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Office: Building 260, Rooms 127-128
Mail Code: 94305-2031
Phone: (650) 723-3566
Email: dlcl@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://complit.stanford.edu

Courses offered by the Department of Comparative Literature are listed under the subject code COMPLIT on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Department of Comparative Literature offers courses in the history and theory of literature through comparative approaches. The department accepts candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The department is a part of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

The field of Comparative Literature provides students the opportunity to study imaginative literature in a wide array of contexts: historical, formal, theoretical, and more. While other literary disciplines focus on works of literature within national or linguistic traditions, Comparative Literature draws on multiple contexts in order to examine the nature of literary phenomena from around the globe and from different historical moments, while exploring how literature interacts with other elements of culture and society. We study fictional narratives, performance, and poetry as well as cinema, music, and emerging aesthetic media.

Along with the traditional models of comparative literature that compare two or more national literary cultures and examine literary phenomena in light of literary theory, the department encourages study of the relationship between literature and philosophy and the enrichment of literary study with other disciplinary methodologies. Comparative Literature also embraces the study of aspects of literature that overgo national boundaries, such as transnational literary movements or the creative adaptation of particular genres to local cultures. In each case, students emerge from the program with enhanced verbal and writing skills, a command of literary studies, the ability to read analytically and critically, and a more global knowledge of literature.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Comparative Literature

The mission of the undergraduate program in Comparative Literature is to develop students’ verbal and written communication skills, their ability to read analytically and critically, and their global knowledge of literary cultures and the specific properties of literary texts. The program provides students with the opportunity to study imaginative literature with several methods and a consciousness of methodology.

A Comparative Literature major prepares a student as a reader and interpreter of literature through sophisticated examination of texts and the development of a critical vocabulary with which to discuss them. Along with providing core courses that introduce students to major literary phenomena in a comparative frame, the program of study accommodates the interests of students in areas such as specific regions, historical periods, and interdisciplinary connections between literature and other fields such as philosophy, music, the visual arts, gender and queer theory, and race and ethnicity. Attention to verbal expression and interpretive argument serves students who will proceed into careers requiring strong language and communication skills and cross-cultural knowledge of the world.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to interpret a literary text in a non-native language or to compare literary texts from different linguistic traditions, which may be read in translation.
  2. a self-reflective understanding of the critical process necessary to read and understand texts.
  3. skills in writing effectively about literature.
  4. skills in oral communication and public speaking about literature.

Graduate Programs in Comparative Literature

The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy and a Ph.D. minor in Comparative Literature.

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to

  1. make original contributions to the knowledge of Comparative Literature and to interpret and present the results of such research,
  2. teach literary analysis and interpretation at all levels with broad historical, cultural and linguistic understanding, and
  3. apply such analysis, interpretation and understanding to a range of fields and vocations.

COVID-19-Related Degree Requirement Changes

For information on how Comparative Literature degree requirements have been affected by the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 Policies tab" in this section of this bulletin. For University-wide policy changes related to the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 and Academic Continuity" section of this bulletin.


Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature

The major in Comparative Literature requires students to enroll in a set of core courses offered by the department, to complete electives in the department, and to enroll in additional literature courses, or other courses approved by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, offered by other departments. This flexibility to combine literature courses from several departments and to address literature from multiple traditions is the hallmark of the Comparative Literature major. Students may count courses which read literature in translation; however, every student, especially those planning to pursue graduate study in Comparative Literature, is strongly encouraged to develop a command of non-native languages.

Declaring the Major

Students declare the major in Comparative Literature through Axess. Students should meet with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies to discuss appropriate courses and options within the major, and to plan the course of study. Majors are also urged to attend department events such as public talks and conferences.

Advising

Upon declaring the major, each student is assigned an adviser by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. Students should consult with their advisers at least once a quarter.  While the Chair monitors progress to completion of the degree, the adviser oversees the student's general intellectual development and offers advice about courses and projects. Students are also encouraged to develop relationships with other faculty members who may act as mentors.

Overseas Campuses and Abroad Programs

The Department of Comparative Literature encourages study abroad, both for increased proficiency in language and the opportunity for advanced course work. Course work done at campuses other than Stanford is counted toward the major at the discretion of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and is contingent upon the Office of the University Registrar's approval of transfer credit. To that end, students abroad are advised to save syllabi, notes, papers, and correspondence.

Degree Requirements

All majors in Comparative Literature (including honors) are required to complete the following requirements. All courses applied to the major must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better must be achieved in each core course.

  1. COMPLIT 101 What Is Comparative Literature?. This gateway to the major is normally taken by the end of sophomore year. It provides an introduction to literature and its distinctions from other modes of linguistic expression, and a fundamental set of interpretive skills. This course fulfills the Writing in the Major requirement.
  2. Core Courses (5 units each)
    Students should complete these courses as soon as possible. Each course draws on examples from multiple traditions to explore fundamental issues in its genre.
    Units
    COMPLIT 121Poems, Poetry, Worlds5
    COMPLIT 122Literature as Performance5
    COMPLIT 123The Novel and the World5
  3. COMPLIT 199. This senior seminar is designed as a culmination to the course of study while providing reflection on the nature of the discipline. Topics vary.
  4. Electives: ​​Majors must complete at least 40 units of electives. 15 of the 40 units must be COMPLIT courses. The remaining courses should form a coherent intellectual focus requiring approval from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and may be drawn from Comparative Literature offerings, from other literature departments, or from other fields of interdisciplinary relevance.  Up to 10 units of Thinking Matters or SLE courses may be counted towards the elective requirement.  Electives are subject to adviser consultation and approval.
  5. Total unit load: Students must complete course work for a total of at least 65 units.

Philosophical and Literary Thought

Undergraduates may major in Comparative Literature and Philosophy. The Philosophy specification is not declared in Axess and does not appear on either the transcript or the diploma. Students in this option take courses alongside students from other departments that also have specialized options associated with the program for the study of Philosophical and Literary Thought. Each student in this option is assigned an adviser in Comparative Literature, and student schedules and courses of study must be approved in writing by the adviser, the Chair of Undergraduate Studies of Comparative Literature, and the Chair of Undergraduate Studies of the program. See the Philosophy + Literature @ Stanford web site.

A total of 65 units must be completed for this option, including the following requirements:

  1. Seven courses taught by Comparative Literature faculty. Of the seven, the following five (5 units each) are required courses:
    Units
    COMPLIT 101What Is Comparative Literature?5
    COMPLIT 121Poems, Poetry, Worlds5
    COMPLIT 122Literature as Performance5
    COMPLIT 123The Novel and the World5
    COMPLIT 199Senior Seminar5
    The remaining two courses must be instructed by Comparative Literature faculty and approved by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. Up to five units of SLE may be counted in lieu of one of these two courses.
  2. Philosophy and Literature Gateway Course (4 units) COMPLIT 181 Philosophy and Literature. This course should be taken as early as possible in the student's career, normally in the sophomore year.
  3. Philosophy Writing in the Major (5 units): PHIL 80 Mind, Matter, and Meaning. Prerequisite: introductory Philosophy course.
  4. Aesthetics, Ethics, Political Philosophy (ca. 4 units): One course from the PHIL 170 series.
  5. Language, Mind, Metaphysics, and Epistemology (ca. 4 units): One course from the PHIL 180 series.
  6. History of Philosophy (ca. 8 units): Two courses in the history of philosophy, numbered above PHIL 100. Up to five units of SLE may be counted in lieu of one of these two courses.
  7. Related Courses (ca. 8 units): Two upper division courses relevant to the study of philosophy and literature as identified by the committee in charge of the program. A list of approved courses may be found on Philosophy and Literature web site.
  8. One course, typically in translation, in a literature distant from that of the student's concentration and offering an outside perspective on that literary tradition.
  9. Capstone Seminar (ca. 4 units): In addition to COMPLIT 199 Senior Seminar, students take a capstone seminar of relevance to philosophy and literature approved by the undergraduate adviser of the Program in Philosophical and Literary Thought. The student's choice of a capstone seminar must be approved in writing by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies of Comparative Literature and by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies of the program. 
    Units
    COMPLIT 283AModern Notions of 'The Holy': Hölderlin, Heidegger, Celan3-5
    GERMAN 125Nietzsche: Life as Performance3-5
    PHIL 194WCapstone Seminar: Imagination in Fiction and Philosophy4
    PHIL 194ZCapstone: Living a Meaningful Literary Life4
    ENGLISH 163DShakespeare: The Ethical Challenge3-5
  10. Seminar Paper Requirement: Students must write at least one seminar paper that is interdisciplinary in nature. This paper brings together material from courses taken in philosophy and literature, and may be an honors paper (see below), an individual research paper (developed through independent work with a faculty member), or a paper integrating materials developed for two separate courses (by arrangement with the two instructors). Though it may draw on previous course work, the paper must be an original composition, 18-20 pages in length. It must be submitted to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and receive approval no later than the end of Winter Quarter in the fourth year of study.

Transfer units may not normally be used to satisfy requirements 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9. Units devoted to acquiring language proficiency are not counted toward the 65-unit requirement.

Honors Program

Students majoring in any DLCL department (i.e., Comparative Literature, French and Italian, German Studies, Iberian and Latin American Cultures, and Slavic Languages and Literatures) who have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or above and who maintain a 3.5 (GPA) in their major courses, are eligible to participate in the DLCL's honors program.

Prospective honors students must choose a senior thesis adviser from among their home department's regular faculty in their junior year by May 1. During Spring Quarter of the junior year, a student interested in the honors program should consult with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies of their home department to submit a thesis proposal (2-5 pages), DLCL Honors application, and an outline of planned course work for their senior year. 

Honors theses vary considerably in length as a function of their topic, historical scope, and methodology. They may make use of previous work developed in seminars and courses, but display an enhanced comparative or theoretical scope. Quality rather than quantity is the key criterion. Honors theses range from 40 to 90 pages not including bibliography and notes. 

Honors students are encouraged to participate in the DLCL program hosted by Bing Honors College. This DLCL Honors College is designed to help students develop their projects and is offered at the end of the summer.  Applications must be submitted through the Bing program. For more information, view the Bing Honors web site.

Enrollment 

A minimum of 10 units total, described below, and a completed thesis is required. Honors essays are due to the thesis adviser no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 15, of the terminal year. If an essay is found deserving of a grade of 'A-' or better by the thesis adviser, honors are granted at the time of graduation.

  1. Spring Quarter of the junior year (optional): DLCL 189C Honors Thesis Seminar, 2-4 units S/NC, under the primary thesis adviser. Drafting or revision of the thesis proposal. The proposal is reviewed by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of the department and will be approved or returned for submission.
  2. Autumn Quarter of the senior year (required): DLCL 189A Honors Thesis Seminar, 4 units S/NC, taught by a DLCL appointed faculty member. Course focuses on researching and writing the honors thesis.
  3. Winter Quarter of the senior year (required): DLCL 189B Honors Thesis Seminar, 2-4 units S/NC, under the primary thesis adviser. Focus is on writing under guidance of primary adviser.
  4. Spring Quarter of the senior year (option; mandatory if not taken during junior year): DLCL 189C Honors Thesis Seminar, 2-4 units S/NC, under the primary thesis adviser. Honors essays are due to the thesis adviser and student services officer no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 15 of the terminal year.
  5. Spring Quarter of the senior year (required) DLCL 199 Honors Thesis Oral Presentation, 1 unit S/NC.  Enroll with primary thesis adviser.

The honors thesis in the DLCL embodies Stanford's excellence in course work and research. It is simultaneously one element of the student’s intellectual legacy and part of the University's official history. The faculty considers the honors thesis to be far more than a final paper; rather, it is the product of solid research that contributes to conversations taking place within a larger scholarly community and representative of the intellectual vitality of the discipline. For all of these reasons, DLCL honors theses will be visible to future scholars researching similar questions through full online access through the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) and may be used as course materials for future Stanford honors preparatory courses. For similar purposes, a printed copy may also be kept in DLCL spaces. The DLCL has adopted an opt-out practice. Students who wish to limit the availability or formats in which the thesis may be shared may do so by filling out the appropriate form with the DLCL student affairs officer.


COVID-19-Related Degree Requirement Changes

For information on how Comparative Literature degree requirements have been affected by the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 Policies tab" in this section of this bulletin. For University-wide policy changes related to the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 and Academic Continuity" section of this bulletin.


Minor in Comparative Literature

The undergraduate minor in Comparative Literature represents a condensed (22-unit minimum) version of the major. It is designed for students who are unable to pursue the major but nonetheless seek an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of literature.

Declaring the Minor

Students declare the minor in Comparative Literature through Axess. Students should meet with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and undergraduate student support officer to discuss appropriate courses and options within the minor, and to plan the course of study.

Requirements

  • Plans for the minor are reviewed with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies.
  • 22 unit minimum course plan.
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Courses may not duplicate course work for other major or minor programs.
  • Up to 5 units of SLE or Independent Study may count towards one of the four additional Comparative Literature courses with approval from the Chair of Undergraduate Studies.

Courses

Course requirements for the minor in Comparative Literature are:

Units
COMPLIT 101What Is Comparative Literature?5
Select one of the following:5
Poems, Poetry, Worlds
Literature as Performance
The Novel and the World
At least four other Comparative Literature courses.12-20

Minor in Modern Languages

The Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages offers an undergraduate minor in Modern Languages for students demonstrating competency in two modern languages and literatures. This minor draws on literature and language courses offered in this and other literature departments. See the "Literatures, Cultures, and Languages" section of this bulletin for requirements.


COVID-19-Related Degree Requirement Changes

For information on how Comparative Literature degree requirements have been affected by the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 Policies tab" in this section of this bulletin. For University-wide policy changes related to the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 and Academic Continuity" section of this bulletin.


Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature

University requirements for the Ph.D. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

The Ph.D. program is designed for students whose linguistic background, breadth of interest in literature, and curiosity about the problems of literary scholarship and theory (including the relation of literature to other disciplines) make this program more appropriate to their needs than the Ph.D. in one of the national literatures. Students take courses in at least three literatures (one may be that of the native language), to be studied in the original. The program is designed to encourage familiarity with the major approaches to literary study prevailing today.

Before starting graduate work at Stanford, students should have completed an undergraduate program with a strong background in one literature and some work in a second literature in the original language. Since the program demands an advanced knowledge of two non-native languages and a reading knowledge of a third non-native language, students should at the time of application have an advanced enough knowledge of one of the three to take graduate-level courses in that language when they enter the program. They should be making enough progress in the study of a second language to enable them to take graduate courses in that language not later than the beginning of the second year, and earlier if possible. Language courses at the 100- or 200- level may be taken with approval from the Director of the department or the Chair of Graduate Studies. Applicants are expected to take an intensive course in the third language before entrance.

Students are admitted under a financial plan that attempts to integrate financial support and completion of residence requirements with their training as prospective university teachers. Assuming satisfactory academic progress, fellowship support as a Ph.D. student is for five years.

Application Procedures

Competition for entrance into the program is extremely keen. The program is kept small so that students have as much opportunity as possible to work closely with faculty throughout the period of study. Applicants should review all course and examination requirements, advancement requirements, and teaching obligations carefully before applying to the program. Because of the special nature of comparative literary studies, the statement of purpose included in the application for admission must contain the following information:

  1. A detailed description of the applicant's present degree of proficiency in each of the languages studied, indicating the languages in which the applicant is prepared to do graduate work at present and outlining plans to meet additional language requirements of the program.
  2. A description of the applicant's area of interest (for instance, theoretical problems, genres, periods) within literary study and the reasons for finding comparative literature more suitable to his or her needs than the study of a single literature. Applicants should also indicate their most likely prospective primary field, including the literatures on which they intend to concentrate.
  3. An explanation of how the applicant’s undergraduate education has prepared her or him for work in our program. If there are any gaps in the applicant’s preparation, a plan to address those gaps should be discussed.
  4. The applicant’s reasons for wishing to study in the department.
  5. The results of the general section of the Graduate Record Examination. These results should be sent to Stanford University, ETS code 4704.
  6. A letter of recommendation that focuses on the applicant's language skills, or a current ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) certificate, or a critical paper written in a non-native language.
  7. Recommendations from faculty members in at least two of the literatures in which the student proposes to work, if possible. 
  8. A writing sample that the candidate considers to represent his or her best work, preferably demonstrating a comparative analysis.

For further information see the Graduate Admissions web site.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must complete three years (nine quarters) of full-time work, or the equivalent, in graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree. The student must take 135 units of graduate work and submit the doctoral dissertation. At least three consecutive quarters of course work must be taken at Stanford.

Languages

Students must present three non-native languages, two of them sufficiently to qualify for graduate courses in these languages and the third sufficiently to demonstrate the ability to read a major author in this language. Two languages are certified by graduate-level course work specified below. Only the third language may be certified by examination. Language preparation must be sufficient to support graduate-level course work in at least one language during the first year and in the second language during the second year. Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of the third non-native language no later than the beginning of the third year.

Literatures in the same language (such as Spanish and Spanish American) are counted as one. One of the student's three literatures usually is designated as the primary field, the other two as secondary fields, although some students may offer two literatures at the primary level (six or more graduate courses).

Teaching

Whatever their sources of financial support, students are normally expected to undertake a total of five quarters of supervised apprenticeships and teaching at half time. Students must complete those pedagogy courses required by the departments in which they teach. 

Minimum Course Requirements

Students are advised that the range and depth of preparation necessary to support superior work on the dissertation, as well as demands in the present professional marketplace for coverage of both traditional and interdisciplinary areas of knowledge, render these requirements as bare minimums. 

1. Preparatory Courses

Units
DLCL 301The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages3

These courses are designed to acculturate first-year students into the intellectual, professional, and pedagogical modes of the discipline. Students who do not intend to teach language at Stanford or after should consult the Chair of Graduate Studies about whether to take DLCL 301 or replace it with another course on pedagogy.

2. A sufficient number of courses (six or more) in the student's primary field to ensure knowledge of the basic works in one national literature from its beginnings to the present. 

3. At least four additional complementary courses, with most of the reading in the original, in two different national literatures (i.e., two courses in each literature).

Minimum course requirements must be completed before the student is scheduled to take the University oral examination. These requirements are kept to a minimum so that students have sufficient opportunity to seek out new areas of interest. A course is an offering of 3-5 units. Independent study may take the place of up to two of the required courses, but no more; no undergraduate courses may be counted toward the required 135 credits. Courses should be taken for letter grades when the option is available.

The principal conditions for continued registration of a graduate student are the timely and satisfactory completion of the university, department, and program requirements for the degree, and fulfillment of minimum progress requirements. Failure to meet these requirements results in corrective measures that may include a written warning, academic probation, and/or the possible release from the program.

Examinations

Three examinations are required. The first two are one hour in duration, the third two hours. 

  1. First One-Hour Examination. The genre examination is administered toward the end of the first year. It is designed to demonstrate the student's knowledge of a substantial number of literary works in a single genre, ranging over several centuries and over at least three national literatures, and the theoretical problems involved in the chosen genre and in the matter of genre in general. Students must focus on poetry, drama, or narrative (including the novel), combining core recommendations from the department with selections from their own areas of concentration. Any student who does not pass the exam has the opportunity to retake it before the end of the same spring quarter. Students who do not pass this exam a second time may be dismissed from the program.
  2. Second One-Hour Examination. The theory exam is administered in the autumn quarter of the second year. It is intended to demonstrate the student's knowledge of a particular problem in the history of literary theory and criticism or the ability to develop a particular theoretical position. In either case, this exam should demonstrate wide reading in theoretical and critical texts from a variety of periods. Any student who does not pass the exam has the opportunity to retake the exam the second week of the winter quarter. Students who do not pass this exam a second time may be dismissed from the program.
  3. University Oral Examination. This examination is normally taken during the autumn quarter of the third year. It covers a literary period of about a century in three or more literatures with primary emphasis on a single national literature or, in occasional cases, two national literatures. The reading list covers chiefly the major literary works of the period. 

More information about the examinations is available in the Department Graduate Handbook. 

Dissertation Reading Committee

The doctoral dissertation reading committee consists of the principal dissertation adviser and at least two other readers. The doctoral dissertation reading committee must have no fewer than three and no more than five members. At least one member must be from the student’s major department. Normally, all committee members are members of the Stanford University Academic Council or are emeritus Academic Council members. The student's department Director may, in some cases, approve the appointment of a reader who is not a current or emeritus member of the Academic Council, if that person is particularly well qualified to consult on the dissertation topic and holds a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. Former Stanford Academic Council members and non-Academic Council members may thus, on occasion, serve on a reading committee. A non-Academic Council member (including former Academic Council members) may replace only one of three required members of dissertation reading committees. If the reading committee has four or five members, at least three members (comprising the majority) must be current or emeritus members of the Academic Council. For additional information, see the GAP's Policy on Dissertation Reading Committees. Students should complete and submit the Dissertation Reading Committee form upon applying for Terminal Graduate Registration status.

Prospectus Colloquium

The prospectus for the dissertation must be prepared in close consultation with the dissertation adviser during the months preceding the colloquium. It should offer a synthetic overview of the dissertation, describe its methodology and the project's relation to past scholarship on the topic, and lay out a complete plan of the chapters.

The prospectus colloquium normally takes place during the quarter after the University oral examination. It is the student's responsibility to set the date and time of the colloquium in consultation with the members of the dissertation reading committee and the department administrator.

If the outcome is favorable by majority vote of the committee, the student is free to proceed with work on the dissertation. If the proposal is found to be unsatisfactory by majority vote, the dissertation readers may ask the student to revise the prospectus and hold a second colloquium.

Qualifying Procedures

Candidacy

Admission to candidacy is an important decision by the department based on its overall assessment of a student’s ability to complete the Ph.D. program. According to University policy, students are expected to follow department qualifying procedures and apply for candidacy by the end of the second year in residence. In reviewing a student for admission to candidacy, the faculty considers a student’s academic progress including but not limited to: 

  • advanced language proficiency
  • course work
  • performance on the qualifying (i.e. genre and theory) examinations
  • successful completion of teaching assistantships
  • completion of at least three units of work with each of four Stanford faculty members

Beyond the successful completion of department prerequisites, admission to candidacy depends on the faculty's evaluation of whether student has the potential to fulfill the requirements of the degree program. Candidacy is determined by faculty vote. Failure to advance to candidacy results in the dismissal of the student from the doctoral program. Candidacy is valid for five years and students are required to maintain active candidacy through conferral of the doctoral degree. All requirements for the degree must be completed before candidacy expires. The department conducts regular reviews of each student’s academic performance, both before and after admission to candidacy. Failure to make satisfactory progress to degree may result in dismissal from the doctoral program. Additional information about University candidacy policy is available in the Bulletin and GAP.

Annual Review

The faculty provides students with timely and constructive feedback on their progress toward the Ph.D. Annual reviews provide a general assessment and identify developing problems that could impede progress. Possible outcomes of the yearly review include:

  1. continuation of the student in good standing, or
  2. placing the student on probation, with specific guidelines for the period on probation and the steps to be taken in order to be returned to good standing.

For students on probation at this point (or at any other subsequent points), possible outcomes of a review include: 

  1. restoration to good standing
  2. continued probation, again with guidelines for necessary remedial steps
  3. termination from the program. Students leaving the program at the end of the first or second year are usually permitted to complete the requirements to receive an M.A. degree, if this does not involve additional residency or financial support.

Ph.D. Minor in Comparative Literature

This minor is designed for students working toward the Ph.D. in the various national literature departments. Students working toward the Ph.D. in English are directed to the program in English and Comparative Literature described among offerings in the Department of English. Students must have:

  1. A knowledge of at least two non-native languages:
    1. one non-native language sufficient to qualify for graduate-level courses in that language
    2. the second non-native language sufficient to read a major author in the original language.
  2. A minimum of six graduate courses:
    1. three graduate courses must be in the department of the second literature
      1. except for students in the Asian languages, students must choose a second literature outside the department of their major literature.
    2. three graduate courses must be in the Department of Comparative Literature, including:
      1. a seminar in literary theory or criticism
      2. at least two of the three courses in Comparative Literature should originate in a department other than the one in which the student is completing their degree. 

COVID-19 Policy Changes to Degree Requirements

On this page: Winter QuarterSpring QuarterDoctoral Programs (if applicable)

For a complete overview of academic policy changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, see the "COVID-19 and Academic Continuity" section of this bulletin.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Stanford University made a number of emergency changes to policies and procedures that impacted Winter and Spring quarters 2019-20. Those changes, as they relate to degree programs, are compiled on this page. These changes reflect the disruption that students and instructors experienced when the University transitioned to online learning on March 9, 2020, in addition to the disruption to the Stanford community caused by the pandemic itself.

Winter Quarter 2019-20

The Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy (C-USP) and the Committee on Graduate Studies (C-GS) approved an exception for Winter Quarter 2019-20 to permit students to request late class withdrawals and/or changes to class grading basis to CR/NC (for those classes that had CR/NC as an option).

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Grading Requirements

The Department of Comparative Literature counts any Winter Quarter 2019-20 class in which the student received a final grade of 'CR' towards undergraduate degree requirements that otherwise require a letter grade.

Other Requirements

If a student has difficulty completing an undergraduate degree requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e.g., a laboratory research requirement), the student should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Student Services Manager to identify academic options to fulfill degree requirements.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Grading Requirements

The Department of Comparative Literature counts any Winter Quarter 2019-20 class in which the student received a final grade of 'CR' towards graduate degree requirements that otherwise require a letter grade.

Other Requirements

If a student has difficulty completing a graduate degree requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e.g., a laboratory research requirement), the student should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Student Services Manager to identify academic options to fulfill degree requirements.

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Spring Quarter 2019-20

The Faculty Senate approved a policy requiring that all undergraduate and graduate classes in Spring Quarter 2019-20 be offered only on the 'S/NC' (Satisfactory/No Credit) grading basis.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Grading Requirements

The Department of Comparative Literature counts any Spring Quarter 2019-20 class in which the student received a final grade of ‘S’ towards undergraduate degree requirements that otherwise require a letter grade. 

Other Requirements

If a student has difficulty completing an undergraduate degree requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e.g., a laboratory research requirement), the student should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Student Services Manager to identify academic options to fulfill degree requirements.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Grading Requirements

The Department of Comparative Literature counts any Spring Quarter 2019-20 class in which the student received a final grade of ‘S’ towards graduate degree requirements that otherwise require a letter grade.

If a student has difficulty completing a graduate degree requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e.g., a laboratory research requirement), the student should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Student Services Manager to identify academic options to fulfill degree requirements.

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Doctoral Programs

The Faculty Senate confirmed that doctoral programs have discretion to delay candidacy decisions through the end of Autumn Quarter 2020-21. It also confirmed that students have the option to defer the candidacy process (e.g., qualifying exams) to Autumn Quarter 2020-21 without penalty.

The DDepartment of Comparative Literature has postponed the doctoral candidacy review that typically takes place at the end of a student's second year in the program to Autumn Quarter 2020-21. Students may request to apply to candidacy in Spring Quarter 2019-20 should they wish to do so.

Annual Spring Reviews of academic progress continue as scheduled in Spring Quarter 2019-20. An additional review will occur in Autumn Quarter, 2020-21 prior to candidacy reviews.

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Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of Comparative Literature is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. The overall goal of advising, both in the DLCL and the department, is to help graduate students make academic and career choices wisely, and think ahead, in order to craft a long-term plan for their graduate student career and beyond. When most effective, the advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the adviser and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the adviser and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity. Advising is both an academically invaluable form for the transmission of expertise, as well as a key aspect of creating a strong departmental and Stanford community.

Faculty Advisers

Faculty advisers guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

  • Upon enrolling, students plan their work under the direction of the Chair of Graduate Studies or a faculty member designated by the program. When the student selects a more specialized adviser, the transition should involve oral or written communication between both advisers and the student concerning the student's progress, goals, and expectations. It is possible for doctoral students to choose two main advisers at the dissertation stage, provided all agree this is academically sound. 
  • Faculty advisers should meet with assigned students to discuss their selection of courses and to plan from a broader, longer-term perspective, including: discussion of program milestones and a basic timeline; an overview of Department and DLCL offerings beyond courses; student goals and interests and DLCL or Stanford programs that may be relevant; and (for doctoral students) how to transfer previous graduate coursework.
  • Faculty advisers and graduate students should meet at least once per quarter to assess the advisee's course of study, performance over the past quarter, and plans for the next quarter, as well as longer term plans. If a student has two advisers, the student should meet at least once per quarter with each adviser and at least once per year with both advisers at the same time. 
  • For doctoral students, faculty should help their advisees plan for exams, research grant applications, develop research projects, and plan ahead for both the academic job market and the job search beyond academia.
  • Faculty advisers should provide feedback about the student's progress to the department during the annual review process. For more information about the annual review, see the Graduate Handbook.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.

  • Upon enrolling, students plan their work under the direction of the Chair of Graduate Studies or a faculty member designated by the program. As the student develops a field of expertise, the student chooses a program adviser to replace the Chair of Graduate Studies role. The transition should involve oral or written communication between both advisers and the student concerning the student's progress, goals, and expectations. 
  • Graduate students and faculty advisers should meet at least once per quarter to assess the advisee's course of study, performance over the past quarter, and plans for the next quarter, as well as longer term plans. If a student has two advisers, the student should meet at least once per quarter with each adviser and at least once per year with both advisers at the same time. 
  • Students should consult with their advisers on all academic matters, including coursework, conference presentations and publications, research travel, and teaching plans. 
  • Students should provide a thorough self-evaluation each year for the annual review. For more information about the annual review, see the Graduate Handbook.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the "Graduate Advising" section of this bulletin.

Faculty in Comparative Literature

Director: Amir Eshel

Chair of Graduate Studies: Amir Eshel

Chair of Undergraduate Studies: Alexander Key

Professors: John Bender (also English), Russell Berman (also German Studies), Margaret Cohen (also English), Adrian Daub (also German Studies), Amir Eshel (also German Studies), Roland Greene (also English), Joshua Landy (also French and Italian), Haiyan Lee (also East Asian Languages and Cultures), David Palumbo-Liu, Patricia Parker (also English), Joan Ramon Resina (also Iberian and Latin American Cultures), José David Saldívar, Ramón Saldívar (also English), Ban Wang (also East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Associate Professors: Vincent Barletta (also Iberian and Latin American Cultures), Monika Greenleaf (also Slavic Languages and Literatures), Alexander Key, Indra Levy (also East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Assistant Professors: Marie Huber

Senior Lecturer: Vered K. Shemtov

Lecturers: Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Burcu Karahan

Courtesy Professor: Nancy Ruttenburg

Emeriti: (Professors) John Freccero, Hans U. Gumbrecht, Herbert Lindenberger, Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, Mary Prat

Courses

COMPLIT 10N. Shakespeare and Performance in a Global Context. 3 Units.

Preference to freshmen. The problem of performance including the performance of gender through the plays of Shakespeare. In-class performances by students of scenes from plays. The history of theatrical performance. Sources include filmed versions of plays, and readings on the history of gender, gender performance, and transvestite theater. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade.

COMPLIT 11Q. Shakespeare, Playing, Gender. 3 Units.

Preference to sophomores. Focus is on several of the best and lesser known plays of Shakespeare, on theatrical and other kinds of playing, and on ambiguities of both gender and playing gender. Note: This course must be taken for a letter grade to be eligible for WAYS credit.

COMPLIT 31. Humanities Core: Texts that Changed the World -- The Ancient Middle East. 3-5 Units.

This course traces the story of the cradle of human civilization. We will start from the earliest human stories, the Gilgamesh Epos and biblical literature, and follow the path of the development of religion, philosophy and literature in the ancient Mediterranean or Middle Eastern world.We will pose questions about how different we are today. What are our foundational stories and myths and ideas? Should we remain connected in deep ways to the most ancient past of civilization, or seek to distance ourselves from those origins? N.B. This is the first of three courses in the Middle Eastern track. These courses offer a UNIQUE opportunity to study Middle Eastern history and culture, past and present. Take one, two or all three courses to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.
Same as: DLCL 31, HUMCORE 31, RELIGST 150

COMPLIT 33. Humanities Core: Global Identity, Culture, and Politics from the Middle East. 3 Units.

How do we face the future? What resources do we have? Which power structures hold us back and which empower us? What are our identities at college in the Bay Area? In 1850s Lebanon, Abu Faris Shidyaq faced all these same questions (except the last one; he was a Christian magazine editor). In this course we will engage with claims about identity, culture, and politics that some might say come from the "Middle East" but that we understand as global. Ganzeer's graphic novel is as much for California as it is for Egypt. Ataturk's speech is about power and identity just like Donald Trump is about power and identity. In Turkish novels and in Arabic poetry, the people we engage in this course look to their pasts and our futures. What happens next? This is the third of three courses in the Middle Eastern track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study Middle Eastern history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.future.
Same as: DLCL 33, HUMCORE 33

COMPLIT 36A. Dangerous Ideas. 1 Unit.

Ideas matter. Concepts such as revolution, tradition, and hell have inspired social movements, shaped political systems, and dramatically influenced the lives of individuals. Others, like immigration, universal basic income, and youth play an important role in contemporary debates in the United States. All of these ideas are contested, and they have a real power to change lives, for better and for worse. In this one-unit class we will examine these ¿dangerous¿ ideas. Each week, a faculty member from a different department in the humanities and arts will explore a concept that has shaped human experience across time and space. Some weeks will have short reading assignments, but you are not required to purchase any materials.
Same as: ARTHIST 36, EALC 36, ENGLISH 71, ETHICSOC 36X, FRENCH 36, HISTORY 3D, MUSIC 36H, PHIL 36, POLISCI 70, RELIGST 36X, SLAVIC 36

COMPLIT 51Q. Comparative Fictions of Ethnicity. 4 Units.

We may "know" "who" we "are," but we are, after all, social creatures. How does our sense of self interact with those around us? How does literature provide a particular medium for not only self expression, but also for meditations on what goes into the construction of "the Self"? After all, don't we tell stories in response to the question, "who are you"? Besides a list of nouns and names and attributes, we give our lives flesh and blood in telling how we process the world. Our course focuses in particular on this question--Does this universal issue ("who am I") become skewed differently when we add a qualifier before it, like "ethnic"? Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take course for a Letter Grade.
Same as: AMSTUD 51Q, CSRE 51Q

COMPLIT 55N. Batman, Hamilton, Díaz, and Other Wondrous Lives. 3-5 Units.

This seminar concerns the design and analysis of imaginary (or constructed) worlds for narratives and media such as films, comics, and literary texts. The seminar's primary goal is to help participants understand the creation of better imaginary worlds - ultimately all our efforts should serve that higher purpose. Some of the things we will consider when taking on the analysis of a new world include: What are its primary features - spatial, cultural, biological, fantastic, cosmological? What is the world's ethos (the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize the world)? What are the precise strategies that are used by the artist to convey the world to us and us to the world? How are our characters connected to the world? And how are we - the viewer or reader or player - connected to the world? Note: This course must be taken for a letter grade to be eligible for WAYS credit.
Same as: CSRE 55N

COMPLIT 57. Human Rights and World Literature. 5 Units.

<p>Human rights may be universal, but each appeal comes from a specific location with its own historical, social, and cultural context. This summer we will turn to literary narratives and films from a wide number of global locations to help us understand human rights; each story taps into fundamental beliefs about justice and ethics, from an eminently human and personal point of view. What does it mean not to have access to water, education, free speech, for example? This course has two components. The first will be a set of readings on the history and ethos of modern human rights. These readings will come from philosophy, history, political theory. The second, and major component is comprised of novels and films that come from different locations in the world, each telling a compelling story. We will come away from this class with a good introduction to human rights history and philosophy and a set of insights into a variety of imaginative perspectives on human rights issues from different global locations. Readings include: <em>Amnesty International, <em>Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights</em>,Andrew Clapham, <em>Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction</em>, James Dawes, <em>That the World May Know</em>, Walter Echo-Hawk, <em>In the Light of Justice</em>, Amitav Ghosh, <em>The Hungry Tide</em>, Bessie Head, <em>The Word for World is Forest</em>, Ursula LeGuin,.

COMPLIT 89. Investigating Identity Through Filipinx Fiction. 5 Units.

This course is both a reading seminar featuring canonical and contemporary Filipinx authors (including Mia Alvar, Carlos Bulosan, Elaine Castillo, Bienvenido Santos, Lysley Tenorio and José Rizal) and a writing workshop where students generate short stories exploring identity. Rizal's seminal novels Noli Me Tangere and El filibusterismo are ¿the earliest artistic expressions of the Asian colonial experience from the point of view of the oppressed¿ and through his work and the work of other Filipinx authors, we discover how both national and individual identities are not only challenged by adversity, trauma, violence, and war but also forged and strengthened by them. Note: First priority to undergrads. Students must attend the first class meeting to retain their roster spot.
Same as: ENGLISH 90E

COMPLIT 100. CAPITALS: How Cities Shape Cultures, States, and People. 3-5 Units.

This course takes students on a trip to major capital cities, at different moments in time: Renaissance Florence, Golden Age Madrid, Colonial Mexico City, Enlightenment and Romantic Paris, Existential and Revolutionary St. Petersburg, Roaring Berlin, Modernist Vienna, and bustling Buenos Aires. While exploring each place in a particular historical moment, we will also consider the relations between culture, power, and social life. How does the cultural life of a country intersect with the political activity of a capital? How do large cities shape our everyday experience, our aesthetic preferences, and our sense of history? Why do some cities become cultural capitals? Primary materials for this course will consist of literary, visual, sociological, and historical documents (in translation); authors we will read include Boccaccio, Dante, Sor Juana, Montesquieu, Baudelaire, Gogol, Irmgard Keun, Freud, and Borges. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade.
Same as: DLCL 100, FRENCH 175, GERMAN 175, HISTORY 206E, ILAC 175, ITALIAN 175, URBANST 153

COMPLIT 101. What Is Comparative Literature?. 5 Units.

What is literature, and how has it been imagined, institutionalized, praised, and criticized over the centuries by authors ranging from Aristotle to Schiller, from Arnold to Auerbach, Woolf, Said, Achebe, Spivak and others, who have understood literature as a powerful tool for individual and social change? What does it mean to "compare" literature or study texts that belong or tap into more than one national literary and cultural tradition or consciously posit themselves as participating in international movements (such as European Decadence or Modernism), or authors who live and produce their work in transcultural contexts and often write in different languages, such as Samuel Beckett or Gloria Anzaldúa? How do markers of identity such as gender, sexuality, and race (and our changing conceptions of them over time) factor into our intellectual theories and practices in comparing texts and authors? Along with several case studies of texts and authors that will help us explore and probe these questions, we will also gain familiarity with major theories and developments in the field of comparative literature.

COMPLIT 104A. Voice, Dissent, Resistance: Antiracist and Antifascist Discourse and Action. 5 Units.

The rise of right-wing movements in the United States and in Europe signal a resurgence of nativist and ethno-nationalist politics that rely heavily on racism to advance fascist politics. This course will explore these phenomena both in terms of their historical development and their present-day appearances. The goal will be to understand how those involved in anti-racist and anti-fascist struggles have invented, created, and practiced discourses and actions that attempt to resist racism and fascism, and to evaluate their merits and weaknesses. Historical, philosophic, journalistic, and creative writings will be the basis of study. This is an experimental course driven by the urgency of recent political events. Students should have open minds and be willing to help shape the course.
Same as: COMPLIT 304

COMPLIT 115. Vladimir Nabokov: Displacement and the Liberated Eye. 3-5 Units.

How did the triumphant author of "the great American novel" <em>Lolita</em> evolve from the young author writing at white heat for the tiny sad Russian emigration in Berlin? We will read his short stories and the novels <em>The Luzhin Defense, Invitation to a Beheading, Lolita, Lolita</em> the film, and <em>Pale Fire</em>, to see how Nabokov generated his sinister-playful forms as a buoyant answer to the "hypermodern" visual and film culture of pre-WWII Berlin, and then to America's all-pervading postwar "normalcy" in his pathological comic masterpieces <em>Lolita</em> and <em>Pale Fire</em>. Buy texts in translation at the Bookstore; Slavic grad students will supplement with reading and extra sessions in original Russian.
Same as: COMPLIT 315, SLAVIC 156, SLAVIC 356

COMPLIT 118. The Gothic in Literature and Culture. 3-5 Units.

This course introduces students to the major features of Gothic narrative, a form that emerges at the same time as the Enlightenment, and that retains its power into our present. Surveying Gothic novels, as well as novellas and short stories with Gothic elements, we will learn about the defining features of the form and investigate its meaning in the cultural imagination. Gothic narratives, the course will suggest, examine the power of irrational forces in a secular age: forces that range from barbaric human practices, to supernatural activity, to the re-enchantment of modern existence. We will also consider the importance for Gothic authors and readers of the relation among narrative. spectacle and the visual arts. Primary works may include Ann Radcliffe's <e>The Italian, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey</e>, Victor Hugo's <e>The Hunchback of Notre Dame</e>, E.T.A. Hoffman's <e>The Sandman</e>, Mary Shelly's <e>Frankenstein</e>, and Edgar Allen Poe's <e>The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym</e>. We may also do a section on vampires, including Bram Stoker's <e>Dracula</e>, and its remake in film by F.W. Murnau and Werner Herzog. Critical selections by Edmund Burke, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, and Terry Castle, among others.
Same as: ENGLISH 138E

COMPLIT 119. The Turkish Novel. 3-5 Units.

Designed as a survey, this course will examine the modern Turkish novel from the early days of the Republic to the present day. We will examine the aesthetic, political, and social aspects of the Turkish novel by reading major samples of national, historical, philosophical, village, and modernist novels. Discussions will be conducted in English. Students will have an option to read the primary sources in Turkish or in English. Contact Burcu Karahan for meeting time and place.
Same as: COMPLIT 319

COMPLIT 121. Poems, Poetry, Worlds. 5 Units.

What is poetry? How does it speak in many voices to questions of philosophy, history, society, and personal experience? Why does it matter? The reading and interpretation of poetry in crosscultural comparison as experience, invention, form, sound, knowledge, and part of the world. The readings address poetry of several cultures (Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Occitania, Peru) in comparative relation to that of the English-speaking world, and in light of classic and recent theories of poetry.
Same as: DLCL 141

COMPLIT 122. Literature as Performance. 5 Units.

The purpose of this course is to re-embed great dramatic texts in a history and theory of performance, using Bay Area and Stanford productions, audiovisual materials, and your own trans-medial projects to help us reconceive theater off the page, moving in time, space and thought.
Same as: DLCL 142

COMPLIT 123. The Novel and the World. 5 Units.

<p><b>The European Design of the Novel.</b> The course will trace the development of the modern literary genre par excellence through some of its great milestones from the 17th century to the present. Works by Cervantes, Austen, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Queirós, Kafka, Woolf, Verga, and Rodoreda.
Same as: DLCL 143

COMPLIT 124C. Napoleon. 3-5 Units.

Who was Napoleon? A fierce patriot or a traitor of the Revolution? A beloved emperor or a merciless dictator? There is not one single or indeed final answer to these questions: in this course we shall learn to make a distinction between the historical figure (his life and actual deeds) and the literary character (how his detractors or enthusiasts represented him). We will explore the multi-faceted representations of Napoleon with a particular focus on his portraits in poems, novels, essays, paintings and sculptures. The syllabus will include readings and excerpts from Balzac, Stendhal, Dumas, Hugo, Thackeray, Tolstoy, Manzoni, Foscolo, Calvino. Taught in English.
Same as: FRENCH 124A

COMPLIT 127B. The Hebrew and Jewish Short Story. 3-5 Units.

Short stories from Israel, the US and Europe including works by Agnon, Kafka, Keret, Castel-Bloom, Kashua, Singer, Benjamin, Freud, biblical myths and more. The class will engage with questions related to the short story as a literary form and the history of the short story. Reading and discussion in English. Optional: special section with readings and discussions in Hebrew. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade.
Same as: JEWISHST 147B

COMPLIT 128. Literature of the former Yugoslavia. 3-5 Units.

What do Slavoj Zizek, Novak Djokovic, Marina Abramovic, Melania Trump, Emir Kusturica, and the captain of the Croatian national football team have in common? All were born in a country that no longer exists, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945-1992). This course will introduce masterpieces of Yugoslav literature and film, examining the social and political complexities of a multicultural society that collapsed into civil war (i.e. Bosnia, Kosovo) in the 1990s. In English with material available in Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian.
Same as: REES 128, SLAVIC 128

COMPLIT 131. Coming of Age in the Middle Ages. 3-5 Units.

It is often said that adolescence is a modern invention, and that people in earlier times expected children to act like adults as soon as they were physically able to do so. But the literature that survives from the European Middle Ages reveals a deep preoccupation with questions of how to form socially-competent individuals. What role did literature play in disseminating norms and models for adult behavior? This course introduces students to a range of works from 1100 to 1500CE that portray the process of becoming an adult or prescribe what it should look like: behavior manuals, treatises, epic narratives, romances, and literary 'letters' from parents to children. Students gain familiarity with a range of historic genres and develop skills in close reading and critical analysis. Readings are in English.

COMPLIT 133A. Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean. 4 Units.

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of the cultural, social, and political aspects at play in the literatures of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean of the 20th and 21st century. Our primary readings will be Francophone novels and poetry. We will also read some theoretical texts. The assigned readings will expose students to literature from diverse French-speaking regions of the African/Caribbean world. This course will also serve as a "literary toolbox," with the intention of facilitating an understanding of literary genres, and terms. Students can expect to work on their production of written and spoken French, in addition to reading comprehension. Special guest: Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui. Required readings include: Aime Cesaire, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Dany Laferriere, Leonara Miano, Albert Memmi. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.
Same as: AFRICAAM 133, AFRICAST 132, COMPLIT 233A, CSRE 133E, FRENCH 133, JEWISHST 143

COMPLIT 139. Tragedy: Forms and Conflicts. 3-5 Units.

This course introduces students to central questions of tragedy. Why do we find tragic spectacle so compelling, even pleasurable? What role does conflict play in individual selfhood and social formation? And why does tragedy elicit such strong theoretical and philosophical responses? At the same time, the course provides an introduction to literary history through the study of genre. What might connect modern tragedy to ancient Greek drama? How are genres transformed through reading, commentary, and adaptation? The course will be based on close reading and discussion of authors including Sophocles, Seneca, Shakespeare, Calderon, Milton, and Buchner.

COMPLIT 142B. Translating Japan, Translating the West. 3-4 Units.

Translation lies at the heart of all intercultural exchange. This course introduces students to the specific ways in which translation has shaped the image of Japan in the West, the image of the West in Japan, and Japan's self-image in the modern period. What texts and concepts were translated by each side, how, and to what effect? No prior knowledge of Japanese language necessary.
Same as: JAPAN 121, JAPAN 221

COMPLIT 145. Reflection on the Other: The Jew and the Arab in Literature. 3-5 Units.

How literary works outside the realm of Western culture struggle with questions such as identity, minority, and the issue of the Other. How the Arab is viewed in Hebrew literature, film and music and how the Jew is viewed in Palestinian works in Hebrew or Arabic (in translation to English). Historical, political, and sociological forces that have contributed to the shaping of these writers' views. Guest lectures about the Jew in Palestinian literature and music. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take course for a Letter Grade.
Same as: AMELANG 126, JEWISHST 106

COMPLIT 147. Facts and Fictions: Writing the New World in Early Modernity. 3-5 Units.

How was knowledge about the colonies in America established? What was the role of fiction in this process? This course introduces students to major problems at the intersection of literature and history. It provides students with an overview of historical and fictional writings that shaped the early modern imagination about colonial spaces in Europe and the Americas. Students will look into the process whereby poets and novelists made unfamiliar places more familiar to their European and American audiences, as well as into how historians used myths and fictions to build knowledge about those foreign places and cultures. Readings span fictional prose, histories, epic poems, philosophical writings, engravings and maps. Authors may include St. Teresa, Camões, Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso, Catalina de Erauso, Mendes Pinto, Bacon, Sor Juana, Antonio Vieira, and Margaret Cavendish. Students will practice close reading techniques and historical analysis, writing papers combining the two. Texts will be available in English.
Same as: 1500-1700

COMPLIT 149. The Laboring of Diaspora & Border Literary Cultures. 3-5 Units.

Focus is given to emergent theories of culture and on comparative literary and cultural studies. How do we treat culture as a social force? How do we go about reading the presence of social contexts within cultural texts? How do ethno-racial writers re-imagine the nation as a site with many "cognitive maps" in which the nation-state is not congruent with cultural identity? How do diaspora and border narratives/texts strive for comparative theoretical scope while remaining rooted in specific local histories. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Same as: CSRE 149, ILAC 149

COMPLIT 155A. The Mafia in Society, Film, and Fiction. 4 Units.

The mafia has become a global problem through its infiltration of international business, and its model of organized crime has spread all over the world from its origins in Sicily. At the same time, film and fiction remain fascinated by a romantic, heroic vision of the mafia. Compares both Italian and American fantasies of the Mafia to its history and impact on Italian and global culture. Taught in English.
Same as: ITALIAN 155

COMPLIT 159. Asian American Film and Popular Culture. 4 Units.

Tracing the evolution of Asian American cultural representations from the silent film era through the first generation of Asian American YouTube stars, this course examines the economic, political, and cultural influence of Asian American screen images on U.S. society. Through a focus on both mainstream and independent productions, we discuss the work of Asian American actors, audience members, media producers, consumers, and activists. Possible films and TV shows to be discussed include The Cheat (1915), Shanghai Express (1932), Flower Drum Song (1961), Chan is Missing (1983) Fall of the I Hotel (1983), Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1989), Sa-I-Gu, (1992), Saving Face (2004) Crazy Rich Asians (2018), To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018), TV episodes of the Mindy Project, and work by early Asian American YouTube stars including Michelle Phan, HappySlip, and KevJumba.
Same as: AMSTUD 115, ASNAMST 115

COMPLIT 161E. Narrative and Narrative Theory. 5 Units.

An introduction to stories and storytelling--that is, to narrative. What is narrative? When is narrative fictional and when non-fictional? How is it done, word by word, sentence by sentence? Must it be in prose? Can it be in pictures? How has storytelling changed over time? Focus on various forms, genres, structures, and characteristics of narrative.
Same as: ENGLISH 161

COMPLIT 178. Metamorphosis and Desire: Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton. 1-5 Unit.

A recurring motif in the myths of poetry's origins is a metamorphosis provoked by erotic desire, from the nymph Daphne transformed into a laurel tree as she escapes the god Apollo to the bard Orpheus dismembered by impassioned Maenads. This course explores the entanglement of these themes in Renaissance verse across plays by Shakespeare, epic poetry by Spenser and Milton, and narrative poems by Marlowe, Shakespeare, and their contemporaries in continental Europe. We will situate these works amid critical perspectives on desire, love, and gendered subjectivity in early modernity and against the classical background of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', whose tales of eroticism and transformation shaped so much of Renaissance literary and artistic production.

COMPLIT 181. Philosophy and Literature. 3-5 Units.

What, if anything, does reading literature do for our lives? What can literature offer that other forms of writing cannot? Can fictions teach us anything? Can they make people more moral? Why do we take pleasure in tragic stories? This course introduces students to major problems at the intersection of philosophy and literature. It addresses key questions about the value of literature, philosophical puzzles about the nature of fiction and literary language, and ways that philosophy and literature interact. Readings span literature, film, and philosophical theories of art. Authors may include Sophocles, Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Proust, Woolf, Walton, Nietzsche, and Sartre. Students master close reading techniques and philosophical analysis, and write papers combining the two. This is the required gateway course for the Philosophy and Literature major tracks. Majors should register in their home department.
Same as: CLASSICS 42, ENGLISH 81, FRENCH 181, GERMAN 181, ILAC 181, ITALIAN 181, PHIL 81, SLAVIC 181

COMPLIT 184. READING RUMI. 3-5 Units.

Introduction to the work of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273) in the original Persian. Through close readings of the poems and prose texts we will explore the ways in which Rumi's thought informs his poetic language and continues to resonate with us today. Topics to be touched upon in connection with the primary texts include: Islamic philosophy; theories of literature in the Arabo-Persian world; poetic genres in medieval Persian literature; meter, rhyme, and metaphor; and, finally, fundamental questions of translation and translatability. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding Rumi within the historical context. Readings in Persian. Two years of Persian at Stanford or equivalent required. Counts for the Persian track in the MELLAC minor.

COMPLIT 188. In Search of the Holy Grail: Percival's Quest in Medieval Literature. 3-5 Units.

This course focuses on one of the most famous inventions of the Middle Ages: the Holy Grail. The grail - a mysterious vessel with supernatural properties - is first mentioned in Chrétien de Troyes' "Perceval," but the story is soon rewritten by authors who alter the meaning of both the grail and the quest. By reading three different versions, we will explore how they respond differently to major topics in medieval culture and relevant to today: romantic love, family ties, education, moral guilt, and spiritual practice. The texts are: Chrétien de Troyes' "Perceval," Wolfram von Eschenbach's "Parzival," and the anonymous "Queste del Saint Graal." All readings will be available in English.
Same as: COMPLIT 388, GERMAN 188, GERMAN 388

COMPLIT 194. Independent Research. 1-5 Unit.

(Staff).

COMPLIT 199. Senior Seminar. 5 Units.

What is criticism? When we interpret literature today, are we fulfilling the critical vocation? What are the alternatives? We consider the origins of the idea of the critic in nineteenth-century culture, its development in the twentieth century, and its current exponents, revisionists, and dissenters. Senior seminar for Comparative Literature Senior majors only.

COMPLIT 207. Why is Climate Change Un-believable? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Action. 5 Units.

The science is there. The evidence is there. Why do people still refuse to recognize one of the greatest threats to human existence? Why can't, why won't they believe the truth? The time to act is slowly evaporating before our eyes. To answer this question requires an interdisciplinary approach that investigates many of the ways global warming has been analyzed, imagined, represented, and evaluated. Thus we welcome students of any major willing to embark on this common project and to participate fully. We will challenge ourselves to move between and amongst texts that are familiar and those we will bring into the conversation. There will be much that we miss, but we hope this course will at least begin a serious conversation in a unique way. The course will run on two parallel tracks on the one hand, we will delve into textual representations and arguments; on the other hand, we will attempt to develop a sensibility for how climate change makes itself manifest in the physical world through a series of workshops and site visits in the Bay Area. The first track of this course will center on the discussion of three science fiction novels: The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh, The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. The second track of this course is comprised of a series of workshops that aims to develop spatial and material literacy relevant to climate change awareness. It will engage topics such as: scale, atmosphere, measure, material reciprocity, and garbage repurposing. One of the primary goals of this course is to not only understand the problem of climate change, but also how to best act upon it. Thus the required final assignment for this class can be a recommendation for action based on a critical review of the topic of climate change and already existing activism. It can take the form of a paper, a video, an installation art project, a podcast, etc.. But in all cases your work must analytically engage the specific medium of literary expression.

COMPLIT 208. The Cosmopolitan Introvert: Modern Greek Poetry and its Itinerants. 3-5 Units.

Overview of the last century of Greek poetry with emphasis on modernism. Approximately 20 modern Greek poets (starting with Cavafy and Nobel laureates Seferis and Elytis and moving to more modern writers) are read and compared to other major European and American writers. The themes of the cosmopolitan itinerant and of the introvert, often co-existing in the same poet, connect these idiosyncratic voices. The course uses translations and requires no knowledge of Greek but original texts can also be shared with interested students. Note: The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

COMPLIT 210. Poetic Forms. 4 Units.

A comparative discussion of the development and history of major poetic forms, from the Sonnet to Terza Rima and to prose poems. Special attention will be given discussing different rhythms and rhymes, and to translating forms. The readings will include poems by French, Yiddish, English/American and Hebrew writers. Part of the work will include experimenting with writing and/or translating poems that follow the poetic forms that are discussed in class.

COMPLIT 220. Renaissance Africa. 3-5 Units.

Literature and Portuguese expansion into Africa during the sixteenth century. Emphasis on forms of exchange between Portuguese and Africans in Morocco, Angola/Congo, South Africa, the Swahili Coast, and Ethiopia. Readings in Portuguese and English. Taught in English.
Same as: AFRICAST 220E, ILAC 220E, ILAC 320E

COMPLIT 222A. Myth and Modernity. 3-5 Units.

Masters of German 20th- and 21st-Century literature and philosophy as they present aesthetic innovation and confront the challenges of modern technology, social alienation, manmade catastrophes, and imagine the future. Readings include Nietzsche, Freud, Rilke, Musil, Brecht, Kafka, Doeblin, Benjamin, Juenger, Arendt, Musil, Mann, Adorno, Celan, Grass, Bachmann, Bernhardt, Wolf, and Kluge. Taught in English. Note for German Studies grad students: GERMAN 322 will fulfill the grad core requirement since GERMAN 332 is not being offered this year. NOTE: Enrollment requires Professor Eshel's consent. Please contact him directly at eshel@stanford.edu and answer these 2 questions: "Why do you want to take this course?" and "What do you think you can add to the discussion?" Applications will be considered in the order in which they were received. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Same as: GERMAN 222, GERMAN 322, JEWISHST 242G, JEWISHST 342

COMPLIT 228. Critical Translation Studies. 3-5 Units.

Seminal works of translation theory and scholarship from a wide array of disciplinary, regional, linguistic, and historical perspectives. Readings are in English, but students must have at least two years of training or the equivalent in another language, or permission from the instructor. (Important note: Students who wish to count this course toward requirements in the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures must have permission from their EALC advisor.).
Same as: JAPAN 123, JAPAN 223

COMPLIT 229B. Camus. 4-5 Units.

"The Don Draper of Existentialism" for Adam Gopnik, "the ideal husband of contemporary letters" for Susan Sontag, and "the admirable conjunction of a man, of an action, and of a work" for Sartre, Camus embodies the very French figure of the "intellectuel engagé," or public intellectual. From his birth in 1913 into a poor family in Algeria to the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957, from Paris to the Mediterranean world, Camus engaged in the great ethical battles of his time, from the fight against nazism and communism, from questioning colonial rules to the Algerian War of Independence. Through readings and films, we will explore his multiple, long-lasting legacies. Readings from Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Kamel Daoud, Mouloud Feraoun, Alice Kaplan, A.B. Yehoshua, Yasmina Khadra. This course is a WIM course. Students will work on their production of written French, in addition to speaking French and reading comprehension. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.
Same as: CSRE 129, FRENCH 129, HISTORY 235F

COMPLIT 233A. Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean. 4 Units.

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of the cultural, social, and political aspects at play in the literatures of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean of the 20th and 21st century. Our primary readings will be Francophone novels and poetry. We will also read some theoretical texts. The assigned readings will expose students to literature from diverse French-speaking regions of the African/Caribbean world. This course will also serve as a "literary toolbox," with the intention of facilitating an understanding of literary genres, and terms. Students can expect to work on their production of written and spoken French, in addition to reading comprehension. Special guest: Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui. Required readings include: Aime Cesaire, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Dany Laferriere, Leonara Miano, Albert Memmi. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.
Same as: AFRICAAM 133, AFRICAST 132, COMPLIT 133A, CSRE 133E, FRENCH 133, JEWISHST 143

COMPLIT 236. Literature and Transgression. 3-5 Units.

Close reading and analysis of erotic-sexual and aesthetic-stylistic transgression in selected works by such authors as Baudelaire, Wilde, Flaubert, Rachilde, Schnitzler, Kafka, Joyce, Barnes, Eliot, Bataille, Burroughs, Thomas Mann, Kathy Acker, as well as in recent digital literature and online communities. Along with understanding the changing cultural, social, and political contexts of what constitutes "transgression" or censorship, students will gain knowledge of influential theories of transgression and conceptual limits by Foucault, Blanchot, and contemporary queer and feminist writers.
Same as: FEMGEN 236

COMPLIT 236A. Casablanca - Algiers - Tunis : Cities on the Edge. 3-5 Units.

Casablanca, Algiers and Tunis embody three territories, real and imaginary, which never cease to challenge the preconceptions of travelers setting sight on their shores. In this class, we will explore the myriad ways in which these cities of North Africa, on the edge of Europe and of Africa, have been narrated in literature, cinema, and popular culture. Home to Muslims, Christians, and Jews, they are an ebullient laboratory of social, political, religious, and cultural issues, global and local, between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. We will look at mass images of these cities, from films to maps, novels to photographs, sketching a new vision of these magnets as places where power, social rituals, legacies of the Ottoman and French colonial pasts, and the influence of the global economy collude and collide. Special focus on class, gender, and race.
Same as: AFRICAAM 236B, CSRE 140S, FRENCH 236, FRENCH 336, HISTORY 245C, URBANST 140F

COMPLIT 239. Queer Theory. 3-5 Units.

Do we really need a theory in order to be queer? Queer Theory emerged in response to feminist thought, and the study of the history of sexuality, building on their insights, but also uncovering their blind spots. Without Queer Theory, few of the discourses around desire, power and gender identity that we take for granted on college campuses today would exist. Yet there is also a real risk that reality has left the theory behind. In this course, we will try to answer the question: What do we need queer theory for? Do we still need it? And if so, of what kind? The course is designed to introduce students to core texts of queer theory, and to connect them to current debates, be this around trans rights, the representation of homosexuality or the fight against campus sexual assault.
Same as: FEMGEN 239, GERMAN 239

COMPLIT 243. The Age of Beloveds: Inflections of Desire in Persian and Ottoman Literature. 3-5 Units.

This course follows the trajectory of Islamicate love poetry from its emergence in medieval Persian letters to the court of the Ottoman Sultans. Our point of departure will be the emergence of a unique doctrine of love in Persian literature between the 11th and the 14th centuries, from the confluence of courtly, romantic and mystical ideas. Tracing the gradual imbrication of sacred and profane desire, we will study the advice on marital love in early Mirrors for Princes, the exaltation of heterosexual love in romances, the recasting of love in the context of a mystical erotology, and, finally, the enduring legacy of this discourse of love in ghazal poetry. We will then explore the theme of love, oscillating between heterosexual, homoerotic, and mystical in Ottoman lyric poetry by Sufi, Sultan, and woman poets, spreading over four hundred years until the 19th century. In looking at these texts, we will touch upon questions regarding the ideals and realities of love in Persian and Ottoman society, the protean nature and all-encompassing scope of longing in Perso-Ottoman letters, and the metaphysical implications of the hierarchical structure underlying the Persianate codes of love. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Taught in English.

COMPLIT 243A. From Idol to Equal: Changing Images of Love in 20th-Century Persian and Turkish Literature. 3-5 Units.

This course will explore the changing images of love in pivotal works of modern Persian and Turkish literature. Classes will include close readings and discussions of poems, short stories, and plays with particular attention to the constellation of lover/beloved, the theme of romantic love, and the cultural and historical background of these elements. Our starting point will be the adoption of the novel as a form in the late 19th century. From there, we will explore different figurations of love in key texts of the 20th century up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1978) and the coup d'état in Turkey (1980). Themes will include the end of empire and the demise of the concubine, the portrayal of the homeland as lover, secularization and the lifting of the veil, the figure of the female pioneer, the conflict of western and eastern morals, the prostitute as a new paradigm, the emergence of female writers, and avantgarde conceptions of love. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. All readings and discussions will be in English.

COMPLIT 244. Modern Persian Poetry. 3-5 Units.

Drawing on poems, songs, and films in addition to theoretical texts, this course retraces the struggle for a modern poetic language in Iran from the time of the Constitutional Revolution (1905/6) to the Islamic Revolution (1978/79), and beyond. Topics include: the unresolved relationship between tradition and modernity; poetry as a vehicle of enlightenment and revolution; the quest for a new poetic expression of love; the emerging possibility of a female voice in Persian poetry; the construction of historical memory through literature; responses to the experience of modern alienation; the figure of the poet as dissident; and the subversive force of poetic form itself. Poets to be read are Iraj, Bahar, Nima, Shamlu, Sepehri, Akhavan Sales, Forugh, and Esma'il Kho'i as well as some non-canonical figures. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Taught in English.

COMPLIT 248A. Reading Turkish I. 2-4 Units.

Reading Turkish I is an introduction to the structures of the Turkish language necessary for reading. It is designed to develop reading competence in Turkish for graduate students. Undergraduates should consult the instructor before enrolling for the course. Essential grammar, syntax points, vocabulary, and reading skills will be emphasized. This is not a traditional language course that takes an integrated four-skill approach; since the goal is advanced reading level, the focus is mainly on grammar, reading comprehension, and translation. With full concentration on reading, we will be able to cover advanced material in a short amount of time. The course is conducted in English, but students will be exposed to the sounds of Turkish, and will have the opportunity to practice pronunciation in class. NOTE: COMPLIT 248A Reading Turkish I is followed by COMPLIT 248B Reading Turkish II in the Winter and COMPLIT 248C Advanced Turkish for Research in the Spring.

COMPLIT 248B. Reading Turkish II. 2-4 Units.

This course is the continuation of COMPLIT 248A Reading Turkish I, which served as an introduction to the structures of the Turkish language necessary for reading. It is designed to develop reading competence in Turkish for graduate students. Undergraduates should consult the instructor before enrolling for the course. Essential grammar, syntax points, vocabulary, and reading skills will be emphasized. This is not a traditional language course that takes an integrated four-skill approach; it focuses only on reading, and as a result we will be able to cover advanced material in a short amount of time. This course is conducted in English, but students will be exposed to the sounds of Turkish, and will have the opportunity to practice pronunciation in class. COMPLIT 248B is followed by COMPLIT 248C Advanced Turkish for Research in the Spring.

COMPLIT 248C. Advanced Turkish-English Translation. 2-4 Units.

This course is the continuation of COMPLIT 248A Reading Turkish I and COMPLIT 248B Reading Turkish II. Refining advanced grammar, reading, and translation skills in modern Turkish through intensive reading and translation from a variety of source texts. Emphasis on Turkish cultural, historical, literary, and political texts depending on students' academic interests. Prerequisites COMPLIT 248A & B or prior knowledge of Turkish and consultation with the instructor is necessary.

COMPLIT 249. Rumi: Rhythms of Creation. 3-5 Units.

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the thought, poetics, and legacy of one of the towering figures of Persian letters, Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273). After discussing the literary ancestors (Sana'i, `Attar), we will trace the mystico-philosophical foundations of Rumi's thought through close readings of the lyrical (Divan-e Shams) and narrative poems (Mathnavi-ye ma`navi), the prose works (Fihe ma fihe), and the letters. Literary analyses will be followed by an exploration of music as a structuring principle in Rumi's work and the role of sama` (spiritual audition) as a poetic practice. From there, we will look at the ritual and symbolism of the dervish dance, the foundation of the Mevlevi order, the interconnectedness of space (architecture) and poetic form that is exemplified in the Mevlevi dervish lodges, and the literary and philosophical echoes of Rumi in Ottoman culture, above all Seyh Galip's masterpiece Hüsn ü Ask (1782). The course will be complemented by digressions on Rumi in contemporary Persian and Turkish music, including live musical performances. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Taught in English.

COMPLIT 249A. The Iranian Cinema: Image and Meaning. 1-3 Unit.

This course will focus on the analysis of ten Iranian films with the view of placing them in discourse on the semiotics of Iranian art and culture. The course will also look at the influence of a wide array of cinematic traditions from European, American, and Asian masters on Iranian cinema. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Same as: GLOBAL 249A

COMPLIT 249B. Iranian Cinema in Diaspora. 1-3 Unit.

Despite enormous obstacles, immigrant Iranian filmmakers, within a few decades (after the Iranian Revolution), have created a slow but steady stream of films outside Iran. They were originally started by individual spontaneous attempts from different corners of the world and by now we can identify common lines of interest amongst them. There are also major differences between them. These films have never been allowed to be screened inside Iran, and without any support from the global system of production and distribution, as independent and individual attempts, they have enjoyed little attention. Despite all this, Iranian cinema in exile is in no sense any less important than Iranian cinema inside Iran. In this course we will view one such film, made outside Iran, in each class meeting and expect to reach a common consensus in identifying the general patterns within these works and this movement. Questions such as the ones listed below will be addressed in our meetings each week: What changes in aesthetics and point of view of the filmmaker are caused by the change in his or her work environment? Though unwantedly these films are made outside Iran, how related are they to the known (recognized) cinema within Iran? And in fact, to what extent do these films express things that are left unsaid by the cinema within Iran? NOTE: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Same as: GLOBAL 249B

COMPLIT 249C. Contemporary Iranian Theater. 1-3 Unit.

Today, Iranian plays both in traditional and contemporary styles are staged in theater festivals throughout the world and play their role in forming a universal language of theater which combine the heritages from countries in all five continents. Despite many obstacles, some Iranian plays have been translated into English and some prominent Iranian figures are successful stage directors outside Iran. Forty-six years ago when "Theater in Iran" (a monograph on the history of Iranian plays) by Bahram Beyzaie was first published, it put the then contemporary Iranian theater movement "which was altogether westernizing itself blindly" face to face with a new kind of self-awareness. Hence, today's generation of playwrights and stage directors in Iran, all know something of their theatrical heritage. In this course we will spend some class sessions on the history of theater in Iran and some class meetings will be concentrating on contemporary movements and present day playwrights. Given the dearth of visual documents, an attempt will be made to present a picture of Iranian theater to the student. Students are expected to read the recommended available translated plays of the contemporary Iranian playwrights and participate in classroom discussions. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Same as: GLOBAL 249C

COMPLIT 252A. Great Arabic Poetry. 3-5 Units.

Introduction to the canon of Arabic poetry from the sixth to the twenty-first century. Imru' al-Qays, al-Mutanabbi, Mahmud Darwish, and more. Readings in Arabic. Two years of Arabic at Stanford or equivalent required. Counts for the Arabic Track in the MELLAC Minor.

COMPLIT 252B. Great Arabic Prose. 3-5 Units.

Introduction to the best Arabic Literature from the 790s to 2016. Al-Jahiz, Naguib Mahfouz, and much more. Readings in Arabic. Two years of Arabic at Stanford or equivalent required. Counts for the Arabic Track in the MELLAC Minor. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for WAYS credit.

COMPLIT 258A. Existentialism, from Moral Quest to Novelistic Form. 3-5 Units.

This seminar intends to follow the development of Existentialism from its genesis to its literary expressions in the European postwar. The notions of defining commitment, of moral ambiguity, the project of the self, and the critique of humanism will be studied in selected texts by Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Unamuno, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Joan Sales.
Same as: ILAC 211, ILAC 311

COMPLIT 263. A History of Silence in Literature. 3-5 Units.

An analysis of theological and mystical texts as well as secular works of poetry and prose, from the Middle Ages to the present, exploring both the specific nature and the philosophical implications of silence in literature. Following a historical trajectory, we will first look at silence in medieval thought: as the necessary silence of apophasy in the works of negative theology and as a memory space in accounts of mystical ascension from the Islamic tradition (Bayazid Bastami). After this will come an examination of various moments in more recent literary history: the silence in face of the sublime that pervades the Romantics; the metaphysical uprooting of Büchner's Lenz (1839) that is captured in the paradox of a silence whose screams reach across the horizon; the fragmentation of Hölderlin's late poetry; the crisis of language described in Hofmannsthal's Chandos Letter (1902), prefiguring Wittgenstein; the dissolution of words as a "language of space devoid of dialogue" in Antonin Artaud; the straining away from existence and speech in Beckett's The Unnamable (1953); and, finally, the silence of the breath turn, as an ethical injunction after the Holocaust in Paul Celan. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Taught in English.

COMPLIT 283A. Modern Notions of 'The Holy': Hölderlin, Heidegger, Celan. 3-5 Units.

This course explores the question, "What may we call 'holy' in the modern era?" by focusing mostly on three key writers and thinkers, who "in various ways, and in different times" raised this question: Friedrich Hölderlin, Martin Heidegger, and Paul Celan. Given the scope of this question and its various reverberations and implications, we will also read "continental philosophy of religion" (Marion, Courtine, Caputo, and Vattimo, among others), as well as some of the work of Jacques Derrida.
Same as: COMPLIT 383A, GERMAN 283A, GERMAN 383A, RELIGST 283A, RELIGST 383A

COMPLIT 285. Texts and Contexts: French-English Translation. 3-5 Units.

This course introduces students to the ways in which translation has shaped the image of France and the Francophone world. What texts and concepts were translated, how, where, and to what effect? Students will work on a translation project throughout the quarter and translate texts from French to English and English to French. Topics may include the role of translation in the development of cultures; the political dimension of translation, translation in the context of migration, and the socio-cultural frameworks that shape translations. Case studies: Camus, Fanon, Glissant, de Beauvoir, Meddeb, Duras. Prior knowledge of French language required.
Same as: CSRE 285, FRENCH 185, FRENCH 285

COMPLIT 290A. Magic, Science, and Religion. 3-5 Units.

With the rise of the human sciences in the later nineteenth century, `magic,¿ `science,¿ and `religion¿ came to be understood as entirely separate domains, with different versions of truth and divergent methods of inquiry. But how has this division broken down in the past 150 years? How is it, for example, that other people¿s religion is `merely magic¿? How does science still draw on religious categories, in particular to claim the universe is meaningful? How have new forms of magic shaped new age, global culture? We will examine these questions by pairing literary texts with readings from anthropology, history of science, religious studies, and cultural criticism. This course is taught in English.
Same as: COMPLIT 390A, FRENCH 290, FRENCH 390, ITALIAN 290, ITALIAN 390

COMPLIT 303D. Thinking in Fiction. 5 Units.

Is there a boundary between fact and fiction? Is fiction a stable category at all? Should we be thinking instead about description, factual reference, the place of history, and the methods of science? This course will examine the ways in which fictions figure in the workings of the human mind and human institutions, as well as in literature. Readings will include work by philosophers and critics stretching from Locke, Hume, and Adam Smith, to twentieth-century figures such as Vaihinger (the philosophy of "as if"), to "possible worlds" theory. Bruno Latour, Marie-Laure Ryan, and Ann Banfield will be joined by Catherine Gallagher and narratologists. In reaching back to the eighteenth century, we also can have in mind important essays or prefaces by such writers as Horace Walpole, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and Anne Radcliffe. Novels, of course, raise large questions about fictionality. Works for study include: The Female Quixote, The Castle of Otranto, Tristram Shandy, and Sense and Sensibility.
Same as: ENGLISH 303D

COMPLIT 304. Voice, Dissent, Resistance: Antiracist and Antifascist Discourse and Action. 5 Units.

The rise of right-wing movements in the United States and in Europe signal a resurgence of nativist and ethno-nationalist politics that rely heavily on racism to advance fascist politics. This course will explore these phenomena both in terms of their historical development and their present-day appearances. The goal will be to understand how those involved in anti-racist and anti-fascist struggles have invented, created, and practiced discourses and actions that attempt to resist racism and fascism, and to evaluate their merits and weaknesses. Historical, philosophic, journalistic, and creative writings will be the basis of study. This is an experimental course driven by the urgency of recent political events. Students should have open minds and be willing to help shape the course.
Same as: COMPLIT 104A

COMPLIT 307. Proust and His World. 3-5 Units.

This course is a chance to read together Proust's <e>A la recherche du temps perdu</e>. This seven-volume novel is a stylistic tour de force, a brilliant meditation on defining elements of modernity, and an eccentric meander through art, history and the self. We will look closely at Proust's narrative edifice, and its poetic achievements. We will augment our reading of the novel with secondary selections that enable us to explore the many themes and questions raised by the work, ranging from fashion as a serious mode of modern expression to the phenomenology of memory to the decadence of French culture on the eve of the First World War. We'll look at the importance of Proust for structuralist and post-structuralist critics of the 1960s-1980s, whose paradigms continue to resonate today. We'll also consider together the interest and limits of a single-author course, and the value of absorptive, "slow" reading in our multi-tasking era. Supplementary readings might include selections from Charles Baudelaire, John Ruskin, Henri Bergson, Gérard Genette, Gilles Deleuze, Eve Sedgwick, Maurice Samuels, and Caroline Weber. Reading knowledge of French strongly recommended.
Same as: FRENCH 307A

COMPLIT 315. Vladimir Nabokov: Displacement and the Liberated Eye. 3-5 Units.

How did the triumphant author of "the great American novel" <em>Lolita</em> evolve from the young author writing at white heat for the tiny sad Russian emigration in Berlin? We will read his short stories and the novels <em>The Luzhin Defense, Invitation to a Beheading, Lolita, Lolita</em> the film, and <em>Pale Fire</em>, to see how Nabokov generated his sinister-playful forms as a buoyant answer to the "hypermodern" visual and film culture of pre-WWII Berlin, and then to America's all-pervading postwar "normalcy" in his pathological comic masterpieces <em>Lolita</em> and <em>Pale Fire</em>. Buy texts in translation at the Bookstore; Slavic grad students will supplement with reading and extra sessions in original Russian.
Same as: COMPLIT 115, SLAVIC 156, SLAVIC 356

COMPLIT 316. Scholarship and Activism for Justice. 1 Unit.

In this weekly discussion group we will center on scholarship that addresses issues of social inequity and ways to act for change.

COMPLIT 319. The Turkish Novel. 3-5 Units.

Designed as a survey, this course will examine the modern Turkish novel from the early days of the Republic to the present day. We will examine the aesthetic, political, and social aspects of the Turkish novel by reading major samples of national, historical, philosophical, village, and modernist novels. Discussions will be conducted in English. Students will have an option to read the primary sources in Turkish or in English. Contact Burcu Karahan for meeting time and place.
Same as: COMPLIT 119

COMPLIT 320A. Epic and Empire. 5 Units.

Focus is on Virgil's Aeneid and its influence, tracing the European epic tradition (Ariosto, Tasso, Camoes, Spenser, and Milton) to New World discovery and mercantile expansion in the early modern period.
Same as: ENGLISH 314

COMPLIT 334A. Concepts of Modernity I: Philosophical Foundations. 5 Units.

In the late eighteenth century, Immanuel Kant proclaimed his epoch to be "the genuine age of criticism." He went on to develop the critique of reason, which set the stage for many of the themes and problems that have preoccupied Western thinkers for the last two centuries. This fall quarter survey is intended as an introduction to these themes and problems. The general course layout draws equal parts on Koselleck's practice of "conceptual history" (Begriffsgeschichte) and on Jameson's of "cognitive mapping." After consideration of an important, if often under-appreciated precedent (the baroque), we turn our attention to the conceptual triad of subject, reason and critique, followed by that of revolution, utopia and sovereignty. Authors may include Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Lukács, and others. This course is the first of a two-course sequence. Priority to graduate students in MTL, ILAC, and English.
Same as: ILAC 334A, MTL 334A

COMPLIT 334B. Concepts of Modernity II: Culture, Aesthetics, and Society in the Age of Globalization. 5 Units.

Emphasis on world-system theory, theories of coloniality and power, and aesthetic modernity/postmodernity in their relation to culture broadly understood.
Same as: ENGLISH 334B, MTL 334B

COMPLIT 359A. Philosophical Reading Group. 1 Unit.

Discussion of one contemporary or historical text from the Western philosophical tradition per quarter in a group of faculty and graduate students. For admission of new participants, a conversation with H. U. Gumbrecht is required. May be repeated for credit. Taught in English.
Same as: FRENCH 395, ITALIAN 395

COMPLIT 368A. Imagining the Oceans. 5 Units.

How has Western culture constructed the world's oceans since the beginning of global ocean exploration? How have imaginative visions of the ocean been shaped by marine science, technology, exploration, commerce and leisure? Primary authors read might include Cook, Banks, Equiano, Ricketts, and Steinbeck; Defoe, Cooper, Verne, Conrad, Woolf and Hemingway; Coleridge, Baudelaire, Moore, Bishop and Walcott. Critical readings include Schmitt, Rediker and Linebaugh, Baucom, Best, Corbin, Auden, Sontag and Heller-Roazen. Films by Sekula, Painlevé and Bigelow. Seminar coordinated with a 2015 Cantor Arts Center public exhibition. Visits to the Cantor; other possible field trips include Hopkins Marine Station and SF Maritime Historical Park. Open to graduate students only.
Same as: ENGLISH 368A, FRENCH 368A

COMPLIT 371. Utopia and Critical Theory: Politics, Aesthetics, and Science. 2-5 Units.

This seminar will study aesthetic theories and their political implications. Its goal is to apply aesthetic theories to the exploration of the image of ¿nature.¿ We will study Terry Eagleton¿s classic Ideology of the Aesthetic, which reviews the Western aesthetic tradition. We will read writings by Walter Benjamin, Adorno, and the French thinker Jacques Ranciere. We will study aesthetic theories by classical Chinese philosophers and modern thinkers such as like Li Zehou. Equipped with the dual perspective of aesthetics and politics, we will explore issues of nature, the environment, social ecology, and deep ecology. We will critique the anthropocentric stance toward natural environments, landscape, and wilderness. Delving into the issues of natural beauty, environmental ethic, politics, and literature, we will discuss the human body as an organism among other living organisms, the aesthetic of landscape, alienated labor, environment degradation, and dire consequences of technological civilization. Primary texts include Shen Congwen¿s fiction, Chinese SF works, and films.Chinese is not required. PhD students are required to write a term paper of 20-25 pages. MA and undergraduate students will write two short essays of 10 pages in response to the questions from readings and discussion.
Same as: CHINA 371

COMPLIT 383A. Modern Notions of 'The Holy': Hölderlin, Heidegger, Celan. 3-5 Units.

This course explores the question, "What may we call 'holy' in the modern era?" by focusing mostly on three key writers and thinkers, who "in various ways, and in different times" raised this question: Friedrich Hölderlin, Martin Heidegger, and Paul Celan. Given the scope of this question and its various reverberations and implications, we will also read "continental philosophy of religion" (Marion, Courtine, Caputo, and Vattimo, among others), as well as some of the work of Jacques Derrida.
Same as: COMPLIT 283A, GERMAN 283A, GERMAN 383A, RELIGST 283A, RELIGST 383A

COMPLIT 388. In Search of the Holy Grail: Percival's Quest in Medieval Literature. 3-5 Units.

This course focuses on one of the most famous inventions of the Middle Ages: the Holy Grail. The grail - a mysterious vessel with supernatural properties - is first mentioned in Chrétien de Troyes' "Perceval," but the story is soon rewritten by authors who alter the meaning of both the grail and the quest. By reading three different versions, we will explore how they respond differently to major topics in medieval culture and relevant to today: romantic love, family ties, education, moral guilt, and spiritual practice. The texts are: Chrétien de Troyes' "Perceval," Wolfram von Eschenbach's "Parzival," and the anonymous "Queste del Saint Graal." All readings will be available in English.
Same as: COMPLIT 188, GERMAN 188, GERMAN 388

COMPLIT 390A. Magic, Science, and Religion. 3-5 Units.

With the rise of the human sciences in the later nineteenth century, `magic,¿ `science,¿ and `religion¿ came to be understood as entirely separate domains, with different versions of truth and divergent methods of inquiry. But how has this division broken down in the past 150 years? How is it, for example, that other people¿s religion is `merely magic¿? How does science still draw on religious categories, in particular to claim the universe is meaningful? How have new forms of magic shaped new age, global culture? We will examine these questions by pairing literary texts with readings from anthropology, history of science, religious studies, and cultural criticism. This course is taught in English.
Same as: COMPLIT 290A, FRENCH 290, FRENCH 390, ITALIAN 290, ITALIAN 390

COMPLIT 398L. Literary Lab. 2-5 Units.

Gathering and analyzing data, constructing hypotheses and designing experiments to test them, writing programs [if needed], preparing visuals and texts for articles or conferences. Requires a year-long participation in the activities of the Lab.
Same as: ENGLISH 398L

COMPLIT 399. Individual Work. 1-15 Unit.

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COMPLIT 680. Curricular Practical Training. 1-3 Unit.

CPT course required for international students completing degree. Prerequisite: Comparative Literature Ph.D. candidate.

COMPLIT 802. TGR Dissertation. 0 Units.

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