Program in Comparative Literature

C L 305 • Grimms' Fairy Tales

33470 • Pierce, Marc
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLM 5.120
(also listed as EUS 307, GSD 310)
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This course focuses on one of the most popular works of German literature, the Kinder- und Hausmärchen of the Brothers Grimm.  After a biographical introduction, we will spend the bulk of the term reading and discussing tales from the Grimms’ collection, as well as some of the relevant secondary literature.  We will address questions like the following: In what cultural context did Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collect their fairy tales?  Do the tales really reflect Germanic culture, or have they been revised in line with the Grimms’ personal beliefs?  Do the tales advocate any specific values (“the moral of the story is…”)?  We will also look at possible interpretations of the tales from different theoretical perspectives (feminist, psychoanalytic, etc.).  Knowledge of German is not required, as all readings and discussions are in English.



  • Jack Zipes (editor and translator), The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm [available at the University Co-Op.]
  • Various secondary readings, which will be made available as PDFs on the course Canvas site.  I expect you to print out the readings, work with them, and bring them with you to class for discussion.


Grading scheme:

  • Papers:            20%
  • Tests:              60%
  • Participation:   10%
  • Quizzes:          10%

C L 305 • Soviet Hero In Lit/Culture

33475 • Petrov, Petar
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GEA 127
(also listed as REE 302)
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The Revolution of 1917, which brought to life the first socialist state in world history, was to be the dawn of a new civilization and the breeding ground for a new human species. On the cultural front, the search began for a new hero: a character type or image of Soviet humanity, distinct from everything encountered so far in (bourgeois) literature, film, or art. This search continued for the next seven decades of the Soviet Union’s existence. It produced numerous versions of the Soviet hero, on page, screen, and in popular consciousness. The course will explore the cultural history of the Soviet Union by passing through a gallery of such heroes and heroines, real and fictional, belonging to various historical moments. For our acquaintance with the Soviet hero(-ine), in his/her various phases and guises, will sample diverse cultural media: literature, film, art, newspapers, popular songs and jokes.


  • Fedor Gladkov, Cement
  • Vsevolod Pudovkin, Mother
  • Iurii Olesha, Envy
  • Vassiliev Brothers, Chapaev
  • Boris Polevoi, Story about a Real Man
  • Sergei Bondarchuk, Fate of a Man
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  • Aleksei German, Twenty Days without War 
  • Viktor Erofeev, Moscow to the End of the Line
  • Andrzej Wajda, Man of Marble

C L 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33535 • Hinrichs, Lars
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 206
(also listed as E 316N)
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E 316N  l  World Literature

Instructor:  Hinrichs, L

Unique #:  35260

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  C L 315

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description:  This course is an introduction to the systematic study of literature.  The selections focus on masterworks of literature from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Students will learn how to read a literary text as an (a) artifact that (b) reflects the historical, social, and cultural circumstances of its production.  Consequently, lectures will introduce basic concepts from critical theory and rhetorical analysis, and apply these to the readings.  We will also discuss, for each work, its historical background and how our knowledge of a text and its context can inform each other.  Discussions and assignments are designed to sharpen critical skills and focus on practical exercises in interpretation.

Requirements & Grading:  The final grade will be composed of the following parts:  Midterm exam, 35%; Final exam, 35%; Quizzes, 18%; Classroom participation, 12%.

C L 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33530 • Kaulbach, Ernest
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 105
(also listed as E 316N)
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E 316N  l  World Literature

Instructor:  Kaulbach, E

Unique #:  35255

Semester:  Fall 2016

Cross-lists:  C L 315

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description:  This is a course in early Classics:  Classics of the West, of Africa, of the Middle East, and of the Far East.  We will read nothing written after the 1400s.  Works will be interpreted by teachers of the works, as nearly contemporaneous with the works as possible.  Class lectures will tell you how and why these selections are important.

Texts:  Norton Anthology of World Literature, 2nd edition, Volume A; Timaeus and Critias, ed. Desmond Lee; Sundiata, ed. D.T. Niane; Xerox packet (at IT Copy and Printing, on corner of MLK & Lavaca).

Requirements & Grading:  An average of three areas, each of which counts 1/3 of your grade: attendance and quizzes, mid-term essay, final exam.  To receive an “A” you must have an “A” in all three areas; same for a “B”.  If you fail any area, you fail the class.  Miss more than two classes and your attendance grade is reduced by one full grade.

C L 323 • 20th Cen Persian Literature

33557 • Hillmann, Michael
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.202
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342)
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Course Description and Texts

A survey of modern(ist) Persian fiction during the Pahlavi Era (1921-79) through the appreciative

reading and discussion of published English translations of nine particulary famous works of Persian

fiction written before the Iranian Revolution in 1978-9 and before the establishment of the Islamic

Republic of Iran. Interestingly, these works of Persian fiction are stories that highlight Islam, patriarchy,

suspicion of or opposition to political authority, traditional attitudes toward women, and suspicion of the

West, all issues significant in Iran and for Iranians decades later. The course texts also highlight new

modernist tendencies and techniques in Persian story-telling.

Four of the course texts are these short stories, available online in the course’s Dropbox folder:

“Persian Is Sugar” (1921) by Mohammad ‘Ali Jamâlzâdeh (1892-1997), “The China Vase” (1946) and

“The Seh’târ” (1946) by Jalâl Âl-e Ahmad (1923-1969), and “‘Esmat’s Journey” (1965) by Ebrâhim

Golestân (b. 1922)

One course text, based on a short story is The Cow: A Screenplay (1970) by Gholâmhosayn Sâ’edi

(1935-1985), also available online in the course’s Dropbox folder. As famous as any Iranian movie ever,

The Cow is available on a DVD with English subtitles.

The other course texts are these four novels: The Blind Owl (1937, 1941) by Sâdeq Hedâyat

(1903-1951), The Mourners of Siyâvash [= Savushun] (1967) by Simin Dâneshvar (1925-2014), Prince

Ehtejâb (1969) by Hushang Golshiri (1937-2000), and Women without Men (1989, completed in 1978)

by Shahrnush Pârsipur (b. 1946). The text of Prince Ehtejâb is available online in the course’s Dropbox

folder, while the other three are paperbacks available for purchase at Co-Op. Movie versions of Prince

Ehtejâb and the first part of The Blind Owl are also available on DVDs with English subtitles.

The course spends more time on The Blind Owl than on other texts because it is the most famous and

controversial work of prose fiction in the history of Persian literature and a story that continues to puzzle

readers who, whether they love it or hate it, have difficulty identifying what actually happens in the story

and what sort of person its narrator is.

The course concludes with a discussion of shared features of course texts and a characterization of

such Persian fiction during the Pahlavi era (1921-1979). In addition to an appreciation of The Blind Owl

and other classic works of Persian fiction, students come away from the course more familiar with with

Iranian society and culture before the Iranian Revolution in 1978/9 and the establishment of the Islamic

Republic of Iran in early 1979.


Oral Reports             25%

Two review tests       25% each

10-page term paper  25%




C L 323 • Anti-Semitism In Hist & Lit

33545 • Hoberman, John
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GEA 114
(also listed as EUS 346, GSD 360, J S 364)
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The origins of Western (Christian) anti-Semitism can be traced to the Gospel of St John in the New Testament, which stigmatizes the Jews as “the children of the Devil.” Anti-Semitism thus originates in the religious feud that gradually intensified between the Jewish community and the followers of Jesus Christ. The early Church Fathers denounced the Jews using the most violent language, and a pattern was established. The first part of the course consists of an examination of the Christian critique of the Jews through the Middle Ages.

The second part of the course focuses primarily on the development of an intensified anti-Semitism in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, culminating in the Holocaust in Europe. Literary texts by Henri de Montherlant, Somerset Maugham, Aharon Applefeld, Ernest Hemingway, and Georges Perec are used to explore the nature of anti-Semitic perspectives on the Jews as a group or “tribe.” The course covers anti-Semitic developments up to the present day.


Selected Readings:

  • Ashley Montagu, "Are 'the' Jews a Race?" in Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1974): 353-377.
  • Léon Poliakov, "The Fateful Summer of 1096," in The History of Anti-Semitism, Vol. 1 (1974): 41-72. 
  • Léon Poliakov, "Activated Anti-Semitism: Germany," in The History of Anti-Semitism, Vol. 1 (1974): 210-245.
  • Joshua Trachtenberg, The Devil and the Jews (1943): 11-52.
  • David I. Kertzer, "Introduction," in The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism  (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001): 3-21.
  • George L. Mosse, "Eighteenth-Century Foundations," "The Birth of Stereotypes," "Nation, Language, and History," in Toward the Final Solution (1978): 1-50. 
  • John M. Efron, "The Jewish Body Degenerate?" in Medicine and the German Jews: A History (2001): 105-150.
  • Maurice Fishberg, "Pathological Characteristics," in The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment (1912): 270-295.
  • Somerset Maugham, “The Alien Corn” (1931).
  • Henri de Montherlant, “A Jew-Boy Goes to War” (1926).
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew (1946): 7-54.
  • Michael H. Kater, “Everyday Anti-Semitism in Prewar Nazi Germany: The Popular Bases” (1984): 129-159.



  • Examination #1  — 20% of grade
  • Examination #2 — 20% of final grade
  • Paper #1 (4 pages) — 10% of final grade
  • Paper #2 (4 pages) — 10% of final grade
  • Paper #3 (10 pages) — 40% of final grade

C L 323 • Bad Lang: Race, Class, Gender

33550 • Garza, Thomas
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM CLA 0.126
(also listed as AMS 321, LIN 350, MAS 374, REE 325, WGS 340)
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Maledicta: (Latin. n., pl. maledictum, sg.), curse words, insults; profane language of all kinds.

When is a word “bad”? Why can one person use a “bad” word with impunity, and another cannot? What marks such usage as acceptable or not?  How do race, socioeconomic class, and gender play into the use of “bad” language in the US? This course undertakes the examination of modern usage of language that has been designated as “bad” through social convention. Usage of forms of obscenities and profanity in popular usage will be examined in an attempt to come to an understanding of how the products of US popular culture portray maledicta in situational contexts. Through an examination of various texts culled from print, film, and music, participants will study the context and use of “bad” language and attempt to determine the underlying principles that dictate its affect and determine its impact on the audience. Though the majority of texts and usage will be taken from English-language sources, several non-English examples of maledicta from Mexican Spanish and Russian will also be examined for contrast and comparison.


NB: This course examines texts that contain usage of obscenities, profanity, and offensive language. Students who do not wish to be exposed to such language in use should not sign up for this course.



• Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? Edwin Battistella. Oxford UP, 2007.

• Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Bad LanguageRuth Wajnryb. Free press, 2005.

• Course packet


Requirements and Grading

• Exams (two midterms): 30%

• Film review: 20%

• Reading journal: 20%

• Research paper: 30%

C L 323 • Holocaust Aftereffects

33580 • Bos, Pascale
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 234
(also listed as J S 365, LAH 350, WGS 340)
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The events of the Holocaust changed Western culture in fundamental ways. Not only was a great part of Jewish culture in Europe destroyed, the circumstances of the Nazi genocide as a modern, highly rationalized, efficient form of mass murder which took place in the heart of civilized Europe changed the conception of the progress of modernity and the Enlightenment in fundamental ways. This course explores the historical, political, psychological, theological, and cultural fall-out, as well as literary and cinematic responses in Europe and the U.S. to these events as they first became known, and as one moved further away from it in time and came to understand its pronounced and often problematic after effects. Central to our inquiry is the realization that the events of the Holocaust have left indelible traces in European and U.S. culture and culture production, of which a closer look (first decade by decade, then moving on to a number of themes and questions), reveals profound insights into current day culture, politics, and society.

Required Texts:

Levi and Rothberg, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings; Art Spiegelman, Maus I ⅈ Ruth Klüger, Still Alive: a Girlhood Remembered; Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz;  Elie Wiesel, Night; Additional  course packet

Films: Nuit et Brouillard; Holocaust (excerpts); Shoah (excerpts); Schindler's List (excerpt)

Grading Policy

Attendance/participation 15%

Response papers (2) 10%

Class presentation 10%

Presentation paper 15%

Midterm exam 20%

Final research paper 30% (proposal, bibliography, outline + 1st, 5% each, paper: 15%)

C L 323 • Iran/Iranian-Amer Ident

33556 • Hillmann, Michael
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM JES A216A
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342, WGS 340)
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Course Description 

Iranians throughout history down to the 1980s wrote very few memoirs or autobiographies. But in 2015, a

book called The Literature of the Iranian Diaspora: Meaning and Identity since the Islamic Revolution

identifies upwards of 200 Iranian autobiographical novels and memoirs/ autobiographies in English written in

the thirty years since 1985.

Iranian and Iranian-America Identity Today presents life stories in English by Iranians and Iranian-

Americans who have lived through the most important sequence of events in Iran since the establishment of the

Safavid Dynasty (1501-1622), i.e., the Iranian Revolution in 1978/9 and the subsequently established Islamic

Republic of Iran, and who have participated in an unprecedented emigration from Iran to America with

attendant identity concerns or crises.

In the contexts of Iranian history from the Mosaddeq Era (1951-1953) into the second decade of the 21st

century, academic writing on Iranian identity, and writing on the subject of biography and autobiography,

Iranian and Iranian-American Identity Today treats the following texts, three of them bestsellers: Firoozeh

Dumas, Funny in Farsi: A Memoir on Growing Up in America (2004); Farideh Goldan, Wedding Song:

Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman (2003); Abbas Milani, Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir (1996);

Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003); Nahid Rachlin, Persian Girls: A Memoir

(2007); and excerpts from other telling autobiographical writings.

Drawing from these texts, the course seeks answers to these questions, among others: Why did Iranians

write so few autobiographies until recent years? Why is most contemporary Iranian autobiographical writing

appearing outside of Iran and not in Iran, and mostly in English rather than in Persian, and mostly in America

than elsewhere? Why are there many more autobiographies by Iranian and Iranian-American women than men?

How different is Iranian identity for Iranian-American writers from Iranian identity for Iranian-French writers

or Iranians writing in Iran?


Oral reports and participation in group discussion 20%

Six 2-page papers 4% each

Term paper 15%

Two review tests 20% each



C L 323 • Lat Am Shrt Stry: 1910-2010

33553 • Porto, Lito
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.102
(also listed as LAS 328, SPC 320C)
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Study of masterpieces of world literature; of different literary genres; of the relationship between literature and other disciplines, such as psychology, philosophy, and film; and of special topics of a comparative nature.

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic.

May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Same As  SPC 320C, LAS 328


C L 323 • Vikings And Their Literature

33560 • Straubhaar, Sandra
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WEL 3.402
(also listed as EUS 347, GSD 340)
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Who were the Vikings, and why is the twenty-first century so fascinated with them? (Is “Viking” an ethnic adjective or a job description? Did they call themselves Vikings?)  Were they as fierce and bloodthirsty as the movies sometimes show? Why did they act as they did? What language did they speak? What did they wear? What did they eat? What kinds of weapons and tools did they use?What were the women among them like? What are runes? What are the Eddas? What are the Sagas? What were Viking-age politics and social constructs like? What about Viking technology, religion, and art? (What is Ásatrú? Would the Vikings have known the term?) What are the (complex!) political implications of Vikings, and Viking-age religion and culture, in today’s Europe? If you are interested in any of these questions, you have come to the right place!



1. A History of the Vikings, Gwyn Jones (Oxford University Press)

                        (Below called JONES)

2. Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas, Gwyn Jones (Oxford University Press)

                        (Below called EIRIK)

3. Chronicles of the Vikings, R. I. Page (University of Toronto Press)

                        (Below called PAGE)

4. The Poetic Edda: A New Translation by Carolyne Larrington (Oxford)

                        (Below called EDDA)

5. The Sagas of Icelanders ed. Robert Kellogg (Penguin)

                        (Below called SAGAS)


Optional – for those with linguistic interests:            

Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern, ed. Gustav Neckel & Hans Kuhn (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1983)

(Don’t worry about the German foreword if you can’t handle German.  The poem texts are transcribed straight from the MSS. – mostly the 13th-c. Icelandic Codex Regius [designated as R in the book].  What you have here is the closest thing available to the Real Thing, when it comes to Eddic poetry)

Glossary to the Poetic Edda, Beatrice LaFarge and John Tucker (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1992)

(The glossary made to match the above edition.  Two cautions: Remember that definitions incorporate interpretations; and remember that Old Norse / Old Icelandic was a highly inflected language: simply translating word by word may not get you where you want to go.  If you’re serious about this, get a copy of E. V. Gordon’s Introduction to Old Norse [Oxford], which has a grammatical summary in the back)


Recommended Basic Books on Nordic Myth:

(Note: Check other books with me.  There are many popular-press books on this topic which can be fun, but are not academically rigorous)

            Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, by H. R. E. Davidson (Penguin, 1964+)

            Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, by Thomas A. DuBois (U. of Penn., 1999)

            Dictionary of Northern Mythology, by Rudolf Simek (Brewer, 1993)

            Myth and Religion of the North, by Gabriel Turville-Petre (Holt, 1964)



Since this is a Writing Flag course, there will be three papers of five to six pages, all of which may be rewritten at least once; plus two in-class writing assignments.

Course grade will be calculated as follows:

  • Quizzes on Reading (on most days when readings are due): 10 %
  • Two six-page reaction papers or position papers, 15% each: 30 %
  • In-class peer review activities on these papers: 10 %
  • Reading Journals (turned in every other Friday) :      15 %
  • One three- to five-page group project (groups of 3-4): 15 %
  • One six-page research paper: 20 %


The three papers are to be mini-research papers with a minimum of three outside sources. (Use academic books [or journal articles – from historical, archaeological, or literary journals, for instance] rather than popular ones. UT Library has a magnificent Scandinavian collection; please be considerate of your classmates in sharing resources for this course. The Internet, on the other hand, contains much non-academic material on the Vikings, of very uneven quality.  If there is an Internet source you feel you must use, send me the link plenty of time in advance so that I can vet it. 

The two in-class writing assignments will be spontaneously generated responses to a question or questions designed to get you thinking about a synthesis of course material. (I don’t have to agree with your conclusions: simply make your argument well.)

Obvious discrepancies in your writing style between the three papers and the two writing assignments will raise the issues outlines in the next paragraph. You have been warned.