Areas of Study

Colonial/post colonial dynamics

Georges Ngal’s pathbreaking satire Giambatista Viko explores the vexed relations between metropolitan centers and peripheral former colonies through its titular antihero, an African professor at an African studies institute divided between European-focused cosmopolitans and Africanists. Struggling to write the great African novel and subject to abuse, Viko realizes he can no longer separate the African and the European parts of his multilayered, African francophone culture. Viko’s fate is a warning about the perils of artistic creation in a world where power is not shared. Part of the wave of African novels of the 1960s and 1970s that grappled with the disenchantments of decolonization, Giambatista Viko can be read at once as a Congolese novel, a francophone novel, and a work of world literature.

Courses

Spring 2024

Dana-Palmer 102

Wednesday

CompLit 97: Tutorial – Sophomore Year

Annette Lienau

How to make a sound demonstration in the field of literary analysis? What are the building blocks for a cogent approach to comparative studies? We’ll pay attention to various scales of textual commentary, from the microscopic lens of close reading to the medium scope of thematic reading, with an eye to macroscopic trends in literary history and critical theory. We’ll befriend texts ranging from various genres and explore different media (poetry; fiction; drama; film), relating form to content, historical context to contemporary significance, and join the dots connecting notions of authorship to reception theory.

Notes: This course is reserved to Comp Lit Concentrators and Comp Lit Secondary Field undergraduate students.

In Person

Spring 2024

Dana-Palmer 102

Wednesday

CompLit 98B: Tutorial – Junior Year

Sandra Naddaff

A continuation of Literature 98a, focusing on the student’s special field of study. Open to concentrators only.  This is a junior tutorial.

In Person

Spring 2024

Dana-Palmer 102

Wednesday

CompLit 99B: Tutorial – Senior Year

Sandra Naddaff

A continuation of Literature 99a, including preparation for the oral examinations. Open to concentrators only.

In Person

Spring 2024

Dana-Palmer 102

Monday

CompLit 100: Contemporary Southeast Asia through Literature and Film

Annette Lienau

This course will explore contemporary literature and cinema across Southeast Asia, focusing on regional developments after the Asian financial crisis of 1997 through the present. Themes discussed include literature’s relationship to economic turmoil and political change; questions of class and social mobility; anti-authoritarian writing and issues of censorship; literature, youth culture, and new media landscapes; and literary explorations of gender and sexuality. Readings will include a selection of critical essays to foreground these central themes of the course, along with poetry, short fiction, and films from: Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. Readings will be taught in English translation and films will be screened with English subtitles.

Presentation video

In Person

Spring 2024

Dana-Palmer 102

Tuesday

CompLit 133: Global Shakespeare

Marc Shell

This course examines literary, theatrical, and cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Students learn how artists, including Shakespeare, have used creative production of the past to understand and address concrete issues and problems of the present, including political scandal and persecution, imperial domination, and racial and ethnic biases and oppression. We also explore the continued vitality worldwide of theater and the arts, as well as their constant transformations throughout time and space.

In Person

Spring 2024

Friday

CompLit 106/YIDDISH 115: The Yiddish Short Story: Folk Tales, Monologues, and Post-Apocalyptic Parables

Saul Zaritt

Who are the storytellers of Yiddish literature? Where did their stories come from? Why did the short story become the central genre of modern Jewish literary culture? This course explores the genealogy of the Yiddish short story from the hasidic folk tale to the modernist sketch, from the monologues of Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer to the haunting narratives of David Bergelson and Der Nister. Stretching from the nineteenth century to the present, we follow the short story in its comparative contexts from Eastern Europe to Western Europe, Palestine/Israel, and the US.

In Person

People

Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: c/o Reischauer Institute CGIS South S222 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Office Hours: By appointment Tuesday 10:30-11:30am: to meet during office hours or at another time, please reach out via email in advance to set up a time

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Dana-Palmer 203

Office Hours: Thurs. 3-4pm or by appointment

Professor of the Classics and Comparative Literature

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Boylston 224

Office Hours: Wed. 12-1pm or by appointment

Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Wadsworth House 134

Office Hours: By appointment

Areas of Study