Winter 2022 Undergraduate Courses

Winter 2022

ELTS 112: Medieval Foundations of European Civilization

Instructor: Zrinka Stahuljak

The objective of this course is to introduce you and trace the genealogy of some of the most important medieval concepts and institutions, such as empire and state, religion, university, architecture and visual arts, identity, class, race and sexuality, foundational for European civilization. As most European nations draw their genealogy from the Middle Ages, the course explores the birth of modern nations from their medieval foundation. Along the way, it looks at cultural production: how and why were certain values created and then passed on to us? Taught in English. 

French 101: Advanced Expository Writing: Techniques of Argumentation

Instructor: Laurence Denié-Higney

Lecture, three hours. This course is designed to develop students’ written skills in order to express themselves and argue a position in a clear and elegant style, and to develop their knowledge of the Francophone UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. As students progress with their French written skills, they will explore the diversity of the Francophone Intangible Cultural Heritage and its importance to reach a sustainable future. They will write explanatory as well as argumentative essays on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Additionally, we will review specific grammar structures to help students refine their writing. Taught in French. 

French 104: Theory and Correction of Diction

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

People all over the world appreciate the beauty of the French language, yet French is difficult to pronounce and few students of the language feel confident about their pronunciation. The aim of this course is to improve your French pronunciation and overall fluency. Learning soundspelling correspondences will help you sight read accurately. A thorough study of the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (API) will give you the tools to work on your pronunciation systematically.  Standard French will serve as our model, but we’ll look at various dialects that are spoken in the Francophone world. Requisite: FR5 or equivalent. Taught in French. 

French 108: Advanced Practical Translation (French to English)

Instructor: Dominic Thomas

Weekly translations of literary and journalistic texts, technical texts (EU policy), focusing on transcultural issues such as diversity and translation, environmental issues, architecture, and political discourse. Authors include: Annie ErnauxÉlisa Shua DusapinLéonora Miano, Anna MoïFaïza Guène, Édouard Louis, Alain Mabanckou, Abnousse Shalmani, Michel Houellebecq, Nathalie Sarraute, Georges Perec, and Philippe Rahm. Taught in English, reading knowledge of French required.   

French 119: Romanticism or Realism?

Instructor: Laure Murat

Known as two major artistic movements of the nineteenth century, Romanticism and Realism are supposed to be opposite philosophies. After carefully defining what is at stake in the «battle of romanticism» and the «battle of realism», conceptually and historically, we will try to understand both movements as actually intertwined problematics. But how and why? Through major texts of French nineteenth-century literature, including George Sand, Claire de Duras, Alfred de Musset, Honoré de Balzac, and Gustave Flaubert, we will analyze what we could call the queer couple of Romanticism and Realism. Taught in French. 

French 12: Introduction to Study of French and Francophone Literature

Instructor: Malina Stefanovska

Lecture, two hours; discussion, one hour. Enforced requisite: course 6. Principles of literary analysis as applied to selected texts in poetry, theater, and prose by French and Francophone writers. Taught in French. 

French 120: Studies in 20th Century French Culture and Literature

Instructor: The Staff

Lecture, three hours. Study of 20th-century French culture and literature, including early 20th-century writers, surrealism, literature from 1915 to 1945, post-World War II literature, existentialism, new novel, theater, and poetry. May be repeated for credit with topic change. P/NP or letter grading. Taught in French. 

French 14: Introduction to French Culture and Civilization

Instructor: The Staff

Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. 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. Taught in English. 

French 141: Early Modern French Culture in Film

Instructor: Malina Stefanovska

Through viewing a selected series of films ranging from sixteenth century religious wars, through court culture, to the Revolution, and reading appropriate textual excerpts, we shall study crucial tenets of Early Modern European culture in which France played a decisive role, be it Court culture, the Enlightenment, or the position of women. We shall also uncover how cinematography succeeds (or not!) to represent the past in its specificity, while also relating it to present day issues. Taught in English.  

French 142: Racism and Immigration in European Film

Instructor: Dominic Thomas

This course will explore the multiple ways in which European societies have addressed the complex history of immigration, and how the rise of far-right populism is transforming Europe. Primary films: British, French, German. Key terms examined: Brexit, European Union, Islam, im(mi)gration, xenophobia. Taught in English. 

French 191B-1: Variable Topics Research Seminars: French Capstone

Instructor: Jean-Claude Carron

The capstone seminar is reserved to students in their last year of studies. A 20page-long individual paper will be expected as you will determine your own topic of research in consultation with the instructor. The student will give an oral presentation of it to the peers in the seminar. / Le cours/séminaire aura deux objectifs. Le premier, de vous guider dans processus de la recherche et de la composition de votre travail écrit (choix d’un sujetbibliographieméthodologie, composition, etc.). Le second sera de travailler ensemble sur le théâtre à travers les âges. On suivra ensemble l’évolution du théâtre comme texte et comme représentation scénique (ou filmique). Chacun de vous choisira pour sa recherche personnelle un auteur, une pièce, un mouvement ou une problématique théâtrale en accord avec le prof. et poursuivra sa recherche individuelle sur ce sujet. Un travail d’une vingtaine de page, avec bibliographieen sera le résultatTaught in French. 

German 104: Unradical German Films of the 1960s/1970s

Instructor: Kalani Michell

When one thinks of German films from the 1960s, the so-called “New German Cinema” (Neuer Deutscher Film) usually comes to mind, along with a few male protagonist-directors and select films on Netflix. Films falling under this category have often been canonized as revolutionary and radical both in their politics and their aesthetics, and they tend to overshadow many other films from this period which, for certain reasons, have been written out of German film history, especially in the U.S. where this categorization perpetuates. Rather than reinforcing the narrative of certain films as central, radical objects around which all other German films should be situated, this class will return to the root of the problem: the attribution of “radical,” etymologically linked to “foundation,” “original” and “primary,” a term used to self-stylize and romanticize. We will consider a range of German-language films from the 1960s and 1970s that question narratives of origin, originality and radicality by redirecting our focus to the institutions, categories and scholarly texts that give rise to films and certain areas of film study in the first place. Taught in English. 

German 110: Memory and History in the Family: Versions of the Past

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

Study of contemporary cultural representations that foreground the family (and especially grandparents) as the site of the transmission of the past. Stories about the past told in the family often differ significantly from versions of history found in textbooks, sometimes offering alternative access to repressed histories and other times covering them up. We will analyze how family dynamics and historical accounting come into play in select memoirs, literary works, documentaries, and fictional films, with special attention to the dynamics at play in (not) remembering National Socialism and the Holocaust. Introduces students also to central concepts from Memory Studies, such as cultural and communicative memory. No prior knowledge required. Taught in English. 

German 155: German Cultural History and the Present

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

Study of significant materials from German cultural history and their continued relevance today. Aimed at building your knowledge of German culture, your analytical skills, as well as your language skills in reading, writing, and speaking German via guided exercises and presentations. Topics may include: difference and tolerance; reason and irrationality; political vision and upheaval. For inquiries, please email Requisites: 152 or 153 or by petition. Taught in German. 

German 59: Holocaust in Film and Literature

Instructor: Todd Presner

This course approaches the Holocaust by examining the challenges encountered in trying to imagine and understand it through literature, film, and a wide range of primary historical sources. We will read and look at some of the most significant literary, historical, filmic, and philosophical representations of the Holocaust, including those by Elie Wiesel, Renee Firestone, Hannah Arendt, Art Spiegelman, Paul Celan, Steven Spielberg, and Claude Lanzmann. The course will treat a broad range of issues such as the politics of memory, the value of testimony, and the ethics of representation. While the course focuses primarily on post-War representations of the Holocaust, we will also confront a substantial body of contemporaneous source materials, including speeches, legal documents, diaries, photographs, films, and other artifacts that allow us to trace the rise of fascism, examine the genesis of the ‘Final Solution,’ follow the actions of the perpetrators, and hear the voices of victims during and after the Holocaust. Taught in English. 

Italian 114B: Boccaccio’s Decameron: Storytelling In Context

Instructor: Raphaëlle Burns

This course focuses on Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, a fourteenth-century collection of novellas composed in the aftermath of the Black Death in Florence and a masterpiece of Italian prose literature. As we read and discuss Boccaccio’s novellas, we will also investigate the literary, historical, and cultural context in which he was writing. In addition, we will examine the contours of the novella as genre: special attention will be paid to the orality and sociability of storytelling in the Decameron and to how narrative framing devices structure readerly experience. Above all this course is intended to give students an appreciation of this art of storytelling as a means of articulating and debating—often humorously—the complex ethical problems of everyday life. Weekly readings will be accompanied by analyses of visual materials including illustrations and films. The Decameron will be read and discussed in English translation, though attention to the Italian original will be encouraged. 

Italian 116B: Fashioning Fashion

Instructor: Susan Gaylard

How did sixteenth-century writers and artists depict clothing and fashion? Why do these depictions matter today? This course examines texts and images in relation to the changing status of the word fashion against a backdrop of political and religious crises and expanding European trade. We will consider the power invested in clothes when men dress more elaborately than women, women dress as men, and when bodies are described as naked. Taught in English. 

Italian 120: Time, Memory, And The Short Story In The Novecento

Instructor: Raphaëlle Burns

In this course we will study the unique and fascinating tradition of the Italian short story as it was reinvented and transformed in the twentieth century. We will examine the evolution of this genre against the backdrop of political and cultural developments of the time. Building on an analysis of the formal features of the short story, we will investigate the particular interest, if not outright obsession, that modern Italian short story writers entertain with the theme of time including but not restricted to: historical time, subjective time, biological time, cosmic time, time-travel, memory, and forgetting. Authors will include Dino Buzzati, Italo Calvino, Natalia Ginzburg, Elsa Morante, Luigi Pirandello, Italo Svevo, and Antonio Tabucchi. Texts will be read and discussed in English translation, though attention to the Italian originals will be encouraged wherever possible. Taught in English. 

Italian 191: What is Beauty?

Instructor: Susan Gaylard

How did premodern writers and artists define beauty? How did their ideas change over time, and what can this teach us about Instagram and TikTok? This course examines a range of texts and images, interrogating links between beauty and gender, visual pleasure and seduction, the grotesque and the beautiful, and artificial versus natural beauty. Prerequisite: Italian 6 or above. Taught in Italian with some readings in English. 

Scandinavian 138: Vikings

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Survey of history, anthropology, and archaeology of Scandinavian societies in the Viking Age (circa 800–1100 CE), with an emphasis on overseas raiding, trading, and settlement. We will consider the impact of Vikings on Europe and beyond, as well as the depiction of Vikings in sagas and other post-Viking-Age sources.  Readings draw mainly on medieval texts, with some secondary material. Fulfills the GE requirement for “Historical Analysis” or for “Social Analysis,” under the foundation of “Society and Culture.” Taught in English.  

Scandinavian 165B: Vikings on Film

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Vikings were medieval raiders, traders, and pioneers who journeyed from Scandinavia as far west as the shores of North America and as far east as Baghdad. Their impact on the world was significant, as is their stature in the popular imagination, where Vikings continue to resonate as emblems of violence, freedom, adventure, brutality, and masculinity. This course explores representations of Vikings in films ranging from the 1920s through the 2020s, from Hollywood blockbusters to Icelandic “westerns” to Turkish pepla. We will consider what Vikings have come to signify in the modern era and why, as well as whether Viking films constitute a genre, and if so, what this genre’s characteristic features, concerns, and functions might be. We will view approximately two films each week, in addition to reading film scholarship and other secondary sources. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 50W: Intro to Scandinavian Literature and Culture

Instructor: Patrick Wen

Scandinavian 50W provides undergraduates with a broad overview of the literary and cultural traditions of the Nordic lands.  Surveying a wide range of authors and filmmakers from these countries, from medieval times to the present day, we will familiarize ourselves with numerous influential Scandinavian texts.  In this course the term “literature” will be loosely defined in order to include several types of narratives, including film and oral folk tradition.  In turn, we will examine many of the cultural and intellectual movements from which these texts sprung, thereby providing a context for our study of “The Outsider in Scandinavian Literature.”  As this 5-unit course fulfills The Writing II Requirement, please be advised that the time commitment necessary to complete the course requirements will be substantial.  Taught in English. Fulfills GE, Writing II & Diversity Requirements. 

Scandinavian C180: Norms and Deviants in Scandinavian Society

Instructor: Patrick Wen

Who decides what constitutes “deviance”?  Does the successful labeling of deviant behavior and the specialized treatment of deviants serve a specific function in society?  How do categories or definitions of deviance change in various historical or cultural contexts?  These are some of the questions that will animate our investigation into the social construction of norms and deviance. We will also examine properties of norms, of normatively governed conduct, of lay and professional methods for describing, producing, using and validating norms in contrasting settings of socially organized activities in the context of modern Scandinavian society. Using several Scandinavian films and written texts as our points of entry, we will then investigate how these narratives of normativity and deviance reflect cultural anxieties surrounding identity, ideology, memory and power relationships. Taught in English. 

Yiddish 101B: Elementary Yiddish

Instructor: Miriam Koral

Students continue their introduction to Yiddish language through enhancing vocabulary and conversational, reading and writing skills; learning popular folk and theater songs; viewing a classic Yiddish film; and attending at least one Yiddish cultural event. Participation in classroom conversation and assignment review is emphasized.  Yiddish 101A or its equivalent is a pre-requisite.