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COMPLIT 233A: Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean (AFRICAAM 133, AFRICAST 132, COMPLIT 133A, CSRE 133E, FRENCH 133, JEWISHST 143)

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of the cultural, social, and political aspects at play in the literatures of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean of the 20th and 21st century. Our primary readings will be Francophone novels and poetry. We will also read some theoretical texts. The assigned readings will expose students to literature from diverse French-speaking regions of the African/Caribbean world. This course will also serve as a "literary toolbox," with the intention of facilitating an understanding of literary genres, and terms. Students can expect to work on their production of written and spoken French, in addition to reading comprehension. Special guest: Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui. Required readings include: Aime Cesaire, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Dany Laferriere, Leonara Miano, Albert Memmi. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Seck, F. (PI)

COMPLIT 236: Literature and Transgression (FEMGEN 236)

Close reading and analysis of erotic-sexual and aesthetic-stylistic transgression in selected works by such authors as Baudelaire, Wilde, Flaubert, Rachilde, Schnitzler, Kafka, Joyce, Barnes, Eliot, Bataille, Burroughs, Thomas Mann, Kathy Acker, as well as in recent digital literature and online communities. Along with understanding the changing cultural, social, and political contexts of what constitutes "transgression" or censorship, students will gain knowledge of influential theories of transgression and conceptual limits by Foucault, Blanchot, and contemporary queer and feminist writers.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

COMPLIT 236A: Casablanca - Algiers - Tunis : Cities on the Edge (AFRICAAM 236B, CSRE 140S, FRENCH 236, FRENCH 336, HISTORY 245C, URBANST 140F)

Casablanca, Algiers and Tunis embody three territories, real and imaginary, which never cease to challenge the preconceptions of travelers setting sight on their shores. In this class, we will explore the myriad ways in which these cities of North Africa, on the edge of Europe and of Africa, have been narrated in literature, cinema, and popular culture. Home to Muslims, Christians, and Jews, they are an ebullient laboratory of social, political, religious, and cultural issues, global and local, between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. We will look at mass images of these cities, from films to maps, novels to photographs, sketching a new vision of these magnets as places where power, social rituals, legacies of the Ottoman and French colonial pasts, and the influence of the global economy collude and collide. Special focus on class, gender, and race.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Ulloa, M. (PI)

COMPLIT 243: Poets, Courtiers, and Mystics: The Invention of Love in Medieval Persian Literature

This course explores the emergence of a unique doctrine of love in Persian literature between the 11th and the 14th centuries, from the confluence of courtly, romantic and mystical ideas. Tracing the gradual imbrication of sacred and profane desire, we will study the advice on marital love in early Mirrors for Princes (Marzban-nama and Qabusnama), the exaltation of heterosexual love in romances (Fakhreddin Gorgani's Vis and Ramin, Nezami's Leyli and Majnun), the recasting of love in the context of a mystical erotology (Ahmad Ghazali's Sawanih), and, finally, the enduring legacy of this discourse of love in ghazal poetry (Rumi and Hafez, and beyond). In looking at these texts, we will touch upon questions regarding the ideals and realities of love in a medieval Islamic society, the protean nature and all-encompassing scope of longing in Persian letters, and the metaphysical implications of the hierarchical structure underlying the Persianate codes of love. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Taught in English.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

COMPLIT 243A: From Idol to Equal: Changing Images of Love in 20th-Century Persian and Turkish Literature

This course will explore the changing images of love in pivotal works of modern Persian and Turkish literature. Classes will include close readings and discussions of poems, short stories, and plays with particular attention to the constellation of lover/beloved, the theme of romantic love, and the cultural and historical background of these elements. Our starting point will be the adoption of the novel as a form in the late 19th century. From there, we will explore different figurations of love in key texts of the 20th century up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1978) and the coup d'état in Turkey (1980). Themes will include the end of empire and the demise of the concubine, the portrayal of the homeland as lover, secularization and the lifting of the veil, the figure of the female pioneer, the conflict of western and eastern morals, the prostitute as a new paradigm, the emergence of female writers, and avantgarde conceptions of love. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. All readings and discussions will be in English.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

COMPLIT 249A: The Iranian Cinema: Image and Meaning (GLOBAL 249A)

This course will focus on the analysis of ten Iranian films with the view of placing them in discourse on the semiotics of Iranian art and culture. The course will also look at the influence of a wide array of cinematic traditions from European, American, and Asian masters on Iranian cinema. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1-3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Beyzaie, B. (PI)

COMPLIT 249B: Iranian Cinema in Diaspora (GLOBAL 249B)

Despite enormous obstacles, immigrant Iranian filmmakers, within a few decades (after the Iranian Revolution), have created a slow but steady stream of films outside Iran. They were originally started by individual spontaneous attempts from different corners of the world and by now we can identify common lines of interest amongst them. There are also major differences between them. These films have never been allowed to be screened inside Iran, and without any support from the global system of production and distribution, as independent and individual attempts, they have enjoyed little attention. Despite all this, Iranian cinema in exile is in no sense any less important than Iranian cinema inside Iran. In this course we will view one such film, made outside Iran, in each class meeting and expect to reach a common consensus in identifying the general patterns within these works and this movement. Questions such as the ones listed below will be addressed in our meetings each week: What more »
Despite enormous obstacles, immigrant Iranian filmmakers, within a few decades (after the Iranian Revolution), have created a slow but steady stream of films outside Iran. They were originally started by individual spontaneous attempts from different corners of the world and by now we can identify common lines of interest amongst them. There are also major differences between them. These films have never been allowed to be screened inside Iran, and without any support from the global system of production and distribution, as independent and individual attempts, they have enjoyed little attention. Despite all this, Iranian cinema in exile is in no sense any less important than Iranian cinema inside Iran. In this course we will view one such film, made outside Iran, in each class meeting and expect to reach a common consensus in identifying the general patterns within these works and this movement. Questions such as the ones listed below will be addressed in our meetings each week: What changes in aesthetics and point of view of the filmmaker are caused by the change in his or her work environment? Though unwantedly these films are made outside Iran, how related are they to the known (recognized) cinema within Iran? And in fact, to what extent do these films express things that are left unsaid by the cinema within Iran? NOTE: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Terms: Win | Units: 1-3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Beyzaie, B. (PI)

COMPLIT 249C: Contemporary Iranian Theater (GLOBAL 249C)

Today, Iranian plays both in traditional and contemporary styles are staged in theater festivals throughout the world and play their role in forming a universal language of theater which combine the heritages from countries in all five continents. Despite many obstacles, some Iranian plays have been translated into English and some prominent Iranian figures are successful stage directors outside Iran. Forty-six years ago when "Theater in Iran" (a monograph on the history of Iranian plays) by Bahram Beyzaie was first published, it put the then contemporary Iranian theater movement "which was altogether westernizing itself blindly" face to face with a new kind of self-awareness. Hence, today's generation of playwrights and stage directors in Iran, all know something of their theatrical heritage. In this course we will spend some class sessions on the history of theater in Iran and some class meetings will be concentrating on contemporary movements and present day playwrights. Given the d more »
Today, Iranian plays both in traditional and contemporary styles are staged in theater festivals throughout the world and play their role in forming a universal language of theater which combine the heritages from countries in all five continents. Despite many obstacles, some Iranian plays have been translated into English and some prominent Iranian figures are successful stage directors outside Iran. Forty-six years ago when "Theater in Iran" (a monograph on the history of Iranian plays) by Bahram Beyzaie was first published, it put the then contemporary Iranian theater movement "which was altogether westernizing itself blindly" face to face with a new kind of self-awareness. Hence, today's generation of playwrights and stage directors in Iran, all know something of their theatrical heritage. In this course we will spend some class sessions on the history of theater in Iran and some class meetings will be concentrating on contemporary movements and present day playwrights. Given the dearth of visual documents, an attempt will be made to present a picture of Iranian theater to the student. Students are expected to read the recommended available translated plays of the contemporary Iranian playwrights and participate in classroom discussions. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Terms: Spr | Units: 1-3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Beyzaie, B. (PI)

COMPLIT 252A: Great Arabic Poetry

Introduction to the canon of Arabic poetry from the sixth to the twenty-first century. Imru' al-Qays, al-Mutanabbi, Mahmud Darwish, and more. Readings in Arabic. Two years of Arabic at Stanford or equivalent required. Counts for the Arabic Track in the MELLAC Minor.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Key, A. (PI)

COMPLIT 252B: Great Arabic Prose

Introduction to the best Arabic Literature from the 790s to 2016. Al-Jahiz, Naguib Mahfouz, and much more. Readings in Arabic. Two years of Arabic at Stanford or equivalent required. Counts for the Arabic Track in the MELLAC Minor. Note: This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for WAYS credit.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Key, A. (PI)
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