Comparative Literature | Comparative Literary Analysis: Writing about Writing
C205 | 2095 | Prof. Sarah Van der Laan


TR 2:30-3:45
*required for CMLT majors*

This course introduces students to methods of comparative literary
analysis. We will study works from a range of genres, periods, and
national traditions, with a focus on texts that are themselves about
writing or otherwise conscious of themselves as texts. By exploring
the literary techniques that these works use to call attention to
their status as works of art, we will trace the development of ideas
about what literature is and how it creates meaning. We will also
learn to expose additional, hidden potential readings and meanings
in these and other literary texts. Students will refine their close-
reading skills and improve their ability to craft essays in literary
criticism—to write about writing themselves. Readings may include
selections from Ovid, Metamorphoses, and Miguel de Cervantes, Don
Quixote; William Shakespeare, The Tempest; short stories by Jorge
Luis Borges or Italo Calvino; A. S. Byatt, Possession; Tom Stoppard,
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; and a selection of lyric
poems.