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 315 • Masterworks Of World Lit

33150-33185 • Doherty, Brian
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CMA 2.306
(also listed as E 316N)
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E 316N  l  World Literature


Instructor:  Doherty, B

Unique #:  34860-34895

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


Global Modern Literature—

The course will be focused on the 20th century.  We begin with writers considered to be Modernists—we will focus on two very different German language modernists—Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka.  In the same time period, writers from diverse areas of the globe were experimenting in form, and analyzing a society that in crisis.  We will read writers from China, Japan, India and South America in the ways they might be considered to follow the principles of Modernism.  Another thread in the course will trace some thematic and stylistic elements of literature of North Africa and the Middle-East, followed by a series of texts from sub-Saharan Africa. 


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 global 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 F. (It is essential that students have the Third Edition.)

A course reader with supplemental texts will be required.


Requirements & Grading:  Attendance, participation in TA led discussions: 10%; Test one: Modernism, Mann, Kafka: 25%; Essay on second set of readings (3-4 pages): 25%; Final exam covers all material since first test: 35%.

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