Honors | Comparative Approaches to Literature (CMLT)
C305 | 26931 | Vivian Halloran

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

This course introduces students to important critical theories and
practices that have shaped the study of literature.  The comparative
focus of this course is two-fold: we will discuss literary theory
and reading practices developed by influential thinkers from around
the world and apply the theories discussed in class to four short
works of literature from various eras and different cultural
traditions:  two plays, Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and  Ibsen’s
A Doll’s House, and two novels, Gabriel García Márquez’s Of Love and
Other Demons and Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting.  Among the issues
we will consider in this course are:  What criteria should we employ
when comparing literature from different cultural or linguistic
traditions?  How does translation complicate or simplify the
comparative study of literature?  How is comparative literature
different from or similar to the focused study of national

Required Texts
Barry, Peter.  Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and
Cultural Theory.
Desai, Anita.   Fasting, Feasting.
Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
Rice, Phillip and Patricia Waugh, eds.  Modern Literary Theory.
Shakespeare, William.  Titus Andronicus.

E-Reserve:  Password To Be Announced
Eagleton, Terry.  “Post-Structuralism”
Patterson, Lee.  “Literary History.”

Texts from E-Journals, Available Through MLA Database from IU
Libraries Web
Boyd, Brian.  “Mutius: An Obstacle Removed in Titus Andronicus.”
The Review of 	English Studies  55.219(2004):  196-209.
Brenkman, John. “Queer Post-Politics.” Narrative  10.2(2002): 174-
During, Simon.  “Comparative Literature.”  ELH 71.2 (2004): 313-322.
Fraiberg, Allison.  “Of AIDS, Cyborgs, and Other Indiscretions:
Resurfacing the Body in 	the Postmodern” Postmodern Culture 1
Gerhardt, Christine.  “The Greening of African-American Landscapes:
Where 	Ecocriticism Meets Post-Colonial Theory.”  Mississippi
Quarterly  55.4(2002): 	515-534.
Hadfield, Andrew.  “Shakespeare and republicanism:  history and
cultural materialism.” 	Textual Practice  17.3(2003): 461-483.
Attendance and Participation
You must come to class regularly to obtain a passing grade in this
course.  NO more than three (3) absences are allowed under normal
circumstances.  Please notify the professor by e-mail if you are ill
and ask a classmate or come to posted office hours to find out what
you missed.

Remember to give credit where credit is due.  Students who present
another writer’s words as their own or who neglect to cite proper
bibliographical information when referring to material published on-
line, in reference books, or in a journal or book of any kind are
subject to disciplinary procedures as outlined by Indiana
University’s Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please consult said
publication at: http://www.dsa.indiana.edu/Code/index1.html
For guidelines on how to properly attribute any material you quote,
consult the MLA style guidelines available on the IU libraries’
website at:  http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=337

Graded Work
You must complete all assignments in order to pass this course.  I
WILL NOT GIVE INCOMPLETES.  Your grade for this course will be
determined as follows:

Written responses to theories		10 x  2%		 20%
Midterm exam							 20%
Final exam							 30%
Ten page paper						 30%	
Total								100%

Written Responses to Theories  You must write a total of TEN (2pp,
double spaced) readings of a given literary text applying the
literary theory assigned for that day.  These essays are each worth
2% of your grade or 20 points apiece, for a total of 200 points.
The responses are due on the day the readings are assigned.  There
are no make-ups possible.  The first day in which you may turn in a
response is January 24th.  Responses must be printed and handed in
at the beginning of class.  No e-mail submissions.  You may write
more than ten; I will count only your 10 highest scores.  It is YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY to keep track of your own work and progress in this

Exams  The midterm exam will take place during class.  There will be
no make-ups given.  I will provide blue books.  The final
examination will take place in accordance with the official listing
in the Schedule of Courses.

Ten Page Paper  You will write a comparative, analytical essay in
which you apply one of the theories we have studied to ONE novel AND
ONE play we read for class.  The trick here is to come up with
enough similarities to frame an analytical thesis that employs the
insights and techniques of a particular school of theory.  In this
essay, you MUST cite and make reference to at least two primary
sources from Modern Literary Theory.  There are no prompts for this
paper—you must devise your own basis for comparison.  You will be
required to turn in a paper proposal (1pp) describing your project
before you begin writing it.

Schedule of Readings
(All readings must be completed by the day they are assigned)

Week 1 (Jan 10, 12th)
M	Introduction.  What is theory and how does it relate to
W	Modern Literary Theory 397-410; Beginning Theory (185-189;
32-36).  Start 	reading Titus Andronicus but don’t bring it to class

Week 2 (Jan 17, 19)
M	Martin Luther King Jr. Day—No class
W	Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus. (Bring book, Discuss entire

Week 3 (Jan 24, 26)
M	Titus Andronicus.  BT  Narratology (222-246)
W	Titus Andronicus.  BT  Marxist Criticism (156-179); MLT (11-
24; 122-134)

Week 4 (Jan 31, Feb 2)
M	Titus Andronicus.  MLT (108-114; 135-141)
W	Ibsen, A Doll’s House (Bring book); MLT (24-33)

Week 5 (Feb 7, 9)
M	A Doll’s House; BT  Psychoanalytic Criticism (96-118); MLT
(189-195; 222-225)
W	A Doll’s House. BT  Feminist Criticism  (121-136);  MLT (236-
238; 143-168)

Week 6 (Feb 14, 16)
M	García Márquez, Of Love and Other Demons.  (3-51); MLT (247-
251; 34-42)
W	Of Love and Other Demons. (51-89); BT Structuralism (39-59);
New Historicism 	(172-189)

Week 7 (Feb 21, 23)
M	Of Love and Other Demons (90-147); MLT (252-272)
W	Of Love and Other Demons;  BT Post-structuralism  (61-79);
MLT  (195-209; 	272-288)

Week 8  (Feb 28, Mar 2)
M	Eagleton, Terry.  “Post-Structuralism” on e-reserve
W	Midterm

Week 9 (Mar 7, 9)
M	Desai, Fasting, Feasting (3-72); BT Postcolonial criticism
W	Desai, Fasting, Feasting (73-146); MLT (369-393)

Week 10 (Mar 14, 16)
M	Spring Break--Enjoy
W	Spring Break—Enjoy

Week 11 (Mar 21, 23)
M	Desai, Fasting, Feasting (147-227);  BT Postmodernism (81-
94); MLT (329-337)
W	Desai, Fasting, Feasting; MLT (338-368)

Week 12 (Mar 28, 30)
M	BT Postmodernism  (81-94); MLT (325-340)
W	MLT (338-359)

Week 13 (Apr 4, 6)
M	MLT (465-478).  Fraiberg, “Of AIDS, Cyborgs, and Other
Indiscretions: 	Resurfacing the Body in the Postmodern” E-Journals
W	BT Lesbian/gay Criticism (139-153); Brenkman, “Queer Post
Politics”  E-	Journals

Week 14  (Apr 11, 13)
M	BT Ecocriticism (248-269); Gerhardt, “The Greening of
African American	Landscapes” E-Journals
W	MLT (430-447)

Week 15 (Apr 18, 20)
M	During, “Comparative Literature” E-Journals
W	Hadfield, “Shakespeare Republicanism” and Boyd, “Mutius” in

Week 16 (Apr 25, 27)
M	Abel, “Mania, Depression and the Future of Theory” E-Journals
W	Patterson, “Literary History” on e-reserve   Last Day of

The 10  page paper is due at the beginning of the final exam.  The
final exam will be administered on the official date specified on
the Schedule of Courses.