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Course Descriptions - Spring 2012

For the most up-to-date information, please consult the UW Time Schedule. Keep in mind that future course listings are tentative and subject to change.

Spring 2012


MTWThF 9:30am - 10:20am
SAV 136 - SLN: 11610
Instructor: Verena Kuzmany
Course Website
GE Requirements Met: C, W

It‘s 2012 and film makers, authors, the yellow press, and the Latin American tourism industry, to name but a few, are capitalizing on the purported end of the world, which the Mayan calendar supposedly predicted for December 21 of this year. Whether or not doomsday is near, it seems like an appropriate time to investigate the theme of apocalypse in literature and film. The end of the world has been predicted and imagined over and over again in religious and later secular texts. In this course we will read texts and watch movies inventing apocalyptic as well as post-apocalyptic scenarios from different time periods and different national and cultural backgrounds. Accompanying the texts and films we will also trace the theme in painting. Questions encountered along the way include why artists keep imagining the end of the world and what visions of apocalypse tell us about the era they were created in. Whether nuclear catastrophe, giant ants, meteors on a collision course with earth, or environmental disaster, apocalyptic scenarios reflect the social and political climate – and fears – of their time. On a practical front, students will learn how to critically analyze and write about texts and films from different genres and sources. Emphasis will be placed on improving interpretive and academic writing skills through discussions about texts, writing exercises, and peer editing workshops. In discussions about the materials we will experiment with different comparative approaches to literary and filmic analysis. Small creative assignments and free writing sessions will allow us to approach the topic from different angles.

*REM It‘s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)


MTWThF 10:30am - 11:20am
MLR 302A - SLN: 11611
Instructor: Yasaman Naraghi
GE Requirements Met: C, W

How do the power of human desires leads us to delude ourselves and those around us? The goal of C Lit 240 is to hone your individual writing skills while also giving you the opportunity to grow as a critical reader. To this end, the course will examine an international selection of novellas using the themes of reality and fantasy, as a point of comparison for texts and as a starting point for composition. The novellas are Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Honore de Balzac's The Unknown Masterpiece, Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, and Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Story. We will explore how characters' desires--whether they revolve around aesthetic, sexual or identity issues--propel them them toward fantastic events or ideologies. Also, we will pay close attention to how these authors depict society and how their characters are defined or deformed by its conventions and demands.


MTT
MLR - SLN: 11612
Instructor: Amy C. Lanning
GE Requirements Met: C, W

In this writing-centered course we will investigate the dialectic between the natural and the social aspects of being as represented in fictional works that thematize the concept of the split-self, in particular Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein and Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness. We will also explore the historical context of this topic by discussing the philosophical undercurrents related to the period of each novel. From a technical standpoint, students will learn to think and write critically in order to produce essays that engage the current academic debates related to these texts and to our course theme.

Reading List:
"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad – Norton Edition
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly – Norton Edition
Coursepack


MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SAV 139 - SLN: 11613
Instructor: Laura Eshleman
GE Requirements Met: C, W

now what were motionless move(exists no
miracle mightier than this:to feel)
(e.e. cummings)

The English word "emotion" has its root in the Latin expression "movement out," and in its contemporary meaning the word continues to imply the movement of the spirit, of agitation or excitement. For the Romance languages there is an etymological association, but the persistent linking of motion and emotion in literature worldwide suggests that these basic elements of human experience have a much deeper, more translatable connection. Vertigo, euphoria, dizziness, liberation, and nausea: all express this connection.

The goal of C Lit 240 is to hone your individual writing skills while also giving you the opportunity to grow as a critical reader. To this end, the course will examine an international selection of literary works using the themes of motion and emotion as a point of comparison for texts and as a starting point for composition. We will explore the metaphoric qualities of spatial movement or "the journey" for representing other types of migrations (emotional, national, social, etc). We will consider the effect of technologies of motion and cultural patterns of mobility on expression of emotion and mobility in literature. And finally we will address motion's counterpart, immobilization or stagnation, and its potential for emotional expression in literature.

Texts: Mary Shelley _Frankenstein_, Junichiro Tanizaki _Diary of a Mad Old Man_, Nella Larsen _Passing_, and a selection of critical writing, excerpts, short stories and poetry. Also, we will use the short edition of the expository
writing textbook _Acts of Inquiry_.


MTWThF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
SAV 155 - SLN: 11615
Instructor: Lin Chen
GE Requirements Met: C, W

The aim of this course is to enable you to read carefully, think intensely, write professionally, and above all, find pleasure in what you do.

The agenda is to read four major texts in various generic combinations: poetical-philosophical, lyrical-legendary-dramatic, romantic-historical-fictional, and epic-autobiographical-fictional. Originally written in four different languages and of four different national origins, the major texts: Zhuangzi, Goethe‘s Faust (Part 1), Scarlet Letter and Anna Karenina, are major in every imaginable way. They are foundational, engaging, intellectually stimulating, and oftentimes amusing. Each text raises its own set of questions, questions concerning, among others, knowledge, morality, desire, evil, mortality, family, nature, and society, all so fundamental to human experience that you may find yourself changed, unwittingly at times, as you engage with the readings.

Literature, in this view—which is also the implied argument in the design of this class—is, at both poles of its existential axis, creation and reception, a form of emotive cognition, a union of profound thought with intense feeling. It is, therefore, neither an abstract enterprise, nor a hysterical outpouring, but teaches, moves, and pleases in and through the exact details of complex narratives, characters, their internal struggles and outward behavior, in a verbally imagined yet historically grounded space.

Everything we will read is in English, and the pace will be such that no one will sink. You will be encouraged to participate actively in all sorts of individual as well as group activities. Additional help is available via meeting with me one-on-one outside the classroom.


TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
KNE 110 - SLN: 11616
Instructor: Leroy Searle
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

This course, taught in two cross-listed sections (Comp Lit 252A and English 242G) will focus on reading prose fiction, with particular focus on the Novel. It makes no difference which section you select.

The principal focus will be the examination of longer fictional works are a primary mode of thinking and reasoning, following how imaginative engagement with recurrent and practical questions leads us to increasingly sophisticated and insightful revelations about experience. The novels selected all address, in very different ways, how our lives may be shaped by what, and how, we imagine—particularly when we may not recognize initially the extent to which what we imagine and what we become are connected.

Over the course of the quarter, there will be three writing assignments, each precisely focused on issue of reading. The discussion sections will provide an opportunity to work through issues in reading, and to work in a focused way on writing. There will also be a weekly quiz (brief) on assigned readings for each week.

Texts: All in the UW Bookstore

NOTE: THESE EDITIONS ARE REQUIRED. DO NOT USE BOOKS YOU ALREADY HAVE. ALL ARE READILY AVAILABLE ON THE USED BOOK MARKET.

Henry James: The Portrait of a Lady . Norton Critical Edition ISBN-10: 0393966461
Witold Gombrowicz: Ferdedurke. Yale University Press, ISBN-10: 0300082401
Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Harper Perennial ISBN-10: 0061148520
J. M. Coetzee: Foe. Penguin Edition. ISBN-10: 842042496X


MW
KNE - SLN: 11621
Instructor: Jennifer M. Bean
Department Requirements Met: Pre-req to Declare Cinema Major
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

This course examines the development of the horror genre in American cinema from the late 1920s to the early twenty-first century. We will consider how the development this mode has been related to structural and economic changes in the film industry since the formation of Hollywood‘s studio-era in the late silent period, as well as to changes in American culture and society. Since these cultural changes often go unacknowledged in more general histories of modern American society, a careful study of this genre provides an illuminating lens for examining social conflict. As critic Robin Wood once noted, "One might say that the true subject of the horror genre is the struggle for recognition of all that our civilization represses or oppresses, its re-emergence dramatized, as in our nightmares, as an object of horror, a matter for terror." Put simply, rather than tout variations of the so-called "American Dream," as in political campaigns and advertising platforms, this cinematic and (increasingly) multi-media set of representations tracks that dream's uncanny double: hence, the title of this course, "American Nightmares."

While the overall structure of our class will be historical (and chronological), our focus will be analytical as well, with special emphasis on genre theory and criticism, theories of gender and sexuality, and textual analysis. Requirements include short quizzes at end-of-week discussion sections, an in-class mid-term exam, and several short formal writing assignments. Weekly schedule includes: two class days devoted to lecture; two class days allotted for film screenings only (which you may watch on your own if you prefer), and one quiz section meeting per week (on Fridays).


MTWTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
MGH 231 - SLN: 11632
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Queer Theory - is open to AIS, AES, CHID, ENGL, GWSS and C Lit students during Period 1 registration.

Mondays and Wednesdays are lecture days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are screening days for those who chose to see the films on 'the big screen.' All films will be streamed to facilitate working schedules and the possibility of review.

Queer Theory considers the discussion of 'female' and 'male' bodies as visual text from the 1980s to present. What do gender and sexuality mean? What has gender to do with representations of sexuality? When and where do we begin to consider a transitioning body? Students will look at moments of intersection between race/ class/ gender and sexuality as they complicate political agendas and blur binaries between male and female, gay and straight. We will look at the emergence of queer theory as it becomes central to feminist theory and queer cinema as it begins to form its own directions in the context of international independent queer and feminist narrative and documentary film.


MTWTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
JHN 175 - SLN: 11633
Instructor: Tamara Cooper
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Black American Cinema – is open to AIS, AES, CHID, ENGL, GWSS and C Lit students during Period 1 registration. No prior film analysis knowledge is necessary.

C Lit 303 runs 4 days/ week with two days for screening and two days for lecture. Unless otherwise indicated, most films will be streamed online so students can decide whether they would like to see films independently or in class.
In this class we will look at a broad range of contemporary African American filmmakers from 1970s to the present, some of whom were born in the US, some of whom were trained in the US and share citizenship elsewhere. If post-Obama does not mean post-racial, then what does it mean? And what does it mean to an American public who see black faces more frequently on screens than ever before, screens where black men are allowed to kiss white women and black men are allowed to kiss each other. We will look at the challenges of black film authorship and ask just as Yale Professor Terri Francis:

"What is at stake in African American cinema? What is the visceral, gut-level function of motion pictures in the African American community? Can we speak of a distinctive practice given the diverse experiences and variable conditions that affect African American lives? What do motion pictures mean for people whose sense of home has been dislocated by migrations and fraught with attacks on their citizen ship and humanity, largely through visual representation?"

Together through film watching and interactive discussion, we will explore our present moment and ask ourselves if black citizenship is still in question in America?


MTWTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
SAV 138 - SLN: 11634
Instructor: Jennifer Myers
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Spanning three decades, this course considers pivotal films and moments in the history of cinema. We will examine the ways in which transformations in technology (the advent of sound, color, cinemascope), genres (the western, melodrama, film noir, science fiction, the musical), institutions (challenges to the Hollywood studio system, the rise of new national cinemas), and international movements (French poetic realism, Italian neo-realism, the French New Wave) define this period.

Not only will we often trace the migration of forms and influences across national borders, we will also place the cinematic developments within a broader atlas of historical events and the changing cultural zeitgeist: the Great Depression and New Deal politics; the buildup to World War II and its aftermath; the paranoia of the Cold War, etc. Our goal will be to acquire a comparative sense of the often complex and simultaneous shifts in films, styles, and film industries in multiple locations during this period.


MTWTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
JHN 111 - SLN: 11635
Instructor: Yomi Braester
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

The course explores the cinematographic, industrial, and ideological conditions of filmmaking since 1989, with an emphasis on postsocialist ideology and form, new forms of realism, transnational trends, the role of international film festivals, and the conscious revision of cinematic traditions.

During weeks 1-8, class will meet for four meetings every week—two for screenings and two for lectures. The last two weeks are devoted to watching films at the Seattle International Film Festival.


MW 9:30am - 11:20am
SAV 138 - SLN: 11636
Instructor: Cuauhtemoc Mexica
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

This course has two objectives. The first objective is to acquaint you with recurring themes (immigration, gender, music, cholo aesthetics, etc.) in Chicano cinema. The second shall deepen your knowledge of film history and improve your skills in analyzing film.

Our course materials will focus on the concept of the frontier or border, and specifically of the U.S.-Mexican border, as a determining factor in American culture, through a close reading and written analysis of borderland narratives, film, and cross-cultural encounters.


MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
MEB 103 - SLN: 11637
Instructor: Henry Staten
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

We will read a variety of poems and fictional works from France, Germany, England, and the U.S. in order to get a sense of the complex phenomenon called "Modernism." Modernism is a style, or cluster of styles, of writing that flourished from roughly 1910-1930, but the beginnings of which can be traced to France in the mid-19th century. Modernist writers explored areas of experience that literature had
formerly neglected (extreme or even pathological states of mind, commonplace things and people, sexuality and other corporeal processes, and so forth), and in the course of this exploration they moved away from traditional literary forms, inventing radically new forms (of which the most familiar are free verse and stream of consciousness).

The first half of the course will be on the poetry of Baudelaire, Rilke, and T. S. Eliot; the second half on fictional works by Kafka (The Metamorphosis), Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway), and Camus (The Stranger). You do not need to know anything about how to read poetry; I will teach you everything you need to know.

There will be a 2-3 page paper on Baudelaire due the second week (worth 20% of your grade); a 4-5 page mid-term paper on Rilke and Eliot (40 %); and a final, 4-5 page, paper on modernist fiction (40%). Your entire grade will be based on these three papers.


MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SAV 138 - SLN: 11638
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

"The central aesthetic problem of realism" wrote Georg Lukács, "is the adequate presentation of the complete human personality." This course exams key works of realism beyond the shores of Europe— from South America in particular with a comparative interest in the Middle East North Africa— and explores how authors from these regions have employed a largely nineteenth century European mode of
writing to capture and define new "complete" personalities in the midst of radically shifting social milieus. To understand the full significance of these works, the course will include a reader with historical and journalistic pieces relevant to the time and place in which the author is writing and critical essays that help situate the author‘s production within regional literary traditions. Students will be asked to think and write critically about the possibilities and limitations of fiction to document history, the role of narrative in shaping the reception of sociopolitical phenomena and the relationship between art and politics more broadly.


TTh 9:30am - 11:20am
SAV 138 - SLN: 11639
Instructor: Yizhong Gu
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

While providing a historical survey of Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema, this course will focus on the layered narratives of sacrifice and martyrdom in their literary and cinematic representations. The ever-shifting social contexts and the synchronic co-existence of various discourses in Modern China rendered the representation of sacrifice ambiguous in multiple layers—how did the collective passion of sacrifice for one‘s nation (or for a transnational revolutionary ideal) sublimate the individual desire to sacrifice for one‘s lover or family? Can we clearly delineate the boundary between the sacrificed subject/object as martyrs (self-sacrifice) and as scapegoats (forced to sacrifice)? Why did the Chinese nationalist ideology prefer to foreground the representation of one group of martyrs/scapegoats (foreigners, women, children, low-rank soldiers) over the other group (male, adult, high-rank officers)? Finally, what makes us take for granted of martyrs‘ voluntary sacrifice for the nation?

The literary and cinematic texts that we discuss in this course represent a wide range of styles and subject matters related to these issues. All readings will be in English (and all films with English subtitles). Prior knowledge of Modern Chinese History and familiarity with literature and film analysis are preferred, ilbut not required.


MTWTh 11:30am - 12:20pm
SAV 168 - SLN: 11640
Instructor: Guntis I. Smidchens
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

This course studies the folklore traditions maintained by immigrant and ethnic communities in the Nordic and Baltic States. How are their ethnic culture and identity related to cultural unity and diversity in their countries, and in the world? Theories of ethnic folklore research and interpretations of traditions, particularly ideas proposed by Nordic and Baltic scholars, will be evaluated and applied to the study of living folklore traditions. Some comparative examples will be found in communities of European immigrants in North America.

Student learning goals

Learn about people and traditions: Learn the historical background of immigrant and ethnic communities that are currently active in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Learn examples of folk traditions practiced or remembered in these communities.

Encounter theories and interpretations of ethnic identity: Learn a variety of approaches to immigrant and ethnic folklore, and some "classic" interpretations proposed over the past century.

Become an expert on one immigrant or ethnic group: Learn how to find and use research tools for the study of immigrant and ethnic folklore (online databases, web archives, published sources). Experience folklore fieldwork: Make contact with living people in the "field" to compile information about folklore traditions in immigrant and ethnic communities. Do ethnography: Document and interpret living folk traditions.


MW 11:30am - 1:20pm
SMI 115 - SLN: 11641
Department Requirements Met: Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

While the Apollonian "Know thyself" has haunted Western civilization, more often than not, the second maxim, inscribed over the portal of the temple of Delphi, tends to be forgotten: "Nothing in excess," it warns us. Modernity is emphatically characterized by excess, and Descartes‘ "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am") seems so shallow, since being no longer just is: it appears as a proliferation of mere moments of being. In this class, we will focus on subjectivity and its fragmentation in Modern Literature, that incessant fight between our Apollonian and Dionysian impulses. Our investigation will take us through plays, poems and novels, in search of the many reflections of the self.

Center stage is man in all his self-assigned glory, looking more like a parasite than a god. His pathos is derisive, while he reaches for an unattainable grandeur. All efforts are in vain: they are impelled by man‘s hubris and they eventually prove futile. How does the self then define itself in the face of society, be it a society plagued by theist determinism, scientific and technological progress, and the ensuing sense of alienation, or the atheist disposition of an anthropomorphic world? Is the reflection of the self through the modernist glass a mere fragment of our subjectivity? There are the questions that we will try to answer.

Primary readings will be complemented by theoretical and critical readings, as well as some art history. All readings are in English.
Primary readings:
Please make sure you buy the specific editions mentioned. The poems will be provided in electronic format.

Baudelaire, Charles. The Flowers of Evil (Selected Poems).
Beckett, Samuel. Endgame. (ISBN: 9780802150240, Grove Press)
Eliot, T. S. Selected Poems.
Hesse, Hermann. Steppenwolf. (ISBN: 9780312278670, Picador USA)
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. (ISBN: 9780805210576, Schocken)
Ionesco, Eugène. The Bald Soprano. (ISBN: 9780802143181, Grove Press)
Melville, Herman. Bartleby The Scrivener. (ISBN: 9780974607801, Melville House)
Pirandello, Luigi. Six Characters In Search of An Author. (ISBN: 9780140189223, Penguin Classics)
Wallace, Stevens. Selected poems.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. (ISBN: 9780151009985, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SMI 309 - SLN: 11642
Instructor: Gary Handwerk
Course Website
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA

Our focus for this course will be upon how literature deals with the environment, i.e., how literary texts represent environmental issues and why it matters that they be represented in this form. How, that is, does where we live and, even more importantly, how we imagine the place in which we live, affect who we are? How do our relationships to nature and our relationships with other people intersect? We will be considering a range of prose texts, including fictional narratives, non-fictional essays and journalism, primarily texts written or set in the Americas. Course goals include: 1) developing the analytical reading skills appropriate to different kinds of literary texts, 2) working on how to formulate and sustain critical arguments in writing, 3) learning how to uncover the supporting logic and stakes of specific attitudes toward the natural world, 4) understanding how environmental issues are linked to other social and cultural concerns, 5) seeing how those linkages are affected by particular historical and political conditions. The course will contain a significant writing component, both regular informal writing assignments and several medium-length analytical papers; it can count for W-credit.

Texts include Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Faulkner, Go Down, Moses; McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid; Abbey, Desert Solitaire; Appleman, Darwin; Butler, Wild Seed; Silko, Ceremony; Head, When Rain Clouds Gather and a reading packet.


MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
DEN 216 - SLN: 11643
Instructor: Ilse D Cirtautas
Department Requirements Met: Literature Elective
GE Requirements Met: VLPA, W

In the early 1950‘s Stalin, the ruthless dictator of the Soviet Union, who kept the Central Asian Turkic peoples under a brutal colonial rule, launched a severe attack against their heroic epic songs. He tried to outlaw their singing and publicizing on the grounds that they were nationalistic in content by portraying the heroes as generous, ideal leaders of their people. Fortunately, Stalin died in 1953 and the campaign against the most essential part of the cultural heritage of the Turkic peoples was stopped. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Turkic peoples again celebrated their national epics, e.g. in 1995 all Kyrgyzstan rejoiced in the festivities for their national epic hero Manas and in 1999 the Uzbeks honored their epic hero Alpamish.

Starting with the shamanistic origin of the Turkic heroic epic poetry, the course will explore the variety and diversity of the Turkic oral epic traditions comparing them with the heroic epic songs of the Mongols, the ancient Greeks and the medieval Germanic tribes. Special attention will be paid to the singers and their role as oral poets in the nomadic Turkic society, the style of their performances and the interaction with the audience. Other topics will deal with the structure of the songs, story patterns, language and style.

Course Requirements: Midterm and final examinations consisting of questions to be answered in essay form.


MWF
SMI - SLN: 11644
Instructor: Richard Block
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

The horror of the Holocaust challenges the very limits of the imagination; the desperation of what the victims experienced is outside the realm of human speech. Moreover, any attempt to record what one experienced or witnessed threatens the constitution of the self. To represent this trauma one must present it otherwise. Were there even a language to represent what occurred, it would subject the witness to the horror of that trauma once again. The Nazis anticipated this dilemma, repeatedly taunting victims by dismissing the possibility that history would bear witness to what occurred in the camps. Their crimes, the Nazis proclaimed, were too horrible to be believed; the victims and their stories would be deposited, as Hannah Arendt noted, in "ever widening holes of oblivion." Thus arises the absolute necessity, the moral imperative to represent what by definition cannot be represented.

In this course we will examine the strategies various filmmakers have developed to respond to this imperative. We will begin by asking ourselves how one bears witness to the unspeakable, how one captures a history that is toohorrible to return to? But we will also turn a critical eye to how Hollywood in particular has exploited the dimensions of this trauma to pump up the volume, so to speak, on formulaic plots and how the conventions of popular film may respond to this imperative in ways that demean and cheapen the suffering of the victims. Likewise, we will question to what extent even documentary films can be understood to be objective, especially since the memories of the survivors and those of the perpetrators are unreliable.

Texts: Maus I, Art Spiegelman, and The Holocaust: A German Historian Examines the Genocide, Wolfgang Benz. A course reader is available at the Ave. Copy Shop (42nd and University beneath Jimmy Johns). Optional: Maus 2.

Film Screenings:
Night and Fog.
Shoah.
An Unfinished Film
The Pianist
The Garden of the Finzi Continis.
The Pawnbroker
Schindler’s List
The Reader


TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SIG 225 - SLN: 11648
Instructor: Gordana Crnkovic
Department Requirements Met: Cinema Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: I&S, VLPA

From the early experimental films of the 1950s that are still being studied in film schools all over the world, such as a famous Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)--which Roman Polanski directed as a second-year-student--to the 2002 The Pianist, a winner of the Academy Award for the Best Director, and his newest The Ghost Writer (2010) and Carnage (2011), the films of Roman Polanski have attracted a world-wide audience and made Polanski himself one of the most well known and best regarded contemporary directors. This course will explore Polanski‘s remarkable and cosmopolitan oevre which by now spans more than five decades. We will focus on Polanski‘s most successful films, starting with his experimental Polish shorts, proceeding onto his highly acclaimed English productions such as Repulsion, his Hollywood classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, his post-Hollywood multi-national productions which include films such as The Tenant and Frantic, his 1990s Bitter Moon and Death and the Maiden, his acclaimed The Pianist, and his most recent films. The course will look into how Polanski‘s movies adopt a number of different genres and different aesthetic approaches to deal with some of Polanski‘s recurrent themes, such as solitude, victimization, the separation from the society, and the idiosyncratic worldview of an isolated individual.


TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
SIG 225 - SLN: 19634
Instructor: Gordana Crnkovic

This course explores contemporary theoretical works that do not follow a unified theoretical meta-narrative (i.e., post-structuralism or new historicism), but instead explore literature itself as the foundational terrain of theoretical practice. We will look into the creation of theory from literature, such as in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, whom we will study throughout this course, Gerald Bruns, who focuses on the contemporary philosophers‘ interest in literature as the originator of theory, and Martha Nussbaum, who discusses ethical questions posed by ancient texts. Part of the course will focus on Slavic writers who explore various literary genres (such as diary or fictional book reviews) as the primary ground of theory. Texts will include selections from the books by (or on) Bakhtin, Bruns, Nussbaum, and Auerbach, and also writings by ―creative writers‖ Lem, Gombrowicz, Kundera, and Kiš.


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