University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Comparative Literature

Courses of Instruction

Comparative Literature (COLT)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

COLT 101g Masterpieces and Masterminds: Literature and Thought of the West (4, Fa) A broad introduction to the great works of Western culture from antiquity to 1800. (Duplicates credit in former COLT 150x.)

COLT 102g On Location: The Place of Literature in Global Cultures (4, Sp) Comparative study of works from a broad range of cultural traditions that originate from, and provide insight into, vital global locations outside the Western sphere.

COLT 250g Cultures of Latin America (4, Fa) Comparative study of Latin American cultures, especially vis-a-vis those of Europe and the U.S. Materials drawn from literature, but also film, opera, history, cultural theory.

COLT 251g Modern Literature and Thought of the West Since 1800 (4, SpSm) Survey of literary and other cultural texts from the 19th to the 21st centuries, with emphasis on the individual and social change. (Duplicates credit in former COLT 151x.)

COLT 264g Asian Aesthetic and Literary Traditions (4) A comparative study of the Asian aesthetic heritage of poetry, painting, music, and drama; of literary themes, trends, and myths.

COLT 302 Introduction to Literary Theory (4, Fa) Introduction to general forms of reflection on literary discourse.

COLT 303 Globalization: Culture, Change, Resistance (4, Sp) Cultural dimensions of issues in globalization: migration, diaspora, terrorism, communications, climate change, collectives, production and technology, money and exchange.

COLT 311 Epic (4) Formation and development of epic poetry from Near Eastern and Greco-Roman antiquity through the Renaissance to the present. Emphasis on relation to political and cultural change.

COLT 312 Heroes, Myths and Legends in Literature and the Arts (4) Study of transformations of characters and themes from myth, legend or fairytale (Oedipus, Antigone, Faust, Don Juan, Cinderella, Comic and Tragic Twins, Hero and Monster).

COLT 324 Women in Medieval and Renaissance ­Europe (4) Study of literary, social and cultural lives of women during the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. Reading and analysis of texts written by and about women.

COLT 335 Decadence and Modernity (4) Study of the notion of “decadence” and its impact on modern and contemporary literary/cultural production, with a comparatist focus on different linguistic traditions.

COLT 345 Realist Fiction (4) Study of the ways literature presents the “real” (social and/or individual) through readings of selected ­novels and short stories in the realist and naturalist traditions.

COLT 346 Fictions of the First Person (4) Study of prose fiction in the first person as a model of fiction in general and as a reflection of the fictional structure of selfhood.

COLT 348 Modernist Fiction (4) Study of the Modernist aesthetic in narrative texts by Gide, Joyce, Kafka, Woolf and others; possible focus on related trends in other literary traditions.

COLT 351 Modern and Contemporary Drama (4) Comparative study of major modern dramatic trends, subgenres, and techniques, through representative works from Strindberg to the Theatre of the Grotesque and the Absurd. (Duplicates credit in former COLT 305.)

COLT 354 Revolutions in Theater (4) ­Comparative study of groundbreaking contributions to modern theories of theater and performance in the context of other 20th century revolutions — aesthetic, cultural, and social.

COLT 357 The Avant-Garde (4, max 8) Study of the relationship between literary modes and other arts since 1900, focusing on particular avant-garde movements.

COLT 360 Classical Arabic Literature in Translation (4, Irregular) (Enroll in CLAS 360)

COLT 365 Literature and Popular Culture (4) Study of mass-reproduced verbal and visual art forms, such as graphic novels, comics, animation, popular music, video, graffiti, advertising.

COLT 370 Leaders and Communities: Classical Models (4, FaSp) (Enroll in CLAS 370)

COLT 373 Literature and Film (4) Examines literature and film as distinct modes of representation, narration, and structuring of time, language, memory, and visuality.

COLT 374gm Women Writers in Europe and America (4, Sp) Introduction to works of major women writers from the Middle Ages to the 20th century in their literary, social, and cultural contexts.

COLT 375 Latin American Cultural and ­Literary Theory (4) Survey of cultural critique focused on Latin America as a cultural region and on Latin Americanism as a transnational academic practice.

COLT 377 Literature, Theory, Gender (4) ­Literary representations and theories of gender difference. ­Examines questions of gendered voice in writing and the cultural construction of gender in various periods and cultures.

COLT 379 Nationalism and Postcolonialism in South­east Asian Cinema (4) Cinema from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and ­Vietnam in local and global cultural contexts.

COLT 381 Psychoanalysis and the Arts (4) Introduction to psychoanalytic literature on the arts, including classic texts by Freud, Jones, Lacan, Derrida, and others. Readings of theoretical and fictional works.

COLT 382g Zen and Taoism in Asian Literature (4) Studies of the presence and influence of Zen Buddhism and Taoism in Asian literature, with a focus on China and Japan.

COLT 385 Literature and Justice (4) Examination of literary and autobiographical texts that raise questions of justice in multicultural societies; links to theories of justice in historical, political, or philosophical contexts.

COLT 390 Special Problems (1–4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

COLT 391 Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism (4) Survey of major texts in the literary criticism of the West from the Greeks to postmodern theories.

COLT 420 The Fantastic (4) Representative works from the “fantastic” and related currents within the Euro­pean, U.S., and Spanish American traditions; reading of texts by authors such as Borges, Cortazar, Kafka, and Poe. Discussion of relevant theoretical concepts and critical works.

COLT 426 Utopias (4) Examination of selected utopias in their historical context as “no places” whose projections of alternate cultures always comment on their own.

COLT 435 Poetry and Poetics of the Everyday (4) Relations between poetry of the dominant tradition in various languages and vernacular forms of poetry, such as riddles, nursery rhymes, ballads, and poems in dialect or slang.

COLT 445 Europe and the Writing of Others (4) Analysis of European texts — ­literary, musical, philosophical, visual — that focus on other cultures, as well as of non-European texts dealing with Europe or ­European cultural forms.

COLT 448 Multilingual Encounters (4) ­Exploration of multilingual encounters in ­literary works, films, and theo­retical texts. Topics may include immigrant languages, dialects, jargons, imaginary or hybrid languages, theories of translation.

COLT 449 Dante (4) (Enroll in ITAL 450)

COLT 451 Opera and Cultural Theory (4) Study of the words and plots of operas from the viewpoint of gender, postcolonial, and psychoanalytical theory. Special attention to contemporary stagings and film versions.

COLT 452 Representation and Cognition in Photography (4) Analysis of documentary photo-­representation in its historical context through study of the work of ­selected 20th century documentary photographers and of pertinent critical writings.

COLT 453 Bildungsroman in Modern East Asia (4, Sp) (Enroll in EALC 454)

COLT 454 Aesthetic Philosophy and Theory (4) Introduction to philosophical and critical writings on the nature of art and aesthetic experience. Special attention to technology’s impact on art.

COLT 460 Love, Self and Gender in Japanese Literature (4) (Enroll in EALC 460)

COLT 462 Soundtracks of Our Lives (4) The reciprocal, ideological relations between modes of listening, sounds, music; and literature, film, culture. Examines a range of issues in auditory culture across a broad historical span.

COLT 470 Literature and Media in Latin America (4) Study of the relations between Latin American literature and different mass-media genres.

COLT 471 Literature, Theory, History (4) Examines the relation between historical and theoretical approaches to literary works.

COLT 472 Los Angeles Crime Fiction (4) The noir tradition in books and films set in Los Angeles. Emphasis on generic conventions, representations of the city, and discourses of class, gender, race.

COLT 474 Desire, Literature, Technology (4) Relations between technology, desire, power and literature through contemporary philosophers, theorists and literary critics. Examines literature and philosophy in relation to global technological planning.

COLT 475 Politics and the Novel (4) Exam­ination of the modern realist novel with special focus on the representation of social change (revolution, class conflict, sexual politics).

COLT 476 Narrative and the Law (4) Study of the relationship between law and narrative through Western literature, including the realist novel, medieval morality plays and Greek drama.

COLT 478 Family in Theory and Literature (4) Representations of the family in literary works and films across different cultures and historical periods. Readings in anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and feminist and gender theory.

COLT 480 Dada and Surrealism (4) A comparative study of Dada and Surrealism in literature in relation to painting, sculpture, photography and cinema.

COLT 485 The Shoah (Holocaust) in Literature and the Arts (4) A critical analysis, in their historical contexts, of representative literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works created by or about the victims of the Shoah (Holocaust).

COLT 486 Deconstructive Thought (4) Deconstructive analysis of theories of language, representation, selfhood, the human, art and technology, politics and ethics. Study of works by Derrida and others.

COLT 487 Critical Image (4) Introduction to critical reflection on the image. Analysis of criticism, fiction, film, and visual artifacts.

COLT 490x Directed Research (1–8, max 12) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

COLT 495 Senior Honors Thesis (4) Writing of an ­honors thesis under individual faculty supervision.

COLT 499 Special Topics (2–4, max 8) Intensive study of selected author or authors in the context of a major literary tradition.

COLT 525 Studies in Literary and Cultural History (4, max 8) Literary and cultural currents from classical antiquity through modernity. Varying focus on specific genres, periods, movements, or problematics.

COLT 545 Studies in Literature and the Other Arts (4, max 8) Study of intersections between the literary arts and music, opera, film, theatre, photography, dance, or painting.

COLT 555 Studies in Literatures of the Americas (4, max 8) Comparative study of literary currents in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

COLT 565 Studies in Literatures of Asia (4, max 8) Study of major cultural paradigms and their divergent influences in the literatures of China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.

COLT 575 Studies in Literature and Ethnicity (4, max 8) Study of literary expression in different cultural, racial, or religious communities. Possible focus on African, Asian, Hispanic, or Jewish themes across several national traditions.

COLT 585 Studies in Literature and Gender (4, max 8) Emphasis on gender difference and sexual difference as signifying categories for literary works, criticism, or theory.

COLT 593 Practicum in Teaching the Liberal Arts (2, FaSp) (Enroll in MDA 593)

COLT 602 Seminar in Literary Theory (4, max 12) Intensive study of a theoretical tradition or critical movement, or of an individual topic or thinker, in literary criticism or theory.

COLT 620 Seminar in Literature, Culture, and Thought (4, max 12) Varying focus on social and political thought, psychoanalysis, and philosophy in relation to literary and cultural analysis.