Curriculum

WELLESLEY COLLEGE
COMPARATIVE LITERARY STUDIES PROGRAM

 

Review the CPLT Course Catalog for a full list of courses offered in by the Comparative Literary Studies Program.

SPRING 2021 COURSES

Term 3

 

CPLT 175Y | First Year Seminar: What is Truth? 
Location: Remote
Meeting times: Coming Soon

Anjali Prabhu

This course is an exploration of the status of the truth when it is considered from a variety of contexts and disciplines. While we all share the notion that facts are the basis for truth, there are some ways in which facts can also spawn untruths or be in question themselves. Starting from how different disciplines such as Physics, Math, Medicine, and Philosophy arrive at "truths," we will also consider notions of truth in fiction and fantasy. Can there be "truth" in any kind of fiction? What is the relationship between truth and reality? Each student will complete a final project, which will pursue the question: "What is truth?" in a delineated context or field.

 
CPLT 275/375 | Translation and the Multilingual World

Location: Remote
Meeting timesComing Soon

James Michael Petterson

A study of translation in theory and in practice, in its literal and metaphorical senses alike, and of the multilingual world in which translation takes place. Topics: translation of literary texts, translation of sacred texts, the history and politics of translation, the lives of translators, translation and gender, machine translation, adaptation as translation. Students taking the course at the 300 level will do a substantial independent project: a translation, a scholarly inquiry, or a combination of the two.

Term 4

CPLT 180 | What is World Literature?
Location: Remote
Meeting times: Coming Soon

Marilyn Sides

“World Literature” views a literary work as the product of local culture, then of regional or national culture, and finally of global culture. Critics of world literature argue that a text's richness may be lost in translation, that too often a privileged Western literary tradition forces “other” literatures into a relationship of belatedness and inferiority, and that world literature leads to the globalization of culture-and as the global language becomes predominantly English, the world of literature will be known through that single language alone. This course offers an opportunity to not only read rich and exciting literary texts from ancient eras to the contemporary moment but also after reading key critical essays that defend and critique “World Literature” to reflect on the cultural politics that directly or indirectly determines who reads what. Range of texts from contemporary Arabic short fiction, science fiction from China and Africa, global gothic fiction, and poetic forms across time and cultures. Fulfills the Diversity of Literatures in English requirement.

 

 

CPLT 260 | Global Crime Literature
Location: On Campus
Meeting times: Coming Soon

David Ward

Crime fiction has been a widespread literary genre since ancient times and has become even more popular in the epoch of globalization.  Novels by crime fiction authors have long been best sellers and are among the world’s most translated texts. The course offers both a historical and geographical survey of the genre. Beginning with Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Chinese crime fiction of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and classic Anglo-American crime fiction of the nineteenth century, the course will include texts by Japanese, Chinese, Yemeni, Italian, Turkish and French authors.  Topics to be discussed will include the changing role, gender and sexual preference of the detective; the ideological implications of solving crime; the figure of the deviant; and post-modern crime fiction. We will also devote time to the NPR podcast Serial, initiatives such as the European Union’s Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives and to real life collective, crowd-sourced investigative phenomena such as Bellingcat.

 

CPLT/JWST 345 | Representing the Holocaust
Location: On Campus
Meeting times: Coming Soon

Josh Lambert

In this course, we will explore the formal and ethical questions raised by authors, artists, and theorists about the representation and memorializing of the Nazi genocide of European Jews. Focusing on stylistically inventive literature, with some incursions into popular media such as cinema, comic books, and video games, we will consider the transnational circulation of such works along with issues of translation and audience. Students will read closely through a corpus of challenging texts drawn from many languages, and they will be expected to produce original, creative insights into this literature. Authors studied may include Avrom Sutzkever, Kadya Molodowsky, Paul Celan, Sylvia Plath, S. Y. Agnon, Flannery O’Connor, Cynthia Ozick, Edward Lewis Wallant, Raymond Federman, Chava Rosenfarb, and Art Spiegelman.

 

2020-2021 Course Catalog
Course Browser