Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Greek Tragedy
A survey of selected tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, exploring the relation between tragedy and political freedom and empire in fifth century B.C. Athens. The course examines the tragic poets' use of traditional Greek myths to question not only the wisdom of contemporary Athenian imperialism but also traditional Greek views on relations between the sexes; between the family and the city; between man's presumed dignity and his belief in gods. Mythical and historical background is supplied through additional readings from Homer and Thucydides. The course asks how the tragedians managed to raise publicly, in the most solemn religious settings, the kind of questions for which Socrates was later put to death. The course culminates in a reading of Aristotle's Poetics. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

Independent Research Project
(Approval Required) (Staff)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Independent Essay Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Senior Honors Essay
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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).

Terms Taught

Winter 2019

Requirements

EUR, LIT, PHL, WTR

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