Comparative Literature Courses - Summer 2021

Comparative Literature Courses - Summer 2021

Undergraduate Courses

Summer Session I (June 21 - July 30)

COM 004 - Major Books of the Contemporary World
Instructor: Jeremy Konick-Seese

Course description:

In this class we will look at the idea of truth through the lens of detective and mystery novels and films. What does it mean to search for the truth in our present era of “alternative facts” and deep political, cultural and personal epistemological divisions? We will explore this idea through both classic detective and mystery novels, as well as other works that allow us to stretch the definition of what it means to be a “detective,” and how our conceptions of truth condition the way we undertake our searches and understand ourselves.


The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen 

Devil in a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley

The Yellow Birds - Kevin Powers

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

Confessions of the Fox - Jordy Rosenberg


Rashomon - Akira Kurosawa (dir.) 

Vertigo - Alfred Hitchcock (dir.) 


Summer Session II (August 2 - September 10)

COM 002 - Major Books of the Medieval and Early Modern World
Instructor: Manas Rajagopalan

Visceral, often uncontrolled and in states of excess or restraint, the body confounds the imagination, transforming and transmuting as it moves through the world. It consumes and is consumed, and is an infinitely malleable entity within the literary imagination. Focusing on the question of what the body— as a precursor to ideas of the self— is shaped by, and in turn shapes, we will reflect upon the unusual and often fantastic ways in which it facilitates the making of literary worlds and spaces that extend beyond their textual frames. Readings will include Dante's Inferno, the frame narrative of Attar's The Conference of Birds, devotional poetry from South India, Molière's School for Wives and The Pillow Book of  Sei Shōnagon from Heian era Japan.

This course may be counted toward satisfaction of the English Composition Requirement in all three undergraduate colleges. Accordingly, students will write several papers and will have the opportunity to revise some of their work. GE credit: AH, WC, WE (4 units).