World Literature in English Translation

Fall 2017 Course Offerings

The foreign language departments at UVa provide exciting courses in translation that allow students to discover new ways of thinking and seeing the world. Becoming a truly global citizen means not only acquiring a deep appreciation for different cultures, but specifically insight into the preoccupations, passions, and shared experiences of other societies. The following courses in translation offer students unique access to this knowledge. All courses are taught by specialists of the languages and cultures of inquiry.

For all classes, lectures, discussions, readings and assignments are in English. These courses may fulfill college requirements such as the Second Writing Requirement, the Humanities Requirement and the Non-Western Perspective Requirement.


CLAS 2010  GREEK CIVILIZATION                           
Mr. Petrovic
TR TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM  
An introduction to the literature and history of ancient Greece. All readings will be in translation, including: Homer, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Thucydides, Aristophanes, and Plato.
CLAS 3210 TRAGEDY AND COMEDY                  
MWF 10:00AM - 10:50AM

This course treats Greek tragedy and comedy and their Roman adaptations in English translation.  There will be readings from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander, Plautus, Terence, and Seneca.  Lectures and discussions will cover the conventions of ancient theater, staging, dramaturgy, and the interpretation of individual plays.  No prerequisites.
Mr. George
MoWeFr 2:00PM - 2:50PM

Languages as superficially different as English, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit in fact all developed from a single “proto-language,” called Proto-Indo-European.  This course will explore the following questions: What was this proto-language like?  How do we know what it was like?  By what processes did it develop into the various daughter languages?  How can we trace words as diverse as wit, idea, video, and Veda back to a common source?  Familiarity with Greek or Latin is recommended but not required.
Ivana Petrovic and Andrej Petrovic
TuTh 3:30PM - 4:45PM

The course explores Greek religious practices and beliefs with an emphasis on Greek religious rituals understood in the broadest terms, and hence including Greek magical practices and associated beliefs.  Starting off with the rituals belonging to the realm of social interactions, and the rites of passage designed for female and male members of society respectively (rituals specific to women, such as the Attic Brauronia/Arkteia, aiora (swinging ritual), female dedications etc. vs. rituals specific for men: agoge, ephebic / military / paederastic rituals / transvestism etc.), we will move on to investigate the group rituals in their socio-religious contexts (e.g. marriage rituals; rituals for the deceased / fallen; rituals for heroes; scapegoat rituals; sympotic rituals; family rituals; healing rituals; purifications; mysteries), as well as their protagonists (both religious experts and participants).  Then, turning from the realm of public religion performed in, and often in service of, a city-state, we will focus on magical practices which Greeks performed in secrecy and solitude, and will explore magical rituals (binding spells, spells of separation, agonistic spells, curses, medical spells) as a touchstone for assessment and evaluation of conceptual differences between the realms of both ‘public’ and ‘private’ religiosity, and, more generally, of lines demarcating the realms of ‘religion’ and ‘magic’.
The first of the three series of lectures will be devoted to modern approaches to ritual.  Addressing in broad terms traditional definitions of, and approaches to, ritual (Cambridge ritualists and myth vs ritual debates), we will move on to early attempts to address the roles of sociology E. Durkheim) and cultural anthropology (‘folklore’), in investigations of ritual (A. van Gennep).  Then, after covering in more detail intellectual responses in ritual studies in the aftermath and in consequence of WW II (ritual and violence: e.g. K. Meuli; W. Burkert; R. Girard; ritual, festivity, and structure: C. Lévi-Strauss’ impact on the Paris school, P. Vidal-Naquet, J.-P. Vernant), we will end this series of lectures with an introduction into the most recent methodologies and approaches (cognitive science of religion; imagistic mode of operation and religion: J. L. Barrett and H. Whitehouse, respectively).
The second series of lectures will be dedicated to individual Greek rituals and their elements, with emphasis on gender-specific functions of ritual in patriarchal society.  In this sense, we will explore the ways in which rituals for women were employed in order to legitimize and control the presence of women in public spaces of a city-state and to inculcate Greek traditional female values through a moderated transition from the realms of virginal goddesses (Artemis, Athena) to the realms of goddesses of corporal love and marriage (Aphrodite, Hera).  On the flipside, we will investigate initiatory violence among boys and young men, and inculcation of male-specific values in highly militarized societies (Crete, Sparta, Athens and Thebes providing the material for case studies of ephebic and military rituals).  In all of the lectures, particular attention will be given to the roles of both internal / external audiences (participants themselves, the general public of a city state) and the role of envisaged addressees (divinities) specific to the framework of a shame-culture.
A lecture on ritual and shame-culture will serve as a transition to magic and hence to the third and final series of lectures dealing with rituals which aim to address and satisfy an individual’s socially unacceptable / illicit / immoral desires.  Again, gender and public will represent focal points, and we will address issues of intention, attitude, and social status as discriminatory criteria employed to define differences between ‘public religion’ and ‘magic’.

East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

CHTR 3020 Survey of Modern Chinese Literature
Charles Laughlin
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Survey of Chinese literature and film in English translation since the beginning of the 20th century. Contending strands such as revolutionary, romantic, modernist, nativist, popular and women’s writing are represented by their most distinctive achievements. Major themes include tensions between Chinese and Western culture, tradition and modernity, masculinity and femininity, elite and popular, individual and national identities and class consciousness.

CHTR 3122 Sunzi and The Art of War
Mark Metcalf
Tu 3:30PM - 6:00PM

This seminar on The Art of War, the 5th century BCE Chinese classic attributed to Sunzi, will familiarize students with traditional interpretations of the text. The course will emphasize a close reading of several translations of the text and will also consider the influence of its historical and philosophical contexts. Contemporary Chinese military writings will also be surveyed to investigate the relevance of the text to modern warfare.

JPTR 3010 Survey of Traditional Japanese Literture
Gustav Heldt
TuTh 3:30PM - 4:45PM
This course provides an introduction to Japanese literature from earliest times through to the nineteenth century. We will read selections from representative texts and genres, including myth, poetry, prose fiction, memoir literature, drama, and works of criticism. No knowledge of Japanese culture or language is required.

JPTR 3100 Myths and Legends of Japan
Gustav Heldt
We 2:00PM - 4:30PM

A seminar exploring Japan's earliest myths describing the origins of its islands, their gods, and rulers through close readings in English of eighth-century chronicles and poems. Fulfills the Non-Western and Second Writing requirements.

KRTR 3020 Survey of Modern Korean Literature
Susie Kim
We 3:30PM - 6:00PM

A general introduction to modern Korean literature. Examines the major texts  through selected readings of representative writers. Taught in English. Fulfills the non-Western perspectives and Second Writing requirement.

KRTR 3700 Contemporary Korea, Urban, Global
Susie Kim
Th 3:30PM - 6:00PM

An examination of representations of the urban and global in contemporary Korea.


CPLT 2010/ENGL 2010 History of European Literature I
Paul Cantor
TuTh 12:30PM - 1:45PM

This course surveys European literature from its origins in Ancient Greece through the Renaissance.  As a course in literary history, it seeks to develop an understanding of period concepts, such as Medieval and Renaissance, as well as concepts of genre, such as epic, tragedy, and comedy.  Readings include (sometimes in the form of selections) the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Oresteia, Oedipus, Antigone, the Aeneid, the Inferno, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Hamlet, and Don Quixote. All foreign language works will be read in English translation.  Requirements: three papers and a final examination.  Two lectures and one section meeting per week.  This course satisfies the Second Writing Requirement and can be counted toward the English major for 3 hours of "Literature in Translation." It is also given under the rubric ENGL 2010; under that rubric it may substitute for an ENLT course as a pre-requisite for the English major.

Germanic Languages and Literatures

GETR 3330  Introduction to German Culture: Problems and Perspectives
Mr. Kaiser
MoWe 3:30PM-4:45PM

This course is an interdisciplinary inquiry into significant literary, artistic, social, political, and intellectual movements that may represent what we call “German Culture.” We’ll begin by probing into the constructive and critical role of the terms “Culture,” “German Culture” and continue by discussing issues such as German national “identities” and borders, 1949-2010, the “Berlin Republic” (postwall-Germany), German Democratic Republic, “Bonn Republic”: “Weimar Republic”; Nazism and Genocide; Stalinism and the Gulag; Historikerstreit; “New German Normality”; Ethnic and Religious Identities (“Minority Culture”); Misogynist Culture; Theater Culture; Mass Culture (Film, Music, print and electronic media); Culture as Art; Fascist Culture; Technological Culture (19th-cent. industrialization; 19th and 20th-cent. urbanization, bureaucratization, etc.); Urban Culture (architecture, urban development, “Berlin Babylon”); Philosophical (Rational) Culture.

Course materials will include short readings by Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Hannah Arendt, Adorno, Brecht, Elfriede Jelinek, Heiner Mueller, Peter Weiss, Daniel Libeskind, and other contemporary cultural critics; Films will include Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, Wim Wender's The American Friend (orig. Der Amerikanische Freund), and Margarethe von Trotta's Marianne and Juliane (orig. Die Bleierne Zeit. Readings and discussions in English; films have English subtitles. No prerequisites. Required for German Majors.

GETR 3559/RUTR 3559/JWST 3559 Yiddish Literature in Translation        
Ms. Sanford
TuTh 2:00PM-3:15PM

This course is designed to introduce students to the masterpieces of modern Yiddish Literature. From its foundations in Eastern Europe to its more modern roots in America, this course spans not only centuries, but also continents. Students will become acquainted with the most famous works of the three founders of Yiddish literature: Mendele Moykher Sforim (“Mendele the Book Peddler”), Sholem Aleichem, and I. L. Peretz. During this portion of the course, we will hold a screening of the 1971 classic American film “Fiddler on the Roof” and compare it with its literary basis, Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye the Dairyman. The course will also include a study of New York City’s Sweatshop Poets of the turn of the century as well as various Soviet-based propagandistic and rebellious short stories beginning with the Russian Revolution of 1917.  Additionally, the students will read Holocaust poetry as well as trial transcripts from August 12, 1952, that infamous day in history, which became known as “The Night of the Murdered Poets.” The course will end with the revealing short stories of Isaac Bashevis-Singer, the only Yiddish writer to date awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1978), as well as a discussion of whether or not Yiddish literature is dying, if it’s worth preserving, and if so, how to expose the world to Yiddish literature and culture. All works will be read in English translation. This course counts as a second-writing requirement.
Requirements for this course will include a small group presentation as well as two 5-page response papers and a 10-page research paper. The final grade will be determined on the basis of the assignments, with substantial weight given to the research paper, and class participation.

GETR 3505/HIEU 3505 History and Fiction, Topics: Hitler           
Ms. Achilles
MoWe 2:00PM-3:15PM

Who was Adolf Hitler and how did he become the genocidal "leader" of a nation that was not unfamiliar with democracy. Was his rise to power an aberrant historical accident or a logical outcome of German history? What was more decisive in shaping the catastrophic course of events under Hitler’s regime: his personality or deep structural historical factors? Would history have turned out better (or worse) if Hitler had been accepted into art school or died in infancy? Do melodramatic depictions of his last days normalize or even trivialize the Holocaust? Is it acceptable to laugh about or even empathize with Hitler today?
This course investigates Hitler’s life and afterlife on the basis of a broad variety of sources. Course materials range from scholarly articles to Nazi propaganda, films, novels, counterfactual histories and Hitler representations on the internet. Throughout this course, we will combine an interest in the personal dimensions of Hitler’s rule with the study of power structures, social interests, aesthetic forms, generational shifts, and national frames. We will pay particular attention to the representational regimes and affective logics that shape our understanding of the past. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, one oral presentation, and short written assignments. There will be no midterm or final examinations.

GETR 3562  New German Cinema
Mr. Dobryden
MoWe 2:00PM-3:15PM 
This course examines German art cinema of the 1960s-1980s. Often grouped under the rubric of “New German Cinema,” filmmakers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Helke Sander, Alexander Kluge, and Margarethe von Trotta articulated the cultural upheavals of this period in striking images and experimental narratives, inventing new cinematic forms while appropriating and subverting popular genres such as noir, melodrama, and science fiction. Their formal experimentation went hand-in-hand with critical reflection about Germany’s fascist history, political violence, student protest, immigration, and globalization. Films will be screened weekly (attendance not required), 20-30 pages of reading per week. Assignments include weekly responses, presentations, and analytical essays (around 15 pages total). No previous experience with film analysis required.

GETR 3590 Over the River and Through the Woods: Fairy Tales
Ms. Slodounik
TuTh 9:30AM-10:45AM

How do the fairy tales we know in our culture today—Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel—change and evolve from their original forms?  This introductory course will explore the genre of fairy tales and the insights that this genre provides into German language, literature, and culture.  All readings will be in English.  You will learn how to analyze adaptations of fairy tales and to examine how these changes reflect social and national identity.  Texts include excerpts from Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s collection The Original Folk and Fairy Tales as well as their most famous collection published 45 years later, Children’s and Household Tales, and Disney’s Into the Woods.  By the end of the course, you will be able to think critically about the fairy tales we encounter from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first century.  Requirements include short response essays, a midterm paper, and a final exam.  No prerequisites.

GETR 3590  Nietzsche
Mr. Kaiser
MoWe 2:00PM-3:15PM

This course will introduce students to the work of one of the most outstanding writers and thinkers in the German philosophical, aesthetic and literary tradition, namely Friedrich Nietzsche. We will read the most influential and significant texts of Nietzsche’s oeuvre, from The Birth of Tragedy via Thus spoke Zarathustra to The Genealogy of Morals and, ultimately, to the aphorisms entitled The Will to Power. Special attention will be given to the central concepts of Nietzsche’s thought, i.e. the eternal recurrence of the same and the so-called Űbermensch and their relation to each other. We will also look at the traces which Nietzsche left in the literature and philosophy of the 20th century, including the German, modernist (Thomas Mann, Rilke, Brecht, Kafka, Benjamin, Benn et. al.) and the French, postmodernist (Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, de Man, Kofman, Irigaray et. al.) reception. Fulfills the second writing requirement. No prerequisites.

GETR 3590  Medieval Stories of Love and Adventure
Mr. McDonald
TuTh 2:00PM-3:15PM

Joseph Campbell––and more! Trace the origin of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Game of Thrones: Encounter the stories that inspired Richard Wagner. Follow the hero and heroines of medieval fiction through the steps of the heroic quest: the call to adventure, meeting the mentor, tests and trials, symbolic death and rebirth, the road back, and return with a societal boon. Among the stories read are Parzival and Tristan and Isolde. Grade is based on classroom discussion, oral reports, and a final paper. No final examination. No textbook required.  

GETR 3600/HIEU 3600 Faust 
Mr. Grossman
TuTh 12:30PM-1:45PM

Goethe's Faust has been called an “atlas of European modernity” and “one of the most recent columns for that bridge of spirit spanning the swamping of world history. ” It is, given its genealogy, also perhaps the quintessential transnational work of European literature. Describing Goethe’s Faust “as a sexual nightmare of erotic fantasy,” literary theorist Harold Bloom argues that it “has no rival, and one understands why the shocked Coleridge declined to translate the poem. It is certainly a work about what, if anything, will suffice, and Goethe finds myriad ways of showing us that sexuality by itself will not.  Even more obsessively, Faust teaches that, without an active sexuality, absolutely nothing will suffice.”  

Taking Goethe's Faust as its point of departure, this course will trace the emergence and
various transformations of the Faust legend over the last 400 hundred years.  We will explore precursors of Goethe's Faust in the form of the English Faust Book, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and possibly one of the various other popular re-workings of the text.  We will then read Goethe's Faust in its entirety.  Although now central to the European canon, Goethe sought in Faust to radically challenge many aspects of European culture, politics and society, while transforming the Faust legend itself. Beyond Goethe, we will consider one or more of the following: Byron's Manfred; Thomas Mann's response to Nazism in Doctor Faustus; Mikhail Bulgakow's magical realist response to Stalinism in The Master and Margharita.

Our aim will be to ask why writers repeatedly returned to the Faust legend and how, in re-working Faust, they sought to confront the political, social and cultural problems of their own times.  Requirements:  one short paper (5 pages), one long paper (10-12 pages), active class participation.

GETR 3692/HIEU 3692  The Holocaust
Mr. Finder
TuTh 12:30PM-1:45PM
TuTh 9:30AM-10:45AM

In this course we study the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe’s Jews between 1933 and 1945. This encounter resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million Jews.  The course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust—in Hebrew, Shoah. We also explore survivors’ memories after the Holocaust, postwar Holocaust-related trials, and the universal implications of the Holocaust.

This course is intended to acquaint students with the historical study of the Holocaust and assumes no prior training in the subject.  We will read studies by important historians, including Saul Friedländer, Christopher Browning, and Alon Confino, contemporary documents, and memoirs. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements include three written assignments and conscientious participation in class discussion.

GETR 3710/ Kafka and His Doubles
CPLT 3710       
Ms. Martens
TuTh 11:00AM-12:15PM

The course will introduce the enigmatic work of Franz Kafka:  stories including "The Judgment," "The Metamorphosis," "A Country Doctor," "A Report to an Academy," "A Hunger Artist," "The Burrow," and "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk"; one of his three unpublished novels (The Trial); the Letter to His Father; and some short parables.  But we will also look at Kafka's "doubles":  the literary tradition he works with and the way in which he, in turn, forms literary tradition.  Thus:  Kafka: Cervantes, Kafka: Bible, Kafka: Aesop, Kafka:  Dostoevsky, Kafka: Melville; Kafka: O'Connor, Kafka: Singer; Kafka: Calvino, Kafka: Borges.  Readings will center on four principal themes:  conflicts with others and the self (and Kafka's psychological vision);  the double; the play with paradox and infinity; and artists and animals.  A seminar limited to 20 participants.   Requirements include a short midterm paper (5-7 pages) and a longer final paper (10-12 pages).

GETR 3740/CPLT 3740 Narratives of Childhood        
Ms. Martens
TuTh 2:00PM-3:15PM

How is childhood remembered?  This course examines writers’ representations of their childhood memories. Whether for the sheer pleasure of revisiting their childhood, or because they believed that childhood experiences are constitutive of identity, many modern writers have turned to childhood autobiography, which has flourished as a genre over the course of the past two hundred years.  We will begin by writing some of our own childhood memories, as an exercise.  Then we will read representative works—autobiographies of childhood, the childhood parts of longer autobiographies, and fiction involving childhood memories—by William Wordsworth, Marcel Proust, Rainer Maria Rilke, Walter Benjamin, Nathalie Sarraute, Richard Wright, Maxine Hong Kingston, and others.  We will consider the factors that the authors regard as formative influences:  parents, social class, racial or ethnic identity, sex, places, books.  Childhood autobiography raises issues of memory. While writers have listened to psychologists, notably Freud, they have also theorized the subject of memory themselves.  Thus, what triggers remembrance?  What kinds of events are remembered? Is the memory of childhood events trustworthy? Can we speak of fixed memories, or are we constantly rewriting memories in our imagination?  Moreover, authors can treat their raw material in different ways, e.g. by changing or embellishing fact or even writing “fiction,” by substituting stories told by other people for the classic first-person narrative, or by addressing a fictive listener.  In particular, we will examine the adult narrator’s attitude toward his or her past (sympathetic?  critical?  learning and discovering?  authoritative?), the point of view he or she adopts (the child’s?  the adult’s?), and the stylistic and formal devices he or she uses to achieve these effects.  

Students should be actively interested in the subject of childhood memory and willing to contribute to discussion.  Requirements:  regular attendance and lively participation in class discussion; portfolio of responses; autobiographical writing; two 5-page papers; final examination.  Fulfills second writing requirement.  INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED.   SEE SIS ENTRY FOR INSTRUCTIONS.


ITTR 3559/WGS 3559 Women's Rights in Modern Italy
Francesca Calamita
MoWe 3:00PM - 4:15PM

Taught in English. This course explores how Italian literature, cinema and the arts have represented the quest for women's rights from the 1960s to the present. The second wave of Italian feminism scored major legal and socio-cultural achievements, which include - but are not limited to - the use of the contraceptive pill, access to safe abortion and the abolition of honour killings in the law system. Complete equality has been theoretically achieved but often undermined, such as in the Silvio Berlusconi years (since 1994). Through a close reading of Italian novels, films and other visual arts, these lectures will provide a platform to discuss the evolution of women’s rights from bodily autonomy to equal pay as well as emergencies related to women’s socio-cultural perception such as the high rate of feminicide, rape and other forms of gender-based violence. What can Italian literature, cinema and arts from the recent past teach us about the global backlash of patriarchy against women in the 2010s?

ITTR 3770 The Culture of Italian Comedy
Adrienne Ward
MoWeFr 12:00PM - 12:50PM

Taught in English. Learn the unique history and characteristics of Italian-style comedy!  Study main strains of Italian comic culture starting with medieval and early modern traditions (theater, poetry, opera, song), then modern expressions of Italian humor in film, short fiction, online periodicals and cartoons. Discover differences in comedic traditions among regions (eg Tuscan vs Neapolitan humor), and learn theories of comedy by Pirandello, Benigni, Eco.  Because a fundamental component of Italian comic culture derives from Tuscan traditions, study of these aspects will make the course especially interesting for students planning to go to or just returned from UVa study abroad programs in Siena and Florence

ITTR 4820 Italian Pop Culture from the 1960's to Present
Enrico Cesaretti
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM 

Taught in English. This course is an historical examination of the cultural, environmental and socio-political transformations that took place in Italy during its recent history. By discussing different cultural products (film, literature, music, comic books) in the period under consideration and a selection of critical essays dealing with various aspects of Italian culture, we shall reflect on the following questions: does Italy still have space for works that resist populist and consumer culture? What are the ethical and socio-political consequences of Italy’s present cultural condition? Is there a ‘real’ Italian identity?

Slavic Languages and Literatures

RUTR 2370 Fairy Tales
Ekaterina Dianina
TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM

Fairy tales have enchanted readers since early age and have influenced much of cultural production in Russia. This course studies the development of the Russian fairy tale from its folk origins to Soviet and post-Soviet adaptations. We will sample different thematic groups of tales and analyze them in view of various interpretive methodologies, including structuralism, sociology, psychoanalysis, and feminism. All readings in English.

RUTR 2500 Russian Film
Maria Ivanova
Tu 6:00PM - 9:00PM

RUTR 3350 Nineteenth Century Russian Literature
Julian Connolly
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Open to students with no knowledge of Russian. Studies the major works of Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Goncharov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and others. Emphasizes prose fiction. This course is a prerequisite for 5000-level literature courses.