ILVS 50: Introduction to Film Studies
Cross-listed as DR 50.
Introduction to fundamental methodologies for reading film.
Overview of film studies with emphasis on film as a complex art form. Narrative
as a formal system, film genres, style and its related techniques, critical
approaches to film analysis, film history. Weekly screening of relevant films
selected from both Hollywood and world cinemas.
ILVS 55: Cultural History of the Modern Middle East
Cross-listed as ARB 55.
A lecture-based introductory survey course on trends and
developments in cultural activities (for example, music, cinema, literature, and
the fine arts) across diverse Middle Eastern cultures, with emphasis on the Arab
world, Turkey, and Iran, from the nineteenth century to the present day.
Following these fields of artistic expression, the course traces a broad
trajectory engaging with the formulation of the concepts of the "modern" and the
"traditional" in these arts, with a focus on themes such as: innovation and
reform, political resistance, revolutionary ideologies, the rural-urban divide,
transformations of gender roles, the rise of youth cultures, new religious
movements, and reactions to consumerism and globalization.
ILVS 60: Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies
An introduction to the major critical and theoretical
approaches for the study of literatures and cultures, especially of foreign
cultures. Issues studied include: How do we analyze cultural productions,
whether our own or those of other societies? What do we learn in comparing texts
from different cultures with each other? What is the value of literature, and
how do we define it? How do cultural productions allow us to understand social
issues, and to what extent does it contribute to social change? How can we be
critical yet ethical producers and consumers of literature and other cultural
productions in an world that is increasingly global?
ILVS 62: Jewish Women
Cross-listed as JS 78 and REL 78.
Images, experiences, and accomplishments of Jewish women in
life, literature, and tradition from Biblical times to the present. Focus on
individual women from various times and cultures; discussion of basic issues,
present conditions, and prospects.
ILVS 64: Introduction to Yiddish Culture
Cross-listed as REL 65 and JS 65.
An examination of the roots of East European Jewish
culture, beginning with a 6000-year survey of the religions of Abraham; a brief
examination of the origins of Judaism, the evolution of Christianity and Islam;
the historic migration of the Jewish people from Asia to Western Europe and
eventually to Czarist Russia; the rise and fall of Yiddish literature; the end
of the Shtetl world; and the American experience. Readings include Sholom
Aleichem, Sholem Asch, I. B. Singer, Bernard Malamud, and Phillip Roth. Stress
on universal cultural patterns and similarities of ethnic experience.
ILVS 65: Travel Literature: The Arab and Muslim World
Cross-listed as ARB 65.
An overview of travel writing as a literary form of
expression. Within Arab and Muslim cultural contexts, analysis of how travel
literature expresses inquisitiveness at the encounter with a different culture.
Examines how the traveler-writer endeavors to decipher this different culture in
the light of her or his own experience and knowledge. Comparison of travel
writing from these regions to the genre in other cultural contexts. Issues such
as tolerance/intolerance, transience/permanence, and universal/particular as
they relate to the literary genres of travel writing in primary and secondary
readings. In English.
ILVS 66: Jews and Germans: An Intercultural History
Cross-listed as GER 66 and JS 66.
Examines complex interrelationship between German and
Jewish cultures from 1750 to 1933. Themes include the Enlightenment and
universalism, relation of Jewish emancipation to the construction of German
identity, Zionism and nationalism, assimilation, integration, exile. Readings in
literary, political, theological, and philosophical texts, along with films,
plays, and music produced up to the eve of World War II.
ILVS 70: Introduction to Visual Studies
Critical introduction to complexities of images in
contemporary cultural life.
Examination of how visual experience has been
conceptualized. Interpretations from psychology, philosophy, art history, and
literary studies. The goal is to become familiar with fundamental concepts of
this capacious interdisciplinary field, and also to develop a precise and
flexible vocabulary of one's own with which to address the visual.
ILVS 72: Vienna: A Biography
Cross-listed as GER 76 & HIST 161.
A biography of Vienna through the texts the city has
produced/inspired; the changing (multi)cultural role Vienna has played and
continues to play in the heart of Europe. The emphasis is on literary
texts, but in conjunction with art, architecture, and music, as well as their
modes of consumption. In English. (May be taken at 100-level.)
ILVS 74: Gender and Politics in Russian Culture
Cross-listed as RUS 70.
Examination of how the social, economic, and political
institutions in Russia have shaped the perception of women and gender over the
scope of Russian history; how both women and men have tried to transcend
prescribed gender norms; and how women fulfill their literary, artistic, and
spiritual aspirations. Works to be considered will be drawn from folklore,
poetry, fiction, painting, and film; authors will include both male and female
writers (Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Tolstaya, Petrushevskaya),
women painters (Goncharova, Serebriakova) and filmmakers
(Shepitko, Muratova). In English. May be taken at 100- level, as RUS 0170 with
added hour in Russian.
ILVS 80: Walter Benjamin and the Crisis of Experience
Cross-listed as JS 80 and GER 80.
Advanced survey of key works by the German literary
theorist and cultural critic, focusing on his theories of experience. Includes
the afterlife of the past; violence, destruction, fate, and law; language,
literature, and translation; reception of Kant, Marx, and Husserl; childhood and
memory; and the uses of theology. Ancillary readings from Goethe, Proust,
Baudelaire, Freud, Brecht, Kafka. May be taken at the 100 level.
ILVS 82: Imagining the Environment: Cross-Cultural
Cross-Listed as GER 82 and ENV 82.
Compares and contrasts representations of the environment
in German culture — commonly understood to be particularly “Green”— with other
European and Non-European cultures. Focuses on how themes such as
sustainability, the toxic discourse, wilderness, biodiversity, nationalism,
postcolonial heritage, and the global risk society are negotiated in literature,
film, and music. May be taken at the 100 level. In English.
ILVS 83: War Stories
Cross-listed as RUS 75 and PJS 75.
Examination of how war has been represented in fiction,
non-fiction, memoir, film, and documentary. Priority given to Russian and East
European materials, supplemented by other European, Asian, and American texts of
the 19th and (mainly) 20th and 21st centuries. Focus on strategies employed by
writers, journalists, historians, and film makers in depicting war in different
cultures and from differing points of view. Operative questions include:
challenges of representing war in a text or onscreen; commonalities and
differences in how war is rendered; and how these questions impact the
understanding of conflicts. The course goal is to develop sophisticated skills
for understanding, deciphering, critiquing and dissecting the ways in which war
and conflict are presented, and to recognize the ideological and aesthetic
strategies behind these representations. All texts and discussion in English.
ILVS 84: East-West Perspective of Fascism: Germany & Japan
Cross-listed as GER 84, JPN 84, and CIV 22.
Comparative study of fascism, its history and foundations
in social and political developments and ideologies; philosophical and
historical concepts through literature, art, myth. The structure of fascism and
fascist iconography. Fascist tendencies in modern Japan and Germany. In English.
Satisfies the humanities distribution and world civilizations requirement.
Taught in English.
ILVS 86: Film and Nation: Russia and Central Asia
Cross-listed as RUS 85 and CIV 85.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia and several
former Central Asian republics, now the independent countries of Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan embarked on a nation-building project through cinema;
topics considered: how ethnic and national identities were subsumed into a
"Soviet" identity and then split apart in the post-Soviet period; constructions
of new national identities, national spaces, heroes and myths in films ranging
from the Russian mega-hits Brother and Company 9 to the international festival
favorites, The Adopted Son (Kyrgyzstan) and The Hunter (Kazakhstan); influence
of Hollywood and multi-national productions in historical action films such as
Nomad and Mongol; changes in film styles and genres, as well as in the structure
and economics of the film industry. No prerequisites. All films with English
ILVS 87: Arab and Middle Eastern Cinemas
Cross-listed as ARB 57.
An overview of the social role of cinema in the Arab world
and the broader Middle East focusing on a historical perspective on the
development and expansion of cinema in these parts of the world, as well as
several thematic windows through which the relationship of cinema to these
societies is examined. In English.
ILVS 88: Warrior Nations: Russia & U.S.
Cross-listed as RUS 78.
Comparative study of how war is central to each nation's
identity and to the narratives in popular culture that help shape it. Focus is
thematic, not chronological, with the course structured around topics, including
shared myths of exceptionalism, points of triumph (how WWII is memorialized in
both) and catastrophic defeat, when the myth of exceptionalism is shattered
(Vietnam, Afghanistan). Other topics include civil war and the cold war.
Attention is also directed to how post-1991 changes impact the connection
between exceptionalism and militarism regarding wars today and the renewed
tension between the two in the dynamics of competing hegemonies. Texts include
film, fiction, and popular history. Course taught in English; no prerequisites.
ILVS 91/92: Special Topics
Special Topics. Please see departmental website for
ILVS 100: Classics of World Cinema
Cross-listed as WL 101.
Worldwide survey of major films from the silent era to the
present. Trends in filmmaking styles and genres; the impact of modern history on
cinematic art; cultural, theoretical, and philosophical issues related to the
study of film. Filmmakers covered may include Eisenstein, Chaplin, Renoir,
Welles, DeSica, Ray, Ozu, Bergman, Fassbinder, Sembene, and Zhang Yimou.
ILVS 101: Postcolonial Cinemas
Cross-listed as ARB 155.
An overview of the intersection between world cinema and
the conditions of colonialism and postcoloniality. Readings and viewings on
representations of the non-Western world in early cinema, and an examination of
the development of cinemas of resistance and in particular the articulation of
Third Cinema in the context of the Cold War. Films will be drawn from
African, American (North and South), European, Middle Eastern, and South Asian
cinemas, with special emphasis on Arab cinemas. The emergence of postcolonial
themes in cinema, examining the treatment of questions such as gender and
identity, social subalterns, engaging with orientalism, diaspora identity, and a
range of other issues. Central to the course is the question: what aesthetic
innovations in cinema may be related to the engagement with postcolonial issues?
ILVS 114: Politics & Literature in Russia & Eastern Europe
Cross-listed as RUS 114.
Comparative investigation of the dynamic literary-cultural
response to dominant political forces and ideologies in Eastern Europe and
former Soviet Union, primarily Nazism, Communism and Nationalism. Focus on the
writer as political voice and public conscience. Material from, but not limited
to, Russian, Polish, Czech and Bosnian contexts, primarily in genres of satire
and absurdism. Seminar format.
ILVS 118: Haruki Murakami and World Literature
Cross-listed as JPN 118.
Comparative study of Haruki Murakami's literature in the
context of World Literature. How some Western writers' works have shaped
Murakami's work. How literature travels the globe, breaking national boundaries.
The writers to be examined may include, besides Murakami, Kurt Vonnegut, Raymond
Chandler, Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia
Marquez, and Dostoevsky. Freud, Girard, Karatani, Nietzsche, Damrosch, and
others, provide theoretical insights. Taught in English. No prerequisites.
ILVS 122: South African Writers
Cross-listed as WL 122.
Survey of modern South African writers, with emphasis on
the effects of Apartheid and the anti-Apartheid struggle on the life of the
imagination, including literary, film, and theatre evocations of South African
life. Writers may include Alan Paton, Lewis Nkosi, J. M. Coetzee, Agnes Sam, Zoë
Wicomb, Athol Fugard, Njabulo Ndebele, Miriam Tlali, Breyten Breytenbach,
Mongane Serote, Ruth First, Nadine Gordimer, and Besse Head.
ILVS 144: Popular Cultures of the Middle East
Cross-listed as ANTH 144.
Examines the contemporary Middle East through its popular
cultures and introduces anthropological methods for studying media. Considers
multiple meanings of the "popular" in the course title. Topics include: (1)
non-electronic expressive practices, (2) media such as television, cinema,
music, or websites that may consolidate or contest state power, (3) cultural
forms such as Arab hip-hop that are the product of global processes, some of
which reframe traditional forms, and (4) religious popular cultures.
Recommendations: One course in either Anthropology or
the Middle East, or consent.
ILVS 162: The End of the World, Plan B
A comparative study of end-of-the-world narratives
considered from the perspectives of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and
Science. How and why our present notions about a final catastrophic moment
are actually a misunderstanding of a paradigm that is common to these various
traditions. Why justice is problematic as a cultural mode and as a
ILVS 191/192: Special Topics
Please see departmental website for detailed course
ILVS 193/194: Directed Study
Directed Study. Please see departmental website for
ILVS 198/199: Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Honors Thesis. Please see departmental website for specific details.