COL1000H in 2017-2018

Coordinator: U. Esonwanne
Time: Fall term, Fridays, 1-4

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 by U. Esonwanne’s 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.

– Participation: 20% (includes attendance and contribution to discussions)
– Position papers: 40% (2 papers, 4–5 pages each; the first is due Friday, October 14, the second Friday, November 18; please submit by email as MS Word document).
– Research essay: 40% (due Friday, December 29, 2017; in 5000–7000 words, critically explore an issue that arose from the themes covered in the course; please use MLA Documentation and submit by email as MS Word document).



September 15:  Words and Images, Autobiography and Photography by Julie LeBlanc
– * Jonathan Culler, “Comparative Literature at Last”
– *Francis Goyet, “Comparison,” in Cassin, Dictionary of Untranslatables, 159–64
– A brief synopsis of a few books on Photography and Autobiographical Narrative
– Liliane Louvel, Poetics of the Inconotext
– Roland Barthes interview, “On Photography”

September 22: “Comparative Literature” Then and Now” by Esonwanne
– * Hutcheson Macaulay Posnett, “The Comparative Method and Literature” (1886), The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature, 50–60.
– * Rene Wellek, “The Crisis of Comparative Literature” (1959), The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature, 161–72.
– Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Crossing Borders,” Death of a Discipline (Columbia 2003), Pp. 1–23.
– Natalie Melas, “Grounds for Comparison,” All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the Ends of Comparison (Stanford 2007) – e version at UofT library.

September 29Exploring non-places by Thomas Lahusen
– * Tim Cresswell, “Reading ‘A Global Sense of Place,’” Place: A Short Introduction, pp. 53–79.
– * Francoise Lionnet, “Spaces of Comparison,” Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism, pp. 165–74.
– Marc Augé, Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity (Verso 2008 [1995]).
– Andreassen, et al., Persistent Memories: Pyramiden – A Soviet Mining Town in the High Arctic

October 6 Whither Comp Lit? Whither the University?  by Eric Cazdyn 
– * Emily Apter, “A New Comparative Literature,” The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature, pp. 409–19.
Masao Miyoshi,  “Turn to the Planet: Literature, Diversity, and Totality
Marvin Gaye sings the US National Anthem at the 1983 NBA All Star Game
Bob Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Lecture in Literature

October 13Reception, Recycling, and Ideology by Mary Nyquist 
– * Emily Apter, Against World Literature, On the Politics of Untranslatability
– Andrew O’Malley, Children’s Literature, Popular Culture, and Robinson Crusoe
– Mary Nyquist, “Friday as Fit Help”, Milton in the Long Restoration.

October 20: Grounds for Comparison: the System of Nation States by Veronika Ambros
– * Pascale Casanova, “Literature, Nation, and Politics”
– Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, “What is a Minor Literature?” Towards a Minor Literature
Karel Capek, “RUR”

October 27 : Comparison in Practice: Trauma by 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.

November 3: The Indian Emergency and the Question of Realism by Susan Andrade
– Eric Auerbach, “In the Hôtel de la Mole,” Mimesis (Online)
– Eric Auerbach, “The Brown Stocking,” Mimesis (Online)

November 17Translateability by Rebecca Comay
– *Clara Auvray–Assayas, et al, “To Translate,” Dictionary of Untranslatables, pp. 1139–1155.
-*Steven Ungar, “Writing in Tongues,” Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization, pp. 127–138.
– Walter Benjamin, The Task of the Translator

November 24 : Untranslatables by Neil ten Kortenaar
– *J.M. Coetzee, Idleness in South Africa, 13-35
– Emily Apter, Against World Literature,  On the Politics of Untranslatability

December 1:  Comparison: Tradition and Its Others by Jill Ross   
– *Edward Said,  “Introduction: Secular Criticism,” The World, the Text, and the Critic.
– Erich Auerbach, “Odysseus’s Scar,” Mimesis.
– Erich Auerbach, “Figura,” Scenes from the Drama of European Literature.

December 08 Comparative Media by Ruoyon Bai
-*Fedwa Malti–Douglas, “Beyond Comparison Shopping,” Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization, pp. 175–82.
– Joseph Tabbi, “Electronic Literature as World Literature; or, The Universality of Writing under Constraint”, Poetics Today, 2010, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp. 17 – 50

Working Bibliography


Updated: September 18, 2017


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