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 332 rather than Literature 332.

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 309 - Introduction to Film Theory

Full course for one semester. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the main ideas and debates on film theory and criticism, from the early days of silent film to the most recent approaches to digital cinema. The discussion will focus on the most significant movements and film schools in Europe, the U.S., Latin America, and other parts of the world: realism, formalism, apparatus theory, psychoanalysis, feminism, auteurism, genre criticism, theories of spectatorship and reception, postmodernism, and third world and postcolonial cinema, among others. In addition to theoretical approaches, students will become familiar with cinematic language, including mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. The course will explore the work of directors such as D.W. Griffith, Sergei M. Eisenstein, F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Luis Buñuel, Vittorio De Sica, Jean-Luc Godard, Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Ousmane Sembene, Pedro Almodóvar, Agnès Varda, Wong Kar-wai, and Asghar Farhadi. Course includes weekly film screenings. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor.  Conference.

Literature 310 - African Literature and the Problem of Language

Full course for one semester. In this course we will study a diverse range of African literary contexts through the lens of language and translation. The question of what language to write in, and the implications of that choice, was one of the foundational issues of not only African, but also Francophone and Anglophone literary studies. The decision to write in French or English, colonial languages which have dominated literary writing in Africa over the last century, implies both a particular audience and a certain ideological baggage which must be dealt with. After identifying how these questions play out for several individual authors, we will examine alternatives to European languages. These include writing in other languages, such as Arabic or a vernacular, as well as aesthetic practices that challenge narrow understandings of the literary: oral performance, film, rap, and other uses of recording technology. Critical readings in African studies and translation theory will guide our analyses. All readings and discussions conducted in English. Conference.

Not offered 2015—16.

Literature 336 - Animal Fables through the Ages: Subversion and Critique

Full course for one semester. Animal fables—like “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Ant and the Grasshopper”—are an enduring tradition within world literature and folklore. In this course, we will uncover the textual and visual mechanisms at work beneath the ostensibly simple façades that they present to readers and listeners. We will evaluate the array of devious purposes that these narratives serve in both contemporary and historical French and Francophone cultures, from advertising to entertainment to education, and from the Middle Ages to the globalized world. Primary texts will include many examples of verse poetry and novels as well as bandes dessinées (graphic novels) and contemporary cinema. Discussion in English. Conference.

Not offered 2015—16.

Literature 400 - Introduction to Literary Theory

Full course for one semester. This course is a historical and analytical introduction to the major theoretical movements of the last 50 years in Western Europe and America. We will trace the philosophical origins and conceptual affiliations of the major developments in these movements. We will unpack the central concepts or master tropes of these theories to think about their function in literary criticism and learn how to use them purposefully. The course will cover structuralism and semiotics, poststructuralism and deconstruction, psychoanalytic theory, poststructuralist Marxist theory, Foucauldian theory and new historicism, postcolonial studies, and gender and feminist 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 instructors. Prerequisite: junior standing or at least two literature courses. Conference. Cross-listed solely as English 400 in 2014–15. Not offered 2015–16.

French
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. Not offered 2015–16.


German
Full course for one semester. This class offers an introduction to the major topics in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary theory and criticism. Movements covered will include structuralism and semiotics, postcolonialism, and digital humanities. The course will be taught as a seminar, with each student responsible for organizing the discussion of a specific topic or text. In addition to theoretical materials, we will read several works of poetry and prose and consider the diverse interpretations they have occasioned. The class is designed for literature majors, but nonliterature majors with adequate preparation will be admitted at the discretion of the instructor. Conducted in English. Students taking the course for German literature credit will meet in extra sessions. Prerequisites: junior standing and at least one literature course, or consent of the instructor; for students taking the course for German credit, German 220 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Cross-listed as German 400 and English 400. Not offered 2015–16.

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

See Chinese 324 for description.

Chinese 324 Description

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

See Chinese 325 for description.

Chinese 325 Description

Literature (Chinese) 326 - The Knight-Errant Tradition in Chinese Literature and Film

See Chinese 326 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 326 Description

Literature (Chinese) 328 - The Aesthetics of Medieval Chinese Poetry

See Chinese 328 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 328 Description

Literature (Chinese) 333 - The Powerful Women of Early and Medieval China in History, Fiction, and Modern Media

See Chinese 333 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 333 Description

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

See Chinese 334 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 334 Description

Literature (Chinese) 345 - Self, Stage, and Society: An Excursion into Chinese Drama

See Chinese 345 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 345 Description

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

See Chinese 346 for description.

Chinese 346 Description

Literature (Chinese) 355 - Early Chinese Philosophical Texts

See Chinese 355 for description.

Chinese 355 Description

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

See Chinese 360 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 360 Description

Literature (Chinese) 369 - Modernizing Sentiments, Sentimentalizing Modernity

See Chinese 369 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Chinese 369 Description

Literature (Classics) 353 - Literary Theory and Classical Literature

See Classics 353 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Classics 353 Description

Literature (Classics) 360 - Special Topics: Animals in Greek and Roman Literature

See Classics 360 for description.

Classics 360 Description

Literature (Classics) 362 - Classical Mythology

See Classics 362 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Classics Description

Literature (German) 330 - Gender and Sexuality in German Literature

See German 330 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

German 330 Description

Literature (German) 332 - Classical and Avant-Garde Theatre in Postwar Germany

See German 332 for description.

German 332 Description

Literature (German) 334 - German Landscapes, New World Horizons

See German 334 for description.

German 334 Description

Literature (German) 355 - Modern German Jewish Writers

See German 355 for description.

German 355 Description

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

See German 358 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

German 358 Description

Literature (German) 365 - City, Space, Memory

See German 365 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

German 365 Description

Literature (German) 392 - German Theory II

Introduction to Critical Theory
See German 392 for description.

Revolutions in Poetic Language
See German 392 for description. Not offered 2015–16.

German 392 Description

Literature (German) 462 - Seminar:

Readings in Thomas Mann
See German 462 for description. Not offered 2015–16.

Goethe
See German 462 for description. Not offered 2015–16.

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 2015—16.

Russian 340 Description

Literature (Russian) 362 - Red Sci-Fi: Science Fiction in Soviet Literature and Film

See Russian 362 for description.

Russian 362 Description

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

See Russian 371 for description.

Russian 371 Description

Literature (Russian) 372 - Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction

See Russian 372 for description.

Russian 372 Description

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

See Russian 373 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 373 Description

Literature (Russian) 388 - The Soviet Experience

See Russian 388 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 388 Description

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

See Russian 405 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 405 Description

Literature (Russian) 409 - Late Tolstoy: From Anna Karenina to a Religious Teaching

See Russian 409 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 409 Description

Literature (Russian) 411 - Special Topics: Russian Émigré Literature

See Russian 411 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 411 Description

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

See Russian 413 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 413 Description

Literature (Russian) 420 - Culture Studies: Russian Images of Italy

See Russian 420 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 420 Description

Literature (Russian) 424 - The Holocaust in Soviet Contexts

See Russian 424 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 424 Description

Literature (Russian) 435 - Introduction to Russian Film

See Russian 435 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Russian 435 Description

Literature (Russian) 436 - Sergei Eisenstein’s Film Art: Decadence, Revolution, and the Mechanics of Ecstasy

See Russian 436 for description.

Russian 436 Description

Literature (Spanish) 343 - Don Quixote and Narrative Theory

See Spanish 343 for description.

Not offered 2015—16.

Spanish 343 Description

Literature (Spanish) 384 - Latin America's Revolutionary Century

See Spanish 384 for description.

Spanish 384 Description