Comparative Literature | Romance and the Western Tradition
C219 | 10757 | Sheila Akbar


MW 1:00 – 2:15 pm
Satisfies A&H Requirements

This class will examine one of history’s most enduring modes of
literature: the romance. In this course we will study the romance as
a genre subject to ever-evolving literary conventions. Our readings
will begin with classical texts and will follow the development of
the romance through the Renaissance and across traditional
boundaries as we study such texts as a 12th century Persian romance,
a modern science fiction novel, and scenes from contemporary films.
While we will explore romance as a genre of “love,” our approach
will extend beyond this limiting notion to consider the
manifestations of romance in other forms, including sonnet sequences
and individual lyric poems. Students will learn to identify the
various characteristics of the genre and will learn to critique many
diverse texts within this framework.
Coursework will include a handful of one-page response papers, two
short papers (four to seven pages each), and a final exam.