Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

Course Offerings

Spring 2015

CMLT-C 110: WRITING THE WORLD (multiple section numbers)
Instructor: various

Are love and hate polar opposites or two sides of the same coin? Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time? How easy is it for spurned love to turn into hate? How toxic is hatred born out of love? Is it possible to find love where hatred has already done its damage? From the court of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, to a violent village in rural Spain, to a modern British psychiatric hospital, we will survey a wide range of stories about the thin line between hatred and love. All sections of CMLT-C 110 will read Euripides' plays Helen and Medea, Federico Lorca's modern masterpiece The House of Bernarda Alba, Akhenaten by Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz, and Peter Shaffer's explosive play Equus. Each section will read additional works unique to that section that may include short stories, poetry, novels, and drama. Individual sections may also include television, art, music, and film. This course emphasizes critical thinking, clear communication, and effective argumentation. Assignments include 3 analytical essays, short papers to help develop the 3 essays, 3 short quizzes, and an introduction to basic academic research skills.

This course satisfies Indiana University's General Education requirements for Foundations in Writing: English Composition. It also carries IUB GenEd English Composition and COLL (CASE) English Composition credits.


Instructor: Camille Granata

This course focuses on a particular vision of the world: that of women. Whether they be wives, children or daughters, women in literature provide us with a specific interpretation of their environment. During the semester, we will read about the life of different feminine personalities in a series of narratives from different time periods and cultures. The variety of genres we will focus on (novels, memoirs, plays, fairy tales, short stories) offers a new vision of women who can be either feminine or masculine, weak or strong, and modern or traditional. This course offers a possibility to see how literature encapsulates a plurality of feminine figures who are all the reflection of various geographical places and ages.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Morgane Flahault

'East and West: Images of the Self' will take you on a literary trip around the world along with the Asian diaspora. The construction of the self is informed by notions of gender, race, class, and nationality, which we will learn to unpack as we read works of the Asian diasporic literature. Authors such as Joy Kogawa, Bharati Mukherjee, Sia Figiel, Linda Lê, Andrew Lam, Meiling Jin, Jan Lowe Shinebourne, Milton Muriyama, and Shailja Patel, will accompany us throughout our readings, as we take a transnational approach. These authors of Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Samoan descent are writing in Kenya, Australia, France, the U.S., Canada, India, and the Caribbean. We will be reading autobiographies, memoirs and fiction writing inspired by the lives of Asian migrants and their descendants throughout the world. This will enable us to understand the complexity of identity formation beyond the traditional lens of ethnic and racial inquiry. Post-colonial, critical ethnic studies, gender, and queer theory will be helpful guides throughout our Asian diasporic journey.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd World Culture, IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Papineschi, Marie Joanna

Katniss Everdeen, Poussey Washington, Leslie Knope, Hermione Granger, Daenerys Targaryen, Peggy Olson – contemporary culture is teeming with heroines credited with being strong women. But what characterizes a strong woman? Is it her willingness and ability to get revenge when wronged, her intelligence, political power, resilience, superhuman strength? Does being a strong woman mean enacting stereotypically masculine roles? The ongoing debate about women's roles in society is far from being a modern concern. As we will see in this class, women (like their male counterparts) have always pushed boundaries; the only variables, if any, are the forces they have found themselves up against. In this section, we will study a variety of works (literature, paintings, TV shows, etc.) from around the world that explore both the internal and the external conflicts women face, starting with Euripides' Medea and ending with Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Students will be required to write short papers, participate in class, and do small presentations.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Diversity in U.S. credits.

Instructor: Ndour, Moustapha

Douglas Kellner once said that the ability to look critically at popular culture is an important resource for individuals and citizens in learning how to cope with the cultural environment, in empowering oneself in relation to dominant forms of media and culture, and in struggling for a better society and a better life. The heavy presence of media in contemporary popular culture and their success proves Kellner’s right. Although this course will draw on your familiarity with popular culture, we will approach the subject from a scholarly perspective. We will examine how popular culture shapes people’s everyday lives and how groups and individuals resist dominant forms of culture and identity, creating their own style and identities. Considering literary texts, films and other media accounts from different places, this course will focus on the art and politics of representing culture and identity and how both contribute to facilitate or complicate the growth of the individual in his/her environment. Discussion will be a critical component of this course, and assignments will include a short critical paper, an in-class presentation and midterm and final exams.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Diversity in U.S. credits.

Instructor: Thiao, Moussa

Course description not available.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Diversity in U.S. credits.

Instructor: Tsaiyi Wu

This course explores fantasy as the principal artistic expression of postmodernity, and relatedly its twin genre science fiction. Both create new worlds unlike that of our own, and aim to create excitements of wonder. Both fantasy and SF are predominant genres in today's consumerist culture, as the very spirit of consumerism is to enchant and amaze us, above and beyond our physical world. In hopes of understanding the spirit of postmodern culture, this course takes fantasy and SF as its objects of study. This course explores the twin genres' historical influences (Romanticism, capitalism, and the modern faith in rationality to which they react), as well as their creative principles (imaginative and sensational). We will also analyze components of the twin genres, including their repertoire (myths, medieval romances, children's literature), their setting (a fairyland, a futuristic world), and their logic of operation (scientific, magical, puzzle-like complexity). Highlighted authors are Steven Spielberg, J.R.R Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling. In order to expand your reading experience, we will also dabble in fantasies of other ages and cultures.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Julie Le Hégarat

This class will focus on literature, cinema and occasionally other media such as comic books, photography, T.V and online material. We will examine the power of Science Fiction to explore and interrogate social issues such as politics, institutions, gender, race, sexuality and class in Western societies. After getting to know canonical texts (Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke), we will take a look at more 'unconventional' works (J.G Ballard, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler...). Our approach will be historical (How to trace a history of science fiction? What are the trends?), cultural (What is the significance of such texts in our culture?) and interdisciplinary (What are the limits of Science Fiction as a genre? How does it intersect with philosophy, horror, etc?) Students should come ready to engage with theoretical work and be aware that they will encounter explicit and graphic material.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H and COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credits.


Instructor: Allison Posner

Harold Bloom, in his guide for the literarily perplexed 'How to Read and Why,' claims that the question of how best to read a novel (and presumably any literary text) can ''provisionally be reduced to how to read sexual jealousy.'' What does Bloom mean by this verdict, and how is it relevant to reading mysteries? In order to answer this question, we must begin to consider why we are drawn to read mysteries in the first place; what makes us so eager to uncover the solution; and how our satisfactions and/or frustrations with the text once we have reached the story's end reflect more generally on the genre. In short, we will be thinking both about the desires within the text and our desires as readers as we work our way through the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, the cinematic works of David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock, all the while aided by the theoretical writings of Sigmund Freud and Peter Brooks.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H and COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credits.


Instructor: Elizabeth Ryba

This class introduces students to one of history's most enduring modes of literature: the romance. How is romance as a genre subject to ever-changing literary conventions? We will study the origins, evolution, conventions, criticism, and theory of the romance in works from a range of genres and periods. By exploring the various attributes of the genre, students will refine their close reading skills, learn to critique a number of diverse texts, and consider the subtle developments of the romance beyond the limited notion of its relation to ''love.'' Readings will include Song of Songs, William Shakespeare's As You Like It, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Raymond Carver’s What We Talk about When We Talk about Love.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H and COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credits.


Instructor: Roy Holler

What is it exactly that motivates the creative personality to turn forms, colors, sounds, silences and words into art? How and why styles in the art change over time? Why painting vivid, sublime scenery gave way to dripping paint on a canvas and why would anybody pay to hear a 4 minute concert of silent symphony? C255 takes us into the creative mind of the modern artist, composer and poet as we analyze various works of art (painting, music and literature) of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, see how these works interrelate and discover how they are unique. We will hear and comprehend art in new, exciting and discriminating ways. For example, we discover how a musician paints a landscape, how a painter composes motion and how a poet creates musical and visual effects in verbal expression. The syllabus travels through the centuries, touches the divine sublime and falls into the pits of existential despair. Among the many figures we will study are Blake, Mozart, Beethoven, Mary and Percy Shelley, Keats, Friedrich, Turner, Schumann, Delacroix, Wagner, Poe, Monet, Manet, Joyce, Kafka, Kandinsky, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Pollock, Beckett and Brecht. Requirements, Assignments and Course Activities: Visits to the IU Art Museum. Attend Jacobs School of Music events. One response paper, a 4 page essay and one 8-10 page comparative paper. 2 Exams and weekly quizzes. No prerequisites and no previous experience in literature, painting or music is required or expected.

This course satisfies IUB GenEd A&H, COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry, and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


C255 Literature and the Other Arts  (3 cr.)                                                       Section 37195
Spring 2015, second eight weeks
TR 4:30-7:00
Herbert Marks

                                                    Topic: Creation and Creativity

In this course we shall consider the ways artists--visual, musical, and verbal--used the theme of cosmic creation to explore questions of artistic creativity and originality, and how, conversely, artistic creativity has served as a model for imagining the creation of the world. We shall begin by reading several early creation myths with particular attention to the double account in the biblical book of Genesis, and then look at how those chapters were interpreted by, among others, Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Franz Haydn in his oratorio The Creation, and John Milton in Paradise Lost. As time permits, we shall also be looking at the mosaics of the Genesis Cupola in St. Mark’s Cathedral, Venice, at paintings by Taddeo di Bartolo and Giovanni di Paola, and at illustrations of Milton by Gustave Doré, John Martin, and Henry Fuseli; we shall also listen to excerpts from “L’Origine du Monde” by the French composer Olivier Messiaen (who used transcriptions of the “natural language” of the birds in his music) and the 1976 “sacra rappresentazione” of Paradise Lost by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. There are no prerequisites for this course and no specialized knowledge is assumed. Students will be expected to write two short papers in addition to the final exam.

Instructor: Gyorgy Kara

The course gives an introduction to the pre-modern verbal art, secular and religious, of the Mongol peoples from Chinggis Khan's time to the early twentieth century, from the great epic chronicle, the Secret History of the Mongols of the 13th century, to the elegiac poem of Prince Tsoktu of 1621, to the great lyrics of the irregular Buddhist saint Rabjai, the novels of Injannashi (19th-century), the Golden Teachings of Danjinwangjil and the songs of Kesigbatu. Periods, areas and centers, forms, styles and genres, interaction of written and oral tradition, Indo-Tibetan and Chinese as well as western influences will be discussed. No knowledge of a Mongol language is required. This course meets with C603.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Eyal Peretz

This course aims to introduce you to the theoretical study of literature. Its leading questions are: 1) what concepts are needed in order to be able to respond to these strange events in language we usually call literary works? 2) How can we describe the person, usually called 'the reader,' who engages with the literary work? Or, in other words, who is the reader? While these questions might seem enigmatic for now, or perhaps, to the contrary, trivial, the challenge of this course will be to elucidate them and show their necessity and complexity.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit.


CMLT-C 313: NARRATIVE (33206)
Instructor: Jacob Emery

Is it necessary for stories to have endings? We might say of a book we like that 'I can't wait to see how it ends!' or 'I loved it so much, I never wanted to end!' Many theorists of narrative hypothesize that our sense of story is constructed in relation to its ending, which might reveal the answer to a puzzle, match up the characters in appropriate romantic partnerships, or the like. But many stories do not have endings, perhaps because the author died before he finished, or abandoned the story out of boredom or frustration or lack of audience, or because the ending of an ancient text was lost by an accident. Other texts have been made fragments by their authors, as when Nikolai Gogol burned the second part of his novel Dead Souls; others still, like Kafka's The Castle or a choose-your-own-adventure novel, may be inherently unfinishable. In this course we will read a selection of these unfinished novels, both in order to bring into a focus a corpus of fascinating texts that lack definitive endings and in order to interrogate the function of the ending in storytelling. In particular, we will trace fragmentary texts from Russian Romanticism into the twentieth century in order to create a genealogy of the Russian fragmentary text in practice and in literary theory. Authors include Petronius, Jane Austen, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Vladimir Nabokov. This course meets with C603.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit.


CMLT-C 315: LYRIC POETRY (30599)
Instructor: Herbert Marks

This is a practical course with emphasis on strategies of interpretation. Our primary concern will be the interplay between literal and figurative uses of language: when and how do poems mean what they say, and when and how do they mean something else? We shall be looking at the ways poems are shaped, the ways they begin and end, their reliance on cliché, their ambiguous status as both private and public statements, and their relations to their readers, to tradition, and to one another. We'll probably use an anthology of poems in English, supplemented by brief readings in classical and biblical poetry, in European poetry (with opposite-face translations), and in such non-canonical forms as nursery rhymes, national anthems, hymns, charms and oracles, epigrams, and song lyrics. A few essays about poetry, often by well-known poets, will help direct our discussions. The course will conclude by surveying the career of a single poet, possibly Hardy or Bishop. Written work: brief weekly exercises and two short critical essays.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit.


Instructor: Herbert Marks

This course focuses on the twin pillars, ''secular'' and ''sacred,'' of the Western literary tradition – Homer's Iliad and the Hebrew Bible – and on an English work, Milton's Paradise Lost, that aims to combine and rewrite them both. We shall be concerned with such questions as the relation of art to ethics and of sacred to secular forms of attention, and we shall be looking at the role that literary revisionism plays in the genesis of ostensibly ''original'' works. Emphasis will be on close reading of the primary texts, but we shall also be surveying the main trends of modern scholarship and studying examples of pre-critical interpretation, including Stoic and neo-Platonic readings of Homer, and such post-biblical modes as Philonic allegory, rabbinic midrash, and medieval kabbalah, all of which are reflected in Milton's attempt to adapt epic conventions to a sacred theme. Written work: three short papers and occasional exercises. (Graduate students will have the option of writing a longer term paper.) Students are encouraged to begin reading the Iliad, preferably in the translation by Richmond Lattimore, during winter break. For the first class, we shall be discussing Book One. Please bring the text.  This course meets with C545.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit.


Instructor: Rosemarie McGerr

Literature can provide a tool for developing definitions of identity, otherness, or community, but literature can also serve as a forum for raising questions about these definitions.  This course will examine representations of differences in gender, race, religion, and class in medieval European literary works from the eighth through fifteenth centuries. Our readings will include a selection of lyric poems by men and women from different cultural contexts, including al-Andalus.  We will also read examples of narrative and drama: The Song of Roland, The Song of the Cid, Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain, Marie de France's Lais, Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun's Romance of the Rose, Dante's Divine Comedy, and The Second Shepherd's Play.  All readings will be available in modern English translation. Students in C321 will take an hour test and final exam, answer study questions, and write one analytical essay of six to eight pages. This course meets with MEST M390.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Sarah Van der Laan
[First eight weeks only]

Study some of the greatest works of Renaissance literature, art, and music – and discover an 'Ovidian Renaissance' of sex, lies, and metamorphosis. The Roman poet Ovid rose to dazzling and dangerous heights at the Roman imperial court for his sensuous and spectacular mythological epic Metamorphoses and his poems of seduction – and then was banished by the Emperor Augustus himself for what Ovid called 'a poem and a mistake.' From the remote shores of the Black Sea he poured his regrets and his longing for Rome into poetry, but was never pardoned. Renaissance poets, eager to revive and transform the lost glories of the classical past, found endless inspiration in Ovid's poetry. His Metamorphoses wove classical myths into a vision of an endlessly changing world driven by sexual desire. His Heroides provided rare images of female heroism and offered women poets a model for a voice of their own. And his Tristia let their Renaissance imitators speak to their own sense of double exile: from a vanished past and a corrupt present. Authors, artists, and musicians to include Bernini, Botticelli, Du Bellay, Marlowe, Monteverdi, and Shakespeare.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Meg Arenberg

In a 1981 article for the New York Times, American poet and fiction writer Joyce Carol Oates lamented the tendency for critics to regard her writing as too ''violent.'' Interpreting these questions as underpinned by sexist assumptions, she wrote: ''The lot of the woman writer has been...severely circumscribed. War, rape, murder and the more colorful minor crimes evidently fall within the exclusive province of the male writer, just as, generally, they fall within the exclusive province of male action.'' Using Oates' notion as a provocation, this course will explore how women writers from around the world have ventured into this ''province of the male writer.'' Reading fiction and poetry written in or translated into English, primarily from the 20th century, we will consider women authors' representations of war, violent crime and trauma. We will ask: in what ways do these writers implicate gender in their representations of violence? What unique perspectives do they bring to discussions of violence by virtue of their subject positions? In what ways do they challenge traditional or dominant understandings of violence in society? In what ways do their narratives trigger our emotional engagement with violent events (both near and far) and our empathy with both victims and perpetrators? And what possibilities for healing do they propose?

Course texts could include works by Virginia Woolf, Flannery O'Conner, Agatha Christie, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Anna Akhmatova, Edwidge Danticat, Nawal El Saadawi, Mahasweta Devi, Chimamanda Adichie, and others. Workload includes shared responsibility for class facilitation, regular reading responses, two analytical essays, and a final presentation. For more information, contact

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Jeffrey Johnson

At the crossroads of literature and religion, great artists stage the collision between human beings and the gods they see running their world. Far from being sources of comfort and security, gods in literature often embody the most dangerous impulses and forces at work in the cosmos, threatening the very existence of the people who worship them. The literary gods we will encounter can be paranoid or indifferent, irrational or logical, argumentative or silent, missing or everywhere. But do these divine characters represent anything more than familiar human vices on steroids? What do they tell us about how different cultures view the cosmos around them? Our reading list ranges from Greek antiquity into the 20th century: Hesiod's Theogony, The Book of Job, an ancient Roman epic on the war between the sons of Oedipus, Dante’s Inferno, H. G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau, Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer, and Peter Shaffer's controversial play Equus. This course does not endorse or discredit any religion or atheism. Our goal is to study these divine characters as characters in literature. Workload includes 4 analytical essays and short papers. For more information:

This course is a COLL Intensive Writing section and carries COLL (CASE) Breadth of Inquiry credit.


Instructor: Jacob Emery

This class reads historical novels set during the Ottoman period together with fiction set during the communist period. In examining this literature we will gain insight into the history and culture of the crossroads of Catholic, Orthodox, and Islamic culture, and explore how fictionalized narratives of history have shaped the region's cultures as well as their relations to supranational entities like the Ottoman Empire, the Eastern Bloc, and the European Union. At the same time, we will investigate the genre of historical fiction and the interpenetration of fictional and historical narratives in novels and in nationalist ideologies, not least in the case of 'minor' literatures always conscious of their relationship to larger regional powers.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: David Hertz
Dante is the great Italian poet who comes at the end of the medieval period and the beginning of the modern world. He was often critical of the social injustices of his own period, sending sinners to Hell and the worthy to Paradise. Montale is the great Italian poet of the twentieth century, critical of the fascist and Nazi culture that led to World War II and the holocaust. While Dante loved a woman named Beatrice, Montale loved a Jewish-American woman named Irma and this had great impact on his writing. Using the other arts, including the art and music relevant to the careers of each poet, we will study their points of view. Among the artists and musicians we will juxtapose against these two great poets are Giotto, Raphael, Dufay, Josquin, Monet and Debussy and we will encounter this figures as we also discuss the historical background in which each of these literary giants wrote. We will also explore other great modern readers of Dante, including T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. Visits to IU Art museum and attendance at IU School of Music concerts required. Required readings will be in translation, but reading knowledge of Italian is welcome, particularly among graduate students. This class meets with C655.

This course is a COLL Intensive Writing section and carries COLL (CASE) Breadth of Inquiry credit.


CMLT-C 363: BLACK PARIS (30968)
Instructor: Eileen Julien

As early as the 1800s, free New Orleanians of color journeyed to France, a country that seemed to offer them greater freedom. Since then, countless African Americans, including writers, musicians, visual artists, and performers, have made Paris (or France)--however temporarily--their home. By examining the lives and work of prominent 20th century figures such as our own David Baker, Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Lois Mailou Jones, Claude McKay, Richard Wright, and their African, Caribbean, and French intellectual counterparts (Aimé Césaire, Jean Genêt, Paulette Nardal, Jean Paul Sartre, Léopold Senghor), we will consider the broad intellectual issues arising from this displacement: the historical and cultural ties of New Orleans to the Caribbean and France; diaspora, exile, expatriation and cosmopolitanism; 'African primitivism' and the jazz age; the Harlem Renaissance and the négritude movement; transnationalism; race and the performance of identity. We will conclude with an examination of Paris as a diasporic crossroads today.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.


Instructor: Dov-ber Kerler
[Second eight weeks only]

Course description is not available.

This course satisfies COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry and COLL (CASE) Global Civ & Culture credits.



Courses from previous semesters

  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Fall 2013
  • Spring 2013
  • Fall 2012
  • Spring 2012
  • Fall 2011
  • Spring 2011
  • Fall 2010
  • Spring 2010
  • Fall 2009
  • Spring 2009
  • Fall 2008