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RUSSA 1103 : Conversation Practice
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Reinforces the speaking skills learned in RUSSA 1121. Homework includes assignments that must be done in the language lab or on the students' own computer. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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COML 1104 : FWS: Reading Films
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
We live in an image-saturated world. How do we make sense of the moving image and its powerful roles in shaping culture and mediating our relationship with the world? This course will equip students with the tools to understand and decipher film language. It introduces and interrogates the basic notions, technologies, terminologies, and theories of film analysis. We will study visual and compositional elements, like mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. Films we discuss will include different geographies, genres, major directors, schools, and film movements, such as [X, Y, Z]. Through writing, students will learn to analyze films with accurate, medium-specific vocabulary, develop informed and nuanced arguments, and critically reflect on the position of the viewer.
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RUSSA 1104 : Conversation Practice
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Reinforces the speaking skills learned in RUSSA 1122.
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COML 1105 : FWS: Books with Big Ideas
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
What do Frankenstein and Things Fall Apart have in common? What lies behind the fantastical stories of Aladdin? Do we have to like Garcia Márquez and Shakespeare? These texts and authors re-imagine the human experience as its most intriguing level. In this course, we will discuss human rights, intimacy, joy, isolation, and other controversies at the heart of these books. Throughout the semester, students will learn how to articulate an informed and nuanced position on these issues via formal practices in analytical readings, drafting, peer review, and self-editing. Actual selection of readings may vary depending on the instructor's focus.
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COML 1105 : FWS: Books with Big Ideas
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
What do Frankenstein and Things Fall Apart have in common? What lies behind the fantastical stories of Aladdin? Do we have to like Garcia Márquez and Shakespeare? These texts and authors re-imagine the human experience at its most intriguing level. In this course, we will discuss human rights, intimacy, joy, isolation, and other controversies at the heart of these books. Throughout the semester, students will learn how to articulate an informed and nuanced position on these issues via formal practices in analytical readings, drafting, peer review, and self-editing. Actual selection of readings may vary depending on the instructor's focus.
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COML 1106 : FWS: Robots
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In 2015, Japan's SoftBank Robotics Corporation announced the world's first robot with feelings. Many people were excited, many more disturbed. If robots are simply, as the dictionary suggests, machines "designed to function in the place of a living agent," then what is so disturbing about them? Since robots are designed to replace human labor (first economic, and now also emotional), do they represent a threat as much as they do an aid? What happens when robots exceed their purpose, and become more humanlike? How do robots read, write, and feel? How do the activities of coding and writing, or decoding and reading differ? Students will be equipped with the vocabulary and writing strategies to rigorously analyze, compare, and debate the meaning of robots in the human imagination from different epochs, countries, languages, and media. In doing so, they will write in a variety of registers about plays such as R.U.R. by Karel Capek, who invented the term "robot". Other materials may include philosophical texts, fiction, videogames, films, graphic novels, and hip-hop concept albums.
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COML 1106 : FWS: Robots
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
In 2015, Japan's SoftBank Robotics Corporation announced the world's first robot with feelings. Many people were excited, many more disturbed. If robots are simply, as the dictionary suggests, machines "designed to function in the place of a living agent," then what is so disturbing about them? Since robots are designed to replace human labor (first economic, and now also emotional), do they represent a threat as much as they do an aid? What happens when robots exceed their purpose, and become more humanlike? How do robots read, write, and feel? How do the activities of coding and writing, or decoding and reading differ? Students will be equipped with the vocabulary and writing strategies to rigorously analyze, compare, and debate the meaning of robots in the human imagination from different epochs, countries, languages, and media. In doing so, they will write in a variety of registers about plays such as R.U.R. by Karel Capek, who invented the term "robot". Other materials may include philosophical texts, fiction, videogames, films, graphic novels, and hip-hop concept albums.
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COML 1107 : FWS: Writing the Environment
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The state of the planet is one of the most urgent issues of our time, yet communicating environmental concerns and engaging the public on environmental issues is never easy. By studying and emulating how scientists, activists, philosophers, anthropologists, religious leaders, journalists, and last but not least creative writers connect us with our increasingly threatened world, this course aims to provide tools to students from all disciplines on writing the environment. Assignments will include analyzing and mapping the templates of different kinds of environmental writing; comparing writing from different periods and parts of the world aimed toward diverse audiences; and trying out writing voices and styles within and across the students' divergent knowledge, interests, and skills.
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COML 1110 : FWS: Seeing (beyond) Race
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
"[T]he Other fixes me with his gaze", so writes Fanon about being seen as a black man. Our course will start from the working premise that racial difference is constructed through the act of looking and being seen. We will consider how different peoples have been subjected to racial stereotypes and how image impacts power relations in real life. We will also examine the ways artists and intellectuals speak back to oppressive representational regimes through creative self-expression and critical analysis. Our texts may include essays by Stuart Hall, accounts of ethno-tourism, Marlon Riggs's documentary, Beyoncé's Lemonade, and David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly. Through writing personal reflection, critical essays, and a research paper, students will learn to analyze visual texts and the social power of image.
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COML 1110 : FWS: Seeing (beyond) Race
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
"[T]he Other fixes me with his gaze", so writes Fanon about being seen as a black man. Our course will start from the working premise that racial difference is constructed through the act of looking and being seen. We will consider how different peoples have been subjected to racial stereotypes and how image impacts power relations in real life. We will also examine the ways artists and intellectuals speak back to oppressive representational regimes through creative self-expression and critical analysis. Our texts may include essays by Stuart Hall, accounts of ethno-tourism, Marlon Riggs's documentary, Beyoncé's Lemonade, and David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly. Through writing personal reflection, critical essays, and a research paper, students will learn to analyze visual texts and the social power of image.
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COML 1113 : FWS: Poetry's Image
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Where do we get our images of poetry, and of poets? Along with the images we find in poems themselves, how do poetry and poets figure in fiction and film, in philosophy and popular culture? How do such figures inform the images in poems, poetry's image? In what senses is poetry a "liberal art"? What is its relation to "self," to language, history, and politics, to other disciplines and discourses? This course will explore such issues in a wide range of short texts in both verse and prose, in fiction, film, and other media. The course's focus on "poetry image" will encourage students to make the connection between such self-reflexive practices in the texts they're reading and viewing and the texts they themselves produce in their own writing. Authors that we will study include Plato, Wordsworth, Poe, Dickinson, Baudelaire, Whitman, Rimbaud, Stein, Breton, Stevens, Neruda, Borges, Wittgenstein, Celan, Rich, Brathwaite, Waldrop, Collins, Swenson, and Bolaño.
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COML 1115 : FWS: On Alienation and Empathy
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Have you ever been frustrated with only existing inside your own mind? In this course we will read what authors and thinkers have written about differences between groups of people – like race and gender – and about the difference between any two people, which makes it hard to feel like we "really know" someone. We will write about how these differences relate to each other, and what we would want to change about them. We will read stories that allow us to reach across distance and know something, but also how, in the information age, they demonstrate what we cannot know.
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COML 1115 : FWS: On Alienation and Empathy
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Have you ever been frustrated with only existing inside your own mind? In this course we will read what authors and thinkers have written about differences between groups of people – like race and gender – and about the difference between any two people, which makes it hard to feel like we "really know" someone. We will write about how these differences relate to each other, and what we would want to change about them. We will read stories that allow us to reach across distance and know something, but also how, in the information age, they demonstrate what we cannot know.
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COML 1116 : FWS: Things
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
What can the seemingly mundane objects that populate everyday life tell us about our relationship to the world? And if art, as A.B. Marx put it, is a "secret confession," what might it confess about this relationship, about "things"? In this seminar, we will explore how art – including literature, film, and visual media – can help us to unlock the hidden stories and histories contained in things. By engaging with these materials, we will learn to think and write about how art reflects on and engages with the "things" of our world, be they objects, commodities, possessions, money, or even bodies. Though we will consider "things" from a variety of contexts, we will concentrate primarily on French literature, film and visual art from the twentieth-century.
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COML 1119 : FWS: A Taste of Russian Literature
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Explore the culinary tradition and culture of Russia in broad historical, geopolitical and socioeconomic context through the lens of Russian folklore, short stories of Gogol, Chekhov, and Bulgakov, works of contemporary Russian-American writers, visual art, and international film. The literary journey will take you from the lavish tables of the XVIII century aristocracy, to the hardship and austerity of GULAG prison, to the colorful and savory regional fare of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union, to the fridge and pantry staples in the everyday life of Russian family. Your writing assignments will help you develop critical thinking and argumentative skills, precision and clarity of expression, ability to write with discipline, creativity, and sense of style.
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COML 1119 : FWS: A Taste of Russian Literature
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Explore the culinary tradition and culture of Russia in broad historical, geopolitical and socioeconomic context through the lens of Russian folklore, short stories of Gogol, Chekhov, and Bulgakov, works of contemporary Russian-American writers, visual art, and international film. The literary journey will take you from the lavish tables of the XVIII century aristocracy, to the hardship and austerity of GULAG prison, to the colorful and savory regional fare of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union, to the fridge and pantry staples in the everyday life of Russian family. Your writing assignments will help you develop critical thinking and argumentative skills, precision and clarity of expression, ability to write with discipline, creativity, and sense of style.
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RUSSA 1121 : Elementary Russian through Film
Semester offered: Fall 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 televisions programs. Homework includes assignments that must be done in the language lab or on the students' own computers. Note the RUSSA 1103 option. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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COML 1121 : FWS: Ukraine and Russia through the Eyes of Nikolai Gogol
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
For several years now, Ukraine and Russia have been in the headlines as their conflict has captivated the world. Nikolai Gogol (1809-52) is uniquely positioned to provide some answers to many questions surrounding this conflict. A native of Ukraine, Gogol moved to St. Petersburg at the age of twenty. His works set in Ukraine and Russia, his juxtaposition of the two ethnicities, are relevant in gaining an understanding of this tragic strife between the two neighboring countries. Gogol's picturesque style is abundant with rhetorical devices. Studying Gogol's works chronologically, from "The Fair at Sorochintsy" to "The Overcoat," will enable students to familiarize themselves with his oeuvre's wide range. This, in turn, will equip students with numerous tools designed to enrich and improve their writing skills. Most important, writing assignments will help students to learn how to write in a lucid and coherent manner.
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COML 1122 : FWS: Aesthetics for Beginners
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will treat basic concepts of aesthetics with reference both to theoretical texts and to artworks of all forms, genres, and periods, as well as to natural phenomena. With care and precision, we will address elementary questions of aesthetic experience: Are there objective standards of beauty or does it really lie in the eye of the beholder? What do we mean when we call something "sublime"? Is it meaningful to argue about taste? Why do we sometimes take pleasure in the ugly and the disgusting? What is the relationship between aesthetic and moral judgment? Developing their own critical writing, students will gain argumentative skills crucial for any academic discipline. Readings may include Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Rousseau, Burke, Kant, Darwin, Baudelaire, and/or Nietzsche.
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RUSSA 1122 : Elementary Russian through Film
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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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RUSSA 1125 : Reading Russian Press
Semester offered: Fall 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 1126 : Reading Russian Press
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 1131 : Self-Paced Elementary Russian I
Semester offered: Fall 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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RUSSA 1132 : Self-Paced Elementary Russian II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 2019 Instructor: Description
COML 2000 : Introduction to Visual Studies
Crosslisted as: AMST 2000, ARTH 2000, VISST 2000 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course introduces 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.  It contains objects, images, and problems that lie beyond the Art History and experimental science, yet is grown from both cultures.  It teaches the physical and legal limits of human, animal, and machine vision, how knowledge and power get into images, how spectacle drives the economy, and techniques of analysis that can deliver fresh perspectives across disciplines.
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COML 2006 : Punk Culture: The Aesthetics and Politics of Refusal
Crosslisted as: AMST 2006, ENGL 2906, MUSIC 2006 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Punk Culture–comprised of music, fashion, literature, and visual arts–represents a complex critical stance of resistance and refusal that coalesced at a particular historical moment in the mid-1970s, and continues to be invoked, revived, and revised. In this course we will explore punk's origins in New York and London, U.S. punk's regional differences (the New York scene's connection to the art and literary worlds, Southern California's skate and surf culture, etc.), its key movements (hardcore, straight edge, riot grrrl, crust, queercore), its race, class and gender relations, and its ongoing influence on global youth culture. We will read, listen, and examine a variety of visual media to analyze how punk draws from and alters previous aesthetic and political movements. No previous experience studying music is necessary.
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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 fast-paced survey of the field, you'll be exposed to the cutting-edge of the discipline as we survey debates in world literature, literary theory and philosophy. Exploring a range of literatures from across the globe, we'll read authors including Ovid, Aimé Césaire, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, 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: postcolonial literature, literary theory, animal studies, ecocriticism, and media studies.  Students will emerge from this course with new awareness of the global literary scene and with the ability to read critically and write with clarity.
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COML 2036 : Literature and the Elements of Nature
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Literature has long been understood as a window into the human condition, with nature serving as its mere backdrop. How would our relationship with literature change if we reversed this hierarchy? In an age when human activity has irreversibly transformed all four elements of nature -- air, water, earth, and fire – how do we rediscover the active role that the elements have always played in the constitution of the literary imagination? Through a journey with texts from six continents, this course offers a new model of world literature, one predicated not on social actors and cultural forces alone but on the configurations, flows, and disruptions of the elements. In the process, it addresses the place and work of literature in an increasingly threatened planet.
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COML 2041 : World Literature in Question
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course will explore the question: What is world literature?  Is it all the literature ever written everywhere in the world?  All the world's greatest books? All the books a person needs to read to become a true citizen or denizen of the world?   But then, what is a world?  How does the labor of the imagination construct a world or the world? How can we relate the world of literature to other worlds such as that of history and historical experience?  Readings will range widely across time and world space and will include attention to contemporary theories of world literature.
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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 Herbert, Hardy, Hopkins, Housman, Dickinson, Frost, W. C. Williams, Gw. Brooks, Heine, Pushkin, Lermontov, Akhmatova.  All reading is in English; we'll make use of non-English originals when possible.
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RUSSA 2203 : Intermediate Composition and Conversation
Semester offered: Fall 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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RUSSA 2204 : Intermediate Composition and Conversation
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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 : Games of Thrones: Multi-Media Fantasies
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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 etc.). 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.
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COML 2290 : Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
Crosslisted as: FGSS 2290, LGBT 2290 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course offers an introduction to the questions, topics, approaches, and theories that characterize the field of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies. Using an interdisciplinary approach (literature, history, anthropology, media, law, and science), we will explore categories such as sexual norms, human rights, power, feminism, queerness, gender/sex, censorship/ moral panic, and identity in Euro-American as well as in postcolonial and global terms. Through a variety of films, primary and secondary sources, you will formulate questions and provide answers to the relationship of these categories with organizing structures, including race, ethnicity, religion, family, marriage, reproduction, the economy, and the state. While we investigate how sexual identities in African, South American, and Asian contexts converge with or challenge Euro-American discourses, we will look at the tools LGBT studies offers for understanding power and culture.
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COML 2293 : Middle Eastern Cinema
Crosslisted as: JWST 2793, NES 2793, PMA 2493, VISST 2193 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Film industries in the Middle East, as in much of the rest of the world, emerged out of efforts at the national level. In the Arab world and Israel, the film industries reflect upon struggles of self-determination. The Iranian film industry underwent significant changes following the Islamic Revolution of 1979. By viewing a range of films from the Arab world, including North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as from Turkey, Israel, and Iran, we will consider the significance of these national rubrics and how they have shaped the work of filmmakers throughout the Middle East.   Films also reach beyond the boundaries of the nation, and so, we will consider how these films transcend national borders. On the one hand we will consider limit factors, like censorship, and the role of language and dialect on film viewership and distribution. And, on the other hand, we will consider the influence of external forces, such as the influence of foreign film markets in Europe and North America on filmmakers in the Middle East, as well as the effects of foreign financing—both from Europe and the Gulf States.  All films will be screened with English subtitles.
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COML 2580 : Imagining the Holocaust
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2580, JWST 2580 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 2703 : Thinking Media
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2703, MUSIC 2703, PMA 2703 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
From hieroglyphs to HTML, ancient poetry to audiotape, and Plato's cave to virtual reality, "Thinking Media" offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the most influential media formats of the last three millennia. Featuring an array of guests from across Cornell, including faculty from Communication, Comparative Literature, English, German Studies, Information Science, Music, and Performing & Media Arts, the course will present diverse perspectives on how to think with, against, and about media in relation to the public sphere and private life, archaeology and science fiction, ethics and aesthetics, identity and difference, labor and play, knowledge and power, expression and surveillance, and the generation and analysis of data.
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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 2760 : Desire
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2760, FGSS 2760, LGBT 2760, PMA 2680 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 the Ancient Greeks to the present, as well as classic readings in sexual theory, including Plato, Freud, Foucault, and contemporary feminist and queer theory.
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COML 3010 : Hispanic Theatre Production
Crosslisted as: LATA 3010, LSP 3010 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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: COML 6159, ENGL 3021, ENGL 6021, PMA 3421 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Without literary theory, there is no idea of literature, of criticism, of culture. While exciting theoretical paradigms emerged in the late 20th century, including structuralism and poststructuralism, this course extends theoretical inquiry into its most exciting current developments, including performance studies, media theory and cinema/media studies, the digital humanities, trauma theory, trangender studies, and studies of the Anthropocene. Taught by two Cornell professors active in the field, along with occasional invited guests, lectures and class discussions will provide students with a facility for close textual analysis, a knowledge of major currents of thought in the humanities, and an appreciation for the uniqueness and complexity of language and media. This course may involve presentation of performance art.  Course open to all levels; no previous knowledge of literary or cultural theory required.
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COML 3115 : Video and New Media: Art, Theory, Politics
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3115, PMA 3515, ROMS 3115, VISST 3115 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
The course will offer an overview of video art, alternative documentary video, and digital installation and networked art. It will analyze four phases of video and new media: (1) the development of video from its earliest turn away from television; (2) video's relation to art and installation; (3) video's migration into digital art; (4) the relation of video and new media to visual theory and social movements. Screenings will include early political and feminist video (Ant Farm, Rosler, Paper Tiger TV, Jones), conceptual video of the '80s and '90s (Vasulka, Lucier, Viola, Hill), gay and multicultural video of the '90s (Muntadas, Riggs, Piper, Fung, Parmar), networked and activist new media of the 21st century (Critical Art Ensemble, Electronic Disturbance Theater, SubRosa, Preemptive Media). Secondary theoretical readings on postmodernism, video theory, multicultural theory, and digital culture will provide students with a cultural and political context for the discussion of video and new media style, dissemination, and reception.
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COML 3240 : Blood Politics: Comparative Renaissance Drama
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Blood is everywhere. From vampire shows to video games, our culture seems to be obsessed with it. The course examines the power of "blood" in the early modern period as a figure that continues to capture our imagination, not only as a marker of racial, religious, and sexual difference and desire, but also as a dramatic player in its own right. How does a politics of blood appear on stage when populations are being expelled and colonized for reasons (mis)understood in terms of blood? In the course of trying to answer this and other questions of blood, we will read plays by Shakespeare, Webster, Kyd, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderón de la Barca. Topics include honor, revenge, purity, the body, sexuality, conversion, and death.
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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 2019 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 3300 : Directed Studies
Semester offered: Fall 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 3303 : Advanced Composition and Conversation
Semester offered: Fall 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 3304 : Advanced Composition and Conversation
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 3305 : Reading and Writing for Heritage Speakers of Russian
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Intended for students who speak grammatically correct Russian but do not know Russian grammar and have not learned to read or write Russian well (or have not learned written Russian at all). May be taught slightly faster or slower in a given year, depending on the needs and interests of the students. Two classes a week teach writing and grammar and include related reading. These classes are required, and the students who take them receive 2 credit hours. The third (optional) class teaches reading and discussion, and grants an additional credit hour. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSA 3306 : Creative Writing for Heritage Speakers
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 3309 : Advanced Reading
Semester offered: Fall 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. Discussion of the reading is conducted entirely in Russian and centered on the content and analysis of the assigned selection.
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RUSSA 3310 : Advanced Reading
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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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COML 3338 : Border Theory/Border Practice
Crosslisted as: COML 6338, LSP 3338, LSP 6338 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
As human migration around the world reaches a crisis unseen since WWII and as fences and walls once again dominate political rhetoric, how do we reckon with borders – not just as a metaphor but as a way of life? By examining how ideas and practices of borders interact and collide with their physical and embodied realities, this course approaches one of the most urgent questions of our time in a comparative, transnational framework. Starting with the U.S.-Mexico border and human flows across the Indian subcontinent, we will venture into numerous other zones to develop conceptual frameworks and critical vocabularies for borders in the twenty-first century.
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RUSSL 3341 : Short Russian Fiction (The Nineteenth Century)
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 3485 : Cinematic Cities
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 3542 : Fables of Capitalism
Crosslisted as: GERST 3610, GOVT 3606 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the stories, literary examples, and metaphors at work in elaborating the modern economic subject, the so-called "homo oeconomicus." We will examine material from Locke, Smith, Defoe, and Mill through Marx, Nietzsche, Brecht, and Weber, up to current the neoliberal subject and its critiques (Foucault, Bataille). The course focuses on narrative and figurative moments in theoretical texts as well as crucial literary sources (novels, novellas, and plays) as they collectively develop the modern economic paradigms of industry, exchange, credit-debt, and interest. The course thus addresses both literary and theoretical sources, particularly the stories and examples told to justify the liberal order as well as its guiding metaphors such as the invisible hand; Schuld as both debt and guilt; investment (in oneself, in one's future); and the intersection of religious and secular economies.
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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 2019 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 3681 : Slavery and Visual Culture
Crosslisted as: AMST 3506, ARTH 3506, ASRC 3506, VISST 3506 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This interdisciplinary undergraduate lecture examines the visual culture of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th century to the present. Lectures present artifacts, prints, paintings, photographs, sculpture, film and installation art that images the history of slavery and its profound contemporary resonance. Lectures and assignments consider the following themes: how does the gaze structure vision and influence the control of historical narratives? Which themes dominate the visual culture of slavery? How does visual culture encode memory, violence or racism? How did the visual culture of slavery produce and circulate new technologies of vison? Where is the history of slavery visible in the built environment or the local landscape? Students study artifacts in the May Anti-Slavery Collection at Kroch Library and artworks at the Johnson Museum. Field trip to nearby anti-slavery sites of memory.
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COML 3743 : Minorities of the Middle East
Crosslisted as: JWST 3655, NES 3655, NES 6655 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 3781 : Freud and the Invention of Psychoanalysis
Crosslisted as: FGSS 3651, FREN 3560, GERST 3561, ROMS 3560, STS 3651 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
COML 3800 : Poetry and Poetics of the Americas
Crosslisted as: AMST 3820, ENGL 3910, LATA 3800, SPAN 3800 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 2019 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 3971 : Books Turned into Operas
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3713, ROMS 3971 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
How and why is a book "translated" into an opera? We will study several such works and the operas they inspired: Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Verdi's Rigoletto, Massenet's Werther, Giordano's Andrea Chénier, Holten's The Visit of the Royal Physician, and the movie A Royal Affair, a bridge between opera and novel. There will be opportunities for original historical research. What is so fascinating about the literary texts the operas (and the movie) draw on? It is partly their formal and linguistic qualities and partly their relation to history. Each of the literary works we study reflects the crisis of authority dating from the French Revolution; each of the operas in some way "manages" historical experience by creating aesthetic pleasure. We will see how.
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COML 3985 : Literature of Leaving China
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3329, CAPS 3329 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Ever since the creation of the concept of a culturally and geographically stable center in China, people have been intentionally excluded from that center. Disgraced officials are sent to far-flung provinces, loyalists to past regimes hide out across China's borders, and dissidents have their entry visas revoked, making it impossible for them to return home. The experiences of these people, and the poems and stories they write, tell us a great deal about what it means and how it feels to be included and excluded. What is the difference between the way China looks from the inside and the way it looks from the outside? Who has the power to decide who gets to live in China, and how and why do they use it? What is the relationship between our identities and our homes? Texts studied will range from 300 BCE to the present; all will be read and discussed in English. 
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COML 4090 : Spinoza and the New Spinozism
Crosslisted as: GERST 4290, GOVT 4769, JWST 4790 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Spinoza was excommunicated, wrote under death threats, and has remained a scandal to philosophy, psychoanalysis, politics, ethics, literature. "Every philosopher has two philosophies, his own and Spinoza's" (Bergson); and "the savage anomaly" (Negri) exerted profound influence on Marx, Nietzsche, Freud. We will introduce Spinoza and his legacy, from the "atheism controversy" in the eighteenth century to today's "New Spinozists," who have been developing anti-Kantian and anti-Hegelian formulations of burning contemporary questions. With Spinoza, we ask: "What is freedom, and whose power does it serve?" (Leo Strauss)-especially if "The new world system, the ultimate third stage of capitalism is for us the absent totality, Spinoza's God or Nature, the ultimate (indeed perhaps the only) referent, the true ground of Being in our time" (Jameson).
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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 2019 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 4240 : The Animal
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4260, GERST 4260, GOVT 4279 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
In recent years literary representations and philosophical discussions of the status of the animal vis-à-vis the human have abounded.  In this course, we will track the literary phenomenology of animality.  In addition we will read philosophical texts that deal with the questions of animal rights and of the metaphysical implications of the "animal."  Readings may include, among others, Agamben, Aristotle, Berger, the Bible, Calvino, Coetzee, Darwin, Derrida, Descartes, Donhauser, Gorey, Haraway, Hegel, Heidegger, Herzog, Kafka, Kant, La Mettrie, de Mandeville, Montaigne, Nietzsche, Ozeki, Rilke, Schopenhauer, Singer, Sorabji, Sterchi, Stevens, de Waal, Wittgenstein, Wolfe.  A reading knowledge of German and French would be helpful.
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COML 4351 : Antagonism
Crosslisted as: COML 6351 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
In contemporary scholarship on race, temporality mediates the relationship between historicity and human difference by way of alignments and affiliations between time and interiority; immediacy and transparency; and complementarily, exteriority and opacity. In contrast to its popular denotations, race scholarship thus recognizes "mediation" as antagonistic, rather than conciliatory. We map the discursive lines shaping contemporary scholarship which grasps for the philosophical grounds of race and racialization at the infrastructural levels of time, space, and ontology. In tandem, we consider media that reflect and engage questions raised by the antagonistic mediation of racial difference. Readings may include works by Denise Ferreira da Silva, Sylvia Wynter, David Marriott, Fred Moten, Nahum Dimitri Chandler, David Llloyd, Michelle Wright, Calvin Warren, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida. 
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COML 4364 : Negrismo and Négritude: Art and Poetry of Hispano- and Francophone
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4151 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
COML 4368 : Reading Édouard Glissant
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4368, ASRC 6368, COML 6368, FREN 4368, FREN 6368 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar will focus on the writings of the polymorphous Martinican poet and thinker, Édouard Glissant (1928-2011).  We will attend to the historical context of French colonialism, particularly in the Caribbean, that gives his writing part of its impetus and to the anticolonial intellectuals with whom he engages (chiefly Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon) as well as to his major self-professed influences (William Faulkner, Saint-John Perse, Hegel) and to an array of interlocutors and fellow-travelers as well as a few dissenters. The seminar will examine the main preoccupations of Glissant's writing (world histories of dispossession and plantation slavery, creolization, Relation, opacity, flux, transversality, Caribbean landscapes as figures of thought, the All-World, etc.) but our focus will be on reading Glissant and attending carefully to the implications of his poetics and of his language for decolonial thought.
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RUSSA 4413 : Advanced Conversation and Stylistics
Semester offered: Fall 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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RUSSA 4414 : Advanced Conversation and Stylistics
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 4415 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 6415, FREN 4415, FREN 6415, GERST 4411, GERST 6411, GOVT 4786, GOVT 6786, HIST 4233, HIST 6233, JWST 4410, JWST 6415, ROMS 4410, ROMS 6410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
There is an astonishing discrepancy between our perception of the Holocaust as a central event of the twentieth century and its marginal place in postwar culture.  It is during those years, nevertheless, that the destruction of European Jews aroused an intellectual debate whose philosophical, political, and literary contributions constitute landmarks for contemporary culture and criticism.  The course will explore the reasons for such a discrepancy, reconstructing the steps of the integration of the Holocaust into our historical consciousness.  It will analyze some of the most significant attempts to think such a trauma made by German-Jewish exiles (Arendt, Adorno, Anders), the survivors of the Nazi camps (Améry, Levi, Celan, Antelme), as well as the public intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean (Sartre, Bataille, MacDonald, etc).
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RUSSA 4491 : Reading Course: Russian Literature in the Original Language
Semester offered: Fall 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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RUSSA 4491 : Reading Course: Russian Literature in the Original Language
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 2019 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.  All students will practice their skills through collaboration with the Cornell Farmworker Program on priority projects identified by immigrant farmworkers.  This can be taken as a stand-alone course, but it is also a prerequisite for an optional winter intersession practicum, and for ILRIC 6311/LSP 6110 in the Spring.
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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 4622 : Authority and Anti-Authority: Kafka and Genet
Crosslisted as: GERST 4635, ROMS 4635, ROMS 6635, SHUM 4635, SHUM 6635 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
A far-reaching distrust and crisis of authority seems to be coextensive with the European Enlightenment and modernity—but what is authority? Amidst the different attempts at definition and classification, at least one thing is certain: our relation to authority is never simple and straightforward, but is the site of intense fantasmatic activity, mixing guilt, defiance, respect, resentment, terror, justice, and love. The word itself is highly evocative, and part of its power lies in the halo of images and meanings it conjures. Our investigation of the problem of authority will be guided by two great writers of the twentieth century, rarely read together, Franz Kafka and Jean Genet.
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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 4407, 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 4798 : Labor and the Arts
Crosslisted as: COML 6798, ITAL 4710, ITAL 6710 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course, offered entirely in English, is open to advanced undergraduates and graduates who want to learn more about the relations of politics to art in general and the cultural politic of "autonomia" more specifically.  This movement, primarily associated with Italy, continues to have widespread influence around the globe.  During the 1960s and 70s in Italy and elsewhere, workers, and intellectuals began to think collectively about a social terrain outside of dominant structures such as the State, the political party or the trade union.  How does their "refusal to work" shape culture and vice versa?  What kinds of cultural productions can come "outside of the State" or from constituent power?  We will begin the course by tracing the term autonomy (self-rule) from antiquity to the modern period with emphasis on its relation to culture.  We will then focus on the period of the 1960s and 70s, with experimental and mainstream cinema of Antonioni, Bertolucci, Pasolini, Petri and others; with writers such as Italo Calvino, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nanni Balestrini; with arte povera as one "origin" of contemporary conceptual art; architecture and the reformation of public space in the wake of the situationism; and critics or theorists including Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Franco Berardi (Bifo), Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno and so on.  We will conclude with the potential relevance of autonomist-or-some might say post autonomist-thought for the present and future.
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COML 4930 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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: 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 4940 : Senior Essay
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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: 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 4947 : Bio-Politics and Poetics of Nakedness
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4947, FGSS 4947 Semester offered: Fall 2018 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 political speech. 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 4948 : Pleasure and Neoliberalism
Crosslisted as: FGSS 4948, ROMS 4948 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
The comparative seminar explores pleasure and its relationship with neoliberalism. We will follow adopt an interdisciplinary approach and a historical trajectory, starting with the Ancient world though to the contemporary. Our investigation of philosophical reflections on pleasure and neoliberalism will engage important concepts such as the market, subjectivity, pornography, culture, movie viewing, gender and queerness. We will rethink and theorize how new/old media, literary, and other artistic productions facilitate the expression, the search for, and the achievement of pleasure. Through public speaking (class discussions, student presentation) and deep attention to writing (weekly reaction papers, and a final paper), the students will refine their theoretical, conceptual, and artistic accounts of pleasure and neoliberalism and their mutual imbrication.
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COML 4995 : Critical Thinking and Literary Methods
Crosslisted as: GERST 4245, GERST 6245, ROMS 4245 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar offers a systematic introduction to methods of literary interpretation from Romanticism to the present, with a particular emphasis on the German roots of hermeneutics and critical thought. At stake is the formation and development of literary criticism around 1800 with Schleiermacher's "universal hermeneutics" and Friedrich Schlegel's notions of the fragment and irony. The two main trajectories the seminar follows are: the hermeneutic-interpretative tradition beginning with Schleiermacher, proceeding through Dilthey, Nietzsche, and Freud, and ending with Gadamer's epochal work Truth and Method. The second trajectory addresses the Critical Theory in the guise of Marx, Lukacs, Kracauer, Adorno, and Benjamin. Finally, we will look at critical thought today in Germany and its two most influential representatives: Kittler and Luhmann.
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COML 6033 : Intensity: Recent Critical Models
Crosslisted as: GERST 6235 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Critical-aesthetic 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 alternative 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. This seminar explores recent critical debates in German-speaking literary and art theory responding to this conundrum, attempting to rethink temporalities; notions of action and passivity; movements and collectives; the tension between autonomy and heteronomy; realism, fiction, facts, and documents. We will also investigate contemporary poetry and theater as major sites of experimentation.
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COML 6130 : Spaces of Literature
Crosslisted as: GERST 6160 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
The seminar will examine how space is represented in literary texts and pursue the question whether literary language can be connected to spatial features that are unique to prose, poetry and other poetic discourses. We shall review the tradition of literary representations of space by discussing topics such as "the aesthetics of space," "landscape-and garden architecture," "the sublime," "the relationship between corporeality and external worlds," "space and memory/commemoration," "distinctions between space, place, locale, psychic and physical spaces." Ranging from antiquity to contemporary literary and theoretical texts the seminar will approach "space" as a phenomenon that changes its shape with changing analytical or poetic approaches while simultaneously changing the shape of the inquiring or representing discourse. Other guiding questions will be: does literature take on spatial forms? Is poetic language dependent on spatial orientation? Does literature create space? Literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis will be the disciplinary spaces under discussion. Readings include Aristotle, Plato, Longinus, Kant, Goethe, Hölderlin, Novalis, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Stifter, Nietzsche, Benn, Heidegger, Freud, Rilke, Bernhard, Bachelard, Blanchot.
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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 6159 : Literary Theory on the Edge
Crosslisted as: COML 3021, ENGL 3021, ENGL 6021, PMA 3421 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Without literary theory, there is no idea of literature, of criticism, of culture. While exciting theoretical paradigms emerged in the late 20th century, including structuralism and poststructuralism, this course extends theoretical inquiry into its most exciting current developments, including performance studies, media theory and cinema/media studies, the digital humanities, trauma theory, trangender studies, and studies of the Anthropocene. Taught by two Cornell professors active in the field, along with occasional invited guests, lectures and class discussions will provide students with a facility for close textual analysis, a knowledge of major currents of thought in the humanities, and an appreciation for the uniqueness and complexity of language and media. This course may involve presentation of performance art.  Course open to all levels; no previous knowledge of literary or cultural theory required.
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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 2019 Instructor:
Graduate Students: please bring your faculty signed proposal to 240 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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COML 6226 : Poetry and Mind
Crosslisted as: FREN 6180 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This interdisciplinary seminar would like to offer new hypotheses on the ways poetry 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"). Poetry makes use of cognitive structures and paths, of formal repetitions and algorithms-but it also alters and challenges the usual boundaries of thought. Thus, we need to consider both the ordinary and the extraordinary, if we ever want to explain the mental performance of the poetic. A comparative corpus of poems (written in European languages, from Antiquity to the 20th century) will be used throughout the semester. Students from very diverse backgrounds but with an interest in mind and/or language and poetry are welcome.
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COML 6308 : Expanded Practice Seminar
Crosslisted as: ARCH 6408, ARCH 6509, ASIAN 6630, SHUM 6308, VISST 6308 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Expanded Practice Seminars bring students and faculty in the humanities and the design disciplines together around a common and pressing urban issue such as the cultural and material practices induced by national or ethnic divisions; the increasingly leaky taxonomy of the terra firma in areas where land/water boundaries are rapidly changing; and the inadequacy of static zoning models that fail to capture dynamic, urban economics and performance. The intent of the Expanded Practice Seminar is to study complex urban conditions using theoretical and analytic tools derived in equal part from the design disciplines and humanist studies. The Expanded Practice Seminar includes a site visit to experience the conditions under study and meet with local experts, designers, and authorities.  Expanded Practice Seminars are offered under the auspices of Cornell University's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Collaborative Studies in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities grant. For current special topic seminar description and application instructions, visit: urbanismeseminars.cornell.edu/courses/.
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COML 6338 : Border Theory/Border Practice
Crosslisted as: COML 3338, LSP 3338, LSP 6338 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
As human migration around the world reaches a crisis unseen since WWII and as fences and walls once again dominate political rhetoric, how do we reckon with borders – not just as a metaphor but as a way of life? By examining how ideas and practices of borders interact and collide with their physical and embodied realities, this course approaches one of the most urgent questions of our time in a comparative, transnational framework. Starting with the U.S.-Mexico border and human flows across the Indian subcontinent, we will venture into numerous other zones to develop conceptual frameworks and critical vocabularies for borders in the twenty-first century.
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COML 6351 : Antagonism
Crosslisted as: COML 4351 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
In contemporary scholarship on race, temporality mediates the relationship between historicity and human difference by way of alignments and affiliations between time and interiority; immediacy and transparency; and complementarily, exteriority and opacity. In contrast to its popular denotations, race scholarship thus recognizes "mediation" as antagonistic, rather than conciliatory. We map the discursive lines shaping contemporary scholarship which grasps for the philosophical grounds of race and racialization at the infrastructural levels of time, space, and ontology. In tandem, we consider media that reflect and engage questions raised by the antagonistic mediation of racial difference. Readings may include works by Denise Ferreira da Silva, Sylvia Wynter, David Marriott, Fred Moten, Nahum Dimitri Chandler, David Llloyd, Michelle Wright, Calvin Warren, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida. 
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COML 6368 : Reading Édouard Glissant
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4368, ASRC 6368, COML 4368, FREN 4368, FREN 6368 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar will focus on the writings of the polymorphous Martinican poet and thinker, Édouard Glissant (1928-2011).  We will attend to the historical context of French colonialism, particularly in the Caribbean, that gives his writing part of its impetus and to the anticolonial intellectuals with whom he engages (chiefly Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon) as well as to his major self-professed influences (William Faulkner, Saint-John Perse, Hegel) and to an array of interlocutors and fellow-travelers as well as a few dissenters. The seminar will examine the main preoccupations of Glissant's writing (world histories of dispossession and plantation slavery, creolization, Relation, opacity, flux, transversality, Caribbean landscapes as figures of thought, the All-World, etc.) but our focus will be on reading Glissant and attending carefully to the implications of his poetics and of his language for decolonial thought. 
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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 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. All students will practice their skills through collaboration with the Cornell Farmworker Program on priority projects identified by immigrant farmworkers.  This can be taken as a stand-alone course, but it is also a prerequisite for an optional winter intersession practicum and for ILRIC 6311/LSP6110 in the Spring.
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COML 6415 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 4415, FREN 4415, FREN 6415, GERST 4411, GERST 6411, GOVT 4786, GOVT 6786, HIST 4233, HIST 6233, JWST 4410, JWST 6415, ROMS 4410, ROMS 6410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
There is an astonishing discrepancy between our perception of the Holocaust as a central event of the twentieth century and its marginal place in postwar culture.  It is during those years, nevertheless, that the destruction of European Jews aroused an intellectual debate whose philosophical, political, and literary contributions constitute landmarks for contemporary culture and criticism.  The course will explore the reasons for such a discrepancy, reconstructing the steps of the integration of the Holocaust into our historical consciousness.  It will analyze some of the most significant attempts to think such a trauma made by German-Jewish exiles (Arendt, Adorno, Anders), the survivors of the Nazi camps (Améry, Levi, Celan, Antelme), as well as the public intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean (Sartre, Bataille, MacDonald, etc).
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COML 6465 : Black Feminist Theories: Sexuality, Creativity, and Power
Crosslisted as: ASRC 6207, ENGL 6207, FGSS 6207 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course examines black feminist theories as they are articulated in the cross-cultural experiences of women across the African Diaspora. We will explore a variety of theories, texts and creative encounters within their socio-political and geographical frames and locations, analyzing these against, or in relation to, a range of feminist activisms and movements. Some key categories of discussion will include Black Left Feminism, Feminist Movements in Latin America and the Caribbean and African feminisms. Texts like the Combahee River Collective statement and a variety of US Black feminist positions and the related literature as well as earlier black feminist articulations such as the Sojourners for Truth and Justice will also be engaged. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own research projects from a range of possibilities.
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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 2019 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 6633 : Russian for Russian Specialists
Semester offered: Fall 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. May be taken more than once. Detailed description at russian.cornell.edu.
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RUSSA 6634 : Russian for Russian Specialists
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 6686 : Literary Stricture
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 6621 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course argues that modern literary strictures – such as market forces, censorship, and new media forms – are contiguous with and interpretable in the same way as more traditional literary strictures like meter, rhyme, and tonal regulation. It asks how we can come to a more thorough understanding of contemporary art by treating its sociological and political context as a source of generative restraint. Theoretical texts will range from Foucault to Vaclav Havel; primary texts will be drawn from contemporary Chinese fiction, poetry and film. All texts will be made available in English for non-Chinese speakers.
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COML 6708 : Complex Narratives
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Why don't we tell it straight? Instead of abiding by sequential order and linearity, narratives tend to branch out, loop into paradox, double back on themselves, invent new restraints. This is increasingly true for mainstream texts, no longer only the terrain of experimental literature and film. With the help of a range of narrative and media theories, we will work through different complex narrative forms, such as episodic (or networked) narratives, frames, forking paths and reverse narratives in this course. We will cover examples that range from "high" literature and art film to mainstream media, from Calvino's and Perec's experiments to Westworld (TV series), from Miike's "Box" to Bellot's Sexual Dependency, from Nolan's Inception and Memento to Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, among 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:
This course explores the use of "speech that brings the subject matter vividly before the eyes." Known in classical antiquity as ekphrasis, this trope has received intense attention in recent decades across the fields of classical philology, art history, and literary studies. Setting ekphrasis within its broad context of use within antiquity (from rhetorical handbooks and speeches to epic poetry, epigrams, and technical treatises), we will trace the process by which the term has come to refer specifically to descriptions of works of art. From Homer's shield of Achilles to the vivid descriptions of the Greek novel, this 'sub-genre' of ekphrasis has also enjoyed a rich reception in later western literature, from Keats and Browning to Ashbery and Carson. Students will be encouraged to explore ekphrastic techniques across genres, cultures, and periods (and to practice writing ekphraseis themselves), whilst also considering the degree to which the discipline of art history is grounded in ekphrastic practice. All literature will be available in translation.
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COML 6778 : Psychoanalysis and Politics
Crosslisted as: FREN 6240, GOVT 6246 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
COML 6798 : Labor and the Arts
Crosslisted as: COML 4798, ITAL 4710, ITAL 6710 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course, offered entirely in English, is open to advanced undergraduates and graduates who want to learn more about the relation of politics to art in general and the cultural politics of "autonomia" more specifically.  This movement, primarily associated with Italy, continues to have widespread influence around the globe.  During the 1960s and 70s in Italy and elsewhere, workers and intellectuals began to think collectively about a social terrain outside of dominant structures such as the State, the political party or the trade union.  How does their "refusal to work" shape cultural and vice versa?  What kinds of cultural productions can come "outside of the State" or from constituent power?  We will begin the course by tracing the term autonomy (self-rude) from antiquity to the modern period with emphasis on its relation to culture.  We will then focus on the period of the 1960s and 70s, with experimental and mainstream cinema of Antonioni, Bertolucci, Pasolini, Petri and others: with writers such as Italo Calvino, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Nanni Balestrini; with arte povera as one "origin" of contemporary conceptual art; architecture and the reformation of public space in the wake of situationism; and critics or theorists including Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Franco Berardi (Bifo), Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno and so on.  We will conclude with the potential relevance of autonomist-or-some might say postautonomist-thought for the present and future.
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COML 6902 : Environmental Humanities: Theories and Methods
Crosslisted as: STS 6902 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Designed for an interdisciplinary audience, this seminar explores the theoretical and methodological potentials of a broad range of scholarship in the environmental humanities. Together we will discuss a number of foundational texts in this rapidly emerging field, which will in turn facilitate and develop students' own research projects. The course will feature visits from prominent scholars and end with a mini-symposium.
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COML 6920 : Aesthetics and Politics of Touch
Crosslisted as: ENGL 6725, PMA 6920 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The course will consider the aesthetic and politics of "touch" in dialogue with critical, artistic innovations.. Emphasizing differentiations between interactivity and immersion in art and theory, the course will discuss renewed critical emphasis on the legacy of phenomenology (from Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze to affect theory) in dialogue with recent writings on global critical race and sexual theory (Mbembe, Stoever, Ganguly, Lalu, Moten, Spillers, Cardenas).  Designed as an archive-based course, students will be invited to shape the second part of the syllabus around works featured in the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art and in the 2018 CCA Biennial on "Duration: Passage, Persistence, Survival" with the aim of staging a theory/practice final exhibit/performance based on conceptual approaches to "touch."
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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 only in terms of 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. Focus on German literature of Turkish migration complemented by readings reflecting other transnational phenomena such as postsocialism, postcolonialism, globalization, refugees, world literature.
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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:
Borders are highly contested sites and their representation plays a fundamental role in a variety of identity discourses. The place of borders in contemporary political discourse also speaks of the anxiety borders generate as well as their political currency. This seminar engages a number of cutting edge theoretical and ethnographic writings as well as cultural manifestations (music, films, literature, TV shows) about borders in an attempt to contest the essentialisms that have controlled the representations of these areas and to show instead their fluidity and multi-sited nature. However, in an attempt to articulate the possible shortcomings of border theory, throughout our exploration of the topic we'll keep in mind the following question: who gets empowered when we speak about borders?
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