2024-2025 Courses

Fall 2024

Graduate Courses


CPLT 7010: Research Methods and Bibliography: Introduction to Literary Theory

from Antiquity to Romanticism

Instructor: Dr. Gundela Hachman

Time: M 3:30-6:30 p.m.

In this course, we explore foundational works in literary theory from the Classical through the Romantic period. This course enables students to learn about and engage in long-standing debates about the purposes and values of literature as well as of its perceived dangers and limitations.

In this course, students practice the art of standing on the shoulders of giants, i.e. they explore the many ways in which we can engage and interact with foundational texts that have decisively shaped our discipline and the critical methodologies we practice. In assignments, students learn to give scholarly presentations, respond with critical reviews to contemporary scholarship, and compose essays in literary theory. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism will serve as primary course material, and we will supplement as needed for additional details or contexts.


CPLT 7120 / ENGL 7221: Recent Black Culture Theory

Instructor: Dr. Casey Patterson

Time: W 3:30-6:30 p.m.

This course will read a selection of 21st century Black cultural theorists (such as Saidiya Hartman, C. Riley Snorton, Darby English, and David Scott) alongside relevant cultural objects. Special emphasis will be placed on the works of Christina Sharpe and Dionne Brand, in preparation for their short residency with the new HSS Humanities Center at LSU. During this residency, Sharpe and Brand will join one of our seminars.

7130CPLT 7130 / THTR 7926: Drama of Africa 

Instructor: Dr. Femi Euba

Time: T, Th 10:30-11:50 a.m.

A comparative study of the dramatic and theatrical expressions of the black cultures in Africa, identifying, where possible, not only African influences on some of the dramatic works in the diaspora, but also the Western classical influences on African plays. Works include those by Wole Soyinka, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Athol Fugard et al, Tewfik Al-Hakim, etc.

7130CPLT 7130: Literature of the Great War

Instructor: Dr. Asher Gelzer-Govatos

Time: T, TH 1:30- 2:50 p.m. 

A transnational approach to the literature of World War I, considering both the more famous poetry and the novels. Put in broad historical context, starting with literature written just before the war, then encompassing works written during the war itself (including trench poetry), then finally works that looked back on the war in the shadow of the looming second world war. Poets would include: Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Georg Trakl, Guillaume Apollinaire, Ezra Pound, and David Jones. Novelists/short story writers would include: Franz Kafka, Henri Barbusse, Ernst Junger, Rebecca West, Mulk Raj Anand, and Joseph Roth.

CPLT 7140: Verbal Visual Theory and Analysis

Instructor: Dr. Adelaide Russo

Time: T 3:00-5:50 p.m.

The course will be dealing with texts from the French, English, and Spanish 19th to the 21st century writers and artists and address interdisciplinary approaches to major artistic movements – realism, impressionism, surrealism, conceptual art, abstract art, and hyperrealism.

CPLT 7150

CPLT 7150 / FREN 7960: The French Film 

Instructor: Dr. Kevin Bongiorni

Time: T 6:00-9:00 p.m.

This course will examine French film from its inception with the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès to Amour and Agnès Varda’s Visages Villages. It will approach films from a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives and contexts including semiotics, Existentialism, film theory and criticism, the French New Wave, Cahiers du Cinémacritics, Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of Montage, literary and film techniques and more. The is designed as a seminar.  Students will be actively involved in each class meeting and will be responsible for weekly readings and viewings, presentations, and leading class discussions. Additional assignments may include frame, shot and sequence analyses, and a final conference length paper that will be presented at the time of the final exam in a mini conference format.


CPLT 7170: Methodology for Teaching World Literature

Instructor: Dr. Dorota Heneghan        

Time: TH 3:00-6:00 p.m.

The goal of this course is twofold: 1) introduce students to current and past debates about questions of method, purpose, and challenges to teach world literature 2) explore a set of pedagogical techniques to create syllabi related to the selected theme in a variety of texts and films spanning the chronological periods to which the current undergraduate courses: CPLT 2201/ ENGL 2201, CPLT 2202 / ENGL 2202 and CPLT 2203 / SCRN 2203 correspond. In addition to surveying comparative literature’s history and approaches to teaching world literature and global cinema, students will examine methods for using secondary sources for original interpretation and presentation of selected texts and films, selection and development of teaching materials, observations of classes and reflective self-assessment.

Undergraduate Courses


CPLT 2201 / ENGL 2201: Narratives on Transcendent Love, Separation, and Desire

Instructor: Midhat Shah

Time: MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.

The theme of divine love or "عشق" has been a source of inspiration for writers from all cultures and traditions, since ancient times. This motif encompasses themes such as passion, devotion, displacement, separation, self-discovery, spiritual quests, and immortality. These themes have been explored in texts of immense depth and complexity, ranging from epicpoems to didactic literature. Throughout history, these works have provided entertainment, solace, and inspiration to audiences around the world.

This module aims to provide students with insight into the interpretation and motifs of divine love, loss, and longing by examining a specific selection of texts in English translation (poetry and prose) by authors from different regions such as Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Europe, from Antiquity to Renaissance. The course will delve into the works of a diverse range of writers, including Meister Eckhart, Maulana Rumi, Hadewijch, Mira Bhai, and Lalla Dyad. The students will critically analyze and interpret a wide range of texts, engaging with a variety of critical approaches while exploring these works in their cultural, intercultural, and historical contexts.

2201CPLT 2201/ ENGL 2201: Deviance and the Devil Across World Literatures from Antiquity to 1650

Instructor: Gabrielle Bologna Mesen

Time: MWF 11:30-12:20 p.m.

The battle between good and evil manifests in the world’s oldest stories. Understanding this theme in literature first requires a definition of evil, and this course is devoted to how such definitions are represented in world literature. With special attention to Western Europe and the rise of Christianity, we will read and discuss works from Greek mythology to The Renaissance throughout this course. In reading depictions of evil, devils, and deviances, our focus will turn toward a broader discourse surrounding storytelling, and the related changes in values and ethics across time and cultures. While we will question how portrayals of evil shape and challenge our views of both world literature and history itself, we will work to sharpen our skills in critical reading, writing, contextualization, and multimodal communication. 

Required texts:

Inferno (Hollander translation)
by Dante Alighieri 

Doctor Faustus 
by Christopher Marlowe  

Paradise Lost
by John Milton


CPLT 2202 / ENGL 2202: Modernism,

Metempsychosis, and Masterpieces

Instructor: Alexander Schmid

Time: MWF 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Modernism is sometimes described as an art movement which eschews classical forms and techniques. But what does it mean for a text to be modern? Need it have been recently written, focus on certain themes, or be expressed in a certain genre? A masterpiece is defined by Harvard professor David Damrosch as a work of near classical value which is itself a literary analogy of a liberal democracy, but what does it really mean for a text to be a masterpiece? Does this term suggest a rank beyond the normal measure? Does it suggest a workmanship not witnessed in the average piece of art? Can a masterpiece also be a classic and piece of world literature? Or does it suggest something as banal as mere popularity? Join me on an adventure from the 17th century through the 20th century to inquire into these questions.

Required Texts:

1. Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quixote. Trans. Edith Grossman, Ecco; Reprint edition, 2005. ISBN: 978-0060934347.

2. Goethe, Wolfgang von. Faust: A Tragedy. Trans. Walter W. Arndt., Ed. Cyrus Hamlin, W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd Ed. 1998. ISBN: 978-0393972825.

3. Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Notes from the Underground. Ed. Michael R. Katz, W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd ed., 2000. ISBN: 978-0415045407.

4. Joyce, James. Ulysses. Vintage, first ed., 1986. ISBN: 978-0394743127.

5. Mann, Thomas. The Magic Mountain. Trans. John E. Woods, Vintage, 1996. ISBN: 978-0679772873.

6. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Vintage, 1st Edition, 2016. ISBN: 978-1784870867.

2203CPLT 2203 / SCRN 2203: Social-Political Issues 

Instructor: Nkosilathi Moyo

Time: TTh 9:00-10:20 a.m. 

In this course, we will explore a wide range of historical and contemporary socio-political issues that have beleaguered humanity globally. The issues that will be explored include racial inequality, gender inequality, human rights, war, terrorism, immigration, global warming, poverty, etc. The course will investigate how these are depicted in diverse popular literary forms, including, but certainly not limited to, film, hip-hop music, poetry, short stories, and newspaper articles. Essentially, we will take a thematic approach to the course, and each theme will constitute a module. The course material will cover three regions of the world: North America, Africa, and Europe. Authors and filmmakers to be discussed include Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Zuluboy, Richard Wright, Alice Walker, Mbongeni Ngema, Ryan Coogler, Tyler Perry, Jonathan Olshefski, and others. All required course materials will be made available through Moodle.