Program in Comparative Literature

C L 305 • Dissent 20th-Cent Ukraine

33045 • Lutsyshyna, Oksana
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM JES A215A
(also listed as EUS 307, REE 302)
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This course will offer a survey of the Ukrainian authors from the 1920s through the present. We will examine the writings from the times of the “Executed Renaissance,” underground literature, and postmodernism. We will focus specifically on works that, in one way or another, challenge the set paradigm of socialist realism, either ethically or aesthetically, by discussing forbidden subjects (famine, religion, Gulag), or even simply accentuating the themes that are not considered “major” (personal life). Book excerpts and articles will supplement literary works, to enable better understanding of the historical context.



Conflict and Chaos: Desperate Times. Trilogy of Selected Prose, Volume 3. Language Lantern, 2010.

Stories from the Ukraine. Transl. and ed. George Luckyj.

Dovzhenko, Oleksandr. “Zemlia” (“The Land”) Film.

Tychyna, Pavlo. Selected poems. Transl. Michael Naydan.

Semenko, Mykhayl. Selected poems.

Teliha, Olena. Selected poems.

Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Vasic Books, 2012. (excerpts on famine)

Bahriany, Ivan. The Hunters and the Hunted. A novel.

Stus, Vasyl. Selected Poems.

Paradhanov, Serhii. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.” Film.

From Three Worlds: New Writing from Ukraine. Eds. Ed Hogan and Askold Melnyczuk. (Valeri Shevchuk, Yuri Vynnychuk, Oksana Zabuzhko, Yevhen Pashkovsky, others).

Andrukhovych, Yuri. Recreations. A novel. Trans. Marko Pavlyshyn.

Zabuzhko, Oksana. Girls. Transl. Askold Melnyczuk.

The Art of the Maidans. Selected poems, stories and articles. 



Presentation:  20%

Participation: 10%

Short papers (2): 30%

Term (final) paper prospectus: 15%

Term (final) paper: 25%

C L 305 • Grimms' Fairy Tales

33050 • Pierce, Marc
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CPE 2.206
(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 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33060-33145 • Richmond-Garza, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SAC 1.402
(also listed as E 316N)
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E 316N  l  World Literature


Instructor:  Richmond-Garza, E

Unique #:  34770-34855

Semester:  Spring 2018

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 323 • Anti-Semitism In Hist & Lit

33195 • 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.       


  • 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 • N European Childrens Lit

33200 • Straubhaar, Sandra
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM BUR 337
(also listed as EUS 347, GSD 340)
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Description and readings:

This course will introduce students to twentieth- and twenty-first-century children’s literature from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. Authors highlighted may include Astrid Lindgren (The Red Bird, The Brothers Lionheart), Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World), Bjarne Reuter (The Boys from St. Petri), Otfried Preussler (Krabat), Walter Moers (Capt’n Bluebear), Cornelia Funke (Inkworld, Mirrorworld), Michael Ende (Momo, Jim Button), Jacques Vriens (Eighth Graders Don’t Cry), Annie M. G. Schmidt (Little Abel), and Klaus Schädelin (My Name is Eugen). Additional authors and works may be explored by students for papers or group projects. Emphasis will be placed on the prominent place of children’s literature in the popular culture of central and northern Europe, as well as the serious issues and themes which north Americans might otherwise consider “adult” that are often found in this genre -- death, war, poverty, social justice, and family conflict, for example – alongside whimsy, warmth and wonder.



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 student papers:                                        10 %

Reading Journals (turned in approx. every other Wednesday)                      15 %

One three- to five-page group project w/Power Point (groups of 3-4):       15 %

One six-page research paper:                                                                        20 %

C L 323 • Nobel Prizes: Lit/Politics

33205 • Arens, Katherine
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLM 5.112
(also listed as EUS 347, GSD 340)
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Nobel Prizes in "literature" offer an astounding array of surprises.  In 2015, Svetlana Alexievich , a historian, was awarded the prize.  In 1999, Günter Grass, author of The Tin Drum  (1959) and other controversial social-critical novels, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.  He was the 7th German, and the 11th German-language author to do so -- but he was on the public's list of probable winners fo ra prie in tehe 7s, with his best work purpotedly behind him (not true).   Such Nobel Prize surprises lik these chart a fantastic map to Europe's imagined identity as the heart of Western culture -- and to how literary reputations are made, brokered, and broken on the markets of international media politics.

Starting with  recent prize winners from Northern and Central Europe, and moving backwards in time, this course will introduce some Nobel-Prize-winning authors (authors who wrote in German, the Scandinavian languages, and [in one case] about Afrikaans-speakers).  Each author will, however, be taken as a case study not only in literary aesthetics, but also as one in literary politics:  s/he will be introduced through the words of the Nobel Committee's statements.   Why were these authors picked to be the voices of their generations, and why at their particular moments?   The result is a dynamic image of how books REALLY work in an age of the mass media.


Readings and Assignments will draw on the following list of authors:

1902: Theodor Mommsen (Germany)

1908: R. Eucken (Germany)

1909: *Selma Lagerlöf (Sweden)

1910: Paul Heyse (Germany)

1912:  *Gerhard Hauptmann (Germany)

1916: V. v. Heidenstam (Sweden)

1917: K. Gjellerup (Denmark)

              H. Pontoppidan (Denmark)

1918 - 1919:  C. Spitteler (Switzerland)

1920: *Knut Hamsun (Norway)

1928: *Sigrid Undset (Norway)

1929: *Thomas Mann (Germany)

1944: Johannes V. Jensen (Denmark)

1946: *Hermann Hesse (Switzerland, Germany)

1951:  P. Lagerkvist (Sweden)

1966: S.J. Agnon (Israel, Austria)

              Nelly Sachs (Sweden, Germany)

1972: *Heinrich Böll (Germany)

1974: E. Johnson (Sweden)

              H. Martinson (Sweden) 

1991: *Nadine Gordimer (South Africa -  in English, sometimes about Afrikaaners)

1999:  Günter Grass (Germany), Cat and Mouse

2004: Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)


Assignments and Grading

6 one-page precis, each a close reading of one text  (first part of semester, to teach how to read a literary text for what it says and what it does not say) 6 x 5% each = 30 % of grade

1 short paper (4-5 pp.), with the option for a rewrite (due as on syllabus, with rewrite a week later):  a comparison of the content of the work chosen with the Nobel Committee's assessment and presentation of the author = 30% of grade

1 longer paper (8-10 pp.) (due at end of semester):   starting with an abstract and a first page draft, each graded separately)  combining a content analysis of the author with research on the author's reception -- a study of literary reputation = 40% of grade 

C L 323 • War/Revolutn In Rus Lit/Cul

33210 • Pesenson, Michael
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM GEA 127
(also listed as CTI 345, REE 325)
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Course Description

 This exciting course explores Russian literary and cinematic responses to the ravages of war and revolution, heroic and bloody conflicts that repeatedly devastated the country throughout its long and tumultuous history. We will read a variety of texts dealing with the Napoleonic invasion, the Caucasus campaign, the Revolution of 1917, the Civil War, World War II, the Cold War, the Afghan War, and the present-day conflict in Chechnya, and explore how individual writers portrayed the calamity of war and its devastating effect on people’s lives, while expressing hope for ever-elusive peace and universal brotherhood. All readings and discussion will be English. All films will be screened with English subtitles.



  1. L. Tolstoy, Hadji Murad
  2. L. Tolstoy, War and Peace
  3. M. Bulgakov, White Guard
  4. I. Babel, Red Cavalry
  5. V. Grossman, Life and Fate
  6. V. Pelevin, Omon Ra
  7. Selections from journalistic accounts of A. Borovik and A. Politkovskaya on wars in Chechnya and Afghanistan