Comparative Literature Graduate Course Offerings

Spring 2015

CPLT 735 00P "Composition Theory"

David Fisher

W 10AM-1PM
Max 6
[Cross-listed with ENG 790]
Content: This course offers a sustained introduction to composition theory and current scholarship in writing studies. It is required of all graduate students in English and Comparative Literature in the spring term of their first year. This requirement reflects the widespread recognition that composition and rhetoric has since the mid 1960s emerged as a large interdisciplinary body of scholarship within and beyond English studies, intersecting communications, computer science, creative writing, education, psychology, linguistics, literary studies, and media studies. The course introduces you to writing studies via the field's history, theories, research methodologies, pedagogies, and technologies.
By the time you finish this course, you should be able to
  • Highlight areas of debate, articulate theoretical issues, and identify pointed areas of contention among competing theories of composition.
  • As a Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI)-certified researcher, develop a line of inquiry and protocol for a classroom- or curriculum-based study involving human subjects. 
  • Apply selected theories to your own teaching practice as evidenced by a syllabus you develop for CPLT 110 or ENG 101, a statement of your teaching philosophy, and a simple ePortfolio.
  • Work with several digital composing tools that can contribute to your ability to develop, assess, and assist your students with multimodal composing.
Texts: TBA

Particulars: TBA
*NOTE: Permission of instructor only.

CPLT 751 000 "Nations & Identities: Africa, Americas & Europe"

Jeffrey Lesser and Ana Teieira

T 1-4PM
Max 3
[Cross-listed with HIST 585, AFS 585, ANT 585, & ILA 790]

Content: This graduate seminar focuses on a comparative study of Lusophone Africa, Brazil, and Portugal, from the end of World War II to today.  By focusing on the so-called Afro-Luso-Brazilian triangle we will explore the multidirectional exchanges of people, memories, ideas and goods in these three continents. Selected literary, cultural, historical, anthropological and religious texts, along with films and music, will serve as vehicles for analysis of major political and social shifts that have affected the landscape of the contemporary Portuguese-speaking world and beyond: from Brazil’s military dictatorship to its transition to democracy; from Portugal’s New State to membership in the European Union; and from the wars of independence in Africa to the formation of newly independent nations.  We will examine a variety of topics including the formation of national, local and individual identities, gender and family dynamics, generational change, rural and urban relationships, migration and diaspora, and race and ethnic relations.

Texts: TBA

Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 001 "Biography, Autobiography, and Scandal: Literature as Testimony and as Courtroom Drama"

Shoshana Felman

M 4-7PM
Max 2
[Cross-listed with ENG 789, FREN 780, PHIL 789, RLR 700, PSP 789, & LAW 618 (Undergraduate - Permission-only)]

Content: History has put on trial a series of outstanding thinkers. At the dawn of philosophy, Socrates drinks the cup of poison to which he is condemned by the Athenians, charged with atheism and corruption of the youth.  Centuries later, in modernity, similarly influential teacher, Oscar Wilde, is condemned by the English for his homosexuality, as well as for his provocative artistic views. In France, Flaubert and Baudelaire are both indicted as criminals for their literary works; Emile Zola is condemned for defending a Jew against the state, which has (wrongly) convicted him. Different forms of censorship are instigated by religious institutions, as well as by psychoanalytic ones. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan – who practices and teaches new techniques—is expelled from the International Psychoanalytical Association, and perceives his expulsion as a religious “excommunication” (Luther, Spinoza). Through the examination of a series of historical and literary trials, this course will ask:  Why are literary writers, philosophers and creative thinkers, repetitively put on trial, and how in turn do they put society on trial? Can these trials be viewed as autobiographies of sorts, or as biographies of scandal? What is the role of literature as a political actor in the struggles over ethics and the struggles over meaning?  And finally: how does literature become the writing of a destiny, or what can be called “Life-Writing”?
Texts: Selected authors for Spring 2015: Plato (Apology; Crito; Philosophy on trial; Plato’s experience of his mentor’s execution); Oscar Wilde (Sexuality, art, and biography on trial: Wilde’s writings--novel, plays, autobiography, ballad; and Wilde’s biography – in literary memoirs narrated by his friend and colleague, the French writer André Gide); Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary, novel on trial); Charles Baudelaire (Flowers of Evil, poetry on trial: exemplary poems studied); Herman Melville (Billy Budd, one of the richest literary illustrations of “Law in Literature”: a story of Innocence on trial).
Particulars: Regular attendance; two short papers distributed in the course of the semester; brief oral presentations; weekly one-page reading reports, and active (annotated) preparation of texts for class discussion; ongoing participation.

CPLT 751 002 "Michel de Certeau"

Vincent Bruyere

W 4-7PM
Max 4
[Cross-listed with FREN 770S]
Content: This seminar has three objectives: 1) to introduce students to Michel de Certeau’s experiments and explorations in critical historiography, 2) to put some of his concepts in dialogue with recent development in critical historiography and human geography as a contrastive agent, 3) to reflect on the stakes and the very historicity of interdisciplinarity by using his own work on ethnography, mysticism, and cultural resistance as both case studies and launchers. Although students are encouraged to navigate between the English translation and the French original, no prior knowledge of French is necessary to follow this seminar. Assessment will be based on class presentations, response papers, and a self-reflexive case study in which participants will attend to a singular encounter with Certaldian concepts or/and to modes of problematizing notions of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity within their domain of research.
Michel de Certeau, L’écriture de l’histoire (Paris: Folio-Gallimard, 2001)
Trans. The Writing of History, translated by Tom Conley (Columbia UP, 1988)
______, L’invention du quotidien 1 (Paris: Folio-Gallimard, 1990).
Trans: The Practice of Everyday Life, translated by Steven Rendall (U. of California P. 2011)
______, La fable mystique 1 (Paris: Gallimard, 1987)
Trans. The Mystic Fable: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, translated by Michael B. Smith (Chicago UP, 1992)
______, Heterologies, translated by Brian Massumi (Minnesota UP, 1984)
Selected articles available through the Library Reserve and Blackboard
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 003 "Emerson and Nietzsche"

John Lysaker

Th 1-4PM
Max 3
[Cross-listed with PHIL 531R & ENG 789]
Content: The topic is Emerson and Nietzsche, looking at overlapping and divergent themes as well as performative structures and gestures. This will involve a close look at the Emersonian "essay" as well as whatever one should term a text like “Beyond Good and Evil.” Some attention to historical influence and the logic of indirect reading/quotation will also be discussed. But each will also be read as a powerful intellectual presence in his own right. I haven't finalized the texts I will be reading, but this is the likely line-up:
Week One: Uses of Great Men, The American Scholar, The Divinity School Address
Week Two: Method of Nature, Nature (1844)
Week Three: Self-Reliance;
Week Four: The Poet Week Five: Experience;
Week Six: Fate, Power;
Week Seven: New England Reformers, Race, Fugitive Slave Law.
Week Eight: Use and Abuse of History for Life; Schopenhauer as Educator;
Week Nine: Gay Science;
Week Ten: Gay Science;
Week Eleven: Beyond Good and Evil;
Week Twelve: Beyond Good and Evil;
Week Thirteen: Genealogy of Morals;
Week Fourteen: Genealogy of Morals.
Texts: TBA
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 004 "Radical Empiricism:  James and Deleuze (or James and Deleuze: Radical Empiricism)"

John Stuhr

T 2-5PM
Max 5
[Cross-listed with PHIL 541]
Content: This seminar investigates the meaning and nature of radical empiricism(s) as a means for understanding and comparing the philosophies of William James and Gilles Deleuze (both of whom labeled themselves radical empiricists) and, more broadly, for understanding and comparing American pragmatism and French post-structuralism.  The course will move back and forth between James and Deleuze throughout, but roughly.  In this context:  first third of the course will focus on James and his late essays on radical empiricism, philosophical temperament, and pluralism; the second third of the course will concentrate on Deleuze’s work on difference, surfaces, and the nature of philosophy; and the final third of the course will take up recent work on pragmatism and Deleuze.
Texts: Many readings will be made available through the courses’s blackboard site.  The required texts will be:  The Writings of William James, ed. John J. McDermott (though students may use other editions of James’s work, especially for Essays in Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe); Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition and (with Guattari) What is Philosophy; and, Deleuze and Pragmatism (eds. Bignall, Bowden, and Patton).
Particulars: Course requirements include, in addition to class attendance and participation, a final seminar paper developed in consultation with the instructor on a relevant topic chosen by each individual student, and two or three very short papers (one raising questions, one an analysis of reading, and one a critical engagement).

CPLT 751 006 "Levinas, Heidegger and the Sacred"

Jill Robbins

W 12-3PM
[Cross-listed with RLR 700]
Content: In this course we will read closely Heidegger's 1920-21 lecture course, The Phenomenology of Religious Life, situating Heidegger's description of "factical life" in relation to Being and Time (1927) and attending especially to his reading of Augustine's Confessions, Book X. We will also read closely Levinas's 1961 Totality and Infinity, focusing on the "prophetic eschatology" he opposes to political ontology, the relation between ethics and politics, and the distinction between the sacred and the holy that he underscores in his confessional writings and in Difficult Freedom.  We will consider the hermeneutic of Judaism proposed in important interpretations of Levinas by Derrida  ("Violence and Metaphysics" and Adieu) and J.-F. Lyotard  (Just Gaming) and will conclude with Jan Assmann's provocative discussion of monotheism.
Texts: Heidegger, The Phenomenology of Religious Life (Indiana); Heidegger, Being and Time (Harper reprint edition); Levinas, Totality and Infinity (Duquesne);  Levinas, Difficult Freedom (Johns Hopkins);  Derrida, Writing and Difference (Chicago); Derrida, Adieu (Stanford);  Lyotard, Just Gaming (Minnesota);  Assman, The Price of Monotheism  (Stanford).
Particulars: TBA

CPLT 751 00P "Postcolonial and Global Studies in the 21st Century"

Deepika Bahri

Tu 10AM-1PM
Max 3
[Cross-listed with ENG 789]

Content: This course will focus on emergent areas of focus in postcolonial and global studies: new forms taken by capital and colonialism; contemporary marxism and racism; intersections with aesthetics, ecocriticism, neurocognitive studies and emergent formulations of “world literature.”

Texts: TBA

Particulars: TBA

*NOTE: Permission of instructor only.

CPLT 751 01P "Transnational Surrealism and the Discourse of the Unconscious"

Walter Kalaidjian

W 1-4PM
[Cross-listed with ENG 752]
Content: This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the cultural, political, 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 the dialogue surrealism engages early on with contemporaneous writings by Sigmund Freud 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). In addition to reading texts such as 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, we will explore the modern American tradition of “painterly” surrealist verse from Wallace Stevens through Ashbery 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, Florine Stettheimer, and Leonor Fini, among others.
Texts: TBA
Particulars: A short paper, presentation, and a final seminar research essay are  required.

CPLT 753W 000 "The Teaching of Literature"

Walt Reed

Th 1-4PM
Max 10

Content: A seminar in pedagogy that meets the requirement of the graduate School's TATTO program for graduate students in Comparative Literature, this course prepares graduate students to teach comparative literature to undergraduates, particularly in Emory's Literature 110, Literature 201 and Literature 202. This seminar will focus on practical aspects of teaching as well as offering some consideration of theoretical questions surrounding pedagogy and controversies that have influenced the academy in recent years. Our aim will be to achieve a balance between a pragmatic, `workshop¿ approach and more philosophical reflection on what it means to teach. Topics covered may include: constructing a syllabus, technology in the classroom and the specific dynamics of teaching writing, poetry, literature in translation, novels, and literary theory.

Texts: Readings to be made available through electronic reserve and the Comparative Literature Department. They will be drawn from works by (among others) Gregory, Palmer, De Man, Freedman, Damrosch and Readings.

Particulars: Students will also have assignments geared to specific demands of teaching: course descriptions, syllabi, paper topics, comments on students’ writing. Each student will also offer several short presentations to the rest of the seminar.

*NOTE: Permission of instructor only.

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.