Readings in core texts of western literature produced by civilizations of the ancient world.. Representative texts include works by: Homer, Sophocles and Virgil, and readings in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Sections of this course may takes up great books of science such as Vitruvius' Ten Books on Architecture read in conjunction with Virgil's Aeneid.
Readings in core texts of western literature from medieval times to the present. Representative authors include Chretien, Dante, Racine, Shakespeare, de Lafayette, and Kafka. Instruction in basic elements of rhetoric and composition is also emphasized. Group A, 100-level course.
A survey of European culture as the foundation of American culture. Course emphasizes literary evelopments and also provides a brief introduction to major evelopments in western architecture, music, and art.
A study of American literature with reference to parallel developments in architecture, art, music and film. American literature seen as a response to European culture and to problems unique to life in the New World.
The theatre's ability to cultivate empathy, to raise questions about societal practices, to explore the human condition, to foster collaboration, and to create community make it a dynamic and unique forum in which to participate as audience or practitioner. This course examines the development of the theatre from its roots in Ancient Greece to the present day. Students will examine that evolution from a number of critical points: theatre's literature, history, technological innovations, and social role. The class will read works of dramatic literature and historical texts. Attendance at NYC theatrical productions and "hands-on" exposure to the process of theatrical creation will complement the course readings.
This course introduces students to the discipline of literature by examining literary works of different genres that focus on science and scientific inquiry. Special attention is given to the ways that scientific advances have challenged conventional beliefs about the structure of the world and humanity’s place in it. The course will examine how, throughout the centuries, science has been considered as a source for liberation and innovation on the one hand or oppression and even possible transgression on the other. Readings may include works by Aeschylus (Prometheus Bound), Marlowe (Doctor Faustus), Blake, Brecht, Stoppard, Vonnegut, and others.
This course provides an introduction to the study of film as a separate genre. The course concentrates on formal analysis of the aesthetic, ideological, and technological elements that comprise the multiple languages of cinema. The course introduces the student to various genres of narrative cinema as well as to different categories of cinema such as experimental, documentary, and hybrid forms. Although this course analyzes some work produced in the United States, it also provides the student with an introduction to cinema as an artistic practice that spans the globe, including contemporary as well as historical modes.
A survey of poets and prose writers such as Thomas Carlyle, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John Stuart Mill, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and Christina Rossetti who in the days of Queen Victoria created texts that reflect our own concerns with religion and science, spirituality and materialism, labor and capital, gender and space, Christmas and goblins.
This course is a form of argument about meaning that emphasizes two points: 1) the language we have available determines our idea of reality and 2) semantic structures seem to convey their own independent meanings in spite of what speakers of the language may think they intend.
A study of the fiction of science and the science of fiction through the reading of authors from Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) to William Gibson (Neuromancer), the viewing of films such as Metropolis and Dune, and the writing of a piece of science fiction.
This course investigates the views man has expressed about the advent impact of technology and science across recorded history. Questions that might be addressed include: What is the relationship between religion and technology? Has man always viewed technological innovations as positive? What relationship is there between man’s vision of utopian society and technology? Readings may include, but are not limited to, novels, philosophical treatises, and the literature of various societies.
Myths are much more than entertaining stories; they teach much about their cultures. Myths pervade our lives and represent a discrete way of thinking, different from rational logic. In this course, students will see how Western civilization was enriched by Greek and Roman myths. Myths from the ancient Near East also reached the West through the Judeo-Christian tradition. This course provides an introduction to ancient civilizations and their literary, religious, and artistic legacies.
This course includes Geoffrey Chaucer’s major works The Canterbury Tales and the dream vision poems. The latter are based on accepted contemporary psychological theory that dreams teach solutions to real life problems. In The Canterbury Tales, pilgrims who meet at a roadside tavern tell each other stories about contemporary morals, love, religion, and war as they journey to Canterbury Cathedral. Students will encounter a range of medieval literary genres (e.g., romance, epic, fabliau, and saint’s life) while studying the mores and customs of the fourteenth century. Topics include medieval ideas on fate and religion, marriage, magic, science, and technology.
During the summer, Shakespeare is presented in parks and parking lots throughout New York City. In this course, we read and discuss plays and then go to see them. We view both traditional and experimental productions. Sometimes we see more than one production of a play, if a number of companies decide to do it.
The study of prose fiction in short story form. Texts consist of representative selections of the short story genre that offer a wide variety of techniques and themes. All students will participate in classroom critical analysis.
This course examines the beginnings of the environmental movement in America by focusing on the writings of Henry David Thoreau and his contemporaries. Primary readings include works by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, John James Audubon, James Fenimore Cooper, William Cullen Bryant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, John Muir, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Jack London. Contextual material includes works by Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur, Thomas Jefferson, William Bartram, Philip Freneau, Louis Agassiz, Susan Fenimore Cooper, George Perkins Marsh, Gifford Pinchot, and Theodore Roosevelt.
A survey of theatrical innovation in modern and contemporary Europe and the United States. Students will analyze dramatic literature and create scenic designs for one or more plays studied in class. Group attendance at a theatrical performance in New York City outside of class time is required.
Readings from the novel's beginnings in England up to contemporary works. Selections include works such as Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Richardson's Pamela, Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Dickens' Hard Times, and Woolf's To the Lighthouse.
Readings of plays from the dramatic productions of Aeschylus to modern works of theatre. Students attend professional productions in New York City and often have an opportunity to interact with those involved in bringing them to the stage.
A study of works produced during the British and European romantic movements by. PAINTERS such as David, Turner, Delacroix, Gericault; WRITERS such as Hugo, Goethe, Byron, Sand; COMPOSERS such as Berlioz, Wagner, Chopin. Students attend a professional concert or opera in New York City.
An introduction to works by such writers as Emerson, Thoreau Whitman, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and Dickinson. An examination of 19th-century race relations in America from a literary perspective is emphasized.
An interpretation of American civilization through its literature and cultural forms. The course this semester will involve close reading of a few works by some of the giants of American literature since the Second World War.
This course examines the journey Ireland has taken from British colony to what Fintan O’Toole describes as an island unmoored. Students will explore the complex nature of political, religious, and cultural forces found in the assigned works. Historically, literature is particularly important in the context of Irish nationalism as it served as a means for crafting an identity independent of a British one. Irish authors also contributed greatly to both the Modernist and Post-Modernist movements, and the course will provide a strong foundation in those practices.
Utilizing Che Guevara's journeys from The Motorcycle Diaries and from later in his life as its spine, this course surveys post-1945 Latin American literature. The emphasis will be placed on works that explore issues of poverty, oppression, and disenfranchisement. The course will further explore specific genres of fiction such as magical realism and examine how they came to evolve in Latin America. The course could include such writers as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, and Guillermo Cabrera Infante.
Modern Culture provides an introduction to modernism in literature and film. Students read and view a range of works that illustrate aesthetic and cultural aspects of modernism, including political, social, and religious matters, and the influence of technology on works by Crane, Leger, Antheil, and others. The course is not intended as a survey of the principal modernist texts and films but rather as an introduction to certain key notions and modes that are characteristic of Modernism from the 1870s to 1948.
Creative Writing is a beginner’s workshop in the creation of poetry and fiction. Students examine issues such as narrative structure, stanza forms, free verse, and so on. The course explores distinctions between writing as a craft and writing as a process more closely allied with prophecy and gnosis. The impact of the computer on writing is examined. Students read works on poetics and theories of fiction, in particular mimetic and expressionistic theories developed in the West, and learn to shape their own work accordingly. Brief writing assignments are assigned weekly with a longer writing project developed over the part of the course and due the final day of class.
This course along with HLI 412, 416 includes a survey of comparative literature of the medieval period, the increasing focus on the individual in society in medieval romance, and the legend of King Arthur. Works and authors studied include: The Quest for the Holy Grail, The Death of King Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Song of Roland, Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Gottfried von Strassburg, Dante, and Boccaccio.
This course focuses on the developing interest in the individual in society in medieval romance. Works and authors studied include: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chretien de Troyes and Gottfried von Strassburg. The course follows the adventuring knight on his quests.
This course examines the role of empire building and its influence on the novel, prose, and poetry of the late nineteenth century. Readings present an overview of both colonial and post-colonial literature against the historical background. This course also examines relevant films to explore how the twentieth and twenty-first centuries portray imperialism.
The course covers a variety of texts beginning with the earliest chronicle reports of a great battle leader -- Arthur, king of Britain -- and ending with high medieval romances such as The Death of King Arthur. The course explores the birth of the Arthurian legend. Was there ever a historical Arthur? Did he arise to save his people? Will he come again as legend has promised? How has his story developed in literature and popular culture? Delving into the mythic past of Europe, the readings include folk-tales and historical chronicles, and students will immerse themselves in some of earliest sword and sorcery literature, and observe along the way how developing technologies enhanced warrior cultures.
The application of contemporary literary theory derived from Heidegger and modern linguistics to the study of postmodern American literature. Students are introduced to various literary theories developed by Barthes, Kristeva, Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault, and then asked to apply these theories in considerations of works by such postmodern American writers as Pynchon, Bronk, Gass, Spicer, and Ashbery.
Examination of a few major twentieth-century Turkish, Persian, and Arabic texts in English translation. Readings would include poetry and fiction by such authors as Ece Ayhan, Orhan Pamuk, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and Mahmoud Darwish.
From the ancient times to the present, literature has engaged political issues. This course traces the intrigues of civil and familial power as captured in significant literary works which offer profound statements, creatively wrought, about vital moral, social and political principles concentrating on works up to the Renaissance. Questions such as whether civilizations can expect their leaders to be ethical in addition to powerful or what happens to society when leaders confront evolving social conditions such as wars, civil unrest or new legal systems or what interplay there may be among the leader (often a man), his family, and the led will be examined in a variety of genres, such as tragedy and epic, and can be explored by invoking the moral imagination. By considering these questions through the vehicle of fiction, literature elicits not only the audience or readers’ intellect, but their emotions as well – in both cases, by means of reader-response. One pressing question we will tackle is whether fiction that engages issues of power and politics does – or can function to – change the world.
This course offers consideration of literary texts and their relationships to other art forms. Students will study works of literature and attend related cultural events in New York City. A typical semester may include attendance of "Hamlet" at the Metropolitan Opera, "Hard Times" at the Pearl Theater Company,or an exhibit on El Greco, Iconography, and the "Book of John" at the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
A survey of the development of thenovel in America from the late eighteenth century to the present. Included are works by authors such as: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Faulkner, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Philip Roth.
Contemporary Culture provides an introduction to work in literature and film from 1950 to the present. Students read and view a range of works that illustrate aesthetic and cultural aspects of contemporary literature and film, including political, social, and religious matters, and the influence of technology on works by Ginsberg, Seybald, Godard, and others. The course is not intended as a survey of the principal contemporary texts and films but rather as an introduction to various key notions and modes that are characteristic of our time.