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COMPARATIVE
LITERATURE
PENN STATE
A list of our Spring 2015 Course
Offerings
Spring 2015
Course Guide
Spring 2015
CMLIT 001: INTRO TO WESTERN
LITERATURES THROUGH THE
RENAISSANCE (Kelly Lehtonen)
T R 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM 212
Hammond Bldg

Th i s c o u r s e s u r v e y s t h e
development of Western literature
from ancient Greek and Roman
civilizations to medieval and
Renaissance Europe"covering
some of the best and most
inuential literature from more
than three thousand years of
cultural experience. Beginning
with Homers Odyssey, we will
then look at selections from
masterpieces such as Virgils
Aenei d, Beowul f , wor ks of
Arthurian legend, Dantes Inferno,
and Chaucers Canterbury Tales,
concluding with Miltons great
English epic, Paradise Lost. Along
the way, we will consider how
these works helped to shape many
c u r r e n t i d e a s a b o u t t h e
signicance of life, death, destiny,
choice, community, individuality,
honor, heroism, and romance
(among many other concepts) that
are still considered essential to
todays Western civilization.
Throughout the course we will pay
especially close attention to how
each author represents issues of
travel"both in its positive sense
of pi l gr i mage, voyage, or
adventure, as well as in its
negative sense of banishment,
exile, and separation from the
homeland. This class has no
formal prerequisites"just an
interest in reading great literature.

CMLIT 010: WORLD
LITERATURES (Nicolai Volland)
T R 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
262 Willard Bldg
This course offers an exploration
of world literature, from antiquity
to the twenty-rst century. In the
course of the semester, we will
read literary works from the
Western tradition, but also from
Latin America, Africa, the Arabic
world, India, Southeast Asia,
China, and Japan--among many
others, exploring the full range
and diversity of world literature.
You will encounter classics you
may be familiar with, but which
appear in new light here; but you
will also discover literatures from
all corners of the globe. The class
will cover a range of genres and
topics and help you to familiarize
yourself with the analysis of
literary masterpieces. You will gain
p r o c i e n c y i n r e a d i n g ,
i nt er pr et i ng, and cr i t i cal l y
analyzing literary works. In
particular, you will learn to
r e c o g n i z e a n d a r t i c u l a t e
similarities as well as differences
of literary works across cultural
traditions. You will practice
expressing your ideas through
written exams and discussions,
both online and in small groups.
CMLIT010 is a required course for
students intending to major in
Comparative Literature.

CMLIT 100: READING ACROSS
CULTURES (Jonathan Eburne)
T R 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
104 Oak Building
CMLIT 100 is an introductory
course t o t he di sci pl i ne of
Comparative Literature. The course
is built around a central theme (or
series of themes) and the reading
assi gnment s ar e chosen t o
complement this central concept
of the course. Past themes have
included "Literatures of the Body,"
"Mortality and Immortality," "Art
and Life," "Personal Narratives The
Diary," "Close Encounters Africa
and the West," "Knowledge and
Power," among others. Through
various traditional (books) and
non-traditional (lm, multimedia,
hypermedia) texts from around the
world, students will develop the
ability to analyze literature in
different ways. Students will
examine the works both within
their individual and diverse
cultural contexts, and in their
relationship to broad or universal
t hemes t hat t r ans cend t he
boundaries of time and place. As
an introductory course, CMLIT
100 is intended to lay a solid
foundation for further study in any
college-level courses on cultures
or l i t e r a t ur e . Thr oug h a n
examination of a wide range of
world literature, we will explore
the practical aspects of what it
means to deal with literary works
in a comparative global context.
The course is intended to help you
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develop your analytical and
compar at i ve s ki l l s and t o
simultaneously introduce you to a
wide variety of interesting world
literatures. Students are evaluated
on e s s ay e x a ms , i n- c l a s s
discussion, group projects, and a
nal comprehensive exam/essay.
Evaluation may also include web-
based activities, on-line discussion
and written student journals/
reaction papers. Note CMLIT 100
is a required course for students
intending to major in Comparative
Literature and is recommended for
students in other humanities elds.
General Education students are
also encouraged to enroll. The
cour s e f ul l l s t he Gener al
E d u c a t i o n H u m a n i t i e s
requirement, the Bachelor of Arts
Humanities requirement, and the
General Education United States
and I nt er nat i onal Cul t ur es
requirement.
CMLIT 101U: RACE, GENDER
AND IDENTITY IN WORLD
LITERATURE (Shuang Shen)
T R 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
210 Ferguson Bldg
This course will use different
genres of cultural works (short
stories, novels, epic, and lms)
from different cultures and periods
to explore three themes: a. identity
in the classical world; b, the
human and the non-human, and
c. identity and globalization. The
discussions about these topics will
consistently revolve around a
wide range of responses to the
ot he r " i de a l i z a t i on of
difference as exotic/esoteric, fear
of difference as threat, the desire
to suppress difference or force it
into conformity, the recognition of
di f f erence/ si mi l ari t i es wi t hi n
ourselves, etc. This course will
provi de nei t her easy/ si mpl e
cultural summaries nor solutions
to conicts relating to issues of
race, gender, and identity. Rather,
emphasis is placed on awareness
and re-evaluation of existing
assumptions and re-imagining the
self and others in a more ethical
manner. Course requirements
include three formal papers,
weekly short response paper, and
an oral presentation. All readings
will be in English.

CMLIT 107: Exploration, Travel,
Migration, and Exile (Reiko
Tachibana)
T R 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
101 Osmond Lab
CML I T 107 c ompa r e s t he
l i t e r a t u r e s o f t r a v e l a n d
exploration from ancient times to
the future, from narratives of
journeys actually experienced
through narratives of journeys
imagined in the mind. The notion
of the journey is broadly dened
as encompassing both literal and
metaphorical
experiences, including travel
j our nal s and di ar i es , epi c
a d v e n t u r e s , q u e s t s o f
introspection, dreams and visions,
and depictions of the future.
Through reading, discussion, and
writing, you will examine and
compare the different roles that
travel can play in the imaginations
of both the individual writers and
the cultures from which they
come. You will not only explore
recurrent themes and timeless
topics, but also the ways in which
travel writing can both reinforce
and subvert the basic value-
systems, stereotypes, or other
assumptions present in its cultural
cont ext . For many wr i t er s,
traveling elsewhere is a means of
evaluating their own societies, as
well as a means of recording their
responses to encountering real or
i magi ned new pl aces . The
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journeys of this course, which vary
greatly from each other, will also
allow you to consider some of the
vast unknowns of the individual
human mind and imagination. By
traveling through this course, you
will have the opportunity to
develop the analytic reading,
t hi nki ng, and wri t i ng ski l l s
necessary for the understanding of
a vari et y of l i t erat ures and
cultures, as well as the exploration
of your own identity as an
individual. This course fullls
requirements for the Comparative
Li t erat ure maj or, t he Worl d
L i t e r a t ur e mi nor, Ge ne r a l
Education Humanities, Bachelor
of Arts Humanities, and General
E d u c a t i o n I n t e r n a t i o n a l /
Intercultural Competency. Student
performance in this course will be
measured in a variety of ways,
including some or all of the
f ol l owi ng ( al ways i ncl udi ng
writing and discussion): in-class
and/or take-home essays/exams -
literary diaries or reaction papers -
in-class and/or online discussion/
participation -individual and/or
group in-class presentations/
projects -research or topic papers.


CMLIT 108: MYTHS AND
MYTHOLOGIES
(Sydney Aboul-Hosn)
M W 4:40 PM - 5:55 PM
100 Life Sciences Bldg
Myths and Mythologies offers you
an opportunity to travel the world
from a Penn State classroom. This
course compares Ancient Near
Eastern, Native American, Hindu,
and African myths and myth
cultures in their literary, social,
geographi cal , pol i t i cal , and
religious contexts. You will meet
trickster gures like Coyote,
Raven, and Spider, as well as
heroes like Gilgamesh and Papaju.
Cultural appreciation will be
enhanced with video clips, music,
and native art. This course will
show you the world in new and
exciting ways which connect all of
these traditions to each other and
to you.
If you liked reading Greek and
Roman myths in high school, you
may want t o broaden your
horizons and learn about myth
cultures from around the world. In
this course, we will discuss
Ancient Near Eastern, Native
American, Hindu, and African
mythologies. Beginning with the
oldest written text in the world,
we will travel through time to the
relatively recently written myths of
the Navajo and the Dogon. You
will understand the similarities
that link all myth cultures, as well
as the distinctive differences that
make them unique.

CMLIT 141: RELIGION AND
LITERATURE: ISLAM (Hoda El
Shakry)
T R 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
220 Hammond Bldg
This introductory course explores
the different ways in which
literature draws upon or interacts
with religion, with a special
emphasis on Islam. With nearly
1.6 billion Muslims around the
world, Islam is the fastest growing
and second l argest rel i gi on
globally. Over the course of the
semest er, we wi l l consi der
dramatizations of the Quran,
religious allegories, expressions of
mystical experience, explorations
of theological issues, literature that
promotes or meets the needs of
piety, as well as the utilization of
religious imagery and symbolism
as a poetic resource. Our readings
will also include avowedly secular
literature that questions or is
critical of specic religious
practices or traditions and their
adherents. In this regard, we will
also look at the reactions to and
censorship of literary works
deemed heretical by state or
religious institutions. Readings of
l i t e r a r y ma t e r i a l s wi l l be
supplemented by the religious
materials that they draw upon.
Additionally, we will be watching
a number of lms that address
religious or spiritual concerns. A
background i n I sl am i s not
necessary for this course.

CMLIT 143: HUMAN RIGHTS
AND WORLD LITERATURE
(Andres Amerikaner)
M W F 1:25 PM - 2:15 PM
117 Thomas
Human rights refers to basic
rights and freedoms to which all
humans are entitled, often held to
include the right to life and liberty,
f r e e d o m o f t h o u g h t a n d
expression, and equality before
the law. But these ideas have not
always been a part of human
thought and some scholars believe
that without certain forms of
literature todays understanding of
human rights would not exist.
Through comparative analysis of a
variety of human rights storytelling
genres that reect a range of
contexts, this course will suggest
that it is impossible to understand
human rights without also thinking
about the stories that create and
sustain their idea. One main
premise of this course is that the
representation of human rights
violations is always a vexed
undertaking. It is both urgent and
necessary, while also incomplete
and inadequate. In order to
explore this dilemma, this course
f ocuses on t he i nt ersect i on
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between human rights advocacy
and the various cultural forms that
explicitly attempt to participate in
human rights discourse. The
course will cover a variety of
cultural forms such as comic
books, movies, photography,
novels, testimonials, poetry, plays,
etc. that reect on human rights
atrocities such as slavery, the
Holocaust, war, dictatorships,
apartheid, Genocide, and more. At
the center of the course are
questions about aesthetics and
ethics. What are the risks and
obligations of human rights
storytelling and how are these
linked to specic cultural forms
and aesthetic practices? This
course examines a range of
human rights stories through a
balance of context and close
reading, where stories are studied
both for what they say and how
they say it.

CMLIT 153: INTERNATIONAL
CULTURES: FILM AND
LITERATURE (Henry Morello)
T R 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
220 Hammond Bldg
Comparative Literature 153 is an
introductory course on literature
and lm in their cultural contexts.
This course compares narrative
and artistic techniques employed
by literature and lm in portraying
different social and cultural
environments, which will range
widely around the globe and may
include Africa and the Middle
East , East Asi a, and Sout h
America, as well as European and
American examples. Structured
thematically, the course will offer
a way to see the world through six
pai ri ngs of l ms and t ext s,
including novels, poems, plays,
and short stories. The purpose of
this course is to allow you to
examine how the works attempt to
represent various aspects of a
given culture, time, and place.
Through a combination of
l e c t ur e s a nd c ompa r a t i ve
discussions, you will study how
narrative and formal components,
i n c l u d i n g p l o t , g e n r e ,
environment, character, and point
of view, are developed in lms
and ction from diverse cultures.
The comparative nature of this
course allows you to understand,
evaluate, and appreciate both the
universal and unique qualities of
the human condition. The study of
narrative and formal technique
will help you develop analytical
skills in discussing and writing
about the literary and cinematic
expression of cultural values.


CMLIT 184 / ENGL 184: THE
SHORT STORY (Sydney Aboul-
Hosn)
M W F 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM
108 Sackett Bldg
M W F 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM
107 Sackett Bldg
This course will introduce you to
short ction from around the
wor l d, begi nni ng wi t h t he
Thousand and One Nights and
ending with the present day. Like
Aladdin, you will travel the world
in short stories from Asian,
European, Ameri can, Nat ive
American, and African traditions.
We will discuss the unique
structure and impact of short
ction. Writers to be included are
Borges, Poe, Mishima, Momaday,
Gar ci a M r quez, Cl ar ke,
Mahfouz, and Bombl. If you
want to see the world and
literature in unique ways, this
course is for you!

CMLIT 185: WORLD NOVEL
(Robert Caserio)
M W F 1:25 PM - 2:15 PM
108 Sackett Bldg
In this course, which is cross-listed
with English, students will read
examples of the modern novel
from around the world. Focusing
on novels written outside of
America and England, this class
will explore the development of
the modern novel as a genre
across a number of world cultures.
As an example, moving from the
beginnings of literary modernism
(the late nineteenth century)
t hr ough t he ear l y and mi d
twentieth century, the course will
consider works by writers such as
the following: Chinua Achebe,
Italo Calvino, Albert Camus,
Si mone deBeauvi or, Fyodor
Dos t oevs ky, I s ak Di nes en,
Mar guer i t e Dur as , Nat al i a
Ginzburg, Herman Hesse, James
Joyce, Thomas Mann, Gabriel
Garcia Marquez, Kenzaburo Oe,
and Marcel Proust. This course
will address the ways in which the
world novels under consideration
constitute examples of various
literary forms and styles. The class
will examine the differences and
di s t ances bet ween l i t er ar y
movements such as social realism
and magical realism, modernism
and postmodernism. The goals of
this course will be to hone
students' critical reading and
writing skills while granting them
the ability to think about the
modern novel as a distinct genre
in a comparative global context.
Students will be asked to read a
minimum of ve to six novels,
spending an average of two weeks
studying each work. They will be
asked to complete at least three
writing assignments including at
least two kinds of writing such as
the essay, essay exam, or semester-
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long reading journal. This course
wi l l pr e pa r e s t ude nt s f or
additional college-level literature
courses by helping them to
develop the analytical skills
necessary to analyze complex
written texts. This course fullls a
General Education Humanities
requirement.

CMLIT 401Y: THE WESTERN
LITERARY HERITAGE I (Julianna
Chapman)
M W F 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM
103 Willard Bldg
The main theme of this course will
be Literary Afterlives"how texts
live beyond their origins as they
a r e t r a n s l a t e d , a d a p t e d ,
appropriated, and revised in other
cultures, other time periods, and
even through other artistic forms
(literature into music, visual art,
l m, et c. ) . A s el ect i on of
foundational texts of western
literature from Antiquity through
the Middle Ages will be studied
from the perspective of their
origins and literary afterlives. This
course will begin with the ancient
Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh
and end with Chaucer. The aim of
the course is to study, against their
cultural backgrounds, a selection
of texts from the major literary
traditions of Western civilization
before the Renaissance and
explore how these stories lived on
from their origins to the present
day. Attention is also given to
recurrent themes that transcend
genre and artistic form (e.g.,
c l a s s i c i s m, r o ma n t i c i s m,
pastoralism). Works of major
authors, such as Vergil, Dante, and
Chaucer, as well as anonymous
works, will be read. Readings will
be assigned in English, although
comparative literature majors will
wor k i n f or ei gn l anguages
according to their language
preparation and interests. This
course qualies as a Writing
Intensive course.

CMLIT 403 / LTNST 403:
LATINO/A LITERATURE AND
CULTURE (John Ochoa)
T R 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
221 Hammond Bldg
This course is a consideration of
U.S. Latino literature, art, and
thought. Although the emphasis
will be on Chicano/Border art and
literature, the course will also
i ncl ude t ext s and hi st ori cal
background from the Puerto
Ri can, Domi ni can, Cuban-
American, and other diasporas.
We will read literature and lm,
but also consider visual art,
per f or mances, and cul t ural
practices (like quinceaeras
a n d s o c c e r l e a g u e s ) a n d
s o c i o l o g i c a l i s s u e s l i k e
immigration. We will address
some of the following themes: the
imaginary homeland; families and
assimilation; conicted identities
and gender; language and a sense
of place. We will emphasize two
basic tools of analysis: "close
reading," and primary research.
However, the class project will
have quite a bit of creative
latitude.

CMLIT 408: HEROIC
LITERATURE (Patrick Cheney)
T R 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
217 Thomas
Comparative Literature 408 offers
students an overview of one of
West ern l i t erat ures premi er
literary forms: the epic. We will
concentrate on epic or heroic
literature from classical antiquity
through the European Renaissance
(about 1674). In particular, we
will read epics from three different
worlds or periods: Classical,
Medieval, and Renaissance. The
works include those by many great
writers who have shaped modern
cons ci ous nes s and act i on:
Homer, Virgil, Dante, Marie de
France, Ariosto , Spenser, and
Milton. National languages (to be
read in translation) include Greek,
Latin, French, Italian, and English.
Throughout the course, we will
view each writers epic in light of
his or her historical environment
and period. We will augment our
pr i mar y r eadi ngs, a set of
secondary readings: theories of
epic, from Aristotle to C.S. Lewis.
Readi ng t heor i es of epi c
alongside epics themselves, we
shoul d acqui r e a t hor ough
grounding in this important
literary form.
Throughout, we will unify our
readings by concentrating on the
topic of human heroism: ethical
thought transformed into moral
behavior in culture and cosmos.
What constitutes heroism? Is it a
form of action within society or a
mode of belief independent of
society? Does masculine heroism
differ from feminine heroism?
What r esources- - physi cal ,
spiritual, moral, institutional--does
the heroic individual rely on?
What cultural predicaments give
rise to heroism--do the pressures
come from within the individual
or from institutions or other socio-
political groups? And what is the
ultimate goal of heroism--fame
within time among succeeding
generations of human beings or
glory beyond time among the
inhabitants of God's eternal
kingdom?
Assi gnment s i ncl ude a f ew
abstracts of epic theories; 2-3
s hor t r e s pons e pa pe r s on
individual epics; and 2 longer
papers (4-5 pages) comparing
epics we have read.

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CMLIT 429: NEW MEDIA AND
LITERATURE (Brian Lennon)
T R 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
322 Sackett Bldg
Compar at i ve s t udy of t he
aesthetics and techniques of lm
and literature; close analyses of
masters of each art form.


C ML I T 4 5 3 : NA R R AT I V E
THEORY: Film and Literature
M W F 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM
215 Thomas
Compar at i ve s t udy of t he
aesthetics and techniques of lm
and literature; close analyses of
masters of each art form.

CMLIT 471: POETRY AND
POETICS (Lea Pao)
M W F 10:10 AM - 11:00 AM
208 Willard Bldg
This course is for anyone who has
ever been afraid of poetry. You will
learn how to read, understand,
andif you don't alreadylike
poetry. We will read poets like
John Ashbery, Muriel Rukeyser,
Christian Bk, Paul Celan, Anna
Akhmat ova, Dani i l Khar ms,
Stphane Mallarm, Hsia Y,
and Leung Ping-kwanpoetry
from a wide variety of languages
and in different media (from stone,
to paper, computer screens, and
even DNA). Students will develop
interpretive skills that come with
this wide variety of poetic forms
and structures and will learn how
to think about what it means for
something to be poetic, whether
it is a poem, a Leonard Cohen
song, a last minute eld goal, or a
toilet.

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Summer 2015
Course Guide
Look for our exciting summer
lineup coming soon.
Including:
Look for World Literature, Myths and Mythology, and
International Cultures: Film and Literature
coming in the summer!!!