LIT 295 - Special Topics in Literature in Translation
Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement. A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Fall 2019, LIT 295A-01: Antisemitism in the German Culture (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement. In 1933, the year Adolph Hitler came to power, the total population of Germany consisted of approximately 67 million people. The Jewish population in Germany at that time stood at 525,000 or approximately .75% of the entire population. This course deals primarily with the following question: How is that such a small minority could occupy so much space in the German cultural imagination? This is an interdisciplinary course drawing on political, literary, and theological texts. We begin our study in the 18th century and trace the development of antisemitism in Germany through the eliminationist version of the World War II era. Special emphasis is placed on antisemitism as a global phenomenon with an emphasis on France in the 18th century and at the turn of the 20th century, and the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century. No previous familiarity with the subject matter is necessary. (HL) Youngman.
Spring 2020, LIT 295-01: After Namibia: Afro-German Poetics, Activism, and Hip Hop (4). Prerequisites: Completion of FDR FW writing requirement. An examination of the history of race and identity politics in German-speaking cultures, beginning with the German colonialist past in Namibia and the ways in which Afro- and Black Germans, as well as other marginalized persons seek to create a space for their racial identities within a culture that seeks to define race solely as a historical social construct. Our focus is the cultural production and activism of black and brown voices in Germany and how they mediate the concept of Germanness as whiteness and the silence about the atrocities of German colonization. (HL) Merritt.
Spring 2020, LIT 295-02: Topic: Arab Women Writers (3). Prerequisites: Completion of FDR FW writing requirement. An introduction to Arab women’s issues through literary works by modern Arab writers that are available in English translation. Students read fiction, poetry, autobiographies, and short stories by Arab women writers from the Middle East and North Africa. We analyze these works within their social contexts to help students develop a critical understanding of the social, political, and cultural context(s) of these writings, and enhance cultural awareness through lectures, readings, and supplementary materials. (HL) Shehata.
Spring 2020, LIT 295-03: The Medieval Epic: From Beowulf to Game of Thrones (4). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW writing requirement. The medieval epic celebrates warrior culture and the values that enhance clan loyalty, group cohesion, the defeat of enemies, the expansion and defense of territory, and the prosperity of families and kingdoms. Modern versions of the medieval epic retain some of these values, discard others and introduce new concerns. To understand this transformative process, we study Beowulf, Song of Roland, and Poem of the Cid in modern English and compare them to their film versions as well as to popular epic cycles such as Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. (HL) Bailey.
Spring 2020, LIT 295-04: Poetry in Times of Crisis: Latin American Poetry in Translation (4). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW writing requirement. Why does poetry seem to emerge from times of crisis, and how, if at all, does it help? We examine such questions by employing them as frames for reading Latin American poetry about climate change, disease, war, migration, poverty, and more. Students not only read poetry but also try their hand at writing it. In that sense, this is part literary survey, part writing workshop. To deepen the reading, the assigned literary texts are accompanied by historiography, political theory, philosophy, music, film, and more. To deepen the writing, students enjoy a safe, supportive environment for experimenting as writers in a time of crisis. It bears mention, too, that students need not have any experience in creative writing. All are welcome. To quote the Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton, “poetry, like bread, is for everyone.” (HL) Michelson.
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