Reed College Catalog


Many departments in the Division of Literature and Languages offer courses in which the texts are read in translation. Literature courses are described under particular cross-listed departments within the division, with the exception of Literature 400 and 401, which are intended to serve all majors in the division. When courses are cross-listed under the sponsoring department, the texts in these courses are often read in the original language, usually in a separate conference; students with appropriate language skills should, for example, register for German 321 rather than Literature 321.

All literature courses fulfill Group A requirements. One unit of a literature course (or one unit in creative writing) may be applied toward the English major. For other majors in the division, literature courses at the 300 level will fulfill the division requirement of two units in a literature outside of the major.

Literature 400 - Introduction to Literary Theory

Full course for one semester. A historical and analytical introduction to the major theoretical movements of the last 50 years in Western European and American literary criticism. The course will trace the philosophical origins and conceptual affiliations of the major theoretical developments, as well as the methodological paradigms that draw on them. As part of this overview we will unpack the master tropes of the different theoretical movements in order to develop a basic understanding of how to wield them effectively in literary critical discourse. Movements covered will include structuralism and semiotics, poststructuralism and deconstruction, Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, poststructuralist Marxist theory, Foucauldian theory, postmodernism, and cultural studies. The course will be taught as a seminar, with each student responsible for organizing the discussion of a reading or topic. It is designed for literature majors, but non–literature majors with adequate preparation may be admitted at the discretion of the instructor, depending on enrollment. Prerequisites: junior standing and at least one literature course, or permission of the instructor. Cross-listed as French 400 and English 400.

Literature 401 - Literary Theory and Literary Criticism

Full course for one semester. This course explores the practical challenges of literary analysis. We will focus on what it means to “apply” a theory in the act of reading. We will also ask how critics attempt to respond to the concrete demands of individual texts rather than viewing them through the lens of preformulated methodologies. Each class session will be organized around the examination of a canonical work of poetry or prose alongside the diverse interpretations it has occasioned. Authors will include Baudelaire, George, James, Kafka, Kleist, Poe, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth. Criticism by Adorno, Bloom, Brooks, de Man, Felman, Greenblatt, Jakobson, Michaels, Riffaterre, and Spivak. Students taking the course for German credit will meet in extra sessions. Prerequisites: at least one course in the Division of Literature and Languages or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed as English 401 and German 401. Conference. Not offered 2010–11.

Literature (Chinese) 324 - Genres of Memory in Medieval China

See Chinese 324 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 324 Description

Literature (Chinese) 325 - Songs to Lost Music: Readings in Ci-Poetry

See Chinese 325 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 325 Description

Literature (Chinese) 334 - Yijing: Text and Tradition of the Book of Changes

See Chinese 334 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 334 Description

Literature (Chinese) 337 - Biopolitics and Modern Chinese Literature

See Chinese 337 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 337 Description

Literature (Chinese) 346 - Post-Mao Chinese Fiction and Film

See Chinese 346 for description.

Chinese 346 Description

Literature (Chinese) 353 - Early Chinese Historical Writings

See Chinese 353 for description.

Chinese 353 Description

Literature (Chinese) 355 - Early Chinese Philosophical Texts

See Chinese 355 for description.

Chinese 355 Description

Literature (Chinese) 358 - Time, Space, and History in Early Chinese Poetry

See Chinese 358 for description.

Chinese 358 Description

Literature (Chinese) 360 - The Social Life of Poetry in the Tang Dynasty (618–907)

See Chinese 360 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 360 Description

Literature (Chinese) 369 - Modernizing Sentiments, Sentimentalizing Modernity

See Chinese 369 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 369 Description

Literature (Chinese) 380 - Narrative Traditions of China

See Chinese 380 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Chinese 380 Description

Literature (German) 321 - Modernism

See German 321 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

German 321 Description

Literature (German) 325 - Modern German Jewish Writers: The Discontents of Emancipation

See German 325 for description.

German 325 Description

Literature (German) 327 - Law and Outlaw in German Literature

See German 327 for description.

German 327 Description

Literature (German) 340 - Exile: Theoretical and Literary Configurations

See German 340 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

German 340 Description

Literature (German) 358 - The Holocaust and the Limits of Representation

See German 358 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

German 358 Description

Literature (German) 365 - City, Space, Memory

See German 365 for the course description. Not offered 2010–11.

German 365 Description

Literature (German) 391 - Studies in German Theory

See German 391 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

German 391 Description

Literature (German) 462 - Seminar: Readings in Thomas Mann

See German 462 for description.

German 462 Description

Literature (Russian) 266 - Russian Short Fiction

See Russian 266 for description.

Russian 266 Description

Literature (Russian) 340 - Jewish Modernisms: Eastern Europe and Beyond

See Russian 340 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 340 Description

Literature (Russian) 366 - "The Literature of Destruction": Narratives of Apocalypse in Modern Jewish and Russian Literary Traditions

See Russian 366 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 366 Description

Literature (Russian) 371 - Russian Literature from its Beginnings through Gogol

See Russian 371 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 371 Description

Literature (Russian) 372 - 19th-Century Russian Fiction

See Russian 372 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 372 Description

Literature (Russian) 373 - Modern Russian Literature from Chekhov to the Present

See Russian 373 for description.

Russian 373 Description

Literature (Russian) 388 - The Soviet Experience

See Russian 388 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 388 Description

Literature (Russian) 389 - Postcommunist Literature, Film, and Society

See Russian 389 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 389 Description

Literature (Russian) 405 - Special Topics in 19th-Century Russian Literature: Gogol and Dostoevsky

See Russian 405 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 405 Description

Literature (Russian) 406 - Russian Literature: Leo Tolstoy

See Russian 406 for description.

Russian 406 Description

Literature (Russian) 408 - Russian Decadent and Symbolist Culture in a European Context

See Russian 408 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 408 Description

Literature (Russian) 410 - Topics in Russian Culture: The Art of Political Discourse

See Russian 410 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 410 Description

Literature (Russian) 413 - Russian Formalism, Structuralism, and Semiotics

See Russian 413 for description.

Russian 413 Description

Literature (Russian) 419 - Horror and the Sublime in Russian Culture

See Russian 419 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Russian 419 Description

Literature (Russian) 426 - East European Jewish Literature and Culture: the Shtetl, the City and Beyond

See Russian 426 for description.

Russian 426 Description

Literature (Spanish) 340 - The Culture of Spectacle in Early Modern Spain

See Spanish 340 for description.

Spanish 340 Description

Literature (Spanish) 343 - Don Quixote and Narrative Theory

See Spanish 343 for description. Not offered 2010–11.

Spanish 343 Description