Show The Graduate Center Menu


Spring 2021


 For all registration dates and deadlines, see the GC academic calendar.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change. Course descriptions are forthcoming, and there is a possibility that more cross-listed courses will be added.

2-4 Credit Grading System
2 credit courses= Pass or Fail option
4 credit courses= Letter grade

CL 80100- Nietzsche for Fun and Prophet, GC: Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Richard Wolin, 2 or 4 credits (also HIST 7240; PSC 8064) (M.A. students will need permission to enroll from Instructor)
CL 80900- Topics in Material History: The Early Modern Atlantic World- GC: Mondays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Clare Carroll, 2 or 4 credits (also GEMS 82100; MALS 74700)
CL 80900- Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature, GC: Thursdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, Gerry Milligan, 2 or 4 credits
CL 84000-Beyond the Mishmash of Witches and Ghosts: Conformities and Challenges of European Gothic, GC: Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Morena Corradi, 2 or 4 credits
CL 85000- Marcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time, GC: Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, André Aciman, 2 or 4 credits
CL 85500-Francophone Literature from the Mashreq and the Maghreb, GC: Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Amr Kamal, 2 or 4 credits (also FRE 79140)
CL 89000- Philosophy of Literature, GC: Tuesdays, 11:45am-1:45pm, Noel Carroll, 2-4 credits (also PHIL 77600)
CL 89200- History of Literary Theory & Criticism II- GC: Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, John Brenkman,  4 credits (required course for 1st year doctoral students)
CL 89800: Surrealism I, GC: Tuesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm, Mary Ann Caws, 1 credit or no credit, (also French 87500 and English 81000)

CTCP 71088- Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices- GC: Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Vincent Crapanzano, 3 credits  (Not open to 1st year students)
Codes for Registering on Record/WIU
Registered on Record: 54431
Weight Instructional Unit 1: 54432
Weight Instructional Unit 2: 54433
Weight Instructional Unit 3: 54434
Weight Instructional Unit 4: 54435
Weight Instructional Unit 5: 54436
Weight Instructional Unit 6: 54437
Weight Instructional Unit 7: 54438
Course Descriptions
CL 80100-Nietzsche: For Fun and Prophet
Professor Richard Wolin
Monday, 6:30-8:30
2-4 credits
In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche – never paralyzed by excessive self-modesty – exulted, “I am no man, I am dynamite.” He described his books as “assassination attempts,” rather than literary works, and he felicitously characterized his intellectual method as “philosophizing with a hammer.” Nietzsche joyfully prophesied the advent of “Great Politics,” which, in his eyes, meant “upheavals, a convulsion of earthquakes, a moving of mountains and valleys . . . as well as wars the like of which have never yet been seen on Earth.”
Nietzsche was, unaccountably, the “court philosopher” of the Third Reich as well as the intellectual progenitor of French poststructuralism (Foucault, Derrida, etc.). In interrogating Nietzsche’s legacy, our central question will be: how did it come to pass that generations of intellectuals felt obligated to define themselves and to plot their course forward through a confrontation with Nietzsche’s work?
In order to better understand Nietzsche and his titanic philosophical influence, our seminar will be divided into two parts. In the first half of the course, we will read and assess major texts by Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy, the Will to Power, Twilight of the idols, and the Antichrist. In the second half, we will focus on the major stages in the European and American reception of Nietzsche’s work: the political reception of Nietzsche in Germany, the deconstructionist reading of Nietzsche (Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault), the aesthetic interpretation of Nietzsche, and finally, recent Anglo-American studies reassessing Nietzsche’s attitude toward Darwinism.
CL 80900- Topics in Material History: The Early Modern Atlantic World
Mondays: 4:15pm-6:15pm
Professor Clare Carroll
2-4 credits
Transculturation in the Atlantic world will be the focus of our study of encounters between Europeans and Africans, peoples of the Caribbean, and the Americas in texts from Portuguese, Spanish, Nahuatl, French and English authors. Topics to be discussed include political versus economic interpretations of the encounter, slavery, and colonization; the geography of empire; visual narration in Meso-American codices; the intersection of gender, class and race in the creation of mestizo cultures; monsters and cannibals in maps and ethnographic writing; the construction of race before race (the pseudo-science of the 18th and 19th centuries). With each text we will examine digitized versions of originals in order to study how their material properties condition their meaning.Readings will be from: The Asia of João de Barros; Gomes Eanes de Zurara, The Chronicle and Discovery of Guinea; Columbus, Diario; We People Here: Nahuatl Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico; Hernán Cortés, The Second Letter; Las Casas, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies; Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas; Sor Juana Inés de a Cruz, Response to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz; Montaigne, ‘On Cannibals,’ ‘On Coaches,’ Jean de Léry, History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil; Hakluyt, Voyages and Discoveries; Shakespeare, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra. Theoretical and contextual frameworks include: Fernando Ortiz, Cuban Counterpoint; Herman Bennett, African Kings and Black Slaves; Nicolás Wey Gόmez, The Tropics of Empire; Diana Magaloni Kerpel, The Colors of the New World: Artists, Materials, and the Creation of the Florentine Codex; Barbara Fuchs, Mimesis and Empire; Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind; Alessandra Russo, The Untranslatable Image; Surekha Davies, Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human; Kim Hall, Things of Darkness.
Links to early modern manuscripts, and printed books in digitized form will be available; excerpts from English translations, and secondary readings will be posted as pdfs on Blackboard. Students taking the course for 2 credits will give an oral report and a brief written account of it, as will those taking the course for 4 credits, who will also write a longer research paper.
CL 80900- Moral Combat: Women, Gender, and War In Italian Renaissance Literature
Thursday 4:15-6:15
Professor Gerry Milligan
2-4 credits
The Renaissance was a time of significant political and social unrest. These disorders are reflected in the writings of the period’s major authors, who often coded these struggles in gendered terms. The objectives of this course are to familiarize ourselves with these works, and in particular with the lively debate that questioned women’s ability to fight in wars, especially in the Italian sixteenth century; to sharpen our skills as readers of works that feature heroic female warriors and so-called “effeminate” male knights; and to explore and perhaps demystify the universal gendering of war. The course will consider Classical and Renaissance philosophical literature, epic poems penned by men and women, as well as short biographies of women in combat. Authors to be studied will include, Plato, Aristotle, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Tasso, Fonte, Shakespeare, and Marinella.  All texts are available in English translation.
CL 84000-Beyond the mismash of witches and ghost: conformities and challenges of European Gothic,
Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Professor Morena Corradi
2-4 credits
Through the reading of seminal texts by Walpole, Gautier, Merimeé, Hoffmann, Poe, Bram Stoker and the discussion of the main theoretical approches to the genre, the course will investigate the traits of the Gothic which never cease to engage the social, cultural, and psychological frameworks in which it is created. The course will address in particular the significance of the genre within the context of post-unification Italy where gothic as well as fantastic tales (which we will read in translation) appear for the first time, often to reveal anxieties and to challenge political and cultural institutions of the newly-formed state.
 CL 85000- Marcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time
Tuesdays; 4:15pm-6:15pm
Professor André Aciman
2-4 credits
Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time tells of an elaborate, internal journey, at the end of which the narrator joyfully discovers the unifying pattern of his life both as writer and human being. Famed for its style and its distinctive view of love, art, and memory, Proust’s epic remains a dominant and innovative voice in the literature of intimacy and introspection.  This seminar, designed for students who wish to understand the complex relationship between memory and the modern novel will examine how Proust’s epic had challenged and redefined not just the art of writing, but the art of reading as well.  The course will be taught in translation, but students able to read French are encouraged to read Proust in the original.
CL 85500- Francophone Literature from the Mashreq and the Maghreb
Thursdays: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Professor Amr Kamal
2-4 credits
This class examines the works of modern and contemporary Francophone writers from the Arab World, or of Arab descent. We seek to look at how these authors approach the task of writing between many languages and cultures as they experience the limitation and liberating aspects of bilingualism and explore the questions of national and cultural belonging, dominant narratives of history, migration and exile. The reading list includes works from the Mashreq (Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria), such as Albert Cossery, Amin Maalouf, and Joyce Mansour, the Maghreb, (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco), such Jacques Derrida, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Assia Djebar, and Tahar ben Jelloun.
The class will be taught in English.
CL 89000-Philosophy of Literature
Tuesdays: 11:45am-1:45pm
Prof. Noel Carroll
2-4 credits
In this course, we will canvass major topics in the philosophy of literature including the ontology of literature, the nature of narrative and that of fiction, philosophical ideas regarding the novel (and possibly lyric poetry), the relation of literature to cognition, to emotion, to morality, to society and politics, and issues of the interpretation and evaluation of literature.
There are no prerequisites for this course. Grading will be based on class participation and a final term paper.

CL 89200-History of Literary Theory & Criticism II
Wednesdays: 4:15pm-6:15pm
Prof. John Brenkman
4 credits
This course is a study of the thought about literature from the late 18th century to the present, with an emphasis on the evolution of modern aesthetics as well as current critical methods. The primary texts of aesthetic theory will be Kant’s Analytic of the Beautiful and Analytic of the Sublime in the Critique of Judgment, Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, and Heidegger’s “What Are Poet’s For?” Two units will allow us to examine the methodological and ideological antagonisms that animate modern criticism and theory. (1) Baudelaire and Criticism: Benjamin, Auerbach, Poulet, Blanchot, Jakobson and Lévi-Strauss, de Man, Jameson, Jauss, Kristeva. (2) Antigone and Theory: Hegel, Heidegger, Szondi, Steiner, Lacan, Zizek, Butler, Honing.
Texts: Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, ed. Paul Guyer and trans. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews (Cambridge); Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner, trans. Walter Kaufmann (Vintage); Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language,Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter (HarperPerennial); Peter Szondi, An Essay on the Tragic, trans. Paul Fleming (Stanford); Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal, trans. Richard Howard (David R. Godine); Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays, trans. Robert Fagles (Penguin); Sophocles I, ed. and trans. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago); Judith Butler, Antigone’s Claim (Columbia); Bonnie Honig, Antigone Interrupted (Cambridge).
CL 89800: Surrealism I, GC: Tuesdays, 2:15pm-4:00pm, Mary Ann Caws, 1 credit or no credit, (also French 87500 and English 81000)

Given the interest in surrealism at the moment, in its many guises, many of us are working with other kinds of perspective on the historical movement as well as the ongoing discussions relating to its current state. We would begin with various outlooks on it and how we find them important or less so. So this initial offering opens the topic, comparing former points of view and this one. Individual topics are open for presentation in the last week, and the readings are meant to be relevant to the participants.

Since in the spring of 2021, the reading group/ mini-seminar runs in the first five weeks of the semester it will start on the first Tuesday February 2, and continue until March 2. 

Please contact Mary Ann Caws if you would like to join the Reading Group /Mini-Seminar to be held on Tuesdays from 2-15-4 for the first five weeks of the spring semester:

CTCP 71088
Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano
Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm

3 credits

The focus of this seminar will be on the relationship between various conceptions of and attitudes toward language and recent theories of interpretation and hermeneutical practices in the human sciences and literary study.  We will consider the effect of the stress on reference over other language functions – the pragmatic, poetic -- on notions of text, genre, and rhetoric. How does this stress configure meta-critical understanding? How does it foster the often promiscuous play of divergent, at times analytically incompatible, approaches to interpretation so characteristic of contemporary theory? Readings will include works b Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, de Saussure, Lévi-Strauss and/or Gennette, Foucault, Michael Silverstein and his school, Bakhtin, Lacan and Deleuze.