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, which is 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 Chinese 330 rather than Literature 330.

Literature 209 - Introduction to Film Studies: Form and History on the Big Screen

One unit semester course. This course introduces students to film aesthetics through the analysis of film form and style with the aim of acquiring fluency in and understanding of film’s unique language as it evolved technologically, historically, and generically. Students shall explore the specificity of the language of cinema and its development in the twentieth century, paying special attention to how the big screen responded to and represented major events and historical trauma. In addition to dissecting and identifying formal choices and techniques, students will undertake close readings of films and place them in the larger context of directorial oeuvre, critical schools, period or movement in European and American cinema, and beyond. Lecture-conference.

Literature 309 - Introduction to Film Theory

One unit semester course. 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 United States, 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-screenings. 

Literature 324 - Self-Narration Before and After Proust

One unit semester course. This course will explore examples of self-narration in French literary works (in English translation) prior to and throughout the twentieth century, with Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way situated as the text alongside which and against which we will read other texts of self-narration, both autobiographical and fictional. The modes, gestures, and habits of self-narration that dominate contemporary life and that are immediately familiar today have rich literary examples. Self-fashioning, self-exploration, giving an account of oneself, organizing the relationship between one’s past and present, identifying meaningful patterns in the experiences of daily life; all of these may be considered components of a project of self-narration. Although this course will entail discussion of theoretical questions surrounding the project of self-narration (for instance, autofiction, the autobiographical pact, writing and memory, writing and the self), the primary focus of the course will be careful reading of the literary texts themselves, with emphasis on formal analysis. Authors read include Montaigne, Rousseau, Proust, Sartre, Leiris, Perec, Sarraute, Modiano, and Roubaud. Conference.

Literature 400 - Introduction to Literary Theory

One unit semester course. 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 as English 400.

Literature (Ancient Mediterranean) 251 - Ancient Greek Athletics

See Ancient Mediterranean Studies 251 for description.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 251 Description

Literature (Ancient Mediterranean) 261 - Greek and Roman Mythology

See Ancient Mediterranean Studies 261 for description.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 261 Description

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

See Chinese 325 for course description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 325 Description

Literature (Chinese) 327 - Chinese Inhumanities: Construction of the Other in Chinese Literature

See Chinese 327 for description. 

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 327 Description

Literature (Chinese) 329 - Stranger Things in Medieval China

See Chinese 329 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 329 Description

Literature (Chinese) 330 - Chinese Ghost Stories and Supernatural Tales

See Chinese 330 for description.

Chinese 330 Description

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

See Chinese 334 for description.

Chinese 334 Description

Literature (Chinese) 346 - From Allegories to Documentaries: Screening Postsocialist China

See Chinese 346 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 346 Description

Literature (Chinese) 347 - Modern Sinophone Fiction and Film

See Chinese 347 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 347 Description

Literature (Chinese) 348 - Reading for Translation

See Chinese 348 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 348 Description

Literature (Chinese) 355 - Early Chinese Philosophical Texts

See Chinese 355 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 355 Description

Literature (Chinese) 367 - Love in Late Imperial China

See Chinese 367 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 367 Description

Literature (Chinese) 374 - Reading Early Chinese Novels: The Four Masterworks

See Chinese 374 for description.

Chinese 374 Description

Literature (Chinese) 380 - The Story of the Stone and the Literary Traditions of China

See Chinese 380 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 380 Description

Literature (Chinese) 390 - Realism and Its Discontents in Contemporary Chinese Visual Media

See Chinese 390 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Chinese 390 Description

Literature (French) 392 - French Connections: The Intertwined Histories of French and American Cinema

See French 392 for description.

French 392 Description

Literature (German) 346 - Introduction to Media Studies

See German 346 for description.

German 346 Description

Literature (German) 349 - Cinema and Politics

See German 349 for description. 

Not offered 2022–23.

German 349 Description

Literature (German) 358 - Representing Genocide

See German 358 for description.

German 358 Description

Literature (German) 372 - Psychoanalysis and Literature

See German 372 for description. 

Not offered 2022–23.

German 372 Description

Literature (German) 375 - Thinking Machines: Androids and Automatons in Science and Literature

See German 375 for course description.

German 375 Description

Literature (German) 391 - German Theory I

Introduction to Critical Theory
See German 391 for description. Not offered 2022–23.

Plants and Politics
See German 391 for description. 

German 391 Description

Literature (German) 392 - German Theory II

Revolutions in Poetic Language
See German 392 for description. 

Not offered 2022–23.

German 392 Description

Literature (Russian) 266 - Russian Short Fiction

See Russian 266 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 266 Description

Literature (Russian) 325 - Multicultural Russia

See Russian 325 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 325 Description

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

See Russian 362 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 362 Description

Literature (Russian) 363 - Film Adaptation: When Kurosawa Met Dostoevsky

See Russian 363 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 363 Description

Literature (Russian) 365 - Kiev, Odessa, and the Steppes: Ukrainian Imagination and Russian Literature

See Russian 365 for description.

Russian 365 Description

Literature (Russian) 371 - Russian Literature and Culture from Medieval to Romantic

See Russian 371 for description.

Russian 371 Description

Literature (Russian) 372 - Russian Literature: Realism

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 2022–23.

Russian 373 Description

Literature (Russian) 387 - Jewishness and Cinema

See Russian 387 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 387 Description

Literature (Russian) 388 - From Lenin to Putin: Soviet Experience and its Aftermath through Film, Literature, and Human Document

See Russian 388 for description. 

Russian 388 Description

Literature (Russian) 390 - Russian Culture under Putin: Resistance and Conformity

See Russian 390 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 390 Description

Literature (Russian) 392 - Nuclear Literatures: A Comparative Approach

See Russian 392 for course description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 392 Description

Literature (Russian) 405 - Niklolaj Gogol’

See Russian 405 for course description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 405 Description

Literature (Russian) 408 - Decadence and Symbolism in Russia and Europe

See Russian 408 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 408 Description

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

See Russian 409 for description.

Russian 409 Description

Literature (Russian) 410 - Russian Literature in Revolution: 1917–1932

See Russian 410 for course description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 410 Description

Literature (Russian) 412 - Literary Translation Workshop

See Russian 412 for course description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 412 Description

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

See Russian 413 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 413 Description

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

See Russian 436 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Russian 436 Description

Literature (Spanish) 343 - Don Quixote and Narrative Theory

See Spanish 343 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Spanish 343 Description

Literature (Spanish) 344 - Visual Art in Spanish Baroque Literature

See Spanish 344 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Spanish 344 Description

Literature (Spanish) 351 - Saints and Sinners: Women in the Early Modern Transatlantic World

See Spanish 351 for description.

Spanish 351 Description

Literature (Spanish) 361 - Decentering the Human

See Spanish 361 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Spanish 361 Description

Literature (Spanish) 372 - Documentary Resistance in Latin America and Spain

See Spanish 372 for description.

Not offered 2022–23.

Spanish 372 Description

Literature (Spanish) 378 - Space & Power

See Spanish 378 for description.

Spanish 378 Description