Program in Comparative Literature

C L 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33870-33955 • Richmond-Garza, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SAC 1.402
(also listed as E 316N)
show description

E 316N  l World Literature


Instructor:  Richmond-Garza, E

Unique #: 35355-35440

Semester:  Spring 2019

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: Global Literature and Culture -- 

What is a “self,” an individual? Is it a single entity or is it always entangled with others?  Is it something created by history, by politics, by art, by culture or by the divine?  Or does it fashion itself?  Does it change over time and across space?  At some level, art is always concerned with making and unmaking the individual and with freeing or chaining this being.  Tracking texts from Classical Greece, Iraq and India to medieval Europe and Japan, we will focus on the continuing, and sometimes desperate, attempts of ancient and early modern artists and authors both to phrase and to answer this question.  Expected names from the western canon, like Euripides, Shakespeare, Goethe and Baudelaire will keep company with Japan’s Bashô, Russia’s Pushkin, Argentina’s Borges and Nigeria’s Achebe.


We shall not limit ourselves only to the western canon but will look at points of crisis where, whether because of gender, race, ideology or class, an individual’s voyage of discovery will demand answers and action.  We shall trace a drama of self-actualization, more than two thousand years old, one that is still being enacted.  From the extremities of the Greek stage to a lonely cry of agony in the Assyrian desert, from ideal Platonic love to its witty and non-dialectical Asian counterparts, from a Parisian’s insomnia in 1900 to the painful experience of post-colonial Africa, from compulsive gambling to uncanny hauntings, from the dark voyages of Romantic self-discovery to imagined journeys through magical lands, we shall explore the limits of this question’s answers.


While the basis of the course will be the literary texts, we shall pillage often and importantly the resources of the other arts of painting, sculpture and film especially to conjure back to life the spirits of these past identities in preparation for a spring in which we shall interrogate our own century as it emerges from the twilight of the twentieth-century experiment.


Texts: All selections will be from The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces(Expanded Edition in One Volume, 1997), and will include: Gilgamesh;Euripides, Medea;selections from Chuang Chou; Kalidasa, Sakuntala;selections from The Thousand and One Nights;Montaigne, “Of Cannibals;” Shakespeare, Hamlet;Basho, The Narrow Road to the Interior; Goethe, Faust; Baudelaire, from The Flowers of Evil;Pushkin, The Queen of Spades;Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths;Achebe, Things Fall Apart.


Requirements & Grading: The participation requirements include: Careful reading of all texts, consistent attendance and active discussion in class and in the discussion section.  Attendance will be taken regularly at the start of each class.  Each student will be allowed three unexcused absences in the course of the semester.  Any further absences will lower the student's grade by a half grade (i.e. a B becomes a B-, and a B- becomes a C+).


Three midterm examinations (25% each); Reading journal to be turned in periodically (15%); Attendance and class discussion (10%).


In order to pass the course all four assignments must be completed.  Failure to complete any one of the assignments will constitute failing the course.

C L 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33959 • Kornhaber, David
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 2.124
(also listed as E 316N)
show description

E 316N  l  World Literature


Instructor:  Kornhaber, David

Unique #:  35442

Semester:  Spring 2019

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: This course offers an introduction to select works of literature drawn from across the globe, ranging in time from the dawn of literature to the end of the twentieth century.  Key topics to be considered include: the relationship between literature, culture, and society; formal relationships and divergences across the genres of epic poetry, lyric poetry, fiction, and drama; and the intersections of literature and literary production with history and politics.  Through this course of study, students can expect to achieve a grounding in some of the major authors and texts of the world literary tradition and an introduction to the core techniques of close reading and literary analysis.  All texts will be read in English.


Texts(tentative): The Iliad (Homer, Greece; selections);The Mahabharata(India; selections); The Classic of Poetry (China; selections);Atsumori (Zeami Motokiyo, Japan); Hamlet(William Shakespeare, England); Faust (Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany; selections);A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen, Norway); Poems (Emily Dickinson, United States of America; selections);Requiem (Anna Akhamatova, Russia); “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia); Death and the King’s Horseman(Wole Soyinka, Nigeria); Omeros(Derek Walcott, Saint Lucia; selections)


Requirements & Grading: (1) Participation, 10%, (2) Reading Quizzes, 10%, (3) two short essays (3-5 pages each), 25%+25%, (4) one long essay (5-7 pages), 30%

C L 323 • Cul Mem/Classic Chinese Nov

33970 • Lai, Chiu-Mi
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM EPS 2.136
(also listed as ANS 379)
show description
  • Meets with CL 323
  • Course carries Writing Flag, Global Cultures Flag
  • 2019 Novel:  The Story of the Stone (Honglou meng, or Dream of the Red Chamber)

The focus of this course is on the masterpiece 18th c. Chinese novel, Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng), with the alternate title of The Story of the Stone (Shitou ji).  Lectures and seminar-style discussion will examine the metaphors and mythology from Chinese cultural memory that are present in this classic novel.  Lectures will provide literary and socio-historical contexts for the novel. A selection of primary and secondary source readings will introduce a cross-section of influential works from classical literature and the major founding schools of Chinese thought. Complementary study will include the viewing of modern-day visual and dramatic representations of this novel. 

The core of the seminar will be the intensive reading and study of The Story of the Stone.  Our reading of the novel in this course is modeled after the original serial nature of the work, where segments of the story were serially released, and read and discussed with great fervor in both public and private spheres.  The attendant commentary and reimagining of the story belonged to the reading public.  One could argue that this was one of the earliest prominent works to spawn “fan fiction,” especially in the context of Chinese artistic ownership, or lack thereof.  We will consider the novel in this light of pop culture, and address the work as a stellar example of how a lowbrow cultural practice has evolved into a highbrow dynamic. 


CAO Xueqin, translated by David Hawkes, The Story of the Stone, Vols. I, II, III

(Penguin, 1973, 1977, 1980) [aka Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)]

CAO Xueqin and Gao E, translated by John Minford, The Story of the Stone, Vols. IV, V

(Penguin, 1982, 1986)

Richard J. Smith, The Qing Dynasty and Traditional Chinese Culture (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) [QDTCC]

Other Required Readings on Canvas Course Site

C L 323 • Russian Fairytales

33975 • Garza, Thomas
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM BUR 130
(also listed as REE 325)
show description

Course Description: 

This course examines the development of the Russian fairy tale from its folk origins and its adaptations of the tales of Perrault, Grimm, and other European writers, leading to the creation of the unique classic Russian literary fairy tales of Pushkin, Zhukovsky and Ostrovsky in the nineteenth century.  Contemporary portraits of the tales in film versions, from classical Russian productions to Disney’s and Cocteau’s imaginings will also be examined as the heirs to the original oral fairy tale genre.  Participants will be familiarized with four critical methodologies used in conjunction with the study of folk and fairy tales: Structuralist (Jakobson, Propp), Feminist (Warner, Lieberman), Psychological (Bettelheim, Freud), and Socio-political (Zipes, Lüthi).  We will apply these methodologies to the texts – tales, films and prints – that we examine, and participants will learn to use them to enhance their understanding and appreciation of classic Russian fairy and folk tales.



Required Texts (available at UT Co-op or for purchase online):

         • The Russian Fairy Tale. T.J. Garza, ed. Cognella Press, 2013 [online purchase].

         • Russian Fairy Tales,  A. Afanas'ev, New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.      

         • Russian Folk Belief.  Linda J. Ivanits, Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1992.

         • The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettelheim, ed.  New York: Random

             House/Vintage, 1977.


Recommended Texts (available at UT Co-op):

  • The Morphology of the Folktale, Vladimir Propp, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1975.
  • Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, Jack Zipes, New York: Methuen Press, 1983.
  • Once Upon a Time: On the Nature of Fairy Tales, Max Lüthi, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976.

C L 323 • The Qur'an

33990 • Azam, Hina
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 1
(also listed as CTI 375, ISL 340, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 325G, WGS 340)
show description

In this course, we will study the religion of Islam through its core text, the Qur’an. In our studies, we will focus on the following religious themes of the Qur’an: cosmology (e.g. God, human nature, Satan, and the afterlife), theology, ethics, ritual, and law. We will also examine some of the prominent symbols, images and rhetorical structures of the Qur’an, and we will learn to navigate the text.  Through reading the prophetic narratives, we will compare Qur’anic and biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The role of the Qur’an in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression will be explored as well.  We will study the context in which the Qur’an was composed, as well as how the text has been interpreted over time.  Prior knowledge of Islam and/or Arabic is helpful but not required for this course.

This course emphasizes themes of language and literature, global cultures, women and gender, and ethics and leadership, in conformity with those cross-listings and flags: We will look at female figures in the scripture and in Muḥammad’s life, as well as give special attention to Qur’anic prescriptions related to gender relations.  We will study the language, terminology, rhetorical structures, and narrative passages of the text.  The text will be approached through the soci0-historical context of late antique Arabia and its interpretation in medieval Islam and modern encounters with the West. 

In fulfillment of the Ethics and Leadership flag,  this course will give sustained attention to the ethical content of the Qur’an as well as to how Muslims interpret this content. Students will acquire knowledge about the Qur’an’s ethical content by reading assigned passages from the text and discussing these in class.  Students will have opportunity to reflect on these passages and their contemporary relevance both in class and through journal exercises.


Course Texts                                                     

  • Qur'an.  You are not required to purchase a copy of the whole Qur’an.  Required readings will be available on Canvas. For those who are interested in having access to the whole text, here are some recommended resources:

The Qur’an, tr. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem. (Oxford U Press, 2005)

- To consult the Arabic text or hear recitation, see online editions at,, and

  • Bible. Not all required Bible readings will be provided on Canvas, so you will need to use your own editions. Searchable online versions found at
  • Toshihiko Izutsu, Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Qur’an (2002)
  • Abdullah Saeed, The Qur’an: An Introduction (2008)
  • Readings available in pdf on Canvas:

- Excerpts from Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Style (1999)

- Excerpts from The Qur’an, tr. Muhammad Abdel Haleem (2005)

- Excerpts from Barbara F. Stowasser, Women in the Qur’an, Traditions and Interpretations. (Oxford U Press, 1996)

- Islamophobia selections



NOTE: The instructor reserves the right to adjust course requirements during the term. Students will be notified of any such adjustments either in class or via email.

Course grades will be based on a combination of exams, journal entries, and attendance, as follows:

1 Initial writing exercise                                   = 2%   

1 Midterm exam                                               = 20%

5 Journal entries, 6% each                               = 30%

Final exam                                                       = 30%

Attendance                                                      = 18%

                                                                        = 100% total

C L 323 • Viking Lang: Runes/Sagas

33980 • Straubhaar, Sandra
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM BUR 337
(also listed as EUS 347, GSD 360)
show description


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


C L 381 • Ger Roots Int'l Scholarship

34000 • Arens, Katherine
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 232
(also listed as GER 382N)
show description

            How did literary and cultural studies come into being, and what interests were they intended to serve? This course answers these and more such questions by tracing:

  • when and in what forms "literary studies" and "(historical) cultural studies" emerged,
  • the forms of scholarly communication and practice that establish scholarly communities and their roles within cultures, and
  • what tools and resources were developed to evolve preserve, foster, and transmit these "studies" as discrete disciplines or professions.

Pursuing the history of the systematic study of literature and cultures in this way will prepare students to model and engage in research that engages the tradition and breaks new ground, as well as to understand and critique the ideologies driving their professions and their professional lives -- the practical and theoretical backbones of our work, in tandem.

            The approximate order of topics will be:

  1. Introduction:  The Practical Frameworks for Literary and Cultural Studies (institutions, canons, "secondary literature," national and local varieties of systematic study)
  2. History/ies of national literary and cultural studies (case study = Germanistik, but also includes other study areas) and howthey conducted and arranged the work, including both how projects are configured and what types of apparatus and reference materials were developed.
    1. 17th-18th century roots of systematic cultural studies
    2. Classicisms/Romanticisms
    3. 19th C: Philology and Hermeneutics
    4. 19th-20th century:  nationalism in Cultural studies (historicism and positivism)
    5. 20th Century/Post-war histories: text imminent approaches; Identity politics
    6. 20th C: -isms: The map of the ideologies of theory; interdisciplinarity

NO GERMAN REQUIRED FOR THIS COURSE; students in any area of the humanities are welcome, because the historical component of this course addresses the archives used in many disciplines (including interpretive social sciences)

C L 382 • World Lit/Globalism: Thry/Prac

34010 • Richmond-Garza, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 305
(also listed as E 383L)
show description

World Literature/Globalism: Theory and Practice


C L 385 • Found Literary Thry & Critsm

34015 • Salgado, Cesar
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM PAR 214
show description


C L 385 (34015): Foundation of Literary Theory and Criticism

Course Title (ALT):  Building Comparative Literature in Theory: From Eden to Arcadia

Comparative Literature (CL) has, from its modern origins as a field in the 20th century, defined itself vis-à-vis its visions of various "theory projects": models of how literature, texts, writers and readers exist, work, circulate, and intervene in their environments.  To study CL's canon of theory, then, means to study the ideological interventions by means of which the discipline has defined itself and to recover its strategies for constructing and legitimating its core ideologies through canonical discussions and textual sources. 

This course will trace the projects that CL has used to define itself and its work with literature and culture; it will take up the "epochs" of theory as historical reconstructions that must be understood in terms of their original historical contexts, not just and the contemporary uses to which they have been put.  Literary scholars in general and CL ones in particular have expropriated  "theory texts" from historical disciplinary forms, including rhetoric, philosophical exegesis/hermeneutics, poetics, ethics, and philosophical ontology/epistemology, then repurposed them as canonical texts supporting their own activities in the service of various ideologies of art, nation, identity, culture, and society. The source eras to be studied include, in rough outline:

  • The Classical Era (Plato, Aristotle, Greek and Roman discussions of rhetorical and dramatic literature):  literature, modalities of communication as performatives;  its function as public understandingfor the audience and the polis
  • Medieval Era (including Middle Eastern commentary traditions):  the question of textual authority, exegesis, the "arts of reading," and the status of texts as revelation
  • Renaissance:  the historicity of texts and the science of reading; art and taste
  • Early Modern era (late 18th to late 19th centuries):  the correlations of textuality with aesthetics, and the philosophy of art and the genius (focus on the reader and on education of the mind)
  • The Dawn of Modern Theory (late 19th century to end of WW I):  From Philology to the Science of Literature (a study of the ethics of scholarship). 

Post-World War II CL theory emerged out of a brew of these sources, whose urgency often gets lost as the background to today's debates about culture, literature, and the privileges that had grown up around them.  As acts of reading and interpretation were embedded by CL scholars into the universities as a master theory discipline, and as CL now moves into its third or fourth generation, it is time to recover these models for cultural and literary knowledge production that often refute the naturalizing claims made about them.  Class discussion will focus on the disciplinary frameworks that CL codified as its historical canon and legitimation, and on what assumptions about texts, writers, readers, and cultural processed have to be recovered.

By the end of the semester, students will be able to:

  • identify, define, and exemplify major arguments / issues / debates that have been hallmarks of CL theory, both as used in the modern discipline and at their origins
  • use particular theories to construct interpretations of texts (both as a précis and in essay form)
  • understand and exemplify how the theory project is used in their own area(s) of specialization (and in terms of language use in that specialization)-- how an essentially Eurocentric reconstruction of aesthetic-critical thought could itself be coopted for new ideologies of understanding texts and cultures.

 READINGS (all available on CANVAS):

  • Wellek and Warren, A Theory of Literature (various)
  • Hazard Adams' Critical Theory Since Plato (3rd ed), and small parts of Critical Theory since 1965
  • Supplemental materials:
    • Comparative Literature: A Critical Introduction,  Susan Bassnett (1993)
    • First edition of Critical Theory since Plato


  • 2 (depending on size of class, might end up being group projects) 5-minute introductions to assigned theory readings (oral presentation and 1-page summative handout); strict time limits will be imposed, because these are intended to start class discussions (5% each)
  • 3 analytic précis (1 page / 5 % each), aimed at uncovering the epistemological premises of chosen theory texts
  • 2 short (5 page) systematic interpretations of a short story or poem guided by a particular interpretive optic (parallel to those required in the CL QE; 15% each)
  • Final class project, done in stages (total 45% of the grade, allowing individual students to track how the CL canon has affected, is or is not parallel to the theory use and issues foregrounded within their own disciplinary/national contexts: annotated bibliography with prose commentaries as reflecting the ideologies of the US university literature-culture projects. The final section will be a short essay (ca. 1000 words) on how these texts cause or relieve problems of Eurocentrism or the evaluation of other regional cultural interpretive projects, marginalization, essentialization, reification, (dis)empowerment of interpretive communities, and manipulations of cultural power reified in institutions -- an individual stock-taking of the relevance of the CL history project for today's literary and cultural studies.