COL 1000H FACULTY SEMINAR: THE BASIS FOR COMPARISON | 2018-2019
Instructor: Uzoma Esonwanne
Venue: Seminar Room
Time: Fridays 1:00-3:00 pm
Office: 715 JHB (Jackman Humanities Building)
Office Hours: (By appointment only)
Phone: (647) 233–5335
Description: COL1000H is a general introduction to Comparative Literature, to contemporary theory, and to criticism. Its purpose is to offer all incoming MA and PhD students with some exposure to key issues in the discipline. Organized around the broad theme of “Bases for Comparison,” each weekly seminar will explore a subtheme over two sessions. In the first session, we will examine issues raised in an essay selected for that week. In the second session, participating faculty will join us in the exploration of issues pertaining to comparison across different media, disciplines, and literary genres and traditions.
Conduct of the course
COL1000H is a weekly, two–hour faculty seminar. Meetings will consist of open and collegial discussions of readings assigned for each session and issues related to or arising from such material. Note: COL1000H is a professional seminar. Consequently, participants are expected to attend all sessions punctually. Breaches of professional etiquette will be directed to the Graduate Coordinator, and all responsibility for explaining them punctually and with necessary documentation rests with the participants.
PLEASE NOTE: AS a physical or psychological condition, disability may affect participation in the course. In COL1000 we will try to accommodate anyone afflicted by a disability and diagnosed by an accredited physician officially recognized by the University of Toronto. Such accommodations would be in accordance to guidelines provided by the Centre and by Accessibility Services. Students whose access to the classroom, to course materials, and to technology, or whose ability to participate fully in and contribute meaningfully to course activities is hindered by a physical or psychological disability, should contact Accessibility Services (www.accessibility.utoronto.ca) and complete and submit a Letter of Accommodation to the instructor in the first week of the course. They should note that such letters are meant to serve as advisories, the purpose of which is to prompt a discussion with the instructor on how best to meet the student’s needs.
1. Conduct in the course (Value 20%): Participation, attendance, etc.:
2. Position papers (Value 40%): Two 4–5 page papers, 20% each. Research not required. The first is due Friday, October 5, and the second Friday, November 2, both at 11.59 pm. Please submit by email as MSWord document (Times New Roman 12) only.
3. Research essay (Value 40%): Length: 5000–7000 words maximum; Due: Friday, December 28, 11.59 pm. This should be a well–researched and critical exploration of a problem of comparison arising from the material covered in the course and subsequent discussions of such material or from the participant’s own readings of material that are directly relevant to one of the key themes of the course. The problem addressed may be conceptual or theoretical. It may also have to do with the methodology of comparison or with challenges arising from historical, cultural, political contexts and dynamics of comparison. To succeed, the argument advanced should be based on close reading of the material (essay, novel, film, play, etc.) in which the problem occurs. The essay should also meet the minimum standards of critical scholarship expected of articles submitted for publication in academic journals. In other words, they should be composed in readable prose and offer readers an original insight about the issue being addressed. Documentation must be in accordance with the Modern Languages Association of America (MLA) convention. Although students are expected to formulate their own essay topics, they may consult the instructor in doing so if they wish. All essays, prepared as MS Word documents (Time New Roman 12) only, should be submitted as email attachment. Penalties: a) papers that do not meet the length requirement will lose 10% of the assignment value; b) papers submitted late (that is, submitted after the due date) will lose 5% per day for a maximum of five days (weekends and holidays included). Thereafter, they will receive an “F” (0%).
Friday, Seotember 14: Translatability (Rebecca Comay)
– Clara Auvray–Assayas, et al, “To Translate,” Dictionary of Untranslatables 1139–1155.
– Steven Ungar, “Writing in Tongues,” Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization 127–138.
– Walter Benjamin, “The Task of the Translator”
Friday, September 21: The Palava of Comparison (Uzoma Esonwanne)
– Rene Wellek, “The Crisis of Comparative Literature” (1959), The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature 161–72.
– Peter Brooks, “Must We Apologize?” Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism 97–106.
– Francis Goyet, “Comparison,” Dictionary of Untranslatables 159–64
Friday, September 28: “Grounds for Comparison: Adjacent Spaces – Corporeality of the Subject, Materiality of Text/Image” (Atsuko Sakaki)
– Mieke Bal, “Second-Person Narrative,” Quoting Caravaggio: Contemporary Art, Preposterous History.
– Atsuko Sakaki, Comparative Literature Studies Volume 54, Number 3, 2017 Penn State University Press
– Pittwood, Linda. “Parallel Realities: The Relationship between Translation Studies and Curating Contemporary Chinese Art.” Modern China Studies 23, no. 1 (January 2016): 75–94.
Friday, October 5: “The Postcolonial Comparative” (Haytham Bahoora)
– Robert J.C. Young, “The Postcolonial Comparative,” PMLA, Vol. 128, No. 3 (May 2013): 683-689
– Waïl Hassan, “Postcolonial Theory and Modern Arabic Literature: Horizons of Application,” Journal of Arabic Literature, Vol. 33, Issue 1 (2002): 45-64
– Abdelfattah Kilito, “Prologue,” “In the Mirror,” and “The Stage in Between,” in Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language, trans. Waïl Hassan (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008), pp. 3-5, 6-20, 68-85
Friday, October 12 : “Bodies in the Classroom” Panel in the “Humanities Pedagogy in the Age of Decolonization” Workshop (Venue & Time TBA)
Friday, October 19: “The Antinomies of Comparison” (Eric Cazdyn)
– Eric Cazdyn’s Six Acts and the Comparatist (46 mins., 4 channel video), vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/284534814 (password: col1000);
– Fredric Jameson’s The Antinomies of Realism (2015, Introduction, pp. 1-11);
– Masao Miyoshi’s Turn to the Planet: Literature, Diversity, Totality (2000, pp. 1-11).
Friday, October 26: “Comparison in Practice: Trauma” (Barbara Havercroft)
– Michael Rothberg, “Introduction,” Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization.
– Roger Luckhurst, “Introduction,” The Trauma Question.
– Susan J. Brison, “The Uses of Narrative in the Aftermath of Violence,” On Feminist Ethics and Politics.
Friday, November 2: Indigeneity and Comparativity (Neil ten Kortenaar)
– Chalmers, “Reconciling ‘genocide’ and ‘indigeneity’ with a paradox of otherness”
– Merlan, “Indigeneity: Local and Global”
– Alfred and Corntassel, Being Indigenous: Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism
Friday, November 9: Reading Week
Friday, November 16: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approach to Word/Image Relationships: Photography and Autobiography (Julie LeBlanc)
– A brief synopsis of a few books on Photography and Autobiographical Narrative
– Liliane Louvel, Poetics of the Inconotext
– Barthes interview, “On Photography”
Friday, November 23: Space and Comparison (Uzoma Esonwanne)
Tim Cresswell, “Reading ‘A Global Sense of Place,’” Place: A Short Introduction 53–79.
Francoise Lionnet, “Spaces of Comparison,” Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism 165–74.
Friday, November 30: “Individual” (Eva–Lynn Jagoe)
– Amitav Ghosh, “Stories,” The Great Derangement
– Eva-Lynn Jagoe, “Depersonalized Intimacy,” English Studies in Canada
– Wendy Brown, “Undoing Democracy: Neoliberalism’s Remaking of State and Subject,” Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution
Friday, December 7: Conclusions (Uzoma Esonwanne)
– Natalie Melas, “Grounds for Comparison,” All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the Ends of Comparison (Stanford 2007), 1–43. Online: https://quod-lib-umich-edu.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca
– Jonathan Culler, “Comparative Literature at Last”
– Linda Hutcheon, “Congenitally Contrarian,” Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization 224–229.
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Updated September 12, 2018