Comparative Literature | Western Literary and Intellectual Traditions after 1500
C506 | 1194 | Kenshur

Prof. Oscar Kenshur	MW   11:15-12:30        BH 317
The course will focus on a group of influential texts that
exemplify key moments in the  development of Modernity.  We will be
concerned with the ways in which the  Renaissance revival of ancient
learning and the Protestant Reformation gave rise to new modes of thought
and new modes of literary expression that purport to represent or explain
the reality that we actually experience. But we will try to be sensitive
to the specific intellectual, social, and religio-political issues being
addressed by the individual works. The Enlightenment will constitute the
historical center of the course, but the readings will also include
nineteenth-century continuations of, and reactions to, Enlightenment ideas
and debates. Although some of our texts are usually classified as
literature and others as philosophy, we will approach them all as symbolic
structures that deploy both logical and literary techniques in contexts of
social, political, and intellectual ferment.

Most of the texts will be relatively short, but they will be
sufficiently numerous as to add up to a substantial amount of reading.
Students are urged to get a head start by reading the longest assignment,
Cervantes's Don Quixote before the semester begins. (The formal assignment
will be as follows: All of Part I and the following chapters of Part II:
Chaps. 12, 13, 14, 15, 23, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 44, 62, 64, 65, 69, 70. But
of course, those who can read the entire novel are urged to do so.)

Given the introductory nature of the course, I expect the written
work to consist of a take-home midterm and a take-home final, but will
consider allowing the option of a formal paper in lieu of the final. The
tentative  reading list  includes works by the following authors: Thomas
More the Lazarillo author; Montaigne; Cervantes;  Shakespeare; Molihre;
Racine; Locke; Swift; Pope; Voltaire; Hume; Diderot; Rousseau; Goethe,
Wordsworth; Melville; Turgenev.

For more information about the syllabus, prospective students may
contact the instructor at the following e-mail address: