Tracing poetry from its origins in religious practice, the course examines the process of secularization and the ways in which modern poems retain traces of sacred texts. As poets grapple with an increasingly secular world, the emergence of modernity is revealed in vivid ways. Class discussions will explore the extent to which reminiscences of the sacred form part of the deeper appeal of poetry and its ability to shape meaning in the modern world.
This course is offered in the General Education Program under the rubric "Culture and Belief."
Tracing the emergence of German colonial aspirations from mid-nineteenth century to nostalgic recollections of the colonies after World War I, the course examines novels, short stories, autobiographical and travel writings, essays, films, propaganda and advertising. These materials are selected to shed light on controversies about key terms such as imperialism, colonialism, decolonization, racism, and genocide. Attention is also paid to the implications of the colonial past for German society today.
Close study of Sebald’s narrative and poetic works, as well as a selection of his scholarly essays, against the backdrop of recent literary theory. One emphasis in this semester's seminar was on questions of narrative, but of course Sebald's works are so rich that it's impossible to limit any course on him to a single focus. We spent a little more time than in previous Sebald seminars on Die Ringe des Saturn, which proved to be very rewarding.
Explores theories of intertextuality developed by Kristeva, Jauss, Bloom, Gilbert and Gubar, Genette, and others, and asks why the debates they have provoked have had such resonance in contemporary literary studies. A series of literary texts ranging from classical antiquity to the present will provide test cases for the various theories. Attention to such questions as influence, imitation, allusion, quotation, and plagiarism.
The course website has not yet been fully updated for spring 2012. However, a great deal of relevant information can be found at:
Focuses on Rilke's Paris period, 1902-1910. Close study of Rilke's novel Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge, and his collection of poems, Neue Gedichte, as well as other lesser-known texts from the period.
Undergraduates admitted with permission of the instructor.