Courses 2016-2017

Spring 2017

CPLT 7120 / Alexandre Leupin T 3-6 Edouard Glissant’s Philosophy and Poetics of The Whole-World

Edouard Glissant, born in Martinique, has created radically original notions to help us comprehend not only art and literature, but also the world that surrounds us:  Creolization, the (Tout-Monde) Whole-World, Relation. We will explore these new concepts through a reading of Glissant’s theoretical works translated in English: Poetic Intention, Caribbean Discourse, Poetics of Relation, and Faulkner, Mississippi. The method we will use will be both archeological (we will trace the history of the notions), and structural (we will determine their meaning and function in Glissant’s corpus). Students are required to give an oral presentation and write a final research paper.

CPLT 7130 / Paul Anderson M 1:30-4:30 Titans and Olympians- Usurpations in Tension with Progress

This course will explore the lasting vitality and impact of one of the most important of Greek literary themes:  the passing of power over generations. The idealized goal is lofty and simple enough to describe:  the superiority of reason over power, justice over force, right over might.  Yet Greek literature puts on display the troubled history of that goal’s implementation.  Supposed reasonable nations, people and governments need to exert more force and violence than the supposed ‘brutes’ they have supplanted.
These tensions are ubiquitous in world literature. Our course will explore forerunners and followers of the Greek idea of Titan and Olympian succession.  Students will produce a work of interest for their field of study that manifests the universality of this phenomenon.  Students may explore its application in regards to pedagogy, history, political science, the evolution of mores and law, family life, etc.  The course’s theme is drawn from ancient Greek and Roman sources.  It will be displayed by means of literature as well as theatrical applications. A major paper and presentation will provide the bulk of evaluation, as well as an examination. 

CPLT 7140 / Jeffery M. Leichman W 12-2:50 The Movies Go to the Theatre: Acting and Identity in Films About the Stage

The actor exists at the confluence of being and seeming, and this double status has long been a site of philosophical and esthetic inquiry around the world.  Originally formulated with respect to the live performance of the stage, the advent of cinema has added a new dimension to the central question of acting: what constitutes the truth of a person?  This course will explore how major filmmakers, throughout the twentieth century and across national boundaries, have used the self-reflexive device of stories about acting for the stage as a vehicle to explore the construction of self in cinema. Our approach will complement film screenings with theoretical and theatrical texts that establish the limits of the debate around acting and the real, as well as critical assessments of the problematic of representing the stage on film in movies by Malle, Rivette, Szabó, Hitchcock, Bergman, Rivette, Fosse, Assayas, Iñáritu, Cassavetes and Almodóvar, among others.

This is a seminar-style class; regular attendance and frequent participation in class discussions are essential.  Students are expected to prepare the reading material in advance of class, as well as to view all required films prior to class.  Articles will be placed on e-reserve or included in the course reader; plays will be placed on reserve in the library and made available for purchase in the bookstore.  All students will have an oral presentation and will write a 20-page seminar paper at the end of the course.  Open to any interested student, upon instructor approval.

GERM 4005 / John Pizer German for Reading Knowledge

This course presumes no knowledge of German on the part of the students, though those with some familiarity with German are also welcome. The exclusive focus is on learning to read German texts. Grammar is explained but the classroom activity focus is on translating texts from German into English. This is a specialized course intended to satisfy the departmental foreign language reading requirement for graduate students. Undergraduates may enroll on a Pass-fail basis only. The textbook is German for Reading Knowledge, 7th ed., by Richard Korb.


Fall 2016

CPLT 7010 / M 3-6 History of Theory and Literary Criticism Antiquity to Enlightenment Adelaide Russo

This course addresses foundations of European Literary Theory from Antiquity to the Enlightenment. Required Text: Leitch, Cain, Finke, Johnson, McGowan, Williams, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd Edition. Readings include: Antiquity: Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Longinus, Quintilian, Plotinus; Medieval: Augustine of Hippo, Moses Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Boccaccio; Christine de Pisan; Renaissance: Joachim Du Bellay,  Sir Philip Sidney; Neo-Classicism to the Enlightenment Pierre Corneille, John Dryden, Giambattista Vico, Boileau, Kant, Hume, Edmund Burke, Lessing, Hegel. Students will be required to prepare an annotated bibliography, 5 to 7 discussion questions and a ten minute (maximum) oral class presentation of two texts, and a 15 to 20 page research paper. Students will work in pairs for the bibliography and the class presentations of the readings. The written versions of the presentations and the bibliography are due the week following the oral presentations. 

CPLT 7120/ PHIL 4003 François Raffoul/ TuTh 1:30-3:00 Contemporary French Philosophy

Contemporary French philosophy occupies an important place not only in Philosophy, but also in Comparative Literature and Language Departments, and in the Humanities in general. We will engage in an intensive study of contemporary French Philosophy, following the three major axes of phenomenology, deconstruction(s), and ethics. We will explore these foci by reading major contemporary French philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Luc Marion, Dominique Janicaud, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Emmanuel Levinas. Themes will include: the definition of the phenomenon and phenomenology, essence and existence, givenness and excess, the question of humanism, the rethinking of ethics and responsibility, the other and community, differance and deconstruction, the question of the event. Intellectual movements considered will include structuralism and post-structuralism, phenomenology

CPLT 7130 (sec 1)/ THTR 7926 Femi Euba/TuTh 10:30-12 Seminar in African Drama

A comparative study of the dramatic and theatrical expressions of the black cultures in Africa, identifying, where possible, not only African influences on some of the dramatic works in the diaspora, but also the Western classical influences on African plays. Works include those by Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Tewfik al-Hakim, etc. 

CPLT 7130 (sec 2)/ ENGL 7170 Sunny Chen Yang/ W 3:30-6:30  Ethnic American Literature and the Law

According to scholars of the legal movement known as “Critical Race Theory,” U.S. law has played a foundational role in producing and maintaining racial inequality. But how exactly has the law created racial differences and hierarchies? And how have people of color responded to or challenged these particular legal constructions? This seminar explores these questions, and others, through pairing nineteenth and twentieth-century legal texts (treaties, statutes, judicial opinions) with literary narratives that “write back” against their claims and assumptions. Topics covered will range from Native American dispossession and Mexican American property rights in California to Japanese internment and school desegregation.

CPLT 7140 / ENGL 7962 (Sec 2) / Sharon Weltman TH 3-6 Broadway Musicals:  Adapting and Performing the Nineteenth Century.

In this course we will consider 19th-century literary and popular works along with their 20th- and 21st-century adaptations to the musical stage.  Source texts may include novels such as Oliver Twist, Les Misérables, Jane Eyre, Sweeney Todd, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Le Fantôme de l'Opéra or operas such as Madama Butterfly (adapted to Broadway as Miss Saigon) and La Bohème (adapted as Rent). Both operas were of course already adaptations from Madame Chrysanthèm and Scènes de la vie de bohème. The complex genealogies from 19th-century sources through Victorian melodrama to early film and back to the musical stage will help us to situate these Broadway shows historically and generically. Also of interest is the circulation of plays and actors among France, England, and the United States in the nineteenth century, particularly the significance of the politically radical new form of French mélodrame in the development of the English and American melodramas and their subsequent impact on the evolution of American musical theater. Theories of adaptation, transmediation, and performance will set the stage for discussion. Creative alternatives (an adaptation of your own) may be substituted for the final paper, with permission.  

CPLT 8900 / TBA Teaching World Literature Adelaide Russo

Students will audit the undergraduate sections of World Literature and meet to discuss theoretical and practical issues related to Teaching World Literature to Undergraduates: Readings Teaching World Literature;  World Literature: A Reader. Current articles on the topic.

Of Related Interest

HIST 7908/ Suzanne Marchand W 3-6 This is the introductory course for graduate study in history.  Both MA and PhD students in all fields of history are required to take this course in their first semester at LSU, but non-historians are welcome as well, and have been wonderful additions to the conversation in the past.  Readings for the course are drawn from every field and period of history, from the ancient to the modern, from European and American history to the histories of China, Africa, and Asia.  But the emphasis in this course is not on coverage, but on the craft of history writing, and on the methods historians use.  Students in the course will learn how to make historical arguments, and how to use sources of all sorts to answer historical questions.  Assignments include several short argumentative papers, one paper based on archival documents, and one paper based on microfilmed newsprint.  The final assignment is an annotated bibliography and précis for a research project to be completed in the spring semester (students in fields other than history can arrange other options with the instructor).