Modern Languages and Literatures

HAILI KONG, Professor and Chair
ELEONORE BAGINSKI, Administrative Coordinator
BETHANNE SEUFERT, Administrative Assistant

KHALED AL-MASRI, Assistant Professor
BENJAMIN SMITH, Visiting Assistant Professor

HAILI KONG, Professor
NAN MA, Visiting Instructor
JU-HUI CHIU, Lecturer
WOL A KANG, Lecturer

MICHELINE RICE-MAXIMIN, Associate Professor 2
CARINA YERVASI, Associate Professor
ARNAUD COURGEY, Visiting Lecturer

German Studies
SUNKA SIMON, Professor
TESSA WEGENER, Visiting Assistant Professor

WILLIAM O. GARDNER, Associate Professor
YOSHIKO JO, Lecturer
ATSUKO SUDA, Lecturer 3
CHRISTOPHER SCHAD, Visiting Lecturer

BRIAN JOHNSON, Assistant Professor
JASMINA LUKIC, Cornell Visiting Professor

LUCIANO MARTÍNEZ, Associate Professor
NANCI BUIZA, Assistant Professor
ADRIÁN GRAS-VELÁZQUEZ, Visiting Assistant Professor
FELIPE VALENCIA, Visiting Assistant Professor

Language Resource Center
MICHAEL JONES, Language Resource Center Director
ALEXANDER SAVOTH, Language Resource Center Technologist


2 Absent on leave, spring 2015.
3 Absent on leave, 2014–2015.

The Academic Program

Our courses balance traditional objects of study with emerging interdisciplinary projects on topics such as urban modernity, gender and sexuality, and media representations and manipulations of cultural values. Our curriculum engages the classics of world literature while also adapting to reflect the latest redefinitions and debates occurring within the Humanities. The linguistic knowledge students acquire in our courses enables them to speak and write confidently about texts and contexts, to go abroad and encounter the world and its residents in very different, more informed and meaningful ways.

Along with demonstrated competence in the language, a foreign literature major will normally complete a minimum of 8 credits in courses in advanced language, literature, or culture, and a culminating exercise such as a thesis, an oral or written comprehensive examination, or honors examinations. Depending on the program, one or more courses for the major may be taken in English. The department encourages interdisciplinary approaches and pertinent special majors. Students interested in more than one literature are encouraged to consider a major in comparative literature. Students with strong interest in learning languages and their mechanics should also take note of the related major in Linguistics and Languages. The department collaborates with educational studies to help students who wish to get teacher certification.

The Language Requirement

To receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, candidates must fulfill a foreign language requirement. The foreign language requirement can be fulfilled by:

(a) Successfully studying 3 years or the “block” equivalent of a single foreign language in grades 9 through 12 (work done before grade 9 cannot be counted, regardless of the course level);

(b) Achieving a score of 600 or better on a standard achievement test of a foreign language;

(c) Passing either the final term of a college-level, yearlong, introductory foreign language course or a semester-long intermediate foreign language course; or

(d) Learning English as a foreign language while remaining demonstrably proficient in another.

If you have fulfilled your language requirement, the department encourages you to use your time at Swarthmore to become truly proficient in that language, or to discover a new one.

Students whose placement recommendation is above the language sequence should consider taking introductory and/or advanced courses, many of which fulfill the College’s writing requirement.

Placement Tests

The Modern Languages and Literatures Department offers placement tests so as to appropriately position students in language classes when they arrive on campus. New students who have previously studied or have fluency in a language offered at Swarthmore should plan to take a placement test either online (French, German, and Spanish), during orientation week/the start of classes (Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese), or to meet with the section head (Russian). Students who have French/German/Spanish AP/IB are also required to take the online placement test. Upper-class students interested in taking placement test should contact Michael Jones in the Language Resource Center for information and instructions (mjones1, 610-328-8036).

For French only, first-year students with a 531 or higher on their online French placement test are required to take the written literature/culture essay placement test during orientation week to be correctly placed in a French class.

Note: Placement Tests are not a substitute for an official standard achievement test of a foreign language (such as the College Board exam or the International Baccalaureate). Therefore, they do not serve as proof of achievement for the purpose of fulfilling the language requirement. These tests are only intended to assist instructors in placing students in the appropriate Swarthmore course.

For additional information on placement visit each program’s website.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit

The department will grant 1 credit for incoming students who achieved a score of 4 or 5 on Advanced Placement Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish examinations once they have successfully completed a one-credit course in that language at the College.

The department will grant 1 credit for incoming students who have achieved a score of 6 or 7 in a foreign language on the International Baccalaureate once they have successfully completed a one-credit course in that language at the College.

Students who took an AP or IB exam should consult the department administrative coordinator, Eleonore Baginski (ebagins1) for more information.

Note: Students with French/German/Spanish AP-IB scores are nonetheless required to take the online placement test.

Explanatory Note On First- And Second-Year Language Courses

Courses numbered 001–002, 003, and, in some languages also 004, carry 1.5 credits per semester. Four semesters in this sequence are equivalent to two or sometimes more years of work at the college level.

These courses encourage development of communicative proficiency through an interactive task-based approach and provide students with an active and rewarding learning experience as they strengthen their language skills and develop their cultural competency These courses meet alternately as sections for grammar presentation and small groups for oral practice and may also require work in regular scheduled tutorials or in the Language Resource Center.

Students who start in the 001–002 sequence must complete 002 to receive credit for 001. However, students placing directly in 002 can receive 1.5 semester credits for that course. Please note that students must register for both parts of the course in the 001–004 sequence.

Teacher Certification

We offer teacher certification in modern languages (French, German, and Spanish) through a program approved by the state of Pennsylvania. For further information about the relevant requirements, please refer to the Educational Studies section of the College Bulletin or see the Educational Studies Department website:

Explanatory Note of Foreign Language Teaching And Pedagogy Courses

The Foreign Language Teaching and Pedagogy program is a service-learning program designed to give Swarthmore students practice teaching in their target language by offering early foreign language education to school age children. Swarthmore students teach their foreign languages to local elementary school students in an after-school program that meets two times per week for six weeks. Swarthmore students study foreign language acquisition and prepare goal-oriented lesson plans in the pedagogy session that meets over the course of the semester and concurrently with the service (teaching) component of the program. The program brings Swarthmore students into the classroom as language teachers, gives them tools to identify educational goals for language learning, and offers support for the creation of lesson plans. The goal of the program at the elementary school is to help young children expand their comprehension of the world around them and bring them to a closer understanding and acceptance of cultures other than their own. This course is required for K–12 certification in Foreign Languages for majors in Educational Studies. Prerequisites for this course are native fluency or the equivalent of fourth-semester language competencies in one of the seven languages offered in MLL. Courses are listed under the teaching target language. See CHIN 013A, FREN 024, GMST 024, JPNS 014A, RUSS 012A, and SPAN 024, which are cross-listed with EDUC 072. Each course carries 0.5 credits per semester.

Off-Campus Study

Students on financial aid may apply that aid to designated programs of study abroad.

Study abroad is particularly encouraged for students of Arabic; academic credit (full or partial) is generally approved for participation in programs of varying duration in different Arab countries that are recommended by the Arabic section. These include, but are not limited to, universities and programs in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, and Tunisia.

Study abroad is particularly encouraged for students of Chinese; academic credit (full or partial) is generally approved for participation in several programs of varying duration in the People’s Republic of China and in Taiwan, recommended by the Chinese section. In the People’s Republic these include, but are not limited to, the Inter-University Program (IUP) Program at Tsing-hua University, the Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Program, the CET Program in Harbin and the Middlebury program in Kunming. In Taiwan, these include the International Chinese Language Program (ICLP), the Mandarin Training Center in Taipei and the Chinese Language Center, National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.

All French/Francophone studies majors are required to complete a preapproved, semester-long study abroad program in a French-speaking country. Minors are strongly encouraged to attend such semester-long programs and should at least attend a preapproved six-week summer program in a francophone country.

Students of German studies are strongly encouraged to spend at least a semester in a German-speaking country. There are several excellent opportunities to participate in an approved program, such as the Columbia Consortium Program in Berlin, the Macalester College German Study Program in Berlin/Vienna, or the Dickinson college program in Bremen. Students should consider going abroad in the spring semester. This will enable them to participate fully in the semester schedule of German and Austrian Universities.

Students of Japanese are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad programs. Swarthmore College participates in a regular exchange program with Tokyo University (the AIKOM program), and the Japanese Section has prepared a carefully selected list of other recommended programs in Kyoto, Nagoya, and elsewhere. Students interested in study abroad should consult with the head of the Japanese Section for more information.

Students in Russian are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester in the A.C.T.R., C.I.E.E., or Middlebury programs or at the Smolny Institute through Bard College, among others in Russia.

All Spanish majors and minors are required to complete a study abroad program in a Spanish-speaking country. Swarthmore College offers students interested in studying abroad several programs listed on the Spanish website To ensure full immersion, all courses taken abroad must be taken in Spanish. We strongly suggest that majors and minors as well as non-specialists meet with a Spanish faculty member to discuss the possibilities and find the program that best suits their academic needs and interests.

Students who plan to do graduate work are reminded that, in addition to the language of specialization, a reading knowledge of other languages is often required for admission to advanced studies.

The department also certifies credit for off-campus study of languages that are not taught at Swarthmore, such as Cantonese, Catalan, Farsi, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Twi, and so on.

Literatures in Translation

Students who are already proficient in a particular foreign language are urged to select an appropriate literature/culture course taught in the original language. LITR courses provide students with the opportunity to study cultural material that they cannot read in the original and often to study literature in a comparative context.

In some language programs, these courses cannot be substituted for the introductory course sequence between 010 and 020 to satisfy departmental prerequisites for a major or minor in the original languages, but many of these courses can satisfy the 8 credit requirement of a foreign literature/studies major as each section specifies.

LITR 006G. First-Year Seminar: Exploring the Boundaries of Travel Writing

This first-year seminar examines the formation of cultural identity through the lens of mobility and travel. The specific focus of this course will enable students to grapple with topics related to transcultural encounter and representations of otherness. Students will be asked to engage in critical readings of texts that complicate traditional notions of travel. They will also develop a keen perception of how spatial dynamics and historical contexts shape the perspectives from which travel is narrated. Works included in the course are colonial texts, narratives of exile and Holocaust deportation, literary road trips and documentary travelogue films.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 009CH. First-Year Seminar: Heaven, Earth, and Man: Ways of Thought in Traditional Chinese Culture

(Cross-listed as CHIN 009)
This introductory course explores the most influential currents of thought and culture in traditional China, through directed readings and discussions of original sources in translation. No prerequisites and no knowledge of Chinese or of China are required.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 009S. First-Year Seminar: A New World: Conquests, Encounters and Dialogues in and around Latin America (W)

(Cross-listed as SPAN 009)
This first-year seminar explores the New World that resulted from the “discovery,” colonization and exploitation of Latin America by the Europeans, particularly the Spanish. The encounter between the “Old” and the “New” Worlds was a two-way exchange in which new cultures emerged from the ruins of those destroyed, and the way of conceiving of the world and the self was utterly transformed for all involved. We will read texts by Europeans who encountered others and imposed upon them, but also texts by the defeated, where they tell their side of the story. Furthermore, we will pay special attention to those subjects in between different worlds, from Florida and Peru to Mozambique and Japan. Readings include texts by Columbus, Cortés and Las Casas; Aztecs, Mayans and Incas; and More, Montaigne and Shakespeare. In English.
Eligible for LASC Credit.
Writing Course.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Valencia.

LITR 013R. The Russian Novel: The Classic Tradition

(Cross-listed as RUSS 013)
This course surveys the rise of the Russian novel during the nineteenth century. We will read works by Lemontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Our examination of the literary and rhetorical strategies of these authors will be grounded in an understanding of their cultural context. We will probe issues of Russia’s national identity, class system, and tendency toward authoritarianism during this paradoxical century of inertia and upheaval. As a writing course, polished academic writing and the process of revision is given particular emphasis.
Writing course
1 credit
Fall 2014. Johnson.

LITR 014R. The Russian Novel: Revolution, Terror and Resistance

(Cross-listed as RUSS 014)
This course surveys the Russian novel during the twentieth century, from the years leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution, through the Soviet era, and into the post-Cold War period. Works include Andrei Bely’s modernist novel Petersburg, Yuri Zamiatin’s sci-fi dystopia We, and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Faustian masterpiece Master and Margarita. In addition to exploring ideas of genre and artistic strategy, particular focus will be paid
to the ways in which these and other authors resist the terror and repression of their respective eras.
1 credit.
Fall 2015. Staff.

LITR 015R. East European Prose in Translation

(Cross-listed as RUSS 015)
Novels and stories by the most prominent 20th-century writers of this multifaceted and turbulent region. Analysis of individual works and writers with the purpose of appreciating the religious, linguistic, and historical diversity of Eastern Europe in an era of war, revolution, political dissent, and outstanding cultural and intellectual achievement. Readings, lectures, writing and discussion in English; qualified students may do some readings in the original language(s).
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Lukic.

LITR 016CH. Substance, Shadow, and Spirit in Chinese Literature and Culture

(Cross-listed as CHIN 016)
This course will explore the literary and intellectual world of traditional Chinese culture, through original writings in English translation, including both poetry and prose. Topics to be discussed include Taoism, Confucianism, and the contouring of Chinese culture; immortality, wine, and allaying the mundane; and the religious dimension, disengagement, and the appreciation of the natural world. The course also will address cultural and literary formulations of conduct and persona and the expression of individualism in an authoritarian society.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Berkowitz.

LITR 017F. First-Year Seminar: Literature and Medicine

(Cross-listed as FREN 017)
Portrayals of doctors provide a great opportunity to discover some classic works of French Literature, including Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Proust’s Swann’s Way, and Albert Camus’ The Plague. Other authors studied are Montaigne and Diderot. Students focus their discussions on the relationship with patients when these are seen as both humans beings and objects of science. Another topic of interest is how literature can be viewed as therapeutic. Throughout the seminar, we try to understand what had made these works original in their times and a source of admiration up to our days. Texts and discussions in English.
1 credit
Fall 2014. Blanchard.

LITR 017J. First-Year Seminar: The World of Japanese Drama

(Cross-listed as JPNS 017 and THEA 017)
This first-year seminar will explore the unique dramatic traditions of Japan from diverse angles, including a study of dramatic texts, videos of performance, and films based on famous dramatic works. Our seminar will focus on the three great dramatic traditions of Noh masked drama, Bunraku puppet theater, and Kabuki. We will also examine the cultural background of these dramatic forms, including the influence of Buddhism, Shintô, and shamanism, as well as the philosophical background and methodology of training and performance.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 017R. First-Year Seminar: Love and Sex in Russian Literature

(Cross-listed as RUSS 017)
Best known for political priorities and philosophical depth, Russian literature has also devoted many works to the eternal concern of love and sex. We will read significant and provocative works from traditional folk tales through the 21st century to discuss their construction of these most “natural” impulses—and how they imagine the relationship of human attraction to art, politics and philosophy.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 021J. Modern Japanese Literature

(Cross-listed as JPNS 021)
An introduction to Japanese fiction from the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the present day, focusing on how literature has been used to express the personal voice and to shape and critique the concept of the modern individual. We will discuss the development of the mode of personal narrative known as the “I novel” as well as those authors and works that challenge this literary mode. In addition, we will explore how the personal voice in literature is interwoven with the great intellectual and historical movements of modern times, including Japan’s encounter with the West and rapid modernization, the rise of Japanese imperialism and militarism, World War II and its aftermath, the emergence of an affluent consumer society in the postwar period, and the impact of global popular culture and the horizon of new transnational identities in the 21st century. All readings and discussions will be in English.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 021R. Dostoevsky (in Translation)

(Cross-listed as RUSS 021)
Writer, gambler, publicist, and visionary Fedor Dostoevsky is one of the great writers of the modern age. His work inspired Nietzsche, Freud, Woolf, and others and continues to exert a profound influence on thought in our own society to the present. Dostoevsky confronts the “accursed questions” of truth, justice, and free will set against the darkest examples of human suffering: murder, suicide, poverty, addiction, and obsession. Students will consider artistic, philosophical, and social questions through texts from throughout Dostoevsky’s career. Students with knowledge of Russian may read some or all of the works in the original.
1 credit.
Spring 2016. Staff.

LITR 023CH. Modern Chinese Literature: A New Novelistic Discourse (1918–1948)

(Cross-listed as CHIN 023)
Modern Chinese literary texts created between 1918 and 1948, presenting a series of political, social, cultural, and ideological dilemmas underlying 20th-century Chinese history. The class will discuss fundamental issues of modernity and new literary developments under the impact of the May Fourth Movement. No previous preparation in Chinese required. All texts are in English translation, and the class is conducted in English.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 023R. The Muslim in Russia

(Cross-listed as RUSS 023)
The long and strong relationship of Russia and Islam has been neglected in scholarship until recently. This course will examine texts (and films) spanning more than a thousand years, to introduce actual interactions of Russians and Muslims, images of Muslims in Russian literature (and a few Muslim images of Russia), the place of Muslim writers in Soviet literature, and the current position of Muslims in Russia and in Russian discourse.
Eligible for ISLM credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 024J. Japanese Film and Animation

(Cross-listed as JPNS 024/FMST 057)
This course offers a historical and thematic introduction to Japanese cinema, one of the world’s great film traditions. Our discussions will center on the historical context of Japanese film, including how films address issues of modernity, gender, and national identity. Through our readings, discussion, and writing, we will explore various approaches to film analysis, with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of formal and thematic issues. A separate unit will consider the postwar development of Japanese animation (anime) and its special characteristics. Screenings will include films by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Imamura, Kitano, and Miyazaki.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 025A War in Arab Literature and Cinema

(Cross-listed as ARAB 025)
This course will explore literary and cinematic representations of war in the Arab world, focusing on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the Lebanese Civil War, and the Iraq wars. We will look at poetry, fiction, memoir, prison narratives, film, and experimental texts. Through the examination of a variety of experiences, genres, and perspectives, we will ask questions like: How do narratives of war contribute to the formation of national, local, and Arab identities? How has the experience of war impacted understandings of religion, masculinity, gender, and domestic violence? We will identify common themes and images, and also investigate how these patterns change and develop in different spatial and temporal contexts.
Eligible for ISLM and PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 026R. Russian and East European Science Fiction

(Cross-listed as RUSS 026)
Science fiction enjoyed surprisingly high status in Russia and Eastern Europe, attracting such prominent mainstream writers as Karel Čapek, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Evgenii Zamiatin. In the post-Stalinist years of stagnation, science fiction provided a refuge from stultifying official Socialist Realism for authors like Stanisław Lem and the Strugatsky brothers. This course will concentrate on 20th-century science fiction (translated from Czech, Polish, Russian and Serbian) with a glance at earlier influences and attention to more recent works, as well as to Western parallels and contrasts.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Forrester.

LITR 027CH. The Story in Dynastic China

(Cross-listed as CHIN 027)
In this class we will read in translation and discuss a fair sampling of imperial China's most renowned stories. In exploring the most celebrated and influential examples of narrative literature from early times into the Qing dynasty, we will look at these stories, some short, others quite elaborate, in terms of overt structure and content, as well as backgrounded literary and cultural material, and we will address their production and consumption in literati and popular contexts. We also will consider these writings in terms of the formulation of enduring cultural contours of character, allegory, and lyricism; individual and society; aesthetics and emotion; imagination and realism; heroism and valor. All readings will be in English, mostly translations of original texts, with some supplementary writings about traditional Chinese fiction.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Berkowitz.

LITR 029A. Arabs Write the West

(Cross-listed as ARAB 029)
Drawing on historical, fictional, and autobiographical narratives, this course investigates Arab representations of the Occident. These texts explore cultural encounters, both at home and abroad, border crossings, hybridity, experiences of colonialism and neocolonialism, the psychology of Orientalism and Occidentalism, processes of assimilation and resistance, and the question of contact zones. Differences in geography, period, context, and positionality will provide a variety of perspectives on the theme. Works by Abd Al-Rahman Al-Jabarti, Rifa‘a Al-Tahtawi, Yahya Haqqi, Sulaiman Fayyad, Tayyib Salih, Leila Ahmed, and Fadia Faqir will be discussed. This course is taught in English.
Eligible for ISML credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Al-Masri.

LITR 030A. Literature of Resistance

(Cross-listed as ARAB 030)
This course explores Arabic texts that take a stand against contemporary political, social, or economic realities. Fiction and non-fiction accounts as well as poetry will be investigated alongside experimental contemporary genres and blogs to uncover the different ways in which Arabs are attempting to rewrite the world around them. The theme of resistance—against colonialism, state oppression, social codes, and literary norms—will shape our discussions. New narratives inspired by the Arab uprisings will receive special focus. This course is taught in English.
Eligible for ISLM or PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Smith.

LITR 035J. Narratives of Disaster and Rebuilding in Japan

(Cross-listed as JPNS 035)
This course will explore documentary and fictional representations of the modern Japanese landscape and cityscape in crisis, with special attention to the role of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster as a catalyst for change in contemporary Japan. Documentaries and fictionalizations of the 2011 “triple disaster” reignited debates over cultural trauma and the ethics of representing disaster. Through the study of literature, film, and critical discourse, we will examine the historical and cultural implications of such famous 20th-century disaster narratives as Godzilla and Japan Sinks, as well as the latest writing and films from Japan, in the context of public debates about safety, sustainability, and social change after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.
The course is a part of the BMC 360˚ course cluster “Perspectives on Sustainability: Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan.” The final project for the 360˚ course cluster will involve an exhibition utilizing objects and texts in the Trico special collections and archives. Readings and discussions will be in English. Course enrollment is limited; priority for registration will be given to 360˚ students and Japanese and Asian Studies majors and minors.
Eligible for ASIA or ENVS credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 041J. Fantastic Spaces in Modern Japanese Literature

(Cross-listed as JPNS 041)
As Japanese society has transferred rapidly in the 20th century and beyond, a number of authors have turned to the fantastic to explore the pathways of cultural memory, the vicissitudes of interpersonal relationships, the limits of mind and body, and the nature of storytelling itself. In this course, we will consider the use of anti-realistic writing genres in Japanese literature from 1900 to the present, combining readings of novels and short stories with related critical and theoretical texts. Fictional works examined will include novels, supernatural tales, science fiction, and cyber-fiction by authors such as Tanizaki Junichirô, Abe Kôbô, Kurahasi Yumiko, and Murakami Haruki.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 042R. Revolutionary Theater

(Cross-listed as RUSS 042)
We start with Konstantin Stanislavsky’s founding of the Moscow Art Theatre, whose revolutionary approach to acting, directing and set design exerts a profound effect on Western theater to this day. Concurrently we will examine Anton Chekhov’s four major plays and their integral part in the success of the Moscow Art Theatre. We then examine the effect of the Soviet revolution on Russian theater from two viewpoints. On the one hand, we will follow the arc of directors and playwrights such as Vsevelod Meyerhold who embraced the Soviet revolution and reflected this embrace in their radically innovative and futuristic productions and set designs. On the other hand, we will follow the tragic arc of playwright Mikhail Bulgakov and his stormy relationship with the Moscow Art Theater and the Soviet regime by reading his plays and his bitingly funny satire Black Snow.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Johnson.

LITR 045A. Contemporary Thought in the Arab World

(Cross-listed as ARAB 045)
This survey course will trace some of the main themes, problems and issues that have been debated among Arab thinkers and intellectuals since the latter part of the 19th century. The course will start with the 19th century but emphasize discussions following the military defeat of 1967 and the ensuing cultural and political crisis. Discussions related to “turath” (heritage), the different strategies of its reading and interpretation, and the possibilities of using these readings to confront the contemporary challenges of a globalized world will be the center of attention of the course.
Readings for the course will comprise three types of texts: historical and social background, translations of texts by the different thinkers under discussion, and articles and essays that interpret and critique these thinkers.
Eligible for ISLM credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 047R. Russian Fairy Tales

(Cross-listed as RUSS 047)
Folk beliefs are a colorful and enduring part of Russian culture. This course introduces a wide selection of Russian fairy tales in their esthetic, historical, social, and psychological context. We will trace the continuing influence of fairy tales and folk beliefs in literature, music, visual arts, and film. The course also provides a general introduction to study and interpretation of folklore and fairy tales, approaching Russian tales against the background of the Western fairy-tale tradition (the Grimms, Perrault, Disney, etc.). No fluency in Russian is required, although students with adequate language preparation may do some reading, or a course attachment, in the original.
Eligible for INTP credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2016. Forrester.

LITR 049S. Cervantes’ Don Quixote : The Narrative Quest

(Cross-listed as SPAN 049)
What is it about Don Quixote’s tilting at windmills and acting as if life followed the rules of fiction that has captivated the imagination of so many writers and thinkers ever since it was written in Spain four hundred years ago? This course explores Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605–1615) through theoretical texts, from Bakhtin to Foucault, from Lukacs to Borges, in order to think about Cervantes’s innovations in narrative technique, the possibility of interpretation, and the nature of fiction and reality. Students will acquire tools of literary analysis and theory. In English.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Valencia.

LITR 051J. Japanese Poetry and Poetics

(Cross-listed as JPNS 051)
Japanese poetic forms such as haiku, renga, and tanka have had a great impact on modern poetry across the world, and have played a central role in the development of Japanese literature and aesthetics. This course will examine Japanese poetry from its roots in ancient oral tradition through the internet age. Topics include the role of poetry in courtship, communication, religion, and ritual; orality and the graphic tradition; the influence of poetic models from China and the West; social networks and game aesthetics in renga linked poetry; and haiku as a worldwide poetic form. Course projects will include translation and composition in addition to analytical writing. Readings will be in English, and there are no language requirements or other prerequisites; however, the course will include a close examination of Japanese poetic sound, syntax, meter, and diction, or how the poems “work” in the original language.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Gardner.

LITR 054G. German Cinema

(Cross-listed as GMST 054/FMST 054)
This course is an introduction to German cinema from its inception in the 1890s until the present. It includes an examination of early exhibition forms, expressionist and avant-garde films from the classic German cinema of the Weimar era, fascist cinema, postwar rubble films, DEFA films from East Germany, New German Cinema from the 1970s, and post 1989 heritage films. We will analyze a cross-match of popular and avant-garde films while discussing mass culture, education, propaganda, and entertainment as identity- and nation-building practices.
Eligible for FMST credit, fulfills national cinema requirement.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 055CH. Contemporary Chinese Cinema: The New Waves (1984–2005)

(Cross-listed as CHIN 055/FMST 055)
Cinema has become a special form of cultural mirror representing social dynamics and drastic changes in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan since the mid-1980s. The course will develop a better understanding of changing Chinese culture by analyzing cinematic texts and the new wave in the era of globalization. All films are English subtitled, and the class is conducted in English.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Kong.

LITR 059FG Diasporas in Cinema

1 credit.
Fall 2015. Simon and Yervasi

LITR 061FJ. Manga, Bande Dessinée, and the Graphic Novel: A Transnational Study of Graphic Fiction

(Cross-listed as JPNS 061)
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 069CH. Taste and Aesthetics in Chinese Cultural Traditions

(Cross-listed as CHIN 069)
This course will explore various dimensions of taste and aesthetics in traditional Chinese culture, from the earliest times into the recent past. Broader aspects of the course will include concept, form, and substance in classical literary, and philosophical formulations; ritual practice and ceremonial performance; and continuities and disjunctures in private vs. public and individual vs. societal taste. More focused readings and discussions will concern food, alcohol, tea, and the culinary arts; appreciation, aesthetics, and poetics in music, painting, calligraphy, literature, sculpture, and theater; the harmony of the human body and the evaluation of beauty and suitability in men and women; landscape appreciation and visions of the natural world; leisure and the passa tempo pursuits of Go, flower and tree arrangement and elegant gatherings.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Berkowitz.

LITR 070R. Translation Workshop

(Cross-listed as LING 070R and RUSS 070)
This workshop in literary translation concentrates on translation theory and practice, working in poetry, prose, and drama as well as editing. Students will participate in an associated series of bilingual readings and will produce a substantial portfolio of work. Students taking the course for LING credit will write a final paper supported by a smaller portfolio of translations.
Excellent knowledge of a language other than English (equivalent to a 004 course at Swarthmore or higher) is highly recommended or, failing that, access to at least one very patient speaker of a foreign language.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Forrester.

LITR 072F. French Literature in Translation

This course is designed to provide students with a broad knowledge of French literature, from before the Revolution to the present. Among the authors included on the syllabus are: Molière, Voltaire, Balzac, Baudelaire, Proust, Camus and Sartre. Students will read works in their entirety, discuss their significance in class, and listen to short lectures to situate the readings in a historical and cultural context.
1 credit.
Spring 2016. Blanchard.

LITR 073F. The French New Wave

(Cross-listed as FMST 073)
This course is an in-depth exploration of the development and evolution of the French New Wave in postwar France. We will concentrate on the history of the New Wave in France from the 1950s through the late 1960s by the close study of the styles of individual filmmakers, the “film movement” as perceived by critics, and the New Wave’s contribution to modernizing France. The primary emphasis will be on the stylistic, socio-political, and cultural dimensions of the New Wave, and the filmmakers and critics most closely associated with the movement.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Yervasi.

LITR 073FA. The French New Wave (attachment)

Attachment course for students enrolled in LITR 073F. Translation for students reading in French.
0.5 credit.
Fall 2014. Yervasi.

LITR 074J. Japanese Popular Culture and Contemporary Media

(Cross-listed as JPNS 074)
Japanese popular culture products such as manga (comics), anime (animation), television,
film, and popular music are an increasingly vital element of 21st-century global culture, attracting ardent fans around the world. In this course, we will critically examine the postwar development of Japanese popular culture, together with the proliferation of new media that have accelerated the global diffusion of popular cultural forms. Engaging with theoretical ideas and debates regarding popular culture and media, we will discuss the significance of fan cultures, including the “otaku” phenomenon in Japan and the United States, and consider how national identity and ethnicity impact the production and consumption of popular cultural products. We will also explore representations of technology in creative works, and consider the global and the local aspects of technological innovations, including the internet, mobile phones, and other portable technology. Readings and discussion will be in English. The course will be conducted in a seminar format with student research and presentations comprising an important element of the class. Previous coursework in Japanese studies or media studies is recommended but not required.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Gardner.

LITR 074S. Queer Issues in Latin American Literature & Cinema.

(Cross-listed as SPAN 074)
This course will map new forms of representation and interpretation at play in a set of queer issues emerging on recent Latin American literature and cinema. Emphasis will be on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender subjectivities. The aim is not merely assembling a corpus of readings around the notion of minority sexualities but to analyze how sexuality is culturally constructed in specific spatial and temporal geographies. We will also investigate the ways in which literary genres are disturbed and redeployed by queer interventions, and how cinema becomes a privileged medium for empowerment and visibility. Taught in English.
Eligible for LASC and GSST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2016. Martínez.

LITR 077F. Caribbean and African Literatures and Cultures in Translation

(Cross-listed as FREN 077)
Through close reading and discussion of African and Caribbean texts, originally written in French, we will examine the “re/wri/gh/t/ing” of the local and national pre/ post/colonial H/h/istories. The emphasis will be on some cultural, social and racial issues and on their rendering in distinct literary forms: language, rhythm, influences, ruptures, etc. The theoretical readings of CLR James, F. Fanon, A. and S. Césaire, E. Glissant, among others, will guide our analysis. Taught in English; and there will be a 0.5 credit French Attachment for students reading in French.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 081CH. Transcending the Mundane: Taoism in Chinese Literature and Culture

(Cross-listed as CHIN 081)
Chinese civilization has been imbued with Taoism for some two and one-half millennia, from popular belief and custom to intellectual and literary culture. In addition to consideration of the texts and contexts of both philosophical and religious Taoism, the class will examine the articulation and role of Taoism in Chinese literature and culture and the enduring implications of the Taoist ethos. All readings will be in English.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 083J. War and Postwar in Japanese Culture

(Cross-listed as JPNS 083)
What was the Japanese experience of the World War II and the Allied Occupation? We will examine literary works, films, and graphic materials (photographs, prints, advertisements, etc.), together with oral histories and historical studies, to seek a better understanding of the prevailing ideologies and intellectual struggles of wartime and postwar Japan as well as the experiences of individuals living through the cataclysmic events of midcentury. Issues to be investigated include Japanese nationalism and imperialism, women’s experiences of the war and home front; changing representations and ideologies of the body, war writing and censorship, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese responses to the occupation, and the war in postwar memory.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.

LITR 086R. Nature and Industry in Russian Literature and Culture

(Cross-listed as RUSS 086)
From pre-Christian religion and folklore based in forest, steppe and tundra and the enduring role of peasant culture to today’s Neo-Pagans, Russian culture has been closely bound to nature, developing sustainable agricultural practices, honoring “Moist Mother Earth” and (even
sophisticated city dwellers) heading out to gather berries and mushrooms. But the Soviet era pursued science-fictional plans to redesign whole landscapes, make rivers flow backwards and even
revolutionize plant genetics (Trofim Lysenko). In practice, such projects led to a shrinking Aral Sea, massive pollution of industrial and agricultural sites, and the worst nuclear disaster in human history (Chernobyl)—at great human cost. Writers have both supported industrial transformation and resisted industrialization. This course will trace the evolution of these elements of Russian culture, focusing on expressions of ideology in literature. No knowledge of Russian is necessary, but students with the language may do some reading in the original.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Forrester.

LITR 091CH. Special Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture in Translation: Dancing Across Borders; the Body, Aesthetics and Ideologies in 20th Century China

(Cross-listed as CHIN 091)
This course uses dance as a unique artistic and theoretical prism to analyze the complex interplay among the body, aesthetics, and ideologies in 20th-century China. The goal of the course is to familiarize the students with the transnational and transcultural context within which modern dance was first introduced into China from the West via Japan, and to show the students how to situate the evolving trajectory of dance in China in the power struggles among competing political agendas, aesthetics, ideologies, and art forms. This course teaches the basic methods to read, reconstruct, and analyze dance works. The reading materials are all in English.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2014–2015.