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Graduate Course Catalog

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514 Modern Poetry and Poetics

Selected major authors and movements in modern poetry from Symbolism to present. Backgrounds of contemporary poetry in European and American intellectual and literary history: modern experiments with poetic form. Influence of movements such as symbolism, surrealism, modernism and postmodernism, with their relation to contemporary art and aesthetics.

551 Translation and Technology

Translation today requires advanced language and computer skills. This course covers several technologies, including desktop and internet publishing, computer tools for translation, and programs editing audio and video files. Prerequisites: Excellent knowledge of one language other than English.

552 Medical Interpreting Online

An online course that teaches how to interpret for both patients and for healthcare providers in a medical setting. Skills covered include medical terminology, word derivations, memory retention, note-taking, standards of practice, ethics, and multicultural problem-solving. The class is multilingual, with most major languages offered. Requirements include an advanced knowledge of one language other than English, a general knowledge of scientific concepts, and the desire to improve interpretation skills. Students passing the course will receive a certificate and are eligible for 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and/or 3 hours of academic credit. Open to interpreters, translators, bilingual health workers, nurses, doctors, hospital administrators, therapists, social workers, and anyone interested in improving the quality of bilingual health care.

Register for this online course at UMass Continuing Education. See the MA in Translation Studies page for additional information on graduate studies in translation, or visit the Translation Center web site.

592A Medieval Women Writers

Selected medieval and Renaissance women writers from the point of view of current feminist theory. Writers include Marie de France, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Margery Kempe, Angela of Foligno, Sor Juana de la Cruz, Christine de Pizan. Themes of love and desire in women's writing; the models provided by Sappho, Plato, and the Bible; critical approaches derived from French feminism, feminist theologians, Marxist critiques, and object-relations theory.

601 Literary Criticism

Problems in critical theory prior to the modern period. Not necessarily chronological or limited to Occidental critics.

691A Literatire and Music

Relations between literature and music from Plato to Samuel Beckett. Music as a social phenomenon, a pattern of feeling or understanding, and a mode of interpretation. Topics include portraits of musicians and composers in literature and film, themes of inferiority in musical settings of drama and poetry, and the literary emulation of musical structure and style ("musicality"). Some background in music history or music theory and knowledge of one modern European language helpful.

691D The Discipline and Its Discontents

The course considers both practical matters and theoretical concerns for new and current graduate students of Comparative Literature. Each week a faculty member will be invited to speak on the course they teach in their fields of research and their assessment of the present and future of our discipline.

691S Female Subject

Relationships between the individual subject, representation, and the "real world"; the material, social, and economic context. How the woman writer constitutes a female subject. How she is seen in relation to another, subject or object. How to find a critical vocabulary to describe the female subject, to analyze her representation and remain aware of the context in which she appears. The appropriateness of such an analysis beyond first world literature. Theoretical models and syntheses include Marxist, psychoanalytical, post-structuralist, and feminist thought, tested on specific literary texts.

691SC Spiritual Cinema (Tarkovsky and Friends)

A seminar for exploring - screening, analyzing, discussing in class and on paper - cinematic masterworks from all over the world, from France to Japan, from Italy to India, from Poland to Iran.
Selection of films to be determined by a combination of a philosophical or "spiritual" orientation (somewhat a la Tarkovsky, and as opposed to having primarily commercial or entertainment values) and by significant artistic achievements, as well as by students' backgrounds and interests. Students will be free to choose, or develop their own, approach to film criticism and to focus on a specific topic within the rather large general subject matter of the course, and encouraged to work on a paper that they can develop into a conference presentation or a publishable article.

691T Travel and Empire

The course examines the cultures of travel (writing, photography, filmmaking and fairs) and the tropes of Empire. Our course begins with the premise that late 19th century travel narratives and U.S. visual culture illuminate the relationship between the violence and the romance of imperial travel.

692E Exploring New Media/Digital Humanities

The seminar will set several parallel goals:

- to explore the new media arts and digital culture in general to familiarize students with the major artists and artworks emerging in this area of artistic and intellectual activity

- to study and discuss some of the critical and theoretical issues raised by the digital medium in literature and the visual and performing arts (the digital humanities)

- to learn to use "hands on" some of the new digital tools (both software and hardware) for scholarship (databases for research, production of electronic mss. for conference presentation and publication, "how to write a hyperpaper? and why?") and for teaching (preparation of electronic, multimedia class materials, lectures, etc., on the web or for Spark, "how to present and teach information in the digital age?")

- to collectively prepare to TA in, and work on, an existing undergraduate course on Digital Culture: students will be invited to comment on, alter, expand parts of this existing course, and focus on their special interests that they will have an opportunity to include and teach in this class (or in a future class of their own)

Additional areas to be included depending on student interest and experience.

693A Word, Image and Book

We examine the contested and potentially sublime relationship between words and graphic images as they come together, or are evoked in or by the book in the West. Although we will begin, of necessity, with an exploration of the political dimensions of image-making, we will not stop there.

695A International Film Noir

Often referred to as the only indigenous American film style, "film noir" in its very appellation reveals that its major effects (for certain modern conceptions of cinema) lay elsewhere. We will examine film noir in its American heyday (1945-1957) and how it came to be a major propelling force in the new European cinema of the 1960's (Godard, and the Cahiers du cinema).

703 Contemporary Literary Theories

Intensive study of theories of literature having importance for contemporary criticism and scholarship.

751 Theory and Practice of Translation

Theoretical issues and practical problems raised by translation, in light of recent research. The role of translation and translated literature in cultural systems and in the history of literary development. Genre and form (poetry, dramatic literature), language register and tone, metaphor and imagery, word play. Readings in theory (Nida, Even-Zohar, Lefevere, Quine, Catford) combined with workshop practice.

752 Theory and Practice of Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature as literary theory and as academic practice. Nineteenth-century background and the rise of "literary studies"; traditional concepts of influence, periods, themes, genres, "extraliterary" relations, translation studies, and their development in modern theory. Questions of textuality, canonicity, cultural identity, the politics of cross-cultural literary images, metatheory, and institutional setting as they affect current practice.

753 Advanced Translation and Technology

Translation today involves complex language engineering, information technology, computer memory tools, and sophisticated graphics editing. This course covers project management, Internet authoring and file-sharing, software localization, and computer-aided translation tools. Prerequisites: Knowledge of one language other than English; successful completion of COMP-LIT 551 recommended.

791A Translation Technologies

Covers a range of theories and technologies on how to translate faster and more accurately, incorporate new technologies, and become more aware of the changing market, including multilingual word-processing, terminology database, computer-aided translation, on-line dictionaries, html codes, and Internet discussion groups for translators.

791C Contemporary Translation Theory

Work on an extended translation project or a paper related to translation history or theory with a view toward publication. Students take turns presenting their work, using the class for constructive criticism, feedback, suggestions, and brainstorming. Discussion of readings in contemporary translation theory.

791D Translation and Contemporary Fiction

Students will read and respond to literary texts and selected theoretical texts on translation theory, postcolonial studies, and border writing, including works by Sherry Simon, Else Vieira, Gayatri Spivak, Gloria Anzaldua, and Guillermo Gomez-Peña. Students will become aware of how translation is used both as a means of cross-cultural communication and as a mode of understanding, indigenous roots, multicultural evolution, and growing international cultural connections.

895A Dissertation Research

An overview of the state of each par-ticipant's research, to familiarize members with the problems and possibilities of a doctoral dissertation in Comparative Literature. The group's composition determines the nature of invitations to potential guests, or the decision to concentrate on its own members' discussions, with topics including: preparation for paper presentations at academic conferences, potential openings for positions at colleges and universities, and opportunities for funding for fellowships, grants, and post-doctoral research.


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