Saskia Ziolkowski
Wednesday 3:30 – 6:00pm (Online)


Italo Svevo (1861-1928) wrote some of the most important modern Italian novels, like La coscienza di Zeno (Zeno’s Conscience), but has never achieved the world status one might expect, especially for someone who was taught English by no less a figure than James Joyce. Described as “hovering” near international fame, Svevo has been categorized as Italian, Jewish, Triestine, Austrian, German, European, and Modernist. This class examines Svevo in these various contexts to understand the strengths and weaknesses of classifications according to language, religious or cultural background, nation, education, and literary movement. By reading Svevo in the company of authors, such as Pirandello, Proust, Kafka, and Shakespeare, as well as thinkers like Freud, Schopenhauer, and Darwin, students will explore Svevo’s work in detail, while also investigating ideas of influence, concepts of literary influence, and the meanings of world literature.

Robert Mitchell & Charlotte Sussman
Wed. 10:15-11:30am (Online)
Fri. 10:15-11:30am  Allen 318

This course provides students with a concise historical and theoretical overview of university-based literary criticism, with the goal of enabling graduate students to better understand–and hence, situate their own projects within–the history of their discipline. We will focus on a number of key twentieth- and twenty-first century methodological orientations and movements, such as new criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, Foucauldian poststructuralism, new historicism, postcolonial criticism, critical race studies, and distant reading. We will also consider how these movements relate to both the changing structure of the university and to non-university publics across this period. Rather than aiming for an exhaustive survey of twentieth- and twenty-first century modes of literary criticism, we will focus on those modes that have had the most impact on current practice.
In addition to providing a historical survey of literary criticism, this course also focuses on several key skills for navigating successfully the first few years of graduate school, including time management strategies; project abstract writing (useful for conference and fellowship applications); and locating, and positioning oneself within existing academic debates/discussions (useful for minor exam creation and articles).

This course will offerZoomlecturesand discussion during theWednesday meeting time (these will be recorded for those who cannot meet at that time), and two modes of discussion section: an in-person discussion section at the Friday meeting time, and an online discussion section at the Friday meeting time. (There will also be the possibility of asynchronous discussion for participants.)