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M L 295

Topics in Modern Languages

Courses in specific topics, such as culture, literary movements or genres, linguistics or film. Taught in English. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. May count towards European Studies minor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Alejandro Puga

295A: Tps:Mexico City

Mexico City is a team-taught course that stems from the collaborative research of Professors Glen Kuecker (History) and Alejandro Puga (Modern Languages). A central principle of their work on the GLCA Expanding Collaboration Initiative grant, Mapping the Megalopolis, has been abarcar lo inabarcable, that is, seeking to know the unknowable urban form of Mexico City. Kuecker and Puga think that the study of Mexico City, and really any city, requires multiple fields of inquiry. To that end, Kuecker and Puga will put the Mexican urban novel in conversation with urban theory, with a broader goal of reciprocal learning between the humanities and social sciences. We propose the course to be a model for integrated studies essential for 21st century liberal education pedagogy. Discussion will explore how shifts in power order and encode sections of the city, and how spaces of contestation emerge in cycles of ordering, disordering, and re-ordering. Through readings of contemporary fiction and journalistic narrative (cronica), and critical essays that problematize the image of the city, students will develop an appreciation for all narrative and discursive forms involved, and they will engage in a core mission of a liberal education, namely the interaction of supposedly discrete academic fields. Throughout the semester, they will practice both individual and collaborative writing that will culminate in a mini-conference and the online publication of a GIS Story Map.

Cheira Lewis

295B: Tps:Global Cinema

Howard Pollack-Milgate

295C: Tps:Reality, Fantasy, & In Between: Fiction and Modernity

In the German tradition, philosophical, scientific, and ethical approaches--theories, facts, and rational faiths--have never been seen as sufficient responses to the mysteries of life. Art, especially literature, is considered essential to making one's way in the world; the powers of fantasy allow us to approach what cannot be rationally comprehended. In this course, we will consider imaginative treatments of the quandaries of the modern world, a world of perpetual uncertainty and change, of untold danger and opportunity, examining literary forays into such questions as: Are human beings the masters or the playthings of nature? Can there be a society without unjust domination? How has the advance of technology changed human nature and blurred the line between reality and fantasy? Is there a modern answer to death? We will read, in translation, German-language literature and literature inspired by the German tradition by such figures as Kleist, Brecht, Kundera, Wolf, Kehlmann, and Houllebecq in the context of Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Benjamin.

Spring Semester information

Michael Seaman

295A: Tps:The Italian Renaissance