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Comparative Literature Courses
Fall 2012



Any literature course in any language, including English, at the 3000 level or above
counts towards the Comparative Literature major or minor.


Courses of Special Interest to Comparative Literature Students

CPLT 2010 History of European Literature
1230-0145 TR - Clark 107
Instructor: Gordon Braden

A survey of western literature from the classical Greeks to the end of the 17th century. We will read major works of narrative, drama, and lyric from a range of languages: Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, Occitan, Old Norse. The readings themselves will be in English translation, though constant reference will be made to the original texts; the authors will include Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Vergil, Dante, Chrétien de Troyes, Rabelais, Ariosto, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and others. We will be studying the distinctive and changing features of the various literary types, as well as the relations between literature and the larger course of European history, both in its continuities and its often violent discontinuities, though above all we will be looking for those aspects of the works in question that have made them seem worth reading and rereading for almost 3000 years. There will be two lectures a week, and required attendance at a weekly discussion section; students must register both for the lecture and a discussion section. There will be several short papers on a choice of assigned topics and a final exam; discussion section leaders may also make other brief assignments.

This course is required for Comparative Literature majors, but all interested undergraduates of any year are welcome. The course is part of a two-semester sequence, completed by CPLT 2020 in the spring; Comparative Literature majors must take both semesters, but other students may take either semester as a stand-alone course. One of the two semesters may be counted toward the undergraduate English major. This course satisfies the Second Writing Requirement.

CPLT 3590/GETR3391 Idea of the University
0330-0445 MW - Maury 115
Instructor: Michael Wellmon

This course considers the idea of the university from the founding of the first research university in Berlin and the University of Virginia in the early 19th century to the current state of higher education and its future in a digital age. What is the relationship between the university and society?  How does the university organize and produce knowledge? What is it exactly that we are supposed to be doing in this place we call a university? All readings and discussions will be in English.

CPLT 4559/FRTR 4540 – The International Enlightenment
0330-0600 M - French House 102
Instructor: Jennifer Tsien

As one of the most important movements in Western intellectual history, the Enlightenment laid the foundations for our current conceptions of democratic government, religious toleration, freedom of speech, and the scientific method. Its proponents defied the monarchy and the church in order to bring their countries into a new era and, inadvertently, to spark the French and American Revolutions. The readings for this course will focus principally on works by British and French Enlightenment figures, such as John Locke, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Works by American, Italian, and German writers such as Thomas Jefferson, Cesare Beccaria, and Immanuel Kant will also be included. We will particularly focus on strategies, such as humor and fictional narratives, used by the authors to hide their provocative ideas from government censors.
Finally, we will consider texts by modern theorists such as Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault and discuss to what extent their critiques of the Enlightenment were justified.

Requirements for the course will include a 5-page midterm paper and a 10-15 page final research paper.

CPLT 8559 Freud
0730-1000 M - Cabell 325
Instructor: Benjamin Bennett

Readings for the seminar will include all the major works of Freud, plus a number of his shorter, less well known essays.  The aim of the seminar is to develop as comprehensive a view as possible of Freud’s thought, including its medical, psychological, biological, anthropological, cultural, philosophical, and political dimensions.  The seminar is designed to be offered for graduate credit to students from any department in Arts and Sciences, and to be open to interested members of the faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as to visitors from outside Arts and Sciences, especially from the Medical School and the medical community in general.  Graduate students in German will read all texts in the original language, but other participants may use translations into whatever language they prefer.  Each participant taking the course for credit will be expected to lead the discussion for at least half of one meeting on a text or topic of his or her choosing. The opportunity to lead seminar discussions will also be available to non-credit participants, to the extent that time permits.  Readings (including collateral readings) may be added, subtracted, or altered in accordance with wishes expressed by a consensus of the seminar’s participants.  But the basic goal of the seminar, to understand Freud in detail by paying very close attention to his writings, will be maintained.  To facilitate participants’ scheduling, meetings will be three full hours in length, one evening per week.  Tentatively the seminar has been set for Monday evenings, 7pm to 10pm.  But once a group of participants has been assembled, that time may be renegotiated.

Anyone interested in joining the seminar or finding out more about it should contact Benjamin Bennett at bkb@virginia.edu
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