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Course Offerings Spring 2016

WLIT 202 – Introduction to Greek Poetry
Paul Iversen
M.W. 12:30-1:45

In this course we will read selections from Homer’s Iliad.  The central aims of the course will be to become proficient readers of Homeric Greek and to appreciate all its subtlety, complexity, and beauty.  There will also be discussion of the Epic genre, the concept of the hero, social customs reflected in the work, the compositional methods employed (i.e. oral poetry and the dactylic hexameter), and what is collectively known as “The Homeric Question.” Prereq: GREK 102 or equivalent.

WLIT 212 – World Literature II
Florin Berindeanu
T.R. 11:30-12:45

Survey of literature from 1600 to present. May include Western and non-Western texts by Swift, Voltaire, Rousseau, Tolstoi, Baudelaire, Austen, Mann, Kafka, Lispector, Marmon Silko, Soyinka.

WLIT 222 – Classical Tradition 2: Birth of Archaeology
Florin Berindeanu
T.R. 2:45-4:00

The course will focus on the history of diverse methods for studying societies remote in time and space; i.e., on the formation of the distinct disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and the interest in the origins of human society and cultural practices. The birth of archaeology occurred in the context of the profound transformation of European cultural life in the eighteenth century, the era of the Enlightenment. On the basis of a range of cultural productions (literary and historical texts, objects of luxury and use, etc.), we will study visual and literary works and consider the relationship between different modes of artistic production and expression, as well as the marketing and display of prestigious objects, whether ancient or modern. We will consider the eighteenth-century model of experiential education, the “Grand Tour,” and the formation of private and public collections, as well as the emergence of the museum as institution. Finally, we will also consider important recent work on the relationship between the production of luxury commodities (sugar, coffee, tea, etc.) through the plantation economy in the Americas and beyond and the development of attitudes and ideas in Europe. Fulfills the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Offered as CLSC 222 and WLIT 222.

WLIT 224 – Sword and Sandal: The Classics in Film
Ricardo Apostol
T.R. 2:45-4:00

Gladiator. Alexander. The 300. Contemporary society’s continuing fascination with putting the ancient world on the big screen is undeniable; and yet the causes underlying this phenomenon are not quite so readily apparent. In this course we will watch and discuss a number of movies about the ancient world, running the gamut from Hollywood classics such as Ben-Hur and Spartacus to more recent treatments (the aforementioned 300 and Gladiator, for starters), and from the mainstream and conventional (Clash of the Titans, Disney’s Hercules) to the far-out and avant-garde (Fellini’s Satyricon, anyone?). As we do so we’ll learn quite a bit about the art and economics of film, on one hand, and the ancient world, on the other. And yet what we’ll keep coming back to are the big questions: what does our fascination with the ancient Mediterranean tell us about ourselves as a society? Why do such movies get made, and what kinds of agendas do they serve? To what extent can we recapture the past accurately? And if we can’t, are we doomed to just endlessly projecting our own concerns and desires onto a screen, and dressing them in togas? No knowledge of ancient languages is required for this course.

WLIT 225 – Japanese Popular Culture
Margaret Fitzgerald
T.R. 2:45-4:00

This course highlights salient aspects of modern Japanese popular culture as expressed in animation, comics and literature. The works examined include films by Hayao Miyazaki, writings by Kenji Miyazawa, Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto, among others. The course introduces students to essential aspects of modern Japanese popular culture and sensibility. Offered as JAPN 225 and WLIT 225. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

WLIT 229 – Development of Theater: Renaissance to Romanticism
Robert Ullom
M.W.F 11:30-12:20

THTR 229 explores the many developments in playwriting, design, acting, and theater architecture across the world. Students read a wide variety of plays in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the history of the art form, but also learn how theater has played an integral societal function as a medium of political, economic, and cultural commentary. Development of Theater II not only explores the development of theatrical conventions in Spain, England, Italy, France and other European countries that lead to the creation of modern drama, but the course also offers an in-depth look at the history and conventions of theater in India, Korea, China, and Japan. Offered as THTR 229 and WLIT 229. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar. Prereq: Sophomore standing.

WLIT 232 – Vergil
Timothy Wutrich
T.R. 4:30-5:45

In this course we read and discuss selections from Vergil’s poetry, looking briefly at the Eclogues and Georgics, but dealing primarily with the Aeneid. We consider language, style, and meter, and continue to build Latin vocabulary and reinforce the command of Latin grammar and syntax. Literary analysis and interpretation of the Aeneid as well as the performance aspect of Latin epic also features in class meetings. In addition to daily translation, course work includes vocabulary quizzes, two exams (midterm and final), a passage to memorize and recite, and a paper. Prerequisite:  LATN 102 or equivalent.

WLIT 255 – Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
Linda Ehrlich
T.R. 1:15-2:30

Focus on the major genres of modern Japanese literature, including poetry, short story, and novel (shosetsu). No knowledge of Japanese language or history is assumed. Lectures, readings, and discussions are in English. Films and slides complement course readings. Offered as JAPN 255 and WLIT 255.

WLIT 306 – Tragedy: Sophocles
Rachel Sternberg
M.W.F. 2:00-2:50

Reading and interpretation of selected plays of Sophocles. Prereq: GREK 200-level course or equivalent.

WLIT 322 – Roman Drama and Theater
Timothy Wutrich
T.R. 1:15-2:30

This course is designed as a continuation of and companion to CLSC/WLIT 316/416 Greek Tragedy in English Translation, although it may be taken without having taken, or before having taken, that course. Students in Roman Drama and Theater will read a significant number of ancient Roman plays in modern English translation and study non-literary theatrical entertainment of the Roman Republic and Empire, such as mime and pantomime, gladiatorial shows, and other spectacles. The dramatic texts that we shall study include the fragments of early Latin drama, selected comedies by Plautus and Terence, and the tragedies of Seneca. We shall also consider Greek and Roman literature that comments on Roman theatrical practices. These works will be read for their literary merits and theatrical possibilities, while at the same time examining them for what they can tell us about Roman culture and society. Similarly, when studying the non-literary theatrical works we shall examine historical and theatrical context including archaeological evidence from theaters and amphitheaters and material remains (masks, depictions of actors and gladiators on vases, terra cotta lamps, mosaics, etc.). Finally, while most of the course focuses on drama originally written in Latin and theatrical entertainments performed in ancient Rome, the course will include a survey of selected post-classical works indebted to the tradition of Roman drama and theater. Thus, a secondary concern will be to consider how and in what ways the legacy of Roman drama and theater has continued to shape the dramatic arts since antiquity. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. 

WLIT 331 – Dante and the Classical Tradition: Middle Ages into Modernity
Florin Berindeanu
T.R. 1:15 – 2:30

This course will introduce through the complex work of Dante the concept of classical tradition as an all-encompassing cultural term. Dante represents the grandiose example of the artist who seeks the complete synthesis between humanities and sciences and their incessant collaborative effort to broaden as much as possible the depths of human knowledge. Philosophy, Geography, Physics, Linguistics, Astronomy and Literature are steady landmarks in Dante’s work through which he aims to speak about the necessity of ever maintaining continuity between all domains of human knowledge. Dante’s work proposes proposes high levels of excellence and while the course’s focus will be on his literary output the scientific interests and treatises he demonstrates will not be omitted during class discussion and bibliography included in the syllabus. Last but not least the focus will be on how we understand today the concept of classical tradition as a result of Dante’s writings.Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. 

WLIT 345 – Japanese Women Writers
Linda Ehrlich
T.R. 1:15 – 2:30

Contributions of women writers to the literature of pre-modern and modern Japan; investigations of how their works exemplify and diverge from “mainstream” literary practices. Emphasis on the social and cultural contexts of the texts. Offered as JAPN 345 and WLIT 345.

WLIT 355 – Modern Japanese Novels and the West
Takao Hagiwara
T.R. 2:45-4:00

This course will compare modern Japanese and Western novellas, drama, and novels. Comparisons will focus on the themes of family, gender and alienation, which subsume a number of interrelated sub-themes such as marriage, home, human sexuality, amae (dependence), innocence, experience, death, God/gods, and nature (the ecosystem). Offered as JAPN 355,WLIT 355. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

WLIT 358 – Latin American Cinema
Marta Copertari
T.R. 10:00-11:15

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic tools of film analysis as well as to the major trends and movements in Latin American cinema from the 1960s to the present. Through the analysis of representative films from Latin America, the course will examine the development of a variety of cinematic styles, paying particular attention to the historical contexts in which the films were produced and to the political, cultural, and aesthetic debates that surrounded their production. Offered as SPAN 358, SPAN 458, ETHS 358, WLIT 358 and WLIT 458. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

WLIT 368 – Topics in Film: Peninsular Spanish Cinema
Linda Ehrlich
Tu 2:45-5:30, Th 2:45-4:00

WLIT 368 – Topics in Film: Watching Movies
Robert Spadoni
T.R. 10:00-11:15, Th 7:00-9:30

WLIT 375 – Russian Literature in Translation: Dostoevsky
Tatiana Zilotina
T.R. 4:30-5:45

Topics vary according to student and faculty interest. May include Russian classical and modern literature, cinema, women writers, individual authors. May count towards Russian minor. No knowledge of Russian required. Offered as RUSN 375 and WLIT 375.

Page last modified: October 22, 2015