Literary and Philosophical Voice
W 3-6 Copenhafer
Undergrads Need Permission
If, as the Italian
philosopher Giorgio Agamben has remarked, the destruction of experience
is related to a deterioration of the voice, what might we say is
still able to be voiced? The notion of literary or of philosophical
voice speaks to a paradox of writing, that writing is at once a
record and an effacement of a voice. Silent, impersonal, writing
tends to diminish the singular operation of a voice, and yet, something
of a voice remains. For voice is not just sound, but accent, tempo,
and phrasing, all of which find a measure of shelter in writing.
It is also, of course, sense, although there is likely a tension
between the semantic and non-semantic registers of voice. What constitutes
"a voice" -- or "having a voice" -- and what
of that may be said to survive its encounter with writing?
In this course,
we will mostly be dealing with modern attempts to theorize and to
dramatize a/the voice. However, we will also confront aspects of
the Platonic conception of voice which echo throughout modern writing.
Given time, we may also look into the question of the voice in cinema.
How does the cinematic form, and mechanical reproduction in general,
extend the problem of the destruction/preservation of voice?
One seminar paper (15-20 pp.) and a presentation.
Barthes, "The Grain of the Voice" and other essays
Beckett, Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Krapp's Last Tape
Cavarero, Toward a Philosophy of Vocal Expression
Derrida, "Plato's Pharmacy"
Kafka, "Josephine, the Singer" and other stories
Lispector, The Hour of the Star
Nancy, Being Singular, Being Plural
Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy
Plato, Cratylus, Phaedrus
Riley, Impersonal Passion
Rousseau, Essay on the Origin of Languages
Varieties of Judaism in The Greco-Roman Era: Parabiblical Texts
Distribution II History and Tradition
T 3-5 Kraft
Cross listed with JWST 525, RELS 525
One of the ways
in which students of Judaism in the Greco-Roman period have attempted
to identify and describe its contours (varieties, continuities and
discontinuities) is through examining the mass of literature that
has been preserved, often through Christian transmission, or through
archaeological good fortune (Dead Sea Scrolls), or in Jewish circles.
In this seminar we will focus on the "parabiblical" texts
(sometimes called "pseudepigrapha") - that is, writings
that are similar to what became "Bible," but were not
included in that collection (e.g. Enochic writings, Jubilees, Testaments
of the Patriarchs, War Scroll, Temple Scroll, Sibylline Oracles).
The texts will be studied in English translations.
Hermenenutics: Gadamer's Truth and Method
Distribution III Arts and Letters
W 2-5 Dunning
Cross listed with GRMN 553, RELS 508
Intensive study of the primary text of the "hermeneutical"
school of interpretation theory. Emphasis on "immanent"
critical reading of the text rather than contextual or theory-driven
readings. Knowledge of German not required. Experience in intensive
advanced seminars is a prerequisite. Writing will include short
comments for class discussion and three ten-page papers.
Fantastic Literature 19th and 20th Century
R 5-7 Met
Cross listed with FREN 582
will explore fantasy and the fantastic in short tales of 19th and
20th century French literature, from Mérimée, Gautier
and Maupassant to M. Renard, Ghelderode, J. Ray, Breton et al. Non-French
authors will also be considered and usually include Sheridan Le
Fanu, Henry James, H. P. Lovecraft, H. H. Ewers, H. G. Wells, J.
L. Borges. A variety of approaches - thematic, psychoanalytic, cultural,
narratological - will be used in an attempt to test their viability
and define the subversive force of a literary mode that contributes
to shedding light on the dark side of the human psyche by interrogating
the "real" as well as the "letter", making visible
the unseen and articulating the unsaid. Such broad categories as
distorsions of space and time, reason and madness, order and disorder,
sexual transgressions, self and other, literalness and allegoricity,
translation and mystification will be examined. The course will
be conducted in English. Readings will be in French or in English.
COML 590.401 Recent Issues in Critical Theory: Theorizing Race
M 3-6 Park
Permission Needed from Instructor
Cross listed with ENGL 590
Our readings will move through a series of theoretical lenses for
understanding race and ethnicity in the twentieth century. We will
consider the following major movements: ethnicity theory and social
scientific theories of marginality, along with the rise of multiculturalism;
racial formation and marxist readings of racism; the framework of
imperialism and colonialism in theorizing race; race in the context
of diaspora studies; and poststructuralist and psychoanalytic approaches
to race which have emerged with the ascent of cultural studies.
Assignments include two short papers (10 pages) that apply these
theories to a literary text and an in-class presentation.
Life and Letters of Paul
Distribution III Arts and Letters
TR 3-4:30 Gruen
Cross listed with RELS 436
of this course is to learn how to understand a noted author/thinker
of the past on his own terms and in relationship to his own world.
The specific subject matter is PAUL, a Jewish and Christian writer
in the Greco-Roman world during the first century of the common
era (c.e.). The larger historical context is Judaism and Christianity
in the first two centuries c.e.
COML 603.401 Language and Culture
T 1:30-4:30 Agha
Cross listed with ANTH 603
Anthropological study of languages and contributions of linguistics
to study of culture and culturally pattered behavior. Types of speech
and cultural communities; linguistic and cultural change (acculturation,
pidginization, standardization, etc.) and its interpretation (genetic,
typological, areal, evolutionary).
France and Its Others: The Ethnographic Imperative in French Modernism
T 2-4 Richman
Cross listed with FREN 609
In this course
we explore the French specificity of a critical perspective resulting
from the ethnographic detour into other cultures. Variously referred
to as "anthropological thinking,"the "sociological
revolution, "or the "ethnological imagination," this
mode of self-reflection traces its antecedents to the Renaissance
discovery of the New World, just as it projects its influence into
the period of de-colonization. The results figure among the most
important social, political, literary, and artistic productions
of French intellectual and cultural history. Following a brief examination
of the formation and development of this "hoary tradition"
from the 16 th to the 18 th centuries, we focus on its revival at
the turn of the nineteenth century in the visual arts and literature
on one side and sociology on the other. The bulk of our readings,
however, will concentrate on its contribution to the socio-anthropological
strand of modernism, from the interwar dynamism among the "dissident"
surrealists, to their legacy in structuralism and post-structuralism.
By qualifying this virtually unique approach as the result of nothing
less than an imperative, our goal will be to answer why it provides
an outlet for issues resistant to existing paradigms, forms, or
discourses. Indeed, our concluding session will discuss Bourdieu's
statement that its disappearance from sociology would be "fatal,"
just as we must consider the polemical critiques it has elicited.
Primary authors are Léry, Montaigne, Segalen, Durkheim, Mauss,
Artaud, Bataille, Leiris, Caillois, Lévi-Strauss, Tournier.
Commentaries by: Elias, Derrida, Kristeva, Bourdieu, Clifford, Todorov,
Bois/ Krauss, Kurosawa. A screening of Jean Rouch's "Les Maitres
Fous" will also be included.
R 1-4 Struck
Cross listed with GREK 615
This course will survey a range of ancient (mostly Greek) techniques
of reading literary texts. In the pre-Medieval world, allegory is
mainly a phenomenon of reading, not writing, so we will consider
ancient interpreters of many stripes. The course will be an effort
to expand our understanding of ancient hermeneutics in general,
situating allegory within the contexts of literary criticism, divination,
esoteric philosophy, and magic. We will by necessity spend time
working in philosophy, and to a lesser extent religion, and to an
even lesser extent rhetoric. We will also consider some recent scholarship
on the topic. Authors considered will include: The Derveni commentator;
Theagenes of Rhegium, Chrysippus, Crates of Mallos, Heraclitus the
allegorist, Cornutus, the Life of Homer author, Proclus and other
lesser-knowns. Texts will be referred to in the Greek, but the Greek-less
are welcome to pursue the course in translation.
Introduction to Medieval French Literature: The Romance of the Rose
and the French Vernacular Canon
M 2-4 Brownlee
Cross listed with FREN 630
The course will be centered on a reading of the 13th-century Roman
de la Rose--the single most widely read and influential literary
work of the French Middle Ages. We will study the ways in which
the Rose redefines the status of the French vernacular as a "canonical"
literary language, while establishing itself as the new foundational
work in the French canon. Special attention will be given to how
the Rose deploys conflicting discourses of desire and knowledge.
We will begin by situating the Rose within the preceding French
literary tradition, both lyric and narrative, focusing on the privileged
examples of the grand chant courtois of the trouvères and
on Chrétien de Troyes' Lancelot. We will conclude with Christine
de Pizan's polemical rewritings of the Rose in the early 15th century.
Issues in Cultural Studies
M 1-3 Zelizer
Cross listed with COMM 639, FOLK 639
tracks the different theoretical appropriations of "culture"
and examines how the meanings we attach to it depend on the perspectives
through which we define it. The course first addresses perspectives
in culture suggested by anthropology, sociology, communication,
and aesthetics, and then considers the tensions across academic
disciplines that have produced what is commonly known as "cultural
studies." The course is predicated on the importance of becoming
cultural critics versed in alternative ways of naming cultural problems,
issues, and texts. The course aims not to lend closure to competing
notions of culture but to illustrate the diversity suggested by
Cervantes, Genre, and History
T 2-5 Fuchs
Cross listed with SPAN 650
This course will introduce Cervantes' remarkably broad literary
production across a variety of Renaissance genres, as well as some
important predecessors, and examine the ideological valences of
genre in the period. How does genre serve to interrogate both national
and literary histories? How does Cervantes construct his own authority
in relation to preexisting genres? Readings will include Heliodorus,
Ariosto, and Tasso, as well as Cervantes' own Galatea, Don Quijote,
Novelas ejemplares, the Persiles, and the drama.
Early Modern Seminar: Novelties and the Novel (1680-1730)
T 2-4 DeJean/Wiggin
Cross listed with FREN 654, GRMN 665
At the turn of the eighteenth century, the novel established itself
throughout Europe as the pre-eminent literary genre. It was seen
above all as a radically new literary form, a novelty. At the same
time as the novel was becoming prominent, many other kinds of novelties
such as coffee and chocolate first became part of the European landscape.
At the same moment the fashion industry was born when high fashion
was first marketed to a broad public. And perhaps the ultimate novelty
in this story was the novel's gender bias: it was the only form
in literary history to have been produced massively by women.
This seminar will explore the ways in which histories of the novel
and of contemporary novelties such as coffee and high fashion were
intertwined. We will pay particular attention to another contemporary
genre, the newspaper, whose rise in the early modern period was
essential to the marketing of novelties. We will also focus on the
process of translation by means of which the novel spread rapidly
through England, France, and Germany.
Among the novels we will discuss: Robinson Crusoe and The Princesse
de Clèves, the two "founding" texts of the modern
novel. Other texts may include: fairy tales, d'Aulnoy's travel novels,
Manon Lescaut, Thousand and One Nights. Among the subjects to be
considered: fashion prints, advertising and broadsheets, journals
and book reviews, treatises on coffee, travel narratives, musical
novelties (such as vaudevilles and early opera), letter-writing
guides, and dictionaries and language manuals.
All works to be discussed will be available in English, French,
and German, in the original text and in translations from the early
modern period. We will also maintain a focus on research methods.
The seminar will be held on the 6 th floor of Van Pelt so that we
can have access every week to materials from Penn's rare book collection.
19th Century Studies: Realism and Naturalism
W 2-5 Samuels
Cross listed with FREN 670
This seminar interrogates the nineteenth-century French Realist
and Naturalist novel in light of various efforts to define its practice.
How does theory constitute Realism as a category or object? How
does Realism articulate the aims of theory? And how did nineteenth-century
Realist and Naturalist textual practices intersect with other discourses
besides the literary? In addition to several works by Balzac, novels
to be studied include Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir; Sand's Indiana;
Flaubert's Madame Bovary; and Zola's Nana. Theorists to be studied
include Auerbach, Barthes, Brooks, Cohen, Felman, Girard, Lukács,
Matlock, Miller, and Schor. Some attention also paid to Realist
T 9-12 Loomba
Permission Needed from Instructor
Cross listed with ENGL 736
776.401 Topics in History and Theory: Open Spaces and Open Places:
The Design and Use of American Landscapes
T 2-5 Hunt/Cooperman
Cross listed with LARP 770
shall explore the discovery/creation/invention of different forms
of public open space from the New England green to national parks,
from the interstate highway to the pocket park. Two dominant issues
will be the various ideas of NATURE and PUBLIC, as they have both
changed and intersected in American culture. Main features of the
course will be (i) a determination of exactly what kinds of public
open space have been invented in the last two hundred year; (ii)
how a consideration of "public" has been constructed vis-à-vis
the private (in, for instance, academic and corporate campuses,
rural cemeteries, housing projects), and (iii) how these various
designs of public space have been used and appropriated.
COML 795.401 Poetics
W 9-12 Perelman
Permission Needed from Instructor
Cross listed with ENGL 795