LTCO 201 - Theories and Methods of Literary Analysis

Trans-Indigenous Perspectives on Arabic Lit

Amanda Batarseh

Please contact instructor for course description.

LTCO 287 - Culture and Political Theory

Racism before Race: Difference-Making in the Ancient World

Edward Kelting

The phrase “the human race” reflects an early racial logic indebted to the heterogeneous strategies of difference-making one sees in ancient Mediterranean literature. This seminar will read Greek, Roman, and Egyptian texts that speak to that heterogeneity. In particular, we will attend to the interconnection of racism with other gendered, ableist, colonial, economic, and speciesist ideologies in the Roman-Imperial world. In addition to ancient literature in translation, readings will include antiracist and posthumanist scholarship that provide complementary responses to the “human race” concept.

LTCO 287

LTCS 225 - Interdisciplinary and Historical Analysis of Cultural Texts

The Global Eighteenth Century

Todd Kontje

The eighteenth century marked what has been termed the “second phase of accelerated globalization,” following the colonial expansion of Europe in the sixteenth century, and preceding the heyday of European imperialism around 1900 and our present age of instant global communication, mass migration, and ecological catastrophe. While Portugal and Spain spearheaded the first phase, France and England took the lead in the eighteenth century, with German intellectuals reflecting on the significance and ethics of their endeavors. Driven by a combination of curiosity and greed, eighteenth-century intellectuals and imperialists left a decidedly mixed legacy to posterity. The period witnessed the expansion of the international slave trade, the growth of settler colonialism and near-eradication of indigenous peoples, the articulation of racial hierarchies and the emergence of Orientalist ideology. At the same time, political revolutionaries on both sides of the Atlantic cast off colonial rule and rejected feudal tyranny in the name of universal human rights, movements that inspired calls for the emancipation of women, the abolition of slavery, and anticolonial critiques. This seminar offers an overview of some of the central topics in the global eighteenth century, including settlement, slavery, interracial romance, racial theory, political revolution, ecological awareness, and concepts of world literature. Readings will include literature (e.g. Robinson Crusoe), non-fiction (Adam Smith, Locke, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant, Montaigne, Marx, and Engels), contemporary criticism, and cultural theory. 

LTCS 225

LTEN 252 - Studies in Modern American Literature and Culture

Queer Theory and Literature

Meg Wesling

This seminar explores the ways in which queer methodologies have evolved over the past decades. Moving from psychoanalytically-inspired models of subjectivity, identity, and desire to modes of social and political critique, queer theory is now a broad, theoretically amorphous endeavor. What constitutes the “queer” in queer theory? What is the object of its critique? How have new interventions in the field drawn upon or rejected the founding texts of queer studies as an intellectual enterprise and a mode of social critique?  What, at this point, is the relationship between queer theory and related modes of critique (including feminist theory, queer of color critique, and trans studies)?

LTTH 210A - Proseminar on Literary Scholarship

Sarah Nicolazzo

This is the first in the three-course series of introductory graduate seminars for first-year PhD students in the Literature department. The Proseminar has three main goals: to introduce new PhD students to a wide range of contemporary conversations in literary/critical theory and methodology, to introduce students to the department’s faculty and their fields of study, and to train students in the foundational skills of graduate study.

The course’s theme, “Thinking Across Borders,” reflects the uniquely multilingual, interdisciplinary structure of the UCSD Literature department, and across our conversations this quarter, we will keep reflecting on what it means to think across national, linguistic, disciplinary, and temporal borders in our work as scholars and teachers. It also reflects the situatedness of UCSD itself on unceded Kumeyaay territory, which is currently occupied by the heavily militarized US/Mexico border, and in a city that has long been instrumental to US empire-building in the Pacific and beyond. We will continue to return to the question of situatedness in both its spatial and metaphorical registers. What does it mean to be situated in a field, or across multiple fields? How are we situated in relation to our archives and our scholarly communities? Where do we know from, and what does it mean to begin to know from here?