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Rare and New MFLL MFLL Courses for Spring 2019 (in English)

German 350 / Judaic Studies 350 – The Afterlife of the Holocaust
Dr. Daniel Magilow
Even decades after World War II ended, the memory of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany’s great crime, lives on. This course examines the complex field of Holocaust representation and the various debates and taboos that condition what one can and cannot say about the Holocaust. For instance, can one ever truly represent what happened, and if so, how? Is there room in Holocaust studies for humor? Has the Holocaust become just another commodity? By examining texts from diverse media, including film, television, painting, monuments, memoirs, poetry, and other fictional and non-fictional forms, we will examine how the Holocaust has been remembered—and misremembered—and what such memories say about the role of past traumas in contemporary life. Readings and discussion in English.

French 450 - French Cinema and Politics in the 1930s
M,W,F 11:15-12:05
Dr. Susan Edmundson
As the period between the two World Wars, the 1930s was a period of crisis, turbulence and transformation in France. The cinema became a central art form during this era. In this course we will look at cinema as a cultural artifact, as an expression of what it means to be “French.” We will study seminal, classic films and their nexus with the events, politics, culture and society of the time. We will study films of these major directors:  Clair, Pagnol, Carné, Renoir and Vigo. The language of instruction is French.

Italian 422/Cinema Studies 422 - Mafia and terrorism in Italian Cinema
T/R 11:10-12:55
Dr. Flavia Brizio-Skov
This course will focus on the history of Mafia and other related underground organizations, on the phenomenon of Terrorism during the Lead Years, and on the way Italian cinema mirrored and dealt with these events. We will try to shed light on one of the most complicated and corrupted periods of the political life of the Italian Republic.(Contact: Brizio-Skov at

Russian 322: Dostoevsky, Terror, and Pan-Slavic Utopia
T/R, 2:10-3:25
Dr. Stephen Blackwell
Explores the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky as expressions of an ideology formed at the nexus of utopianism and anarchism – nirvana and despair. His thought forms a background for considering modern examples of radical and idealist thinking. Taught in English. Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures – Russian Studies majors will do some readings in Russian. Writing-emphasis course

Russian 424: Novels and Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
T/R 11:10-12:25
Dr. Stephen Blackwell
Nabokov has been called a modernist, a post-modernist, a mystic, a moralist, an a-moral author, and a consummate (but empty) stylist.  Ever since Lolita’s pedophilia-centered prose shook the world in 1957, Nabokov has been a subject of controversy.  But his stature in his native Russian language was already unmatched by the late 1930s.  Even today, after scores of books have been written about him, Nabokov remains elusive. Will we catch him and “fix him for all eternity” in this class?  Unlikely—but we will explore what makes his work strange, funny, surprising, moving, and, finally, compelling to so much that is deeply human within every reader.

This year, the course will cover three or four Russian novels—probably The Defense, Invitation to a Beheading, Laughter in the Dark and/or The Gift, and three American novels—Bend Sinister, Lolita, and Pale Fire, along with several short stories, essays, and excerpts from his memoir, Speak, Memory.  Requirements: Two 2,500-word essays, an annotated bibliography of criticism, weekly quizzes, participation.

ARAB 320: Middle Eastern Film
T 11:10-1:55 and Th 11:10-12:25
This course introduces students to the cinemas of the Arab World, Israel, and Iran. We will examine several common themes within these film traditions, including war and conflict and gender and sexuality. Students will also gain exposure to different cinematic genres and learn about the political, historical, and social context of these films.

JAPA 314: Food, Fiction, and Film in Modern Japan
T/R 2:10-3:35
Noriko Horiguchi
In this course, we examine visual and literary narratives from modern Japan through the lens of culinary and cultural history.

We study food not only as a source of bodily sustenance, but also as 1) an art form, 2) a symbol, metaphor, and allegory, and 3) a tool for social and political critique. Topics include roles played by foods in 1) modern nation/empire building, westernization, colonization, war experience, the American Occupation, postwar reconstruction, globalization, and contemporary problems such as low birth rate and an aging population in Japan, and 2) identity formation (ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexuality) in changing cultural, geopolitical, and economic contexts. We explore these topics by engaging in a close and critical reading of images and documents concerning food in various genres, including, films, television, novels, short stories, poems, and academic essays. By combining readings of primary texts with secondary critical texts, we become familiar with varying approaches to the topic of food in the disciplines of the humanities (cinema, literature, history, philosophy, etc.) and social sciences (food studies, media studies, sociology, anthropology, etc.). Class sessions combine lectures, discussion, film viewing, other audio-visual materials, and creative as well as analytical writing exercises. The course is taught in English, although Japanese materials will be made available upon request. No prior coursework in Japanese film, literature, or history is required or expected. *This course cannot count for both ULD Foreign Studies and the major (unless it’s a second major).

Satisfies requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences, ULD Foreign Studies*, minor in Japanese, majors in Global Studies, Asian Studies, Language and World Business/Japanese, Cinema Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality, etc.

Russian 222 Heaven or Hell: Utopias and Dystopias in 20th-Century Russian Literature
MWF 1:25-2:15pm
Dr. Pervukhin
This course is a survey of the great writers of 20th-Century Russia, from Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita to Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and beyond.

German 363 – Contemporary German Cultures
MWF 12:20pm – 1:10pm
Dr. Stefanie Ohnesorg
Topic in Spring 2019:  “Aiming at Sustainability: A Closer Look at Germany’s Approach(es) to 21st Century Global Challenges”

The central theme of this German culture course is “SUSTAINABILITY,” and, in particular, how 21st century global challenges are negotiated within German politics and society. Throughout this course, we will focus on global problems related to the environment, energy production, and climate change, and we will highlight German perspectives in particular as we will discuss and evaluate political approaches and problem-solving strategies. 
Students will leave this class with an understanding of the specific historical trajectory of German (and to some degree European) responses to environmental challenges in general and climate change in particular. In this course, students will also learn about the connection between ethics and aesthetics by examining how art, film, literature, ecocriticism, and other forms of humanistic inquiry complement scientific and journalistic work when analyzing the socio-political and economic processes affecting humanity today.

Please note:  German 363 is taught in English and no knowledge of the German language is necessary to take this course. It is a writing-emphasis course that will count for the German Major. German 363 does, not count, however, towards fulfilling a foreign language requirement (it does not count as ‘foreign language credit’). There are no prerequisites to this class.

Span 401 Images of Africa in Spanish America and Brazil
MWF 2:30-3:20pm
Dawn Duke

Current Latin American cultural, political, and racial issues placed in a historical perspective. This is a topics course focusing on contemporary issues. Of interest are those practices and institutions that continue to have an impact on society. Aspects of importance for the discussion include social movements, cultural movements, and current forms of activism. The course will focus primarily on the African and Afro-Descendant experiences. Topics may relate to affirmative action, literature, spirituality, music, dance, arts, and gender. Taught in English. Counts for the major/minor in Hispanic Studies.


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