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Indiana University Bloomington

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Course Offerings

Spring 2016

CMLT-C 349, Literature & Science: Methods & Madness (Jeff Johnson Instructor)

04:00 to 5:15 MW

Carries CASE Arts and Humanities


Atomic physics, crop rotation, clinical psychiatry, orbital mechanics, transplant surgery, meteorology, fetal anatomy, the material structure of the human soul—are these the subjects we normally expect to find in the world of poetry, epic, and drama? Apart from the world of science fiction, where and how do scientific data, the figure of the scientist, and creative writing come together? This course focuses on literary works from Greek antiquity to the modern era that blend science, fiction, and literary forms, but do not clearly belong to the category we commonly call science fiction. While conventional science fiction takes us to distant planets and parallel dimensions usually in the medium of novels, the literature we will read cross-breeds scientific information and investigative methods with sophisticated literary traditions: heroic epic, didactic poetry, Greek and Roman mythology, Biblical characters, quest narratives, social satire, and stage dramas. From the pre-modern era, we will read the Phaenomena of Aratus, Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, Vergil’s Georgics, and Dante’s Purgatory. From the modern era, H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo, and Peter Shaffer’s Equus. To fulfill the Intensive Writing requirement, workload includes 4 analytical essays, one draft for revision, and 4 short papers.


CMLT-C 217: Detective, Mystery, and Horror Literature Le Hégarat

02:30 to 3:45 TR

IUB GenEd A&H credit CASE A&H Breadth of Inquiry Credit

We will look at various modes of expression such as literature, film, and TV shows. We will investigate how gender is constructed and represented in horror fiction texts. How are other factors such as race, ethnicity, and class tied to questions of gender? Why are sexuality and violence omnipresent in horror fiction?
Possible questions are: How is masculinity constructed in the work of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King?  How are adolescent sexuality and gender roles portrayed in slasher films such as It Follows? Who is really the Final Girl in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Friday the 13th? How are racial tensions portrayed in Southern Gothic fiction such as True Blood? Why is pregnancy a major theme such as in Rosemary’s Baby, and Maury and Bustillo’s Inside?
Expect to read theory alongside fiction. Short blog responses should be posted before each class. Emphasis on discussion over lecture.

CMLT-C 147: Images of the Self: East and West (Wu)

04:00- 05:15 MW

IUB GenEd A & H credit IUB GenEd World Culture Credit COLL Case A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit and Global Civ& Culture credit
Death is conceptualized as a part of a natural circle in Zhuangzi, as sweet sleep by John Keats; but, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, one may transform into a laurel tree or a pool of water, rather than to die, when one cannot pass the inoperable crisis. Love is philosophized as a means to see forgotten truth in Plato’s Phaedrus, as a knightly virtue in Chrétien de Troyes’s Arthurian Romances; but, in The Dream of Red Chamber, the heroine sheds tears of love excessively, only as she was incarnated from the stem of a plant that the hero nourished with sweet dews, and she would requite the favor of dews with heartfelt tears. The course examines themes of life in philosophy and literature across cultures and histories, including love, death, memory, spiritual ideals, and our relationship with the world that we live in. Discussions and presentations, two 4-7 pages papers, no examinations.

CMLT-C 310: Literature and Film (Peretz)

04:00 to 5:15 TR

COLL case A&H Breadth of Inquiry Credit

One of the great questions of our time, when human activity is increasingly replaced by technological means, is how to experience free time, the time in which we have nothing specific to do, meaningfully. One of the great paradoxes of our time is that the more free time we have the less we know how to render it meaningful. The cultural developments that have allowed us to have more time have as if simultaneously deprived us of the capacity to make it meaningful. Why is this so? Is there a solution? This class will turn to two traditions that have dedicated themselves to exploring the relations between free time and meaning, the philosophical and artistic, in search for answers. While for philosophy the highest aim of human life is not to do anything specific but just to think, for the artistic tradition the highest satisfaction of human life is not in any productive doing, but in creative play.

CMLT-C 311: Drama (Peretz)

01:00 to 2:15 TR

COLL Case A&H breadth of Inquiry credit
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” Describing the time of the French revolution, the age of the emergence of democratic societies, this saying of Dickens is no less resonant today, in the age of YouTube, where the democratic revolution has reached a fever pitch. If democracy means the becoming equal of everyone then YouTube is one of the most fascinating media of democracy. Our thesis is that by exploring the possibilities, for better and for worse, of this medium we will learn something essential about our times. Two main issues will occupy us: that of self-showing, or of self portraiture, and that of artistic creativity. We will examine the tradition of autobiographical self-portraiture from the Renaissance onwards as well as the growing democratization of art from Shakespeare to YouTube– the medium in which, finally, everyone has become an artist. 

CMLT-C 347: Literature and Ideas (Velázquez)

01:00 to 02:15 MW
Long-lost lovers, magic potions, mistaken identities, false renegade pirates and faithful knights—this is the stuff of romance, a literary genre characterized by adventure, love, and detours rather than the reproduction of a realistic picture of the world. In this course, we will examine how these sometimes outlandish tales, by stretching their readers’ imaginations of what can be believed, negotiate cultural and religious differences. We will begin in Late Antiquity comparing the trials and travails of Heliodorus’ lovers Theagenes and Chariclea and the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla, then move to the lustful Roman world of Apuleius’ Golden Ass and its Renaissance reincarnation in the picaresque. Finally, we’ll study love, conversion and deception in tales of the seductive “Orient” (Chaucer’s “Man of Law’s Tale,” Floris and Blanchefleur, The Abencerraje) and conclude our exploration of the genre with Cervantes’ self-proclaimed masterpiece—not Don Quijote—but the Great Persiles.

C-111 Reading the World: Another New World: (Tran)

01:00 to 02:15 TR

IUB GenEd A&H credit COLL Case A&H breadth of inquiry Credit Global CIv & Culture credit
Our two main goals for this course:
- to examine identity formation and self-determinism, by observing characters from “true stories”. We will read texts by E. Wharton and G.B. Shaw, some Middle English Breton Lays and various short stories & essays. We will review/learn basic literary terms and analysis techniques, so as to better understand the stories we read.
- to help students improve their reading & presentation skills. Students will present their analysis every week in front of the class, and discuss the texts in groups. To give better presentations, we will work on voice management, with various theater-inspired exercises and frequent in-class “performance readings”.

CMLT-C 255: Modern Literature and Other Arts (Flahault)

11:15 12:30 MW
Through the idea of the garden, the artist makes us think of how we humans relate to space. Gardens may represent Eden or the cosmos. In literature and the other arts, gardens encompass notions such as the Sublime, aesthetics vs. utilitarianism, the public and the private, but also pleasure, survival, status, healing.
We will read from selections from bell hooks’ Belonging: a Culture of Place, African American nature poetry, Nicola Sacco’s letters, analyze photographs by Diana Balmori and Margaret Morton, sculpture, ecological art as performance and activism, and we will analyze examples of landscape architecture, along with works by Debussy, Beethoven, and Stravinsky. We will also analyze paintings, visit the IU Art museum and explore local gardens. You will learn how to formally analyze works of art, identify artistic movements, and draw parallels between different media. Assignments will include 2 analytical papers, class presentations and a creative project.

CMLT-C 351: Adaptation (Van der Laan)

11:15 to 12:30 TR

COLL Case A&H breadth of Inquiry Credit
One hero must choose between an early death in exchange for immortal fame and a long life that leaves no mark upon the world. Another struggles through unimaginable dangers and powerful temptations to return to the wife and home he left twenty years ago. The Iliad and the Odyssey—the oldest surviving works of European literature—continue to inspire films, plays, novels, and poems: war stories and love stories, queer and feminist revisions, parodies and tragedies. Explore these adaptations and learn why Homer’s tales of Troy, with their questioning of ideals of honor and glory, their awareness of the human cost of warfare, and their struggle to find heroism in human experience, remain necessary in the modern world. Discover how authors and directors reinvent myths for new audiences and examine the nature of adaptation itself. Assignments to include extensive readings, papers, and the option of a final creative project.

CMLT-C 301: Special Topics in Comp Lit: Linguistics and Literature (Johnston)

09:30 to 10:45 MW

COLL case A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit and Global Civ & Culture credt
Literature is made of language. But what is language made of? This course offers an introduction to linguistics in the context of literary texts. From phonology (the study of the sounds of language) to semantics (the study of meaning) and pragmatics (how language works in spoken and written use), we’ll look at how writers use and abuse linguistic patterns and preferences in creating prose style, the distinct voices of characters, and the rhythms and allusions of poetry. We’ll also take a close look at translation, and at what happens when literary texts are transported across linguistic and cultural boundaries. You’ll learn basic linguistic terminology and concepts, and use them to gain a deeper understanding of how literary texts work. Assignments will begin with exercises focusing on the forms and functions of language, and will progress to a series of short analyses of the language of literary texts of various kinds.



Courses from previous semesters

  • Fall 2015
  • Spring 2015
  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Fall 2013
  • Spring 2013
  • Fall 2012
  • Spring 2012
  • Fall 2011
  • Spring 2011
  • Fall 2010
  • Spring 2010
  • Fall 2009
  • Spring 2009
  • Fall 2008