Spring 2022 Course Offerings

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Comparative Literature Course Offerings

Spring 2022 Course Offerings

(as of October 21, 2021, subject to updates)

Department Chair: Tracy McNulty

Director of Graduate Studies: Patricia (Patty) Keller

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Philip Lorenz

Graduate Course Leader (FWS): Debra Castillo

Course codes: COML, RUSSL, RUSSA, BCS, FINN, UKRAN

Please note: Organizational meeting for RUSSA TBA Language courses:  http://russian.cornell.edu/

Comparative Literature (COML)

First-Year Writing Seminars FWS:

COML 1104 - FWS: Reading Films

Fall, Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Staff.

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. 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.

COML 1105 - FWS: Books with Big Ideas

     Fall, Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Staff.

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.

COML 1106 - FWS: Robots

     Fall, Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Staff.

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 works such as the play R.U.R. by Karel Čapek, who invented the term “robot”. Other materials may include philosophical texts, fiction, videogames, films, graphic novels, and hip-hop concept albums.

COML 1119 - FWS: A Taste of Russian Literature

     Fall, Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Staff.

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.

COML 1134 - FWS: Reading Poetry

     Fall, Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Staff.

Poems are puzzles, or are they plants? In this class, you’ll learn to read with poetry as a fellow writer. You’ll respond to key questions like “How does this poem work?” or “Why do I like it?” Poems are often thought of as infinite in the possibilities of perception and wonder they produce. Together we will grapple with the paradox of writing about poetry in a closed, concise form without domesticating it, by investigating how reading poetry can teach us how to write anew. How are lines and stanzas related to sentences and paragraphs? Can ideas “rhyme?” Are notions such as deixis, voice, metaphor, apostrophe, prosody, and the “lyric I” essential to producing a cogent and truthful argument in any discipline? In addition to poems and essays by poets, this course may include relevant literary theory, scientific texts, musical works, and extracts from novels or films.

COML 1136 - FWS: Rhetorics of Race

     Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

P. Vaziri.

The racial violence against people of color in the United States over the past few years has broken a popular contemporary narrative that we are living in a post-racial age. We often look to spectacular events like police brutality in order to confirm what we already know: that the effects of racism are ongoing. But racial violence is not merely spectacular, that is, limited to what we can see. Nor is it merely limited to extreme forms of violence.  In this course, we examine how race penetrates language use through analyzing racial rhetoric in various genres, including news reportage, film, literature, media, and institutional rhetoric. By the end of the course, students will learn how to identify, navigate, analyze, and produce writing in diverse genres and rhetorical forms and develop the critical capacity to identify and respond to raced language.

 

COML 2000 - Introduction to Visual Studies (LA-AS, ALC-AS, ETM-AS)
(crosslisted) AMST 2000, ARTH 2000, VISST 2000
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 1:00pm - 2:15pm and required sections
J. Rickard.
This course provides an introduction to modes of vision and the historical impact of visual images, visual structures, and visual space on culture, communication, and politics. It examines all aspects of culture that communicate through visual means, including 20th-century visual technologies—photography, cinema, video, etc., and their historical corollaries. The production and consumption of images, objects, and events is studied in diverse cultures. Students develop the critical skills necessary to appreciate how the approaches that define visual studies complicate traditional models of defining and analyzing art objects.

COML 2003 - Sounding Literature (In the World)
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.
MW 2:45pm - 4:00pm
J. Huang.
“We are living in an acoustic world,” says Marshall McLuhan. From your favorite audiobooks or podcasts to the audio-only app Clubhouse, to public sound installations, we are immersed in all types of sound, and these sounds are also reshaping the world in which we live. In contemporary media culture, sound is used to tell many heartfelt stories about the world, its space and geography. How do we analyze these sounds as literary texts? How do we understand sound in relation to its spatial-political potential? What role does sound play in writing and remembering histories? This course examines a wide range of sound production, as well as related art and cultural practices. It focuses on contemporary artists and theorists of sound to approach global issues about border, migration, and indigeneity.

COML 2032 - Contemporary Narratives by Latina Writers (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
(crosslisted) FGSS 2460, LSP 2460, SPAN 2460
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.
MWF 10:10am - 11:00am
Castillo, D.
This course will provide an introduction to some of the most important fictional work by US Latina writers, including short stories, novel, and film, with a particular focus on social justice, gender advocacy work, and work by Afro Latinx writers.  We will begin with discussion of canonical figures like Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga, to provide a basis for our focus on more recent writers like Angie Cruz, Elizabeth Acevedo, Linda Yvette Chávez, and Carmen Maria Machado.

COML 2035 - Science Fiction (GB) (CA-AS, ALC-AS)      
(crosslisted) BSOC 2131, ENGL 2035, STS 2131
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading. Enrollment limited to: undergraduates. Enroll via section.
MW 10:10am - 11:00am with R or F 10:10am - 11:00am sections
A. Banerjee.
Science fiction is not merely a literary genre but a whole way of being, thinking, and acting in the modern world. This course explores classic and contemporary science fiction from Frankenstein to The Hunger Games alongside a rich array of fiction and films from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Our discussions will position these works vis-à-vis seminal thinkers, ranging from Plato to Descartes and Donna Haraway to Paul Crutzen, who ask the same questions as science fiction does about our selves, our world, and our future.

COML 2050 - Introduction to Poetry (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 2:45pm - 4:00pm
N. Pollak.
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.

COML 2241 - Game of Thrones: Multi-Media Fantasies (CA-AS, ALC-AS)      
(crosslisted) SHUM 2241
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MWF 11:20am - 12:10pm
A. Bachner.
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.

COML 2703 - Thinking Media (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
(crosslisted) ENGL 2703, GERST 2703, MUSIC 2703, PMA 2703
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.
MWF 12:25pm - 1:15pm
E. Born.
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, German Studies, Information Science, Literatures in English, 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.

COML 2750 - Introduction to Humanities: Energy
(crosslisted) SHUM 2750, ENGL 2790, GOVT 2755
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 11:25am - 12:40pm
K. Pinkus.
Humans are all “children of the sun,” as the Russian scientist Vernadsky said. We are energetic beings and we consume energy (with various consequences, some that threaten our very existence). Yet for the most part “energy” has been a subject for scientists. Some social sciences and policy makers have also considered energy production, distribution and consumption as crucial to global geopolitics and economy. But it is only recently that the humanities has begun to study this phenomenon, interweaving a variety of issues from human evolution to history; from the arts to literature; from slavery to racial (in)justice to the very question of what it means to be human.  

COML 3021 - Literary Theory on the Edge (LA-AS, ALC-AS) (EC-SAP)   
(crosslisted) ENGL 3021, FREN 3921, PMA 3421
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Designated theory course for Comparative Literature majors.
Co-meets with COML 6159/PMA 6421. No previous knowledge of theory required.
C. Caruth, P. Lorenz.
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, transgender 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.

COML 3115 - Video and New Media: Art, Theory, Politics (LA-AS)      
(crosslisted) ENGL 3115, FREN 3115, PMA 3515, VISST 3115
Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.
M 7:30pm - 10:30pm  
Enrollment limited to: undergraduates.
Please email Professor Murray (tcm1@cornell.edu) with the following information: Your name and Cornell email address, course code and number you wish to be enrolled (example: COML 3115), if you are a current COML Major, graduation - month/year. When you are approved, you will receive a permission number for the pre-enrollment period. Thank you.
T. Murray.
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.

COML 3262 - Global Cinema II (GB) (CA-AS, ALC-AS) (EC-SAP)  
(crosslisted) PMA 3551, VISST 3176
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Co-meets with PMA 6551.
Staff.
Global Cinema I and II together offer an overview of international film history from the late nineteenth century to today. Through a focus on key films and significant epochs, the course traces the evolution of form, style and genre, the medium’s changing technologies and business models, as well as film’s relation to broader cultural, social and political contexts. Screenings of narrative, documentary and experimental films will be accompanied by readings in film theory and history.
Global Cinema II covers the period from 1960 to the present. Precise topics will vary from year to year, but may include: “New Waves” in Italy, France, Germany, Japan; cinematic modernism; new modes of documentary; changing technologies of sound and image; avant-garde and experimental cinema; “New” Hollywood; “counter-cinema” and underground film; feminist film theory and practice; Hollywood’s enduring importance; popular cinema in China, India, Brazil; the impact of television, video and the digital revolution. (HTC)

COML 3336 - Border Environments (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
(crosslisted) LSP 3336, SPAN 3335
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MW 11:25am - 12:40pm
Co-meets with COML 6336/LSP 6336/SPAN 6335.
A. Banerjee, D. Castillo.
This course focuses on a place and a concept where two of the most urgent issues of our times - migration and environmental degradation - converge, collide, and shape each other. It examines borders not as abstract lines on the map, but as dynamic hubs that connect human societies, politics, and cultures with the natural and built environments that we inhabit and transform. Through scholarly and creative work from an array of borders around the world, we will develop new theoretical approaches and methodological toolkits for rethinking and re-visioning borders in an era of climate change, toxic pollution, and mass extinction. The course encourages multi- and inter-disciplinary projects from students and will feature guests from diverse areas, disciplines, and practices.

COML 3440 - The Tragic Theatre (HB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
(crosslisted) CLASS 3645, PMA 3724
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 2:45pm - 4:00pm
F. Ahl.
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.

COML 3486 - Ruined Landscapes and the Visual Archive (SBA-AS, SCD-AS)      
(crosslisted) SPAN 3970
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MW 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Conducted in English.
P. Keller.
A visually-based study of rural and urban landscapes of decay and overgrowth, ruin and resilience through film and photography. This course begins with works from the contemporary Iberian context (Spain, Galicia and Portugal) that visualize the phenomenological affinities between place and experience, as well as the tensions between overdevelopment and underdevelopment. We’ll explore the concept of landscape as a mode of representation and as a complex multi-layered archive of traces, memories and histories. Bridging key works from the slow cinema movement emerging from the Iberian Peninsula with films and select photographic works from other geographies including Italy, UK, Latin America, China and the US, the course will offer a uniquely comparative approach to media and culture.

COML 3550 - Decadence (HB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
(crosslisted) ENGL 3550, FGSS 3550, LGBT 3550
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 2:45pm - 4:00pm
E. Hanson.
“My existence is a scandal,” Oscar Wilde once wrote, summing up in an epigram the effect of his carefully cultivated style of perversity and paradox. Through their celebration of “art for art’s sake” and all that was considered artificial, unnatural, or obscene, the Decadent writers of the late-nineteenth century sought to free the pleasures of beauty, spirituality, and sexual desire from their more conventional ethical moorings. We will focus on the literature of the period, including works by Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe, A. C. Swinburne, and especially Oscar Wilde, and we will also consider related developments in aesthetic philosophy, painting, music, theater, architecture, and design.

COML 3580 - Imagining Migration in Film and Literature (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)      
(crosslisted) AMST 3581, GERST 3581, PMA 3481, VISST 3581
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 11:25am - 12:40pm
Taught in English.
L. Adelson, S. Haenni.
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.

COML 3636 - Ancient Beginnings of The Enlightenment: Lucian of Samosata (HB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS)      
(crosslisted) CLASS 3636
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MW 9:40am - 10:55am
Prerequisite: no prior experience with the ancient world is necessary, but some familiarity with Greek mythology, Socrates, Plato, Epicureanism, or the Bible would be helpful.
M. Fontaine.
Lucian of Samosata (in modern-day Turkey) is one of the most influential and interesting but least read authors of the classical world. Lucian lived in an age of superstition and bunkum and he saw through it all. Instead of getting angry, he trolled his targets in satirical essays that are shot through with unmistakable irony, but that make a serious point. Accordingly, this course is devoted to reading the great majority of Lucian’s own writings. Special attention will be given to the most influential pieces, namely A True History (the world’s first science/speculative fiction novel), Death of Peregrinus, Zeus Rants, Momus, Alexander the False Prophet, and Slander: A Warning. These pieces are fascinating and their influence is profound. Moreover, this course situates students in the crossroads of intellectual, spiritual, and multicultural life in the high Roman Empire in which Lucian lived and moved. Students will be exposed to selected portions of relevant classic texts from Plato, the Bible, and Epicurus and Lucretius, as well as a range of Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers—Erasmus, Voltaire, Swift, Schopenhauer, and others—whose works are written in the Lucianic mode.  All texts will be read in English.

COML 3744 - Sephardic and Mizrahi Identities
(crosslisted) JWST 3717, NES 3717
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MW 9:40am -10:55am
D. Starr.
This class examines modern articulations of identity by and about two distinct Jewish diasporas: Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. Sephardic Jews trace their origins to the Iberian Peninsula prior to the end of the 15th century. Mizrahim are Jews who lived in the Middle East and North Africa until the mid-20th century, and their descendants. We will explore Sephardic and Mizrahi identities in works of fiction, memoirs, essays, poetry, and films produced from the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will trace routes of migration across generations, paying particular attention to how texts construct identity in relation to language and place. Works will be drawn from wide geographic distribution including the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and produced in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Ladino, and Spanish.

COML 3780 - The Social Contract And Its Discontents (CA-AS, ETM-AS, GLC-AS)
(crosslisted) FREN 3780, GOVT 3786
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MWF 1:30pm - 2:20pm
T. McNulty.
When Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced the concept of the “general will” in his classic text The Social Contract, he made what was then an unprecedented and scandalous claim: that the people as a whole, and not an individual agent, could be the subject of political will and self-determination. This claim was all the more revolutionary in that historically “the people” [ie peuple] named those poor masses who had no political representation, and who were subjects of the state only to the extent that they were subject to the will of a sovereign monarch. What then is “the people,” and how is it constituted as a collective subject?  How does a people speak, or make its will known? Can that will be represented or institutionalized? Do all people belong to the people? How inclusive is the social contract? This course will examine crucial moments in the constitution of the people from the French Revolution to the present day, considering the crisis of political representation they have alternately exposed or engendered and the forms of the social contract to which they have given rise. Our discussions will range from major political events (the French and Haitian Revolutions, the Paris Commune, colonialism and decolonization, May ‘68) to contemporary debates around universalism, secularism, immigration, and “marriage for all”. Readings by Rousseau, Robespierre, L’Ouverture, Michelet, Marx, Freud, Arendt, Balibar, and Rancière.

COML 3811 - Theory and Practice of Translation (HB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS)      
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 1:00pm - 2:15pm
This course can be used to satisfy the literature requirement of the Russian Minor and can also be used to satisfy the COML Major Theory Course requirement. Knowledge of languages other than English is welcome but not required.
N. Pollak.
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.

COML 3985 - Literature of Leaving China (GB) (LA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
(crosslisted) ASIAN 3329, CAPS 3329
MW 9:40am - 10:55am
Co-meets with ASIAN 6639, COML 6685.
N. Admussen.
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.  (LL)

COML 4008 - Literature and Relationality (CA-AS, ALC-AS)      
(crosslisted) ENGL 4928, NES 4008, SHUM 4008
Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.
TBA
E. Ghanayem.
In recent years, scholars in Indigenous studies, Black studies, Asian American studies, Latinx studies, and Arab American studies have discussed variant dispossessions that influence their own cultural contexts and implicate the United States and the world at large. This course brings critical concerns in comparative ethnic studies to the field of comparative literature to study the patterns that underlie the former and their insights about national violence, race and racism, and contemporary forms of social control and marginalization. The course’s secondary purpose is to craft “relationality,” a theory of cultural and geographic relatability, as a comparative methodology that illuminates the similarities and affinities between Indigenous, refugee, and people of color narratives. In class discussions and assignments, students will rehearse a relational analysis as they connect the assigned readings to each other while crafting overarching observations about the dispossessive and exclusionary nature of the nation-state today.

COML 4200 - Independent Study (CU-UGR)
Spring. 1-4 credits, variable. Student option grading.
Permission of instructor required. To apply for independent study, please complete the on-line form at data.arts.cornell.edu/as-stus/indep_study_intro.cfm.
Staff.
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.

COML 4240 - The Animal (CA-AS, ALC-AS, ETM-AS)
(crosslisted) ENGL 4260, GERST, 4260, GOVT 4279
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
W 11:20am - 1:15am
P. Gilgen.
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.

COML 4251 - Existentialism (CA-AS, ALC-AS, ETM-AS)
(crosslisted ) GERST 4210, GOVT 4015, ROMS 4210
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 9:40am - 10:55am
G. Waite.
The most intense public encounter between Existentialism and Marxism occurred in immediate post-WWII Europe, its structure remaining alive internationally. Existentialist questions have been traced from pre-Socratic thinkers through Dante, Shakespeare, and Cervantes onward; just as roots of modern materialism extend to Epicurus and Lucretius, or Leopardi. This course will focus on differing theories and concomitant practices concerned with “alienation,” “anxiety,” “crisis,” “death of God,” “nihilism,” “rebellion or revolution.” Crucial are possible relations between fiction and non-fiction; also among philosophy, theology, psychoanalysis, and political theory. Other authors may include: Althusser, de Beauvoir, Beckett, Büchner, Camus, Che, Dostoevsky, Fanon, Genet, Gide, Gramsci, O. Gross, Hamsun, Heidegger, Husserl, Jaspers, C.L.R. James, Kafka, Kierkegaard, Lagerkvist, Lacan, Lenin, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Mishima, G. Novack, Nietzsche, Ortega, Pirandello, W. Reich, Sartre, Shestov, Tillich, Unamuno. There is also cinema.

COML 4354 - Media and Experience
(crosslisted) NES 4334
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
T 12:25pm - 2:20pm
Co-meets with COML 6354, NES 6334.
P. Vaziri.
Continental philosophy fuels contemporary media theory. The connection runs so deep, critics have accused media theorists of producing nothing intellectually new. From Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological experiments to Heidegger’s reflections on technology and time, to Derrida’s suspicions of immediacy, a clear philosophical lineage shapes the way media theory thinks about history, subjectivity, and experience. Through engagements with media theory and the inheritance that informs it, we explore the genealogy of thought on media and experience, reflecting on the technological shifts that could not have been anticipated by early 20th century philosophers: social media, and the digital’s current saturation of all levels of human communication. We also explore those areas of thought that the Eurocentricism and presumed universality of Western philosophy rendered invisible or unthinkable: the relationship between media and race, media and gender and sexuality, geopolitical and cultural differences.

COML 4423 - The City: Asia (GB) (CA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS) (EC-SAP, EC-SAP, EC-SEAP)     
(crosslisted) ASIAN 4423, FGSS 4504, PMA 4504
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
M 11:20am - 1:15pm
Co-meets with ASIAN 6623/COML 6623/ FGSS 6504.
A. Fuhrmann.
This course uses the lens of temporality to track transformations in notions of urban personhood and collective life engendered by recent trans-Asia economic shifts. We will develop tools that help unpack the spatial and cultural forms of density and the layered histories that define the contemporary urban fabric of cities such as Hanoi, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The course combines the investigation of the cinemas and literatures of the region with the study of recent writing on cities from Asian studies, film studies, queer theory, urban studies, political theory, religious studies, cultural geography, literary theory, and anthropology. (SC)

COML 4809 - Networks
W 2:40pm - 4:35pm
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
Co-meets with COML 6809.
A. Bachner.
One of the main justifications for work in the humanities hinges upon the importance of representation: We claim that we are telling better stories about some of the complex issues that face us today and that such stories can and will impact the fate of our planet and of humanity—politically, ethically, epistemologically, materially. But how do we narrate, represent, or theorize such complex networks and constellations—global circulations of peoples, objects, and labor information networks, large-scale social, economic, and political crises, vectors of contagion, or climate change and environmental degradation? In this seminar, we will bring together different types of texts and media as well as a range of theoretical approaches in order to critically investigate the forms that represent global networks as well as the possibilities for forging connections across the planet (and beyond). Possible texts include: Galloway’s and Thacker’s The Exploit: A Theory of Networks, Chirbes’s On the Edge, Mezzadra’s and Neilson’s Border as Method, Chen Qiufan’s The Waste Tide, Morton’s Hyperobjects, Cloud Atlas (film and novel), Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents, Bellott’s Sexual Dependency (film), Nancy’s Globalization, Pavic’s Dictionary of the Khazars, Schätzing’s The Swarm, Wu Mingyi’s Man with Compound Eyes.

COML 4930 - Senior Essay (CU-UGR)     
Multi-semester course: (Fall, Spring). 4 credits. First course: R grade only (in progress).
Staff.
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.

COML 4940 - Senior Essay (CU-UGR)
Multi-semester course: (Fall, Spring). 4 credits. Letter grades only.
Prerequisite: COML 4930.
Staff.
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.

COML 6136 - Empathy: Affects and Sociality in Literature and Theory
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
W 12:25pm - 2:20pm
A. Schwarz.
Examination of affects at the intersections of aesthetics, ethics, politics, philosophy and psychoanalysis.  Points of inquiry: how are social feelings of empathy, solidarity and identification evoked in literature? Do we encounter different forms of empathy according to genre, type of narrative, social structures and historical context? How do literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis describe, support, nourish, undermine or construct concepts of sociality and social life with others? What affects are outside the social realm? What are the emotive forces of tragedy and trauma in theory and fiction?  Authors include: Aristotle, Burke, Lessing, Hegel, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Heidegger, Freud, Massumi, Goethe, Kleist, Balzac, Kafka, Walser, Thomas Mann, Dostojewsky.

COML 6159 - Literary Theory on the Edge (EC-SAP)     
(crosslisted) PMA 6421
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
TR 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Co-meets with COML 3021/ENGL 3021/FREN 3921/PMA 3421. No previous knowledge of theory required.
C. Caruth, P. Lorenz.
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.

COML 6200 - Independent Study
Spring. 1-4 credits, variable. Student option grading.
Permission of instructor required. COML 6190 and COML 6200 may be taken independently of each other.
Staff.
This course gives students the opportunity to work with a selected instructor to pursue special interests or research not treated in regularly scheduled courses. After getting permission of the instructor, students should enroll online in the instructor’s section. Enrolled students are required to provide the department with a course description and/or syllabus along with the instructor’s approval by the end of the first week of classes.

COML 6336 - Border Environments
(crosslisted) LSP 6336, SPAN 6335
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MW 11:25am - 12:40pm
Co-meets with COML 3336/LSP 3336/SPAN 3335.
A. Banerjee, D. Castillo.
This course focuses on a place and a concept where two of the most urgent issues of our times - migration and environmental degradation - converge, collide, and shape each other. It examines borders not as abstract lines on the map, but as dynamic hubs that connect human societies, politics, and cultures with the natural and built environments that we inhabit and transform. Through scholarly and creative work from an array of borders around the world, we will develop new theoretical approaches and methodological toolkits for rethinking and re-visioning borders in an era of climate change, toxic pollution, and mass extinction. The course encourages multi- and inter-disciplinary projects from students and will feature guests from diverse areas, disciplines, and practices.

COML 6354 - Media and Experience
(crosslisted) COML 6354, NES 6334
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
T 12:25pm - 2:20pm
Co-meets with COML 4354, NES 4334
P. Vaziri.
Continental philosophy fuels contemporary media theory. The connection runs so deep, critics have accused media theorists of producing nothing intellectually new. From Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological experiments to Heidegger’s reflections on technology and time, to Derrida’s suspicions of immediacy, a clear philosophical lineage shapes the way media theory thinks about history, subjectivity, and experience. Through engagements with media theory and the inheritance that informs it, we explore the genealogy of thought on media and experience, reflecting on the technological shifts that could not have been anticipated by early 20th century philosophers: social media, and the digital’s current saturation of all levels of human communication. We also explore those areas of thought that the Eurocentricism and presumed universality of Western philosophy rendered invisible or unthinkable: the relationship between media and race, media and gender and sexuality, geopolitical and cultural differences.

COML 6623 - The City: Asia (EC-SAP, EC-SEAP)
(crosslisted) ASIAN 6623, FGSS 6504
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
M 11:20am - 1:15pm
Co-meets with ASIAN 4423/COML 4423/FGSS 4504/PMA 4504.
A. Fuhrmann.
This course uses the lens of temporality to track transformations in notions of urban personhood and collective life engendered by recent trans-Asia economic shifts. We will develop tools that help unpack the spatial and cultural forms of density and the layered histories that define the contemporary urban fabric of cities such as Hanoi, Bangkok, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The course combines the investigation of the cinemas and literatures of the region with the study of recent writing on cities from Asian studies, film studies, queer theory, urban studies, political theory, religious studies, cultural geography, literary theory, and anthropology. (SC)

COML 6685 - Literature of Leaving China
(crosslisted) ASIAN 6639
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
MW 9:40am - 10:55am
Co-meets with ASIAN 3329, CAPS 3329, COML 3985
N. Admussen.
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.  (LL)

COML 6809 - Networks
W 2:40pm - 4:35pm
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
Co-meets with COML 4809
A. Bachner.
One of the main justifications for work in the humanities hinges upon the importance of representation: We claim that we are telling better stories about some of the complex issues that face us today and that such stories can and will impact the fate of our planet and of humanity—politically, ethically, epistemologically, materially. But how do we narrate, represent, or theorize such complex networks and constellations—global circulations of peoples, objects, and labor information networks, large-scale social, economic, and political crises, vectors of contagion, or climate change and environmental degradation? In this seminar, we will bring together different types of texts and media as well as a range of theoretical approaches in order to critically investigate the forms that represent global networks as well as the possibilities for forging connections across the planet (and beyond). Possible texts include: Galloway’s and Thacker’s The Exploit: A Theory of Networks, Chirbes’s On the Edge, Mezzadra’s and Neilson’s Border as Method, Chen Qiufan’s The Waste Tide, Morton’s Hyperobjects, Cloud Atlas (film and novel), Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents, Bellott’s Sexual Dependency (film), Nancy’s Globalization, Pavic’s Dictionary of the Khazars, Schätzing’s The Swarm, Wu Mingyi’s Man with Compound Eyes.

COML 6850 - Gramsci and Cultural Politics
(crosslisted) GERST 6850, GOVT 6750, ROMS 6855   
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.
W 2:40pm - 4:35pm
G. Waite.
Intertwinement of Gramsci’s pre-prison and prison writings with his legacy in subsequent political theory & praxis, philosophy, linguistics, architecture, and cinema. Criticism of his work from the Right also the Left (Autonomia Operaia, Red Brigades), the communist critique (Althusser) and anarchist Nihilist Communism (Monsieur Dupont). Situation of Gramsci in “Western Marxism” (Perry Anderson). Gramsci’s Politics of Language as “engaging the Soviet Bakhtin Circle and the German Frankfurt School” (Peter Ives). Concepts of ‘hegemony,’ ‘civil society,’ ‘war of position & war of maneuver,’ ‘organic vs. traditional intellectuals’—all via less Machiavelli than the “Modern Prince” (Gramsci) and “Machiavelli and Us” (Althusser). Gramsci’s “little discovery” in Dante’s Inferno as origin of Cultural Politics: Gramscian Architecture (Manfredo Tafuri), Painting Political Expressionism (Leonardo Cremonini), and international cinema.

 

Russian Literature (RUSSL)

RUSSL 2150 - Russian Culture, History, and Politics through Film (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.
MW 11:25am - 12:40pm
R. Krivitsky.
This survey course will introduce you to various aspects of Russian culture as a formative force of national identity in a broad historical, geopolitical and socioeconomic context of 20-21st century post-imperial, Soviet, and post-soviet Russia. A selection of iconic works of Russian filmmakers will offer you a unique perspective of people’s lives, aspirations, hopes and struggles throughout the nation’s turbulent history - revolutions and Civil war, Stalin’s era and World War II, the political thaw and stagnation, perestroika, the breakdown of the USSR, and full of uncertainties post-soviet era. Reading assignments may include poetry, short stories, historical commentary, and film criticism. No knowledge of the Russian language is required: the course will be conducted entirely in English, and the films will be shown with English subtitles.

RUSSL 4492 - Supervised Reading in Russian Literature (CU-UGR)

Permission of instructor required. To apply for independent study, please complete the on-line form at data.arts.cornell.edu/as-stus/indep_study_intro.cfm.
Staff.
Independent reading course in topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course work.

RUSSL 6611 - Supervised Reading and Research
Fall or Spring. 2-4 credits, variable. Student option grading.
Prerequisite: proficiency in Russian or permission of instructor. Times TBA with instructor.
Staff.
Independent study.

 

Russian Language (RUSSA)
Please see website for course information: http://russian.cornell.edu/

 

Distance Learning Courses:
The courses below are part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught using videoconferencing technology.

Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS)

BCS 1132 - Elementary Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian II
         Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.
    Prerequisite: BCS 1131 or equivalent.

This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
    Staff.
By the end of this course, students will be able to carry on basic conversations in Bosnian/ Croatian/Serbian on many topics from daily life. They should be able to make polite requests, ask for information, respond to requests and descriptions, impart personal information, and have simple discussions on familiar topics. They will also acquire the skills to read and understand simple informational texts, such as newspaper headlines and menus, announcements and advertisements, and to extract the general idea of longer informational texts. They will master the writing systems of the languages, and should be able to write notes or simple letters and keep a journal.

BCS 2134 - Intermediate Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian II
    Satisfies Option 1.      Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.
This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
    Staff.
    The intermediate course in BCS is a continuation of the elementary course and is intended to enhance overall communicative competence in the language. This course moves forward from the study of the fundamental systems and vocabulary of the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian to rich exposure to the spoken and written language with the wide range of speakers and situations. The goal of the course is to give students practice in comprehension, speaking, and composition, while broadening their vocabulary and deepening their understanding of grammar and syntax. The course will focus on the following skills: conversation, writing, role-playing, interviewing, and summarizing. To develop these skills the students will be assigned dialogues, language exercises, translations, descriptions, summaries, and a final independent project.

Finnish (FINN)

FINN 1122 - Elementary Finnish II
         Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.
This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
    Staff.
    The Elementary Finnish II course is designed for students with some prior knowledge of Finnish. Students have an opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing and speaking in Finnish. Students learn to provide information about their opinions and feelings, their families, their immediate environment and their daily activities.

FINN 2134 - Intermediate Finnish II
Satisfies Option 1.      Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
    Staff.
    The Intermediate Finnish I course is designed for students with some prior knowledge of Finnish. Students have an opportunity to practice listening, reading, writing and speaking in Finnish. Students learn to provide information about their opinions and feelings, their families, their immediate environment and their daily activities. The course is taught in Finnish.

Ukranian (UKRAN)

UKRAN 1122 - Elementary Ukrainian II
Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.
This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
    Staff.
    The purpose of this course is for the students to develop elementary proficiency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing in Ukrainian, while acquiring some basic knowledge of Ukrainian culture, history, geography, and way of life.
    Upon completion of the course, students who have attended classes on a regular basis, successfully completed all assignments and all tests and exams with a minimum grade of B- should be able to:
    - master Ukrainian pronunciation and grammatical accuracy well enough to be understood by a native speaker of Ukrainian.
    - provide basic information in Ukrainian, both orally and in writing, about themselves, their family, likes and dislikes, everyday activities, studying, as well as some immediate needs, such as ordering food and making simple purchases;
    - understand and participate in simple exchanges on everyday topics (e.g., meeting people, school, shopping, etc.) in most common informal settings;
    - use and understand a range of essential vocabulary related to everyday life (e.g., days of the week, numbers, months, seasons, numbers, telling the time and date, family, food, transportation, common objects, colors, etc.).

UKRAN 2134 - Intermediate Ukrainian II
Satisfies Option 1.      Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
Staff.
The course starts with a review and subsequent reinforcement of grammar fundamentals and core vocabulary pertaining to the most common aspects of daily life. Principal emphasis is placed on further development of students’ communicative skills (oral and written) on such topics as the self, family, studies and leisure, travel, meals and others.

UKRAN 3134 - Advanced Ukrainian II
(ALC-AS, LA-AS)
Satisfies Option 1.      Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.
This course is part of the Shared Course Initiative and will be taught from Columbia University using videoconferencing technology. Questions may be directed to Angelika Kraemer, ak2573@cornell.edu.
Staff.
This content-based modular course aims to develop students’ capacity to use the Ukrainian language as a research and communication tool in a variety of specialized functional and stylistic areas that include literary fiction, scholarly prose, printed and broadcast journalism. It is designed for students with interest in the history, politics, literature, culture and other aspects of contemporary Ukraine, as well as those who plan to do their research, business or reporting about Ukraine. The course is taught in Ukrainian.