CPLT 277 Pastoral Literature: From Antiquity to the Modern Age
Professor Matthew Chaldekas
The pastoral or bucolic genre has been a major part of European literature from its ancient origins into the present day. This class will survey this genre from its origins and trace its modern reception and transformation. Ancient authors include: Theocritus, Vergil, and the pastoral novel Daphnis and Chloe. We will also study the reception of these texts in Renaissance and English poetry, as well as Colette’s pastoral novel Break of Day (La Naissance du Jour). Pastoral literature has sometimes been dismissed as idyllic idealism or omphalosceptical daydreaming, but we will see how this literature can cast a keen critical eye on the social structures of its time. The final project will be a research presentation and paper which utilizes the themes or generic criteria of pastoral literature in some way. Knowledge of Greek and Latin is NOT required for the course. Students interested in studying these themes in other world literatures will be welcome to do so for the final paper!
CPLT 220: German Aesthetic Theory
Professor Johannes Endres
Class examines roughly 200 years of German aesthetic thought, including authors such as Winckelmann, Lessing, Kant, Schiller, Friedrich Schlegel, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Warburg, Benjamin, Kracauer, Heidegger, and others. Discussions will start from a close analysis of selected texts and broaden into a historical survey of major trends and concepts of Western art philosophy since the Enlightenment. Students will gain a sound understanding of core ideas of aesthetic reflection in the Modern era in general and of the legacy of German aesthetic thought in the Postmodern age in particular. Artistic areas covered comprise fiction, theatre, visual arts, music, film, and topics such as philhellenism, the beautiful, the sublime, the ugly, irony, ornament, the thing, mechanical reproduction, and the unconscious.
CPLT 210: Canons in Comparative Literature–Expanding the Canons from a Global Comparative Perspective
Professor Yenna Wu
This seminar seeks to expand the literary canons beyond the Eurocentric framework and examine the dynamics in the construction of canons from a global comparative perspective. While some of the readings will come from Chinese and Sinophone literature and criticism, I encourage students to bring to the table (in readings, discussion, and paper) other national literature, criticism, and theories of their interest. I will also flexibly accommodate students’ interests in issues to be addressed. All readings and discussion will be in English. This course fulfills a graduate course requirement in Comparative Literature. Please contact the instructor in advance if you are interested.