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 4440, ASIAN 6640, COML 4339, FGSS 4339, FGSS 6339, LSP 4339, LSP 6339 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Although the wounded, often feminine, body is the most powerful way of imagining border space in both the Indian subcontinent and the Americas, it is seldom coupled with the embodied practices and performances through which borders define everyday life and shape geographical and historical consciousness in the two regions. Drawing upon texts, media, and theory generated from South Asia and Latin America, the course will develop new comparative approaches to the constitutive role that bodies play in creating, maintaining, and imagining borders in the global South.
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COML 6341 : Aesthetics of Excess: Psycho-Philosophical Approaches to Cinematic Technologies
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6341, FREN 6341, PMA 6441, VISST 6341 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The rise of cinema and mechanized representational technologies has provided an informative backdrop for a century long reflection on aesthetics and the excesses of affect, sentiment, and corporeality in relation to modern/postmodern formulations of subjectivity, community, politics, race, and sexuality. Emphasizing French Psycho-Philosophical approaches to cinematic technologies, the course will rehearse the intellectual backdrop for understanding this Aesthetics of Excess with readings in Freud, Bergson, Artaud, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty in order to frame discussion of later twentieth and twenty-first century reflections on the balance between aesthetics and cinematic and new media technologies. In dialogue with a range of films and digital artworks, we will analyze texts to be chosen from Fanon, Barthes, Simondon,Lyotard, Deleuze, Derrrida, Kristeva, Laplanche, Stiegler, Duguet, Bellour, Nancy, and Rancière.
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COML 6363 : World Literature?
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course will attempt a critical inquiry into the renewed articulation of World Literature as concept, project and object of study over the last two decades. How can we situate this return with respect to postcolonial critique, late capitalism, globalization ecological catastrophe and digital technologies? What debates about worldliness, about literature, about translation and about reading has World Literature sparked? What might it mean to be for it or against it? Finally, what kind of framework does it offer for advanced research in the humanities now? Authors will include Goethe, Marx, Ahmad, Moretti, Damrosch, Slaughter, Cheah, Mufti, Casanova, Spivak, Apter, Cha, Al-Koni, Glissant.
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COML 6630 : Nietzsche and Heidegger
Crosslisted as: GERST 6630 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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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COML 6766 : Headless: George Bataille and Friends
Crosslisted as: FREN 6320 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This seminar will explore major works of avant-garde literature from the interwar and immediate postwar periods, with the work of George Bataille and his major collaborators and sometime antagonists (André Breton, Antonin Artaud, Pierre Klossowski, Michel Leiris, Rogert Caillois, Marcel Mauss) were all concerned in different ways with the displacement of a purportedly unified, rational consciousness by a "headless" subject, whose advent was heralded most directly by the journal Acéphale (co-edited by Bataille and Klossowski) in the mid-1930's, but which was also implicit in the multiform engagements of avante-garde authors with the work of Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Marquis de Sade, in the surrealists' experiments with formal constraints, and in the subjective "dissolution" explored in different ways by Artaud, Bataille, Klossowski.  In addition to key literary texts, we will also examine paintings and photography from the period and critical essays.
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COML 6771 : Indigenous Art, Film, and New Media: Anti-Colonial Strategies
Crosslisted as: AMST 4771, AMST 6771, ANTHR 4771, ANTHR 6771, ARTH 4771, ARTH 6771, COML 4771 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course examines Indigenous art, new media and film from three distinct interrelated perspectives of aesthetics/theory, technology and history/culture. The relationship between technology and tradition reevaluates established assumptions between representation, power and the gaze. Decolonizing methodologies will establish the translatability of Indigenous oral tradition to visual expression as a form of cultural agency. The use of media as a cultural and political intervention will be discussed through the work of Hopi filmmaker, Victor Masayesva, Inuit filmmaker, Zacharias Kunuk, the Kayapo Media Collective, Aboriginal artist, Tracy Moffat, new media artist; Mohawk, Skawanati, Maori photographer, John Miller and more. The construction, circulation, and reception of Indigenous visual culture will be discussed within a transnational, diasporic and global frame.
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COML 6866 : Global Avant-Gardes
Crosslisted as: GERST 6866, ROMS 6866 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Focusing on a range of theories and practices from the historical avant-gardes (futurism, surrealism, constructivism) and their political cognates (fascism, capitalism, communism) to the 21st century's pervasively intermedial environments and digital economies, this seminar will explore the development of avant-garde formations in Europe and the Americas, the transnational flows, "creative disruptions," and increasingly "planetary" circulation of such formations, and the ways avant-gardes both are shaped by and respond to technological, economic, and political forces. Situating the aesthetic and political question of avant-gardes in relation to genre and media theory, philosophy of language, postcoloniality, and critical theory, we will place in conversation such figures as Agamben, Benjamin, Bolaño, Breton, Bürger, Butler, Cha, Derrida, Glissant, Goldsmith, Jameson, Kittler, Moretti, Nancy, NourbeSe Philip, Rancìere, Rankine, Spivak, and Zizek.
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