Program in Comparative Literature

C L 305 • Afro-Brazilian Diaspora

33680 • Afolabi, Omoniyi
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WEL 3.402
(also listed as AFR 317E, LAS 310)
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This course focuses on post-abolition Afro-Brazilian life, history, culture, politics, and letters.  It engages a wide range of literary texts, socio-cultural movements, visual arts, and cultural performances, while raising a number of questions that would lead to provocative midterm and final research papers, while simultaneously honing students’ writing skills with a number of response papers that may be expanded into a research paper. Most concepts and issues will be illustrated with multimedia clips or movies to ensure that students gain a richer experience of the Afro-Brazilian diaspora world.

Some of the questions the course will grapple with include the following: (i) What explains the continued exclusion of Afro-Brazilians from political power?; (ii) What is the legacy or impact of slavery within this context?; (iii) How is the concept of Africa (re)imagined, distorted, and manipulated in this regard?; (iv)What are the discourses used to justify social inequalities and racial discrimination in Brazil?; (v) How is the “radical” view on discrimination silenced while the “co-opted” perspective is promoted?; (vi) What are the effects of governmental patronage on cultural producers as they negotiate what Carl Degler calls the “mulatto escape hatch”?; and (vii) What are the limitations of ideology in an era of “globalization” and pragmatism?  These among other issues will form the basis of the course which will additionally analyze the social condition that goes beyond the more apparent “culture game”; and must also be seen as a political game towards visibility, participation, gendered equality, and empowerment.



  1. Students will be able to meet writing, global, and cultural diversity flags.
  2. Students will be exposed to the dynamics of coping mechanism with social inequalities.
  3. Students will not only be exposed to elements of style, they will improve their writing skills by having opportunities to re-write their assignments.
  4. Transnational resonances will be invoked for comparative analysis within contexts and texts in order to see the African Diaspora beyond a continental prism.

Required Texts:

  1. Johnson, Crook et al. ed. Black Brazil: Culture, Identity, and Social Mobilization
  2. Alves, Miriam and C. R. Durham. Finally Us/Enfim Nós
  3. Almeida, Bira. Capoeira: A Brazilian Art Form: History, Philosophy, and Practice
  4. Guimarães, Geni. The Color of Tenderness
  5. Gomes, Dias. Journey to Bahia


Course Requirements and Grading:

5 Response Papers (2 pages)             = 10%

5 Re-Written Papers (2 pages each)  = 10%

Midterm Paper (5-7 pages)                = 20%

Research Proposal and Annotated

Bibliography                                        = 10%

Final Research Paper  (10 pages)       = 20%

Oral Presentation                               = 10%

Attendance                                         = 20%  

C L 305 • Vampire In Slavic Cultures

33685 • Garza, Thomas
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PHR 2.108
(also listed as EUS 307, REE 302)
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Eight hundred years before Bram Stoker gave us the West's most memorable vampire in Dracula (1897) and long before the exploits of Vlad "the Impaler" Tepes horrified Europe (1431-46), the Russian Primary Chronicles write of a Novgorodian priest as Upyr' Likhij, or Wicked Vampire (1047).  The Slavic and Balkan worlds abound in histories, legends, myths and literary portraits of the so-called undead, creatures that literally draw life out of the living. This course examines the vampire in the cultures of Russia and Eastern Europe, including manifestations in literature, religion, art, film and common practices from its origins to 2013.  Texts – both print and non-print media – will be drawn from Russian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Serbian and Croatian sources.  Participants will be asked to separate historical fact from popular fiction, and form opinions about the place of the vampire in Slavic and East European cultures. 


Prerequisites:  The course is conducted in English.  No knowledge of Russian required, though readings in Russian and other Slavic languages are available for majors and concentrators in these related fields.


Readings:   • The Vampire in Slavic Culture, Course Reader (CR), T. J. Garza, ed., Cognella Press, San Diego: CA, 2010. [order online]

• The Vampire: A Casebook, Alan Dundes, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.

[at the UT Co-op]



Short essay I (3-4 pp.)          25%                            

Midterm exam I                    25%

Short essay II (3-4 pp.)         25%                            


C L 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33710-33745 • Macduffie, Edward
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 21
(also listed as E 316N)
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E 316N  l  World Literature


Instructor:  MacDuffie, A

Unique #:  35440-35475

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  C L 315

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).


Description:  Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, and room location:


Global Modern Literature—

This course considers a number of masterpieces of world literature with an eye to the special role literature plays in making “invisible” phenomena or experiences visible.  We will read texts from a number of countries, and think about the strategies authors use to make the unseen, forgotten, denied, disappeared, or difficult-to-represent realities of their world available to their readers.


Texts may include:  William Blake, selected poems; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; James Baldwin, selected essays; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake.


Requirements & Grading:  Attendance, active participation in TA-led discussions: 20%; Essay (3-4 pages): 20%; Midterm: 20%; Final exam: 40%.

C L 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33690-33705 • Doherty, Brian
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM UTC 4.132
(also listed as E 316N)
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E 316N  l  World Literature


Instructor:  Doherty, B

Unique #:  35420-35435

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  C L 315

Flags:  Global Cultures

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).


Description:  Global Modern Literature—

The course will be run in four sections.  The first will be reading in literary periods from The Enlightenment through Romanticism and Realism.  The second will continue the historical sequence into Modernism, then do some reading in how modernism can be thought of as a global phenomenon.  Early in the semester students will choose the cultures we will read for the second half of the course.  Choices will include Africa, India (South Asia), East Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea), and North Africa and the Modern Middle East.


The bulk of the reading will consist of substantial shorter works, from poems to short stories, shorter novels and plays.  From the canon of literature to which the students will be exposed, perceptive readers will gain an appreciation of why literature is an essential response to the modern world.  It is hoped that the course will be an incitement to a lifetime of sustained literary engagement on a high level.


Texts:  The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Puchner, Martin, ed. Third Edition, Volumes D-E-F. (It is essential that students have the Third Edition.)


Requirements & Grading:  Attendance, participation in TA led discussions: 10%; Test one: Enlightenment through Realism: 15%; Test Two: Global Modernisms: 20%; Essay on second set of readings (3-4 pages): 20%; Final exam covers all material since first test: 35%.

C L 323 • 20th Cen Persian Literature

33763 • Hillmann, Michael
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CAL 221
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342)
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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.

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 IslamicRepublic of Iran in early 1979.


  • “Persian Is Sugar” (1921)
  • “The China Vase” (1946)
  • “The Seh’târ” (1946)
  • “‘Esmat’s Journey” (1965) 
  • Golestân (b. 1922)
  • The Cow: A Screenplay (1970) by Gholâmhosayn Sâ’edi
  • The Blind Owl (1937, 1941) by Sâdeq Hedâyat
  • The Mourners of Siyâvash [= Savushun] (1967) by Simin Dâneshvar
  • Prince Ehtejâb (1969) by Hushang Golshiri
  • Women without Men (1989, completed in 1978) by Shahrnush Pârsipur


  • Oral Reports:25%
  • Two review tests: 25% each
  • 10-page term paper: 25%


C L 323 • Caribbean Literature

33765 • Wilks, Jennifer
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 105
(also listed as AFR 374F, E 360L)
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E 360L  l  2-Caribbean Literature


Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #:  35640

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  AFR 374F, C L 323

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  Through a survey of “classic” texts from English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking islands, this course seeks to address the complexity of the Caribbean as a geographic construct, that is, the chain of islands stretching from North to South America, and as an imagined site, that is, the tropical destination marketed to North American and European tourists.  To do so we will supplement our reading of literary texts from the region with the examination of travel-related texts about the region.  Throughout the semester, we will consider how the dynamics of slavery and colonialism differed from island to island and explore the multiple manifestations of “postcolonial” life that have emerged across the archipelago since the 1960s.  The course will conclude with an examination of the migration of Caribbean authors and texts to the United States and of the resulting development of hyphenated Caribbean-American identities.  All texts will be read in English, and the list of proposed texts is subject to change.


Texts:  Derek Walcott, “The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory,” What the Twilight Says; Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (Cuba, 1949); Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land (Martinique, 1939); Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (Dominica, 1966); Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place (Antigua, 1988); Maryse Condé, Crossing the Mangrove (Guadeloupe, 1995);


Requirements & Grading:  Two short papers (4 pages each), 40%; Final critical essay (8-10 pages), 35%; Reading journal, 15%; Rough draft, 10%.

C L 323 • Conflict Lit/Media Mid East

33753 • Green, Rachel
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 206
(also listed as J S 363, MEL 321, MES 342)
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Imagining Conflict in Modern Middle Eastern Literature, Media and Culture.


What is the role of the artistic creativity in making sense of conflict and imagining a better future? This course will explore a range of films, graphic novels and literary works in order to develop a deeper understanding of the interplay between conflict and the imagination in the Modern Middle East. Conflict is at once a literary device and sociopolitical reality, while the imaginary is a space of endless possibility, the common origin of stories, dreams, and social change. 


The course will be organized geographically, including units about Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf. We will encounter the dark humor and transformative vision of unlikely street-rabble heroes in dystopian Egyptian and Iraqi futures; we will follow the daring beats of a Palestinian Eminem. We will meet Israelis whose search for wholeness, whether in the Holy Land, or back in Poland and Iraq, remain just beyond arm's reach. We will consider the newfound prominence of the graphic arts and their role in salvaging hope amidst breakdown in Syria and Lebanon. We will grapple with aesthetic workings-through of the environmental, social and psychic changes wrought by oil exploitation in the Gulf. Lastly, we will consider the myriad ways in which the imaginary crosses real boundaries, whether via translation, smuggling and/or piracy, thus defying the boundaries of conflict itself. Examples of this include the refashioning of Western literary styles and tropes to critique the effects of foreign military intervention, as well as the underground traffic in cultural products across the Israeli/Arab divide. 


Course meetings will be comprised of a combination of lecture and discussion. In addition to deepening their understanding of Modern Middle Eastern cultures, students will also have the opportunity to develop both their academic and popular writing skills, in consultation both with the instructor and with peers. 



Course will be taught in English; no knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew is necessary. Students with an interest in working with course material in the original languages are invited to attend additional meetings with the instructor outside of scheduled class times. 




  • Adrift on the Nile, dir. Hussein Kamal [film] (Egypt)
  • The Committee, Sonallah Ibrahim (Egypt)
  • Utopia, Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq (Egypt)
  • The Square, dir. Jehane Noujaim [film] (Egypt)
  • Rags and Tatters, dir. Ahmed Abdallah [film] (Egypt)
  • Touch, Adania Shibli (Palestine)
  • Junction 48, dir. Udi Aloni [film] (Israel/Palestine)
  • "Agunot," S. Y. Agnon (Israel/Ottoman Palestine)
  • And Europe Will be Stunned, dir. Yael Bartana [film/art installation] (Israel/Poland)
  • "Tantal," Samir Naqqash (Israel/Iraq)
  • Hovering at a Low Altitude, Dahlia Rabikovitch (Israel)
  • Katschen, Yoel Hoffmann (Israel)
  • Waltz with Bashir, dir. Ari Folman [film] (Israel)
  • Tiller of Waters, Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)          
  • Bye, Bye Babylon, Lamia Ziade [graphic novel] (Lebanon)
  • The Arab of the Future, Part I, Raid Sattouf [graphic novel] (France/Syria)
  • Excerpts from Jurists of Darkness and Caves of Hydrahodahose, Salim Barakat (Syria)
  • Frankenstein in Baghdad, by Ahmed Sa'adawi (Iraq)
  • "The Ill-fated One (al-Mankud)," Abd al-Rahman Munif (Jordan/Iraq/Saudi Arabia)
  • The Bamboo Stalk, Saud al-Sanousi (Kuwait)
  • Supplemental secondary readings drawn from a range of fields, including history, sociology, economics, philosophy, and literary/film criticism


C L 323 • Decoding Cla Chinese Poetry

33786 • Lai, Chiu
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.204
(also listed as ANS 372)
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Course Description:

Fall 2017 Focus:  Landscape Poetry and Painting

[Taught in English]

This course will provide an introduction to the classical Chinese poetic tradition and is open to all students.  No previous background in Chinese language, culture or literature is required. Lectures and discussions will focus on the literary, cultural, historical, social, political, philosophical, and religious background against which these representative works in poetry arose.  While background reading will be assigned, the focus of lectures and discussion will be on the primary works of poetry, and the relationship of poetry and painting in the Chinese tradition.

Lectures, readings and class discussion will examine these ideas and concepts in the context of landscape, known as “mountains and water” (shan shui 山水) in Chinese literary memory.  Through this methodical process, we will begin to decode the literary language of classical Chinese poetry and poetic craft.  

Global Cultures:  This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.


  • John Minford and Joseph S.M. Lau, eds. Classical Chinese Literature – An Anthology of Translations, Volume I: From Antiquity to the Tang Dynasty (Columbia, 2002)
  • David Hawkes, A Little Primer of Tu Fu (Rpt. Renditions, 1995; New York Review Books, 2016)

Other Required and Supplementary Reading and Translations:

Posted on the Canvas Course Site

C L 323 • Holocaust Aftereffects

33785 • Bos, Pascale
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM 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 • Major Works Of Dostoevsky

33775 • Livers, Keith
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM JES A215A
(also listed as CTI 345, REE 325)
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This course explores the dilemmas of homicide, suicide, patricide and redemption in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky — Russia’s greatest chronicler of human suffering and triumph. Over the course of the semester we will read a number of Dostoevsky’s greatest works, including Notes From Underground, Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. At the same time, we will look at the contemporary intellectual and social trends relevant to the development of Dostoevsky’s career as a writer and thinker.


Required Texts:

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky


Most classes will consist of both lecture and discussion.  Since part of the course grade is based on informed participation, it is imperative that you do ALL of the readings by the day in which they appear in the syllabus. 



  • Regular attendance/participation
  • 2. Completion of required readings by date indicated in          syllabus
  • Course work/Course Credit:
  • 3 essays (5-6 pages each): 70%   
  • Participation: 20%
  • Attendance: 10%

C L 323 • Northern European Comics

33760 • Cortsen, Rikke
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as EUS 347, GSD 340)
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The burgeoning field of comics and graphic novels has received attention in the last few decades where publishers, critics and new readers have engaged enthusiastically with a medium which has historically not been at the pinnacle of cultural good taste. This course provides an introduction to comics and graphic novel with an emphasis on works from Northern Europe as a specific area of comics culture that tends to stand in the shadow of more known comics cultures. The course will go into depth with the mechanics of comics, how images and text work together, as well as how this particular way of telling stories relates to other media. The main readings will delve into the rich material from the Northern European sphere but will situate these comics in the wider world of international comics culture through parallel readings of American, Franco-Belgian and Japanese manga. The main focus will be on comics from the last 30 years, but the course will include a historical element that considers the history of comics globally.

One of the main reasons comics have surfaced as an artistically viable and serious medium in recent years is the diversity of subjects and the quality of writing and drawing of comics artists today. This course discusses style, line, coloring and structure as important aspects of comics and graphic novels story telling but also emphasizes the wide variety of topics that comics portray with great sensibility and complexity. From adventure stories to graphic memoir, from avant-garde experimental comics to newspaper humor strips, this course allows you to read, write, discuss and think critically about comics and graphic novels as well as it provides a greater understanding of the cultures of Northern Europe.

The course meets the Writing Flag and the Global Cultures Flag Criteria


Course Materials:

Ivan Brunetti, Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice (Yale UP)

Jeet Heer & Kent Worcester, eds., A Comics Studies Reader (UP Mississippi).

Jason: Hey, wait…

Steffen Kverneland: Munch

Tommi Musturi: Book of Hope

Tove Jansson:  Moomin

Martin Kellerman: Rocky

Ulli Lust: This is the last day in the rest of your life.



Essays: 30%   

Final essay: 20%        

Quizzes: 20%             

Midterm: 10%            

Participation: 20%

NB: plus/minus grades will be assigned in this class.

C L 323 • Rebels/Rvolutn Rus Hist/Lit

33770 • Alexandrova, Marina
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GEA 127
(also listed as HIS 362G, REE 325)
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Course Description: Spanning almost a century of Russian literature, this course highlights a gallery of fictional and real rebels and revolutionaries.  What was their cause?  Who supported them?  How were they portrayed in popular novels of the time?  We will supplement textual analysis of prose and poetry with the study of historical documents in order to understand the complex historical, moral, and cultural dimensions of such enduring phenomena as revolution, rebellion, and terrorism.

 Course Materials:

  • Pushkin, Aleksandr.  The Captain’s Daughter (1836)
  • Pushkin, Aleksandr.  “In the Depths of Siberian Mines” (1827)*
  • Turgenev, Ivan.  Fathers and Sons (1862)
  • Bakunin, Mikhail.  The Revolutionary Catechism (1865) vs. Nechaev's Catechism of the Revolutionary (1869)(excerpts)*
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor.  The Demons (1873)
  • Vera Zasulich's memoirs (excerpts from Five Sisters: Women against the Tsar)*
  • Andreyev, Leonid.  “The Seven That Were Hanged” (1909)
  • Bely, Andrei.  Petersburg (1913)
  • Related documents and articles*

*Included in Course Packet


Grade Evaluations: 

a. Two Response Papers (10% each):  Response papers should reflect your thinking on assigned reading.  Format: 3-5 pages (at least 1,000 words), Times New Roman, 12 pt.  You will be evaluated on the depth and quality of your reflections, clarity of style, and cohesive argumentation.  After you receive your paper back, you will have about a week to revise and resubmit it.  Detailed instructions will be provided two weeks before the due date.

 b. Three In-Class Exams (10% each): Each exam will test your knowledge of material discussed in class and read independently at home.

 c.  Presentation (10%): Individually or in pairs, you will prepare a 5-10-minute oral presentation on one of the topics offered in the beginning of the semester.  You will discuss your presentation with your instructor no later than two weeks in advance.

d. Final Paper  (30%):  You final paper may draw on one of your response papers.  It should include  your reflections on the topic supported by textual evidence from assigned works.  Detailed instructions will be available mid-semester.  Format: 8-10 pages (at least 2,500 words), Times New Roman, 12 pt.

 e. Participation (10%):  Your instructor will determine this part of the grade based on your preparedness and participation in class.  There are three components of success: regular attendance, advance reading/preparation of assigned materials, and insightful, well-formulated comments during discussions.

C L 323 • Viking Lang: Runes/Sagas

33762 • Straubhaar, Sandra
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM BUR 337
(also listed as EUS 347, GSD 360)
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This course uses Jesse Byock’s _Viking Language_ book to introduce students to Old Norse/Old Icelandic language, literature, history, and culture in a way that is both academically sound and optimally accessible. We will explore the Viking-Age world (793-1066 C.E.) through its extant texts: runic inscriptions, poetry, sagas, and chronicles. Lessons will introduce vocabulary and grammar at a manageable pace using selected period prose and poetry passages, assigned in order of increasing complexity, as well as exercises using constructed sentences. All four of the modalities of foreign-language learning – reading, writing, listening and speaking – will be integrated into the course, with stress on the first two. Icelandic Pronunciation (IP) will be used.    Graduate students, should they wish to enroll, will be further required to purchase Gordon and Taylor’s Introduction to Old Norse (Oxford, 1981) and to complete additional translation assignments.



Jesse L. Byock, _Viking Language_. Los Angeles: Jules William Press, 2013.



40 % Attendance, Daily Quizzes, and Homework

30 % Midterm

30 % Final