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: Body Cuiture: Women`s Representations in Modern Art‏ (06081003)

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- Caws, M. A., "Ladies Shot and Painted: Female Embodiment in Surrealist Art", The Expanding Discourse Feminism and Art History (eds. Norma Broude and Mary Garrard), Oxford, 1992.
- Frame, L., "Gretchen, Girl, Garconne? Weimar Science and Popular Culture in Search of the Ideal New Woman", Women in the Metropolis (ed. K. von Ankum), 1997.
- Linker, K., Love for Sale The Word and Pictures of Barbara Kruger, New York, 1990.
- Pollock, G., "A Tale of Three Women Seeing in the Dark, Seeing Double, at Least, with Manet", Differencing the Canon Feminist Desire and the Writing of Art's Histories, London and New York, 1999.
- Whiting, C., "Wesselmann and Pop at Home", A Taste for Pop Pop Art, Gender and Consumer Culture, Cambridge, 1997.
- Withers, J., Judy Chicagos Dinner Party, A Personal Vision of Womens History, The Expanding Discourse, Feminism and Art History (eds. N. Broude and M. Garrard), Oxford, 1992.

:
- Broude, N., and Garrard, M. (eds.), The Power of Feminist Art The American Movement of the 1970's, History and impact, New York, 1994.
- Broude, N., and Garrard, M. (eds.), Reclaiming Female Agency Feminist Art History after Postmodernism, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 2005.
- Carson, F. and C. Pajaczkowska (eds.), Feminist Visual Culture, Edinburgh, 2000.
- Eitner, L., An Outline of 19th Century European Painting from David through Cezanne, Cambridge: Harper&Row, 1988.
- Foster H. et. al., Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism, New York: Thames&Hudson, 2005.
- Iskin, E. R., "Selling, Seduction, and Soliciting the Eye: Manet's Bar at the Folies-Berges", The Art Bulletin, Vol. LXXVII, no. 1 (March 1995).
- Jones, A. (ed.), Sexual Politics Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in the Feminist Art History, Berekely, Los Angeles and London, 1996.
- Jones, Amelia (ed.), The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, New York, 2003.
- Mulvey, L., "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", Visual and Other Pleasures Language, Discourse, Society, London, 1989.
- Nochlin, L., Realism, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971.
- Nochlin, L., "Why Have There Been No Great Women artists?" (1971), Women, Art and Power and Other Essays, London, 1989.
- Nochlin, L., "The Imaginary Orient", Art in America, vol. 71, no.5-8 (May 1983).
- Pollock, Griselda, Differencing the Canon Feminist Desire and the Writing of Art's Histories, London and New York, 1999.
- Reckitt, H., Peggy Phelan (eds.), Art and Feminism, London, 2001.
- Reily, Maura, Linda Nochlin (eds.), Global Feminisms New Directions in Contemporary Art (exh. cat.), London and New York: 2007.
- Shaw, Jennifer, "Singular Plural Collaborative Self-images in Claude Cahun's Aveux non aveunus", The Modern Woman Revisited Paris Between the Wars (eds. Chadwick Whitney and Tirza True Latimer), New Brunswick, New Jersey and London, 2003.
- Solomon Godeau, A., "Going Natives", Art in America (July 1989)
- Shohat, Ella (ed.), Talking Visions Multicultural Feminism in a Ttransnational Age, Cambridge and London, 1998.
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During the course we will conduct a critical survey of the modern art history and of several well-known and canonical art works, using feminist methodology and seminal texts regarding gender issues.

We will perform re-readings of familiar subjects in art history and suggest interpretations that prevail in the contemporary disciplinary discourse, among them using the discourses of multi-culturalism; post-colonialism and globalization.

The course will survey two major time periods the 19th Century and the 20th Century. In the first part, we will discuses and analyze artifacts from the European continent and in the second part we will move on to have a close look at art made in the Americas. We will be asking questions such as why so many of the art works focus on depicting the female body mostly naked; what exactly was it in the 'modern experience' of the 19th Century Paris that gave way to male-artists to prosper and tended to exclude women-artists, and what kind of subjects, themes and media did women-artists work in during that period in spit of their difficulties; what are the connections and the relations between pornography and 'high art'; which new trends in the second half of the 20th Century gave way to new opportunities for women-artists and changed their position in the art-scene and in culture in general; and many more.

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Basic Composition‏ (06261000)

` - / Ms Anna Kissin-Shechter / Ms Helen Katznelson

The Composition course is a one semester intensive remedial writing workshop required of those whose entrance examination score indicates serious deficiencies in composition skills, or who have failed the department Proseminar course. The workshop approach allows students to acquire and rehearse discourse skills (including grammar, mechanics, sentence structure, vocabulary, rhetorical structure) via continuous writing and revision and prepares them for writing academic papers in Literature. We will read and analyze a number of expository texts that engage topics of interest to the student of literature. We will also read a short story and look at a number of secondary sources which open critical discussions about the story. Aside from the in-class workshop twice a week, there will be regular home assignments in writing. Attendance in this course is mandatory.
Students are required to submit a portfolio of assignments, including one longer paper, at the end of the course. Successfully passing this course qualifies students to enroll in the Proseminar course.

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Narrative Analysis‏ (06261208)

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` - Prof. Shirley Sharon-Zisser

An encounter with systematic thinking on fictionality and narrativity and the constituent categories for their rigorous analysis in literary texts and other manifestations of subjectivity such as story and discourse, focalization, forms of narration, kernel and satellite events, screen narratives and what they veil, the fictionality of truth, relieable and unreliable narration, the narrative structure of the phantasm.

Take-home exam

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: 4 " Basic Course

  • ', ': -27/1/11 -9:00. 3/2/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -3/3/11 -9:00. 10/3/11 -13:00.

Poetry Analysis‏ (06261217)

- Basic Course - Theory

" - Dr. Karen Alkalay-Gut

This course provides basic terminology and techniques for understanding and discussing poetry. On the assumption that poetic language is different from the language of prose, and reading poetry demands different tools, we will study subjects such as imagery, meter, speaker, and forms, through a close examination of examples from classical and contemporary English and American poetry.

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS: 2 hourly examinations, one final examination.

PRIMARY TEXT: Texts will be provided on Virtual TAU Site.

:

: - ` 4 " Spring 2010 Semester Basic Theory Course

  • ' ' 15/06/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 18/07/2011 9:00

Shakespeare‏ (06261220)

4 "

" Dr. Noam Reisner

This course offers a general introduction to the rewarding world of Shakespeare. We will study six representative plays and a selection of sonnets which best capture in an overview the poetic brilliance, intellectual complexity, theatrical inventiveness, and above all the moving humanity of the mind at work in the 38 plays and the many poems left to posterity under the historically and biographically elusive name of William Shakespeare. Throughout, we will address issues of rhetoric and poetry, themes, genre, and staging, and the emerging patterns of thought and ideas which have made so many of the plays and sonnets perennially relevant in states unborn and accents yet unknown.

Primary texts: The course will focus on the close textual reading and analysis of a selection of sonnets and six plays representing the various dramatic genres making up the Shakespearean corpus: Henry IV part 1, As You Like It, Hamlet, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, and The Winters Tale.

Requirements: There will be a midterm and a final exam.

:

: ` Basic Course

  • ' ' 26/06/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 29/07/2011 9:00

Introduction to Theory ‏ (06261250)

- Theory

" Dr. Elana Gomel

This course is meant to serve as a necessary introduction to the literary and cultural theory today. We will discuss such central theoretical issues as the nature of representation; the difference between fiction and non-fiction; the structure of narrative; and the foundations of aesthetic discourse. We will also consider the main trends in contemporary theory, including but not limited to, structuralism and post-structuralism, historicism, multiculturalism, and fictional-worlds theory. The course is not an historical overview but rather an introduction to the contemporary field of literary and cultural studies, aiming to highlight the crucial theoretical issues being debated today. As such, it will pair traditional and contemporary responses to the perennial questions of what is art; what is literature; what is the connection between art and society; and how aesthetic perception correlates (or not) with scientific, philosophical, or ideological positions. The course will also engage with problems arising from the social and technological conditions of postmodernity, particularly the ubiquity of the electronic media and their influence upon representation.

Among the theoreticians whose texts we will study are Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Viktor Shklovsky, Mikhail Bakhtin, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Fredric Jameson. This is not the complete list.

Requirements: compulsory quizzes, a mid-term paper, and a final exam.

Attendance: compulsory. More than 3 absences will result in an inability to pass the course.

Composition of Grade: mid-term 40%, final 40%, class participation and quizzes: 20%.

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: 4 " `

  • ', ': -31/1/11 -9:00. 7/2/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -7/3/11 -9:00. 14/3/11 -13:00.

Introduction to British Culture ‏ (06261280)

" Dr. Alberto Gabriele

This class covers the works of major authors from the middle-ages to early twentieth-
century modernism. Together with the works by authors as diverse as Chaucher,
Shakespeare, Sydney, Keats, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Woolf, Eliot and Joyce, we
shall explore the cultural context that surrounded them; we shall also pay attention to the
more or less visible ties that link literary invention, transnational routes of cultural dissemination and the visual arts.
Requirements: extensive reading, midterm, and a final exam.

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: 4 " Basic Course

  • ' ' 26/01/2011 13:00
  • ' ' 27/02/2011 16:00

Introduction to American Culture‏ (06261500)

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" - Dr. Hedda Ben-Bassat

The purpose of this course is to examine the development of a distinct American cultural discourse from the Colonial period to the end of the 20th century. The texts read in class offer a variety of genres and voices representing the different facets of American cultural production.


TEXTS: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Sixth edition, available at the Dyonon.

In addition we will read the following novels
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter (Dyonon)
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (included in the
Norton Anthology)

There will be a written assignment, a midterm exam and a final exam.

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: 4 " `

  • ' ' 19/06/2011 13:00
  • ' ' 21/07/2011 9:00

Post-Colonial Fiction‏ (06262014)

2 "

" Dr. Yael Maurer

The aim of this course is to examine a selection of texts which can be grouped under the heading "post-colonial". We will examine this problematic term. What does it include? What are its boundaries? How are our reading practices influenced by viewing the texts through the postcolonial lens?
In our reading of literary and theoretical texts, we will explore the colonizer-colonized relationships and attempt to establish the links between the vexed categories of nationality and sexuality. Identity politics, the immigrant experience and the idea of home in a postcolonial world are some of the themes we'll address in this course.

Texts

Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Wizard of Oz by Salman Rushdie

We begin with a novel which takes place in colonial and post-colonial India and tells the story of two women whose experience of India across generations reflects both the allure and the dangers of a (Western) view of the East. The two following novels engage with the complex experiences of immigrants in the former Empire and detail the complex identity dilemmas they encounter. In Lahiri's collection of interlocked stories, we find second generation immigrants in the United States who face the cultural clashes between "America ness" and "India ness".
Rushdie's short homage to his favorite Hollywood film is also a comment on the immigrant experience as an imagined space of longing for an elsewhere which is also home.
yael.maurer@gmail.com

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: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 14/06/2011 13:00
  • ' ' 14/07/2011 9:00

Proseminar ‏ (06262064)

` -/` Ms Helen Katznelson/Ms Anna Kissin-Shechter

The aim of the proseminar is to prepare you for participation in academic seminars and for the writing of seminar papers. You will be required to develop an extended, researched analysis of a literary work assigned in class. This course is designed to teach and rehearse specific skills, such as close reading and analysis of a literary text; defining purposes and terms; problematizing; planning, positioning yourself in an existing interpretive framework and finding your own perspective, addressing and negotiating critical views, developing a coherent critical thesis of your own, summarizing and abstracting; producing a bibliography, sifting evidence; revising purposes, contents, organization, language; editing, etc. The research paper you produce as a result of this course (about 10 pages, or 2000 words) will be your contribution to the ongoing conversation about the literary work. It is due at the end of the semester, but the first draft is submitted halfway through and then revised and expanded through discussions with the instructor and input from other students.

Text: a different primary text every semester.
A good English-English dictionary, such as the Websters, Oxford, Random House

Because this is an intensive writing course, please take into account that you will need to set aside between 6 and 8 hours per week for your reading, writing and library research in addition to the 4 hours of class time.

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Realism and Naturalism in America‏ (06262072)

4 "

" Dr. Milette Shamir

The terms "Realism" and "Naturalism" are used in the context of American cultural history to describe the dominant literary styles of US fiction during the period between the Civil War and the beginning of the Twentieth Century. In this course we willanalyze these two styles in relation to social and political changes in the US in this period: Reconstruction, the increasing rate of democracy and literacy, industrial and urban growth, expanding population base due to immigration, the rise in middle-class affluence, and changes in the definitions of womanhood.

TEXTS will include novels by Rebecca harding Davis, Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, Frank Norris and Kate Chopin
Requirements: attendance and participation, short reading responses, short paper and final exam

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 20/06/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 21/07/2011 9:00

Antebellum American Fiction‏ (06262074)

4 "

" Dr. Milette Shamir

"What is an American?" This question, posed by writer St. Jean de Crevecoeur in an essay by that title only a few short years after the American Revolution, continued to occupy American writers in the decades to come. Writers from Cooper to Melville attempted to formulate a coherent and inclusive American identity, an attempt that often involved the negation, exclusion, or suppression of alternatives. This course will examine debates over national character and national identity as they played themselves out in both canonical and neglected texts, through transformations in language, literary genres, and prose styles.
TEXTS will include novels by J. F. Cooper, Fanny Fern, and Harriet Wilson, and short works of fiction by Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and H. D. Thoreau.
REQUIREMENTS: attendance and participation, short reading responses, short paper, and final exam.


:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 26/01/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 27/02/2011 16:00

The Poetic of Trauma‏ (06262189)

` Ms Li Shir

Early Modern treatises on English rhetoric attribute the invention of this art to poets. According to Thomas Wilson, the art of remembrance was first invented by the Greek poet Simonides, who was able to call by name the disfigured carcasses of the dead because he remembered the sitting place of each and every one of them. Hence, trauma, memory, and language as the art of naming the dead are deeply interrelated.
In this course we will explore the interrelations between language and death through Early Modern poetry and theorizations of rhetoric, and Freud's writings on war, trauma, mourning, and melancholy. We will examine these interrelations in contemporary representations of trauma, in cinematic visions of the Holocaust, as is Claude Lanzmann's Shoah.
Reading Material: excerpts from Early Modern treatises on rhetoric, poems by Shakespeare, Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and others. Excerpts from Freud's writings.
Requirements: Attendance, participation, reading the required texts and watch the films (be advised, some of the materials are difficult to watch). Two quizzes in class, and a final paper.


:

: 2 " Advanced Course

  • ', ': -24/1/11 -9:00. 31/1/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -7/3/11 -9:00. 14/3/11 -13:00.

The Secret Language of Poetry ‏ (06262205)

2 "

Mr Roi Tartakovsky

From different angles the argument has been made that poetry is unique in terms of its attitude towards language. In this course we will explore this argument while reading poetry both old and new, focusing on different aspects of the poems language: the individual word, the grammar, the line. Students suggestions for poems to consider in class are most welcome.

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 31/01/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 06/03/2011 16:00

"" The "Other" in American Poetry‏ (06262246)

` - Prof. Karen Alkalay-Gut

This course will begin to explore the image and the persona of the other in American poetry. Beginning with Longfellows Hiawatha and Walt Whitmans catalogues of other in Song of Myself and ending in the phenomenon of Slam and Rap Poetry. Although the emphasis is on the phenomenon and not the writers, the poets studied will include Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Sharon Olds, Allen Ginsberg, Naomi Shihab Nye, Muriel Rukeyser, Robert Hass, Joy Harjo, and others.

The readings will be available on the Virtual TAU site.

:

: 4 " Advanced Course

  • ', ': -30/1/11 -9:00. 6/2/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -1/3/11 -9:00. 8/3/11 -13:00.

- Native American Literature‏ (06262254)

2 "

` Ms Dalit Alperovich

This course will explore Native American identity as imagined and represented by Native and non Native American authors in the twentieth century. Readings will include texts by DArcy McNickle, William Faulkner, D. H. Lawrence, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie and Forrest Carter, written in a variety of genres (short stories, autobiographies, novels, essays). We will contextualizing Native American culture, raise issues concerning identity and authenticity, discuss the relation between oral storytelling and the written text, address the phenomenon of going native, and explore the relation between anthropology and Native American literature.

Requirements:

A short presentation of a critical reading (to be assigned in class) 20%
Active participation in class discussion 10%
Final exam 70%


:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 01/02/2011 13:00
  • ' ' 13/03/2011 16:00

Jacobean Drama‏ (06262265)

` Ms Linda Streit

A cultural and dramatic survey of the Jacobean period, in which the plays, playhouses and childrens companies are contextualised within Jamess decadent court and the growth of capitalism. An examination of the development of menace and savagery, and how various genres responded to the deepening National disillusion, reflected by verbal cruelty (in City Comedy) to mental cruelty (in tragicomedy) to physical debauchery and death (in tragedy).

Texts


John Ford Tis Pity Shes a Whore

Ben Jonson, Volpone
Ben Jonson Epicoene
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
John Marston, The Malcontent
Thomas Middleton, The Changeling

Thomas Middleton, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside
Requirements: one home assignment, mid and final examinations.

:

: 4 " Advanced Course

  • ' ' 26/01/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 27/03/2011 16:00

Print Fiction in America ‏ (06262272)

2 "

` Ms Maya Merlob

Late 18th- and early 19th-century America is known as the "Era of Paper, and the Age of Print." With the possibility of publication made cheaper and more accessible, early America is experiencing a gush of literary productivity, a surge of textual production, which shapes, and ultimately constructs, an American book industry.
Focusing on what can be called print fiction, a metafictional writing that treats the various facets of this newly-born industry, this course will explore the advent of print and its impact on literary style, the rise of newspaper literature, as well as the consequent shift in the figuration of the Author, and the commercial figures surrounding him- editors, publishers, booksellers, and literary critics. We will also address the emerging tradition that views the book as a printed artifact, a physical object whose components - paper, ink, bookbinding, and handwriting-become subjects of literary interest.
Looking into the aspects of the publication of texts, this course will emphasize the materiality of literary composition- the material conditions of writing, as represented in early American literature.
Requirements: short reading responses, take-home exam.

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ', ': -15/6/11 -9:00. -22/6/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -18/7/11 -9:00. 25/7/11 -13:00.

Migratory Aestethics in America‏ (06262277)

2 "

" Dr. Sonia Weiner

This course will explore the experience of late twentieth and early twenty first century narratives of migration to America, focusing on the varying ways in which the rupture of migration functions as a site of literary creativity. The course will consider not only experiences of transition, but also the transition of experience itself into new modalities, or what can be termed as a migratory aesthetics. We will explore how issues seminal to the migrant become tools for creating this new aesthetics: memory and loss, difference and similarity, proximity and distance, the various acts of translations and trans-creations, and the ever elusive question of what constitutes home, geographically, culturally, linguistically. To enhance and enrich our discussion, we will borrow terms from Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life; Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition; Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture. We will read from the emerging theory surrounding the notion of migratory aesthetics, such as Mieke Bal, "Migratory Aesthetics: Double Movement"; Sam Durrant and Catherine M. Lord. Essays in Migratory Aesthetics: Cultural Practices Between Migration and Art-Making; Murant Aydemir and Alex Rotas, Migratory Settings: Intersecting Place, Sex and Race. In considering the unique role played by the author, we will read Ha Jin, The Writer as Migrant and Salman Rushdie's "Imaginary Homelands."

List of Tentative Texts:
Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation
Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior
Jamaica Kincaid, Lucy
Gary Shteyngart, The Russian Debutante's Handbook
Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Alexandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project; The Nowhere Man

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 26/06/2011 13:00
  • ' ' 31/07/2011 9:00

The Godwins and the Shellys‏ (06262287)

2 "

" Dr. Amy Garnai

In this course we will study selected works novels, poetry and excerpts from the political texts of the Godwins and the Shelleys. Including the philosopher and novelist William Godwin, the feminist thinker and writer (and later Godwin's wife) Mary Wollstonecraft, their daughter, novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, this family is often referred to as "the first family of Romanticism". Spanning the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the writings of the Godwins and the Shelleys engaged with the prominent concerns of their time: the rights discourse that emerged in Britain following the French Revolution, the status of women in society, the place of the subject within a repressive political climate. As we will see, the writings of Mary and Percy Shelley respond in fascinating ways to the works of the previous generation, representing and reworking the themes and concerns that appear in the earlier texts.

Texts:
William Godwin, The Adventures of Caleb Williams
Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Percy Bysshe Shelley, selected poems

We will also read excerpts from Godwin's Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and from Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women.

Requirements:

two short responses
midterm assignment
final exam

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 03/07/2011 13:00
  • ' ' 07/08/2011 13:00

Walt Whitman`s Influence‏ (06262288)

2 "

` Ms Dara Barnat

In this course we will explore the works of Walt Whitman arguably the single most important poet in American history. With the famous Leaves of Grass in 1855, Whitman shattered numerous conventions, challenging (and confounding) his readers with free verse poetry that dealt with sexuality, race, religion, democracy, and nationhood. We will read Whitmans most famous works, and discuss topics in current scholarly debate. We will also examine Whitmans impact on literatures of diverse cultures and ethnicities, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 09/02/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 13/03/2011 16:00

Dickens`s London‏ (06262291)

4 "

" Dr. Elana Gomel

Literary critic Francis Miltoun said: "no one has breathed more than Dickens the spirit of London's constantly shifting and glimmering world of passion and poverty". Victorian London was the greatest metropolis of its era and Charles Dickens was its greatest writer.

In this course we are going to discuss the role of London in Dickens' novels. But beyond Dickens, we are going to consider the social and cultural history of the Victorian period; the role that London played in the formation of national and class identities; the emergence of a new form of urban space and its significance in art, literature, and architecture; and the contemporary development of London as one of the global cities of postmodernity.

We will read the following Dickens' texts: selection from Sketches by Boz; Oliver Twist; Dombey and Son; Bleak House; A Tale of Two Cities. Theoretical material and additional short texts will be provided.

Requirements: class participation, two papers, and a final.

Attendance is compulsory.

Final grade: 30% final, 50% the papers (25% each), 20% class participation.

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ', ': -22/6/11 -9:00. 29/6/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -27/7/11 -9:00. 3/8/11 -13:00.

Place in Modern American Fiction‏ (06262294)

4 "

` - Prof. Hana Wirth-Nesher

Mobility has been one of the signatures of twentieth century American literature, ranging from immigration and internal migration to travel and tourism. This course will examine the significance of place in terms of symbolic geography, social class, nationality, race, gender, and concepts of home in America throughout the twentieth century. We will be reading The Ambassadors by Henry James, Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, Yekl, a Tale of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan, My Antonia by Willa Cather, and short works by Richard Wright, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Grace Paley, Delmore Schwartz, Henry Roth, Claude McKay, and Jhumpa Lahiri. We will also be reading critical and theoretical essays about perception and representation of place.


Requirements:
Midterm examination 20% (of course grade)
Short Paper (5 to 7 pages) 40%
Final Examination 40%

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: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 23/06/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 28/07/2011 9:00

Detective Fiction and Gender in American Society ‏ (06262296)

2 "

" Dr. Keren Omry

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This course will focus in varying trends within subgenres of contemporary literature, in particular, Detective Fiction and Crime Fiction. We will identify the defining terms of the genre, examining their shifting natures and relevance to the fast-changing culture in which we live. Key questions this course will address include: How does contemporary literature reflect the time, place, economy, and politics of its production? How do dynamic models of identity nation, gender, ethnic, postcolonial, postmodern affect the rules of the genre? What is the value and the role of popular culture? Reading novels, short stories, and/or graphic novels, as well as watching films and television accounts of the literary trends under consideration, students will learn to identify the politics of aesthetic production, they will be trained in critical thinking, and they will be exposed to new theories of culture.

:

: ` Advanced Course

  • ', ': -3/2/11 -9:00. 10/2/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -11/5/11 -9:00. 18/5/11 -13:00.

Metaphysical Poetry‏ (06262297)

4 "

" Dr. Noam Reisner

The story of the rise and fall of the metaphysical style in English poetry is also the story of its age, which spans the end of the sixteenth century to the beginning of the eighteenth. Hovering between what cultural historians have labeled as the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment, this was an age of uncertainties and turmoil which witnessed some of the most extreme upheavals in British culture, from the religious persecutions of the late Elizabethan age, through the civil war and interregnum, to the restoration, exclusion crisis, and the glorious revolution of 1688. The poets in this period who have since been labeled as metaphysical did not belong to a group or a coherent intellectual movement (like the later Romantics), and were not even necessarily aware of doing similar things in poetry. But almost every poet in the period produced, under differing circumstances, what we might conveniently label today as metaphysical poems, noted for a particular mode of expression and style fraught with complexity, intellectually conceited, intensely dialectical, often ironic and puzzling, and bereft of any hint of baroque or neoclassical ornateness. The originator of the metaphysical mood in English verse is John Donne and we will take his body of poetic work, especially the 'Songs and Sonnets', as a starting point for this course. Beginning with Donne and his Elizabethan contemporaries, we will then track the development of metaphysical poetry throughout the seventeenth century by reading typical poems from a very wide range of poets from the period, including Aurelian Townshend, Robert Southwell, George Herbert, Thomas Carew, William Davenant, Edmund Waller, Sir John Suckling, Richard Crashaw, John Cleveland, Abraham Cowley, Richard Lovelace, Andrew Marvell, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne, Katherine Philips, John Wilmot the Earl of Rochester, and Thomas Heyrick, among others.


Primary texts: Our primary text will be the Penguin Classics edition of 'Metaphysical Poetry' (2006) edited by Colin Burrow, supplemented by poems posted on the course website

Requirements: There will be a take-home midterm exam and a final exam.

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: ` Advanced Course

  • ' ' 30/06/2011 9:00
  • ' ' 01/08/2011 9:00

-19 The Modern Novel and Nineteenth-Century Visual Cultures‏ (06262302)

4 "

" Dr. Alberto Gabriele

This course is an interdisciplinary study of the culture of modernity. We shall examine important changes in the ways to look at and represent reality, which emerged at the end of the Eighteenth-Century and affected the course of the following centuries in areas as diverse as painting and fiction, poetry, theater and cinema. shall focus on the representation of the tangible reality of cities and landscapes but shall also consider the flip side of the coin, i.e., the long lasting fascination with the unknown, the occult and the new symbolic system introduced by market economy.
Assignments include selections by Goethe, Ann Radcliffe, Wordsworth, Sterne, Benjamin, Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, George Eliot, Marx, Braddon, Huysman, screenings of documentaries on the pre-history of cinema and avant-garde film.

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: ` Advanced course

  • ', ': -19/6/11 -9:00. 26/6/11 -13:00.
  • ', ': -21/7/11 -9:00. 28/7/11 -13:00.

The Female Coming-of-Age Novel‏ (06263052)

" Dr. Milette Shamir

Few literary conventions teach us as much about the culture that produced them as the coming-of-age plot. In charting the transition from childhood to adulthood, this plot explores the most basic definitions governing normative identity in a given social setting. For many years, however, discussion of this genre focused on male-authored texts, from Wilhelm Meister and David Copperfield, to Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and The Catcher on the Rye. This seminar will center, instead, on female-authored coming-of-age stories, and will address such questions as: what happens to this genre when it is appropriated by women? How is the "adult woman" defined in different historical moments? Are there common threads (mother-daughter relations, conflict between love and labor, paths of socialization and resistance) that connect older and contemporary writing about female maturation?
Requirements: active participation, preparation of study questions and oral presentation, and a seminar paper.
Texts will include works of fiction by Louisa May Alcott, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Sylvia Plath, and others.


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: .. 4 " ` BA Seminar

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Revenge Tragedies in the English Renaissance‏ (06263077)

4 "

" Dr. Noam Reisner

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the most popular form of theatrical entertainment on the London stage was the revenge tragedy of blood. Many of the revenge tragedies which were so popular in Elizabethan and Jacobean times seem distasteful and crude to modern tastes, and all of them are justly obscured by the towering fame of Shakespeares 'Hamlet' perhaps the most famous revenge tragedy of all time. However, Shakespeare conceived of Hamlet within the established popular conventions of the genre, and in this seminar we will study a range of contemporary revenge tragedies as we come to terms with the complex world of the renaissance revenger a dark, turbulent world of passion, violence, and extreme pathos. We will consider the various philosophical and theological questions underpinning the concept of revenge explored in these plays, and examine in each case how different dramatists transform aesthetically and poetically the impossible ethical plight of the revenger into cathartic theatrical spectacle.

Primary texts: The seminar will focus on the close textual reading and analysis of a selection of plays from the period best representing the unique sub-genre of English renaissance revenge tragedies (the following list is provisional at this stage): 'The Spanish Tragedy', 'The Revenge of Bussy DAmbois','The Duchess of Malfi', 'The Atheists Tragedy', 'The Changeling', 'Tis Pity Shes a Whore'. We will conclude by considering the place of Shakespeares 'Hamlet' in this group of plays.

Requirements: A seminar paper of about 20 pages and one short written assignment midway through the term.

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: .. ` Seminar BA

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Posthuman Subjects‏ (06263079)

4 "

" Dr. Elana Gomel

Posthumanity has become a central topic in the discussions of postmodernism (or even post-postmodernism). Has our very definition of what constitutes a human being changed under the influence of the internet, genetic engineering, neurochemistry research and other scientific and technological breakthroughs? Or is it social and cultural developments, such as the end of history, the rise of global capitalism, financial instability, and terrorism that have effected this change? And if the change is real and we are indeed no longer the same kind of subjects as those depicted in nineteenth-century psychological novels, then what are we? And what are we becoming? Can literature show us the way forward? What are the cultural, social and political implications of posthumanity? Are there many different kinds of posthumans, and if yes, what are they?

This seminar will discuss possible answers to these questions in the framework of postmodern cultural theory. We will read theoretical works by Donna Haraway, M. Katherine Hayles, Deleuze and Guattari, Michel Foucault, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and others. We will also discuss literary and cinematic representations of posthumanity, such as William Gibson's Neuromancer; Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Bruce Sterling's Schizmatrix; Peter Watts' Blindsight; Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go; films Blade Runner; Surrogates and Avatar. This is not a compete list.


Requirements: class participation, a short paper, a class report, and a final paper.

Attendance: compulsory.

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: .. ` Seminar BA

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Nature in Poetry‏ (06263081)

.. 4 "

` - Prof. Karen Alkalay-Gut

The relationship between the individual poet and the non-human world is a complex and changing one - in part dependent upon the atmosphere of the specific period, in part upon the individual environment and in part upon the individual him/herself. The relationship is at times influenced by race, by genre, by gender and by political position, and changes with biographical and sociological issues. The seminar will examine historical trends, environmental influences, and individual poets, from Chaucer, Pope, Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge, John Clare, Robert Burns, Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Theodore Roethke, Ted Hughes, Robert Hass and Joy Harjo. We will study the interrelationship between poetry and the animal world. Part of our bibliography will be dependent upon student discussion to include relevant poets and material.

PRIMARY TEXTS:

The primary readings will be available on the Virtual TAU site.

In addition to primary texts, secondary literary texts will be necessary.

Secondary Theoretical Texts will be available in the library.

Bartkowski, Frances, Kissing cousins : a new kinship bestiary. New York ; Chichester, West Sussex : Columbia University Press, c2008.






Cavell, Stanley et al. Philosophy and Animal life.

New York ; Chichester, West Sussex : Columbia University Press, c2008

Derrida, Jacques. The Animal That Therefore I am. New York: Fordham, 2008.

Haraway, Donna Jeanne. When species meet. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2008

King, Barbara J. Being with Animals : why we are obsessed with the furry, scaly, feathered creatures who populate our world. New York: Doubleday, c2010

SEMINAR REQUIREMENTS:

In addition to a referat, due one month after the last class, students will be expected to present a poem from the schedule in class and discuss it in relation to the general topic of the seminar. This presentation, in outline form, will be submitted in writing to the instructor before the class. The grade will also be composed of active class participation.

Seminar Papers must be handed in to the office three months after the last class.

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: .. ` Seminar BA

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American Literature in the Inter-War Period‏ (06263082)

4 "

" - Dr. Hedda Ben-Bassat

This seminar studies fiction written by American writers, working in the USA and in Europe, during the period between World War I and World War II - 1920s to 1940s.
These two decades, differ in terms of their political, socio-economic, cultural and literary climate, and we will examine how these differences are reflected in the various texts studied. The reading list will include works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright and Faulkner.

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: .. ` Seminar BA

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- 19 The Portrait in Nineteenth-Century Fiction‏ (06263083)

.. 4 "

" Dr. Alberto Gabriele

The modern British novel emerged at the end of the eighteenth century as an
omnivourous genre, incorporating suggestions from several art forms. This class
discusses the use in British and American nineteenth-century fiction of painted portraits:
each will be set against the backdrop of the conventions of gothic, detective and realist
fiction to which they belong. Among the authors included Edgar Allan Poe, Herman
Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Oscar Wilde.
Requirements: active participation in class, mid-term exam and final paper.

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: .. ` Seminar BA

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Decadent Poetry‏ (06264178)

` - Prof. Karen Alkalay-Gut

This seminar will examine the poetry of the late Victorian period, tracing the development of the spirit of decadence from Rossetti and Swinburne to Oscar Wilde and Yeats. We will examine some of the moral, ethical, romantic and aesthetic problems facing the aesthetic and decadent poetry. In addition to the spirit of the end-of-century weariness, we will examine the continuing development of poetic forms, such as the sonnet sequence and the dramatic monologue, particularly in their relation to the social and moral issues of the period.


PRIMARY TEXTS:
The readings will be available on the Virtual TAU site.

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: .. ` 4 " MA Seminar

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American Orientalism‏ (06264184)

4 "

" Dr. Milette Shamir

This seminar will trace the representation of the "orient" in America, and the influence of the "Near East" on the development of American culture, from the 18th to the 20th century. Among topics covered: Puritan typology and Christian Hebraism, 19th century travelers to the Near East, representations of Arabs and Islam in American literature, Protestant imaginings of the Holy Land, and Hollywood's early treatment of the Middle East.
REQUIREMENTS: active participation, preparation of study questions, quizzes, and a seminar paper.

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: .. ` Seminar MA

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Ideology and the Subject‏ (06264186)

4 "

" Dr. Hedda Ben Bassat

The course will focus on issues central to the American ideological discourse and its bearing on identity formation in modern American fiction. It will highlight the dynamic relations between literary production and the political and cultural climate, and will explore the process of change, over generations, from the centrality of the "Melting Pot" concept to pluralism in the cultural discourse of American identity formation. Texts will be read in the context of ethnicity, race, gender and religion.

Requirements: A referat of around 15 pages, and an oral presentation with short written summary to be handed in for evaluation.

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: .. ` Seminar MA

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Early Modern English Prose Writing ‏ (06264187)

4 "

" Dr Reisner

The first English novelist (depending on definitions) is usually considered to be Daniel Defoe, who was active between the late seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries, but English writers were experimenting with prose, both in fiction and non-fiction genres, long before that. The English Renaissance of the sixteenth century is mostly famous today for its groundbreaking achievements in poetry and drama, but this was also a period for bold new experimentation with creative prose writing. In this seminar we will consider the development of English prose in this seminal period of cultural and artistic exploration across a wide range of genres and styles. We will look at euphuistic romances, satirical lampoons and invectives, early examples of crime fiction and travel narratives, a selection of utopian fictions, and a few examples of non-fiction prose in polemical, philosophical and religious writings. Throughout, we will consider questions of rhetoric and style, as well as of genre and form, as we grapple with a number of overarching questions about the status of prose writing as an art form in the period, and the emergence of the author as a creative, authoritative presence in the prose text.

Primary texts: The seminar will require careful reading of the following selection of prose texts from the period. These texts will include (provisional list depending on availability): John Lylys
'Ephesus: The Anatomy of Wit', Thomas Lodges 'Rosalynde', Robert Greene's 'Groatsworth of Wit', Thomas Nashes 'Pierce Penniless', Thomas Dekkers 'The Belman of London', Walter Raleghs 'The Discovery of Guiana', Francis Bacons 'New Atlantis' and select 'Essays', Margaret Cavendishs 'The Blazing World', Thomas Brownes 'Religio Medici', John Miltons 'Areopagitica', and select sermons of Lancelot Andrewes and John Donne.

Requirements: Either a referat or a seminar paper, and two short written assignments to be submitted during the term.

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: .. ` Seminar MA

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Space and Literature‏ (06264188)

4 "

" Dr. Elana Gomel

The relation between space and narrative has always been tense. Narrative is dynamic and temporal; space is static. And yet, narrative necessarily has a spatial dimension, since time and space are the two main constituents of human experience. Moreover, postmodernism has emphasized space at the expense of time, linking the current predilection for virtual and heterogeneous spaces to the putative "death of history".

In this seminar we will consider spaces of representation. We will link the artistic challenge posed by space to narrative with specific cultural, political, and psychological issues of our time, including but not limited to, virtual spaces; the new urbanism; space and trauma; utopian spaces; contested spaces; and haunted habitats. The seminar will proceed from general theoretical issues to specific instances of postmodern spatiality and engage a wide variety of theoretical perspectives, including narratology, postmodern and poststructuralist approaches, urban studies, architecture, cultural history, and others.

The seminar is primarily theoretical. Among the theoreticians whose work we will discuss are Maurice Blanchot, Gerard Bachelard, Henri Lefevre, Le Corbusier, Michel Foucault, Fredric Jameson, Robert Harbison, Richard Sennett and others. As illustrations of various theoretical propositions, we will also analyze fictional works, both literary and cinematic, including, but not limited to, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Uncle Silas,Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Christopher Priest's The Inverted World, and movies such as Dark City and Inception. A detailed syllabus will be provided later.

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: .. ` Seminar MA

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Voices of American Ethnic Modernism‏ (06264189)

` - Prof. Hana Wirth-Nesher

This course will examine the issue of "voice" in modern American literature in terms of representation of the "other," the conceptualization of the author's voice in fiction and its reception, the representation of speech and consciousness, and the implications of the category of ethnicity in literary study. We will be discussing ethnicity within the framework of transnational approaches to American literature, as well as its relation to dialect, voice, and modernist experimentation. What is the place of voice in the construction of modernism?

We will be reading Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, Henry James's The Aspern Papers and the Golden Bowl (or another of Jame's late novels), Nella Larsen's Passing, Gertrude Stein's Melanctha, Abraham Cahan's Yekl, and short works by Philip Roth, Henry Roth, and Grace Paley. This reading list is not final.

Selected Theoretical and Critical Readings

M.M. Bakhtin, "Discourse in the Novel" in The Dialogic Imagination,
pp. 288-366.
Greenblatt, Stephen. "Racial Memory and Literary History," in PMLA,
January 2001, pp.48-62)
Gilles Deleuze and Feliz Guattari, "What is a Minor Literature?" in Kafka: Toward a
Minor Literature, pp. 16-27.
Gavin Jones, "Contaminated Tongues," in Strange Talk:The Politics of Dialect
Literature in Gilded Age America, pp. 14-37.
North, Michael, "Against the Standard: Linguistic Imitation, Racial Masquerade, and
the Modernist Rebellion," in The Dialect of Modernism, pp. 3-37.
Sollors, Werner, "Beyond Ethnicity," in Beyond Ethnicity:Consent and Descent
In American Culture, pp. 20-39. "
"Foreword: Theories of Ethnicity," in Theories of Ethnicity, pp. i-xliv.
Trilling, Lionel. "Manners, Morals, and the Novel," in The Liberal Imagination.


Assignments:
Two short papers (3 pages each): 1) a response to some aspect of one of the literary works ; 2) a response to one of the critical readings and its application to one of the works of literature.

Due date: on the scheduled date for discussion of the work.

A Referat

Schedule of Classes

January 21 Introduction
Sollors, "Beyond Ethnicity" and "Theories of Ethnicity"

January 28 Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

February 4 House of Mirth
Trilling, "Manners, Morals, and the Novel"

February 8 (Friday) Gertrude Stein, "Melanctha" from Three Lives

February 11 Three Lives and begin Call It Sleep
North, "Against the Standard: Linguistic Imitation, Racial
Masquerade, and the Modernist Rebellion,"

February 18 Henry Roth, Call It Sleep
Wirth-Nesher, "'Christ, it's a Kid!' Jewish Writing and
Modernism"

February 25 Call It Sleep
Bakhtin, "Discourse in the Novel"

March 3 Nella Larsen, Passing

March 10 Passing and excerpts from Hurston,
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Deleuze and Guattari, , "What is a Minor Literature?"

March 17 Willa Cather, The Professor's House

March 24 The Professor's House
Greenblatt, "Racial Memory and Literary History,"

March 30 (Sunday) D'Arcy McNickle, The Surrounded

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: .. 2 " ` A Seminar

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Methodology Seminar: Historiography and the 19-th Century Periodical Press‏ (06264191)

MA

" Dr. Alberto Gabriele

The seminar shall address the questions raised by historical research over the centuries and discuss competing models of understanding and telling history that have been elaborated in different periods. The syllabhs is organized in three sections. A survey of the history of the genre of historiography shall allow participants to familiarize themselves with representative examples of historiographical theory from antuquity to the twentieth-century. The second part of the seminar will consider more contemporary models of historiography, which emerged in the post WWII period. The third part shall present and discuss studies focusing on the nineteenth-century periodical press in order to prepare students to do hands-on research independently, in view of both in-class presentations and the end term paper. This seminar encourages an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature and mass culture.

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: ` Seminar MA

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Hegel and Theory of Literature‏ (06264192)

` Prof. Marcus Coelen

Hegel can be called the thinker for whom neither experience nor truth can be separated from the activity and the movement that we call reading. No speaking of truth and experience nor any speaking of the subject, sense or our world for that matter that could ever settle its account with the unsettling gathering and loosing, the infinite rewriting of languages, books, texts. Yet, never being separated from experience and truth, reading, as the movement away from any simple conflation of language and the world, is itself the separation from appropriable truth and full experience. And literature might be one of the names for the dimension in which this separation takes place.

The course has a threefold aim: Firstly, it offers, within in the limits of its possibilities, a penetration into the Hegelian text (focussing on selected passages from The Phenomenology of Spirit, the Logic and other works); secondly, it allows to become acquainted or further acquainted with those writers of the 20th century for whom Hegel was, to quote a phrase by Derrida, the last philosopher of the book and the first philosopher of the text (Bataille, Blanchot, Adorno, de Man, Derrida, Lacan, Nancy); thirdly, it offers a theoretical and practical laboratorium in which some of the questions about why and how we read literature today can be posited and developed.

The seminar will be taught in three extensive session during the course of the semester. A reader, bibliography and syllabus will be provided after signing up or upon request for guests (mcoelen@lmu.d).

This seminar will trace the representation of the "orient" in America, and the influence of the "Near East" on the development of American culture, from the 18th to the 20th century. Among topics covered: Puritan typology and Christian Hebraism, 19th century travelers to the Near East, representations of Arabs and Islam in American literature, Protestant imaginings of the Holy Land, and Hollywood's early treatment of the Middle East.
REQUIREMENTS: active participation, preparation of study questions, quizzes, and a seminar paper.
Intensive MA seminar
The seminar will take place at the following dates and hours:
Sunday, October 31st to Thursday, November 3rd, 4 pm to 8 pm, Webb, room 501
Friday, November 4th, 9 am to 1pm, Gilman, room 323
Sunday, November 7th, 4 pm to 8 pm, Webb, room 501

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: ` 2 " Intensive Seminar MA

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Reading Lacan‏ (06264193)

..

` Prof. Marcus Coelen

Intensive MA seminar
It will be for ever impossible to determine how much psychoanalysis owes to literature and its reading. This impossibility is no empirical matter only; it concerns more than the inexhaustible biographical, philological or historical questions about influence and tradition, about the interweaving of Freud, Klein, Lacan, and of the psychoanalytic discourse with the unlimited field of literature, poetics and rhetoric.
It concerns first of all the status of an enigma and its experience. If the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, in the words of the literary critic Paul de Man who elsewhere never ceased to formulate his resistance to psychoanalysis, is, first and foremost, a teaching and a readingthe teaching of a reading, then analysis and literary criticism share the enigma of the experience posed by the question as to what we call reading.
This question has had its heyday some thirty or forty years ago, and at the time an astonishing force of critical intelligence focused on it (Paul de Man, Shoshana Felman, Jacques Derrida among many others and each of them in a different way). In a combination of intempestive leisure and the feeling of estrangement from what seems to be the aggressive hegemony of positivism, relativism and the violent avoidance of the always urgent philosophical and political task to destabilize however modestly the foundations of ones own academic discipline, one might take up the question again.
For one thing is certain: reading (i.e. encountering the manyfold of difference passing through the Other while giving names to what will never carry one), especially reading the question of reading entails a strange type of pleasure, and in order to try, as one should, to grasp something of this pleasure is, reading the partly implicite hints given by psychoanalysis might be an economic way of proceeding.
The writings by Jacques Lacan invite such a procedure not despite but because of the difficulties they pose. The class will focus on tracing the limits of reading, understanding, and enjoyment in such texts as: The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis, The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious, Commentary on Freud's Verneinung, Lituraterre, as well as texts or passages on Duras, Gide, and Joyce.
Be sure not to know what you'll get out of it. Adding a layer of non-cynical irony to the gravity of terms employed, one might quote ones more de Man on Lacan: He has taught us with the mixture of rigor, pathos and suspicion which ought to guide whoever takes the chance of a genuine act of reading. The consequences for the teaching of reading, that is for the literature departments, are incalculable.

The seminar will take place at the following dates and hours:

Sunday, March 6th to Thursday, March 10th: 4 pm to 8 pm;
Friday, March 11th: 9 am to 1 pm;
Sunday, March 13th: 4 pm to 8 pm.

A reader, bibliography and syllabus will be provided after signing up or upon request for guests (mcoelen@lmu.de).

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: .. 2 " ` Intensive MA Seminar

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Theories of Discourse‏ (06264194)

4 "

` Prof. Shirley Sharon-Zisser

MA Seminar open to B.A. students

In the past few decades, "discourse" has become a major category in cultural studuies and an important tool in the analysis of cultural phenomena from literary and visual artworks or semiotic manifestations of ideology such as adverstisements and gendered articulations to social institutins such as psychiatric hospitals and prisons. A major influence on contemporary discussions of "discourse" in cultural studies has been the work of Michel Foucault on "discursive formations" as the conditions of possibility, always including localizatiosn of power and pleasure for the circulation and dynamics of knowledge in different phenomenalizations of the social bond. Foucault's conceptualziation is related to neo-Marxist concepts (e.g. those of Gramsci and Althusser) of discourse as phenomenalization of ideology in subject positions as well as to Bourdieu's concept of discourse as constructing the arbitrary as the legitimate, from which it is also distinct in its non-thematic emphasis. Foucault's conceptualization of discursive fiormations is also distinct from the conceptualization of discourse in narratology as the mode of organziation of story events and from the tools of discourse analysis developed by varius cultural theorists such as T. Van Dijk. In the field of psychoanalysis, the category of discourse accompanies the teaching of Jacques Lacan from its inception, wherein the unconscious is defined as "the discourse of the Other," and, while undergoing various vicissitudes, takes center stage in this teaching in a series of seminars (from the sixteenth to the nineteenth) in which Lacan develops this category, relying on benvenite's disticntion between statement and enunciation, as a strcuture of social relations founded in langauge, and specifies five discourses: the discourse of the master, the discourse of the university, the discourse of the hysteric, the discourse of the analyst and the discourse of capitalism, each of which is constituted by the different positioning of four oepartors which include the subject of the unconscious, knowledge, and the object of surplus jouissance. Lacan's definition of the analyst's discourse determining the course of an analysis as a specific mode of social relation, his conception of crucial moments in the life of the subkect as transitions between discourses, and his specification of the discourse of the master as the discourse of the unconscious emphasize the impossibility of thinking the subject not in relation to the Other, whose manifestations include at once culture and the unconscious as, in Freud's sense, the "Other scene." What this means is that both the concern with the particular unconscious and the inquiry into social phenomena, which is among the concerns of contemporary psychoanalysis, are situated n the same side of the wall of language.
The seminar will concentrate on close reading of theoretical texts conceptualizing discourse from the field of cultural studies and from the field of psychoanalysis in the Lacanian orientation, while specifying the differences among them while at the same time indicating their fertile interfaces and the common cultural context and Freudian roots of the theories of discourse of Lacan and Foucault. On the basis of this inquiry, the seminar will interrogate the possible uses of the category of discourse in psychoanalysis as a tool for the study of literature, the arts, and other cultural phenomena, and of modes of discourse analysis offered in cultural theory in clinical interventions oriented by psychoanalysis.

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: .. ` Seminar MA

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Drives and their Cultural Vicissitudes ‏ (06264195)

` Prof. Shirley Sharon-Zisser and others

Venice International University, April 18th to 22nd, 2011 (with optional preparatory sessions early April in Munich and/or Tel Aviv).

Instructors: Marcus Coelen (Munich) / Monique David-Mnard (Paris) / Felix Ensslin (Stuttgart) / Britta Gnther (Hamburg) / Shirley Sharon-Zisser (Tel Aviv) / Efrat Biberman (Beit Berl College, Israel)

Of the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, the drive seems the most elusive: "mythical," Freud calls it. Yet if one closely follows the composition of the drive's circuit as Freud proposes it in "Drives and their Vicissitudes," relying on the categories of grammar, and as Lacan elaborates it in his eleventh seminar, relying on the artistic category of the montage, drive emerges as mythical in the structural, Levi-Straussian sense of a relation of knotting ruptures between constituents that are themselves relational, a relation whose manifestation, as that of the symptom, is a mask in all but its fractal or fragmentary nature, emphasized, for instance, in Michele Montrelay's concept of the "rejeton" of the drive.
And if drive and myth qua relation of knotting rupture among fractal bundles of relations (or the absence thereof), are not such cultural myths posed at loci of non-relation as Lacan's formulae of sexuation negotiating the non-rapport between men and women; as Blanchot's conceptualization of criture as interminable turn and return of fragments separating in their encounter, articulating what is at once most intimate and most foreign to the subject, which negotiates the writing of what cannot be said; as Foucault's thinking of transgression as a regressive spiral without the horizon of the absolute and around the empty center of an event which can never be specified of the structural order of the drive? What might be the consequences, theoretical and clinical for psychoanalysis of the correlations between the composition of the drive which manifests itself in the singular jouissance of a subject and cultural manifestations of this composition in phenomena of writing, of discourse, of transgression as articulated in the work of Levi-Strauss, Blanchot, Foucault? What consequences for the thinking of cultural phenomena such as literature and the visual arts, of cultural practices such as transgression, for their correlation with the composition of the drive?
The proposed seminar will seek to open up these questions through a close reading of fundamental texts of Freud and Lacan on the drive alongside structurally related texts from the side of psychoanalysis (Michele Montrelay) and cultural theory (Levi-Strauss, Foucault, Blanchot), and alongside critical examinations of specific cases of works of visual art and literature.


Selected Bibliography

Sigmund Freud, Drives and Their Vicissitudes
---, Beyond the Pleasure Principle
---, "The Psycho-Analytic View of Psychogenic Disturbance of Vision"

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: .. ` 2 " MA Seminar

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Theory of Literature‏ (06264609)

2 "

' - Prof. Shirley Sharon-Zisser

This annual reading seminar is designed as an encounter, on the graduate level, with complex theoretical texts crucial to the thinking of literature, poetcs, and the arts. We will read together texts by Kant, Hegel, Freud, Heidegger, Derrida, Deleuze, Badiou, Agamben, Nancy, Lacan, Michelle Montrelay and others. The seminar is mandatory for graduate students who are teaching assistants and teachers of directed readings in the department. Registration for other gradaute students is contigent upon the discretion of the instructor.

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: .. 2 " MA Seminar

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The Digital and the Techno-utopian discourse, or the Internet as American culture

Aspects in Internet's cultural history: Cybernetic, counterculture and the Cyber as American culture.
The aim of this course is to examine Cyberculture and the "digital situation" from historical and cultural standpoint. Accordingly, the class intends to focus on the cultural roots of Cyberculture; it is to say, on the contents and discourse which nourished the effort of establishing Cyberculture as popular culture.
For achieving this goal, we shall examine the historical context in which the ambivalent sentiment of the American culture concerning technology, community and the notion of the frontier, both in its physical and cultural aspects, has been manifested. In this respect the cyber discourse will be examined as derived from an optimistic tradition or even, utopian belief in the spiritual value of technology.
We shall look at the short cultural history of the Internet as part of the ambiance of the Cold War, as well as the outcome of the emergence of the Cybernetic revolution and the Information Age. By the same token we shall scrutinize the complex ideology of the counterculture movement of the 60th, a movement which saw the Cybernetic ideology as a vehicle for achieving social salvation and cultural resurrection. And by doing so, the spokesmen of the counterculture laid the foundations for the profound optimism of what will be known, two decades later, as the Internet culture.

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Spatial Aspects of the Information Revolution

In this course we discuss the impact of communication technologies on the social space. We analyze the role of different technologies (printing, telegraph, television and mainly the internet) in shaping current spatial processes such as: Globalization, Networking and Virtualization.

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Sociology of the Internet
The course focuses on cyberspace as a social space, how it changes our lives. We will examine the concept of the social networks, its structure and how it plays out in capitalistic societies. The course compares social, communal and network activities in cyberspace and tries to understand social interaction online with the analytical tools of sociology and the social sciences.

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Taming of the Shrew Landmarks in the Internet Development

Summery:
Not long ago, the Internet's "bill of rights" was grandiose. Not anymore. Issues such as file sharing and copyright laws, free speech and censorship, anonymity, net neutrality and even the rise of Google, led to the rebirth of the Internet as a tamed creature. Who benefits from the taming of the internet and who loses? During the course we will analyze several of the most important milestones in the history of the Internet, from the early 60's until our time, and uncover the politics behind these titanic struggles.
Final Exam.: 100%

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Communities, Politics and Business in Cyberspace: Utopia in Nowhere

The Internet is Americas gift to humanity for the third millennium. Since its inception and thanks to its unique structure, cyberspace revolutionizes the way we socialize. It restructures the ways in which business is done and who may participate. The course deals with these two major dimensions of cyberspace. Social life and business activities may be both harmonious and destructive to each other. The course focuses on three main issues: 1. Historical, social and cultural background in the rise of this new medium, the social dimension of life on the web (between civil society, community and social networks), and how the penetration of business changes the medium and what it entails.

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Modernism, Anti-modernism, Post-modernism

Although some historians point to the 17th century as the beginning of the modern era, usually when referring to this epoch, a set of social, political, cultural, technological, and disciplinary changes, that began in the middle of the 19th century, are seen as the starting point. In this course we will examine what are the central characteristics of modernism the aesthetic breakthrough that was set under way in this period. While not excluding other media, we will concentrate on the visual arts, especially the fine arts. How did Modernism look? What were its new aesthetic credos? What were its relationship to new theoretical approaches, such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, and formalism?
Against the innovative force of modernism, all along the way, stood movement who suggested other ways of thinking about, and making, culture. Next, we will see how these anti-modernist movements the avant-guarde raised new questions in regard to the status of the medium, the object, and art itself. We will check what procedures and responses they offered to aesthetic, ontological, and political problems. Finally, we will concentrate on the dramatic changes that took place from the 1960', usually under the term "post-modernism". How is it different from modernism? What are the new issues it raises? Can it be seen as a continuation of modernism, or as a historical turn?

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European Culture: Constituting Ideas and Tendencies

Western culture, as a tradition, a world-view, an ideology, a system, a power, is largely identified with European civilization (5-6 centuries BC) and conceived of as bearing the distinct mark of 16th century Renaissance (although its historical and intellectual origins lay in the ancient Mediterranean world). The Renaissance marks the rise in Europe of new ideas and conceptions about the individual and society, about state and religion, about consciousness and reality. These conceptions contain the basic values and principles of action which paved the way for the most significant change experienced in the West, which is, in fact, a series of revolutions that took place in all fields of life, namely modernity, and during which various theories, ideologies and systems of thought have competed for determining Western identity (capitalism, liberalism, socialism, rationalism, romanticism, positivism, relativism).
The course does not offer methodical survey of events and processes in the history of the West but rather focuses on some of the main historical and social junctions that were critical for shaping its cultural identity and affected its course of development. The discussion aims to provide an understanding of the basic ingredients and characteristics of this complex and continuing phenomenon, as well as an intellectual platform for understanding further social, political. economic, technological and conceptual developments in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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The Real and the Virtual: same question, different reality

The course deals with philosophical questions through the prism of virtual reality or the transition to bytes and abstract representations, using various films such as 2001 space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Matrix, Truman Show, Total Recall, 13th Floor for visual and dramatic illustration of metaphysical themes concerning our grasp of reality. These questions relate to the old polemic about the subject-object relation and involve explication of concepts like truth and essence, consciousness, personal identity, or causality.

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From Grimm to Walt Disney: Grimms Fairy-Tales

The course will deal with fairy tales as folk tales, and their various versions till our days. The meetings will focus on the way the Grimm Brothers wrote them for adults and for children in the nineteen's century, in comparison with the way these fairy tales are written for children today, and especially with the way they are adapted for children by Walt Disney's films as a cultural phenomena.
The comparison will focus on the way the society's norms and the culture and world views of a certain society and era are exposed in Grimm's versions and the other versions and adaptations till today. This will include Gender discussions and a discussion referring to various approaches to children and childhood. The course will include also a discussion about the esthetic value of the literary text: the language, the characters, the plot, the point of view and other artistic aspects of those versions.
The discussion will include also a comparison with other classical texts which were adapted for young children, as Andersen's tales, the Greec Mythology and other Mythologies as well as Classics like Peter Pan and folk tales from eastern cultures.

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The Promised Land? Jews in America, 1654-2010

This course will combine lectures and discussions of reading materials to follow historical, social, cultural and religious developments among Jews in North America from their very settlement till today. In addition to constructing a chronological narrative, we will also focus on questions related to relations with the surrounding society, interactions with members of other ethnic groups, and the question of American and American Jewish exceptionalism. In addition to reading materials, we will also examine literature, poetry, film and music in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the secret of American (Jewish) success and its discontents. On the theoretical plane, the course will examine American Jewry through the prism of hybridity and ask whether or not hybridity works and, if so, when and how.

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Toni Morrison: A Monograph
The course will consist of reading and interpreting Morrison's work, while putting an emphasis on the interrelations between the different novels. Reading the novels will aim not merely at an interpretation, but rather at a description of the writer's unique finger-print: her preferences in the various levels of the texts, and the possible connections between these different preferences.

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American Playwrights: Poetics and History:

The seminar deals with a number of plays of major American playwrights in the context of the history of American theatre. We will examine poetic principles in the plays of Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee and discuss these dramatists' critical reception.

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Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) is a controversial author, considered either as a canonical author (between late modernism and post-modernism) or as a conservative recycler of romance. We'll read her stories (in the English original) and learn her unique poetics. Background material includes stories by Stevenson and Maupassant, an essay of W. Benjamin and various critical essays.

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