Culture - Literature (LITR)

LITR 1150. Muslim Writers and the Qur’an (in English Translations). 4 Hours.

Covers selected writers who fairly represent a wide range of Muslim attitudes to the Qur’an. Muslim writers use the Qur’an for political and social criticism, question Qur’anic texts related to the status of women, or question the authenticity of the Qur’an itself. After 9/11, however, Muslim writers in the West have presented characters who find in the Qur’an a source of positive powers. Readings are drawn from works such as the following: Leila Aboulela, Minaret; Monica Ali, Brick Lane; Gamal Al-Ghitani, Zayni Barakat; Tehmina Durrani, Blasphemy; Nuruddin Farah, Maps; Taha Hussein, An Egyptian Childhood; Yusuf Idris, “A House of Flesh”; C. H. Kane, Ambiguous Adventure; Hanif Kureishi, The Black Album and “My Son the Fanatic”; Naguib Mahfouz, The Children of the Alley.

LITR 1250. Dante’s Inferno and Medieval Italian Culture. 4 Hours.

Introduces an overview of Dante’s Commedia focusing on the first book, “Inferno,” read in English translation. Examines the descending stages of hell; their meanings; and their social, political, and historical relevance for Dante’s society. Dante’s Divina Commedia created a powerful world, one that had a deep meaning for both the author and the reader of that time. But can one so easily understand it as constructed by the Commedia in the Middle Ages? Does Dante’s world have relevance today as well? Some scholars may say it does more so than ever. If so, how? Through analysis of selected chapters (Canti), students have an opportunity to attempt to establish their possible relevance to the modern human condition and perhaps even to themselves.

LITR 1260. Caribbean Literature and Culture. 4 Hours.

Provides a comparative introduction to the modern literary traditions of the Spanish-, English, and French-speaking Caribbean. Includes authors such as Carpentier (Cuba), Naipaul (Trinidad), Zobel (Martinique), and Cardenal (Nicaragua). Conducted in English.

LITR 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LITR 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LITR 3500. International Perspectives. 4 Hours.

Uses major representative works of fiction from the modern European tradition to introduce students to an array of theoretical and critical perspectives (cognitivism, Marxism, formalism, and identity politics). Major authors include Dostoevsky, Mann, Kafka, Camus, Duras, and Achebe. Team-taught in English by members of the modern language department. Serves as an introduction to literature for language majors, who can get credit in their field of concentration by reading some of the works in the original language.

LITR 3502. Cervantes and His Times. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to Don Quixote de la Mancha, Cervantes’ major work as well as Spain’s greatest masterpiece and its supreme gift to Western culture. Studies Cervantes’ minor works, The Exemplary Novels and Interludes. Examines literary, sociological, philosophical, and historical matters: the development of the novel, genre and narratology, role-playing and representation, and Spain’s triumphs and defeats. Deals with the Spanish Inquisition and censorship, and examines themes such as madness, truth and lying, and appearance and reality. Conducted in English.

LITR 3503. Russian Literature in Translation. 4 Hours.

Surveys and analyzes in English the major works of Russian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with emphasis on the historical context. Selected writers include Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov.

LITR 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LITR 4550. From Knights to Revolution. 4 Hours.

Introduces major works of French literature from the Middle Ages up through the eighteenth century. Textual analysis, examination of the social and historical context of these works, and explanations of literary terms and devices through readings and class discussions are designed to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of this body of French literature.

LITR 4551. Modern French and Francophone Literature. 4 Hours.

Introduces major works of French literature from the nineteenth century on. Textual analysis, examination of the social and historical context of these works, and explanations of literary terms and devices through readings and class discussions are designed to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of this body of French literature.

LITR 4555. French Poetry. 4 Hours.

Provides students with a survey of French poetry through the ages, focusing on representative works of the major French poets. Studies poems in their literary and historical context with an examination of various aspects of French versification. Conducted in French.

LITR 4560. Masterpieces of Spanish Literature: 18th–20th Century. 4 Hours.

Surveys the literature of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century Spain. Includes the literary movements of romanticism, realism, and the Generation of ‘98. Conducted in Spanish.

LITR 4561. Masterpieces of Spanish Literature: 12th–17th Century. 4 Hours.

Traces the development of Spanish literature from the Middle Ages (las jarchas, El poema del Cid, El libro de buen amor, La Celestina) through the Renaissance and Baroque periods or Golden Age (Garcilaso de la Vega, the picaresque novel, the mystics, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderon). Conducted in Spanish.

LITR 4565. Spanish Golden Age. 4 Hours.

Examines plays by the outstanding dramatists of the seventeenth century in Spain: Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Ruiz de Alarcón, and others. Conducted in Spanish.

LITR 4655. Latin American Literature. 4 Hours.

Offers an overview of the major trends in Latin American literature, from Bernal Diaz through Borges and Vargas Llosa. Studies broad cultural and political contexts, especially the effect of colonization. Conducted in Spanish.

LITR 4850. The Splendid Century. 4 Hours.

Presents a study of the golden age of French literature in seventeenth-century France, spanning the baroque and classical periods, and evoking the grandeur of the era of Louis XIV and Versailles. Readings cover a rich and diverse body of literature encompassing poetry, theatre, philosophy, the novel, and epistolary writing. The authors studied include Corneille, Racine, Moliere, Descartes, Pascal, and La Rochefoucauld. Conducted in French, with English permitted.

LITR 4860. Age of Enlightenment. 4 Hours.

Studies the eighteenth century in France: the Enlightenment. It was an age of challenge to established authority, institutions, and modes of thought. This intellectual and political vitality is reflected in works of Marivaux, Fontenelle, Montesquieu, and Voltaire. It is followed by the awakening of the Romantic sensibility as found in such authors as Diderot, Rousseau, and Bernardin de St. Pierre. Conducted in French, with English permitted.

LITR 4870. Romantic Heritage. 4 Hours.

Treats French Romanticism and its aftermath from a literary and cultural standpoint. Examines Romanticism in poetry and drama, as well as its continuation into the realist novel. Readings include the works of Lamartine, Hugo, Balzac, and Flaubert. Also explores the development of the Parnassian and Symbolist movements. Readings include the works of Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé, precursors of all modern literature. Conducted in French, with English permitted.

LITR 4983. Special Topics in Literature. 4 Hours.

Covers special topics in literature. May be repeated without limit.

LITR 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

LITR 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers students a way of going beyond work given in the regular curriculum; may also enable students to complete major or minor requirements in certain situations. Priority is given to language majors and to juniors and seniors. May be repeated without limit.