LTCO 281 - Literature and Film

Ozu and Comparative Film Studies

Daisuke Miyao

Ozu Yasujiro has been the object of critical attention by critics and scholars globally. In Japan, early celebrations of Ozu emphasized his realism in faithfully depicting the reality of modern life in the 1930s. Later, especially after World War II, the primary focus of realism in Ozu criticism shifted to life’s vicissitudes and to a broader idea of humanism. This postwar critical tendency appeared to influence early scholarship on Ozu outside of Japan from the late 1950s the early 1970s, which humanistically celebrated Ozu as an auteur. Then, it was Ozu’s unique film style that made him a central figure during the institutionalization of film studies in Euro-American academia in the late 1970s and 1980s. Ozu’s work served as a suitable example in demonstrating both the universal (“a humanist auteur”) and the particular (“a challenger to Hollywood”). Since then, scholars and critics have studied the films of Ozu from various theoretical and historical standpoints. This seminar will examine both Ozu films and Ozu studies. At the same time, we will discuss problematic relationships between “Western” theory and “non-Western” texts. The primary goal of this seminar is to interrogate the historical specificity of film culture in order to challenge cultural essentialism. 

LTCS 225 - Interdisciplinary and Historical Analysis of Cultural Texts

Imaginaries and Literatures of the Spanish (Trans) Pacific World

John Blanco

UNBEKNOWNST TO many, the world of the mission was a colonial netherworld: a vast frontier in which the proliferation of miracles and monsters at once signified the dead letter of (any) law and the millenarian promise of its imminent arrival. Throughout the Americas and most parts of the Pacific world, the encounter of native cultures with Westerners led to deculturation or cultural genocide: the breakdown of preexisting forms of social organization, structures of knowledge about the world (epistemologies), and the connection between the human and nonhuman / spiritual domains. The prevalence of social anarchy throughout the colonial peripheries, however, gave these forms a ghostly afterlife: neither native nor “Westernized,” colonial subjects traversed landscapes and seascapes composed of ill-fitted pieces of a cultural enigma, in which certain ancestral traditions appeared as exotic as European fashion and etiquette. The literature that bears the greatest testament to this (colonial world) is embodied in the voluminous tomes written by missionary monks and Jesuits regarding the progress and retardation of their respective missions. This course will explore certain features of this literature and the cultural imaginary it sustained across the western reaches of New Spain (Mexico-US Southwest), the Philippines, the Marianas, and other island regions, over the course of almost three centuries. Topics will include: the political theology of “spiritual conquest,” the formation of devotional cults, the role of images and icons in the Christian imaginary, the poetics of hagiography, the concept of Evil, and the role of religion in empire. 

LTCS 225

LTEN 252 - Studies in Modern American Literature and Culture

Queer Theory

Meg Wesling

Please contact instructor for course description.

LTEN 281 - Practicum in Literary Research and Criticism

Joo Ok Kim

This practicum is an introduction to academic publishing and research designed for graduate students. It focuses on practical experience and the logistics of publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals. As well, it explores various research processes through conversations with authors, editors, and a curator of archival collections. The primary goal of the course is to demystify the publication process and to share tactics for successful academic publication. 

LTSP 272 - Literature and Society Studies

Conquest & Abiayala Rising: Writing by and about Indigenous Peoples in Latin America

José Carvajal Regidor

In this course we will consider the relationship between writing (broadly conceived) and the notion of “conquest” throughout the American continent. As a course that fulfills a historical breadth requirement, there will be a strong focus on the colonial period in Latin America. We will explore the legal and religious justifications presented for European invasion, as well as a host of different types of writing produced within the context of an imperial project in the Americas. These include chronicles, religious texts, maps, legal documents, among others. Similarly, we will explore Indigenous responses to these logics and impositions, focusing especially (but not exclusively) on texts produced in alphabetic writing. We will engage contemporary scholarship (re)interpreting how evangelization, writing, and other colonial impositions shaped what we refer to as Latin America, both in a historical sense and in the present.  (A note on language: this course will be taught in a hybrid manner. Knowledge of Spanish is preferable but not required. On most if not all cases, students will be able to engage texts in both Spanish and English. While Spanish will be used often, students will be welcome to incorporate languages with which they are comfortable into class discussion. If you are taking this course to fulfill a language requirement, please contact your instructor as early as possible to determine the best configuration for your participation).  

LTSP 272

LTTH 210B - Introduction to Literary Theory

Oumelbanine Zhiri

Please contact instructor for course description.