Program Courses

Please note that course schedules may be amended due to low enrollment, faculty availability, and/or other factors.

Online Sync Sessions are an integral part of the online learning experience. Additional information about learning concepts and assignments may be discussed and sync sessions offer valuable opportunities for students to interact with their faculty and peers during the term. We encourage all students to attend live, but if they are unable to, sync sessions will be recorded and posted within Canvas to allow for an asynchronous model of success as well.

LIT 480-0 : Topics in Comparative Literature: Fictions of the City -- Paris, New York, Los Angeles


This course will examine the central role played by the city in inventing the forms for representing modern life, beginning with Paris (sometimes called the "capital of the 19th century" because of its central place in the elaboration of the new narrative and cultural forms of industrial civilization) and then focusing on New York and Los Angeles as privileged spaces where a "culture industry" then becomes both the producer and the subject matter of literature and film. Students examine the tensions between realist and mythic representations of the modern city in such writers as Balzac and Baudelaire, as well as the city as a site for the invention of "modern myths" expressing the utopian and dystopian aspects of modern life in the work of surrealists such as Aragon. Students will also explore how these approaches are taken up by classic Hollywood cinema in the 1930s (notably in such popular genres as the musical and the gangster film) and how these same problems are ultimately reinvented, in the second half of the 20th century, in a postmodern culture dominated by media images and global cultural flows, which will give rise to new social spaces and new utopias but will consequently also give rise to new forms of mythic and realist narrative. Authors read will include such writers as HonorĂ© de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, Louis Aragon, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, and Don DeLillo. We will also discuss films by such directors as Raoul Walsh, Lloyd Bacon, Busby Berkeley, Jean-Luc Godard, Ridley Scott, Jim Jarmusch, and Michael Haneke. Counts toward the American Literature and the Comparative & World Literature specializations. (This course may count towards the Film, Literature, and Visual Culture, American Literature, Comparative and World Literature, or Interdisciplinary Studies specializations in the Master of Arts in Literature and Advanced Graduate Study Certificate programs. It may also count towards the American Studies, Digital Studies, or Interdisciplinary Studies specialization in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and Advanced Graduate Study Certificate programs. This course may also count as an elective in the Master of Arts and Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Please note, this course is a hybrid which will meet in person on three Saturdays throughout the term: June 30, July 28, and September 1.)

Spring 2024
Start/End DatesDay(s)TimeBuildingSection
03/25/24 - 06/08/24Sync Session Sa
1 – 3:30 p.m. 55
InstructorCourse LocationStatusCAESAR Course ID
Durham, Scott
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