World Literature in English Translation

Fall 2021 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 12:30PM - 1:45PM

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 3559 New Course in Chinese in Translation: Weird Fantastic Chinese Stories (3)
Jack Chen
MoWe 2:00PM - 3:15PM

CHTR 3840 Writing Women in Modern China (3)
Charles Laughlin
Tu 4:00PM - 6:30PM

This seminar focuses on works of fiction from modern China that articulate womanhood from a variety of perspectives. In addition to women writers (Qiu Jin, Ding Ling, Eileen Chang, Xi Xi, Chen Ran, Zhu Tianxin), male writers such as Xu Dishan, Mao Dun, and Lao She who devote unusual attention to feminine subjectivity are also included. Familiarity with Chinese culture and society and literary analysis are preferred, but not required.

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 3290 Feminine Fictions in Japanese Court Literature (3)
Gustav Heldt
We 3:30PM - 6:00PM

This seminar will take up the world's earliest instance of literature written extensively by, for, and about women, including such famous works as the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and Sarashina Diary, among others. The focus will be on reading gender as a fictional enactment of desire and identity that is performed through acts of writing and reading. No prior knowledge of Japanese language or literature is required.

JPTR 3320 Cinematic Images of Japanese Culture and Society (3)
Anri Yasuda
Mo 2:00PM - 4:30PM

This seminar examines how films from Japan visually raise different cultural and social issues, and how they relate to the universal human condition. With an understanding that films involve so many different disciplines, this seminar examines contemporary Japan via comparativist and cross-cultural perspectives by paying careful attention to the effects of the imagistic and visual power that only films can offer.

Germanic Languages and Literatures

GETR 3372 German Jewish Culture and History (3)
Gabriel Finder, Marcel Schmid
TuTh 3:30PM - 4:45PM

This course provides a wide-ranging exploaration of the history, culture, and thought of German-speaking Jewry from 1750 to the present. It focuses on the Jewish response to modernity in Central Europe and lasting transformations in Jewish life. We read the works of such figures as Moses Mendelssohn, Rachel Varnhagen, Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, Theordor Herzl, Franz Kafka, Gershom Scholem, and Inge Deutschkron.

GETR 3390 Nazi Germany (3)
Manuela Achilles
MoWe 10:00AM - 10:50AM

Detailed survey of the historical origins, political structures, cultural dynamics, and every-day practices of the Nazi Third Reich. Cross-listed in the history department. Taught in English.

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 3462 Neighbors and Enemies (3)
Manuela Achilles
MoWe 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Explores the friend/foe nexus in German history, literature and culture, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries.  For more details on this class, please visit the department website at:

GETR 3464 Medieval Stories of Love and Adventure (3)
William McDonald
TuTh 3:30PM - 4:45PM

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 3559 New Course in German in Translation: Narratives of Contagion (3)
Paul Dobryden
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

GETR 3600 Faust (3)
Lorna Martens
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM

Taking Goethe's Faust as its point of departure, this course traces the emergence and transformations of the Faust legend over the last 400 hundred years.  We explore precursors of Goethe's Faust in the form of the English Faust Book, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and possibly other popular re-workings of the text.  We will Goethe's Faust in its entirety, and then proceed to Bulgakov's response to Stalinism in The Master and Margharta and

GETR 3692 The Holocaust (3)
Gabriel Finder
TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM

This course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust--the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe's Jews between 1933 and 1945 that resulted in the deaths of almost six million Jews.  For more details on this class, please visit the department website at:

GETR 3730 Modern Poetry:  Rilke, Valéry and Stevens (3)
Lorna Martens
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM

Studies in the poetry and prose of these three modernist poets, with emphasis on their theories of artistic creation.  The original as well as a translation will be made available for Rilke's and Valery's poetry; their prose works will be read in English translation.

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 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 (3)
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:

Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese

ITTR 4010 Narrating (Un-)sustainability: Ecocritical Explorations in Italy & Mediterranean (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.