World Literature in English Translation

Fall 2022 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.

East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

CHTR 3010 Survey of Traditional Chinese Literature (3)
Anne Kinney
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Introductory survey of Chinese literature from earliest times (first millennium BCE) through the Tang Dynasty in English translation, including major works from the genres of poetry and prose. The course familiarizes students with the Chinese literary canon and modes of reading, literary analysis and interpretation. CHTR3010/5010 is especially intended for undergraduate majors and graduate students in EALC.

CHTR 3850 Documentary Writing and Film in China (3)
Charles Laughlin
MoWe 2:00PM - 3:15PM

A seminar exploring the role of the documentary impulse in modern Chinese writing and film. Beginning with reportage literature and foreign documentaries about China from the early 20th century, the course follows the development of documentary art forms in the People's Republic of China (with some attention to Taiwan as well), culminating in the recent trend of independent documentary film making and its influence on narrative film.

JPTR 3010 Survey of Traditional Japanese Literature (3)
Gustav Heldt
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

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 3210 The Tale of Genji (3)
Gustav Heldt
We 3:30PM - 6:00PM

A seminar devoted to an in-depth examination in English translation of Japan's most renowned work of literature, often called the world's first novel. Satisfies the Non-Western and Second Writing requirements.

Germanic Languages and Literatures

GETR 3392 Fairy Tales (3)
Marcel Schmid
TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM

Entering the world of fairy tales often feels like passing into an elaborate dream: it is a world teeming with sorcerers, dwarves, wondrous objects, and animals that speak. This seminar explores fairy tales and dream narratives in literature and film from the romantic period into the present. Authors to be discussed include: Goethe, the brothers Grimm, Bettelheim, Hoffmann, Freud, Saint-Exupery, Tolkien, and others.

GETR 3393 Serial Media (3)
Marcel Schmid
We 5:00PM - 7:30PM

In this class we will explore the historical context of serial media, from the journal projects of the German Romantics to the second golden age of television. After a historical survey and a discussion of terminology ("series," "serial") we will examine certain specific "series" including Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, Marcel Duchamp's Ready-mades, or the German Netflix show "Dark."

GETR 3464 Medieval Stories of Love and Adventure (3)
William McDonald
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

This course traces the lineage and shapes of the Arthurian legend as witnessed in medieval literature and modern adaptations, including film and television ("Games of Thrones," "Star Wars," etc.) The aim is familiarity with the story of King Arthur and his court, as well as an ability to appreciate the permutations of the legend in all forms of media.

GETR 3720 Freud and Literature (3)
Lorna Martens
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM

In formulating his model of the psyche and his theory of psychoanalysis, Freud availed himself of analogies drawn from different disciplines, including literature.  Freud's ideas were then taken up by many twentieth-century literary writers.  After introducing Freud's theories through a reading of his major works, the course will turn to literary works that engage with Freud.

GETR 3790 Pursuing Happiness (3)
Lorna Martens
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Fictions of happiness pursued -- and found! Through the ages, people have sought happiness and formulated conceptions of what happiness means. This course compares ideas and stories of happiness from antiquity through the present day in all genres: prose fiction, poetry, essays, film, and humanistic and scientific theory.

Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures

ARTR 3350 Introduction to Arab Women's Literature (3)
Hanadi Al-Samman
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM

A comprehensive overview of contemporary Arab women's literature, this course examines all Arab women's literary genres starting from personal letters, memoirs, speeches, poetry, fiction, drama, to journalistic articles and interviews. Selected texts cover various geographic locales and theoretical perspectives. Special emphasis will be given to the issues of Arab female authorship, subjectivity theory, and to the question of Arab Feminism.

Slavic Languages and Literatures

RUTR 2350 Russian and East European Film (3)
Stanley Stepanic
MoWe 5:00PM - 6:15PM

This course is an introduction to and overview of the history of film in Eastern Europe, with a particular focus on Russia, though we will be discussing other countries that were once part of the Soviet Bloc. We will be covering a variety of films, long and short, as well as animation, and how these works of art reflect the time periods in which they were created.

RUTR 2370 Fairy Tales (3)
Katia 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 2460 Introduction to Russian Culture and Civilization (3)
Edith Clowes
MoWe 5:00PM - 6:15PM

No knowledge of Russian needed. Investigates 'being Russian' through the works of Russia's great writers, artists, architects, and composers. Focuses on the heroes, heroines, and villains, symbols, legends, and rituals central to Russian creativity.

RUTR 2740 Tolstoy in Translation (3)
David Herman
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Open to students with no knowledge of Russian. Studies the major works of Tolstoy.

RUTR 3340 Books Behind Bars: Life, Lit, & Community Leadership (4)
Andrew Kaufman
Tu 12:30PM - 3:30PM/Th 12:30PM - 1:45PM

Students will grapple in a profound and personal way with timeless human questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How should I live? They will do this, in part, by facilitating discussions about short masterpieces of Russian literature with residents at a juvenile correctional center. This course offers an integrated academic-community engagement curriculum, and provides a unique opportunity for service learning, leadership, and youth mentoring.

RUTR 3350 Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature (3)
Madelyn Stuart
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM

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.  For more details on this class, please visit the department website at:

RUTR 3390 Edens, Idylls, and Utopias in Russian Literature (3)
Edith Clowes
MoWe 2:00PM - 3:15PM

This course explores Russian literature's many renderings of heaven on earth and their roots in folklore, religion, art, and political thought.

Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese

ITTR 4010 Narrating (Un-)sustainability: Ecocritical Explorations in Italy & Mediterratian (3)
Enrico Cesaretti
TuTh 12:30PM - 1:45PM

This course focuses on the potential narratives have to convey messages that are relevant to our ethical and environmental awareness, and to help us imagine alternatives to existing systems of knowledge and distributions of power.  We shall learn about the origins and general objectives of ecocriticism, its relevant theories and methodologies, and various approaches to the notion of sustainability.

ITTR 4820 Italian Pop Culture From the 1960s to the Present (3)
Enrico Cesaretti
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM

This course examines the cultural and socio-political transformations that took place in Italy during its recent history.  By discussing different cultural artifacts (films, essays, literature), we shall ultimately try to answer the following questions : does Italy still have space for works that resist populist and consumer culture? What are the ethical and political consequences of Italy's present culutral condition? Is there an Italian identity?