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Bruno Schulz: An Unfinished Modernist Project

Bruno Schulz: An Unfinished Modernist Project
POLI 38600/28600, JWSC 26360
Autumn Quarter 2012-2013

Time: Monday, 1:30PM-4:20PM
Room: Pick Hall 002
Instructor: Bożena Shallcross
Office hours: Tuesday, 1:00-4:00PM and by appointment
Office: Foster Hall 508
Telephone: 773.702.7734
E-mail address: bshallcr@uchicago.edu

The course examines the fictional, non-fictional and visual oeuvre of the brilliant Polish-Jewish modernist Bruno Schulz who perished in the Holocaust. During the course, we will focus on the several threads of his peculiar blending of experimental and modernist tendencies with the Jewish tradition; his conceptualization and use of the fragment; textual transformations of Bergsonian temporality as fused with messianism and his formulation of the moment as both auratic and poetic; the concept of the book, as well as the articulation of childhood. We will seek critical insight into his artistic predilection for peripheral places and conspiratorial perspectives, heresies, masochism, the aesthetic of trash, in sum, those components of his represented world, which made him an illusive modernist like no other in his time. The course will be supplemented by an analytical glimpse at the construal of Schulz’s legend in contemporary American fiction (Cynthia Ozick, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Nicole Krauss). All readings are in English.

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Autumn Polish Courses

Elementary Polish / First Year Polish (POLI 101, 102, 103)
In Elementary Polish the stress is on learning the language through constant use. During the Fall quarter students acquire basics of grammar and vocabulary. During the Winter and Spring quarters, students continue to study grammar and spend more and more time on reading and discussing various texts on modern life in Poland. The goal of the entire year long sequence is to get the students to the point where they are ready to start reading short works of Polish literature and to work with fairly advanced conversation material by the beginning of the second-year course.

Intermediate Polish / Second Year Polish (POLI 201, 202, 203)
The primary goal of second year Polish is to expand the student’s speaking, reading and writing skills by building on grammar and vocabulary learned during the first year of study. As a complement to the linguistic side of the course, the student will gain a greater familiarity with Polish history and culture through varied means including readings of literary works, articles from contemporary Polish newspapers and movies.

Advanced Polish / Third Year Polish (POLI 301, 302, 303)
The goal of this course is to help students widen their knowledge about contemporary Polish literature, film and politics while expanding their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. The students read Polish literary and historical texts from the 20th and 21st centuries, watch films, read and discuss the news. Topics of stylistics and grammar are covered as well in the course as well.

Polish Through Literary Readings – Fourth/Fifth Year Polish (POLI 401-406)
An advanced language course emphasizing spoken and written Polish. Readings include 20th and 21st century prose and poetry, as well as nonfiction. Intensive grammar review and vocabulary building. For students who have taken POLI 301-302-303 and for native or heritage speakers who want to read Polish literature in the original. Readings and discussions in Polish.

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Autumn Courses in Balkan Literature and Film

Strangers to Ourselves: Émigré Literature and Film from Russia and South Eastern Europe
SOSL 26900, SOSL 36900, RUSS 26900, RUSS 36900, CMLT 26902, CMLT 36902
The taste of a very ripe juicy tomato. The smell of mom’s cooking coming from the kitchen. The timbre of my brother’s voice. The fluid cadence of my native speech. The caress of eyes who have known me since I was born. And their venom.

The authors whose works we are going to examine often alternate between nostalgia and the exhilaration of being set free into the endless possibilities of new lives. Leaving home for them does not simply mean movement in space. Separated from the sensory boundaries that defined their old selves, immigrants inhabit warped time in fragmentary, disjointed selves. Immigrant writers struggle for breath – speech, language, voice, the very stuff of their craft resounds somewhere else. Join us as we explore the pain, the struggle, the failure and the triumph of emigration and exile. Vladimir Nabokov, Julia Kristeva, Alexander Hemon, Vassily Aksenov, Dubravka Ugrešić, Tea Obreht, Milcho Manchevski, Norman Manea

The Other within the Self: Identity in the Balkans through Literature and Film
This two-course sequence will examine discursive practices in a number of literary and cinematic works from the South East corner of Europe through which identities in the region become defined by two distinct others: the “barbaric” Ottoman and the “civilized” Western European.

Part One:
Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe
SOSL 27200, SOSL 37200, CMLT 23201, CMLT 33201, NEHC 20885, NEHC 30885

Why should we study the Balkans? Fascinating in itself, the area can also provide insights into the intricately connected power and identity dynamics between the “West” (as the center of economic power and normative, civilized humanity) and the “Rest” (as the poor, backward, and often violent periphery). “Returning the Gaze” investigates the complex relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western “gaze” for whose benefit the nations stage their quest for identity and their aspirations for recognition. We will focus on the problems of Orientalism, Balkanism and nesting orientalisms, as well as on self-mythologization and self-exoticization. We will also think about differing models of masculinity, and of the figure of the gypsy as a metaphor for the national self in relation to the West. The course will also consider the role that the imperative to belong to Western Europe played in the Yugoslavian wars of succession. We conclude with Orhan Pamuk’s contemplation on the relation between Turkey and Western Europe in his Nobel Prize novel Snow. Territorially spread between Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor and bidding for EU membership, Pamuk’s Turkey puts the problems of gazing and being gazed at in even starker hues and opens up the concerns of the course beyond the specificity of the Balkans and to the broader definition of “the Rest” returning the gaze of “the West.”

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Seminar at the Newberry: “Tolstoy’s Family Happiness and Anna Karenina”

Tolstoy’s Family Happiness and Anna Karenina at the Newberry Library in the fall.

Saturdays, 10 am – Noon
September 29 – December 8 (class will not meet November 24)
Ten sessions, $210

Saturdays, 1 – 3 pm
September 29 – December 8 (class will not meet November 24)
Ten sessions, $210

How does Tolstoy narrow the gap between literature and life? We will move from the early and delicate Family Happiness to the intense world of Anna Karenina, examining Tolstoy’s poetics, key themes, and philosophical perspectives on family mores. The texts will be supplemented with biographical, historical, and critical material provided by the instructor. Please read Family Happiness for the first meeting.

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Autumn Course: Imperial Europe

Instructor: Faith Hillis
TuTh 10:30-11:50PM

This colloquium examines the inner workings of modern Europe’s imperial societies, drawing on case studies of the empires that maintained overseas colonies as well as the continent s overland powers (the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman empires). It considers technologies of imperial rule as well as everyday life in imperial societies, asking what kinds of political cultures, communities, and identities empires have produced. The class will be run in a workshop format: we will devote Tuesday classes to discussing exemplary studies of imperial societies, and we will devote Thursday classes to discussing historiographical approaches and research techniques. Over the course of the quarter, students will be expected to design and carry out an original research project. Please come to the first day of class having read and ready to discuss Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (2010).

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Autumn Course: International Human Rights

International Human Rights
Instructor: Thomas Ginsburg,Leo Spitz Professor of International Law; Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar; Professor, Political Science
HMRT 37700 (= LAWS 96101, PLSC 56101)

This course is an introduction to international human rights law, covering the major instruments and institutions that operate on the international plane. It includes discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of human rights, the structure of the United Nations System, the major international treaties, regional human rights machinery, and the interplay of national and international systems in enforcing human rights. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam at the end of the quarter. Students who wish to write, in lieu of the exam, a paper sufficient to satisfy the substantial requirement, may do so upon approval of the topic in advance.

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Autumn Course: Human Rights in Russia and Eurasia

Human Rights in Russia and Eurasia
Instructor: Andrew Janco, Lecturer, Human Rights Program
HMRT 26500/36500 (= HIST 29312/39313, SLAV 26500/36500)
Monday – Wednesday: 3:00 – 4:20 pm

This course focuses on the political economy of human rights in Russia and Eurasia. We will study how international norms have been “imported” by post-Soviet states. How have regional politics and cultures shaped how rights norms are understood and how they are protected in practice? Why do many post-Soviet countries fail to protect the rights of their citizens? Using knowledge of the history, political culture and social practices of the region, we will work to identify those rights issues with the most potential for positive change and those more likely to remain enduring problems.

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Autumn Course: Introduction to Georgian History and Culture

Introduction to Georgian History and Culture

This one-quarter course will provide students with a rare opportunity to learn more about the history of the Republic of Georgia and its culture through a selection of literature and poetry (in translation), films, lectures, and class discussions and activities. We will survey Georgian history from its prehistory through its Golden Age in the 12th century up to the present day. Discussions of culture will include music, art (including metalwork and cloisonné), traditional dance, religious and pagan practices, and Georgia’s wine and toasting culture. Throughout the course we will consider issues of Georgian identity and nationhood, especially in relation to influences from surrounding regions.

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Autumn Georgian Courses

Elementary Georgian
This is a three-quarter course that covers basic Modern Georgian grammar and includes writing, reading, listening, and speaking activities. We’ll be referring to Howard Aronson’s textbook (Georgian: A Reading Grammar) and supplementing with additional authentic texts, audio, and video materials that will be provided in class. The University of Chicago is the only university in the U.S. to regularly offer Georgian! Take advantage of this rare opportunity to study a unique and fascinating language!

Intermediate Georgian
This three-quarter course builds speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills based on the knowledge developed during Elementary Georgian. In addition, more complicated grammatical notions are discussed and practiced through a variety of activities and exercises that integrate multimedia materials with traditional translation work.

Advanced Georgian
This three-quarter course emphasizes advanced language skills and vocabulary building through independent reading and writing projects as well as class exercises involving media such as newspaper and magazine articles, video clips, radio programs, movies, and additional authentic recordings and online materials.

Introduction to Georgian History and Culture
This one-quarter course will provide students with a rare opportunity to learn more about the history of the Republic of Georgia and its culture through a selection of literature and poetry (in translation), films, lectures, and class discussions and activities. We will survey Georgian history from its prehistory through its Golden Age in the 12th century up to the present day. Discussions of culture will include music, art (including metalwork and cloisonné), traditional dance, religious and pagan practices, and Georgia’s wine and toasting culture. Throughout the course we will consider issues of Georgian identity and nationhood, especially in relation to
influences from surrounding regions.

Please contact course instructor Tami Wysocki-Niimi with any questions you may have.

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Autumn Course: Twentieth-Century East Central Europe

Twentieth-Century East Central Europe, History 23102/33012, MW 1:30-3:00 PM

This course traces the history of East Central Europe from the Habsburg Empire to the Soviet Empire. Major themes include the rise of nations and nationalism; interwar democracy and fascism; the experience of Total War and Occupation; and the construction of Socialist societies after World War II.

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