Comparative Literature

Program Offerings

Offering type
A.B.

The Department of Comparative Literature invites students to approach literature from a broad, cross-cultural perspective. The curriculum encompasses literatures, languages and cultures from around the world — including those of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East — as well as interdisciplinary work of many types. While each student in the department is expected to focus their studies on a particular language and literature, an interest in the way different literatures illuminate one another, or enter into dialogue with other disciplines, media or forms of art, is fundamental to our work. Students motivated by a desire to understand literature in the broadest terms, as well as those interested in particular examples of literary comparison, will find an intellectual home in the Department of Comparative Literature.

The flexibility of the major has always been one of its strong points. With the guidance of the director of undergraduate studies and the junior and senior faculty advisers, each student creates a program of study tailored to their intellectual interests, choosing courses and independent projects that contribute to the whole.

Graduates successfully pursue many diverse careers, including law, medicine, business, overseas service, computing and technology, international investments and banking, creative writing, publishing and journalism, filmmaking and education at the secondary and university levels. Many comparative literature students have gone on to graduate study in the field and now teach at a wide range of institutions in the United States and abroad.

Goals for Student Learning

The Department of Comparative Literature trains students in the analysis and interpretation of texts. Historically, comparative literature was a place where students used linguistic proficiencies in different languages, English among them, to compare literary artifacts in diverse cultures. In addition to English, the proficiencies of most early academics in the discipline were usually in French, Italian, Latin and German. Our students often attain high proficiencies in these languages, but now they and their professors’ specializations reach far beyond this range to include texts in East Asian languages, Semitic languages and classical languages from places outside Europe. Linguistic proficiency nonetheless remains the backbone of the training the department offers.

We return to the words “texts” and “literary” here because the historical definition of the discipline is now outmoded. Our students still work with literary texts (that is, narrative, drama and poetry), but the discipline has progressed to the consideration of texts that are not primarily “literary” as well. Thus, we train students to analyze Marx’s Capital or Plato’s Timaeus. Or they might look at Baudelaire in the context of artistic criticism he did of Delacroix, for example. As a corollary, then, students learn how to criticize texts of many different types, not only to discern what they say, but also how they say it, and what is at stake in saying it one way rather than another.

Additionally, students learn how to analyze other cultural objects to interpret not only what is being conveyed, but also how the means by which it is conveyed incorporates different assumptions about the subject in question. In such a context, we find fertile ground for “textual” analysis of music and other performance arts as well.

Comparative literature departments — and Princeton’s is no exception — have also become productive communities for the consideration of criticism, whether post-structuralist or classical, linguistic or anthropological.

We train students in all the above approaches to the study of texts, and we have seen increasing interest in work that didn’t originate in Western Europe. Latin American Spanish texts have a high prominence in the discipline and work in Portuguese, both Peninsular and South American, is now prominent in students’ work. We have also seen increasing interest in South Asian texts (notably in Bangla and Urdu).

Throughout the work students do in comparative literature is a pervasive concern for writing, in both analytical and discursive contexts. Because of the work students do in foreign languages in the major, translation also holds a persistent place in their curricula. Some students choose to pursue creative writing with the Lewis Center for the Arts in combination with their more academic work. The kind of training described above is brought to bear in the students’ independent work, in two substantial papers in their junior year. This culminates in the senior thesis, a polished engagement on a text or set of texts that incorporates multiple techniques previously mentioned.

 

Prerequisites

Language Requirement

To enter the department, students must be sufficiently knowledgeable in one language other than English to take an upper-level course in it during their junior year.

Plan to read a second language before graduation. Proficiency in only one non-English language is required for admission to the department. However, students who major in comparative literature are also expected to study at least one other non-English language and to be able to read in the language by the time they graduate. Such language study may take place before or during their years as departmental majors. Some students demonstrate their competency by taking an upper-level course in the literature of that language. Other students gain this competency by taking three terms of language study at Princeton, or two terms and an intensive language course in the summer, or (especially in the case of languages that are no longer spoken) an intensive language course in the summer. A few take a language test administered by the relevant department during the summer.

Introductory Courses

Students who wish to major in comparative literature are advised (though not required) to take COM 205-206, HUM 216-219 or TRA 200 in their sophomore year or earlier.

Program of Study

Students in comparative literature select courses from a wide range of offerings throughout the University and are encouraged to construct a program of study to match their individual interests. Nine departmental courses are required of each student, chosen according to the type of comparative work pursued. COM 300, the junior seminar, counts as one of the nine. This course is especially designed to introduce students to the history and methodology of the field as well as to different avenues of comparative study. Majors must take the course in the fall term of their junior year, unless they are studying abroad, in which case the course may be taken in their senior year instead. Two other courses must be taken within the Department of Comparative Literature with core faculty (i.e., listed or cross-listed as a COM course).

Regardless of the area of study elected, all majors must take four reading-based courses in non-English-language literature departments. These courses must move beyond a primary focus on grammar and vocabulary, and entail study of texts in the language, not in translation. Students in the department have studied language literatures in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Swahili, Hindi, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Syriac and Armenian. Upper-level courses, generally 300- or 400-level courses, are encouraged, but reading-intensive 200-level courses may be counted.

The remaining two courses are taken in appropriate departments throughout the University according to the student's area of study. Course selections generally fall into one of the areas described below. Each represents the study of literature in a different comparative context and includes all nine required courses.

Path A. Comparative work in literatures in at least two languages. Students in this track choose four reading-based courses in non-English-language literature; three courses listed or cross-listed with comparative literature (one of which is COM 300); and two upper-level courses in literature in any other language (including English and courses on readings taught in translation).

Path B. Comparative work in literature and a traditional textual discipline (that is, in the humanities [e.g., philosophy, art and archaeology, classics or religion] or social sciences [e.g., anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, politics, economics or public policy]). Students in this track choose four reading-based courses in non-English-language literature; three courses listed or cross-listed in comparative literature (one of which is COM 300); and two upper-level courses in the relevant textual discipline.

Path C. Comparative work in literature and another medium (that is, photography, film, art, art history, architecture or music). Students in this track choose four reading-based courses in non-English-language literature; three courses listed or cross-listed in comparative literature (one of which is COM 300); and two upper-level courses in the relevant medium. Both courses must be in the same medium.

Path D. Comparative work in literature and regional or ethnic studies (that is, African [AFS], African American [AAS], American [AMS], East Asian [EAP or EAS], European [ECS or EPS], Hellenic [HLS], Judaic [JDS], Latin American [LAS], Latino [LAO], Near Eastern [NES] or South Asian [SAS]). Students in this track choose four reading-based courses in non-English-language literature; three courses listed or cross-listed in comparative literature (one of which is COM 300); and two courses in the relevant region or ethnicity.

Path E. Comparative work in literary study and the creative arts (that is, creative writing [poetry, the novel, short stories, drama, memoir], screenwriting, translation, dance, theatrical performance, visual arts, film or video). Students choose four reading-based courses in non-English-language literature; three courses listed or cross-listed with comparative literature (one of which is COM 300); and two courses in the relevant creative art. Both courses must be in the same area of study. Students entering the department select this program provisionally. Final admission depends upon the acceptance of the creative thesis proposal by the department and by an adviser from the relevant creative arts program.

Departmental Distribution Requirement. One course, which may or may not be one of the nine courses taken for the major, must be dedicated in its entirety to historical periods, literature or cultures before 1800 C.E.

Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature. Theoretical issues naturally arise in the study of comparative literature. They may also function as the main focus of a student's work. Theoretical issues are specifically addressed in two departmental courses: COM 303, Comparative History of Literary Theory and COM 301, Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature: Critical and Literary Theory. Upper-level courses in theory, methodology and criticism are offered by other humanities and social science departments as well.

Independent Work

Junior Year. Majors must write two junior papers. The first paper, some 3,000 words in length, will normally involve the close study of a work from one of the non-English-language literatures in which the student has linguistic competence. Its purpose is to develop the student's basic skills as a reader of complex texts. The second paper should be wider in scope, and might serve as the beginnings of a senior thesis. It will normally be some 8,000 words in length.

Senior Year. Majors must write a senior thesis, normally between 15,000 and 20,000 words, which is comparative in nature and should reflect the student's ability to relate and analyze materials in the area chosen. Creative theses must be accompanied by a substantial critical essay.

Senior Departmental Examination

Majors must take the senior departmental examination, which is a written exam to test their ability to analyze texts and make connections among them. The student consults with their senior faculty adviser to select specific titles from a broad reading list, reads them and answers questions based on the student's particular language proficiency and chosen program of study. Students will also be asked to analyze a passage in their primary language.

Study Abroad

Summer Study Abroad

There are numerous opportunities for summer study abroad, some partially supported by University funds. A summer abroad can increase fluency in the language of concentration. It may also be an effective way to satisfy the departmental requirement of acquiring reading knowledge in a second language. For further information about available programs, students should consult Princeton Summer Abroad Study Programs. Some departmental funding is available for summer language study for majors.

Summer Work Abroad

Princeton offers some excellent work abroad programs, including Princeton-in-France and the German summer work abroad program, to which qualified students from the department are encouraged to apply. The Office of International Programs also offers a selection of worldwide summer internships for which comparative literature students may be eligible.

Study and Work Abroad

The department strongly encourages its students to undertake a semester, a year or a summer abroad, in order to gain fluency in the language of concentration and to pursue further study in its literature and culture. Many opportunities are available for study abroad.

Additional Information

Certificate Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication

Since majors in comparative literature consider texts from an international and interdisciplinary perspective, and often with an emphasis in the creative arts, questions of translation and intercultural communication often arise. Majors in the department may write translation theses, for instance, or put theoretical problems associated with translation or cross-cultural comparisons at the center of their departmental work. In these cases, they might choose to combine the major with a certificate in the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication.

Certificates in University Programs

Students majoring in comparative literature frequently choose to combine their major with certificates from Princeton programs and centers. Majors interested in these certificates should consult with the director of undergraduate studies and the director of the relevant program.

Faculty

  • Chair

    • Wendy Laura Belcher (acting)
    • Thomas W. Hare
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

    • Karen R. Emmerich
  • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Claudia Joan Brodsky
  • Professor

    • April Alliston
    • Wendy Laura Belcher
    • David M. Bellos
    • Sandra L. Bermann
    • Claudia Joan Brodsky
    • Marina S. Brownlee
    • Maria A. DiBattista
    • Susana Draper
    • Thomas W. Hare
    • Daniel Heller-Roazen
  • Associate Professor

    • Benjamin Conisbee Baer
    • Karen R. Emmerich
    • Lital Levy
  • Assistant Professor

    • Erin Y. Huang
  • Associated Faculty

    • Eduardo L. Cadava, English
    • Steven Chung, East Asian Studies
    • Devin A. Fore, German
    • Rubén Gallo, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Simon E. Gikandi, English
    • Anthony T. Grafton, History
    • Brooke A. Holmes, Classics
    • Thomas Y. Levin, German
    • F. Nick Nesbitt, French & Italian
    • Sara S. Poor, German
    • Rachel L. Price, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Efthymia Rentzou, French & Italian
    • Michael A. Wachtel, Slavic Lang & Literatures
    • Christy N. Wampole, French & Italian
    • Max D. Weiss, History
  • Lecturer

    • Daniel L. Hoffman-Schwartz
    • Robin Kello

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Courses

COM 202 - Introduction to Jewish Cultures (also JDS 203/REL 203) Spring EM

This introductory course focuses on the cultural syncretism and the global diversity of Jewish experience. It provides a comparative understanding of Jewish culture from antiquity to the present, examining how Jewish culture has emerged through the interaction of Jews and non-Jews, engaging a wide spectrum of cultures throughout the Jewish world, and following representations of key issues such as sexuality or the existence of God in different eras. The course's interdisciplinary approach covers Bible and Talmud, Jewish mysticism, Zionism, Jewish cinema, music, food, modern literature, and graphic arts. All readings and films are in English. L. Levy

COM 203 - Passion Fall LA

Passion is a common word with a long, complicated history; the diverse meanings we associate with it engage our experience on the most ethereal and abstract as well as the most visceral and profane levels. In this course we will study range of films from the past eight decades with the aim of understanding how the films situate their subjects, how they narrate and illustrate passion, and how they engage personal, social, and political issues in particular aesthetic contexts. T. Hare

COM 205 - The Classical Roots of Western Literature (also HLS 203/HUM 205) Fall CDEM

An introduction to the methods and some major texts of comparative literary study. It will focus on the Greco-Roman tradition, asking what it means to call a work a "classic": it will consider the outstanding characteristics of this tradition, how it arose and gained influence and attempt to place it in a global context. Readings will be divided into three topics: Epic Heroes (centering on Homer's Odyssey), Tragic Women (in ancient and modern drama), and the "invention" of modernity (Aeneid). Selected additional readings in non-Western literatures and in influential critical essays. Two lectures, one preceptorial. L. Barkan

COM 206 - Masterworks of European Literature (also HUM 206) Spring LA

This course seeks to discover (or rediscover) a series of significant works in the European tradition, and also to ask once again what a tradition is. The focus will be firmly on the close reading of particular texts, but discussions will also range freely over large questions: What is a classic, what difference does language make, can we think both about world literature, in Goethe's phrase, and about the importance of national and local loyalties? No easy answers promised, but astonishing adventures in reading guaranteed. Staff

COM 209 - Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication (also HUM 209/TRA 200) Fall LA

COM 215 - Creative Writing (Literary Translation) (also CWR 206/TRA 206) Spring LA

COM 220 - Introduction to Literary Theory Not offered this year LA

An introductory course in the history of European literary theory. Readings include Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Boccaccio, Dryden, Corneille, Schiller, Sartre, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, Derrida. Theories will be related to selected literary texts in an effort to explore how theory illuminates literature while shedding light upon larger human questions. One lecture, one two-hour seminar. S. Bermann

COM 233 - East Asian Humanities I: The Classical Foundations (also EAS 233/HUM 233) Fall EM

COM 234 - East Asian Humanities II: Traditions and Transformations (also EAS 234/HUM 234) Spring EM

COM 239 - Introduction to African Literature and Film (also AAS 239/AFS 239/HUM 239/TRA 239) Fall CDLA

COM 248 - Topics in Hindi/Urdu (also HIN 305/URD 305) LA

COM 249 - Creative Writing (Literary Translation) (also CWR 205/TRA 204) Fall LA

COM 258 - Revisiting Paris (also ECS 327/FRE 217/URB 258) Fall HA

COM 300 - Junior Seminar: Introduction to Comparative Literature Fall LA

Introduction to Comparative Literature for departmental concentrators. What is it to read comparatively across languages, disciplines, and media? How does Comparative Literature relate to a globalized world with its many cultures, languages, and literatures? What is the place of translation in this picture? We will address these questions by both looking at Comparative Literature as a historical institution and as a site at which disciplines, methods, and positions blend and clash. Readings from a wide variety of texts: fiction, poetry, travel writing, theory, history; consideration of other media such as visual culture and music. A. Alliston

COM 301 - Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature: Critical and Literary Theory Spring LA

A course in the formative issues of contemporary critical theory. Questions of the relationships between literature, philosophy, aesthetics, and linguistics will be treated with regard to the rise of modern philology, new criticism, hermeneutics, speech act theory, semiotics, structuralism, Marxism, the Frankfurt School, and poststructuralism. Readings in Auerbach, Spitzer, Brooks, Wimsatt, Schleiermacher, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Austin, Burke, Frye, Propp, Saussure, Jakobson, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, Jameson, Adorno, Derrida, de Man. One three-hour seminar. Staff

COM 303 - Comparative History of Literary Theory (also ENG 302) Not offered this year LA

A historical introduction to literary theory from Plato to the present. By reading philosophers, critics, and creative writers, students consider issues such as mimesis, imagination, religion, sexuality, and ethics, noting how each casts light on our understanding of literature and its cultural roles. Past terms and current problems are related to an inquiry into the nature--and the power--of literature through the ages. Students will read critical works from Plato and Aristotle, through Nietzsche, Beauvoir, Benjamin, Derrida, and Achebe, as well as poetry and plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Eliot, and Brecht. One three-hour seminar. S. Bermann

COM 304 - The East European Novel of the 20th Century Not offered this year LA

Caught between Russia and the West, traded off among European empires, the peoples of Eastern Europe are again independent in the postcommunist era. For them, surviving the 20th century became, literally, an art. After a geopolitical introduction to the region, students will read modern proseworks from the Polish, Czech, and Serbo-Croatian traditions, including novels cast as national epics during times of total war, as fantasy or science fiction, and as the tragicomedy of everyday life. Five films built off these novels will be screened during the course. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Staff

COM 305 - The European Novel: Cervantes to Tolstoy Not offered this year LA

The emergence and development of the major forms of the novel as seen in the works of Cervantes, Mme. de Lafayette, Diderot, Laclos, Goethe, Balzac, Stendhal, Gogol, Turgenev, Flaubert, and Tolstoy. Emphasis is placed on the novel as the expression of human relationships with individuals and with society. Two lectures, one preceptorial. M. Wood

COM 306 - The Modern European Novel (also ENG 440) Not offered this year LA

Using Flaubert's Madame Bovary as a paradigm of the major thematic and technical preoccupations of the novel, lectures offer detailed interpretations of Ulysses, The Magic Mountain, Swann's Way, and theoretical speculations on symbolism, stream-of-consciousness, linguistic structures, psychoanalysis. Two lectures, one preceptorial. M. DiBattista

COM 309 - The Lyric (also ENG 420/SPA 349) Not offered this year LA

The lyric as a form of literary art, as distinct from narrative or drama. Readings encompass a variety of lyrical forms and a number of different cultures. Translations will be used. One lecture, one two-hour seminar. S. Bermann

COM 310 - The Literature of Medieval Europe (also HUM 312/MED 308) Not offered this year LA

An introductory survey of major representative Latin and vernacular texts in modern English versions, including hagiography, romance, lyric and philosophical poetry, allegory, religious and secular prose, and drama. Special attention will be paid to Christian transformations of classical traditions and to the emergence of the Continental vernaculars of the late Middle Ages. Lecture and preceptorials. D. Heller-Roazen

COM 311 - Special Topics in Performance History and Theory (also THR 331) Not offered this year LA

COM 312 - Contemporary Literary Theory (also ENG 305) Not offered this year LA

COM 314 - The Renaissance (also ART 334) Not offered this year LA

An introduction to the literature of the Renaissance in Europe and in England. Emphasis upon major genres--lyric, drama, pastoral, and prose-fiction--as they arise in Italy, France, Spain, and England. Readings from Boccaccio, Castiglione, Lope de Vega, Sidney, Shakespeare, Erasmus, Rabelais, and Cervantes. Two 90-minute seminars. L. Barkan

COM 315 - Cervantes and His Age (also SPA 306) LA

COM 317 - Communication and the Arts (also ECS 331) Not offered this year LA

COM 318 - The Modern Period (also ECS 319) Not offered this year LA

Modern Western literature in the perspective of its development since the Industrial Revolution. The peculiarity of "modernist'' style exemplified by various genres. Significant philosophical trends that define the parallel development of modern art and thought. Texts from English, German, French, and other literatures. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Draper

COM 320 - Masterworks of European Literature: The Romantic Quest (also GER 320) Not offered this year LA

COM 321 - Modern Drama I (also ENG 361/THR 364) Fall LA

COM 323 - Self and Society in Classical Greek Drama (also CLA 323) Not offered this year LA

COM 324 - The Classical Tradition (also HLS 324) Spring LA

Classical mythology in the arts from Ovid to Shakespeare, from Zeuxis to Titian, with a particular emphasis on the subject of love. Introductory discussions on the nature of myth in its relation to the literary and visual arts. Readings will include major literary works from antiquity to the Renaissance integrated with the study of mythological painting, principally from 15th- and 16th-century Italy, including the works of Botticelli, Correggio, and Titian. One three-hour seminar. L. Barkan

COM 326 - Tragedy (also HLS 326) Not offered this year LA

The tragic vision as expressed by Greek, Renaissance, and modern writers who dramatize the relationship between human suffering and human achievement. Readings in Aeschylus, Sophocles, the Old Testament, Shakespeare, Milton, Chekhov, Ibsen, Sartre, Brecht, Beckett, and T. S. Eliot. One lecture, one two-hour seminar. Staff

COM 327 - Modernism in Fiction (also LAS 327) Not offered this year LA

A study of early to mid-20th century fiction, focusing on the question of modernity both as a literary and a historical-philosophical problem. Attention will be given especially to experimentation with literary form and the relation of narrative forms to specific cultural practices. Authors read in the course include Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Proust, Beckett, Borges. Students will also study essays reflecting the debates of the period (Brecht, Adorno, Lukács, Benjamin). One three-hour seminar. Staff

COM 328 - Modernism in Poetry Not offered this year LA

A study of the relation between the writing of poetry and the question of modernity as a theoretical and cultural problem. The course will take into account the various experimental movements that opted for poetry as their primary medium (imagism, dadaism, surrealism, futurism), as well as the work of certain poets who have indelibly marked the 20th century's poetic landscape (Yeats, Brecht, Neruda, Cavafy, and others). Students are expected to know at least one of the foreign languages involved well enough to read the original texts. One three-hour seminar. M. Wood

COM 330 - Literature and Law Not offered this year LA

An introduction to literature as a vehicle of thought about law, morality, and the tensions between them. Readings include ancient legal codes, selected biblical texts, Greek tragedies, Norse sagas, medieval satirical epics, Renaissance drama, 18th-century drama, and modern fiction. Emphasis on revenge codes, the shift from prelegal to legal societies, the Christianization of Germanic law, equity, contract, critiques of law and legal systems. One three-hour seminar. Staff

COM 331 - Chinese Poetry (also EAS 331) LA

COM 334 - Modern Transformations of Classical Themes (also CLA 334/HLS 367) Not offered this year LA

COM 337 - Really Fantastic Fiction Not offered this year LA

Fiction by writers of a fundamentally realist persuasion who nevertheless depict in their work the intrusion of the supernatural and the fantastic into everyday life. Gogol, Kleist, James, Olesha, Nabokov, Bradbury, García Márquez, and Calvino are among the authors read. One lecture, one two-hour seminar. E. Reeves

COM 338 - Forms of Short Fiction Not offered this year LA

The short story and other forms of brief imaginative prose as they have developed in English and the European languages during the 19th and 20th centuries. The seminar discussions will examine selected works of such authors as Chekhov, Lawrence, Kafka, Joyce, Hemingway, Faulkner, Borges, Nabokov, W. C. Williams, Welty, Cheever, Flannery O'Connor, Tournier, and Barthelme. One lecture, one two-hour seminar. D. Bellos

COM 340 - History of Criticism (also ENG 306) Fall LA

COM 341 - What is Vernacular Filmmaking? - Rhetoric for Cinema Studies (also ECS 341/HUM 341/VIS 339) LA

In this course we will study films that address global audiences yet ground themselves in particular, local, vernacular sources of artistic creation. Our focus will be on three exciting postwar cinematic movements (Italian Neorealism, Iranian New Wave, the Danish Dogma 95), but we will also discuss parallels in American filmmaking. Familiarity with Homer's Ulysses, Virgil's Aeneid and Shakespeare's Hamlet will be helpful since they serve as the frame of reference for many of the examined films. E. Kiss

COM 342 - Topics in 18th-Century Literature (also ENG 339/GSS 438) Fall LA

COM 344 - Postwar Japanese Narrative: Modern to Postmodern (also EAS 344) Spring LA

COM 346 - Modern Latin American Fiction in Translation (also LAS 364/SPA 346) LA

COM 347 - Topics in German Culture and Society (also ENG 323/GER 307) Fall/Spring EMLA

COM 348 - New Diasporas (also AAS 397/ENG 397) Not offered this year LA

COM 349 - Texts and Images of the Holocaust (also ECS 349/GER 349/JDS 349) Not offered this year EM

In an effort to encompass the variety of responses to what is arguably the most traumatic event of modern Western experience, the Holocaust is explored as transmitted through documents, testimony, memoirs, creative writing, historiography, and cinema. In this study of works, reflecting diverse languages, cultures, genres, and points of view, the course focuses on issues of bearing witness, collective vs. individual memory, and the nature of radical evil. One three-hour seminar, plus weekly film showings. Staff

COM 352 - Literature and Photography (also ECS 342/ENG 349) Fall LA

COM 354 - Topics in Gender and Representation (also LAS 353/SPA 353) LA

COM 355 - Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation) (also CWR 305/TRA 305) Fall LA

COM 356 - Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation) (also CWR 306/TRA 314) Spring LA

COM 357 - Tales of Hospitality: France, North Africa, and the Mediterranean (also FRE 327) EM

COM 359 - Acting, Being, Doing, and Making: Introduction to Performance Studies (also ANT 359/ENG 373/THR 300) Not offered this year LA

COM 361 - The Cinema from World War II until the Present (also VIS 342) Not offered this year LA

COM 363 - Philosophy of Art (also HUM 326/PHI 326) Not offered this year LA

COM 368 - Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture (also MED 301/SPA 301) LA

COM 369 - Beyond Crisis Contemporary Greece in Context (also ECS 369/HLS 369/HUM 369) Fall SA

This course examines an emergent historical situation as it unfolds: the ongoing financial, social, and humanitarian "crisis" in Greece, including the "refugee crisis." It offers a comparative approach to current Greek cultural production, through literature and film of the past decade and writings drawn from history, anthropology, political science, economics, news sources, and political blogs. We also probe terms like "crisis," exploring how language shapes our understanding of events and how our perceptions of an unfamiliar culture, history, and society are mediated not just by linguistic translation but by market forces and media spin. K. Emmerich

COM 370 - Topics in Comparative Literature (also ECS 386/HUM 371) Not offered this year LA

Study of a selected theme or topic in comparative literature. Subjects will range from historical and cultural questions (literature and politics, the literature of the avant-garde) to the study of specific literary themes or topics (feminine autobiography, the grotesque in literature). Staff

COM 371 - Milton (also ENG 325) Not offered this year LA

COM 372 - The Gothic Tradition (also ENG 303) Spring LA

An exploration of the cultural meanings of the Gothic mode through a study of its characteristic elements, its origins in 18th-century English and German culture and thought, its development across Western national traditions, and its persistence in contemporary culture, including film, electronic media, clothing, social behavior, and belief systems, as well as literature. Films, artifacts, websites, and electronic publications will supplement readings. One three-hour seminar. A. Alliston

COM 373 - Translating East Asia (also EAS 304/HUM 333/TRA 304) Fall CDLA

COM 378 - Topics in Hindi-Urdu (also HIN 304/TRA 302/URD 304) LA

COM 379 - Topics in 19th-Century Italian Literature (also ITA 311) LA

COM 380 - Politics and Society in the Arabic Novel and Film (also NES 380) LA

This course examines how Arab writers have used the craft of fiction to address major social and political issues such as displacement, labor migration, war, social repression, and dictatorship. The course covers novels from Egypt, the Sudan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, and Iraq. Topics covered include the Lebanese Civil War, the Palestinian struggle, Islamic fundamentalism, and Iraq under the Baathist regime. The course will also look more broadly at experiences of exile and migration and the postcolonial world as reflected in modern Arabic writing. All readings are in English translation. L. Levy

COM 386 - Topics in Contemporary Italian Civilization (also ECS 318/HUM 327/ITA 309) CDLA

COM 387 - Risorgimento, Opera, Film (also ITA 314) Fall HALA

COM 389 - Cultural Systems (also ECS 321/SPA 333) Not offered this year LA

COM 390 - Studies in the Classical Tradition (also CLA 335/ENG 235/HLS 335) Spring LA

COM 392 - The Bible as Literature (also ENG 390/HUM 390/TRA 390) Fall LA

COM 393 - Nietzsche (also PHI 306) Not offered this year EM

COM 395 - Topics in Hindi/Urdu (also HIN 303/URD 303) Fall LA

COM 399 - Topics in Critical Theory (also AAS 391/ENG 388) Fall/Spring LA

COM 400 - Seminar: Literary Imagination and the Image of History Not offered this year LA

Literary texts from two or more national cultures will be viewed in a historical perspective of a specific period (the Renaissance or the Enlightenment) or a significant event (the French Revolution or World War I) or a social phenomenon (the Industrial Revolution). The mutual relationship between the image of the world created by writers and the impact of writers upon the world they reflect. Staff

COM 401 - Seminar. Types of Ideology and Literary Form EM

Relationships between conceptions of literary form and developments in intellectual history, spanning different genres and cultural traditions. Some examples: modernism in the context of 20th-century ideological conditions; the rise of the novel traced through philosophies of the 18th and 19th centuries. A. Alliston

COM 403 - Seminar. The Aesthetic Movement: Forms of Excitement Not offered this year LA

An examination of selected works of European literature, chiefly around the turn of the 20th century, that provoke distinctive "forms of (literary) excitement." Topics will include decadence, ecstasy, ekphrasis, self-mirroring, asceticism, sadomasochism, dandyism, epiphany, and l'art pour l'art. One three-hour seminar. Staff

COM 404 - Literature Across Languages Not offered this year LA

Studies in the international exchange of literary forms and ideas, intellectual and artistic movements. The topic will be drawn from among the following or others similar in scope: the literature of exile, the avant-garde, formalism and structuralism, Byronic hero and antihero, literary relations between East and West, surrealism and its legacy, the international response to individual writers. Staff

COM 405 - Senior Seminar Not offered this year LA

The course will deal with a theme, author, or problem in comparative literature studies. Staff

COM 406 - Vladimir Nabokov (also ENG 424/RES 417/SLA 417) Fall LA

COM 409 - Translation, Migration, Culture (also HUM 400/TRA 400) Spring SA

COM 410 - Bakhtin, the Russian Formalists, and Cultural Semiotics (also SLA 410) Not offered this year LA

A survey (in English) of three influential schools of 20th-century Russian literary criticism: the major Russian formalists (1920s); Mikhail Bakhtin (1920s-70s), and the cultural semiotics of Yury Lotman and his "Tartu School" (1960s-80s). The course will include both primary and secondary texts; major essays will be read in conjunction with sample literature that illustrates the critical approach. Two 90-minute seminars. C. Emerson

COM 415 - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace: Writing as Fighting (also ECS 417/RES 415/SLA 415) Spring EM

COM 423 - Topics in Postcolonial Literature (also AFS 416/ENG 417) Not offered this year LA

COM 430 - Film Theory (also VIS 442) Not offered this year LA

COM 438 - Topics in the History of Modern Syria (also HIS 419/NES 419) Not offered this year HA

COM 444 - Cinema and the Related Arts (also VIS 444) Not offered this year LA

COM 446 - Topics in Literature and Ethics (also AFS 415/ENG 415/JRN 415) Fall CDEM

COM 448 - Forms of Literature (also ENG 404) Not offered this year LA

COM 462 - Topics in London (also ENG 425) Not offered this year LA

COM 469 - Seminar in Italian Literature and Culture (also ITA 401/THR 408) Fall LASA

COM 470 - Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (also HIS 287/HUM 470) Spring EM