Areas of Study

Literary theory and poetics

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Courses

Fall 2023

Dana-Palmer Seminar Room

Thursday

CompLit 299AR: Comparative Literature in Theory and Practice

David Damrosch

An introduction to the discipline of comparative literature, looking at major issues in the history and current practice of the discipline as practiced in the USA, with special emphasis on seeing how comparatists enter into ongoing debates concerning theory and method. Several of our faculty will join us for the discussion of their work. Additional readings will include selections from Herder, de Staël, Adorno, Auerbach, de Man, Glissant, Said, Spivak, Apter, Venuti, and Heise. Notes: Required of first-year graduate students in Comparative Literature; open to all graduate students interested in the study of literature in transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives.

4 Credits

In Person

Fall 2023

Dana-Palmer Seminar Room

Thursday

CompLit 343AA, BA, CA: Professing Literature 1, 2, 3

Luis Girón-Negrón

This course focuses on professional development and preparation for academic careers in literature and related fields as well as positions outside academe. Part one of a two-part series. Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit. Notes: It is open to all Harvard graduate students and is required of first-year Ph.D. students in Comparative Literature.

4 Credits

In Person

Fall 2023

Crosslisted: English 191C: Constellations

Homi Bhabha

“Constellations” is an attempt at putting key literary works in conversation with significant texts from other disciplines and discourses — philosophy, politics, history, law, and  the social sciences. The conversations initiated between these texts might converge on conceptual or historical issues; on other occasions, they may conflict on matters of aesthetic form or cultural belief. What gives these ‘coupled” conversations a thematic or curricular coherence is their sustained interest in the life-worlds of minorities as they struggle to gain the recognition and protection of human rights. One of the key questions running through the course will be what it means to make a claim to human dignity from a position of inequality and injustice.

I have chosen landmark texts that describe a wide arc of historical experience from colonization and segregation to migration and the predicament of refugees. These conditions of life and literature will be framed by questions of national sovereignty and international cosmopolitanism. Discourses of race, gender and identity will intersect with conceptual issues of cultural representation and literary form. The conversations initiated by this course will be polyphonic and plural.

4 Credits

In Person

Fall 2023

2 Arrow St 420

Tuesday

Crosslisted: Rom-STD 201 & German 291: Questions of Theory

Doris Sommer & Nicole Suetterlin

Course Description: To explore key literary, cultural and critical theories, we pose questions through readings of classic and contemporary theorists, from Aristotle to Kant, Schiller, Arendt, Barthes, Foucault, Glissant, Ortiz, Kittler, S. Hartman, and Haraway, among others. Their approaches include aesthetics, (post)structuralism, postcolonialism, media theory, gender theory, ecocriticism. Each seminar addresses a core reading and a cluster of variations. Weekly writing assignments will formulate a question that addresses the core texts to prepare for in-class discussions and interpretive activities.

Notes: Conducted in English. This course is offered as Romance Studies 201 and German 291. Credit may be earned for Romance Studies 201 or German 291, but not both. The course is cross-listed with Comparative Literature and AAAS.

 

4 Credits

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, you must reach out via email in advance to make an appointment

Harry Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Ave., Room 209

Office Hours: By appointment

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Boylston 327

Office Hours: By appointment

Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature and English

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Barker Center 265

Office Hours: Th. 3-5pm (email for your appointment)

George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and of Comparative Literature

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: Boylston Hall 231

Office Hours: Wednesday, 3-4pm, in Widener 475, or by appointment

Sangam Professor of South Asian Studies and Comparative Literature

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Office: 1 Bow Street, 336

Office Hours: Mon & Wed 3-4:30 PM or by appointment: please e-mail me for appointment

Areas of Study