Comparative Literature Graduate Course Offerings
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.
Recent work in the newly established and rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field of animal studies seems to have permanently unsettled the classical philosophical distinction between the “human” and the “animal.” This body of work has effectively redefined nonhuman animals as ethical subjects themselves by complicating the distinction between the rational or linguistic “human” on one hand and the irrational or nonlinguistic “animal” on the other.
Yet even within the field of animal studies, the ethical status of the inanimate or nonsentient “plant” as well as the inorganic or nonliving “stone” remains very contentious. New interdisciplinary fields have begun to emerge – fields with such tentative names as “critical plant studies” and “ecotheory” – further calling into question the distinction between the “human” and the “nonhuman” that the field of animal studies itself has already broached.
Does the claim for sentience among plants undermine the ongoing political struggle for animal rights? Does the argument for some kind of agency on the part of stones overturn the very basis of all ethical thought and action? Have the binary oppositions “rational/irrational” and “linguistic/nonlinguistic” that serve to define the human being within the classical philosophical tradition simply been replaced by the binary oppositions “animate/inanimate,” “sentient/nonsentient,” “organic/inorganic,” and “living/nonliving” within the field of animal studies?
- Cary Wolfe, Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), ISBN 978-0226905143;
- Matthew Calarco, Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), ISBN 978-0231140232;
- Michael Marder, Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), ISBN 978-0231161251;
- Jeffrey T. Nealon, Plant Theory: Biopower and Vegetal Life (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016), ISBN 978-08047966750;
- Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2015), ISBN 978-0816692620;
- Timothy Morton, Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), ISBN 978-0674034853;
- Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), ISBN 978-0822346333.
- Five response papers (2-3 pp. each, 40% total);
- Long essay (12-15 pp., 40%);
- Attendance and participation (20%).
Elizabeth Goodstein & Sander Gilman
[Cross-listed with HIST 585, ENG 789, & PHIL]
[Crosslisted with FREN 770]
The seminar focuses on the shared vulnerability -ecological, societal, cultural- of sites of creolization in the Greater Caribbean. Particularly, it explores how poets, fiction writers, and mixed-media artists represent the vulnerability of land and people in response to the lack of official rituals granted to the drowned. In addition to figuring death by drowning in the aftermath of slavery and “natural” and human-made catastrophes, their aesthetic creations serve as memorials, dirges, tombstones, and even literal supports for the regrowth of life underwater. Water, as we will see, is both a place of disconnection (island) and relation (archipelago), as well as an abyss and conduit between the dead and the living.
- Aimé Césaire. Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. 978-0819564528 or Cahier d’un retour au pays natal. 978-2708704206
- Edwidge Danticat. Claire of the Sea Light. 978-0307472274
- Fabienne Kanor. Humus. 978-2070780853 (French edition)
- NourbeSe Philip. Zong!978-0819571694
Deborah Elise White
[Cross-listed with ENG 730]
[Cross-listed with PHIL 531]
________. “On the Spirit and the Letter in Philosophy” , trans. Elizabeth Rubenstein, in German Aesthetic and Literary Criticism, ed. David Simpson (Cambridge: Cambridge, 1984), 74–93. PDF.
________. The Vocation of Man , trans. Peter Preuss (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987).
Novalis, Fichte Studies [1795–96], ed. and trans. Jane Kneller (Cambridge: Cambridge, 2003).
________. Henry von Ofterdingen , trans. Palmer Hilty (Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 1990).
Friedrich Schlegel, Selected Fragments on Fichte [1798–1800], from Lucinde and the Fragments, ed. and trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1971).
________. “Introduction to the Transcendental Philosophy” , in Theory as Practice: A Critical Anthology of Early German Romantic Writings, ed. and trans. Jochen Schulte-Sasse et. al. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 240–67. PDF
________. “Philosophical Lectures: Transcendental Philosophy” , in The Early Political Writings of the German Romantics, ed. and trans. Frederick C. Beiser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 143–58. PDF
________. Lucinde , in Lucinde and the Fragments, ed. and trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1971), 42–140.
Karoline von Günderrode, “Selected Studies: Fichte, The Vocation of Man” [~1803], trans. Anna Ezekiel. PDF.
________. Muhammad, Prophet of Mecca , in Poetic Fragments, ed. and trans. Anna Ezekiel (Albany: SUNY Press, 2016), 121–299.
________. Magic and Destiny , trans. Anna Ezekiel. PDF.
Attendance & Participation 10%
3 Short Write Ups (2 pages) 15%
In Class Presentation 25%
Final Paper (20 pages) 50%
[Cross-listed with FREN 780]