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C LIT 250 A: Introduction to Comparative Literature: Literature and Culture

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
EEB 045
Joint Sections: 
ENGL 200 D
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Hee Eun Helen Lee

Syllabus Description:


peter pan

This course explores how the fantastical imagination of children’s literature shapes the childhood as separate from and subordinate to adulthood along with the larger cultural, historical, psychological and philosophical perspectives of society. At the same time, this course aims to identify how the literary and visual spaces grant a better ground for elucidating subverted issues. By investigating the motifs of children’s literature across borders, beginning with the nineteenth-century Golden Age of Children’s Literature to more contemporary works that have reaped unprecedented levels of success today, this course surveys the underlying discourse that resonates across national borders, human and non-human communications, the real and the sublime, space and time. Readings will be drawn from transnational traditions, transcultural retellings of fairy tale legacies, as well as Disney adaptations such as Alice in WonderlandPeter PanLion KingThe Nut Cracker and others. 



 * =handout or Canvas PDF

Week 1: Imagination

Mon, June 18 Different Genres, Different Readings, How to Read

Tues, June 19 *Bettelheim. “The Struggle for Meaning,” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan Act 1-5

Wed, June 20: When Wendy Grew Up 

Thurs, June 21: NO CLASS – Helen is at NASSR

*Zipes “Breaking the Disney Spell”, Peter Pan Movie


Week 2: Human and Non-human

Mon, June 25: NO CLASS – Helen is at NASSR

Lion King Movie; *Markowsky “Why Anthropomorphism in Children’s Literature?”

Tues, June 26 Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chp. I-VI

Wed, June 27 Alice Contd.; Chp. VII-XII, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

Thurs, June 28 *Rowe “Feminism and Fairy Tales”; Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de
Villeneuve Beauty and the Beast

Paper 1 Due Friday, 29th 5pm


Week 3: Adopted, Adapted, Abused

Mon, July 2 Beauty and the Beast Movies

Tues, July 3 Special Collections Sandra Kroupa on Children’s Books
Goethe. Sorrows of Young Werther, Book 1

Wed, July 4 NO CLASS – Independence Day

Thurs, July 5 Sorrows of Young Werther contd., Book 2


Week 4: Magic and the Sublime

Mon, July 9 *Rossetti “Goblin Market,” *Kooistra's "Dubious Fantasies"

Tues, July 10 * “The Parallelism of the Fantastic and the Real”; Labyrinth of Pan 

Wed, July 11 *Kleist “St. Cecilia; Or The Power of Music”

Thurs, July 12 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them



Week 5: Sound, Song, Music, Art

Mon, July 16 Special Lecture by Laure Struber on Schumann and Children’s Songs

Tues, July 17 Final paper prep and workshops

Wed, July 18 Roundtable Discussion on Final Projects

Final Paper Due Friday 20th, 11:59pm


[i] This schedule is as of now my best approximation of how the class ought to move along. I have attempted to negotiate between assigning too much reading and giving you insufficient amounts of material to write on. I reserve the right to change the order of works as seems best to suit our needs as a learning community. HL

Catalog Description: 
Study of literature in its relation to culture. Focuses on literature as a cultural institution, directly related to the construction of individual identity and the dissemination and critique of values.
Department Requirements Met: 
Pre-req to Declare Literature Major
GE Requirements Met: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:12pm