Course Offerings Spring 2015

CPLT 208 Legend, Satire, and Storytelling in the Hebrew Bible

The art of narrative composition in the Hebrew Bible. The literary techniques and conventions of ancient Israelite authors in the Bible's rich corpus of stories. Philosophical and aesthetic treatment of themes such as kingship, power, gender and covenant. Primary focus on the role of narrative in the cultural life of ancient Israel, with attention also to the difficulties of interpreting biblical stories from within our contemporary milieu.  1.0 Unit(s). Prerequisite: None. Offered in the Spring.

CPLT 233 Literature and Slavery: Freedom in Speech - New Course!

Literature often has political value. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while political societies formed and revolutions began, writers and activists also turned to novels, short stories, plays, and poetry to pose philosophical questions about slavery and freedom. These texts all appeared during a time when the transatlantic trade in enslaved peoples flourished, foundered, and eventually waned. What did literature have to do with the slave trade’s decline? In this course, we will read British, American, French, Cuban, and Haitian texts about human freedom and its necessary and unnecessary restrictions. We will consider the influence of genre, history, and readership on these texts and we will also ask how literature might help us define slavery and freedom. Ultimately, students will take what they learn from this literature on slavery and develop their own ideas about why and how literature has political value.  1.0 Unit(s). Distribution: Language & Literature. Prerequisite: None. Offered in the Spring.

CPLT 359 You Say You Want to Change the World: Advocating for Other Cultures

Participants in this seminar will draw on their mastery of a foreign language and culture to interpret their fields for non-specialists. Their studies have already taught them the skill of projection—of imagining oneself as another and seeing reality from a standpoint outside oneself—that is central to understanding a foreign culture. The same skill is, significantly, one of the keys to writing successfully for a general public. The seminar will be organized around three main issues: the nature and function of language in understanding culture, including issues of translation; the traditions and purposes of criticism and literary theory; and the differing attitudes, values, creativity and histories of national groups.  Open to junior and senior majors in the foreign language departments and related programs, Classical Studies and Comparative Literature.  1.0 Unit(s). Prerequisite: At least two courses at the advanced 200 level or the 300 level in the major department.  Offered in the Spring.

Course Offerings Fall 2014

CPLT 113 Studies in Fiction

A reading of some of the greatest novels of English, American, and world literature. Taught primarily in lecture, this course will not be writing intensive. Designed especially for first-year students and non-majors. 1.0 Unit(s). Prerequisite: None. Especially recommended for first-year students and non (English) majors. Offered in the Fall.

CPLT 180 World Literature

This course is an introduction to the study of world literature. Students will read a selection of foundational works of literature from a variety of times and cultures, observing those qualities that allowed the works to transcend their historical moment in order to enter into global consciousness. We will study the assigned texts from three points of view: as individual works of literary art, as rising out of a specific cultural context, and as works that have escaped that original context into other languages and ages. Noting how some meanings are lost in translation and others gained, students will develop a mode of reading and a critical vocabulary. The required readings will likely be drawn from the following works: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, The Ramayana, The Aeneid, One Thousand and One Nights, Dream of the Red Chamber, The Tale of Genji, Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Omeros, The Satanic Verses, Things Fall Apart. Taught primarily in lecture and not writing intensive. 1.0 unit(s) Prerequisites: None. Offered in the Fall

CPLT 284 Magical Realism

This course examines fictions whose basic reality would be familiar if not for the introduction of a magical element that undermines commonplace notions about what constitutes reality in the first place. The magical element can be a demon, talisman, physical transformation, miraculous transition in space or time, appearance of a second plane of existence, revelation of the unreality of the primary plane of existence, etc. Students will read Kafka's Metamorphosis, Queneau's The Blue Flowers, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Calvino's If on a Winter Night a Traveler, Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and Sokolov's School for Fools, and short stories by Borges, Cortazar, and Nabokov. 1.0 unit(s) Prerequisites: None

CPLT 350 Research or Individual Study

1.0 unit(s) Prerequisites:Permission of the Director. Open to juniors and seniors.


CPLT 360 Senior Thesis Research

1.0 unit(s) Prerequisites: Permission of the Director.


CPLT 370 Senior Thesis

1.0 unit(s) Prerequisites:CPLT 360 and permission of the department.