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Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

LITS 0151 - The Golden Age of Athens      

The Golden Age of Athens: History and Literature
In this course we will trace the unprecedented intellectual innovation that begins with Greece’s triumph over the Persian invasions in 490 and 480-479 BC, continues through the emergence of radical democracy and imperialism at Athens, and culminates in the Peloponnesian War and Athens’ defeat in 404 BC by her former ally, Sparta. Through intensive study of selected works of historiography (Herodotus, Thucydides), tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides), comedy (Aristophanes), and philosophy (Plato), we will explore the central concerns of 5th-century Athenians: freedom and power, knowledge and virtue, law and nature, and the place of the divine in the human world. 3 hr. lect., 1 hr. disc EUR HIS LIT

Fall 2021

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LITS 0265 - Varieties Literary Ambiguity      

Varieties of Literary Ambiguity
We will consider readings in a range of European, British, and American fictions purposefully designed to lead the reader to uncertain or contradictory judgments regarding the larger implications of the tale. Narratives of this kind, often deceptively straightforward but in fact intricately conceived, may be understood to provide an experience of insinuating irresolution, calling for repeated and progressively deeper assessments of the same story. Authors whose works may be considered include Heinrich von Kleist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Nikolai Gogol, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Franz Kafka. 3 hrs lect/disc LIT

Fall 2017

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LITS 0266 - Sentimental Educations      

Growing up: Sentimental Educations
The Romantic movement lent new authority to personal feeling (then often referred to as 'Sentiment') as the most powerful way to apprehend truth. By 1900 childhood and adolescence had become accepted as separable stages of life through which one grew to adulthood. Accordingly, the nineteenth century witnessed the flourishing of an international fictional tradition, later called the Bildungsroman, or "novel of education" that focused upon a single individual in an increasingly urban world. We will study portrayals of 'growing up' in major, influential novels by Goethe, Balzac, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Flaubert (a novel titled Sentimental Education). Turgenev, Henry James and James Joyce. 3 Hrs. Lect/Disc EUR LIT

Spring 2018

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LITS 0282 - New Testament Narrative Art      

The New Testament in Narrative and Art: Considering the Aesthetics of the Christian Story
For two millennia, the figure of Jesus has captivated the imagination of spiritual seekers around the world. In this course we will explore literary and theological dimensions of the New Testament with special attention to the Gospel as stories, while considering works of art inspired by its themes and characters across time. Paintings, cinematography, and literary narratives from The Protevangelium of James and Maximus the Confessor, to Dostoevsky, Kazantzakis, Sholem Asch, Saramago, Flannery O'Connor, and Marilynne Robinson, will invite the question: how have word and image shaped the understanding of the sacred stories and Christian imagination? Through close readings of the New Testament and exegetical discussion combining systematic with narrative theology, we will analyze style and composition, situate the texts in their historical context, and explore various readers’ perspectives, ancient and modern. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. CMP LIT PHL

Fall 2019, Spring 2022

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LITS 0500 - Independent Research Project      

Independent Research Project
(Approval Required) (Staff)

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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LITS 0510 - Independent Essay Project      

Independent Essay Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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LITS 0700 - Senior Comprehensive Exam      

Senior Comprehensive Exam
Intended for majors in literary studies preparing for the written section of the senior comprehensive examinations.

Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022

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LITS 0701 - Independent Reading Course      

Independent Reading Course
Intended for majors in literary studies preparing for the senior comprehensive examinations. At the conclusion of this course, students will take a one-hour oral examination (part of the senior comprehensive examination) in a specialization of their choice. (Approval Required) (Staff)

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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LITS 0705 - Senior Colloquium      

Senior Colloquium in Literary Studies
Although it is required of all Literary Studies seniors, this course is intended for students working in any discipline who seek a close encounter with some of the greatest achievements of the literary imagination. In addition to being understood as distinctive artistic and philosophical accomplishments, the major works which constitute the reading list will also be seen as engaged in a vital, overarching cultural conversation across temporal and geographical boundaries that might otherwise seem insurmountable. The texts for this semester include Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Dostoevsky’ Crime and Punishment, Pirandello’ Six Characters in Search of an Author, and Borges’ Ficciones. (Open to non-majors with the approval of the instructor.) 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

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LITS 0710 - Senior Honors Essay      

Senior Honors Essay
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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LITS 1022 - Kafka and his Influence      

Kafka and his Influence
This course is an intensive inquiry into the work and reach of Franz Kafka. In addition to reading his novels, his stories, his letters and diaries, and his aphorisms, we will take up some of the voluminous and often highly imaginative writings on Kafka, with an eye towards fashioning some ideas, and some writings, of our own. (This course is a junior/senior seminar for ENAM majors; others by instructor approval). EUR LIT PHL WTR

Winter 2018, Winter 2019

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Program in Literary Studies

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753