Comparative Literature Graduate Course Offerings

Fall 2016

CPLT 735 00P "Composition Practicum"
David Fisher

Th 1-4PM
Max 10
[Crosslisted with ENG 791]
Content: This course provides an opportunity for you to design (and practice teaching) engaging writing courses that help students achieve the learning outcomes for Emory’s first-year writing program. You will participate in a number of activities central to post-secondary instruction in composition, including outcomes generation and customization, assignment and syllabus development, and scoring guide/rubric development and application. You will respond to sample student papers and conduct lessons and activities that integrate the texts you have selected. You will also observe and reflect on the classroom practices of a peer teaching a first-year course and your own teaching performance (via video capture). These activities are informed by praxis-oriented readings selected to broaden your knowledge of writing instruction in the first-year course and across the curriculum.

By the time you finish this course, you should be able to

* Describe the importance of “rhetorical conceptualization” and integrate a rhetorical lexicon into your course.
* Describe the significance of portfolio teaching and portfolio thinking for writing instruction and incorporate a semester-long portfolio project into your course.
* Develop assignments and lessons that enable multilingual speakers to leverage their language abilities and experiences.
* Practice traits of a reflective instructor by evaluating and improving upon what you learn from planning and delivering lessons.
* Develop process-oriented strategies for teaching students to write in various genres and modes about complex ideas and reading materials.
* Use writing to help students practice various critical thinking skills (e.g., analysis, synthesis, critique, interpretation, exemplification, definition, problem solving, and evaluation).
* Apply techniques that involve students in meaningful collaboration (e.g., peer review).
* Respond helpfully to student writing and develop valid grading tools (e.g., rubrics/scoring guides).
* Participate constructively in programmatic assessment activities.
* Develop short proposals for internally funded pedagogical grants.
Texts: TBA
Particulars: TBA

NOTE: Permission-only course.

CPLT 750R 000 "Literary Theories"
Geoffrey Bennington

Th 1-4PM
Max 10
Content: The course explores some of the ways in which an influential way of thinking about language has affected ways of thinking about literature. After investigating the main tenets of structuralist theory, as derived from Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale, we shall go on to see how the internal logic of structuralism led to the rather different positions often referred to as ‘post-structuralism’ and/or ‘post-modernism’, and to a questioning of the position of theory itself.
Texts: TBA
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 001 "Experiments in Scholarly Form"
Angelika Bammer & Anna Grimshaw

T 1-4PM
Max 6
[Cross-listed with ANT 585]
Content: Recent developments in American higher education—the increasing emphasis on inter-disciplinarity, the so-called “crisis” of academic publishing, the call for more attention to public scholarship, and the emergence of new fields of scholarly inquiry—have put pressure on the traditional forms through which scholarship is presented. While such pressure is sometimes experienced negatively, as a problem, it also presents a productive occasion for innovation and creativity. New forms emerge from within given fields themselves as well as from encounters across fields. In this spirit of discovery and experimentation, we will explore challenges to established forms of academic representation. Drawing on a series of case studies, we will examine ways of pursuing intellectual inquiry that extend beyond the conventional academic text. In particular, we will consider experiments in a variety of media:  text-based (e.g. personal memoir, dialogue, the essay, diary), image-based (the photo-essay and film) and digital forms.
The goal of this course is twofold: (1) Students will learn to critically assess the possibilities and limitations of conventional forms of scholarly presentation in their fields; (2) They will learn to explore new forms of scholarly presentation relevant to their work.
Berger, John and Mohr, Jean. A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor (1967)
- Castaing-Taylor, Lucien and Paravel, Verena. Leviathan (2013), Netflix and DVD 20527
- MacDougall, David. To Live With Herds (1971), DVD 13894
- Steedman, Carolyn. Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives (1986)
- Stewart, Kathleen, Ordinary Affects (2007)
- Williams, Patricia L. The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor (1991)
- Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research, 3rd ed. (2008)
Particulars: The course will broadly comprise two parts.
In the first part, students will be asked to develop critical reading skills, identify the norms and conventions in the academic fields in which they work, and carry out a series of small exercises that will lay the foundation for their final project.
The exercises are as follows:
• Class presentation of norms and conventions in the academic field/fields in which their own research is located
• Creative response to assigned class material
• Imitation of assigned class material
• Spring Break projects and presentationsIn the second part of the course, students will be working toward their final projects. Students will continue to develop critical interpretive skills through engagement with the assigned materials. But they will also clarify and present the context for their own experimentation.

The final project will have two components: critical writing and experimentation with a non-conventional form.
• Critical Writing: Students will produce a paper that addresses a problem of representation in an area of their own research. The paper should contain a definition of the problem, an examination of the conventional forms of academic presentation used in the particular field of inquiry, and a discussion of possible alternative forms (with an account of why they may be more adequate). Throughout, the paper should attend to the ways in which formal issues are also scholarly and intellectual issues.
Length: 1,500 – 2,000 words
• Experimentation with non-conventional form. This assignment follows from the problem identified in the critical writing paper. It should represent an attempt to explore a non-conventional scholarly form and it may be pursued in any medium or combination of media: textual, photographic, video, digital. The assignment is intended to give students the opportunity to engage with new formal possibilities without the expectation that the final piece be polished or complete.Students will be rewarded for the boldness (rather than the perfection) of their experimentation.

CPLT 751 002 "Postcolonial Theory"
Sean Meighoo

M 1-4PM
Max 12
Content: Postcolonial theory is an interdisciplinary field of scholarly study that addresses the relations between race, ethnicity, culture, and power after the global decline of European colonialism over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  As its name suggests, postcolonial theory is indebted both to anticolonial thought and to poststructuralist theory.  Although some knowledge of either anticolonial thought or poststructuralist theory is preferable, it is not required for this course.

In this graduate seminar, we will read some of the most important texts associated with the emergence of postcolonial theory from the 1970s to the 1990s.  We may also draw from other works of literature, art, music, and film in critically reassessing the politico-theoretical concepts of nationalism, essentialism, representation, difference, subalternity, hybridity, and resistance.
Texts: TBA
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 003 "Poetry by Other Means: Baudelaire, Benjamin, Derrida"
Elissa Marder
Tu 1-4PM
Max 10
[Crosslisted with FREN 775]
Content: Baudelaire’s writings have a peculiar—almost uncanny—chameleon-like ability to adapt themselves to the historical experience of his readers. From the first publication of Les Fleurs du Mal in 1857 up to the present day, Baudelaire’s poetry has fascinated many major philosophers, thinkers, and writers (including but not limited to: Mallarmé, Valéry, Sartre, Ponge, Bataille, Blanchot, Proust, Walter Benjamin, de Man, and Derrida). We will focus on Baudelaire’s signature ability both to read his readers and to imagine the forms that poetry takes in an increasingly prosaic world. By reading Baudelaire though Benjamin and Derrida, we will attempt to understand why Baudelaire remains the poet of (post) modern life. Questions addressed include: materialist historiography, photography, mourning, translation, experience, the body, allegory, and sexuality.
Texts: Texts will include: Baudelaire: Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Spleen de Paris, Le Peintre de la vie moderne, Les Paradis artificiels. Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire, The Arcades Project (Das Passagen-Werk) and selected essays. Derrida, Donner le Temps and other essays.
Particulars: This course will be taught in English. Reading knowledge of French and/or German highly desirable but not absolutely required.

CPLT 751 004 "Deleuze and Guattari, Ecosystems and Catastrophe Capitalism"
John Johnston

W 1-4PM
[Cross-listed with ENG 789]
Content: This course will consider Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of capitalism and their analysis of flows, the processes of coding, decoding and recoding in the light of very basic systems theory and cybernetics, and then in relation to ecosystems theory. The systems and ecosystems approach we take up is developed by Donella Meadows and the Club of Rome in Limits of Growth (published in 1972, the same year as Anti-Oedipus) and applied in various simulated scenarios of population and economic growth and environmental destruction. We will next consider how both approaches are updated and further developed by D&G in A Thousand Plateaus and by Meadows et al in Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. Whereas D&G develop a theory of the State vis-a-vis nomadism and the war machine, Meadows et al focus on new economic forces, technologies and the transition to sustainability. In the third part of the course we consider further articulations of these two approaches. Specifically, Maurizio Lazzarato and Franco ‘Bifo’ Beradi analyze new modes of capitalist exploitation through the creation and function of debt and new forms of subjectivity respectively, while Naomi Klein shows how disaster capitalism operates in several vivid historical instances and further argues that there is an irresolvable contradiction between capitalism and a sustainable natural environment on planet earth. Finally, if there is an expressed interest, we may also read several techno-thrillers such as The Fear Index and Watermind that reflect current machinations in the stock market and capitalism’s newly complicated relation to environmental destruction.
Texts: TBA
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 005 "Theories of Religion"
Jill Robbins and Marko Geslani

W 2:30-5:30PM
[Cross-listed with RLTS 700]
Content: In this seminar, we will read closely major texts in the sociology and anthropology of religion by Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Claude Levi-Strauss, Mary Douglas, Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu. We will discuss category formation, the role of presuppositions and meaning-structures, and the problem of comparison, as well as critically investigating key terms in the contemporary study of religion, such as "experience," "performance," "culture." Approaches to be considered, in addition to the structuralist-functionalist, include phenomenological, hermeneutic, and History of Religions.
Texts: Texts may include: Theo Sundermeier, "Religion, Religions";  Nathan Soderblum, "Holiness";  Emile Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life (trans. Karen Fields) and "Concerning the Definition of Religious Phenomena";  Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger; Marcel Mauss,  Sacrifice and The Gift, Claude Levi-Strauss, "The Scope of Anthropology"; Maurice Merleau-Ponty , "From Mauss to Levi-Strauss"; Clifford Geertz, Works and Lives; Max Weber, "The Social Psychology of World Religions," Pierre Bourdieu, "Genesis and Structure of the Religious Field"; Hans Kippenberg, Discovering Religious History in the Modern Age. Additional essays by Robert Scharf, Catherine Bell and Tomoko Masuzawa.
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 00P "Transnational Surrealism and the Discourse of the Unconscious"
Walter Kalaidjian

W 1-4PM
Max 3
[Cross-listed with ENG 752R, PSP 789, & WGS 588R]
Content: This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the cultural, pictorial, and psychoanalytic registers of surrealist aesthetics reaching back to early, theoretical works of the 1920s such as André Breton’s “First Manifesto of Surrealism” (1924) and Walter Benjamin’s “Surrealism, The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia” (1929) up through surrealism’s continuing influence on contemporary fiction, poetry, and film.  Employing the archival resources of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, we will explore surrealism’s migration at mid-century from Europe to London and finally New York City in little magazines such as Minotaure, London Bulletin, VVV, and focusing, in particular, on the New York circle represented by the Julien Levy Gallery and in View:  Charles Henri Ford’s fashionable, avant-garde journal of the 1940s.Particular attention will be devoted to surrealism’s dialogue with psychoanalysis in exchanges between Salvador Dalí and Jacques Lacan.  The seminar will seek to understand what John Ashbery in his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures would later describe as surrealism’s mission to “accurately reflect experience in which both the conscious and the unconscious play a role.”  In this vein, the seminar will consider surrealism’s intervention in the public sphere as in Salvidor Dalí’s Dream of Venus pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s fair and his later Hollywood collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound (1945).
Texts: In addition to reading texts by Breton, Louis Aragon, and Georges Batailles, we will explore Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler’s collaboratively-authored The Young and the Evil, Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood, and Leonora Carrington’s The Hearing Trumpet, paying sustained attention to the modern American tradition of “painterly” surrealist verse and its imbrication with the contemporaneous visual art of figures such as Dalí, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Pavel Tchelitchew, Yves Tanguy, Joseph Cornell, and Leonor Fini, among others.
Particulars: A short paper, presentation, and a final seminar research essay are  required.

CPLT 752R 000 "Neoplatonism and Early Medieval Thoughts"
Kevin Corrigan

T 10-1PM
Max 3
[Cross-listed with ICIVS 700]

This class will trace significant lines of thought from earlier antiquity through the thought of Plotinus in the third century CE and the subsequent Neoplatonists, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus and others into the early Medieval world and its heritage in Jewish, Christian and Islamic forms of thought and practice.

Neoplatonism is a modern term that indicates what modernity saw as a “new” form of Platonic thought. Ever since the separation of an earlier “Plato” (424/423-348/347 BCE) and his immediate heritage from the later reinvention of Platonic tradition that occurred in the 19th century, Neoplatonism can be traced back to Plotinus (204-270CE), an Egyptian who wrote in Greek and lived in Rome, and whose works, known as the Enneads (or six groups of nine treatises), were collected by his pupil and colleague, Porphyry (234—305CE). The term is then extended to cover subsequent thinkers such as Iamblichus (c. 245–325CE), Syrianus (d. 437CE), Proclus (412-485CE), Damascius (c. 458-538CE), and some of the Aristotelian commentators such as Simplicius (c. 490-560CE), as well as many later figures in different traditions—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—who were influenced to greater or lesser degrees by Plotinus’ thought, figures ranging from Pseudo-Dionysius (late 5th to early 6th century CE), Augustine ((354-430CE), Avicenna (c. 980 –1037CE), Ibn Gabirol (1021-1058CE), and Moses Maimonides (1135-1204CE) to Bonaventure (1221-1274CE), Aquinas (1225-1274CE), Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499CE), Giordano Bruno (1548-1600CE), and others in the Italian Renaissance.
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 797R 00P  Directed Readings
By permission of the Director.  Please contact the Program Office (N101 Callaway) for more information.

CPLT 798R 000  Supervised Research
For independent research aimed primarily at preparation for graduate exams and dissertation prospectus. Please contact the Program Office (N101 Callaway for more information).
*Must be taken S/U
Content: Variable Credit 1-12

CPLT 799R 000  Dissertation Research
By permission of the Director.  Please contact the Program Office (N101 Callaway) for more information.