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Literature

We offer classes that explore various literary traditions focusing on both ancient and modern civilizations. In these courses you will learn to appreciate and critically analyze works of literature. Please view our current offerings below and join us in pursuing a literary life of the mind.

Click a course title to read the course description and register for the course.

Courses

Greek, Literature Introduction to Classical Greek, Part 3
03/27/2017 to 06/5/2017

HUAS 48003 | Introduction to Classical Greek, Part 3

In the spring quarter, students complete the first book of the Iliad, beginning with the divine-like wrath of the hero Achilles and ending with the all-too-human laughter of the gods. In summer, after a short introduction to the differences between the Homeric and Attic dialects, students read a brief, but under-appreciated dialogue by Plato, the Hippias Minor, which begins by considering the question of who is the better epic hero – Achilles or Odysseus, and ends strangely with Socrates arguing that it is better to do wrong on purpose than in ignorance.

No class May 29.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Paul Mathai

Paul Mathai

Paul Mathai

Mr. Mathai has studied at the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought. His research focuses on Greek literature, philosophy, and history, as well as Russian language and literature.

25 PD/CPDU
Course Code: HUAS 48003
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 27 to Jun 05
Tuition: $400.00
Days/Times: Mon
6:00 PM–8:30 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 24, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Arabic, Literature The Making of the Modern Middle East
03/28/2017 to 05/16/2017

HUAS 95601 | The Making of the Modern Middle East

This course explores how the current Middle East, with its volatile politics, shifting alliances, and porous borders, resulted from the collapse of the centuries-old Ottoman Empire and through colonial intrigues and designs. Through rich primary and secondary source materials of varying perspectives, students will untangle the webs and political knots that characterized the founding of the current states in Middle East. Amid the media coverage of a region on the precipice of collapse, understanding how this region emerged following World War I is essential to understanding its 20th century history and the trajectory of the region.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Sami Sweis

Sami Sweis

Sami Sweis

Mr. Sweis is a doctoral candidate with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at UChicago. His areas of specialization include the Modern Middle East, Arab nationalist political thought, and state-tribe relations. He also studies the history of Arab Christians in the Islamic Middle East.

20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: HUAS 95601
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 28 to May 16
Tuition: $360.00
Days/Times: Tue
1:30 PM–4:00 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 27, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature The Complete Shakespeare: The Comedies
03/29/2017 to 05/31/2017

BASC 70023 | The Complete Shakespeare: The Comedies

In honor of Shakespeare400, the worldwide, year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we are offering a three-quarter sequence of all of his plays. This semester we will read the comedies in the order in which he wrote them. These plays include the expected comedic themes of love and marriage, both young and mature, and issues between children and parents. However, Shakespeare’s late comedies, his “problem plays,” sometimes eschew happy endings, leaving the audience to consider problems such as jealousy and alienation of affection, and the difficulty of reconciliation. 

For the first class, please read The Taming of the Shrew.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Eva Fernandez, Cynthia Rutz

Eva Fernandez

Eva Fernandez

Ms. Fernandez did her MA and PhD course work at the University of Chicago.  Her primary interests are classical and medieval literature and philosophy.  Other enthusiasms include 17th century English literature, 19th century American literature, and modern and contemporary poetry. She is the 2011 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

,

Cynthia Rutz

Cynthia Rutz

Ms. Rutz completed her PhD on Shakespeare at the University of Chicago in 2013. Other interests include mythology, folktales, and ancient Greek philosophy and literature. She is a former Staff Chair of the Basic Program and currently teaches at Valparaiso University.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70023
Section: 17S2
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 29 to May 31
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Wed
6:00 PM–9:15 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 28, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

BASC 70023 | The Complete Shakespeare: The Comedies

In honor of Shakespeare400, the worldwide, year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we are offering a three-quarter sequence of all of his plays. This semester we will read the comedies in the order in which he wrote them. These plays include the expected comedic themes of love and marriage, both young and mature, and issues between children and parents. However, Shakespeare’s late comedies, his “problem plays,” sometimes eschew happy endings, leaving the audience to consider problems such as jealousy and alienation of affection, and the difficulty of reconciliation. 

For the first class, please read The Taming of the Shrew.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Eva Fernandez, Cynthia Rutz

Eva Fernandez

Eva Fernandez

Ms. Fernandez did her MA and PhD course work at the University of Chicago.  Her primary interests are classical and medieval literature and philosophy.  Other enthusiasms include 17th century English literature, 19th century American literature, and modern and contemporary poetry. She is the 2011 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

,

Cynthia Rutz

Cynthia Rutz

Ms. Rutz completed her PhD on Shakespeare at the University of Chicago in 2013. Other interests include mythology, folktales, and ancient Greek philosophy and literature. She is a former Staff Chair of the Basic Program and currently teaches at Valparaiso University.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70023
Section: 17S2
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 29 to May 31
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Wed
6:00 PM–9:15 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 28, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Arabic, Literature CANCELED: Muslim-Christian Relations in the Middle East, 610-2017 CE
03/29/2017 to 05/31/2017

HUAS 29701 | CANCELED: Muslim-Christian Relations in the Middle East, 610-2017 CE

This class provides a broad overview of Muslim-Christian relations in the Middle East from 610 CE to the modern era, as well as a discussion of major debates surrounding these interactions. We will examine works from various genres of medieval and modern Muslim and Christian scholarship and will follow major religious, political, and cultural developments in the interaction between these two religious groups. We will also address how to conduct research into various topics on Muslim-Christian relations, and the major tools with which to do so.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: HUAS 29701
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 29 to May 31
Tuition: $360.00
Days/Times: Wed
1:30 PM–4:00 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 21, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature Man Without Qualities
03/29/2017 to 05/31/2017

HUAS 83001 | Man Without Qualities

Robert Musil’s Man Without Qualities is one of the most prestigious novels of the 20th century that no one has read but everyone has heard of. Even though it is very long, very slow, and was unfinished at the time of Robert Musil's death, it is a masterpiece of extraordinary wit, complexity, and intelligence. Regularly cited alongside Joyce’s Ulysses, Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, Man Without Qualities is a triumph of high modernism. Set in Vienna in 1913, it depicts a world on the edge of a precipice—moral, cultural and political—that was to give way to the abyss of World War I the following year. In this course we will follow Musil’s protagonist Ulrich—a gifted, amoral, concupiscent mathematician of good family who finds himself in the midst of an existential crisis and becomes one of the most engaging comic anti-heroes in modern fiction.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Irina Ruvinsky

Irina Ruvinsky

Irina Ruvinsky

Ms. Ruvinsky received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago. She studied philosophy and French literature at the Sorbonne and the École normale supérieure in Paris. She currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

20 PD/CPDU
Course Code: HUAS 83001
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 29 to May 31
Tuition: $400.00
Days/Times: Wed
6:00 PM–8:30 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 28, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature The Complete Shakespeare: The Comedies
03/30/2017 to 06/1/2017

BASC 70023 | The Complete Shakespeare: The Comedies

In honor of Shakespeare400, the worldwide, year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we are offering a three-quarter sequence of all of his plays. This semester we will read the comedies in the order in which he wrote them. These plays include the expected comedic themes of love and marriage, both young and mature, and issues between children and parents. However, Shakespeare’s late comedies, his “problem plays,” sometimes eschew happy endings, leaving the audience to consider problems such as jealousy and alienation of affection, and the difficulty of reconciliation. 

For the first class, please read The Taming of the Shrew.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Eva Fernandez, Cynthia Rutz

Eva Fernandez

Eva Fernandez

Ms. Fernandez did her MA and PhD course work at the University of Chicago.  Her primary interests are classical and medieval literature and philosophy.  Other enthusiasms include 17th century English literature, 19th century American literature, and modern and contemporary poetry. She is the 2011 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

,

Cynthia Rutz

Cynthia Rutz

Ms. Rutz completed her PhD on Shakespeare at the University of Chicago in 2013. Other interests include mythology, folktales, and ancient Greek philosophy and literature. She is a former Staff Chair of the Basic Program and currently teaches at Valparaiso University.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70023
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 30 to Jun 01
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Thu
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
March 29, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

BASC 70023 | The Complete Shakespeare: The Comedies

In honor of Shakespeare400, the worldwide, year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we are offering a three-quarter sequence of all of his plays. This semester we will read the comedies in the order in which he wrote them. These plays include the expected comedic themes of love and marriage, both young and mature, and issues between children and parents. However, Shakespeare’s late comedies, his “problem plays,” sometimes eschew happy endings, leaving the audience to consider problems such as jealousy and alienation of affection, and the difficulty of reconciliation. 

For the first class, please read The Taming of the Shrew.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Eva Fernandez, Cynthia Rutz

Eva Fernandez

Eva Fernandez

Ms. Fernandez did her MA and PhD course work at the University of Chicago.  Her primary interests are classical and medieval literature and philosophy.  Other enthusiasms include 17th century English literature, 19th century American literature, and modern and contemporary poetry. She is the 2011 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

,

Cynthia Rutz

Cynthia Rutz

Ms. Rutz completed her PhD on Shakespeare at the University of Chicago in 2013. Other interests include mythology, folktales, and ancient Greek philosophy and literature. She is a former Staff Chair of the Basic Program and currently teaches at Valparaiso University.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70023
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 30 to Jun 01
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Thu
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
March 29, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature The Devil: Romantic and Modernist
03/30/2017 to 06/8/2017

BASC 70033 | The Devil: Romantic and Modernist

Two of the most complex literary incarnations of the Devil, found in Goethe’s drama, Faust – Part One (1808, revised 1828-1829), and Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel, The Master and Margarita (1928-1940, published 1967), complement each other in a number of ways beyond mere influence. Goethe’s Mephistopheles and Bulgakov’s Devil, Woland, embody the human quest for transcendent knowledge and freedom, including political freedom as well as the awareness of the limitations of human condition. While both works tell compelling universal stories of passion and destruction, Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita also responds to the terror in Stalinist Russia with imagination, sarcasm... and romanticism.

For our first meeting, please read the first 1,200 lines of Goethe’s Faust.

No class Apr 27.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova holds an MA in Comparative Slavic Studies from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and an MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching interests include storytelling as well as the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. She is the 2008 recipient of the Graham School of Continuing and Professional Studies Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70033
Section: 17S1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Mar 30 to Jun 08
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Thu
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Online Registration Close Date:
March 22, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature The Devil: Romantic and Modernist
04/1/2017 to 06/17/2017

BASC 70033 | The Devil: Romantic and Modernist

Two of the most complex literary incarnations of the Devil, found in Goethe’s drama, Faust – Part One (1808, revised 1828-1829), and Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel, The Master and Margarita (1928-1940, published 1967), complement each other in a number of ways beyond mere influence. Goethe’s Mephistopheles and Bulgakov’s Devil, Woland, embody the human quest for transcendent knowledge and freedom, including political freedom as well as the awareness of the limitations of human condition. While both works tell compelling universal stories of passion and destruction, Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita also responds to the terror in Stalinist Russia with imagination, sarcasm... and romanticism.

For our first meeting, please read the first 1,200 lines of Goethe’s Faust.

No class Apr 22, 29.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova holds an MA in Comparative Slavic Studies from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and an MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching interests include storytelling as well as the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. She is the 2008 recipient of the Graham School of Continuing and Professional Studies Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

30 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70033
Section: 17S2
Location: Hyde Park
Dates:
Apr 01 to Jun 17
Tuition: $430.00
Days/Times: Sat
9:30 AM–12:45 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
March 31, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature Dylan Thomas’s Poetry
06/19/2017 to 08/14/2017

BASC 70024 | Dylan Thomas’s Poetry

The great, hot-souled and short-lived Welsh poet Dylan Thomas may be best-known to many for the resounding – and shared - cri de coeur of his “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,” and perhaps for his “Fern Hill,” with its liquid, perfect, evocative opening “Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs….” These works are tours de force. But in fact the whole of Thomas’s preternatural creation – like Mozart’s – reveals a supple mastery of form / verbal music and otherworldly intuition / understanding of life meaning, impacts and implication. In our close reading, we will revel and be illumined. (8 weeks)

No class July 3.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Claudia Traudt

Claudia Traudt

Claudia Traudt

Ms. Traudt holds an MA from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her art-making, research, and teaching explore modes of creation and perception in word and image. She is the 2006 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

24 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70024
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 19 to Aug 14
Tuition: $350.00
Days/Times: Mon
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:

Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Greek, Literature Introduction to Classical Greek, Part 4
06/19/2017 to 08/28/2017

HUAS 48004 | Introduction to Classical Greek, Part 4

In the spring quarter, students complete the first book of the Iliad, beginning with the divine-like wrath of the hero Achilles and ending with the all-too-human laughter of the gods. In summer, after a short introduction to the differences between the Homeric and Attic dialects, students read a brief, but under-appreciated dialogue by Plato, the Hippias Minor, which begins by considering the question of who is the better epic hero – Achilles or Odysseus, and ends strangely with Socrates arguing that it is better to do wrong on purpose than in ignorance.

No class July 3.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Paul Mathai

Paul Mathai

Paul Mathai

Mr. Mathai has studied at the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought. His research focuses on Greek literature, philosophy, and history, as well as Russian language and literature.

25 PD/CPDU
Course Code: HUAS 48004
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 19 to Aug 28
Tuition: $400.00
Days/Times: Mon
6:00 PM–8:30 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 16, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature Stoppard’s The Real Thing and The Hard Problem
06/20/2017 to 08/15/2017

BASC 70034 | Stoppard’s The Real Thing and The Hard Problem

Tom Stoppard’s layerings of present immediacy; allusive connection; oscillations in time; hilarious, paining, and revelatory interactions; and crackling specificities of history, science, the arts, human psyches, and strivings are legendary. We will keenly explore 1982’s The Real Thing, with its probing – and throbbing – collisions of actor and Actor, art and life, understandings and betrayals, actuality and appearance, and 2015’s The Hard Problem, with its volatile mixture of lived lives and grapplings with what constitutes them. Court Theatre in Hyde Park will be presenting The Hard Problem from March 9–April 9. (8 weeks).

No class July 4.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Claudia Traudt

Claudia Traudt

Claudia Traudt

Ms. Traudt holds an MA from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her art-making, research, and teaching explore modes of creation and perception in word and image. She is the 2006 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

24 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70034
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 20 to Aug 15
Tuition: $350.00
Days/Times: Tue
10:00 AM–1:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 19, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature Beckett’s Happy Days and Endgame
06/20/2017 to 08/15/2017

BASC 70064 | Beckett’s Happy Days and Endgame

Beckett’s 1957 Endgame is a one-act play for four – blind, wheelchair-bound Hamm, his lame servitor Clov, Hamm’s aged parents Nagg and Nell (who pop up periodically from their dustbin / garbage can domiciles) – in a single greyed room with two small windows. His 1961 Happy Days, is very funny and frightening: wife Winnie encased waist-and-then-neck-deep in trash, rummaging, talking at large and to her little-seen husband Willie of the then and the now. Each is iconic in imagery – and hauntingly suggestive – of things human and cosmic.

No class July 4.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Claudia Traudt

Claudia Traudt

Claudia Traudt

Ms. Traudt holds an MA from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her art-making, research, and teaching explore modes of creation and perception in word and image. She is the 2006 recipient of the Graham School's Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

24 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70064
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 20 to Aug 15
Tuition: $350.00
Days/Times: Tue
6:00 PM–9:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:
June 19, 2017
Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

Literature Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater
06/20/2017 to 08/1/2017

BASC 70074 | Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater

We will devote six weeks to a thorough exploration of Sabbath’s Theater (1995) – a novel shockingly teasing like Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) and majestically sharp like American Pastoral (1997). In Roth’s words, “Sabbath is a jokester like Hamlet, who winks at the genre of tragedy by cracking jokes as Sabbath winks at the genre of comedy by planning suicide. There is loss, death, dying, decay, grief — and laughter, ungovernable laughter.” Contrary to the belief that wisdom lies exclusively in the words and deeds of admirable characters, Roth’s anti-hero, Mickey Sabbath, becomes a surprising source of insight about the meaning of life. (6 weeks)

For our first meeting, please read the first two sections of the novel (about 70 pages).

No class July 4.

Prerequisite(s):
none
Instructor:
Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova

Katia Mitova holds an MA in Comparative Slavic Studies from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and an MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching interests include storytelling as well as the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. She is the 2008 recipient of the Graham School of Continuing and Professional Studies Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

18 PD/CPDU
Course Code: BASC 70074
Section: 17U1
Location: Gleacher Center
Dates:
Jun 20 to Aug 01
Tuition: $270.00
Days/Times: Tue
6:00 PM–9:15 PM



Unlimited slots available

Online Registration Close Date:

Online registration closes at 11:59 PM the day before the posted close date.

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