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The foreign language departments at UVa provide exciting courses in translation that allow students to discover new ways of thinking and seeing the world. Becoming a truly global citizen means not only acquiring a deep appreciation for different cultures, but specifically insight into the preoccupations, passions, and shared experiences of other societies. The following courses in translation offer students unique access to this knowledge. All courses are taught by specialists of the languages and cultures of inquiry.
For all classes, lectures, discussions, readings and assignments are in English. These courses may fulfill college requirements such as the Second Writing Requirement, the Humanities Requirement and the Non-Western Perspective Requirement.
CLAS 2020 Roman Civilization (3 credits)
9:30-10:45 + section TR
This course serves as a general introduction to the history, literature, social life, institutions, and ideology of ancient Rome, from the origins to the 2nd century AD. We will look especially at the ways in which the Romans constructed a collective cultural identity for themselves, with attention also to groups marginal to or excluded from that identity (e.g. women, slaves, barbarians). Readings will focus on the ancient texts and sources, including the comedies of Plautus, Vergil's epic Aeneid, historical writing by Sallust and Tacitus, biographies by Plutarch and Suetonius, the love poetry of Ovid, and Petronius's novel Satyrica. Requirements include midterm and final exams, weekly journal entries, and a paper.
CLAS 2040 Greek Mythology (3 credits)
10:00-10:50 + section MW
An introduction to Greek mythology with some attention to the Near Eastern background. The course will focus on readings from primary texts, including the Gilgamesh epic, Homer, Hesiod, tragedy, and the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes. We will explore these works as literary artifacts and in relation to their cultural and historical background. We will also give some attention to theories of myth and mythological interpretation, and to the role of myth in modern culture.
CLAS 3100 Age of Odysseus (3 credits)
As our primary texts, we will read the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Hesiodic poems, and the major Homeric Hymns, as well as other bits and pieces from the Epic Cycle and Catalogue of Women. Within this literary context, we will examine the culture of Greece from 1200-700, including the Mycenean period, the "Dark Ages" and the beginnings of the polis. We will explore early Greek notions concerning the gods, human beings, society and nature as they are reflected in the texts we read. Select elements of the material culture of this period will be discussed. There will be short written assignments, a midterm and final, and a short paper. This is a discussion course rather than a lecture course.
CLAS 3559 Ancient into Modern (3 credits)
Does the ancient Muse sing on? How do modern poets wrestle with the past? In this class we will discuss the works of ancient Greek and Roman poets in translation as well as the modern and contemporary English-language poets they have inspired. Ancient authors will include Homer, Sappho, Sophocles, Vergil and Ovid. We will read modern works by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Derek Walcott, Anne Carson, Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath, among others. Each modern poet will be examined through the lens of an ancient forebear.
FRTR 2552 French Culture: African Cinema (3 credits)
5:00 pm – 6:15 pm TTR
This course is a survey of African cinema since the 1950s. First the course will examine the representation of Africa and the Africans in colonial films as well as the policies and practices of colonial nations regarding cinema and filmmaking in Africa. Second, the course will study the birth and evolution of celluloid filmmaking by Francophone Africans in the postcolonial era, the aesthetic forms and economic basis of filmmaking as well as the salient ideological and thematic structures of this cinema. Third, the course will examine the origins and development of Nollywood into the first “film industry” in Africa in the last twenty years.
GETR 3372/HIEU 3372/RELJ 3372 German Jewish Culture and History (3 credits)
Mr. Grossman & Mr. Finder
This course provides a wide-ranging exploration of the history and culture of German (-speaking) Jewry from 1750 to 1939 and beyond. It focuses especially on the Jewish response to modernity in Central Europe, a response that proved highly productive, giving rise to a range of lasting transformations in Jewish life in Europe and later in North America, in particular, and in European society and culture, more generally.
Until the mid-eighteenth century, Jewish self-definition was relatively stable. From that point on, it became increasingly contingent and open-ended. Before the rise of Nazism in 1933, German Jewish life was characterized by a plethora of emerging possibilities. This course explores this vibrant and dynamic process of change and self-definition. It traces the emergence of new forms of Jewish experience, and it shows their unfolding in a series of lively and poignant dramas of tradition and transformation, division and integration, dreams and nightmares. The course seeks to grasp this world through the lenses of history and culture, and to explore the different ways in which these disciplines illuminate the past. We will discuss processes of change that began with Jewish emancipation, the entry of Jews into European culture and society, and the acculturation (vs. assimilation) that ensued. These processes released new energies and produced new challenges for Jewish life. These energies led to the invention of the “Wissenschaft des Judentums” (the “science” or “academic study” of Judaism) and to various attempts to reform traditional Jewish life for a modern world—resulting in the reform, conservative and modern Orthodox movements. These newly released energies also gave rise to the literary salons of Berlin and Vienna, conducted by various independent Jewish women (e.g. Rahel Levin Varnhagen, Henrietta Herz) and serving as centers of German cultural activity. Similarly, individual Jews made important contributions far in excess of their numbers to modern European society and culture—in politics, literature and the press, philosophy, the natural and the social sciences. We will consider the various Jewish responses to modern politics of the left and right in Germany and Austria, including socialism, liberalism, the völkisch movements, political anti-Semitism and Zionism. We will examine the German Jewish response to Nazism and the fate of German and Austrian Jews during the Holocaust. Finally, we will explore the rebuilding of Jewish life in Germany and Austria after the Holocaust.
This course is intended to acquaint students with the study of German (-speaking) Jewish culture and history and assumes no prior training in the subject. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements will include two short essays and a 10-page term paper. Conscientious participation in class discussion is essential. Readings will be drawn from both primary and secondary literature. Represented in the primary reading will be central figures in German-speaking Jewry, including Heinrich Heine, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, and Gershom Scholem.
This course fulfills the second writing requirement.
GETR 3390/HIEU Nazi Germany (3 credits)
This course examines the historical origins, political structures, social dynamics, and cultural practices of the Nazi Third Reich. No prerequisites. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, a midterm and a final examination.
GETR 3462/HIEU 3462 Neighbors and Enemies (3 credits)
A biblical injunction, first articulated in Leviticus and then elaborated in the Christian teachings, stipulates that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself. This course explores the friend/enemy nexus in German history, literature and culture. Of particular interest is the figure of the neighbor as both an imagined extension of the self, and as an object of fear or even hatred. We will examine the vulnerability and anxiety generated by Germany’s unstable and shifting territorial borders, as well as the role that fantasies of foreign infiltration played in defining German national identity. We will also investigate the racial and sexual politics manifested in Germany’s real or imagined encounters with various foreign “others.” Most importantly, this course will study the tensions in German history and culture between a chauvinist belief in German racial or cultural superiority and moments of genuine openness to strangers. In the concluding part of this course, we will consider the changing meanings of friendship and hospitality in a globalizing world. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, one in-class presentation, weekly reading responses, and three short essays. No mid-term or final examinations.
GETR 3563/ CPLT 3590 Spiritual Journeys in Young Adult Fiction (3 credits)
This comparative inquiry into young adult fiction invites you to explore the topic of the spiritual journey both academically and personally. Different disciplinary perspectives such as religious studies, gender studies, history, psychology, and literary studies, will help us shed light on our private reading experiences and deepen our exploration of such themes as: religiosity vs. spirituality, experiencing divine presence and absence, becoming a hero, confronting evil, being different, achieving autonomy, faith and doubt, and the magical and the miraculous. My hope is that, over the course of the semester, you will develop a personal vocabulary in which you can express your thoughts on spiritual journeys in young adult fiction as well as articulate the relationships between your own quest and your academic pursuits.
This discussion based, reading-intensive seminar is cross-listed in the Comparative Literature and German departments and most texts come from the Western tradition. The sessions will be held in English. I encourage all students to participate actively in discussion, to engage the readings and each other critically and compassionately, to develop a regular reflective writing practice, and to work collaboratively in small learning teams.
GETR 3590 The University, God and Reason: The Ends of Education (3 credits)
This course considers the long and complex relationship between religion and universities. We will pay particular attention to how the ideals and practices of education have always been wrapped up with questions of faith, doubt, and the sacred. How were these ideals, beginning in ancient Rome and running through the Enlightenment, institutionalized in the medieval university and English and American colleges and then reinvented in the modern research university? One of our basic questions will be: what have universities held sacred? And what do they hold sacred today? All readings and class discussion will be in English. Readings to include: Augustine, Cassiodorus, Kant, Schleiermacher, Nietzsche, Eliot, and MacIntyre.
GETR 3590/CPLT 3590 Feminist Ethics as Discourse Ethics: Woolf, Bachmann, Wittig (3 credits)
The course will approach the question of exactly what a feminist ethics must look like, and in particular, how such an ethics must be reflected in discourse and its conventions. To this end, several texts of Virginia Woolf (including at least “A Room of One’s Own” and Orlando), Ingeborg Bachmann (including at least Malina, plus short prose), and Monique Wittig (including at least “The Straight Mind” and Les Guérillères) will be studied in detail with a view less to their content than to their specific qualities as discourse. One text with comparable feminist tendencies but by a male author may be included, perhaps Goethe’s Elective Affinities.
GETR 3590/CPLT 3590 The Legacy of the Symbolist Movement in French, German, English, and Dutch Verse (3 credits)
Each week at least two or three important symbolist poems will be studied in detail, with a view toward understanding their participation in a movement that revolutionized the very idea of poetry. Selections from the critical prose of several authors—at least Mallarmé, Pound, Eliot, Hofmannsthal—will also be discussed. All texts will be read in English, but specific features of non-English originals will be explained in class. At least five short interpretive papers will be assigned.
GETR 3590 Wor(l)dy Migrations 1960-2015: Transnational Images of German Multi-Kulti (3 credits)
How can one define Multikulti? Why has it been, and still is, so hard to attain? Can one speak of a particular “German” flavor of Multikulti? If so, in what ways has it failed? Moreover, how do Mutlikulti and Integration interrelate with and pertain to each other? And to what extent does successful integration depend on having German as Germany’s lingua franca?
GETR 3590 On Haunted Writing: The Ghosts of Literature (3 credits)
In this seminar we will explore the relationship between literature, the various phenomena of the uncanny in literature (phobic figures like the double, the alien, death, technology etc.), and the traces which the uncanny ghosts left in the field of literary criticism. When Freud published his famous essay on "The Uncanny" in 1919, he was not only able to draw on a series of uncanny texts from the 19th century, but he was also writing under the impression of the haunting, traumatic effects of the catastrophic first World War, thus giving a historical index to the phenomenon of the uncanny. Using Freud as a pivotal analytical figure, we will first read texts from the 19th century (authors include Poe, Stoker, Wilde, ETA Hoffmann, Gotthelf, Nietzsche and others) and then contemplate upon the trajectory of the uncanny in 20th century art, film (among others Coppola’s "Dracula" and Lynch's "Blue Velvet"), and criticism. If time permits, we can also explore the role of ghosts, specters and the uncanny in certain writings of Karl Marx, in particular in the 18th Brumaire, as well as in contemporary criticism such as Derrida’s writings on Freud and Marx.
There are no prerequisites for this course. Regular attendance is required. Students will give class presentations (group work is encouraged) and write two short papers (8-10 pages). This course fulfills the second writing requirement
GETR 3590 (3) German & English Linguistics (Part II) (3 credits)
This course aims at providing profound insights into the distinct workings of the German and English languages. After having covered the major subdisciplines of formal linguistics (phonology, morphology, and syntax) in Part I of the course, Part II will focus on meaning and language use and explore topics from semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics, including conversational implicatures, speech acts, discourse structure, and gendered discourse. The field of pragmatics deals with language from the point of view of its users, the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction, and the effects their use of language has on the other participants in an act of communication. Linguistic interaction, however personal or insignificant it may seem, bears the traces of the social structure that it both expresses and helps to reproduce.
We will apply some of these concepts directly to German and English language samples and analyze these concepts contrastively where appropriate. Students will have the opportunity to discover the workings of these two languages with hands-on practice. This course is useful for students with linguistic grounding but also for novices and will be taught in English. Part I of the course is not a prerequisite. No prior knowledge of German is needed.
JPTR 3020 Survey of Modern Japanese Literature: The Canon and Beyond (3 credits)
Ms. Michiko Wilson
A gateway to the rich, diverse modern Japanese literary tradition, from the early 1900s to the present, this course adoptssocio-cultural and gender perspectives in the context of world literature. It focuses on the writers’ obsessive questioning of self-identity, sexuality, the image of the “eternal woman,” the conflict of giri/ninjo (societal obligations vs. human emotions), communing with nature, and family and gender relationship. Readings include works by Sôseki Natsume (1867-1916), the first modern writer to delve into the human psyche; Ôgai Mori (1862-1922), the surgeon-turned writer; Ryûnosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927)—Japan’s O Henry; Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965), a master of eroticism and classical Japanese aestheticism. Also included: Naoya Shiga (1883-1971)—the "god" of the autobiographical fiction; Shûsaku Endo (1923-), Japan’s foremost Christian writer; two Nobel laureates, Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) and Kenzaburo Ôe (1935-); Harumi Murakami—the suave, urbane writer of the new generation; Minako Ôba—the consummate writer on human psychology; and Banana Yoshimoto—the healer of the heart. Satisfies the Second Writing and Non-Western Perspectives requirements.
ARTR 3350 Introduction to Arab Women's Literature (3 credits)
A comprehensive overview of contemporary Arab women's literature, this course examines all Arab women's literary genres starting from personal letters, memoirs, speeches, poetry, fiction, drama, to journalistic articles and interviews. Selected texts cover various geographic locales and theoretical perspectives. Special emphasis will be given to the issues of Arab female authorship, subjectivity theory, and to the question of Arab Feminism.
MESA 3559 Classics of Islamic Mystical Writings (3 credits)
This course is a survey of the classics of Islamic mystical writing, spanning from the Middle East to South Asia and the Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Indian vernacular languages. With an eye to both form and content, we will examine the literary productions of some of the most influential Sufi figures in Islamic history, including Rabi‘ah al-‘Adawiyyah, Mansur al-Hallaj, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Farid al-Din ‘Attar, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Ibn al-‘Arabi, Nizam al-Din Awliya’, Mir Sayyid Manjhan, Mirza Ghalib, Bulleh Shah, and others. Literary genres to be covered include hagiography, the spiritual autobiography, poetic verse (mathnawi, ghazal, qasidah), the epistle, and the epic romance. All readings will be studied in English translation.
MEST 2620 Aspects of Creativity in Arab-Islamic Heritage: Translated Classical Reading (3 credits)
This course aims to expose students to samples of original translated texts from the creative heritage of the Arab-Islamic civilization.
MEST 3559/5559- History of Persian Literature (3 credits)
This course examines the tumultuous history of one of the richest literary traditions in the world. Persian literature addresses not only the many thematic concerns of literature (love, romance, mysticism, heroism, vindication, panegyric, media, political philosophy, etc.), but also the social and cultural backdrops that mirror and create it.
PETR 5322 The Life and Poetry of Forugh Farrokhzad (3 credits)
This course focuses on the life and art of Forugh Farrokhzad in a spectrum of genres that includes poetry, travel narratives, literary criticism, essays, and films by and about her. Although from the beginning of her literary career, Farrokhzad was a daring, often irreverent explorer of taboo topics, she was also deeply rooted in the Iranian culture. We study the body of her work to better understand Iran in the 1950-60s.
PETR 3559 The Ghazal in the Middle East, and South Asia (1-4 credits)
This course will serve as an intensive introduction to both Classical philology and the ghazals of
Middle East, Near East and South Asia. Textual analysis, ranging from complex to extremely
complex, will enable students to gain a strong grounding in that literary tradition tradition. This
class is a language in translation and will only address the theme, philosophy, and rhetoric of
this poetic genre as is translated by the instructor and or other scholars.
SAST 1559 India in Global Perspective
Time: TBA TR
The course will focus in on the period since 1990, when India took dramatic steps to reform its economic policies and re-set its relationships with other world powers. Students will be introduced to a wide range of initiatives taking place in a variety of public and privates sectors, and be encouraged through focused case studies to learn about opportunities for them to discover their own interests, possibly by studying in India with the UVa semester program. Some of the classes will be delivered by UVa faculty (A&S, Comm, Medical, Physics, Engineering, Darden) who have on-going engagement with India through their research. Designed into the UVa India program is an internship experience. Through the course on grounds, a student can begin to imagine in what ways they can take full advantage of a learning experience in India.
SAST 5300 The Pleasures of Bollywood: Melodrama, Realism, Mythos (3 credits)
This class will focus on cinema produced by the industry in Mumbai, popularly called Bollywood. Topics will include the relationship between fiction and documentation, between melodrama and realism, music and affect. Students will be taught the tools of film analysis and will be expected to watch and unpack films each week. They will also be expected to consider films in the social, political and economic contexts in which they were made.
SAST 2800 The World According to South Asia (3 credits)
This course approaches South Asia and its cultural diversity from the inside out, rather than from an ‘other' centered, western viewpoint. This course is not about the history of South Asia. It is about understanding the contemporary cultural milieu 'the world as seen reflexively and reflectively through a South Asian lens. We will be reading and discussing almost exclusively South Asian voices' opinions and perceptions.
RUTR 2500 Topics in Russian Literature - Muse & Memory: Women in 20th Century Russian Lit
This course will look at the process of creation of Russian literature of the 20th century, and the role played by women as both muses and the bearers of memory. The first part of the course will look at the complex relationship between the Russian writer and his/ her muses. Questions that we will consider are: What is a muse? Where does inspiration come from?
RUTR 3340 Books Behind Bars: Life, Lit, & Community Leadership
In this course students grapple in a profound and personal way with timeless human questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How should I live? They do this by facilitating discussions about short masterpieces of Russian literature with residents at a maximum security juvenile correctional center. This course offers an integrated academic community engagement curriculum that provides a unique opportunity for service learning, leadership, and youth mentoring. It gives students first-hand understanding of both cultural diversity and the things all human beings share. It also deepens students’ appreciation of the ways in which the study and teaching of great literature can affect both personal and social development. Authors read will include Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Pushkin, Lermontov, and others. Past students report that the course helped them acquire invaluable professional skills and clarify career objectives. Many say that the course awakened or reawakened their passion for reading and reconnected them with a sense of the purpose and relevance of literature. They express enthusiastic appreciation for an experience that had a profound impact on their lives and allowed them to have a profound impact on the lives of others. This course is open to all students regardless of major or school, but enrollment is limited and by instructor permission only. You will receive 4 credits for this class. For more information, contact either Prof. Andrew Kaufman at email@example.com, or Course Assistant Rob Wolman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUTR 3360 20th Century Russian Literature
RUTR 3360 surveys the rich variety of Russian literature (prose, drama, and poetry) of the 20th century. Starting with Chekhov’s famous play, The Cherry Orchard, and revolutionary Russia, our course will build toward its crescendo with Boris Pasternak’s Nobel-Prize-winning novel, Doctor Zhivago, along the way visiting the many high points of Russian literary art of the last century. All works are read in English translation. This course satisfies the second writing requirement.
SLAV 2360 Dracula
Sec 001 3:30-4:45 MW
Sec 002 5:00-6:15 MW
An introduction to Slavic folklore with special emphasis on the origins and subsequent manifestations of vampirism. Western perceptions, misperceptions, and adaptations of Slavic culture are explored and explicated. The approach is interdisciplinary: folklore, history, literature, religion, film, disease and a variety of other topics.
SLFK 2120 Ritual and Family Life
This course examines traditional Russian and Ukrainian rituals and beliefs connected with marriage, birth and death, as well as gender roles and child rearing. We will also compare them with American customs and beliefs, and look at ways in which life-cycle rituals changed in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. No knowledge of Russian required. Satisfies the Non-Western Perspectives requirement.
Sec 101 M 5-5:50
Sec 102 M 6-6:50
Sec 103 W 6-6:50