Spring 2022 Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2022

DUTCH 103C: Intermediate Dutch

Instructor: Cisca Brier

Focus is not only on the many forms of the verbs, but also reading poetry from 17th-century poets to poets of today; becoming acquainted with texts in Afrikaans, with Dutch from the 11th century and the 17th century. We will also be reading a number of delightful books. Taught in Dutch and English. Knowledge of the language is required by passing the 103-A and 103-B Dutch exams.

ELTS 167: European Identities in Classic Hollywood Cinema and Los Angeles, 1924-1950

Instructor: Arne Lunde

This course historicizes and analyzes the artistry and impact of European immigrants, émigrés, and exiles on American cinema. We will explore myriad European identities within the classic Hollywood studio system and the city of Los Angeles as a site of cultural production. Europeans in LA (especially artistic and intellectual refugees and exiles from Hitler’s Nazi-occupied Europe in the 1930s and 1940s) helped create film noir as a genre and inextricably shaped the cinema of the 20th century. Identities here include Swedes Victor Sjöström (Seastrom), Greta Garbo, Warner Oland and Ingrid Bergman; Germans Ernst Lubitsch, Robert Siodmak, Max Ophuls, and Edgar G. Ulmer, Austrians Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder; French exile Jean Renoir; Italian-born Frank Capra; and American-European outsider Orson Welles. The course also contextualizes the films within the history of Los Angeles as a growing urban metropolis that is emerging as the key locus of globalized mass media culture. Taught in English.

ELTS C101XP: Between Los Angeles and Europe: New Approaches to Transatlantic European Studies

Instructor: David D. Kim

This hybrid community-engaged course examines the rich migration history between Los Angeles and Europe with a view to the German-speaking world. It begins with an overview of transatlantic cultural, literary, and historical studies going as far back as the colonial era. It subsequently examines the displacement and dispossession of Indigenous peoples in southern California by European settlers during the nineteenth century, followed by a targeted investigation of transatlantic relations between Angelenos and German immigrants during the twentieth century. Students apply their newly acquired cultural, historical, and political knowledge to current transatlantic conversations. By integrating these lessons into community engaged projects with the Thomas Mann House, the course offers innovative, scholarly, and praxis-oriented approaches to transatlantic European studies. Taught in English and in hybrid form.

FRENCH 100: Written Expression: Techniques Of Description And Narration

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

Writing assignments follow close reading and analysis of various narrative and descriptive genres in order to discover successful narrative techniques and language use.   Students should emerge as better readers and writers of French.

Lecture, three hours.  Requisite: FR6. P/NP or letter grading.

FRENCH 105: Structure of French

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

An introduction to the descriptive analysis of French: its phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax.  We will trace historical developments that have contributed to its development.  Why do French and English share so many cognates?  What are the origins of French conservatism towards their language?  These are some of the questions this course will address. 

Lecture, three hours.  Requisite FR6.  P/NP or letter grading

French 104 (Phonetics) is useful preparation, but no previous linguistics is required. 

FRENCH 109: French for Professional Purposes: Language and Communication in Professional Environments

Instructor: Laurence Denié-Higney

Requisite: course 6. Oral and written communication in professional environment, including job search (résumé and cover letter), correspondence (professional letter and e-mail), and how to understand and negotiate work life in French-speaking company.

P/NP or letter grading.              

FRENCH 114C: Survey of French Literature: 19TH and 20TH Centuries


Requisite: course 12. Study of major literary movements and writers of period, including works by Hugo, Baudelaire, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Zola, Gide, Proust, Sartre, Robbe-Grillet, and Duras.

P/NP or letter grading.

FRENCH 115: The Rules of the Game: Social Constraint and Poetic Play in Medieval French Literature

Instructor: Raphaëlle Burns

This course will explore French literature and culture, from the 11th to the 15th century, including lyric poetry and narrative romance, history of medieval warfare, comedy, and class structures, through the lens of play. Games and entertainment were central to medieval life. But to what extent was literature itself conceived as a playful practice: a game with its rules and players, its strategies and rewards, but also with its tricksters and transgressors? Finally, how did medieval poets and storytellers mobilize metaphors of games and play to portray and problematize the political, moral, religious, and amorous codes of their time? Texts will be read in modern French. Discussion and assignments will be conducted in French.

FRENCH 116: New Media, Old News? The Problem of Novelty in Early Modern France

Instructor: Raphaëlle Burns

What is it to say something new? What is it to say that something is new? According to what criteria do we judge things to be unprecedented or innovative? In this course we will study how these questions were asked, debated, and answered by poets, philosophers, and scientists in early modern France. The course will be structured around four main axes: the novelty of events, of ideas, of methods, and of forms. We will explore the nuances between notions of novelty, renewal, innovation, and originality in a variety of literary genres, including the novellas of Bonaventure des Périers and Marguerite de Navarre, the essays of Montaigne, the fragments of Pascal, and the discourses of Descartes. In doing so we will also reflect on the role that debates around novelty played in the articulation of what it meant to be “modern” in France’s “early modernity”. Taught in English with reading knowledge of French recommended.

French 118: Travel and Literature in the Long 18th Century

Instructor: Malina Stefanovska

Taking as a point of departure the title of Tzvetan Todorov’s book Nous et les autres (Us and the Others), we shall study the role of travel, and its relationship to French literature. The travels we will be taking belong to real lives, to fiction, even to “science-fiction,” and follow real or imaginary encounters with “otherness” be it a Persian visiting France, an Italian in London, an inhabitant of Saturn visiting earth, a Peruvian princess in exile. They have all been used as an opening to “otherness” and a critique of the European culture by such Enlightenment authors as Voltaire, Montesquieu, Casanova, Rousseau and Mme de Graffigny. Taught in French.

FRENCH 121: Studies in Francophone Cultures and Literatures

Instructor: Alain Mabanckou

Study of Francophone cultures and literatures, including works by poets, playwrights, and novelists from Caribbean, North Africa, Quebec, and sub-Saharan Africa, immigrant narratives, and colonialism and postcolonial studies. May be repeated, for credit with topic change.

Enforced requisite: course 5. Taught in French.

P/NP or letter grading.  

FRENCH 130: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures

Instructor: Alain Mabanckou

Study of contemporary France and Francophone world (Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Quebec), government, institutions, and cultural, economic, social, and political issues. May be repeated for credit with topic change.

Requisite: course 12 or 100. Taught in French.

Letter grading.                                                                                                            

FRENCH 14: Introduction To French Culture and Civilization in English


Not open for credit to students with credit for course 14W.

Study of contemporary French institutions and issues, in cultural, political, and socioeconomic realms.

P/NP or letter grading.   

FRENCH 16: Individual and Society In Early Modern French Thought

Instructor: Malina Stefanovska

This course studies the role of religion, politics and sociability in constructing the self and understanding its relation with society in early modern France. Through reading excerpts by thinkers such as Descartes, Pascal, Rousseau, comedies by Corneille and Molière, articles from Diderot’s Encyclopedia, and Montesquieu’s famous epistolary novel Persian Letters, our aim is to develop students’ critical thought and knowledge of the French and European intellectual tradition, but also to demonstrate how that tradition has been historically framed. Among the concepts discussed: civility, reason, self and other, absolutism, nature, Enlightenment. Taught in English.

GERMAN 112: Gender and Identity In Modern German Literature and Film

Instructor: Maite Zubiaurre

This undergraduate seminar explores feminism, gender, and the transgression of normative gender and genre boundaries in modern and contemporary fiction and film from the German-speaking world. The seminar will be taught in English; the readings will be available both in English and in German.

GERMAN 152: Conversation and Composition on Contemporary German Culture and Society I

Instructor: Christopher Stevens

This is an advanced course that expands and refines the skills and knowledge acquired during the first two years of college German. The course has three main components: (1) advanced writing training in German; (2) intensive vocabulary building and review of selected grammar points; and (3) discussion of themes relevant to German culture and society. All three elements are integrated in the course so that students can develop advanced writing and reading (as well as speaking and listening) skills in German, while deepening their knowledge of issues important to contemporary German culture and critically engaging with these issues.

GERMAN 191C Capstone Seminar

Instructor: Magdalena Tarnawska Senel

Limited to senior German majors and ELTS+German majors. Collaborative discussion of and reflection on courses already taken for major, drawing out and synthesizing larger themes and culminating in paper or other final project. Must be taken in conjunction with one course numbered 140 or higher.

Letter grading.

ITALIAN 121: Studies in Film and Literature from Elena Ferrante to Pasolini

Instructor: Thomas Harrison

The communicative powers of word, image, thought and feeling will be the issues at stake in this course on transtextualities.  It is taught in English and conducted within the sphere of Italian film and literature.  Open to all graduate students and advanced undergraduates, this seminar will attempt to get a handle on how imagistic and verbal expression grips readers and spectators in related but differing ways.  Our primary texts—supplemented by critical theoretical essays—will consist of four films and brief works of narrative fiction selected from the following:  The Lost Daughter, film by Maggie Gyllenhaal, 2021, novel by Elena Ferrante, 2006 / Oedipus Rex, film by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967, play by Sophocles, 429 BCE / Blow-Up, film by Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966, story by Julio Cortázar, 1959 / General Della Rovere, film by Roberto Rossellini, 1959, novella by Indro Montanelli, 1959 / Henry IV, film by Mario Bellocchio, 1984, play by Luigi Pirandello, 1921 / Decameron, film by Pier Paolo Pasolini, stories by Giovanni Boccaccio, 1353 / Death in Venice, film by Luchino Visconti, 1971, novella by Thomas Mann, 1912 / The Girlfriends, film by Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955, novella by Cesare Pavese, 1949.

P/NP or letter grading.

ITALIAN 122: Italian Theater

Instructor: Massimo Ciavolella

Study of works for stage from Renaissance to present, including examples of opera and questions pertaining to acting, staging, and performance. May include texts by Machiavelli, Aretino, Gozzi, Goldoni, Verdi, Puccini, D’Annunzio, Amelia Rosselli, Dacia Maraini, Dario Fo, and Franca Rame. Taught in Italian.

P/NP or letter grading.

ITALIAN 191: Disease and Disabilities In Medieval and Early Modern Art and Literature

Instructor: Massimo Ciavolella

Humanity has always shown a keen interest in the pathological, ranging from a morbid fascination with `monsters’ and deformities to a genuine compassion for the ill and suffering. Medieval and early modern people were not exception, expressing their emotional response to disease in both literary works and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in the plastic arts. But what motivated workers and artists to choose an illness or a disability and its physical and social consequences as subjects of aesthetic or intellection expression? Were these works the result of an intrusion in their intent to faithfully reproduce nature, or do they reflect an intentional contrast against the pre-modern portrayal of spiritual ideals and, later, through the influence of the classics, the rediscovered importance and beauty of the human body? In this course we will try to address these questions, mainly through an analysis of the societal reactions to the threats and challenges that essentially unopposed disease and physical impairment presented.

Taught in English.

Italian 46: Italian Cinema and Culture in English: The Spaghetti Western From Toshiro Mifune to Tarantino

Instructor: Thomas Harrison

This course will analyze classic examples of Italy’s Spaghetti Western, which arose from Japanese inspiration, and point at its American legacy in films by Peckinpah, Clint Eastwood, and Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012 Film)

P/NP or letter grading.

SCAND 172A: Nordic Folk & Fairy Tales 

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Once upon a time in Europe, oral-traditional folk and fairy tales served as a primary source of entertainment for both children and adults. Both the folktale collection movement and folktale scholarship have been especially strong in the Nordic countries, where interest in the preservation of these tales has historically been tied to issues of national identity.  We will compare, analyze, and interpret Nordic versions of tales, considering how folk and fairy tales critique or reinforce various aspects of the social order, reflecting the experiences and worldviews of those who told them. We will also study the characteristics and history of the genre, as well as the array of analytic and interpretive methods that have been applied to it. Taught in English. 

SCAND 3: Elementary Swedish 3

Instructor: Johanna Karlsson

Scand 3 has its base in southern Sweden and the classes are taught from various places in Sweden. The primary objectives in Scand 3 are to develop conversational and written abilities in Swedish and to develop listening and reading comprehension in Swedish. The secondary objectives are to broaden the knowledge of Swedish culture by looking at contemporary and past Sweden, and to learn about how Swedish culture is interconnected with the rest of Scandinavia and Europe, as well as Sweden’s significance in the global arena.

Scand 3 is an online course. The course is taught in a mix of English and Swedish.

SCAND 50W: Gender, Sexuality, Class, and Crisis in the Scandinavian Modern Breakthrough of the 1880s and 1890s

Instructor: Arne Lunde

This Writing II course focuses on the period in Scandinavian literature and the arts known as “The Modern Breakthrough” of the 1880s and 1890s. In the wake of Darwin, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, Zola, and other European iconoclasts, Scandinavian writers and artists embraced naturalism and scientific discourses, questioned religious and social dogmas, engaged in fierce debates about women’s rights and morality questions, while relentlessly putting society under a critical lens. Not only were these radical artists important and influential in Scandinavia, Europe, and beyond in their own epoch but more than a century later their works still powerfully resonate with us. Course works include short fiction by Victoria Benedictsson, Anne-Charlotte Leffler, and Herman Bang; Amalie Skram’s novel Lucie; Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler and Strindberg’s drama Miss Julie; the lyrical prose of Knut Hamsun, and the expressionist paintings and prints of Edvard Munch.

Course taught in English.

SCAND 60: Introduction to Nordic Cinema

Instructor: Patrick Wen

This course provides undergraduates with a broad introductory overview of the cinematic traditions of the Nordic countries. Surveying a wide range of films, we will familiarize ourselves with several significant threads running throughout the history of Nordic film, while simultaneously building the necessary tools with which to write and speak effectively about film narrative. We will also provide an historical and theoretical framework for our understanding of Nordic cinema by reading several relevant texts that touch on issues such as global migration, feminist film theory, the Dogme 95 movement and beyond.  4 units.  Taught in English.

SCAND C180: Literature & Scandinavian Society/Scandinavian Legend Traditions 

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Legends are traditional stories about extraordinary events, told as true, or, at least, believed by some to be true.  Subjects range from the numinous (angels, ghosts, elves) to the horrifying (witches, werewolves, rat pizza) to the humorous, evoking wonder in various forms.  They are told in a conversational mode by ordinary persons in everyday settings, and give rise to debates over the limits of knowledge, the merits of skepticism vs. faith, and the nature of reality.  This course will explore Scandinavian legend traditions in their cultural and historical contexts, as represented in oral narratives collected by folklorists in the 19th and early-20th centuries, as well as more recent “urban legends” transmitted via electronic media, with readings of primary legend texts as well as secondary scholarship.  SCAND C180 is a variable topics course that may be repeated for credit with topic change. Taught in English.

YIDDISH 10: From Old World to New: Becoming Modern As Reflected in Yiddish Cinema and Literature

Instructor: Miriam Koral

Use of media of Yiddish cinema (classic films and documentaries) as primary focal points to examine ways in which one heritage culture, that of Ashkenazic Jews, adapted to forces of modernity (urbanization, immigration, radical social movements, assimilation, and destructive organized anti-Semitism) from late-19th century to present. Exploration of transformational themes in depth through viewing of selected films, readings, research and weekly papers, and in-class discussions.

P/NP or letter grading.   

YIDDISH 101C: Elementary Yiddish

Instructor: Miriam Koral