CSLC 200 Literature, Culture, Self: Being in the Wor(l)d

Drawing upon literatures and language traditions from across the world, the immediate object of this course will be to help students develop a lively appreciation for, and analytic facility with, each of the major kinds of literary production (lyric, narrative, and drama), all of which we shall try to examine in their “traditional” forms, as well as in some of their more familiar contemporary ones (not only the lyric poem and the prose novel, but the popular song, the graphic novel, and the television series, too, will fall within the special compass of our inquiry). Beyond these immediate goals of familiarity and competence, however, the wider ambition of this course will be to develop students’ understanding of the crucial role that literary (and literature-based) forms play in the constitution of the cultures we inhabit and the various "subject-positions" we might occupy within them. To this end, we shall make ourselves familiar with some of the most important thinkers in recent literary and cultural theory (Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Sianne, and Ngai, to name but a few). Given the course’s broad international range, guest lecturers will be brought in throughout the semester to discuss the effect of reading works in the original language and to explore, more generally, the effect that the specific features of a language can exert over that delicate interplay of “literature, culture, and self” that forms the central subject matter of this class. This course serves as the Proseminar for CSLC, and is required for the major but is open to all students.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Global Connections