Program in Comparative Literature

Mohammad Ghanoonparvar

Professor EmeritusPh.D., University of Texas- Austtin

Professor Emeritus of Persian and Comparative Literature
Mohammad Ghanoonparvar



C L 385 • Thry/Prac In Literary Transltn

33335 • Spring 2010
Meets W 300pm-600pm WAG 112
(also listed as PRS 384C)

Course Description

This course will aim to provide a reasonably representative introduction to literary theory from Socratic texts through Augustine’s important contributions into the late nineteenth century.  Throughout the course we shall have a double emphasis:  grappling with the original historical goals of these works and detecting the way in which the problems they address continue to define the terms of modern theoretical debates so as to remain pressing today.  Particular attention will be paid both to the Platonic attack upon poetry and rhetoric, particularly in the course of his remarks about tragedy, and to Aristotle’s complex and multiple responses.  The Roman revisers of the Greek inheritance will be viewed as a first reception, to be followed by several examples drawn from the Renaissance and from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  The later texts will draw out implications from the classical material of India, Japan, Greece and the Hebrew tradition in ways which inflect the material for particular aesthetic and ideological purposes.  We shall be especially interested in the flurry of theoretical activity throughout the nineteenth century as the aesthetic and philosophical apparatus attempts to cope with the very real implications of the century: industrialism, empire, the decline of metaphysics, etc.  A final gesture will be made towards the implications of this historical trajectory for the twentieth century.



Required Texts:

Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato (HBJ, 1992)

Reader, available from Speedway, Dobie Mall, 2nd Level (469-5653)


All texts will be available in the original languages as well as in suitable English translations.  Students are encouraged to read texts in the original where possible. Selections will be drawn primarily from Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato with additional texts such as selections from the Natyasastra; Midrash, Tacitus, Dialogus, Giraldi Cinthio, Internal Discourse; Du Bellay, Defense and Illustration; Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew; Schiller, Naïve and Sentimental Poetry; Kleist, “On the Marionette Theater;” Shleiermacher, “1819 Lectures on Hermeneutics;” Derrida, Dissemination; Baudrillard, Simlulations.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages